Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus was that rare combination – a general and a politician. Good sense, courage and sense of planning are not always to be found in those who choose to promote themselves as politicians, whereas one needs all three virtues (plus good fortune) to become a general, unless one is a third world colonel winning a successful coup.
Pompey’s early career as a soldier was, as they say today, ballistic. In fact it was brilliant. The Roman Senate empowered him to combat Lepidus, who had not very quietly raised his own private army while he was proconsul. Virtually at the same time as he was dealing with Lepidus, Pompey was also fighting Sertorius, busy backing the Lusitani rebellion in Spain. (more…)