Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > Ancient History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Ancient History Ancient History Forum - Greece, Rome, Carthage, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and all other civilizations of antiquity, to include Prehistory and Archaeology discussions


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old June 15th, 2018, 11:22 PM   #1

The General's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: Aug 2015
From: wish it was Constantinople
Posts: 867
Legacy: Pompey the great


There are countless historical figures throughout history, some are underrated, some are greatly revered. Me and my colleagues/friends often have lengthy debates and talks about different historical figures sharing our opinion on what kind of person they were, and what kind of legacy they left. I thought it would be interesting to post here, on historum, a thread or a page dedicated to a historical figure to judge their actions and assess their personality and their view among historians.

to start off with, I want the communities opinion and assessment of Pompey the Great. Some, view him as stupid, idiotic and naive, who had no idea how to use his power, and was a mere puppet for Caesar. However others, viewed him as military genius, who did what he thought was good for the Republic by integrating and befriending the people of outside territories and wanting to retain balance within the republic?

So what are your thoughts? obviously, almost no person in history could be seen in black or white, but we can definitely use their historical actions and judgement to explain our own thoughts on this character and his legacy.


(P.S, if you thought this was interesting, I've been thinking of other historical figures to create pages for e.g Napoleon III, Haile Selassie and more)
The General is offline  
Remove Ads
Old June 16th, 2018, 02:09 AM   #2

caldrail's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 4,952
Blog Entries: 15

He was a competent commander with particular skill at maintaining logistics for armies under his control. Politically he had risen to the top as part of the First Principate but to some extent he was becoming a reluctant participant.
caldrail is offline  
Old June 16th, 2018, 03:50 AM   #3
Scholar
 
Joined: Apr 2018
From: France
Posts: 605

Really clever commander and excellent organizational skills, but he found a real genius of the war. So, from this aspect, quite unlucky.

But I don't think he was really interested in the republic. He agreed with Caesar to establish a pact to take more power, without too much respect for the republic.

And he demonstrated to have a big defect: jealousy for Caesar's unbelievable successes.
UlpiusTraianus is offline  
Old June 16th, 2018, 04:02 AM   #4

Kuroda Kanbei's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: Apr 2012
From: The Netherlands
Posts: 856

Quote:
Originally Posted by UlpiusTraianus View Post
Really clever commander and excellent organizational skills, but he found a real genius of the war. So, from this aspect, quite unlucky.

But I don't think he was really interested in the republic. He agreed with Caesar to establish a pact to take more power, without too much respect for the republic.

And he demonstrated to have a big defect: jealousy for Caesar's unbelievable successes.
The jealousy wasn't entirely petty though. Pompey had good reason to believe Caesars rise was to his detriment. Pompey just wasn't a good politician and his career as independent senator was a flop. Pompey remained relevant because he was Rome's greatest general. If he lost this then his position would grow quite a lot weaker.
Kuroda Kanbei is offline  
Old June 16th, 2018, 04:14 AM   #5
Archivist
 
Joined: Mar 2018
From: UK
Posts: 108

Frankly he was a bit unlucky in being in the same generation as Caesar. In any other time he would have been the greatest Roman alive.
Olleus is offline  
Old June 16th, 2018, 06:30 AM   #6
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2016
From: USA
Posts: 6,149

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuroda Kanbei View Post
The jealousy wasn't entirely petty though. Pompey had good reason to believe Caesars rise was to his detriment. Pompey just wasn't a good politician and his career as independent senator was a flop. Pompey remained relevant because he was Rome's greatest general. If he lost this then his position would grow quite a lot weaker.
A lot of it was petty. Pompey had done a lot of what he did in his life to bulster his reputation and little else. Romans like him seemed to believe in a zero sum game when it came to praise and adoration, if someone else was getting it, they couldn't. Maybe true, but he didn't like the fame and wealth that Caesar was getting from Gaul.

Besides that, offering the patrician daughter of Cornelius Metellus for marriage to solidify the alliance was pretty brilliant. Pompey constantly strived to have the best bred wives, they marriage locked in the alliance to Boni no different than when Caesar had done it with Julia. Had Caesar had another daughter to toss to Pompey, things might have gone differently. By marrying into the Boni, it all became a family squabble that Pompey basically had to participate, by tradition.
aggienation is offline  
Old June 16th, 2018, 07:14 AM   #7

Duke Valentino's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Australia
Posts: 1,592
Blog Entries: 1

I believe most say he's overrated as a general; I say he's underrated.
Duke Valentino is offline  
Old June 16th, 2018, 08:14 AM   #8
Historian
 
Joined: Jun 2017
From: Connecticut
Posts: 2,024

Lived in a half century with a surplus of great people(Crassus, Caesar, Tigranes, Cassius, Brutus,Octavian, Mark Antony, Vercingetorix, Cleopatra, Cicero, Surena, Herod) and is probably less important to history than most of them. The Seleucid Empire was only alive symbolically when he conquered them and Armenia and Judea being important or even independent is largely a consequence of that fact. He's the first of IMO many unmemorable Roman middle eastern campaigners. He's basically Julius Caesar's Mark Antony except Pompey doesn't have the Cleopatra story(which is fascinating) or a Shakespearian death for people to remember. At the end of the day his most important contribution is taking over Rome and getting Caesar to cross the Rubicon which triggered the next crazy few decades. If conservatives want to draw inspiration from a Roman icon, wouldn't a successful Sulla be more popular?

Still it's been 2000 years, a century or two out, he probably was probably a very important figure in Roman history, but now two thousand years out, don't see all too much that separates him from just being the guy who Caesar had to fight to take power, except the Great title in his name. The harsh reality is out of the six triumvirate members he is the fifth most important only beats Lepidus(Crassus beat Spartacus, was extremely wealthy, was Caesar's icon and his death led to things hitting the fan) and the professor in college taught us about Lepidus as a joke.
Emperor of Wurttemburg 43 is offline  
Old June 16th, 2018, 08:16 AM   #9

Scaeva's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,274

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke Valentino View Post
I believe most say he's overrated as a general; I say he's underrated.
I think it depends on which era.

I'd vote for Pompey being overrated in his own day, but underrated in ours.
Scaeva is offline  
Old June 16th, 2018, 08:18 AM   #10

Duke Valentino's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Australia
Posts: 1,592
Blog Entries: 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaeva View Post
I think it depends on which era.

I'd vote for Pompey being overrated in his own day, but underrated in ours.
I fully agree with that. I was referring to our own day.

In that regard, his war in Spain is usually glossed over/ignored; despite it being, in my mind, a fundamental step for Pompey in his career that simply cannot be ignored.

He also takes too much of a bad rap for Dyrrachium/Pharsalus.
Duke Valentino is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > Ancient History

Tags
legacy, pompey



Search tags for this page
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pompey the Great vs Antiochus the Great LicinusYongzheng704 Ancient History 40 February 22nd, 2016 03:19 AM
Pompey the Great MafiaMaster Ancient History 28 January 16th, 2016 12:54 PM
Pompey the Great jonlang92 Ancient History 3 December 30th, 2014 11:09 AM
Pompey Great in Bactria Le Hoang Ancient History 12 May 1st, 2013 01:18 PM
Pompey the Great Commander Ancient History 2 September 30th, 2006 05:43 PM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.