Magnus Pius: Sextus Pompeius and the Transformation of the Roman Republic

Magnus Pius: Sextus Pompeius and the Transformation of the Roman Republic

Hardback Roman Culture in an Age of Civil War

By (author) Kathryn Welch

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  • Publisher: Classical Press of Wales
  • Format: Hardback | 350 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 239mm x 23mm | 771g
  • Publication date: 1 December 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Swansea
  • ISBN 10: 1905125445
  • ISBN 13: 9781905125449
  • Illustrations note: b/w illus
  • Sales rank: 665,901

Product description

Sextus Pompeius Magnus Pius, son of Pompey the Great, fits uneasily into narratives of Rome's civil war of 49-31BC. Ronald Syme, father of international orthodoxy, stated that Sextus was 'in reality an adventurer' who was 'easily represented as a pirate'. He was wrong. Sextus Pompeius plays havoc with orthodox history. His military success punctures the myth of continuous Caesarian victory. His systematic rescuing of the victims of Triumviral violence belies the claim that only the Caesarian side represented clementia and justice. His naval strategy reveals his commitment to the same cause and ethics as his father and his father's allies. Indeed, Pompey the Great and his Republican allies can only be understood, Welch shows, by a study of his gifted, resilient and ultimately unlucky son. Welch places Sextus Pompeius at the centre of Rome's transition from Republic to Empire and so reveals an ideological landscape very different from 20th-century representations.

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Author information

Kathryn Welch is an internationally-recognised authority on the politics of late-Republican Rome and the civil war period, on which she has published numerous papers. With Anton Powell, she edited Julius Caesar as Artful Reporter (1998) and Sextus Pompeius (2002), and with T.W. Hillard, Roman Crossings: Theory and practice in the Roman Republic (2005). She is currently preparing, with Kai Brodersen, a volume of papers on Appian's histories of Roman civil conflict. Kathryn Welch teaches at the University of Sydney.

Review quote

"The book is well written and illustrated, and Welch writes in a lively style that engages the reader easily. Her reconstruction of the events between 44 and 35 BC provides new insights and challenges older models, and students of the late Republic and the early Augustan Principate will certainly want to read this book for the important new perspectives it brings to these periods. Welch's text is a welcome reassessment of the final decades of the Republic, and it may lead more than one professor to rethink how he or she presents Sextus Pompeius in lectures. " -- Fred K. Drogula, Providence College Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2013.07.43 "Recommended. Graduate students/faculty." -- K.W. Harl, Tulane University Choice July 2013 Vol. 50, No. 11

Table of contents

1. The Lost Republic 2. Sons of Neptune: serving the Res Publica between 49 and 45BC 3. Refashioning Republicanism: from the Ides of March to the Battle of Philippi 4. One More Pact: Misenum and the success of the Triumvirate 5. The Public Face of Sextus Pompeius 6. Dealing with Caesar: Republicans in the aftermath of Naulochus Appendix 1: Dating the coinage of Sextus Pompeius Appendix 2: Coin issues of the Republican leaders from 49-36BC