Sextus Pompeius

The son of Pompey the Great casts a long shadow. Acclaimed by the Roman populace in his lifetime, his traditional virtues and military successes put to shame his civil-war rival Octavian. After his death, he was passionately and safely abused by Octavian and poets as a marginal nuisance, a pirate. The image of a 'second rank' figure has been propagated into recent times by Syme and Zanker. But extensive ancient evidence makes possible a very different story. Here seven new studies from an international cast reconstruct a figure whose actions and image shaped not just the civil war period but the character of the early Principate.