Monday, September 28, 2020

The Execution of Pompey Magnus

The Execution of Pompey Magnus

          Today is the anniversary of the assassination of Pompey the Great on his (almost) arrival in Egypt.  Having lost the Battle of Pharsalus (48 b.c.) to Julius Caesar, he fled to Egypt hoping for refuge and the opportunity to raise a new army.  The Egyptians, knowing that Caesar would be on Pompey’s heals, arranged for his assassination before he reached the shore.  For those of you who enjoyed the HBO series Rome, while Pompey was killed in sight of his wife, there were more assassins than the one depicted, and it took place in the boat, not as Pompey walked to shore.

            It was an ignominious end to an amazing life.  He almost defeated Caesar earlier in the year at the Battle of Dyrrhachium. Previously, with Caesar and Crassus, he had been part of the First Triumvirate.  He was three times Consul of Rome, and three times he was awarded a Triumph. According to Josephus, The Jewish Antiquities, after conquering Jerusalem and settling a dispute as to local control he entered the Holy of Holies of the Temple, but took nothing of its riches.

Today is also the anniversary in 1066 of the arrival of the troops of William of Normandy (soon to be “the Conqueror”) in England. 

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