The Expansion of Rome in the East to 63 BCE


Map Code: Ax02482

Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, or ‘Pompey’, belonged to the senatorial nobility and was a well-established general and politician. He was employed in the east, resettling pirates as peaceful farmers, when, in 66 BCE, Gaius Manilius, a Tribune of People, carried through a bill appointing Pompey to command the troops of the Roman Republic against Mithridates VI, the king of Pontus and a determined opponent of Rome, with full powers to make war and peace. The third and final Mithridatic war had already broken out in 73 BCE. Pompey lost no time in taking up his new post defeating Mithridates three years later in 63 BCE. Pompey then began to plan the consolidation of the eastern provinces and frontier kingdoms. Pompey set up King Tigranes in Armenia as an ally of Rome and rejected the Parthian king’s request to recognize the River Euphrates as the limit of Roman control. He extended the Roman chain of protectorates to include Colchis, on the Black Sea, and the states south of the Caucasus. In Anatolia, he created the new provinces of Bithynia-et-Pontus and. Cilicia. He annexed Syria and left Judea as a dependent state. The organization of the East was Pompey’s greatest achievement, earning Pompey a new accolade, ‘Pompey the Great’. His sound appreciation of the political and geographical situation enabled him to devise a new defensive frontier system lasted with little change, for the next five centuries.

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