Sextus Pompeius (relatives of triumvir Pompey)
Brother to Pompeius Strabo
Sextus Pompeius Virdoctus (fl. between 2nd and 1st centuries BC) was a Roman born into an equestrian family in Picenum (in the south and the north of the modern regions of Marche and Abruzzo respectively) in central Italy, on the Adriatic coast. His cognomen Virdoctus, suggests he was a first-born child and son.
Sextus’ mother was called Lucilia. Lucilia’s family originated from Suessa Aurunca (modern Sessa Aurunca) and she was a sister of satire poet Gaius Lucilius. Lucilius was a friend of Roman general Scipio Aemilianus Africanus. Sextus’ paternal grandfather was Gnaeus Pompeius, while his father was Sextus Pompeius. His younger brother was consul Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo and his sister was Pompeia. Through his brother, he was the paternal uncle to triumvir Pompey (Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus) and his sister Pompeia.
Sextus never obtained any high office of state, however gain a great reputation as a learned man. The historian and senator Cicero, praised Sextus in his writings for his accurate knowledge of geometry, Stoicism and jurisprudence. The only time that his name is recorded in Roman public affairs was when on one occasion Sextus was present with his younger brother in his camp during the Social War.
Sextus married an unnamed Roman woman and had two sons a younger Sextus Pompeius and Quintus Pompeius. His second son Quintus Pompeius, is only known through the letters of Cicero. In one of his letters, Cicero had recommended Quintus in an undated letter which was addressed to man called Curius, who was a Roman proconsul of an unknown Roman province.
Cousin to triumvir Pompey
Consul of 35 BC
Sextus Pompeius was a Roman who lived in the 1st century BC and was the son to the above. His mother is an unnamed Roman woman. He was a consul in 35 BC and in that year his paternal second cousin Sextus Pompeius was killed in Asia.
Gaius Stern has hypothesized that this Sextus Pompeius was plucked from obscurity to hold the consulship of 35 BC to fulfill the pledge made by the Second Triumvirate to Sextus Pompeius, the son of Pompey the Great, that he would be consul in the near future. Since the future Augustus had pledged that Sextus would be consul, he fulfilled this pledge with a different Sextus Pompey. The son of Pompey the Great was defeated at the battles of Mylae and Naulochus in 36 BC and fled to the Greek East.
Consul of 14
Sextus Pompeius was a Roman politician who lived during the 1st century BC and into the 1st century AD. He was the son to the above. He appears to be the last known direct descendant of the original Sextus Pompeius.
Sextus served as consul in AD 14 with Sextus Appuleius. The two men held office when the first Roman Emperor Augustus died, and they were the first to swear allegiance to the new Roman Emperor Tiberius, who was Augustus’ adopted son and successor. At the funeral of Augustus, Sextus broke his leg.
In Tiberius’ reign, he served as proconsul of Asia from 24 to 26. Sextus appeared to have a witty character and to be very intelligent. Sextus was a patron of literature and the Roman poet Ovid had addressed him several letters from when he was living in exile.
- Gaius Stern, Women, Children and Senators on the Ara Pacis Augustae (Berk. dissertation 2006)
- Dio 56.45.2
- Ronald Syme, "The Early Tiberian Consuls", Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, 30 (1981), p. 196