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How and why was Pompey Made Sole Consul in 52 BC?

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Part one of this paper demonstrates that Pompey was made consul in 52 BC in the normal fashion, by a vote taken in the comitia centuriata, not anomalously by a senatorial decree tout court, the version of many ancient and modern accounts. Part two discusses why the optimates authorized a sole consulship for Pompey. The aim was not, as commonly supposed, to forestall Pompey from being named dictator or taking Caesar as his consular colleague. Instead, it was to resolve an impasse caused by political forces blocking the elections in order to prevent Milo from becoming consul and thereby immune to prosecution for Clodius' murder.
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Keywords: CONSULSHIP; CREARE; DICTATOR; DICTIO; INTERREX; SENATE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2016

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  • Historia, first published in 1952 by Karl Friedrich Stroheker and Gerold Walser is an international, peer-reviewed journal on Greek and Roman antiquity. Articles are in English, German, French and Italian. It features original articles on Greek history, the Roman Republic and Empire as well as late antiquity. It covers all aspects of political, economic, religious and social life and deals with legal, archaeological, numismatic and epigraphical questions.
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