Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus was born with beginning of the year 130 and died a little after 193. It was one of the most brilliant generals of Marc Aurèle, and undoubtedly that which was closest to the philosophical emperor. Associated with the imperial family by her marriage with a girl of Marc Aurèle, he was a character impossible to circumvent in the years which followed and was considered to be able to claim with the imperial title ( capax imperii ), without however never crossing the step.
A provincial origin and badly known beginningsOriginating in Antioche of Syria, Pompeianus was a new man ( Homo novus ), his father indeed belonged only to the equestrian Ordre, if one believes the Histoire Auguste of it. The citizenship of the family probably went back to the reign of Claude. The beginnings of our character escape the historians, they were undoubtedly reproduced on an inscription of Rome recently published, but well too lacunar for really teaching us something, if is not to provide an additional index on its participation supposed in the war which opposed the Roman Empire to the Parthes from 161 to 166. Its first posts really known is the government of lower Pannonia, province border located on the the Danube, where it is attested in May 167. If it followed a normal course of career, it is necessary to place its consulate in the months which followed.
Son-in-law of the emperor and military chief impossible to circumventThe dramatic events which opposed Rome to the people installed beyond the Danube at the end of years 160 and with beginning of the year 170 involved an exceptional rise for Pompéianus. Its military value distinguished it with the eyes of Marc Aurèle who made his son-in-law of it by marrying it with his daughter Lucilla, young widow of the Co-emperor Lucius Verus dead in January 169. The origins much more modest of Pompéianus started many rumors and would have caused the resentment of Lucilla. At all events Pompéianus then seems principal lieutenant de Marc Aurèle and the support of the dynasty. It directed the Roman counter-attack after the disasters inflicted by the barbarian offensive which carried out the Quades and the Marcomans as far as Italy of North. It rested then on Pertinax of which it supported the career. The date of these operations is discussed. The assumptions relate to various years between 165 and 171, which can place the barbarian attack before or after the marriage of Pompéianus and Lucilla. The assumption most usually allowed is currently to place the invasion of Italy of North in May 170, but it does not achieve the unanimity yet.
The success of Pompéianus was real and its reinforced proximity with Marc Aurèle: it was honoured with a second honorary consulate into 173. It took part then still in many military operations, without we not knowing them with certainty, our sources being then rare and allusive. Two Latin inscriptions found in the delta of the Danube let think of operations carried out in this area, but their interpretation is delicate. With died of Marc Aurèle, Pompéianus was always at its sides within the military camps of the Danubian areas.
A situation of disgrace during the reign of ConvenientAt the time of the succession of Marc Aurèle, Pompéianus undoubtedly played a great part, and one can think that the fidelity of the armies was acquired to him. It then facilitated considerably to the arrival on the throne of Commode the son of Marc Aurèle. Hérodien at the beginning of its history of the Roman Emperors insists on the role of Pompéianus at this time and as a partisan continuation of military operations vis-a-vis the Commode young person shows it more anxious to return to Rome and finally imposing a ashamed peace on Rome. These passages must be considered with a critical passing, the other sources not corroborating this idea of a ashamed peace and the opposition between Commode and Pompéianus is undoubtedly then anachronistic.
It is indeed only later that the relationship between the young emperor and the senior officer was degraded. Lucilla, the woman of Pompéianus, organized indeed into 182 a conspiracy which was to eliminate Commode. So family members of Pompéianus took part in the plot, it was not its case and it was not victim of the purgings which followed. But it was from now on suspect and in disgrace. Pretexting its old age, it was withdrawn in its Italian properties.
A character who could claim with the empire into 193The death of Convenient on December 31st, 192 was the occasion of a short return of Pompéianus on the political scene: the old senator returned to Rome to meet Pertinax his old protected become emperor. This last would then have proposed to him to direct the empire according to the Histoire Auguste. Dion Cassius does not confirm this proposal but testifies to the very large respect posted by Pertinax towards Pompéianus, it makes us also the portrait of Pompéianus certainly old but in good health, with the political intelligence and intact prestige. The assassination of Pertinax by Praetorian was for Pompéianus the signal of the return in its retirement, even if, always according to the Histoire Auguste, Didius Julianus also on the imperial throne - episode proposed to him to go up whose authenticity is suspect. Pompéianus undoubtedly died little of time afterwards.
His/her children survived to him and profited from a very important family prestige: they were the grandchildren, then the descendants of Marc Aurèle. This prestige was however dangerous because the new dynasty of the Sévères could see in them possible competitors. Always it is that one must recognize in the ordinary consuls of 231 and 241 of the descendants of our character. Pompéianus which was the true second of Marc Aurèle and who being able to claim with the empire did not do it, can thus pass for a model of the values and senatorial virtues of the end of the second century, one of the characters and essential generals of this time, whose life is however very incompletely known for us.
ReferencesLatin inscriptions: Corpus inscriptionum latinarum (= LASH ) T. XVI, n°123; LASH III, 6176 ( THEY , 1108); NR. Gostar, " The mission of Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus to the mouths of Danube" , in J. Bibaux ED., Homages to Marcel Fox , T. II, Brussels, 1969, pp. 290-301; LASH VI, 41120; LASH XVI, 127; LASH III, 8484; LASH IX, 4970 ( THEY , 6559); LASH XI, 7555 ( THEY 1886); ILTG , 239 ( AE 1934, n° 96); Perhaps Year Épigraphique (= AE ) 1971, n° 208 = AE 1974, n° 411;
Literary sources: Dion Cassius, LXXI, 2 and LXXII, 4,2 and 5 and LXXII, 20,1 and LXXIII, 3,1-4; Hérodien I, 6-8; History Auguste, Life of Marc Aurèle , XX, 6-7; History Auguste, Life of Avidius Cassius , X, 3 and XI, 8; History Auguste, Life of Convenient , IV-V; History Auguste, Life of Pertinax , II, 4 and IV, 10; History Auguste, Life of Didius Julianus , VIII, 3; History Auguste, Life of Caracalla , III, 8; Justin martyr, appendix with the Apology ( Parisinus gr. . 450 and 451)
|Random links:||Veterinary surgeon | Saint-Chamas | Villy-in-Auxois | Henri de Villena | Canton of Bourgoin-Jallieu-South | Pauline_Julien|