Cicero, On Pompey's Command (De Imperio), 27-49: Latin Text, Study Aids with Vocabulary, Commentary, and Translation - cover image

Book Series


Ingo Gildenhard; Louise Hodgson

Published On





  • English

Print Length

292 pages (vi + 285)


Paperback156 x 16 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.61" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 17 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.69" x 9.21")


Paperback912g (32.17oz)
Hardback1294g (45.64oz)



OCLC Number





  • HBLA1
  • CFP
  • 4KL


  • LIT004190
  • FOR033000
  • HIS002020


  • DG258


  • Cicero
  • Pompey
  • De Imperio
  • Pirates
  • Ancient Rome
  • Roman Republic
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Cicero, On Pompey's Command (De Imperio), 27-49

Latin Text, Study Aids with Vocabulary, Commentary, and Translation

  • Ingo Gildenhard (author)
  • Louise Hodgson (author)
In republican times, one of Rome's deadliest enemies was King Mithridates of Pontus. In 66 BCE, after decades of inconclusive struggle, the tribune Manilius proposed a bill that would give supreme command in the war against Mithridates to Pompey the Great, who had just swept the Mediterranean clean of another menace: the pirates. While powerful aristocrats objected to the proposal, which would endow Pompey with unprecedented powers, the bill proved hugely popular among the people, and one of the praetors, Marcus Tullius Cicero, also hastened to lend it his support. In his first ever political speech, variously entitled pro lege Manilia or de imperio Gnaei Pompei, Cicero argues that the war against Mithridates requires the appointment of a perfect general and that the only man to live up to such lofty standards is Pompey. In the section under consideration here, Cicero defines the most important hallmarks of the ideal military commander and tries to demonstrate that Pompey is his living embodiment. This course book offers a portion of the original Latin text, study aids with vocabulary, and a commentary. Designed to stretch and stimulate readers, the incisive commentary will be of particular interest to students of Latin at both AS and undergraduate level. It extends beyond detailed linguistic analysis and historical background to encourage critical engagement with Cicero's prose and discussion of the most recent scholarly thought.

Additional Resources

[website]The Classics Library interactive edition

The Classics Library has created an interactive edition of the entire work. This edition is made free to read by all, while members of the Classics Library (membership is free but restricted to secondary an tertiary teachers in Latin and classics) are able to comment on, extend and ask questions on every aspect of the text. Of course, if you are not eligible to become a member of the Classics Library your comments and questions are still very welcome and can be made in the comments section of this site.

Table of Contents

1. Preface and acknowledgements

2. Introduction: why does the set text matter?

3. Latin text with study questions and vocabulary aid

The Only Way is Pompey (§27)

The Perfect General, Pompey the Kid, and Mr. Experience (§28)

His Excellence (and Excellences) (§29)

Witnesses to the Truth! (§30)

Pacifying the Pond, or: Pompey and the Pirates (§31)

The Pirates of the Mediterranean (§32)

Pirates ante portas! (§33)

Pompey’s Cruise Control (I): ‘I Have a Fleet – and Need for Speed’ (§34)

Pompey’s Cruise Control (II): ‘I Have a Fleet – and Need for Speed’ (§35)

‘Thou Art More Lovely and More Temperate’: Pompey’s Soft Sides (§36)

SPQR Confidential (§37)

Of Locusts and Leeches (§38)

Pompey the Peaceful, or: Imperialism with Gloves (§39)

No Sight-Seeing or Souvenirs for the Perfect General (§40)

Saint Pompey (§41)

Peace for our Time (§42)

Rumour and Renown: Pompey’s auctoritas (§43)

Case Study I: The Socio-Economics of Pompey’s auctoritas (§44)

Case Study II: Pompey’s auctoritas and psychological warfare (§45)

Auctoritas Supreme (§46)

Felicitas, or how not to ‘Sull(a)y’ Pompey (§47)

The Darling of the Gods (§48)

Summing Up (§49)

4. Commentary

5. Further resources

Chronological table: the parallel lives of Pompey and Cicero

The speech in summary, or: what a Roman citizen may have heard in the forum

Translation of §§ 27-49

The protagonists: Cicero – Pompey – Manilius

The historical context (the contio, imperial expansion, civil wars, the shadow of Sulla, extraordinary commands)

List of rhetorical terms

6. Bibliography


Ingo Gildenhard

Reader in Classics and the Classical Tradition at University of Cambridge

Louise Hodgson