Legendary Journeys

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Pompey the Magnus, meaning "Pompey the Magnificent" (literary "Pompey the Great", Latin Pompeius Magnus) was a recurring character on Xena: Warrior Princess. He was one of three rulers of the Roman Republic, alongside Julius Caesar and Crassus.

When Julius Caesar captured Vercinix of Gaul, Xena ensured his escape and caused the death of Crassus, causing Rome to become out of balance. As a result, Pompey and Caesar waged a fierce civil war against one another, as the both of them wanted Rome to themselves. They took their war to Greece, where Xena made sure that they wasted their troops and wouldn't be able to continue fighting for a while.

Pompey tried to resurrect his army, when he sent out his right-hand man, Carminus, to kidnap a group of Amazons, so that he could sell them to pirates for money to fund a new army. However, he was intercepted by Caesar's army, led by his right-hand man Brutus. Events followed and he was eventually confronted by Xena, who killed him and gave his head to Brutus, asking him to take the credit and present his head to Caesar.

He was played by Jeremy Callaghan.



Xena and Pompey meet

Pompey was one of the three rulers of Italia and its provinces, along with Crassus and Julius Caesar. He and Crassus did not seem to be friends, as didn’t he and Caesar, but they would not be able to exist without each other: if one were to die, then they would be out of balance. Despite this, Caesar seemed to be more powerful and dominant over Crassus and Pompey, which motivated them to start several civil wars.

Meeting Xena[]

Pompey first met Xena when she had kidnapped Crassus in exchange for Vercinix, the hero of Gaul which Caesar had kidnapped. Although Xena and her mission did not involve Pompey to begin with, he realised that she hated Caesar more than he did, meaning that if she were to succeed in swapping Vercinix for Crassus, it would only result in Caesar being humiliated, or put in an awkward position, so he decides to aid her. He gives her his dagger, which allows her safe passage through his army outside the gates. With that, she manages to switch the two, resulting in Caesar being forced to sentence Crassus to death inside the coliseum, as the spectators believed it to be Vercinix, of whom Caesar promised to execute.

Waging war against Caesar[]

With Crassus dead, Caesar and Pompey both desired to have Rome for themselves. The two of them began a fierce civil war, which was fuelled by a motivation to best each other at everything. They bought their civil war to Greece, where Xena came up with the idea to ensure that their efforts to continue warring are thwarted. She and Gabrielle gathered a group of villagers and taught them to fight, whilst they took the women and children to the caves to be safe from the battle. To ignite the war, Xena stole some Roman leathers and a flag from both Pompey and Caesar.

Caesar and Pompey witness the aftermath of the battle

She found a hill that was conveniently placed between both of their camps and she placed the flags on the hill: Pompey’s flag pointing towards Caesar’s camp and Caesar’s flag pointing towards Pompey’s camp. They both tried to claim the hill from each other, which made them send their troops out to fight. Xena told Gabrielle to lead the villagers into battle, which would even up the field and make the battle last longer. Xena lead Pompey and Caesar out into the open and they fell into a deep hole just before the battle started, a trap that was set by Xena. This kept the two of them occupied and rendered them unable to retreat their forces. Xena had a back-up plan of her own: she had trained Temecula, a skilled archer from the village, to shoot an arrow as a signal for the villagers to retreat. After the three heard the battle beginning to die down, Xena quickly retreated, found an emotional Gabrielle (who was mourning her friend from the village, Phlanagus) and returned to the village. As soon as Pompey and Caesar returned to the battlefield and realised what had happened, they both decided to return to Rome and raise a new army.


Pompey sent out his army to conquer the Amazons, in order to kidnap and sell them to pirates in exchange for money that will fund his army. Caesar tried to use this to his advantage and so he sent out his army (lead by his right-hand man, Brutus) to double-cross Pompey’s forces and start yet another war. But the Amazons caught word of Caesar’s army and so they waged a sneak attack on them. During this attack, Brutus fought with Amarice, a young Amazon and new recruit. Ephiny, the acting queen, protected Amarice which lead to her death. The Amazons called in Gabrielle to return to the village and take her rightful place as the queen. Xena discovers a sword with Pompey’s crest on it, which prompts her to question Pompey’s involvement. Once he tells her, she asks for his whereabouts, but is only able to discover where his right-hand man, Carminus is and so she sets up a trap around his regiment.

Xena kills Pompey

Carminus escapes and returns to Pompey, informing him of Xena’s presence. He is left with no choice, other than to launch a full-frontal attack on the Amazons. Xena, Gabrielle, Amarice and the rest of the Amazons prepare for battle, whilst Pompey closes in. Gabrielle releases the first wave of Amazons, whilst Xena rides through the battle, where she finds Pompey. The two of them fight, where Xena eventually gains the upper-hand and attempts to kill him. Pompey immediately tries to talk his way out of it, by saying that with Crassus out of the picture, Rome would be out of balance and Caesar would become too powerful. Xena then walks away, before Pompey tries to pull a blade on her and she turns around and beheads him. She delivers his head to Brutus and tells him to present it to Caesar but to tell him that it was his doing – not Xena’s.

Background information[]

Behind the scenes[]

  • Pompey was played by Jeremy Callaghan, who had previously played Palaemon in the season 2 episode "Blind Faith".
  • Pompey was loosely based on the historical Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus. The major changes for the series were Pompey's age (he was in his late 50s when he died, but was presumably in his 20s or 30s during the show) and the timing of his death. He in fact died four years before Caesar, assassinated by the Egyptians after being bested by his rival, rather than dying only one episode before thanks to the Amazons.