"In Spain, Pompey the Great, after six years’ fighting, was mopping up the last of the rebel armies."
had been sent to Spain to deal with the rebel army of Sertorius, a Roman statesman and general who had seized control of the country with his army and held it for six years. In the civil wars (88 and 83 BC) between Sulla
(representing aristocratic interests) and Marius
(representing popular interests), Sertorius had backed Marius’ populares
cause. After the return of Sulla to Rome and the collapse of populares
power, Sertorius retreated to Spain.