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Antistia was the daughter of Publius Antistius of the gens Antistia. She became the first wife of Pompey the Great after he was arraigned on charges of peculation of plunder. The judge of Pompey's trial was Antistia's father, with whom Pompey made a deal to marry Antistia in exchange for being acquitted.
The marriage did not last. Lucius Cornelius Sulla had been fighting against Mithridates the Great of Pontus whilst Lucius Cornelius Cinna and Gnaeus Papirius Carbo ruled Rome. Upon his return, Sulla went to war against Carbo, as Cinna had died the year before. In retaliation, Carbo murdered any man who he believed to be an adherent of Sulla. Among those who perished were Antistia's father. Her mother committed suicide after her father's death.
The end of the marriage was precipitated by the young Pompey's prodigious military skill and defiance of tradition. Pompey brought Sulla an army, and used it expertly to further Sulla's purposes. Wishing to form a stronger alliance, Sulla offered Pompey his pregnant stepdaughter Aemilia Scaura, and Pompey readily divorced Antistia.