First Triumvirate

First Triumvirate

:"See also the First Triumvirate (Argentina) which came to power in 1811."The First Triumvirate is a term used by some historians to refer to the unofficial Roman political alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus. Unlike the Second Triumvirate, the First Triumvirate had no official status whatsoever – its overwhelming power in the Roman Republic was strictly unofficial influence, and was in fact kept secret for some time as part of the political machinations of the Triumvirs themselves. It formed in 60 BC and lasted until Crassus's death in 53 BC.

Crassus and Pompey had been colleagues in the consulate in 70 BC, when they had legislated the full restoration of the tribunate of the people (the dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla had stripped the office of all its powers except the "ius auxiliandi", the right to rescue a plebeian from the clutches of a patrician magistrate). However, since that time, the two men had entertained considerable antipathy for one another, each believing the other to have gone out of his way to increase his own reputation at his colleague's expense.

Caesar contrived to reconcile the two men, and then combined their clout with his own to have himself elected consul in 59 BC; he and Crassus were already the best of friends, and he solidified his alliance with Pompey by giving him his own daughter Julia in marriage. The alliance combined Caesar's enormous popularity and legal reputation with Crassus' fantastic wealth and influence within the plutocratic Ordo Equester and Pompey's equally spectacular wealth and military reputation.

The Triumvirate was kept secret until the Senate obstructed Caesar's proposed agrarian law establishing colonies of Roman citizens and distributing portions of the public lands "(ager publicus)". He promptly brought the law before the Council of the People in a speech which found him flanked by Crassus and Pompey, thus revealing the alliance. Caesar's agrarian law was carried through, and the Triumviri then proceeded to allow the demagogue Publius Clodius Pulcher's election as tribune of the people, successfully ridding themselves both of Marcus Tullius Cicero and Cato the Younger, both adamant opponents of the Triumviri.

The Triumvirate proceeded to make further arrangements for itself. The senate awarded Caesar, as a snub to his dealings in the Triumvirate, "the woods and paths of Italy" as his proconsul territory. Caesar passed, through a tribune, his own ruling on the matter, and became proconsul of both Gauls "(Gallia Cisalpina" and "Gallia Transalpina)" and of Illyricum, with command of four legions, for five years; Caesar's new father-in-law, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, was made consul for 58 BC, and Pompey and Crassus shared a second consulate in 55 BC. Pompey and Crassus then extended Caesar's proconsular government in the Gauls for another five years and secured for themselves as proconsuls the government of both Hispanias "(Hispania Citerior" and "Hispania Ulterior)" and of Syria, respectively, for five-year terms.

The alliance had allowed the Triumvirs to dominate Roman politics completely, but it would not last indefinitely due to the ambitions, egos, and jealousies of the three; Caesar and Crassus were implicitly hand-in-glove, but Pompey disliked Crassus and grew increasingly envious of Caesar's spectacular successes in the Gallic War, whereby he annexed the whole of the Three Gauls to Rome. Julia's death during childbirth and Crassus's ignominious defeat and death at Carrhae at the hands of the Parthians in 53 BC effectively undermined the alliance.

Pompey remained in Rome – he governed his Spanish provinces through lieutenants – and remained in virtual control of the city throughout that time. He gradually drifted further and further from his alliance with Caesar, eventually marrying the daughter of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Cornelianus Scipio Nasica, one of the "boni" ("Good Men"), an archconservative faction of the Senate steadfastly opposed to Caesar. Pompey was elected consul without colleague in 52 BC, and took part in the politicking which led to Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon in 49 BC, starting the Civil War. Pompey was made commander-in-chief of the war by the Senate, and was defeated by his former ally Caesar at Pharsalus. Pompey's subsequent murder in Egypt in an inept political intrigue left Caesar sole master of the Roman world.

ee also

*Constitution of the Roman Republic
*Second Triumvirate

External links

* [] - an article on how the First Triumvirate came into being. "(Site no longer active, please refer to [ this link] , accessed via the Wayback Machine)"

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • First Triumvirate (Argentina) — The First Triumvirate ( es. Primer Triunvirato) was the executive organ of government that replaced the Junta Grande, and governed Argentina from 1811 and 1812. Members * Feliciano Chiclana, Juan José Paso and Manuel de Sarratea.* Secretaries… …   Wikipedia

  • Triumvirate — The Massacres of the Triumvirate, 1566, by Antoine Caron (Louvre Museum) A triumvirate (from Latin, of three men ) is a political regime dominated by three powerful individuals, each a triumvir (pl. triumviri). The arrangement can be formal or… …   Wikipedia

  • triumvirate — /truy um veuhr it, veuh rayt /, n. 1. Rom. Hist. the office or magistracy of a triumvir. 2. a government of three officers or magistrates functioning jointly. 3. a coalition of three magistrates or rulers for joint administration. 4. any… …   Universalium

  • triumvirate —    a unit of quantity equal to 3. The name comes from the Latin trium virum, of three men, and was first used to describe the governing alliance of Julius Caesar with Pompey the Great and Marcus Licinius Crassus in 60 BCE …   Dictionary of units of measurement

  • Second Triumvirate — See also the Second Triumvirate (Argentina) which held power in 1812. The Second Triumvirate is the name historians give to the official political alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (later known as Augustus), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Second Triumvirate (Argentina) — The Second Triumvirate (Spanish Segundo Triunvirato) was the governing body of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata (present day Argentina) that followed the First Triumvirate in 1812, shortly after the May Revolution, and lasted 2… …   Wikipedia

  • Venezuela (first republic) — Infobox Former Country conventional long name = First Republic of Venezuela native name =Primera República de Venezuela common name = Venezuela continent=South America region = Andes country = Venezuela status = Unrecognized State era= South… …   Wikipedia

  • Anne, First Duke of Montmorency —     Anne, First Duke of Montmorency     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Anne, First Duke of Montmorency     Born at Chantilly, 15 March, 1492; died at Paris, 12 November, 1567. He belonged to that family of Montmorency whose members from 1327 held the… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • De Oratore — First page of a miniature of Cicero s De oratore, 15th century, Northern Italy, now at the British Museum De Oratore ( On the Orator ) is a dialogue written by Cicero in 55 BCE. It is set in 91 BCE, when Lucius Licinius Crassus dies, just before… …   Wikipedia

  • Augustus — For other uses of Octavius, see Octavius (disambiguation). For other uses of Octavian, see Octavian (disambiguation). For other uses of Augustus, see Augustus (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”