The First Triumvirate of ancient Rome was an uneasy alliance between the three titans Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus which, from 60 BCE until 53 BCE, dominated the politics of the Roman Republic.Alliances have always been a part of history. ... the office or magistracy of a triumvir in ancient Rome. A triumvirate is a system of government wherein three people share the highest political power. The deep hatred that had lay dormant for years between Caesar and Pompey, together with Pompey’s jealousy, led to a civil war. He reorganized the provinces into Rome's client states, returning to the city in 62 BCE a hero. Crassus never forgot Pompey’s arrogance and always sought a military command where he, alone, would achieve glory. Caesar would rule as consul alone. To some the Roman citizenry was falling victim to moral decay. Pompey (106 - 48 B.C.) The term originated in Rome during the final collapse of the republic; it literally means the rule of three men (tres viri). Julius Caesar. However, that was several years away. Tresviri epulones, originally a board of three priests, was created in 196 bc to take charge of the banquet of Jupiter, the key event in the festivals of the Ludi Romani and Ludi Plebeii. He had even been named consul in 52 BCE with the full support of Cato. The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. For ten years, from 43 B.C.E. In the context of the Soviet Union and Russia, the term troika is used for … by Wikipedia User: Kirill Lokshin (Public Domain). Formally called the Triumvirate for Organizing the Republic (Latin: tresviri rei publicae constituendae), it was formed on 27 November 43 BC with the enactment of the Lex Titia, and existed for two five-year terms, covering the period until 33 BC. Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus now formed a triple pact, swearing to oppose all legislation of which any one of them might disapprove. With 40,000 soldiers Caesar crossed the Rubicon and returned to Rome. The group of three has seen historical significance throughout the years, especially in ancient Rome. Two of the three had valid reasons to unite: Pompey wanted his veterans to be rewarded for their bravery in the east while Crassus hoped to gain not only dignity in a military command but also sought to recoup money he and his fellow investors had lost during the food crises in the east. There are only mentions of Caesar bringing Pompey and Crassus together, which Plutarch described as a reconciliation. Together, the “gang” overcame their first obstacle when Caesar was named co-consul for the year 59 BCE with Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, unfortunately a good friend of Cato. Central in this change were the actions of the First Triumvirate: an alliance between the most powerful men in Rome. Because of his friendship with both men, Cicero grew concerned over the hostility between Caesar and Pompey, He wrote to Caesar in March of 49 BCE, … if you are disposed to protect our friend Pompey and reconcile him to yourself and the state, you will certainly find no one better adapted to that aim than myself. Later, he was rewarded with the command of the Roman forces in Italy. He and his followers went on a rampage throughout Italy. Lepidus was an influential political and military leader who had control of a large army near Rome. The group of three has seen historical significance throughout the years, especially in ancient Rome. The members of a triumvirate may or may not be elected and may or may not rule in accordance with existing legal norms. Corrections? There was street violence and rioting. HIGH QUALITY IMAGE DOWNLOADS All of our downloadable maps are provided as JPEG at 300 DPI and a minimum of 1500px wide. In 27 B.C.E. The statesman, philosopher and poet Marcus Tillius Cicero had even exposed a conspiracy led by the prominent senator Lucius Sergius Catiline to overthrow the Roman leadership. His 40 year reign was one of the most successful in Roman history. Battle of Pharsalusby Wikipedia User: Kirill Lokshin (Public Domain). The statesman, philosopher and poet Marcus Tillius Cicero had even exposed a conspiracy led by the prominent senator Lucius Sergius Catiline to overthrow the Roman leadership. The revolt of the gladiator Spartacus in 73-71 BCE remains the... Michael Grant ( Translated & Introduced By ). Next, Pompey and Crassus returned to a joint consulship in 55 BCE. Eventually the differences between the alliance's members and their personal greed would spell the triumvirate’s doom. … After a series of military battles, Rome settled on a very interesting political structure to answer that question. The medallic history of imperial Rome; from the first Triumvirate... Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Written by Donald L. Wasson, published on 20 March 2016 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Pompey left Rome with his army for Greece and was followed by Caesar. (16). Cicero); Triumvirate trīŭm´vĭrĭt, –vĭrāt˝ , in ancient Rome, ruling board or commission of three men. The triumviri rei publicae constituendae ("board of three to reconstitute the state") accepted the powers of a dictator and took several measures. Ancient sources mention what brought Pompey into the alliance, but are silent on what interests might have brought Crassus into the fold. (in ancient Rome) a group of three men holding power, in particular (the First Triumvirate) the unofficial coalition of Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus in 60 bc and (the Second Triumvirate) a coalition formed by Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian in 43 bc. A triumvirate is a political regime ruled or dominated by three powerful individuals known as triumvirs. Related Content https://www.britannica.com/topic/triumvirate. The first order of business: Caesar was able to reconcile the differences between Pompey and Crassus. By now Pompey was the favored son of the Senate. Born Octavius, he was the adopted son of Julius Caesar. Please help us create teaching materials on Mesopotamia (including several complete lessons with worksheets, activities, answers, essay questions, and more), which will be free to download for teachers all over the world. Afterwards, Pompey was named governor of Spain although he remained in Rome and ruled Spain through a series of deputies. License. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. Pompey the Great Bustby Carole Raddato (CC BY-SA). Unfortunately, he would never realize his goal. After the end of his consulship Caesar and his army crossed over the Alps into Gaul where he would spend the next ten years, returning to Italy in triumph in 50 BCE. The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire. He is eager to pass knowledge on to his students. The three men who would change the face of Roman politics were Gnaius Pompeius Magnus (Pompey), Marcus Lucinius Crassus, and Gaius Julius Caesar. Define triumvirate. However, upon his return, he entered the city as a citizen, not a soldier, having disbanded his army. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. Although Pompey actually scorned the Republican government, the defeat of Spartacus and his followers ensured both men were named co-consuls in 70 BCE. First Triumvirate. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. Even though these men had different opinions concerning the development of their nation, they decided to join forces to overcome the existing difficulties. In a further insult his head would be used as a prop by the king in a presentation of the Euripides play The Bacchae. Pompey fled to Egypt where he was murdered on the beach on the orders of Ptolemy XIII and beheaded. Wasson, Donald L. "First Triumvirate." 1 (in ancient Rome) a group of three men holding power, in particular (the First Triumvirate) the unofficial coalition of Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus in 60 BC and (the Second Triumvirate) a coalition formed by Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian in 43 BC.. 1.1 A group of three powerful or notable people or things existing in relation to each other. The Republic was in dire straits. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 20 Mar 2016. Many believed that it was only a matter of time before the Republic would fall. Triumvirate. Despite individual differences and pure animosity, this “three-headed monster” would remain in control, even through bribes and threats, to dominate both the consulship and military commands. Though the three are notionally equal, this is rarely the case in reality. Marcus Licinius Crassus, Louvreby Carole Raddato (CC BY-SA). One of the three would eventually rise above the others and become dictator. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. Alliances have always been a part of history. “Although I was convinced that you would take no rash or ill-judged action...in the name of our friendship, that you should not make any move, now that things have gone my way.”. However, three men, often referred to as “a Gang of Three”, seized the opportunity for personal gain, forming an alliance or triumvirate that would eventually transform the government. Omissions? Boards of three persons, usually elected, called triumviri agris dandis assignandis (sometimes also judicandis) and triumviri coloniae deducendae were frequently placed, respectively, in charge of assignments of land and in charge of the founding of colonies during the last three centuries of the republic (3rd–1st century bc). This marked the beginning of the Roman Empire. The First Triumvirate was an alliance of three political figures in Ancient Rome: Pompey, Crassus, and Julius Caesar. n. 1. In his The Twelve Caesars Roman historian Suetonius wrote that Caesar, … succeeded in conciliating Pompey and Marcus Crassus - they were still at odds after their failure to agree on matters of policy while sharing the consulship. In 48 BCE they met in the Battle of Pharsalus. The First Triumvirate started in 60 BC. Pompey, already feeling a tinge of jealousy over Caesar’s success, won favor with the Senate when he was given command over the city’s grain supply in 57 BCE after a series of food riots. Books His death spelled the doom for the triumvirate. The middle class consisted of free people with little to no political rights. ORIGIN – FIRST TRIUMVIRATE. Although he considered himself a friend to both Caesar and Pompey, Cicero, who disliked the optimates (Rome's senators) as much as they did, was opposed to joining the triumvirate even though they respected his oratory skills and made regular use of his legal services. Wasson, Donald L. "First Triumvirate." He became the third member of the Second Triumvirate, which was recognized in November 43 by the People's Assembly (Lex Titia). Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Our mission is to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Last modified March 20, 2016. There was street violence and rioting. While each had attained personal success, he wanted even more gloria and dignitas (glory and dignity). The First Triumvirate was the alliance of Julius Caesar , Pompey , and Marcus Licinius Crassus formed in 60 BC This was not strictly a triumvirate… Next, he married his daughter Julia to Pompey to seal the alliance. The first triumvirates instituted about 289 BC and assisted higher magistrates in their judicial functions. Caesar reconciled the feuding Crassus and Pompey. So, in 60 BCE the three men combined their resources, set aside their personal differences (Crassus, although one of the wealthiest men in Rome, actually despised Pompey) and seized control of the state; however, despite good intentions and personal achievements aside, the union was tenuous at best. Donald has taught Ancient, Medieval and U.S. History at Lincoln College (Normal, Illinois)and has always been and will always be a student of history, ever since learning about Alexander the Great. Problems in the East - piracy for one - caused a shortage of food in Rome. in ancient Rome: (1) A board of three persons appointed or elected for a specific purpose, for example, the triumvirate created to administer the agrarian reforms of Tiberius Gracchus in 133 B.C. By law a consul had the right to veto a proposal made by his fellow consul, and that was exactly what Bibulus did, so instead of fighting with the Senate, Caesar took his idea to the popular assembly. 3. The First Triumvirate ended when Julius Caesar defeated Pompey the Great and became Dictator, before his assassination by members of the Senate. In 73 BCE a Thracian named Spartacus led a revolt at a gladiator school at Capua, a city south of Rome. The Triumvirate was composed of Gnaeus Pompey Magnus, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Gaius Julius Caesar, and together these individuals combined their vast political influence to reduce the Roman Senate to a mere charade. Triumvirates were common in the Roman republic. Under it they received absolute authority, dictatorial in scope. He still cherished the old aristocratic patrician values (even though many of them didn’t respect him). had been the son-in-law of Julius Caesar as well as a member of the unofficial power union known as the first triumvirate, yet Pompey retained the backing of the Senate. Triumph of the Triumvirate Triumvirate (Latin tresviri or triumviri), was a board of three officials who shared a position of authority or power in ancient Rome. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Web. For now he was part of what modern historians have come to call the First Triumvirate. 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