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Rome’s First Triumvirate
60 B.C.E. – 53 B.C.E
What is a Triumvirate?
Tri-um-vi-rate – a government of
three officers or magistrates
functioning jointly.
Members of the Triumvirate
1. Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus – “Pompey the
2. Marcus Licinius Crassus
3. Gaius Julius Caesar – “Julius Caesar”
Who Were These Men?
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus
“Pompey the Great”
Pompey - Roman army under the rule
of Sulla.
When Sulla died in 78 BCE Pompey
asked the Senate for a series of special
high commands so he could deal with
the revolts that were plaguing the
Republic at that time.
Pompey quickly dealt with the many
problems plaguing Rome while all the
time gaining more Senate approved
In 70 BCE Pompey joined forces with
the newly elected Consul, Crassus.
Before Pompey joined the triumvirate
he single-handedly redrew the map of
the Eastern Mediterranean by
developing new cities through
conquest. Pompey, through his
victories had increased Rome’s annual
income by 70 percent.
Marcus Licinius Crassus
Crassus was know in late Republic as
Rome’s richest man.
not born into a life of money
gained much of his wealth through
greedy schemes by becoming the cities
greatest landlord
Crassus used this money to support
political ambitions, which lead to his
being appointed Consul in 70 BCE.
Crassus’s biggest military
achievement was his defeat of
Spartacus and the slave revolt in 71
Crassus, had joined forces in 70 BCE
with Pompey, and would eventually
help form Rome’s triumvirate by 60
Gaius Julius Caesar
Caesar, who was a military genius, was
elected Consul in 59 BCE with the help
of his triumvirate friends, Pompey and
one of the most celebrated figures in all
of Roman history.
popular at the time for his impressive
victories in Gaul, (modern-day France).
By the end of his conquests in Gaul,
Caesar had gained a huge section of
land for the Roman Republic stretching
from modern-day Spain to modern-day
The Triumvirate
With the alliance of Pompey, Crassus, and Caesar in 60 BCE
Rome’s first triumvirate was born.
► Immediately following the formation of the triumvirate Caesar
left to conquer Gaul for the next seven years leaving Pompey and
Crassus to govern much of the Republic.
► The three rulers controlled most of the Roman military.
► Crassus, wanting to gain more power left to conquer Syria but
was killed in 53 BCE.
► With the death of Crassus as well as Pompey’s wife, who
happened to be Caesar’s sister, the triumvirate disintegrated into
a two man alliance.
Triumvirate cont.
Finally in 52 BCE with Caesar still in Gaul, Caesar’s enemies
persuaded the Senate to declare Caesar a “public enemy”
then they asked Pompey to “save the Republic”
The alliance of Pompey and Caesar was now in serious trouble
The civil war that was to follow would prove to be a great
power struggle between Pompey, Caesar, and the Senate
Civil War and the
fall of the republic
At the start of the war Caesar and his army marched on Rome
While crossing the Rubicon river (the northern boarder of Italy) Caesar
declared, “the die is cast,”- no turning back
Caesar easily swept to victory over the Senatorial army lead by Pompey in
48 BCE, and completely destroyed them in 45 BCE.
In 45 BCE Pompey was stabbed to death while coming ashore in Egypt as he
fled the wrath of Caesar.
Caesar was now the sole ruler of Rome, declaring himself. “dictator for life.”
That same year Caesar was assassinated by sixty Senators fearing his grip on
The assassination of Caesar was the first assassination of a head of state in
Rome in eighty-nine years and would signal the start of the pattern of political
scandal and murder. The Republic was now dead and the age of the Emperor
10 Western
was in place, Rome would stay much the same until the demise of the
Empire in 476 CE.