The First Triumvirate

The First Triumvirate, formation and how it benefited each party.

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  • Created on: 13-01-13 11:13

Formation Of The First Triumvirate

The senate were constabtly rebuffing Pompey, both for his public life and private life. He suffered complete humiliation when his request to marry Cato's relation was refused. Pompey also requested that his Eastern settlement should be rattified by the senate and given to his veterans. He turned from the Optimates to the Populares to bring his land bill before the people. Pompey was sick of how he was being treated, he had just defeated Mithradates, he should have been a hero but he was being treated like a naughty child.

Crassus supported a request from a company of tax-gatherers that the senate should adjust a bad bargin which they had made contracting for the taxes of Asia. Cicero regarded the claim as disgraceful, however supported it to stop breach between senate and equites. Under Cato's leadership the suggestion got rejected.

Caesar was back from Spain after praetorship he had been enabled to take up governorship of Further Spain thanks to Crassus who helped him to satisfy his creditors before leaving. In his province he campaigned in the west, acquired money and friendship of Balbus of Gades. Tried to improve economic conditions. On return he wanted a triumph and the consulship, however he could not enter the city to stand for election so asked senate for permission to stand in absentia. Senate refused. Caesar abandoned triumph and entered city as a normal candidate.

The senate wanted concordia ordinum. They vetoed everything the three men wanted even though what they wanted was reasonable. The senate were intransigent (down right obstructive) in fear of the power the three men had. Cato talked as if he were in the Republic of Plato not sink of Romulus. The uncomprimising nature of the senate drove the three men to each other. 

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The First Triumvirate

The First Triumvirate was an informal arrangement whereby Caesar, Crassus and Pompey got together and virtually ruled Rome. They formed in 60BC. Crassus contributed money, Pompey had military prowess and Caesar brains and political influence. 

Caesar wanted to keep Cicero close to the Triumvirate and had offered him a position in the Triumvirate. Cicero had turned it down. Caesar was concerned over Cicero's safety and had always admired his unwavering honesty. Though Cicero didn't think much of Caesar. Cicero was a romatic, always viewed the senate in rosy terms and saw himself as leader of a grand coalition of the senators and they equites which would lead the Roman Repulic to new heights. He didn't like the idea of the Triumvirate questioning the senate.

The Triumvirate was a secret at first, however soon made its power known. The equites were always deeply involved with trade and commerce, though made some outrageous demands that the senate refused to consider. Cicero tried to mediate a comprimise however couldn't. The senate soon found itself with the military backing of Pompey and without the backing of the wealthy equites. This how Caesar came to be consul in year 59BC.

Caesar was consul with Bibulus. Triumvirate was still secret. Bibulus unsuccessfully tried to veto Agrarian Law - provide land for Pompey's veterans. Bibulus stayed home and looked out for omens trying to thwart Caesar. Cicero looked on in horror as Caesar made changes that benfitied Rome but were not ones he would have made himself. Caesar turned to the Roman people more and more.

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