The First Triumvirate 60-53 BCE Prelude to the First Triumvirate Pompey opposed by Optimates Crassus opposed by Optimates Roman senate denied ratification of Eastern settlement Roman senate denied land for his veterans Failed to secure what he wanted – had no choice but to support Caesar. Equestrian tax-collectors denied a reduction of contract payments on collection of taxes in Asia. Crassus had short-term objectives which Caesar (as consul) could help. Crassus also needed to safeguard against Pompey and political alliance with Caesar would achieve this. Caesar denied by Optimates Caesar had waged successful campaigns in Spain, where he had been governor. He was denied exception to hold triumph and stand for consulship simultaneously. The ‘First Triumvirate’ A triumvirate was a legally established body – however, the alliance between Pompey, Crassus and Caesar was not official. There were two important aspects of the triumvirate: Combined wealth of the three men – they had prestige, wealth, popularity with the people, support of the equites and armed force (veterans) Repercussions of their failure to maintain the alliance. Overview of the Triumvirate Pompey’s needs Land for veterans Eastern settlement ratified ‘en bloc’ Crassus’ needs A rebate for the equestrian tax-farmers Caesar’s needs The consulship of 59BC A province for 58 to give scope for his military ability Caesar as Consul – 59BC Gains An agrarian bill plus a supplementary lex Campania for his veterans and the urban poor Ratification of eastern arrangements Gains for Crassus A rebate of one-third of the contract price to the equestrian tax-farmers Gains for Pompey for Caesar The province of Cisalpine Gaul, Illyricum and Transalpine Gaul for five years Significance of Caesar’s consulship Caesar’s use of force and failure to adhere to legal process Lex Campania caused more resentment than any other legislation (I’ll explain ) Pompey lost popularity with the people and optimates – this was humiliating Pompey and Crassus return to dysfunction, particularly after Caesar left Italy to take up command in Gaul 58-50BC. Breakdown of the Triumvirate There are a number of key events that led to the collapse of the Triumvirate: 1. 2. 3. Pompey increases his political power – control of Spanish provinces and the East. In 54 BC Julia, Pompey’s wife, died during childbirth. This broke the family connection between Caesar and Pompey. Growing anarchy in Rome – 54 BC. 4. 53 BC – Crassus dies at battle of Carrhae against Parthians. 5. Plutarch states there was ‘a collapse of good government in Rome’. Plutarch states ‘that fortune had removed from the ring the third competitor’. Caesar’s marriage offer to Pompey refused (he offered his niece Octavia). Pompey weds Cornelia, daughter of a optimate senator.