First Triumvirate - Wikipedia
relationships within many different interest groups-in short, by fol Rome, Crassus left the city, not in flight from Pompey but in a purposeful journey to the East. The Happy Marriage by Tahar ben Jelloun, book review Caesar fashioning a comb-over to conceal his baldness; Pompey's tendency to bite. The First Triumvirate of ancient Rome was an uneasy alliance between the three titans Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus which, from 60 BCE.
He also forbade those who had held this tribunate from running for public office. Sulla had done this because these tribunes had challenged the supremacy of the patrician-controlled senate and he wanted to strengthen the power of the latter. Since these tribunes were the representatives of the majority of the citizens, the people were unhappy with this. Plutarch attributed this repeal to Pompey alone. However, it is very likely that the optimates would have opposed this in the senate, making it unlikely that this measure could have been passed if the two consuls had opposed each other on this issue.
Therefore, on this issue there must have been unity of purpose among these three men. This was an issue of great importance to the populares. There are indications that Caesar and Crassus may have had significant political links prior to the triumvirate. Suetonius wrote that according to some sources Caesar was suspected with having conspired with Crassus, Publius Sulla, and Lucius Autronius to attack the senate house and kill many senators.
Crassus was then to assume the office of dictator and have Caesar named Magister Equitumreform the state and then restore the consulship to Sulla and Autronius. According to one of the sources from which Suetonius drew this information, Crassus pulled out at the last minute and Caesar did not go ahead with the plan.
Suetonius wrote that in 65 BC Caesar tried to get command in Egypt assigned to him by the plebeian council when Ptolemy XIIa Roman ally, was deposed by a rebellion in Alexandriabut the optimates blocked the assignment. He was opposed by his colleague and both voluntarily laid down their offices. Plutarch wrote that when Caesar was allocated the governorship of the Roman province of Hispania Ulterior for 60 BC he was in debt and his creditors prevented him from going to his province.
Crassus paid off the most intransigent creditors and gave a surety of talents, thereby permitting Caesar to leave. Suetonius noted this episode as well, but did not mention who made the payments and gave the surety.
In a speech Cicero made against an agrarian bill proposed by the plebeian tribune Publius Servilius Rullus in 63 BC, he claimed that Rullus was an insignificant figure and a front for unsavoury 'machinators' whom he described as the real architects of the bill and as the men who had the real power and who were to be feared.
He did not name these men, but he dropped hints that made them identifiable by saying, "Some of them to whom nothing appears sufficient to possess, some to whom nothing seems sufficient to squander. Moreover, Caesar had supported the Manilian law of 66 BC, which gave Pompey the command of the final phase of the Third Mithridatic War and, in 63 BC, as noted above, he proposed a motion to recall Pompey to Rome to restore order in the wake of the Catalinarian Conspiracy.
Therefore, Caesar was willing to support Pompey because, although the latter was not a popularis, he was not an optimate either, making him a potential ally. Moreover, at the time of the creation of the first triumvirate, Pompey was at odds with the optimates. The suspension of his praetorship in 62 BC by the senate when he advocated the recall of Pompey had probably shown Caesar that his enemies had the means to marginalise him politically.
To attain the consulship Caesar needed the support of Pompey and Crassus who, besides being the two most influential men in Rome, did not belong to the optimates and were thus likely to be politically marginalised as well. Plutarch maintained that Caesar sought an alliance with both men because allying with only one of them could have turned the other against him and he thought that he could play them off against each other. Crassus may also have had another reason—having to do with the equites —for joining an alliance against the optimates.
Cicero noted that in 60 BC Crassus advocated for the equites and induced them to demand that the senate annul some contracts they had taken up in the Roman province of Asia in today's western Turkey at an excessive price.
The equites equestrians were a wealthy class of entrepreneurs who constituted the second social order in Rome, just below the patricians. Many equites were publicanicontractors who acted as suppliers for the army and construction projects which they also oversaw and as tax collectors. The state auctioned off the contracts for both suppliers and tax collectors to private firms, which had to pay for them in advance.
Pompey the Great
The publicani had overextended themselves and fell into debt. Cicero thought that these contracts had been taken up in the rush for competition and that the demand was disgraceful and a confession of rash speculation. Nevertheless, he supported the annulment to avoid the equites becoming alienated with the senate and to maintain harmony between patricians and equites.
However, his goals were frustrated when the proposal was opposed by the consul Quintus Caecilius Celer and Cato the Younger and subsequently rejected, leading Cicero to conclude that the equites were now at loggerheads with the senate. The most controversial measure Caesar introduced was an agrarian bill to allot plots of land to the landless poor for farming, which encountered the traditional conservative opposition.
In Cassius Dio's opinion, Caesar tried to appear to promote the interests of the optimates as well as those of the people, and said that he would not introduce his land reform if they did not agree with it. He read the draft of the bill to the senate, asked for the opinion of each senator and promised to amend or scrap any clause that had raised objections.
The optimates were annoyed because the bill, to their embarrassment, could not be criticised. Moreover, it would give Caesar popularity and power. Even though no optimate spoke against it, no one expressed approval. The law would distribute public and private land to all citizens instead of just Pompey's veterans and would do so without any expense for the city or any loss for the optimates. It would be financed with the proceeds from Pompey's war booty and the new tributes and taxes in the east Pompey established with his victories in the Third Mithridatic War.
Private land was to be bought at the price assessed in the tax-lists to ensure fairness. The land commission in charge of the allocations would have twenty members so that it would not be dominated by a clique and so that many men could share the honour. Caesar added that it would be run by the most suitable men, an invitation to the optimates to apply for these posts.
He ruled himself out of the commission to avoid suggestions that he proposed the measure out of self-interest and said that he was happy with being just the proposer of the law. The senators kept delaying the vote. Cato advocated the status quo.
Caesar came to the point of having him dragged out of the senate house and arrested. Cato said that he was up for this and many senators followed suit and left. Caesar adjourned the session and decided that since the senate was not willing to pass a preliminary decree he would get the plebeian council to vote. He did not convene the senate for the rest of his consulship and proposed motions directly to the plebeian council.
Pompey the Great | Roman statesman | mephistolessiveur.info
Cassius Dio thought Caesar proposed the bill as a favour to Pompey and Crassus. When many senators opposed the bill, Caesar pretended to be indignant and rushed out of the senate. Appian noted that Caesar did not convene it again for the rest of the year.
Instead, he harangued the people and proposed his bills to the plebeian council. He also wrote that the allocations concerned land in the plain of Stella a relatively remote area on the eastern Campanian border that had been made public in by-gone days, and other public lands in Campania that had not been allotted but were under lease.
Land distribution, which was anathema to conservative aristocrats, was usually proposed by the plebeian tribunes who were often described by Roman writers who were usually aristocrats as base and vile. It was only the most arrogant plebeian tribunes who courted the favour of the multitude and now Caesar did this to support his consular power 'in a disgraceful and humiliating manner'. Calpurnius Bibulus just said that he would not tolerate any innovations during his year of office.
Caesar did not ask any questions to other officials. Instead he brought forward the two most influential men in Rome, Pompey and Crassus, now private citizens, who both declared their support for the law. Caesar asked Pompey if he would help him against the opponents of the law.
Pompey said that he would and Crassus seconded him. Bibulus, supported by three plebeian tribunes, obstructed the vote. When he ran out of excuses for delaying he declared a sacred period for all the remaining days of the year. This meant that the people could not legally even meet in their assembly. Caesar ignored him and set a date for the vote. The senate met at the house of Calpurnius Bibulus because it had not been convened, and decided that Bibulus was to oppose the law so that it would look that the senate was overcome by force, rather than its own inaction.
On the day of the vote Bibulus forced his way through the crowd with his followers to the temple of Castor where Caesar was making his speech. When he tried to make a speech he and his followers were pushed down the steps. During the ensuing scuffle, some of the tribunes were wounded. Bibulus defied some men who had daggers, but he was dragged away by his friends. Cato pushed through the crowd and tried to make a speech, but was lifted up and carried away by Caesar's supporters.
He made a second attempt, but nobody listened to him.
The next day Calpurnius Bibulus tried unsuccessfully to get the senate, now afraid of the strong popular support for the law, to annul it. Bibulus retired to his home and did not appear in public for the rest of his consulship, instead sending notices declaring that it was a sacred period and that this made votes invalid each time Caesar passed a law.
The plebeian tribunes who sided with the optimates also stopped performing any public duty. The people took the customary oath of obedience to the law.
However, on the day when they were to incur the established penalties they took the oath. In Appian's account it is at this point that the Vettius affair occurred. He was arrested and questioned at the senate house. He said that he had been sent by Calpurnius Bibulus, Cicero, and Cato, and that the dagger was given to him by one of the bodyguards of Calpurnius Bibulus. Caesar took advantage of this to arouse the crowd and postponed further interrogation to the next day.
However, Vettius was killed in prison during the night. Caesar claimed that he was killed by the optimates who did not want to be exposed.
The crowd gave Caesar a bodyguard. According to Appian, it is at this point that Bibulus withdrew from public business and did not go out of his house for the rest of his term of office. Caesar, who ran public affairs on his own, did not make any further investigations into this affair. He did not say when this happened and did not give any details about the actual event.
He wrote that Vettius accused these two men and Calpurnius Bibulus. However, Bibulus had revealed the plan to Pompey, which undermined Vettius' credibility. There were suspicions that he was lying about Cicero and Lucullus as well and that this was a ploy by Caesar and Pompey to discredit the optimates.
There were various theories, but nothing was proven. After naming the mentioned men in public, Vettius was sent to prison and was murdered a little later.
Caesar and Pompey suspected Cicero and their suspicions were confirmed by his defence of Gaius Antonius Hybrida in a trial. Plutarch did not indicate when the incident happened either. In his version it was a ploy by the supporters of Pompey, who claimed that Vettius was plotting to kill Pompey. When questioned in the senate he accused several people, but when he spoke in front of the people, he said that Licinius Lucullus was the one who arranged the plot.
No one believed him and it was clear that the supporters of Pompey got him to make false accusations. The deceit became even more obvious when he was battered to death a few days later.
The opinion was that he was killed by those who had hired him. Vettius, an informer, claimed that he had told Curio Junior that he had decided to use his slaves to assassinate Pompey. Curio told his father Gaius Scribonius Curiowho in turn told Pompey. When questioned in the senate he said that there was a group of conspiratorial young men led by Curio.
The secretary of Calpurnius Bibulus gave him a dagger from Bibulus. He was to attack Pompey at the forum at some gladiatorial games and the ringleader for this was Aemilius Paullus. However, Aemilius Paullus was in Greece at the time. He also said that he had warned Pompey about the danger of plots. Vettius was arrested for confessing to possession of a dagger. The next day Caesar brought him to the rosta a platform for public speecheswhere Vettius did not mention Curio, implicating other men instead.
Cicero thought that Vettius had been briefed on what to say during the night, given that the men he mentioned had not previously been under suspicion.
Cicero noted that it was thought that this was a setup and that the plan had been to catch Vettius in the forum with a dagger and his slaves with weapons, and that he was then to give information.
He also thought that this had been masterminded by Caesar, who got Vettius to get close to Curio. Fearing that Pompey might take charge in Rome while Caesar was away for his governorships see belowCaesar tied Pompey to himself by marrying him to his daughter Julia even though she was betrothed to another man. He also married the daughter of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninusone for the consuls elected for the next year 58 BC. Appian wrote that Cato said that Rome had become a mere matrimonial agency.
These marriages were also mentioned by Plutarch and Suetonius. The first was designed to relieve the publicani from a third of their debt to the treasury see previous section for details about the publicani. Cassius Dio noted that the equites often had asked for a relief measure to no avail because of opposition by the senate and, in particular, by Cato.
Caesar's influence eclipsed that of Calpurnius Bibulus, with some people suppressing the latter's name in speaking or writing and stating that the consuls were Gaius Caesar and Julius Caesar.
The plebeian council granted him the governorship of Illyricum and Cisalpine Gaul with three legions for five years. The senate granted him the governorship of Transalpine Gaul and another legion when the governor of that province died because it feared that if it refused this the people would also grant this to Caesar.
Caesar believed that Clodius owed him a favour in return for not testifying against him when he was tried for sacrilege three years earlier see above. In another passage Cassius Dio wrote that after the trial Clodius hated the optimates. As mentioned in the previous section, Plutarch wrote that Pompey had already allied with Clodius when his attempt to have the acts for his settlements in the east failed before the creation of the triumvirate.
However, Clodius was a patrician and the plebeian tribunate was exclusively for plebeians. Therefore, he needed to be transferred to the plebeian order transitio ad plebem by being adopted into a plebeian family. In some letters written in 62 BC, the year after Clodius's trial, Cicero wrote that Herrenius, a plebeian tribune, made frequent proposals to the plebeian council to transfer Clodius to the plebs, but he was vetoed by many of his colleagues.
He also proposed a law to the plebeian council to authorise the comitia centuriata the assembly of the soldiers to vote on the matter. His personal authority and patronage now covered Spain, southern Gaul, and northern Italy. Unlike Metellus, Pompey took his army back to Italy with him, ostensibly to assist in putting down a slave revolt led by Spartacus but in reality to secure a triumph and election to the consulship for The nobles whom Sulla had restored to power had proved to be more corrupt and incompetent than ever.
Pompey promised reforms at home and abroad. A bargain was struck with his rival Marcus Licinius Crassus who had actually defeated Spartacusthe two were jointly elected consuls, and Pompey was given another triumph.
Reorganization of the East Although the nobles were to continue to dominate the consular elections in most years, the real sources of power henceforth lay outside of Italy. Extraordinary commands would have to be created if Rome was to recover control of the sea from pirates. It was Pompey who benefited most from the restoration of tribunician initiative. After his consulship, he waited in Rome while rival nobles undermined the position of Lucius Licinius Luculluswho was campaigning against Mithradates in Anatoliaand made halfhearted attempts to deal with the pirates.
Finally, in 67, the tribune Aulus Gabinius forced a bill through the popular assembly empowering Pompey to settle the pirate problem. Pompey was still in the East, resettling pirates as peaceful farmers, when in Rome another tribune, Gaius Manilius, carried through, against weakened opposition, a bill appointing Pompey to the command against Mithradateswith full powers to make war and peace and to organize the whole Roman East Pompey displaced Lucullus and lost no time defeating Mithradates in Asia Minor.
After the death of Mithradates in 63, Pompey was free to plan the consolidation of the eastern provinces and frontier kingdoms. In Anatolia, he created the new provinces of Bithynia-Pontus and Cilicia. He annexed Syria and left Judaea as a dependent, diminished temple state.
His sound appreciation of the geographical and political factors involved enabled him to impose an overall settlement that was to form the basis of the defensive frontier system and was to last, with few important changes, for more than years. His third triumph 61 trumpeted the grandeur of his achievement.
The nobles meanwhile had gradually reasserted their dominance in Rome and hampered attempts to alleviate the condition of Italy and the Roman populace.
Once back in Italy, Pompey avoided siding with popular elements against the Optimates.
He was no revolutionary. He wanted all classes to recognize him as first citizen, available for further large-scale services to the state. He had divorced his third wife, Mucia, allegedly for adultery with Caesar, and now proposed to ally himself by marriage to the party of the young senatorial leader Marcus Porcius Cato the Younger.Catullus' Bedspread: The Life of Rome's Most Erotic Poet Audiobook by Daisy Dunn
But the nobles were closing their ranks against him, and his offer was rebuffed. It was to become more than a mere election compact. It would strain all the resources of the triumvirs to wrest one consulship from the Optimates; their continued solidarity was essential if they were to secure what Caesar gained for them in Caesar, for his part, wanted a long-term command. Caesar, once consul, immediately forced through a land bill and, shortly after, another appropriating public lands in Campania.
The year 56 was a critical one for the triumvirs. The nobles concocted religious impediments to prevent the dispatch of Pompey on a military mission to Egyptwhile Publius Clodius contrived to persuade Pompey that Crassus had designs on his life. The Luca conference 56 prepared the ground for the next phase of cooperation: The three secured their ends by violence and corruption after a prolonged struggle.
At the time when the daughters of the Sabines, who had come to Rome to see a spectacle of games, were haled away by the most distinguished Romans to be their wives, certain hirelings and herdsmen of the meaner sort seized a fair and stately maiden and were carrying her off. In order, therefore, that no one of their betters, on meeting them, might rob them of their prize, they shouted with one voice as they ran, "For Talasius," Talasius being a well-known and popular personage.
Consequently, those who heard the name clapped their hands and shouted it themselves, as if rejoicing with the others and approving what they did. This is the most credible of the stories told about Talasius. On his disappearance, there went a rumour through the camp which said that Cinna had slain the young man, and in consequence of this those who had long hated Cinna and felt oppressed by him made an onslaught upon him.
Cinna, as he fled, having been seized by one of the centurions who pursued him with drawn sword, clasped him by the knees and held out his seal-ring, which was of great price. When Cinna had come to such an end, 7 Carbo, a tyrant more capricious than he, received and exercised the chief authority. But Sulla was approaching, to the great delight of most men, who were led by their present evils to hand even a change of masters no slight good.
To such a pass had her calamities brought the city that, in despair of freedom, she sought a more tolerable servitude. They readily listened to him and paid no heed to the emissaries of Carbo. Indeed, when a certain Vedius remarked that Pompey had run away from pedagogues to be a demagogue among them, they were so incensed that they fell upon Vedius at once and killed him.
Then he proceeded to levy soldiers, and after appointing centurions and commanders for them all in due form, made a circuit of the other cities, doing the same thing.
Then he led his forces towards Sulla, not in haste, nor even with a desire to escape observation, but tarrying on the march as he harried the enemy, and endeavouring to detach from Carbo's interest all that part of Italy through which he passed.
Pompey, however, was not alarmed, but collected all his forces into one body and hastened to attack one of the hostile armies, that of Brutus, putting his cavalry, among whom he himself rode, in the van. Then the rest turned and fled and threw their infantry also into confusion, so that there was a general rout. After this the opposing generals fell out with one another and retired, as each best could, and the cities came over to Pompey's side, arguing that fear had scattered his enemies.
And yet no one could have expected that a young man, and one who was not yet a senator, would receive from Sulla this title, to win which Sulla was at war with such men as Scipio and Marius. This calamity was added to the tragedy of that second marriage, and it was not the only one, indeed, since Aemilia had scarcely entered Pompey's house before she succumbed to the pains of childbirth.
Against these men Pompey was sent with a large force. They had been harshly used by Perpenna, but Pompey treated them all with kindness except the Mamertines in Messana. These declined his tribunal and jurisdiction on the plea that they were forbidden by an ancient law of the Romans, at which Pompey said: But as it was, Pompey caused a Roman who had thrice been consul to be brought in fetters and set before the tribunal where he himself was sitting, and examined him closely there, to the distress and vexation of the audience.
Then he ordered him to be led away and put to death. Furthermore, Caius Oppius, the friend of Caesar, says that Pompey treated Quintus Valerius also with unnatural cruelty. For, understanding that Valerius was a man of rare scholarship and learning, when he was brought to him, Oppius says, Pompey took him aside, walked up and down with him, asked and learned what he wished from him, and then ordered his attendants to lead him away and put him to death at once. Pompey was compelled to punish those enemies of Sulla who were most eminent, and whose capture was notorious; but as to the rest, he suffered as many as possible to escape detection, and even helped to send some out of the country.
And again, on hearing that his soldiers were disorderly in their journeys, he put a seal upon their swords, and whosoever broke the seal was punished. For Domitius had assembled there a much larger force than that with which Marius, no long time ago, 13 had crossed from Africa into Italy and confounded the Roman state, making himself tyrant instead of exile. No sooner had he landed with part of his ships at Utica, 14 and with part at Carthage, than seven thousand of the enemy deserted and came over to him; and his own army contained six complete legions.
Some soldiers, it would seem, stumbled upon a treasure and got considerable amounts of money. When the matter became public, the rest of the army all fancied that the place was full of money which the Carthaginians had hidden away in some time of calamity. At last they grew weary of the search and bade Pompey lead them where he pleased, assuring him that they had been sufficiently punished for their folly. But Pompey, taking advantage of this opportunity, advanced swiftly to the attack, and crossed the ravine.
However, the Romans also were troubled by the storm, since they could not see one another clearly, and Pompey himself narrowly escaped death by not being recognized, when a soldier demanded the countersign from him and he gave it rather slowly. And when he said he would not accept the honour as long as the camp of the enemy was intact, but that if they thought him worthy of the appellation, they must first destroy that, his soldiers immediately made an assault upon the ramparts; and Pompey fought without his helmet, for fear of a peril like the one he had just escaped.
Then some of the cities submitted at once to Pompey, and others were taken by storm. Taking advantage of the good fortune and momentum of his army, Pompey now invaded Numidia.
It took him only forty days all told, they say, to bring his enemies to naught, get Africa into his power, and adjust the relations of its kings, though he was but twenty-four years of age.
Pompey himself gave no sign of the deep distress which these orders caused him, but his soldiers made their indignation manifest. When Pompey asked them to go home before him, they began to revile Sulla, declared they would not forsake their general, and insisted that he should not trust the tyrant. Then his soldiers seized him and set him again upon his tribunal, and a great part of the day was consumed in this way, they urging him to remain and keep his command, and he begging them to obey and not to raise a sedition.
This he said because Marius also, who was quite a young man, had given him very great trouble and involved him in the most extreme perils. So he went out and met him, and after giving him the warmest welcome, saluted him in a loud voice as "Magnus," or The Great, and ordered those who were by to give him this surname.
Pompey himself, however, was last of all to use it, and it was only after a long time, when he was sent as pro-consul to Spain against Sertorius, that he began to subscribe himself in his letters and ordinances "Pompeius Magnus"; for the name had become familiar and was no longer invidious. The law, he said, permitted only a consul or a praetor to celebrate a triumph, but no one else.
Therefore the first Scipio, after conquering the Carthaginians in Spain in far greater conflicts, did not ask for a triumph; for he was not consul, nor even praetor. This was what Sulla said to Pompey, declaring that he would not allow his request, but would oppose him and thwart his ambition if he refused to listen to him. Sulla did not hear the words distinctly, but seeing, from their looks and gestures, that those who did hear them were amazed, he asked what it was that had been said. When he learned what it was, he was astounded at the boldness of Pompey, and cried out twice in succession: But the gate of the city was too narrow, and he therefore gave up the attempt and changed over to his horses.
Then Servilius, a man of distinction, and one who had been most opposed to Pompey's triumph, said he now saw that Pompey was really great, and worthy of the honour. And indeed it would have been nothing wonderful for Pompey to be a senator before he was of age for it; but it was a dazzling honour for him to celebrate a triumph before he was a senator. And this contributed not a little to win him the favour of the multitude; for the people were delighted to have him still classed among the knights after a triumph.
Only, when in spite of him and against his wishes Pompey made Lepidus consul, 17 by canvassing for him and making the people zealously support him through their goodwill towards himself, seeing Pompey going off through the forum with a throng, Sulla said: