Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus | First Triumvirate
Luckily for Pompey, his relations with the judge's daughter, Antistia, brought first triumvirate was an informal alliance between Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus. Marcus Licinius Crassus was a Roman general and politician who played a key role in the While Caesar and Crassus were lifelong allies, Crassus and Pompey disliked each other and Pompey grew . His problem was that despite his military successes, he was eclipsed by his contemporary Pompey the Great who. relationships within many different interest groups-in short, by fol an essentially Rome, Crassus left the city, not in flight from Pompey but in a purposeful journey to .. Five Problems," 3JRS 52 () ; and R. Syme in 3JRS 34 ()
Some of Crassus' wealth was acquired conventionally, through traffic in slaves, production from silver mines, and speculative real estate purchases. Crassus bought property which was confiscated in proscriptions. He notoriously purchased burnt and collapsed buildings. Plutarch wrote that observing how frequent such occurrences were, he bought slaves 'who were architects and builders. Crassus assiduously befriended Licinia, a Vestal Virginwhose valuable property he coveted.
Now Licinia was the owner of a pleasant villa in the suburbs which Crassus wished to get at a low price, and it was for this reason that he was forever hovering about the woman and paying his court to her, until he fell under the abominable suspicion.
And in a way it was his avarice that absolved him from the charge of corrupting the vestal, and he was acquitted by the judges. But he did not let Licinia go until he had acquired her property. As a wealthy man in Rome, an adherent of Sulla, and a man who hailed from a line of consuls and praetors, Crassus' political future was apparently assured.
His problem was that despite his military successes, he was eclipsed by his contemporary Pompey the Great who blackmailed the dictator Sulla into granting him a triumph for victory in Africa over a rag-tag group of dissident Romans; a first in Roman history on a couple of counts.
First, Pompey was not even a praetor, on which grounds a triumph had been denied in BC to the great Scipio Africanuswho had just defeated Hannibal 's brother Hasdrubal in Spain and brought Rome the entire province of Hispania. Second, Pompey had defeated fellow Romans, rather than a foreign enemy; however, a quasi-precedent had been set when the consul Lucius Julius Caesar a relative of Gaius Julius Caesar had been granted a triumph for a small victory over Italian non-Roman peoples in the Social War.
Pompey's triumph was the first granted to any Roman for defeating another Roman army. Crassus' rivalry with Pompey and his envy of Pompey's triumph would influence his subsequent career. Crassus and Spartacus[ edit ] Crassus was rising steadily up the cursus honorumthe sequence of offices held by Roman citizens seeking political power, when ordinary Roman politics were interrupted by two events, the Third Mithridatic Warand later, the Third Servile Warwhich was the two-year rebellion of slaves under the leadership of Spartacus from the summer of 73 BC to the spring of 71 BC.
Meanwhile, Pompey was fighting in Hispania against Quintus Sertoriusthe last effective Marian general, without notable advantage.
Marcus Licinius Crassus
Pompey succeeded only when Sertorius was assassinated by one of his own commanders. The only source to mention Crassus holding the office of praetor is Appian, and the date appears to be in 73 or possibly 72 BC. Crassus offered to equip, train, and lead new troops, at his own expense, after several legions had been defeated and their commanders killed in battle or taken prisoner. Eventually, Crassus was sent into battle against Spartacus by the Senate.
At first he had trouble both in anticipating Spartacus' moves and in inspiring his army and strengthening their morale.
When a segment of his army fled from battle, abandoning their weapons, Crassus revived the ancient practice of decimation — i. Plutarch reports that "many things horrible and dreadful to see" occurred during the infliction of punishment, which was witnessed by the rest of Crassus' army. On the night of a heavy snowstorm, they sneaked through Crassus' lines and made a bridge of dirt and tree branches over the ditch, thus escaping. In this last battle, the Battle of the Silarius RiverCrassus gained a decisive victory, and captured six thousand slaves alive.
During the fighting, Spartacus attempted to kill Crassus personally, slaughtering his way toward the general's position, but he succeeded only in killing two of the centurions guarding Crassus. The six thousand captured slaves were crucified along the Via Appia by Crassus' orders. At his command, their bodies were not taken down afterwards but remained rotting along Rome's principal route to the South. This was intended as an object lesson to anyone who might think of rebelling against Rome in the future, particularly of slave insurrections against their owners and masters, the Roman citizens.
In Plutarch's account, Crassus "had written to the senate that they must summon Lucullus from Thrace and Pompey from Spain, but he was sorry now that he had done so, and was eager to bring the war to an end before those generals came. He knew that the success would be ascribed to the one who came up with assistance, and not to himself. After this Spartacus withdrew to the mountains.
Pompey had arrived from Hispania with his veterans and was sent to provide reinforcements. Crassus hurried to seek the final battle, which he won.
Marcus Licinius Crassus - Wikipedia
Pompey arrived in time merely for a mop-up operation against the disorganized and defeated fugitives. Pompey wrote to the Senate that "indeed, Crassus had conquered the slaves, but that he himself had extirpated the war".
Crassus wanted to become his colleague and asked Pompey for his assistance; "Pompey received his request gladly for he was desirous of having Crassus, in some way or other, always in debt to him for some favourand eagerly promoted his candidature, and finally said in a speech to the assembly that he should be no less grateful to them for the colleague than for the office which he desired. They "differed on almost every measure, and by their contentiousness rendered their consulship barren politically and without achievement.
In Appian's account, Crassus ended the rebellion and there was a contention over honours between him and Pompey. Neither men dismissed their armies. Both were candidates for the consulship. Crassus had been praetor as the law of Sulla required. Pompey had been neither praetor nor quaestor, and was only thirty-four years old, but he had promised the plebeian tribunes to restore much of their power which had been taken away by Sulla's constitutional reforms. Even when they were both chosen consuls, they did not dismiss their armies stationed near the city.
Pompey said that he was awaiting the return of Metellus for his Spanish triumph; Crassus said that Pompey ought to dismiss his army first.The First Triumvirate - 60 Second History
The triumvirate itself was a big cause of the Civil War. When it formed, all three men had been foiled in their own particular requests.
The elder two tied themselves to the up and coming politician, attractive and promising. Caesar had served Pompey well in the past, and Pompey offered him a reconciliation his long-time enemy Crassus. The merger was one of mutual interest; it was unstable, but precariously balanced by mutual suspicion. Caesar had covered himself in glory and prestige on campaign in Gaul, gaining the people adoration but he found himself under attack in the Senate.
Pompey was also in a dispute with Crassus over the bequests of Egypt, 4 Suetonius, Caesar, 19 5 Gruen,78 6 Plutarch, Crassus, 14 7 Plutarch, Pompey, 47 8 Plutarch, Crassus, 14 9 Dio, 37, 54 10 Gruen,78 3 CLH made worse by the long standing animosity between the two. However, Caesar did not mind this as he wanted Pompey isolated. Lucca was meant to equalise all three; between them, they divided up the empire equally. Pompey and Crassus were to get the consulship in 55BC and to gain commands in Spain and Parthia respectively with a similar prohibition on discussion, but Pompey was to stay in Rome due to his corn commission.
The three men were equal and dependent on each other to keep their monopoly on power. And therefore if something went wrong, which it did, chaos would ensue.
Of course the breakdown of the triumvirate was one of the major causes of the Civil War. Marriage to Julia had been one of the ways Pompey and Caesar had cemented themselves to each other. Metellus had been consul with Pompey in 52BC and was the man responsible for persuading the senate to issue the ultimatum to Caesar. However this plan was threatened by the increasing numbers of demands for Caesar to give up his office or be removed from it.
Pompey passed a provincial law which meant that there had to be a five year moratorium between a man holding magistracy and a pro- magistracy.
This would mean he would have to wait for his chance to expand his reputation and wealth, and leave him in Rome where his enemies in the Senate would do everything to stop him gaining more power. However Pompey personally exempted Caesar from the Gracchan consular provinces law that required personal attendance in Rome as a consul.
Caesar was physically weakened when in 50BC he lost two of his legions in Gaul. Following the disaster Carrhae, there were concerns with security in Syria and to soothe this, Pompey and Caesar were required to pledge a legion each.
Caesar sent one of his legions from Gaul, but Pompey recalled one of the legions he had loaned to Caesar,14 so Caesar lost two whole legions from his forces in Gaul. What is worse is that these men did not go to Syria; in fact they never left Italy. For Caesar, returning to Rome was looking formidable.
This is possibly why he attempted to make conciliatory moves with the Senate on several occasions, such as proposing a joint disarmament in 49BC, but these were rejected.
Pompey too lay at fault for the outbreak of the civil war, and according to Gruen, was the man responsible for the downfall of the old republic. He is therefore in the perfect position to control what happens in the Senate when the riots occurred in 52BC. The Senate turned to Pompey to restore order and offered him a dictatorship. Pompey refused this post as it was against the constitution and instead accepted a sole consulship for the rest of 52BC.
Being a constitutionalist, this meant that he had the freedom of actions that came with the position, he was single dominant figure in the republic, and yet he still made himself accountable for his actions. However, Edwards notes that Pompey allowed a state of affairs to come into existence where there was no government at all. By 50BC, Pompey had turned the tables. His re-emerging dominance in the Senate meant he had control and Caesar was dependant on him.
These men were still hostile to Caesar but were accepting of Pompey and his increasing dominance. Pompey felt completely in control Caesar, and felt comfortable that if his former father-in-law stepped out of line in anyway, he would be dealt with in a way a disobedient or rebellious child is dealt with by a parent. However, it never appeared to be hostile.