The First and Second Triumvirate

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The First Triumvirate and The Second Triumvirate

The First Triumvirate and The Second Triumvirate were two

very different systems of leadership considering the people that were

involved. The people that were each had their own way of ruling, which

caused complications and which also caused triumph in certain cases.

The First Triumvirate did not accomplish as much as the Second

Triumvirate due to difficulties among each other.

Julius Caesar, an effective speaker joined forces with two other

powerful men to create what became the First Triumvirate. The First

Triumvirate included Pompey the Great, and Marcus Licinius Crassus,

along with Julius Caesar. (Balsdon 75) In seventy one BC Pompey the

Great, who had earned his epithet in service under Sulla, returned to

Rome, after having defeated the ever so popular general Sertorius in

Spain. At the same time Pompey was returning to Rome, Marcus

Licinius Crassus, a rich aristocrat, was restrained in Italy. (White 14)

Pompey and Crassus ran for the position of consulship, and since it was a

position held by two men they both won. Even though Pompey at this

time was ineligible Julius Caesar helped him win. The two consuls were

now Pompey and Crassus. (White 15)

Caesar was elected quaestor and then in sixty five BC Julius

Caesar was elected curule aedile, gaining great popularity for his

extravagant gladiatorial games. In order to pay for these games, Caesar

borrowed money from Crassus. (Balsdon 81) This united Julius Caesar

and Marcus Licinius Crassus. They also found common cause with

Pompey the Great. (Balsdon 81) Caesar governed Spain for about a year,

afterwards he returned to Rome. The three men decided to join forces

into a three-way alliance, known as the First Triumvirate. (White 22)

Caesar was elected consul in fifty nine BC despite

optimate bitterness, and that year after he was appointed governor of the

Roman Gaul. (Balsdon 95) At this particular time the Celtic Gaul, which

was to the north of Rome, was still independent. The Aedui, a tribe of

Roman allies, appealed to Caesar for help against another Ballic people,

the Helvetii, during this first year of his governship. Caesar marched into

the Celtic Gaul with six troops, defeated the Helvetii, and forced them to

return to their home area. Next he crushed Germanic forces under

Ariovistus. By fifty seven BC, following the defeat of the Nervii, Rome

was in charge and had power over northern Gaul. (White 28) At this
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