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Marcus Licinius Crassus crushes the Spartacus slave revolt in southern Italy.
Pompey and Crassus are made consuls.
The Gabinian Law is passed, giving Pompey great power to deal with pirates.
Pompey assembles a naval fleet and attacks Pamphylia and Cilicia, principally to repress piracy.
The Manilian Law is passed, giving Pompey great power to deal with Mithridates VI of Pontus.
The Roman general Pompey defeats the Seleucid Antiochus XIII and incorporates Syria as a province of the Roman empire.
Pompey returns to Italy, and disbands his army upon landing.
60 BCE - 53 BCE
First Triumvirate' between Caesar, Pompey and Crassus.
58 BCE - 51 BCE
Caesar attacks the Helvetii while on migration and defeats them.
58 BCE - 57 BCE
Cicero is exiled from Rome.
A Roman army under Caesar narrowly defeats an army of Nervii, Atrebates, and Viromandui.
The navies of Rome and the Veneti Gauls clash resulting in a Roman victory. This is the first recorded naval battle in the Atlantic Ocean.
Marcus Licinius Crassus is made consul for the second time and departs on campaign in Parthia.
Pompey the Great builds the first permanent stone theatre in Rome.
Caesar attempts to invade Britain.
Caesar successfully invades Britain but withdraws to Gaul.
54 BCE - 29 BCE
Forum of Caesar constructed in Rome by Julius Caesar as another area to conduct judicial business. It is the best surviving of his monuments.
Battle of Carrhae. Crassus is captured and executed by the Parthians.
Caesar crosses the Rubicon. Civil war between Caesar and Pompey begins.
Caesar, Julius: The First Triumvirate
Having served in Farther Spain as proconsul in 61 BC, he returned to Rome in 60 BC, ambitious for the consulate. Against senatorial opposition he achieved a brilliant stroke—he organized a coalition, known as the First Triumvirate, made up of Pompey, commander in chief of the army Marcus Licinius Crassus, the wealthiest man in Rome (see Crassus, family) and Caesar himself. Pompey and Crassus were jealous of each other, but Caesar by force of personality kept the arrangement going.
In 59 BC he married Calpurnia. In the same year, as consul, he secured the passage of an agrarian law providing Campanian lands for 20,000 poor citizens and veterans, in spite of the opposition of his senatorial colleague, Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus. Caesar also won the support of the wealthy equites by getting a reduction for them in their tax contracts in Asia. This made him the guiding power in a coalition between people and plutocrats.
He was assigned the rule of Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul and Illyricum with four legions for five years (58 BC–54 BC). The differences between Pompey and Crassus grew, and Caesar again moved (56 BC) to patch up matters, arriving at an agreement that both Pompey and Crassus should be consuls in 55 BC and that their proconsular provinces should be Spain and Syria, respectively. From this arrangement he drew an extension of his command in Gaul to 49 BC In the years 58 BC to 49 BC he firmly established his reputation in the Gallic Wars.
In 55 BC, Caesar made explorations into Britain, and in 54 BC he defeated the Britons, led by Cassivellaunus. Caesar met his most serious opposition in Gaul from Vercingetorix, whom he defeated in Alesia in 52 BC By the end of the wars Caesar had reduced all Gaul to Roman control. These campaigns proved him one of the greatest commanders of all time. In them he revealed his consummate military genius, characterized by quick, sure judgment and indomitable energy. The campaigns also developed the personal devotion of the legions to Caesar. His personal interest in the men (he is reputed to have known them all by name) and his willingness to undergo every hardship made him the idol of the army—a significant element in his later career.
In 54 BC occurred the death of Caesar's daughter Julia, Pompey's wife since 59 BC She had been the principal personal tie between the two men. During the years Caesar was in Gaul, Pompey had been gradually leaning more and more toward the senatorial party. The tribunate of Clodius (58 BC) had aggravated conditions in Rome, and Caesar's military successes had aroused Pompey's jealousy. Crassus' death (53 BC) in Parthia ended the First Triumvirate and set Pompey and Caesar against each other.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Ancient History, Rome: Biographies
The First Triumvirate was formed with the intentions of putting the three most powerful men under one banner to effectively bypass any opposition they would encounter on the way to further their goals. The alliance was by no means a peaceful and or uneasy one at any point through its brief time. There were many ups and downs which would eventually tear the alliance apart. However, every story has a beginning, and the beginning of the Triumvirate is all about reducing the headache that the Roman Senate was causing these three men. Pompey’s problem was directly linked to the Senate itself. He had recently returned to Rome from fighting Mithridates, the king of Pontus, in the year 62 BCE (Zoch 175). The Senate had great fear that Pompey would return to Rome with his army like Sulla had done previously. He did no such thing however, he peacefully disbanded his army and walked into Rome as a private Roman citizen (Zoch 176). He had a triumph held for two days and asked two things of the Senate to approve. The first request being his men given land and the second that the Senate ratify his settlement of the east. These were not radical requests by any means to be asked for, but Pompey had made an enemy, Lucius Licinius Lucullus. Lucullus currently a Tribune, led the Senate in an effort to reject both of Pompey’s requests which he was successful in doing (Zoch 176).
Crassus’ struggle was with the Asian tax, which led him to be invited to the Triumvirate by Caesar (Marin 113). Also being the richest man in Rome played very favorably for him to be invited into this exclusive club. Crassus’ wealth was so immense that he said that “a man was not truly wealthy unless he could support an army of forty thousand from his own funds.” (Zoch 176) Having Crassus as an ally in the Triumvirate would be beneficial to both Pompey and Caesar due to his powerful sway from his wealth he acquired over the years. Another reason Crassus was involved was due to the fact that he sponsored Caesar in becoming Pontifex Maximus (Marin 113).
The final link in the Triumvirate would is Gaius Julius Caesar. His goals was a simple one: to gain as much power as possible. Following that goal, he wished to stand for the consulship and also hold a triumph in the year 59 BCE . The Senate denied his request to stand for the candidacy in absentia, or being absent, a tradition which has long been held that anyone running for public office must stand for that office in person at Rome (Marin 114). Faced with a choice of either having to abandon the consulship or his triumph, he chose the latter and decided to stand for consul (Marin 114). But before he would go about standing for the consulship, due to the fact that he knew he would face much opposition, he gathered Pompey and Crassus to form the First Triumvirate in the year 60 BCE, which Caesar knew would secure himself a victory because of the amount of pull both of those men had within Rome (Zoch 176). With that, Caesar could then use his consul powers to then secure Pompey’s two requests and mainly to appease both of the men he now called allies (Zoch 114). This is the beginning of what we call the First Triumvirate, as well as the visible downfall of the Republican Rome.
1 &ndash The Rise of the First Triumvirate Members
Pompey the Great. Ancient History Encyclopedia
It was an unlikely alliance borne out of necessity and political maneuvering because the three main members did not like one another. Crassus and Pompey, in particular, had history due to Pompey&rsquos actions in the Third Servile War in the late 70s BC. Crassus defeated Spartacus and his rebels, but Pompey swooped in at the last minute and claimed much of the glory. Both men refused to disband their armies, and in 70 BC, they became consuls. Crassus always hated Pompey for his arrogance and wanted a military command where he could lead alone and claim the glory.
Pompey gained further prestige by defeating a group of pirates that terrorized Romans on the high seas and also played a role in the defeat of Mithridates VI of Pontus. Meanwhile, Caesar returned from Spain in triumph and hoped to further his reputation in Rome. Crassus was one of the richest men in Rome Pompey was also extremely wealthy while Caesar was deeply in debt.
Before the formation of the First Triumvirate, the politics of the Late Republic were quite clearly divided into two opposing groups the optimates (Cicero called them âthe good men&rsquo) and the populares (in favor of the people). The latter had the support of the commoners and promoted reforms to help landless Romans including debt relief and redistribution of land. The populares also opposed the power of the nobles in the Senate. The optimates opposed reforms and favored the nobility.
The First Triumvirate came together at a time when Rome was in complete chaos. There were rioting and street violence, clear evidence of moral decay, corrupt politicians and no real leadership. The Catiline Conspiracy of 63 BC was further proof that the Republic was in dire straits and it was only a matter of time before it fell. In fact, historians point to the Conspiracy as the starting point of the alliance.
After Cicero had discovered the plot, he ordered the execution of the plotters without trial, a measure opposed by Caesar. The optimates were accused of overstepping their power over the life and death of Roman citizens. Caesar proposed that Pompey would be given the job of restoring the temple of Jupiter, a role that belonged to a prominent optimate named Catullus. Caesar and Pompey were on good terms by now, but Crassus had mixed emotions for Pompey. Caesar recognized that it was in everyone&rsquos best interests if they formed an alliance and made some steps towards achieving this goal soon after.
In 60 BC, Caesar did not seek a triumph for his achievements in Spain and sought the office of consul for 59 BC. However, he faced stiff opposition from the optimate Senators, so he decided to approach Pompey with a proposition. Caesar and Crassus were already allies at this point, and Caesar managed to patch things up between the two enemies. Therefore, the First Triumvirate was formed with mutual benefit for the three main members. Pompey wanted land for his veterans Caesar wanted to become Consul and further his political ambitions while Crassus wanted the opportunity to command an army.
First Triumvirate Timeline - History
Photo: Miracle Players
The word triumvirate stems from the old Latin phrase trium virum, which is the genitive plural of tres viri, meaning three men.
Also called: Tresviri or Triumviri
Members of a triumvirate are called triumvirs.
In ancient Rome , a triumvirate was a committee of three officials for all types of purposes. Some of these commissions became especially famous.
The members of the First Triumvirate were
The First Triumvirate was by no means an official deal but more of a private pact if you will. In fact, Julius Caesar was eager to get Marcus Tullius Cicero on board but Cicero turned down the offer because he thought this type of informal agreement between political leaders was unconstitutional.
Ironically, Cicero became the victim of the Second Triumvirate.
The members of the Second Triumvirate were
Mark Antony , Marcus Aemilius Lepidus , and Octavian (Augustus Caesar while still a civilian.)
The Second Triumvirate was officially called Tresviri rei publicae constituendae, which means that the officials in question had been formally appointed to the task of organizing the state.
And so they did, some with more success than others:
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus was deserted by his soldiers and forced to retire in 36 BC, Mark Antony killed himself in 30 BC, and Octavian became Augustus Caesar, the first Roman Emperor, in 27 BC.
Key Facts & Information
ORIGIN – FIRST TRIUMVIRATE
- Triumvir, or tresvir, is a Roman word meaning a member of a college of three members.
- The group of three has seen historical significance throughout the years, especially in ancient Rome.
- Roman political order was in chaos. There was street violence and rioting, and people with political goals began plotting to overthrow the Roman government.
- In order to prevent that from happening, three men converged to retain power. They were Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Gaius Julius Caesar.
- Pompey was the one who kept the group together. Crassus agreed to be part to make sure that he got everything he wanted when he wanted despite his obvious dislike for Pompey.
- Caesar needed Crassus and Pompey to support him politically to consolidate his power and accomplish what he wanted in Rome.
- The First Triumvirate however abruptly ended following the assassination of Julius Caesar believing his death would resurrect the old Roman spirit and faith in the Republic would be restored.
THE SECOND TRIUMVIRATE
- After Caesar had been killed, Mark Antony controlled the republic.
- He then appointed Brutus and Cassius, Julius Caesar’s assassins, as governors of provinces in the East despite the Senators’ plea for a compromise and amnesty.
- This did not sit well with Caesar’s adopted son, Octavian. He then launched a war against Antony, who was defeated at Modena in northern Italy.
- Meanwhile, Lepidus and Mark Antony were also warring against Octavius.
- The triumvirate was officially formed as a legal entity with the establishment of the Triumviri Rei Publicae Constituendae Consulari Potestate, or “Triumvirs for Confirming the Republic with Consular Power”.
- The three rulers were allowed to serve for five years at a time. At the end of the term, they must be re-confirmed in order to keep their position.
- According to some historians, the triumvirate was an unstable alliance. Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (Octavian) were all men of strong character.
- Their first mission was to avenge Julius Caesar’s death by hunting the masterminds of assassination.
- Although not directly involved, Cicero was identified. Further, his firm belief that Antony was an enemy of the state and should have been killed alongside Caesar earned him more hatred.
- He was then captured. Cicero’s hands were cut off while his head was cut off and sent to Rome.
- The others – Decimus, Brutus, Cassius, and Sextus Pompey – were slowly cornered and eliminated.
REIGN AND DISCORD
- Mark Antony and Octavian each believed himself to be the rightful leader of the government. However, Octavian later emerged as the stronger competitor.
- Lepidus ruled over the provinces of Hispania and Narbonese Gaul in exchange for sending seven legions to Octavian and Antony to continue the struggle against Brutus and Cassius.
- Antony retained Cisalpine Gaul and hegemony over Gaul itself, and Octavian held Africa and was given nominal authority over Sicily and Sardinia.
- This division of power humiliated Octavian, so he slowly devised plans to grab sole authority over Rome.
END OF THE TRIUMVIRATE
- In 37 BC, Lepidus was kept out of the renewal of the coalition, partly due to his continuous losses in his battles. Octavian then banished him to Circei the following year.
- Octavian found out about Antony’s affair with the Egyptian pharaoh, Cleopatra, and used it to his advantage.
- He exposed the relationship and Antony’s will, which stated that his inheritance would go to Cleopatra’s children, not those of Octava, his legitimate wife.
- He also wanted to be buried in Egypt, which Octavian made sure the Romans found out about.
- Octavian successfully managed to stir up Rome against him. In the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, Antony and Cleopatra both committed suicide following bitter naval and ground warfare.
- Soon after, Octavius returned as a Roman hero and sole ruler, now called Augustus, the first emperor of the new Roman Empire.
- He assumed imperial authority far beyond the intent of the Senate, including sole powers to command an enormous amount of wealth and most of the Roman legions.
- Augustus reigned until 14 AD, founding an empire that would remain in power for nearly 1,500 years. He is considered by historians to be the greatest of all Rome’s many emperors.
Second Triumvirate Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Second Triumvirate across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Second Triumvirate worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Second Triumvirate which was a political association of convenience between three of Rome’s most powerful figures – Mark Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian – in the 1st century BC.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Second Triumvirate Facts
- Picturing the Trio
- The Foundation
- Mark Antony
- Latin Maxims
- The Rulers
- Power of Three
- Rome Now from Then
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Use With Any Curriculum
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Julius Caesar 100 BCE – 44 BCE
Born – 12th or 13th July 100 BCE
Died – 15th March 44 BCE (Assassinated)
Father – Gaius Julius Caesar (140 BCE – 85 BCE)
Mother – Aurelia Cotta (120 BCE – 54 BCE)
Spouses – m. 84 BCE – Cornelia (97 BCE – 69 BCE) m. 67 BCE, div. 61 BCE – Pompeia (dates not known) m. 59 BCE – Calpurnia (b. 76 BCE)
Children – by Cornelia – Julia by Cleopatra – Caesarion, Octavian (adopted)
Dictator of Rome – 49 BCE – 44 BCE
Please note: we have chosen to use the new format BCE (before common era) rather than the old BC (before Christ)
First published 2013, revised and re-published Oct 26, 2020 @ 11:33 am – Updated – Oct 26, 2020 @ 11:34 am
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2013 – 2020). Julius Caesar 100 BCE – 44 BCE. Available: http://www.totallytimelines.com/julius-caesar-100-bce-44-bce/ Last Accessed June 16th, 2021
Julius Caesar, Facts On
Consul Julius Caesar was one of the greatest rulers of Rome. During his reign, he had set the stage for transferring the Roman Republic into a worldwide empire. Caesar was born in 100 B.C. and ruled Rome for 5 years starting in 49 B.C., which is where he appears on the Bible Timeline with world history.
Gaius Julius Caesar was born to into the Julius family that was one of the oldest, wealthiest and most well-known family lines in ancient Rome. This particular family group was supposed to have descended from a god named Iulus, who is supposed to have been a son of the goddess Venus. The name Caesar is derived from caesarian which means “to cut” in Latin. Historians are not clear about Caesar’s childhood but since he was a member of a wealthy patrician clan, it is safe to assume that he was educated in his youth.
His father was also named Gaius Julius Caesar, and he was a governor of Asia. His mother was named Aurelia Cotta, and she was also a wealthy woman. Caesar had lived a good life during childhood and father died when he turned 16 years old. Caesar was also chosen to be the head priest of the temple of Jupiter.
He had to marry a woman to keep this position, and he married his first wife named Cornelia before he reached 18 years old. A Roman leader named Sulla had become a dictator and decided to eliminate all of his political enemies. Caesar was listed as one of his nemesis because he was the nephew of one of his enemies named Marius. He was stripped of his position as high priest, he lost his inheritance and was forced to divorce his wife. He had to go into hiding until conditions were favorable for his return.
Eventually, Caesar was able to go back to Rome but he turned toward a military career since he lost his priesthood. His early days in the military consisted of typical army related duties such as besieging enemy towns and making alliances with kings. Caesar was also captured by pirates whom he later located and had executed. He was elected military tribune and quaestor by 69 B.C. Some even compared him to Alexander the Great. He had served in Spain as a military commander and when he returned from his duties he became the Pontifex Maximus or Roman high priest.
Caesar had also become involved in the legal field and had helped to persecute corrupt Roman governors. Caesar had six legions under his control, and he used these forces to subdue the barbarian tribes all throughout Europe. Caesar had also managed to become a leading politician in Rome. He was popular with the people, and when he was not fighting against Germanic tribes in the north, he was forming political alliances and dealing with enemies in Rome. He formed an alliance known as the First Triumvirate, and it consisted of Caesar, Pompey and Crassus. The First Triumvirate was a secret alliance of wealthy and politically powerful men who ruled Rome despite the Senate.
Their power ended in 53 B.C. with the death of Crassus and the alliance between Pompey and Caesar fell apart when Caesar’s daughter (who was married to Pompey) died in childbirth. Pompey was elected sole consul of Rome and married the daughter of one of Caesar’s enemies. This move clearly revealed that Pompey no longer desired to be aligned with Caesar. A civil war was about to break out in Rome. Pompey accused Caesar of treason and insubordination and told him to disband his army. Caesar did not comply with his demands. In 49 B.C. Caesar took one of his legions and marched on Rome. Pompey and the Senate, who supported him, fled Rome even though they had a standing army. Caesar left Mark Antony in charge of Rome and pursued Pompey until he defeated his forces in Greece.
Pompey had managed capture and ended up in Egypt where he was assassinated. Once he arrived in Egypt stopped the civil war between Cleopatra VII and her brother Ptolemy. He favored Cleopatra VII and had an affair with her. She gave him a son that he would not allow to become the heir of Rome.
Caesar had destroyed the last remnants of Pompey’s supporters, and he began to work on transforming the republic into an empire. He centralized a powerful government in Rome he put down all resistance from conquered territories, and he then brought all of the provinces of Rome together under one central authority that stemmed from Rome. These three steps transformed the republic into an empire.
The First Triumvirate of ancient Rome was an uneasy alliance between the three titans Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus which, from 60 BCE until 53 BCE, dominated the politics of the Roman Republic. Alliances have always been a part of history. Whether one looks to the unification of Sparta and Athens against the Persians in the 5th century BCE or the allied forces of the Triple Entente in World War I, nations and individuals - even former enemies - have sought assistance for one reason or another to overcome a common foe. Ancient Rome was no different. An unstable Republic and a near civil war brought three men to set aside their differences and even contempt for one another to join forces and dominate the government of Rome, even controlling elections, for nearly a decade. One of the three would eventually rise above the others and become dictator. His name was Gaius Julius Caesar. However, that was several years away. For now he was part of what modern historians have come to call the First Triumvirate.
Rome in Chaos
The Republic was in dire straits. Roman political order was in chaos. There was street violence and rioting. To some the Roman citizenry was falling victim to moral decay. The statesman, philosopher and poet Marcus Tillius Cicero had even exposed a conspiracy led by the prominent senator Lucius Sergius Catiline to overthrow the Roman leadership. Many believed that it was only a matter of time before the Republic would fall. However, three men, often referred to as “a Gang of Three”, seized the opportunity for personal gain, forming an alliance or triumvirate that would eventually transform the government. Despite individual differences and pure animosity, this “three-headed monster” would remain in control, even through bribes and threats, to dominate both the consulship and military commands.
The three men who would change the face of Roman politics were Gnaius Pompeius Magnus (Pompey), Marcus Lucinius Crassus, and Gaius Julius Caesar. Each man had his own personal reason for joining together, realizing that he could not achieve it alone. While each had attained personal success, he wanted even more gloria and dignitas (glory and dignity). So, in 60 BCE the three men combined their resources, set aside their personal differences (Crassus, although one of the wealthiest men in Rome, actually despised Pompey) and seized control of the state however, despite good intentions and personal achievements aside, the union was tenuous at best.
Although he considered himself a friend to both Caesar and Pompey, Cicero, who disliked the optimates (Rome's senators) as much as they did, was opposed to joining the triumvirate even though they respected his oratory skills and made regular use of his legal services. He still cherished the old aristocratic patrician values (even though many of them didn't respect him). Unfortunately for Cicero, his exposure of the Catiline conspiracy and opposition to the conservatives brought about his exile. It would take an appeal to Pompey and Caesar that allowed him to return to Rome in 57 BCE.
Eventually the differences between the alliance's members and their personal greed would spell the triumvirate's doom. For now, however, the “gang” saw an opportunity and took it, but this triumvirate did not come together overnight. The alliance had its beginning a decade earlier.
Beginnings - Crassus
In 73 BCE a Thracian named Spartacus led a revolt at a gladiator school at Capua, a city south of Rome. He and his followers went on a rampage throughout Italy. The revolt continued for almost two years, defying the Roman forces sent against them, so that in 71 BCE Crassus was sent by the Roman Senate to finally suppress the uprising. Eventually, Spartacus was killed and 6,000 of his followers were crucified along the Appian Way — the road between Rome and Capua - to serve as a warning to others. Although most of the praise should have gone to the military leadership of Crassus, Pompey, who had recently returned from Spain, attempted to steal most of the credit for the defeat even though his only accomplishment was to round up the stragglers. Afterwards, both men disobeyed Senate orders and refused to disband their armies. Although Pompey actually scorned the Republican government, the defeat of Spartacus and his followers ensured both men were named co-consuls in 70 BCE. Crassus never forgot Pompey's arrogance and always sought a military command where he, alone, would achieve glory.
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Problems in the East - piracy for one - caused a shortage of food in Rome. In 67 BCE Pompey was sent eastward to not only suppress the presence of pirates on the high seas but also confront Mithridates of Pontus who posed a dangerous threat to the power of Rome in Asia Minor by continually attacking Roman provinces. His eventual death would bring power to his heir and peace with Rome. From 66 to 63 BCE Pompey and his army marched from the Caucasus Mountains in the north to the Red Sea and would “redraw the map” in the eastern Mediterranean. He reorganized the provinces into Rome's client states, returning to the city in 62 BCE a hero. However, upon his return, he entered the city as a citizen, not a soldier, having disbanded his army. He had a new agenda: he wanted land and eastern settlement for his veterans. The idea was a logical one as no one wanted unemployed veterans in the city, and resettling them in the east would reduce tensions there however, this was something the Senate would never approve. Standing in the way was Marcus Porcius, better known as Cato the Younger, leader of the optimates, the conservative members of the Senate.
Two of the three had valid reasons to unite: Pompey wanted his veterans to be rewarded for their bravery in the east while Crassus hoped to gain not only dignity in a military command but also sought to recoup money he and his fellow investors had lost during the food crises in the east. The third member of the “gang” Julius Caesar, a military hero in his own right, returned from Spain in triumph, something that he hoped would help bring him additional fame and wealth. While he was not as prosperous as the others (he was actually deeply in debt), he, too, had a goal - to be named consul and afterwards gain a pro-consulship/military command in Gaul.
The Three Join Forces
However, to achieve these lofty goals, all three realized that mutual support was essential, so by pooling their personal resources (mostly Crassus' money), contacts (Cicero) and most of all ambition, they set their plan in motion. The first order of business: Caesar was able to reconcile the differences between Pompey and Crassus. Next, he married his daughter Julia to Pompey to seal the alliance. Together, the “gang” overcame their first obstacle when Caesar was named co-consul for the year 59 BCE with Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, unfortunately a good friend of Cato. In his The Twelve Caesars Roman historian Suetonius wrote that Caesar,
… succeeded in conciliating Pompey and Marcus Crassus - they were still at odds after their failure to agree on matters of policy while sharing the consulship. Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus now formed a triple pact, swearing to oppose all legislation of which any one of them might disapprove. (16)
Despite his best efforts, Caesar was unable to push Pompey's agenda or any of his other reforms through the Senate. By law a consul had the right to veto a proposal made by his fellow consul, and that was exactly what Bibulus did, so instead of fighting with the Senate, Caesar took his idea to the popular assembly. As Caesar stood in the Forum and presented his proposal to the assembly, Bibulus attempted to interfere but instead was thrown down the steps of the Temple of Castor where he was showered with garbage. He returned to his home where he remained out of public life. Caesar would rule as consul alone. Cato finally admitted defeat and accepted the bill the veterans got their land. The triumvirate was apparently working.
After the end of his consulship Caesar and his army crossed over the Alps into Gaul where he would spend the next ten years, returning to Italy in triumph in 50 BCE. Pompey, already feeling a tinge of jealousy over Caesar's success, won favor with the Senate when he was given command over the city's grain supply in 57 BCE after a series of food riots. Next, Pompey and Crassus returned to a joint consulship in 55 BCE. Afterwards, Pompey was named governor of Spain although he remained in Rome and ruled Spain through a series of deputies. Elsewhere, Crassus got his wish and was awarded the command of an army, hoping to achieve personal fame in the east. Unfortunately, he would never realize his goal. In 53 BCE at the Battle of Carrhae he was defeated, killed, and decapitated by the long-time enemy of Rome, the Parthians. In a further insult his head would be used as a prop by the king in a presentation of the Euripides play The Bacchae. His death spelled the doom for the triumvirate. Although the alliance had been renewed in 56 BCE at Luca (Caesar had even left Gaul to attend), Crassus had been the glue that held them together. The split widened between Caesar and Pompey when Pompey's wife and Caesar's daughter Julia died in childbirth in 54 BCE.
Civil War - Caesar as Dictator
With 40,000 soldiers Caesar crossed the Rubicon and returned to Rome. He was wealthier and more powerful, desiring a return to politics and the consulship - the latter was something both Pompey and the conservatives opposed. By now Pompey was the favored son of the Senate. He had even been named consul in 52 BCE with the full support of Cato. Later, he was rewarded with the command of the Roman forces in Italy. The deep hatred that had lay dormant for years between Caesar and Pompey, together with Pompey's jealousy, led to a civil war.
Because of his friendship with both men, Cicero grew concerned over the hostility between Caesar and Pompey, He wrote to Caesar in March of 49 BCE,
… if you are disposed to protect our friend Pompey and reconcile him to yourself and the state, you will certainly find no one better adapted to that aim than myself. … I have always advocated peace … now I am deeply concerned for the rightful position of Pompey. (Grant, 81-2)
Cicero further added that he still considered both of the men his friends and hoped to “…achieve a conciliation between yourself and Pompey, and peace for the people of Rome.” Caesar wrote back that he trusted Cicero would not interfere. “Although I was convinced that you would take no rash or ill-judged action. in the name of our friendship, that you should not make any move, now that things have gone my way.”
Pompey left Rome with his army for Greece and was followed by Caesar. In 48 BCE they met in the Battle of Pharsalus. Caesar was victorious. Pompey fled to Egypt where he was murdered on the beach on the orders of Ptolemy XIII and beheaded. His head was then presented to Caesar. Caesar would go on to secure his power in both Asia Minor and northern Africa, eventually returning to Rome where he served in his new role as dictator only to die by assassination on the Ides of March 44 BCE.
A Timeline Of NPR's First 50 Years
Monday, May 3, 2021, marks the 50th anniversary of NPR's first on-air original broadcast. In the last half-century, NPR and Member stations have been essential, trusted sources for local events and cultural programming featuring music, local history, education and the arts. To mark this milestone, we're reflecting on — and renewing — our commitment to serve an audience that reflects America and to Hear Every Voice.
NPR was incorporated in 1970, with 88 original member stations representing non-commercial, educational and community radio stations across the country. Bill Siemering put into words NPR's original mission statement, stating that the new network should be a "source of information of consequence," "celebrate the human experience," help citizens be "enlightened participants" in society and "speak with many voices and many dialects."
50 Years Of NPR
Hear NPR's First On-Air Original Broadcast From 1971
On May 3, 1971, All Things Considered made its debut as the first national public radio program, redefining the substance and sound of national news. NPR amplified local voices by leveraging their network of member stations to tell national stories in new ways. However, NPR had yet to realize its goal of representing all of America. In 1976, NPR established the Department of Specialized Audience Programming to create content "about, by and for special interest groups," including NPR's first Spanish-language program Enfoque Nacional. Over the next decade, NPR experimented with historic firsts Morning Edition was introduced in 1979, along with more original programming.
NPR had completed the first nationwide radio satellite distribution network by 1980. This system offered superior sound quality and 15 origination points across the country, giving local voices more opportunities to reach a national audience. Programs that originated outside of Washington, DC — Fresh Air, Car Talk and Enfoque Nacional — were distributed international coverage was also expanded, with NPR opening bureaus around the world and launching a 24/7 newscast service.
As web content began to emerge, NPR crafted a visual identity to accompany its audio broadcasts the first digital-only program, All Songs Considered, was part of this — a precursor to what would be an explosion of podcasts and visual products. In its 50th year, NPR heralds another era of innovation one not unlike the earliest days of radio, with the network producing compelling stories across different platforms and meeting audiences wherever they are.