First Triumvirate: The 3 Ways It Led To The Fall Of Rome

NameThe First Triumvirate of Rome
Date60-53 BC
Notable People InvolvedPompey, Crassus, Julius Caesar
Brief DescriptionThe First Triumvirate was an informal alliance between the three great generals of Rome.
Impact LevelHigh
Further ReadingPompey The Great: The 3 Things He is Known For Today and Julius Caesar: The 3 Reasons He Is Famous Today

The first triumvirate of Rome directly led to the fall of the Roman Republic through 3 major ways. Professional historians estimate that it was this political alliance between Pompey, Crassus, and Julius Caesar that set the events in motion that created the Roman Empire.

There are 3 ways that the First Triumvirate of Rome led to the fall of Rome. First, the First Triumvirate created a political opportunity for a Dictator to emerge in Rome. Second, the First Triumvirate combined religious, military, and financial power outside the Senate. Third, the First Triumvirate combined both political parties in Roman politics.

The First Triumvirate was an unofficial political alliance between Pompey, Crassus, and Julius Caesar. It lasted from 60 BC up until the battle of Carrhae in 53 BC. The first Triumvirate remains one of the most important events in the history of the late Roman Republic.

Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. If at the end you enjoyed this article consider subscribing to the free newsletter and sharing around the internet.

Without further ado, here are the 3 ways in which the First Triumvirate led to the fall of Rome.

The First Triumvirate Created A Political Opportunity For A Dictator To Emerge In Rome.

One of the main ways that the creation of the First Triumvirate led to the fall of Rome was by creating the perfect political opportunity for a Roman dictator to rise up.

The Roman constitution had checks and balances in place to prevent ambitious Roman people from seizing power. The First Triumvirate managed to disregard those checks and balances however through political power and military authority.

The First Triumvirate was made up of the 3 most powerful men in Rome outside of Cicero. This was the famous Roman general Pompey the Great, the religious pontifex Julius Caesar, and the wealthiest Roman of the time Licinius Crassus.

Normally an ambitious Roman senator would have to follow certain rules and regulations if they hoped to obtain more power within Republican Rome.

Because the first Triumvirate was so powerful the 3 members could easily act outside of Roman law.

This ability for either Crassus, Pompey, or Caesar to do what they want without major punishment created the perfect political opportunity for a dictator to emerge.

As such the First Triumvirate directly led to the fall of Rome.

The First Triumvirate Combined Religious, Military, and Financial Power Outside The Senate

Another way in which the First Triumvirate led to the fall of Rome was by consolidating Roman power outside of the Roman Senate.

Each member of the First Triumvirate represented a facet of Roman power. This power was typically only given by the Senate to certain people. By having all three members have their own power basis in an unofficial alliance, few people could challenge them.

First, Pompey the Great. Pompey was the greatest military commander in the late Roman Republic. He held 3 triumphs and served as the Consul 3 times. As such Pompey brought considerable political and military power to the First Triumvirate.

Second, Julius Caesar. In the early days of the First Triumvirate Julius Cesar was a former tribune of the plebs and more importantly had just won the political office of Rome’s highest priest pontifex maximus. As such Julius Cesar brought two valuable things to the First Triumvirate; religious power, and the power of the urban masses of Rome.

Third, Licinius Crassus. During the formation of the First Triumvirate Crassus was the richest man in Rome. As such Crassus brought financial power to the First Triumvirate.

With the power of military/political, religious/urban poor, and wealth the First Triumvirate had everything they needed to seize power from the Roman Senate. Normally, one person would have to obtain just one of these powers from the Senate. However, the first Triumvirate had all three through their members.

As such, the combination of the powers of the three members of the first triumvirate is one the 3 ways that led to the fall of Rome.

The First Triumvirate Combined Both Political Parties In Roman Politics

One of the major ways in which the First Triumvirate led to the fall of Rome was by combining the two political parties of Rome.

These two political parties were called the optimates and populares. While these were not solidified parties Roman senators often found themselves drawing power from one of two groups of people.

The optimates drew their power from the elite Senatorial families. Here through a complex network of patronage and clients Senators would look to support one another in quasi political entities. This entire group of Roman senators who drew their power from Senatorial families are called the optimates.

The other political party was called the populares. Here ambitious political people could appeal to the Roman people themselves. A good orator could stir a crowd into a frenzy and then have the crowd of Roman people vote against the Senate. Several of the most famous politicians of the Late Roman Republic were populares politicians.

What the First Triumvirate did was combine both of these groups of people. Pompey the Great held considerable networks of Roman senators who would vote in favor of him.

Julius Caesar on the other hand served as Tribune of the Plebs and held considerable sway across the people of ancient Rome. As a result of this modern historians call him the “people’s dictator.” From this Julius Caesar brought the populares faction into the First Triumvirate.

As a result, the First Triumvirate of Rome had huge political actors from both the major political parties of the late Roman Republic.

This remains one of the major ways in which the First Triumvirate led to the fall of Rome.

Conclusion

There you have it, an entire article that goes over the 3 ways in which the First Triumvirate of Rome led to the fall of Rome.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. Feel free to sign up for the free newsletter and share around the web.

Further, you can check out some of the other articles below. 

Sincerely,

Nick