history meme: 01/04
presidents rulers | The Two Triumvirates of Rome
a T R I U M V I R A T E (from Latin, “triumvirātus”, a group of three men) is a political regime dominated by three powerful individuals, each a triumvir. In the late Roman Republic, two three-man political alliances existed, two groups who took over the Roman government when they became powerful enough. Jealousy, ambition, and rivalry ultimately caused the end of both of them.
The First Triumvirate (from 60-54 B.C.) was an informal political alliance of Julius Caesar, Pompeius Magnus (“Pompey the Great”) and Marcus Crassus. The arrangement had no legal status, and its purpose was to consolidate the political power of the three and their supporters against the senatorial elite. After the death of Crassus in 53 BC, the two survivors fought a civil war, during which Pompey was killed and Caesar established his sole rule as perpetual dictator.
The Second Triumvirate (created in 43 B.C.) was recognized as a triumvirate at the time. A Lex Titia formalized the rule of Augustus (Gaius Octavian), Mark Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. The legal language makes reference to the traditional tresviri. This “three-man commission for restoring the constitution of the republic” in fact was given the power to make or annul law without approval from either the Senate or the people; their judicial decisions were not subject to appeal, and they named magistrates at will. Although the constitutional machinery of the Republic was not irrevocably dismantled by the Lex Titia, in the event it never recovered. Lepidus was sidelined early in the triumvirate, and Antony was eliminated in civil war, leaving Octavian the sole leader.