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.