The Downfall of The First Triumvirate


General Surenas

The First Triumvirate saw its end with the deaths of both Crassus and Julia. Julia was the only bond holding Pompey and Caesar together, with her death there was virtually nothing keeping these two men from an inevitable fight. Her death in the year 54 BCE, during childbirth, as well as her baby a few days later, signaled the end of the Triumvirate (Marin 137). What truly broke the Triumvirate apart was when Crassus was killed on the field of battle against the Parthian general Surenas in the year 53 BCE. Crassus found his forces divided and the Parthian army massacring all of his forces. Crassus’ death in the year 53 BCE made the Triumvirate no more since there was only two left. With neither Julia nor Crassus in the picture it only left Caesar and Pompey making up the Triumvirate (Marin 139).

The final knife in the Triumvirate was when Caesar and Pompey were enemies on the battlefield when the civil war started in the year 49 BCE on January, 10. Pompey fighting on the side of the Republic, and Caesar on the side of the Empire essentially (Marin 154-155). Pompey did not stay in Rome when the civil war started. He took his leave to the east, where he had made many friends and allies. He chose Egypt as his destination, excepting to find safe haven within under the Ptolemaic king Ptolemy Auletes (Zoch 200). To Pompey’s misfortune, he was death_of_pompeymurdered by the kings ministers, the kings advisor is to have said “a corpse doesn’t bite.” (Zoch 201) They beheaded Pompey and took his signet ring which they presented to Caesar on his arrival to Egypt. Caesar wept at the death of Pompey and had his murders found and killed because of the dishonor that they bestowed upon Pompey by killing him in such a fashion (Zoch 201). Though the Triumvirate died with the death of Crassus in 53 BCE, the death of Pompey in the year 48 BCE left Caesar the only player of the Triumvirate, and the strongest man in Rome unopposed by anyone.

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