Triumvir or tresvir: member of a college of three members. The expression is mostly used to describe the First Triumvirate (60 BCE; Pompey the Great, Crassus, and Julius Caesar) and Second Triumvirate (43 BCE; Marc Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian).
A triumviratus is literally a college of three men. In the ancient Roman republic, there were several boards of tresviri. For example
- tresviri agro dando divided newly conquered land among farmers;
- tresviri capitales were responsible for the jail and prisoners;
- tresviri coloniae deducendae founded new towns (coloniae);
- tresviri epulones took care of the dinners that were sometimes served to the gods (lectisternia);
- tresviri mensarii were responsible for public finances;
- tresviri monetales minted coins;
- tresviri (without specification) usually refers to the officials that recruited new soldiers.
The best known triumvirates, however, were less official: the First and Second Triumvirate were private agreements between Roman politicians, directed against the Senate and the People. (The Second Triumvirate was later officially recognized.)