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).
- general Pompey, who had defeated the Cilician pirates, conquered the declining Seleucid Empire and subdued Judaea, but discovered that the Senate would not ratify his organization of the Near East;
- Marcus Licinius Crassus, the richest men in Rome and the conqueror of Spartacus, but also a man whose senatorial career was not as brilliant as he would like;
- and his ally, the popular politician Julius Caesar, who had been elected consul for the year 59, but knew he would encounter a lot of opposition from conservative senators.
The deal gave something to every member. As consul Caesar saw to the swift ratification of Pompey's oriental acts; an agrarian law passed the Senate, distributing land among the urban poor and Pompey's soldiers; and Crassus received a financial agreement that was beneficial to his allies, the Roman knights.Caesar, who went on to conquer Gaul, soon eclipsed his fellow-triumvirs, who controlled Rome. In 56, Caesar convinced them to continue the cooperation, but they demanded armies of their own. Pompey received Hispania and Crassus Syria, including a war against the Parthian empire. Two years later, Julia died, and in 53, Crassus was defeated and killed by his enemies. This was the end of the collaboration, and although Caesar and Pompey tried to prevent civil war, it was bound to come.