The Second Triumvirate was a political association of convenience between three of Rome's most powerful figures: Mark Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian in the 1st century BCE. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Second_Triumvirate/. Government by triumvirs. Even some of Caesar’s friends soon became his sworn enemies. (2) During the civil wars of the first century B.C., an alliance formed by influential political figures and generals with a view to seizing power.The First Triumvirate (60 or 59 B.C.) Although Mark Antony and Octavian would soon forego their differences, they had every reason to distrust one another, having waged several military campaigns against each other in northern Italy. In speaking to the Senate, Cicero said about Antony, Now listen, I beg you, Senators, I do not mean to the personal and domestic scandals created by Antony’s disgusting improprieties, but to the evil, godless way in which he has undermined us all, and our fortunes, and our whole country. Because of his behavior, Antony had angered a number of influential Roman citizens. The triumviri rei publicae constituendae ("board of three to reconstitute the state") accepted the powers of a dictator and took several measures. According to W. W. Tarn (CAH, x. Brutus escaped only to later commit suicide. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. Sextus Pompey, son of the legendary commander Pompey, had originally been outlawed under the Lex Pedia. https://www.ancient.eu/Second_Triumvirate/. The reduced role of Lepidus is evident in the fact that far fewer coins depict him from this point on, and a number of triumviral edicts are issued in the names of Antony and Octavian only.[15]. He was encouraged by Mark Antony's wife Fulvia. Despite having married Octavia, Octavian's sister, in 40 BC (Octavian had married Antony's stepdaughter Clodia Pulchra three years earlier), Antony openly lived in Alexandria with Cleopatra VII of Egypt, even siring children with her. Lepidus himself was left with nothing, but was offered the prospect of control over Africa. Octavian himself resigned shortly after, allowing the appointment of a second pair of suffect consuls; the original consuls for the year, Caesar's legate Aulus Hirtius and Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus, had died fighting on the Senate's side of the first civil war to follow Caesar's death, that between the Senate and Mark Antony himself. Formally called the Triumvirate for Organizing the Republic (Latin: tresviri rei publicae constituendae),[2] it was formed on 27 November 43 BC with the enactment of the Lex Titia, and existed for two five-year terms, covering the period until 33 BC. Julius Caesar was dead. With Lepidus in Sicily, Octavian and Antony crossed the Adriatic Sea and met the two conspirators at Philippi in eastern Macedonia to do battle. This new authority allowed them to enact laws without the approval of the Roman Senate. Lepidus was stripped of all his offices except that of Pontifex Maximus. n. 1. In 43 BC Marc Antony, Octavian and Marcus Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate. 76 ff.) After Antony's defeat in Parthia, Cleopatra had come to his aid with supplies; Antony then turned his attention to Armenia, seizing its king Artavasdes and occupying the country. Crassus, the weakest of the three in political instincts, played an important role by siphoning off enough power to prevent a calamity between Caesar and Pompey. Lepidus as triumvir. The Second Triumvirate years were filled with a variety of battles between the three men. After the assassination of step father of Augustus, Julius Caesar, in March of 44 BCE, the first emperor created an alliance with Caesar’s close friend and relative, Mark Antony. License. Triumvirate (Latin tresviri or triumviri), was a board of three officials who shared a position of authority or power in ancient Rome. Despite continued victories in the east, the days of the triumvirate were numbered. He is eager to pass knowledge on to his students. in ancient Rome: (1) A board of three persons appointed or elected for a specific purpose, for example, the triumvirate created to administer the agrarian reforms of Tiberius Gracchus in 133 B.C. In 39 BC Antony and Octavian decided to negotiate an agreement to stop the piracy. Antony detested Octavian and spent most of his time in the East, while Lepidus favoured Antony but felt himself obscured by both his colleagues, despite having succeeded Caesar as Pontifex Maximus in 43 BC. The new triumvirate was, at best, an unstable coalition. Octavian's land redistribution caused widespread tensions, as farmers were dispossessed in favor of soldiers. Octavian sent him into exile in Circeii. He had been warring with Antony and Lepidus in upper Italia, but in October 43 BC the three agreed to unite and seize power and so met near Bononia (now Bologna). The Second Triumvirate. Besides Cicero, another significant conspirator to die was Decimus who failed in his attempt to join Brutus in Macedonia. Despite his youth, the nineteen-year-old Octavian had the support of a significant portion of the army, especially those who had been loyal to Caesar. This new law established a special court which, without delay, condemned all of those involved in Caesar’s death, including Sextus Pompey who had not even been involved in the murder. This was the simple message the Roman commander... Colossal portrait of Augustus, 1st century CE. Caesar was instrumental in bringing about the alliance in his attempt to increase his political p Unlike the earlier First Triumvirate (between Julius Caesar, Pompey and Crassus),[3][4] the Second Triumvirate was an official, legally established institution, whose overwhelming power in the Roman state was given full legal sanction and whose imperium maius outranked that of all other magistrates, including the consuls. Antony’s plan was to trap Octavian and his fleet at Actium on the Ambracian Gulf on the western coast of Greece. He then arranged a meeting with Antony, who was planning to attack Parthia and needed troops. Unfortunately, while the conspiracy had been well-planned, the exit strategy was not. Please help us create teaching materials on Mesopotamia (including several complete lessons with worksheets, activities, answers, essay questions, and more), which will be free to download for teachers all over the world. Like the First Triumvirate, the Second Triumvirate was ultimately unstable and could not withstand internal jealousies and ambitions. For ancient writers, the most shocking proscriptions were those of Caesar's legate Lucius Julius Caesar, and Lepidus' brother Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus. Augustus deprived him of his legions and, though successfully pleading for his life, Lepidus spent what was left of it in permanent exile at Circei. Map of the Second Triumvirate: red is Octavian's Rome, yellow is Lepidus' Rome, and white is Antony's Rome. The constitution of the Roman Republic was a complex set of checks and balances designed to prevent a man from rising above the rest and creating a monarchy. The Senate rewarded him with a new title and a new name. He was caught attempting to escape from his villa outside Naples. Her ambitions remain uncertain. Last modified April 18, 2016. In fact they both survived.[13]. Octavian had never been very fond of Cleopatra, mostly due to her relationship with Caesar and the birth of his son Caesarion. she had a great vision of world-wide rule and believed, as a nameless Greek oracle foretold, that she would overthrow Rome, release the East, and then raise up Rome again in a partnership of East and West and inaugurate a golden age of peace … Octavian, despite his youth (20 years old), extorted from the Senate the post of suffect consul (consul suffectus) for 43 BC. One of the major conspirators, Marcus Junius Brutus (he is the infamous “Et tu, Brute!” of William Shakespeare’s play) rushed from the Theater of  Pompey where the Senate met to the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill to speak to an angry throng of citizens. As Octavian advanced on Rome, Lucius withdrew to Perusia (Perugia), where he was besieged by Octavian in the winter of 41–40 BC. Their narrow escape brought Antony to Libya and Cleopatra to Egypt. On her appearance see G. M. A. Richter, Portraits of the Greeks (1965), 269. [20], In order to provide treasures and rewards for his troops and cement his reputation as a military commander, Octavian pursued a war in Illyricum to bring it under Roman control. Written by Donald L. Wasson, published on 18 April 2016 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. They were added to the list because they had been the first to condemn Antony and Lepidus after the two allied. It was Decimus who had convinced the ill Caesar to appear at the Temple of Pompey where he would be assassinated. rate / trīˈəmvərit; -ˌrāt / • n. 1. Aside from the fact that Antony was not a capable naval commander, many of his officers were unhappy with Cleopatra’s appearance and input at council meetings. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. 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