First Triumvirate 56 b.C in Lucca

We are in the 56th. C., the most powerful and influential men of Rome political scene are Caesare, Pompeo and Crasso, and they decided to meet in Lucca, in a completely private location, to decide the division of power. All three were the real masters of Rome. Their strength and their success put them in a position to decide the fate of the Roman people, independently of the will of the Senate. This meeting, called by historians “First Triumvirate”, was the event that changed the course of history. It gave the start to the end of the Republic and the beginning of Empire. In truth, the alliance between the three men had already been started in 60 b.C with other secret meetings in Rome. But Caesar felt that the effectiveness of what was agreed, was declining: to strengthen the pact, in the spring of 56 b.C, he established his headquarters in Lucca, where stationed for several months, and organized the meeting. The choice of Lucca was not occasional, infact geo-political reasons dictated this decision. Lucca was geographically the most southern city in Gallia (Francia) and closer to Rome. Placed “extra Pomerium”, that is outside the legal and religious borders of Rome, where Caesar could keep all of Proconsul powers and act outside the direct control of the Senate. If he had crossed the Pomerium with the arms, he infringed the law. And he did it in 49 b.C, when he crossed the Rubicon and marched on Rome. The journey in Lucca was useful to Caesar not only to be with two allies (Pompeo and Crasso), but also to meet senators, judges and citizens who came to ask favors and to ensure their gratitude. He wanted to be clear about the policy framework and moods of social classes factions, also to know who were his supporters and those who could not become.

He was at the top of his power. He could feel the glory of the winner. He was no longer the man in debt who asked the rich Crasso to lend him money for his election campaigns. His coffers were filled. Wealth accumulated during the conquest of Gallia, thanks to many lootings and the sale of thousands of slaves. He feels even stronger for having been able to recruit and equip new legions, to which are added the auxiliary units, "Galli Aedui" and even men from Illyria (region) and knights of Narbonne. The historian Spinosa writes that "Lucca hosted more than two hundred senators to make an act of homage and alliance. Several judges were present and on the streets circulated more than 120 lictors. There was a multitude of men and ladies, coming from Rome and its provinces, who wanted to celebrate the Pontifex Maximus (Cesare). ". Plutarco calls the meeting of Lucca "a conspiracy to a new division of power between the three conspirators and the abolition of the constitution." The Roman world was at that time in one of the most chaotic moments of its history. The Senate did not show to have the authority and cohesion necessary to control the expansionist policy. There were hostilities between various political factions and emerged with greater violence the struggles between different social classes.

This climate of uncertainty favored the rise of strong characters like Cesare, Crasso and Pompeo who, by their secret alliance, decided the lines of Roma politics. All three were dissatisfied with the way of governing the Senate. In this scenario it takes more and more consistency in the triumvirate, the belief that their action was a necessary act. It was the will of the Gods that drove them for the good of Rome. Therefore it was necessary to reinforce the pact and well define those agreements. Cesare and Pompeo although carried out individually in power, had understood that at the time were in need of mutual help and plan a common strategy.Crasso was the richest man in Rome and was a leading member of the Knights class. Pompeo, having brilliantly won the war in the East, was the most successful general. But the relationship between Crasso and Pompeo was not the most idyllic: Crasso kept a grudge against Pompeo, since those had celebrated the triumph for victory against the rebel slaves led by Spartaco. All merit went to Pompeo, and to him, true architect of victory, had been celebrated only an ovation. Caesar with its fine diplomatic skills, he learned how to keep them calm. He was convinced that the alliance between the two was the only way he could have to reach the heights of power. In exchange for their support, he would try to make the Senate approve the distribution of lands to the soldiers of Pompey and ratify the arrangement of the eastern provinces of the same default. A new law for all supporters of Crasso, allowing them a greater gain on tax collection. Finally Cesare could hold the position of proconsul of Gallia (France) and then elected to consul for 5 more years.

To consolidate what has been agreed, Caesar had favored the marriage of his daughter Giulia with Pompeo. From the historical analysis of the First Triumvirate emerges, another confirmation of the diabolical diplomatic skills of Giulio Cesare. With the meeting in Lucca, excluding from any decision the Senate, he was able to ensure and strengthen the alliance with Pompeo and Crasso, that in the near future will allow him to complete the conquest of the entire Gallia with two trusted men to the control of Rome's political scene, to be able to return and realize the true goal: become the unly one leader (pontifex maximus unicus). Crasso, "bought" with promises of new revenue, will be engaged in the war against the Parthians, (Persia) that far from Rome that he can not play any role in the city, and who knows if it will be the winner of that powerful empire? Pompeo had an illusion of a power that never exercised, and then engaged in Spain. He moved again, proud and satisfied, to Gallia, with the conviction that the Lucca's agreement represents a milestone to conquer Rome.