The Second Triumvirate

  • M. Cary
  • H. H. Scullard


The tyrannicides had planned the murder of Caesar well, but they had planned nothing more. Their calculation had gone no further than this, that the forcible removal of the dictator Caesar would have the same effect as the voluntary abdication of the dictator Sulla, and that on the release of the brake the machinery of senatorial government would automatically resume work. But the senators, before whose eyes Caesar had been killed, stampeded out of the council chamber, not knowing where the next blow might fall. On the chance of rallying the fugitives by a demonstration of popular enthusiasm the conspirators sallied out to spread the glad news in the Forum; but they found the place of assembly almost deserted, and from the few bystanders they drew but the faintest of cheers. Completely baffled, and in growing apprehension for their own safety, they withdrew to the Capitol under the escort of a band of gladiators. The candle which they had lit was guttering ignominiously.


Eastern Province Military Dictator Forcible Removal False Position Roman Republic 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    On this period see T. Rice Holmes, The Architect of the Roman Empire, i (1928);Google Scholar
  2. M. A. Levi, Ottaviano Capoparte (1933);Google Scholar
  3. R. Syme, The Roman Revolution (1939), chs vii–xxi;Google Scholar
  4. H. Frisch, Cicero’s Fight for the Republic (1946);Google Scholar
  5. J. M. Carter, The Battle of Actium (1970. Despite its title this book covers the years 4431).Google Scholar
  6. 2.
    On Caesar’s acta (or, more correctly, agenda), and the methods by which they were implemented see V. Premerstein, Zeitschrift für die Savigny-Stiftung rom. Abteilung, 1922, 129 ff.Google Scholar
  7. 21.
    On Agrippa’s part in the war against Sextus Pompeius see M. Reinhold, Marcus Agrippa (1933), 29 ff. In addition to Portus Iulius itself, Agrippa’s engineer and architect constructed long underground galleries, one linking Lake Avernus with Cumae, another under the hill of Cumae itself.Google Scholar
  8. See R. F. Paget, JRS 1968, 163 ff.Google Scholar
  9. 23.
    See Dio Cassius, xlix. 15.5 (in contrast to Appian, Bell. Civ. v. 132). Cf. H. Last, Rendiconti, Ist. Lombardo 1951, 95 ff.Google Scholar
  10. 24.
    On the Illyrian Wars of Octavian see E. Swoboda, Octavian and Illyricum (1932);Google Scholar
  11. R. Syme JRS 1933, 66 ff. =Dainton Papers (1971);Google Scholar
  12. N. Vulic, JQRS 1934, 163 ff.;Google Scholar
  13. W. Schmitthenner, Historia 1958, 189 ff.;Google Scholar
  14. J. J. Wilkes, Dalmatia (1969), 46 ff.Google Scholar
  15. 29.
    On Antony see R. F. Rossi, Marcio Antonio nelle lotta politica della tarda repubblica romana (1959);Google Scholar
  16. H. Buchheim, Die Orientpolitik des Triumvirn M. Antonius (1961).Google Scholar
  17. 36.
    On Cleopatra see H. Volkmann, Cleopatra(1958)Google Scholar
  18. and M. Grant, Cleopatra (1972);Google Scholar
  19. J. Lindsay, Cleopatra (1971), is a more popular work.Google Scholar
  20. On her appearance see G. M. A. Richter, Portraits of the Greeks (1965), 269. Her ambitions remain uncertain. According to W. W. Tarn (CAH, x. 76 ff.) 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 and brotherhood. A more moderate assessment of her hopes is given by R. Syme, Roman Revolution 274 f. Propertius (iii. 11.46) might credit her with the ambition to give judgment amid the arms and statues of Marius (‘jura dare et statuas inter et arma Mari’), but at most she probably hoped to curtail rather than to destroy or dominate the Roman Empire. She wished to restore the lost glories of her inherited Ptolemaic kingdom. For the oracle, which may, but does not certainly, refer to Cleopatra, see J. Geffcken, Oracula Sibyllina, iii. 350 ff.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The representatives of the estate of the late M. Cary and H. H. Scullard 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Cary
    • 1
  • H. H. Scullard
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LondonUK

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