Caesar the Optimate, First Triumvirate Pre-empted?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by DominusNovus, Sep 11, 2019 at 1:16 PM.

  1. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    I was thinking about the careers of Caesar and Pompey, and how, until the First Triumvirate became known, Caesar really had a relatively normal political career. Especially when compared to Pompey and Crassus, who both forced the Republic to make them Consuls at the point of their collective swords.

    Yes, Caesar was no scrupulous adherent to conservative tradition, but, when he first ran for Consul, he hadn’t done anything particularly egregious (again, especially compared to Crassus and Pompey). He had plenty of enemies among the conservative faction, most obviously Cato, and tended to oppose Cicero, even if he professed to be an admirer of the man. And, of course, he had familial ties to famous Populares, like Marius. All of this aside, I keep coming back to one key fact:

    When push came to shove, the conservative Senators ran to Pompey with open arms. Pompey who started his career by raising his own personal army to fight in a Civil War.

    Suppose that some of the conservatives decide to co-opt Caesar in an attempt to outflank Pompey and Crassus, prior to their alliance and Caesar’s election as Consul. How might the coming years of the Republic look?
     
  2. isabella Well-Known Member

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    Mar 22, 2012
    Caesar was well know as an ally of Crassus and one of the leaders of Populares plus he had already demonstrated to be amenable to work with Pompey AND Caesar’s election as Pontifex Maximus was pretty much against traditions and against a couple of leaders of the Optimates.

    Plus in the end the Optimates at that point knew very well what Pompey really wanted and how manipulate him (Pompey needed to feel accepted in the highest rank of the Roman society, as the origin of his family not exactly fully Roman (Pompey’s inferiority complex was worse than Marius’) and needed to feel secure in his position/role of primus-inter-pares)
     
  3. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    And yet, they didn’t ally with Pompey until years after this time period.
     
  4. isabella Well-Known Member

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    Mar 22, 2012
    Because for them Pompey was still an half-Roman with delusions of grandeur AND a danger for the constituted order or Rome and they do not need him against Caesar...
     
  5. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Sounds like a reason to keep a rising star like Caesar away from him.