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?