It was every man for himself.
The First Triumvirate was collapsing. Julia, the beloved daughter of Julius Caesar and adored wife of Pompey the Great, died in childbirth in 54 BC. Her daughter lived only a few days. Pompey fell into deep mourning, which was unusual. This was a time when upper-class marriages were only means to an end—forging political alliances, in the case of Pompey and Caesar, populating the Republic with more elite male citizens (especially in a time when infant mortality—and disposing of girl babies on trash heaps—was at an all time high), and propping up one’s bank account.
The upper classes of Rome made fun of Pompey behind his back because he was actually in love with his wife.
With her death, Pompey was sidelined for a while by grief and the thin bonds tying him to Caesar, his rival for power, were gone.
Love is powerful, and should never be underestimated.
Beard, Mary. “SPQR.” Profile Books, 2015.
Cambridge University Press. “Chapter IX – Death of Crassus.’ Retrieved February 24, 2022 from https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/abs/history-of-rome/death-of-crassus-rupture-between-the-joint-rulers/D36A4FE9BB14E712845F2BFDA7209D97
Duncan, Mike. “The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic.” Public Affairs, 2017.
Everitt, Anthony. “Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician.” Random House, 2011.
Goodman, Rob and Soni, Jimmy. “Rome’s Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar.” St. Martin’s Press, 2012.
Houser, James. “53 BC – The Battle of Carrhae and the Death of Crassus.” Retrieved February 24, 2022 from https://www.unknownsoldierspodcast.com/post/53-bc-the-battle-of-carrhae-and-the-death-of-crassus
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