The word triumvirate is a term that comes from the Latin ” triumvirātus” or ” trium virorum ” which can be translated as ” of three men “. Particularly in this case, we are faced with the Latin prefix tri -, which is closely associated with the Indo-European root trei, which has the meaning three , although it is also present in the words trivial and tribe; a vir that means man , such as in virtue and virile and the suffix – atus or – ato , in our language, which means effect or result. One of the definitions that the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) gives us makes mention of the magistracy of three different individuals that existed a long time ago in Ancient Rome.


What is the triumvirate?

The term triumvirate refers to the magistracy of the Roman republic that existed in ancient times and in which three different people intervened. It is a group of three people who are in charge of directing any company or matter.

  • What is the triumvirate
  • History
  • Characteristics of the triumvirate
  • Advantage
  • Disadvantages
  • Examples of triumvirate

What is the triumvirate

The triumvirate consists of the alliance that occurs between three rulers, companies or affairs to be able to govern together.



The First Triumvirate that existed was the one of Roman origin which was formed by Marco Licinius Crassus , Cneo Pompeyo Magno and Gaius Julius Caesar between the years 60 and 53 before Christ. It is important to mention that this alliance never became official. Some time later the Second Roman Triumvirate originated, which was formed by César Octaviano , Marco Emilio Lépido and Marco Antonio .

In 70 BC, Generals Crassus and Pompey , who were consuls, decided to repeal the aristocratic constitution that had been drawn up by Lucio Cornelio Sila Félix, who in turn was a Roman dictator and a member of the optimates, an aristocratic faction of the Republic. At that time Pompey was famous for having fought many fights against the pirates of the Mediterranean Sea and a group of rebels in Asia , and Crassus had fought against the insubordination of the slaves of Spartacus. and he was especially interested in ending her once and for all, for which he was counting on the income he managed to earn from the slave trade.

They succeeded in their activities and returned to Rome , where Gaius Julius Caesar, who was not so powerful at the time, joined them and promised to fulfill the role of reconciler . This alliance remained secret until the Roman Senate blocked the Agrarian Law of Julius Caesar and his companions had to use their influence in public to get it passed.

Characteristics of the triumvirate

The main characteristics of a triumvirate are:

  • It is made up of three people who are allied with each other.
  • It arose in Ancient Rome .
  • They arose to be able to control the political scene .
  • The term is also used to designate political alliances that have occurred in the Soviet Union.


The advantages of applying a triumvirate are as follows:

  • The decisions that are made cannot fall on the same person.
  • Three of them could make the important decisions.


The disadvantages of the triumvirate are as follows:

  • They contentiously control people’s rights.
  • It clearly responds to the most backward interests of the bourgeois class and the traditional businessmen of the republic.
  • The participants look for a way to exercise control over the political scene.
  • It is not known exactly who is in charge or who has the power .

Examples of triumvirate

Roman triumvirate

In the 1st century BC, Rome was going through one of the worst moments of the Republic and the political climate became increasingly heavy, giving rise to factions , formed by urban guerrillas that turned the Eternal City into a battlefield.

At that time the government of the republic offered three major military personnel to establish political control. In this way the Roman triumvirate originated , made up of three people of different lines. There were two different triumvirates that were:

  • The first Roman triumvirate : it was created so that the generals could take control of the situation that existed and were:  Pompey the Great , Licinius Crassus and Julius Caesar .
  • The second triumvirate : it was formed after Julius Caesar died and with the aim of preventing those who had killed him from coming to power in Rome . The participants were:  Octavio , Emilio and Lépido.

Triumvirate in Argentina

The First Triumvirate ruled the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata between September 23, 1811 and October 8, 1812. It was a body made up of three members. It was founded after the Buenos Aires Cabildo overthrew the Junta Grande and its members were:

  • Since September 23, 1811: Feliciano Antonio Chiclana, Manuel de Sarratea and Juan José Paso.
  • Since April 1812: Feliciano Chiclana, Manuel de Sarratea and Juan Martín de Pueyrredón.

Triumvirate in the Dominican Republic

It originated as a result of the overthrow of the constitutional government and was formed by members of the civic bourgeoisie . A de facto regime was established causing a coup that damaged democracy and freedom in the country. The triumvirate was made up of:

  • Emilio de los Santos (president)
  • Ramon Tapia Espinal
  • Manuel Tavares Espaillat

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