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.
Cato the Younger is once more behind the times, finally realizing the truth about Pompey and Caesar, and what it means for the Roman Republic.Subscribe to History's Trainwrecks
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