Were a board of three in Roman public life, of many different kinds, usually elected by the people. For the annual tresviri monetales and capitales/nocturni see vigintisexviri. Apart from these, under the republic the most common triumviri were agrarian. The most famous triumvirate consisted of Mark Antony (Marcus Antonius ), Aemilius Lepidus 2, and Octavian (see Augustus), created in 43 bc by the lex Titia. This was originally to last until 1 January 37, but the triumvirs did not resign then, and it was renewed the following summer for another five years. Their title (‘triumvirs for putting the state in order’) was appropriate to a political crisis, but of the three only Octavian was to take a significant interest in Rome and Italy and even he undertook no major reforms as triumvir. Although republican institutions continued to function and their imperium was only consular, the triumvirs assumed a supreme authority, appropriate to an emergency, both in Rome and abroad, one that overarched consuls, provincial governors (it is not clear whether their imperium was actually defined as maius), and, where necessary, the law. In particular they suspended normal judicial process in decreeing the proscriptions. Lepidus was forced into retirement in 36; Antony used the title until his death in 30; Octavian seems to have dropped the title at the end of 33 but formally abolished the triumviral emergency only in 28.
Subjects: Classical Studies.