The end of the First Triumvirate

Clodius formed armed gangs that terrorised the city and eventually began to attack Pompey's followers, who in response funded counter-gangs formed by Titus Annius Milo. The political alliance of the triumvirate was crumbling. Domitius Ahenobarbus ran for the consulship in 55 BC promising to take Caesar's command from him. Eventually, the triumvirate was renewed at Lucca. Pompey and Crassus were promised the consulship in 55 BC, and Caesar's term as governor was extended for five years. Crassus led an ill-fated expedition with legions led by his son, Caesar's lieutenant, against the Kingdom of Parthia. This resulted in his defeat and death at the Battle of Carrhae. Finally, Pompey's wife, Julia, who was Caesar's daughter, died in childbirth. This event severed the last remaining bond between Pompey and Caesar. Beginning in the summer of 54 BC, a wave of political corruption and violence swept Rome.[66] This chaos reached a climax in January of 52 BC, when Clodius was murdered in a gang war by Milo. On 1 January of 49 BC, an agent of Caesar presented an ultimatum to the senate. The ultimatum was rejected, and the senate then passed a resolution which declared that if Caesar did not lay down his arms by July of that year, he would be considered an enemy of the Republic.[67] On 7 January of 49 BC, the senate passed a senatus consultum ultimum, which vested Pompey with dictatorial powers. Pompey's army, however, was comp sed largely of untested conscripts. On 10 January, Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his veteran army (in violation of Roman laws) and marched towards Rome. Caesar's rapid advance forced Pompey, the consuls and the Senate to abandon Rome for Greece. Caesar entered the city unopposed. The Battle of Carrhae, fought in 53 BC near the town of Carrhae, was an important battle between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic. The Parthian Spahbod Surena decisively defeated a Roman invasion force led by Marcus Licinius Crassus. It was the first of the battles between the Roman and Persian empires, and one of the most crushing defeats in Roman history. Crassus, a member of the First Triumvirate and the wealthiest man in Rome, had been enticed by the prospect of military glory and riches and decided to invade Parthia without the official consent of the Senate. Rejecting an offer from the Armenian King Artavasdes II to invade Parthia via Armenia, Crassus marched his army directly through the deserts of Mesopotamia. His army clashed with Surena's force near Carrhae, a small town in modern-day Turkey. Despite being heavily outnumbered, Surena's cavalry completely outmaneuvered the Roman heavy infantry, killing or capturing most of the Roman soldiers. Crassus himself was killed when truce negotiations turned violent. His death led to the end of the First Triumvirate and the resulting civil wars between Julius Caesar and Pompey.