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In ancient Rome, usually a board of three officials who assisted higher magistrates in judicial functions, oversaw festival banquets, or ran the mint. The First Triumvirate (60 BC) of Pompey, Julius Caesar, and Crassus was an informal group of three strong leaders with no sanctioned powers. The Second Triumvirate (43 BC), consisting of Mark Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian (later Augustus)formally tresviri rei publicae constituendae (triumvirate for organizing the state)held absolute dictatorial power.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on triumvirate, visit Britannica.com.