The First Triumvirate was the political alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus. Unlike the Second Triumvirate, the First Triumvirate had no official status whatsoever: its overwhelming power in the Roman Republic was strictly unofficial influence, and was in fact kept secret for some time as part of the political machinations of the Triumvirs themselves. It was formed in 60 BC and lasted until Crassus’ death in 53 BC.
After he was defeated by Caesar, Pompey fled to seek refuge in Egypt. He was greeted, however, with mixed feelings. It was considered dangerous for Egypt to receive Pompey, for doing so would make Caesar their enemy. On the other hand, refusal to receive Pompey was dangerous, for doing so would make Pompey their enemy, and, though powerless now, he might one day be in a position to seek vengeance. It was wisest, therefore, to destroy him: they decided to invite him to shore, and to kill him when he landed. An Egyptian named Achillas was appointed to conduct the assassination, but there was also a Roman officer, a fellow soldier of Pompey, aboard the small boat which took them from Pompey’s galley to the shore. As Pompey stepped onto the shore, the Roman officer stabbed him in the back, whilst Achillas and the others simultaneously drew their swords. Pompey died on the shore as his wife watched the scene from the galley, screaming in despair.