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Marcus Aemilius Lepidus

Updated on November 1, 2009
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Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (89-12 B.C.), Roman triumvir. Son of the ill-fated consul of the same name, he attained the praetorship in 49 B.C. Lepidus joined Caesar's side in the civil war of 49-45. He proposed the law by which Caesar was appointed dictator in 49, and in turn, he became consul in 46 and Caesar's master of the horse in 46.

After Caesar's assassination in 44, Lepidus took command of Narbonensis and Nearer Spain and collaborated with Mark Antony. In 43 he joined Antony and Octavian (the future Emperor Augustus) to form the "second triumvirate" which secured supreme power in Rome. His ineptitude and lack of a strong following soon caused him to be pushed into the background.

After an unsuccessful intrigue in 36 B.C., he was stripped of his triumviral powers by Octavian. Retaining only the honorary post of pontifex maximus, Lepidus lived in retirement at Circeii on the Latium coast until his death.

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