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Old 08-08-2014, 10:33 PM   #197
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Lightbulb Crassus

Marcus Licinius Crassus (Latin: M·LICINIVS·P·F·P·N·CRASSVS;c. 115 BC – 53 BC) was a Roman general and politician who played a key role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Amassing an enormous fortune during his life, Crassus is considered the wealthiest man in Roman history, and among the richest men in all history..Crassus began his public career as a military commander under Lucius Cornelius Sulla during his civil war. Following Sulla's assumption of the dictatorship, Crassus amassed an enormous fortune through real estate speculation. Crassus rose to political prominence following his victory over the slave revolt led by Spartacus, sharing the Consulship with his rival Pompey the Great...

Marcus Licinius Crassus' next concern was to rebuild the fortunes of his family, which had been confiscated during the Marian-Cinnan proscriptions. According to Plutarch's "Life of Crassus", Crassus made most of his fortune through "rapine and fire". Sulla's proscriptions, in which the property of his victims was cheaply auctioned off, found one of the greatest acquirers of this type of property in Crassus: indeed, Sulla was especially supportive of this because he wished to spread around the blame as much as possible, among those unscrupulous to be glad to do so..

Some of Crassus' wealth was acquired conventionally, through traffic in slaves, production from silver mines, and speculative real estate purchases. Crassus tended to specialize in deals involving proscribed citizens and especially and notoriously purchasing during fires or structural collapse of buildings. When buildings were burning, Crassus and his purposely-trained crew would show up, and Crassus would offer to purchase the presumably doomed property and perhaps neighboring endangered properties from their owners for speculatively low sums; if the purchase offer was accepted, Crassus would then use his army of some 500 slaves which he purchased due to their knowledge of architecture and building to put the fire out, sometimes before too much damage had been done: otherwise Crassus would use his crews to rebuild. If his purchase offers were not accepted, then Crassus would not engage in firefighting. Crassus's slaves employed the Roman method of firefighting—destroying the burning building to curtail the spread of the flames.. Similar methods were used by Crassus in the common event of the collapse of the large Roman buildings known as insulae, which were notorious for their poor construction and unsafe conditions. Crassus was happy to cheaply construct new insulae using his slave labour force, in place of the old insulae which had collapsed and/or burned; however, he was known for his raising of rents rather than for his erection of improved residential structures.

Crassus was kinsman to Licinia, a Vestal Virgin, whose valuable property he coveted. Plutarch says: "And yet when he was further on in years, he was accused of criminal intimacy with Licinia, one of the vestal virgins and Licinia was formally prosecuted by a certain Plotius. Now Licinia was the owner of a pleasant villa in the suburbs which Crassus wished to get at a low price, and it was for this reason that he was forever hovering about the woman and paying his court to her, until he fell under the abominable suspicion. And in a way it was his avarice that absolved him from the charge of corrupting the vestal, and he was acquitted by the judges. But he did not let Licinia go until he had acquired her property...

Crassus received Syria as his province, which promised to be an inexhaustible source of wealth. It would have been had he not also sought military glory and crossed the Euphrates in an attempt to conquer Parthia. Crassus attacked Parthia not only because of its great source of riches, but because of a desire to match the military victories of his two major rivals, Pompey the Great and Julius Caesar. His legions were defeated at Carrhae (modern Harran in Turkey) in 53 BC by a numerically inferior Parthian force. Crassus' legions were mainly infantry men and were not prepared for the type of swift, cavalry-and-arrow attack that the Parthian troops were particularly adept at. The Parthians would get within shooting range, rain a barrage of arrows down upon Crassus's troops, turn, fall back, and charge forth with another attack in the same vein. They were even able to shoot as well backwards as they could forwards, increasing the deadliness of their onslaught.. Crassus refused his quaestor Gaius Cassius Longinus's plans to reconstitute the Roman battle line, and remained in the testudo formation thinking that the Parthians would eventually run out of arrows..Subsequently Crassus' men, being near mutiny, demanded he parley with the Parthians, who had offered to meet with him. Crassus, despondent at the death of his son Publius in the battle, finally agreed to meet the Parthian general; however, when Crassus mounted a horse to ride to the Parthian camp for a peace negotiation, his junior officer Octavius suspected a Parthian trap and grabbed Crassus' horse by the bridle, instigating a sudden fight with the Parthians that left the Roman party dead, including Crassus..The account given in Plutarch's biography of Crassus also mentions that, during the feasting and revelry in the wedding ceremony of Artavazd's sister to the Parthian king Orodes II's son and heir Pacorus in Artashat, Crassus' head was brought to Orodes II..Both kings were enjoying a performance of Euripides' Greek tragedy The Bacchae and a certain actor of the royal court, named Jason of Tralles, took the head and sang the following verses (also from the Bacchae)..

We bring from the mountain
A tendril fresh-cut to the palace
A wonderful prey..

Also according to Plutarch, a final mockery was made ridiculing the memory of Crassus, by dressing up a Roman prisoner, Caius Paccianus, who resembled him in appearance in women's clothing, calling him "Crassus" and "Imperator", and leading him in a spectacular show of a final, mock "triumphal procession", putting to ridiculous use the traditional symbols of Roman triumph and authority...The Bacchae is concerned with two opposite sides of man’s natures: There is the rational and civilized side, which is represented by the character of Pentheus, the king of Thebes, and then there is the instinctive side, which is represented by Dionysus. This side is sensual without analysis, it feels a connection between man and beast, and it is a potential source of divinity and spiritual power.. In Euripides’ plays the gods represent various human qualities, allowing the audience to grapple with considerations of the human condition. The Bacchae seems to be saying that it is perilous to deny or ignore the human desire for Dionysian experience; those who are open to the experience will find spiritual power, and those who suppress or repress the desire in themselves or others will transform it into a destructive force..Dionysus; Greek: Διόνυσος, Dionysos) was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and religious ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name, thought to be a theonym in Linear B tablets as di-wo-nu-so (KH Gq 5 inscription), shows that he may have been worshipped as early as c. 1500–1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks; other traces of the Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete..His origins are uncertain, and his cults took many forms; some are described by ancient sources as Thracian, others as Greek.. In some cults, he arrives from the east, as an Asiatic foreigner; in others, from Ethiopia in the South. He is a god of epiphany, "the god that comes", and his "foreignness" as an arriving outsider-god may be inherent and essential to his cults..At Delphi the Theophania (Θεοφάνια) or Theophanies was an annual festival in spring celebrating the return of Apollo from his winter quarters in Hyperborea. The culmination of the festival was a display of an image of the gods, usually hidden in the sanctuary, to worshippers. Later Roman mystery religions often included similar brief displays of images to excited worshippers..He was also known as Bacchus (Greek: Βάκχος, Bakkhos), the name adopted by the Romans and the frenzy he induces, bakkheia.. His thyrsus is sometimes wound with ivy and dripping with honey. It is a beneficent wand but also a weapon, and can be used to destroy those who oppose his cult and the freedoms he represents.. His cult is also a "cult of the souls"; his maenads feed the dead through blood-offerings, and he acts as a divine
communicant between the living and the dead... around you.. You'll see women of all sizes.. 500 sesterces deposit on Varinia.. Since he hasn't Paid, this gives me first call over Crassus..We have visitors.. Tremendous visitors!. Two simply enormous Roman lords on the hill..How easily impressed you are, Ramon. Just 'cause they're Romans, I suppose they're enormous.. Tell them to wait for me when they arrive..Master, you don't understand!.How enormous do these Roman lords get?..One of them is Marcus Licinius Crassus..What? Wait a minute. Crassus here? Varinia, my red toga with the acorns.. And some chairs in the atrium.. Second-best wine..No, the best, but small goblets...

Last edited by lightgiver; 08-08-2014 at 10:48 PM.
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