Marcus Licinius Crassus

578 Words3 Pages
Marcus Licinius Crassus Marcus Crassus was born around 115 B.C., though this date is not certain. He was the son of Publius Crassus who had served as consul and held various other offices. When Marius the Younger captured the city in 87 B.C., Crassus fled from Rome to Spain where his father had been governor. Crassus' father and brother became victims of Marius' proscription list during this time. Crassus was a successful officer during the Civil War from 83-82 B.C. He managed to win a key battle, the Battle of Colline Gate, which ensured Sulla a victory in the Civil War when he had thought all hope was lost. Even so, Crassus was never a big supporter of Sulla's constitution. After Crassus supposedly tampered with proscription lists, Sulla never completely trusted him again. After the defeat of Marius and his followers, Crassus made a fortune by confiscating their land. Since fires were common in Rome at this time, Crassus also set up his own fire brigade. When property would catch fire, Crassus and his fire brigade would rush to the scene, he would buy the property very cheaply, and the brigade would put out the fire. It is actually thought that Crassus' men started many of these fires. It did not take Crassus long to become the wealthiest man in Rome. In 72 B.C., a slave named Spartacus escaped from a gladiator school and led a slave revolt. After many attempts, Crassus managed conquer Spartacus and his army of 90,000 men. This was seen as a great victory in the eyes of the Senate, but Pompey managed to take most of the credit. This only fueled Crassus and Pompey's hatred for one another. Neither Crassus nor Pompey was popular with the Senate. Because of this, the two men saw a need to work together, even though they despised one another. In 70 B.C., Crassus and Pompey became consuls. Both retired after their yearlong service, but Pompey did not stay out of politics long. Crassus refused to let Pompey steal the limelight. He also feared that if Pompey got too powerful, that his name would be on the top of Pompey's proscription list. Crassus decided the only way to protect himself was to amass a huge army. He gained support for his army by loaning money to various individuals and by being a legal representative for the wealthy.

More about Marcus Licinius Crassus

Open Document