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Marcus Licinius Crassus
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Politician
    (circa 115 BC-53 BC)
    General and politician
    Richest man in the Roman empire
    Defeated the forces of Spartacus during the Third Servile War (73-71 BC)
    With Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great formed the First Triumvirate to rule Rome (60 BC)
    Died in the battle of Carrhae
    He built his fortune by seizing the property of people condemned to death by the dictator Sulla.
    On at least one occasion, he added to the list of the condemned the name of a man whose fortune he coveted.
    He established a private fire fighting company that he used to further his fortune.
    When a building was on fire, he would show up and offer to buy the property and adjacent buildings that were threatened; buildings that were sold were saved while the fire was allowed to spread to property whose owners objected to the purchase price.
    During the war against Spartacus, he ordered the execution of one out of every ten men in a Roman legion that had retreated from battle.
    He unsuccessfully tried to trap Spartacus by building a wall across southern Italy, apparently having failed to notice that the same tactic had been tried, with equal lack of success, against Hannibal during the Punic Wars.
    He captured 6,000 followers of Spartacus and ordered them crucified along the roads to Rome.
    Jealous of Caesar and Pompey's military reputations, he led a campaign to conquer Parthia.
    He ignored the military advice from his underlings, resulting in Rome's biggest defeat since the Punic Wars.
    After his death, the Parthians reportedly cut off his head and poured molten gold down his throat as a symbol of his greed.
    He equipped and trained the army that fought against Spartacus at his own expense.
    After the victory over Spartacus, Pompey stole his thunder by writing a letter to the Roman Senate claiming credit for ending the war.
    He celebrated his election to consul by giving each family in Rome enough grain to last three months (70 BC).
    After the battle of Carrhae, he accepted an offer to negotiate with the Parthian general, only to be killed after arriving in their camp.
    His head reportedly was used as a prop in a play celebrating the marriage of the Parthian king's son.

Credit: C. Fishel


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