Assess The Significance of the Military and Political Career of Marcus Crassus.

Essay by KevvyHigh School, 12th grade July 2003

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Essay One - Crassus

Marcus Licinius Crassus, one of the three informal "triumvirs" who helped bring an end to the Republic, unlike Pompey and Caesar, is a man about whom not much is known. Unlike his counterparts, little has been written about him, either at the time of his life or in more contemporary accounts of the period. However, that is not to say that his political and military career were not exceptionally important in the last decades of the Roman republic. Many of Crassus' military and political decisions attributed to both the rise to power of both Caesar and Pompey and ultimately the fall of the republic.

Crassus, though he achieved the position of Consul twice in his life and remained for most of his time the richest man in Rome, has had little written about him. Plutarch inexplicably leaves large gaps in his crucial biography. This may be due to the fact that, in this era of titans, Crassus was the moneyman and behind-the-scenes intriguer, not the adorned general.

Others believe it could be because he died four years before the civil war between Caesar and Pompey. Or perhaps Crassus is less visible because of the sheer prominence of his two great contemporaries and rivals whose own achievements surpassed his in every possible manner.

Crassus' military career began much like that of his greatest rival, Pompey. After fleeing Rome, fearing the wrath of Marius and Cinna, who had killed both his brother and father, Crassus raised an army in support of Sulla. . When Sulla entered into Italy, he sent Crassus to raise an army among the Marsi. Crassus then asked him for an escort through enemy territory. Sulla allegedly was angry, saying "I give you an escort - your father, your brother, your friends, and your...