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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates

THE HISTORY OF OLD ROME

V. The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson


The History of Old Rome

Chapter IX - Death of Crassus - Rupture between the Joint Rulers

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» Contents of this Chapter

Crassus Goes to Syria ||| Expedition against Parthia Resolved on ||| Plan of the Campaign ||| The Euphrates Crossed ||| The March in the Desert ||| Roman and Parthian Systems of Warfare ||| Battle near Carrhae ||| Retreat to Carrhae - Departure from Carrhae - Surprise at Sinnaca ||| Consequences of the Defeat ||| Repulse of the Parthians ||| Impression Produced in Rome by the Defeat of Carrhae ||| The Good Understanding between the Regents Relaxed ||| Dictatorship of Pompeius - Covert Attacks by Pompeius on Caesar ||| The Old Party Names and the Pretenders ||| The Democracy and Caesar ||| The Aristocracy and Pompeius ||| The Republicans ||| Their League with Pompeius ||| Passive Resistance of Caesar ||| Preparation for Attacks on Caesar - Attempt to Keep Caesar Out of the Consulship ||| Attempt to Shorten Caesar's Governorship ||| Debates as to Caesar's Recall ||| Counter-Arrangements of Caesar ||| Curio ||| Debates as to the Recall of Caesar and Pompeius ||| Caesar and Pompeius Both Recalled ||| Declaration of War ||| The Ultimatum of Caesar ||| Last Debate in the Senate ||| Caesar Marches into Italy


Crassus Goes to Syria

Marcus Crassus had for years been reckoned among the heads of the "three-headed monster," without any proper title to be so included. He served as a makeweight to trim the balance between the real regents Pompeius and Caesar, or, to speak more accurately, his weight fell into the scale of Caesar against Pompeius. This part is not a too reputable one; but Crassus was never hindered by any keen sense of honour from pursuing his own advantage. He was a merchant and was open to be dealt with.

What was offered to him was not much; but, when more was not to be got, he accepted it, and sought to forget the ambition that fretted him, and his chagrin at occupying a position so near to power and yet so powerless, amidst his always accumulating piles of gold. But the conference at Luca changed the state of matters also for him; with the view of still retaining the preponderance as compared with Pompeius after concessions so extensive, Caesar gave to his old confederate Crassus an opportunity of attaining in Syria through the Parthian war the same position to which Caesar had attained by the Celtic war in Gaul.

It was difficult to say whether these new prospects proved more attractive to the ardent thirst for gold which had now become at the age of sixty a second nature and grew only the more intense with every newly-won million, or to the ambition which had been long repressed with difficulty in the old man's breast and now glowed in it with restless fire. He arrived in Syria as early as the beginning of 700; he had not even waited for the expiry of his consulship to depart. Full of impatient ardour he seemed desirous to redeem every minute with the view of making up for what he had lost, of gathering in the treasures of the east in addition to those of the west, of achieving the power and glory of a general as rapidly as Caesar, and with as little trouble as Pompeius.

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