One of the well-known members was
Crassus gained immense prestige—along with Pompey —for suppressing the uprising of Spartacus . They were both consuls together in 70 BC, and Crassus' rivalry and jealousy of Pompey grew. He was involved in plotting against Catiline , apparently secretly encouraging the conspiracy but not directly participating in it. He and Julius Caesar drew closer together, Crassus hoping to use Caesar's ability, Caesar (deep in debt) hoping to use Crassus' money.
Caesar, seeing that he needed stronger support than Crassus, created (60 BC) the First Triumvirate—Crassus, Pompey, and Caesar. With Crassus' envy of Pompey and Pompey's scorn of Crassus, the arrangement worked only because of Caesar's consummate ability in handling men. Crassus seems to have backed the political maneuvers of the notorious Clodius , and trouble was stirred up between Crassus and Pompey. Caesar called both of them to Lucca, where in 56 BC a conference reaffirmed the alliance.
Crassus and Pompey were again consuls together in 55. Crassus managed to get Syria assigned for his proconsular service in 54. Avid for military glory, he left even before his term as consul was up to undertake a campaign against the Parthians. His ambition outran his ability. After early successes, his army was completely routed at Carrhae (modern Haran) by Parthian archers in 53 BC Crassus in this disgrace was treacherously murdered, and Caius Cassius Longinus (see Cassius ) had difficulty in saving even the remnants of the army.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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