Marcus Licinius Crassus was one of the richest Romans in history. One of his ways to become rich was organizing a “fire brigade”.
It is worth mentioning that in the half of the 1st century BCE in Rome, there were no fire fighting services. On the other hand, the fire was a common cataclysm in Rome. To a large extent, wooden buildings and city crush meant that a small spark was enough to start a fire that spread easily.
But how did the Crassus’ “fire brigade” worked? At the time when the fire broke out Crassus with his “firemen” (a group of 500 slaves – architects and builders) appeared on the spot and first bought the building with the earth for a very low price, and only then his people proceeded to extinguish the fire. In this way, Crassus became the owner of a large part of Roman real estate.
Plutarch, Crassus, 2.3–4
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