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Crassus – richest Roman in history

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Mark Licinius Crassus
Mark Licinius Crassus

Marcus Crassus was certainly the richest Roman of the 1st century BCE, if not the richest in all Rome’s history. He made a lot of money on construction, silver mining and loans for interest. He organized a “fire brigade” for the city of Rome. 

At the time when the fire broke out Crassus with his “firemen” (a unit of 500 slaves) appeared on the spot and first bought a burning building with the ground for a small amount of money, and only then his people proceeded to extinguish the fire.

In this way he became the owner of a large part of Roman real estate. Crassus also increased wealth in a more traditional way, engaging in slave trade.

Wealth of Crassus, Pliny the Elder described on 200 million sesterces. According to Plutarch, his wealth grew from less than 300 to 7100 talents. Literally, his fortune was 229 tons of gold. A huge fortune meant that Crassus had a strong position on the political scene of republican Rome and carried out his political plans through bribery. Crassus’ large financial support allowed to “spread the wings” of Caesar.

Sources
  • Piegdoń Maciej, Krassus. Polityk niespełnionych ambicji, Kraków 2011

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