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Terrible death of Crassus

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Marcus Crassus
Marcus Crassus

Marcus Licinius Crassus (114-53 BCE) was killed shortly after the battle of Carrhae (53 BCE) by the Parthians who, according to Roman tradition, poured liquid gold into his throat. Mocking the rich man, he was asked how he liked it. Crassus’s head was then beheaded and sent to the Great Parthian King – Orodes II – to Seleucia on the Tigris.

Greek actors at Orodes ‘court reportedly used it as a stage prop during the staging of Euripides’ Bacchae.

What’s more, according to the message of Plutarch of Chaeronea, during the performance one of the Roman prisoners – a certain Caius Paccianus, who resembled Crassus in appearance – was dressed in a woman’s outfit and he was called “Crassus” and “Emperor”, showing him in a “triumphal march” which was another mockery of the chief and Roman pride.

More about Marcus Crassus

  • Cassius Dio, Roman history, 40.27
  • Piegdoń Maciej, Krassus. Polityk niespełnionych ambicji, Kraków 2011
  • Plutarch, Crassus

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