Lucius Licinius Crassus

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L. Licinius L. f. C. n. Crassus (born C. Laelio Q. Caepione cos. (DCXIV a.u.c.), died a.d. XIII Kal. Oct. L. Philippo Sex. Caesare cos. (DCLXIII a.u.c.)) was one of the most distinguished statesmen of his day and was accounted the greatest, or at least one of the two greatest, orators in Roman history up to the time of Hortensius and Cicero.


Family and upbringing

L. Crassus was born C. Laelio Q. Caepione cos. (DCXIV a.u.c.).[1]

 He was a member of an illustrious gens.[2]

 His family is less certain: from inscriptions Crassus is known to have been the son (probably the eldest and possibly the only) of a father with the same name, but nothing is known about this father or about anyone of that name who might be identified as the same person.  Indeed the praenomen Lucius is unusual among the recorded Licinii Crassi.  More common is the praenomen of Crassus' grandfather, C. Crassus, who may perhaps have been the consul of that name who shared his consulate with L. Paullus.  At any rate he had curule magistrates somewhere among his direct ancestors, or so Cicero believed.[3]

 Cicero describes P. Crassus and P. Crassus Dives as his relatives, but close links to other Licinii Crassi are not greatly in evidence in Crassus' life.[4]

Crassus was educated by L. Coelius Antipater the historian, jurist, and orator, whose friend he remained throughout life.[5]

 It was from him or perhaps from other teachers that he learned the basics of rhetorical theory.[6]

 Crassus was also to some extent self-educated, for he devised (or picked up second-hand) a number of improving exercises that he later recommended to aspiring orators.[7]

 Another teacher, not of rhetoric but of law, was Q. Scaevola.[8]

The young orator

As has been remarked, though technically a nobilis, Crassus' was the son of a possibly obscure father and not apparently closely related to any very significant public figures; thus he built his public career not (or not only) on ancestry but on oratory.

Military service

The ordinary Roman political career in previous generations had begun with ten years' compulsory military service, beginning about the age of 17.[9]

 It appears, however, that Crassus was in Rome much of the time during his 20s, since he made a number of known speeches, both in trials and in political debates.  It is not clear how this happened, but Crassus was probably not a unique case.[10]

 Cicero, born 34 years after him, apparently had the spare time to appear in court several times in his mid-twenties as well as to study under the philosopher Apollonius Molo in Rome; and M. Caelius Rufus, Cicero's younger contemporary, started his oratorical career in Rome in his late 20s.  But Cicero had served under Cn. Pompeius Strabo in the Italian war when he was about 18, and Caelius had similarly served in Africa under Q. Pompeius Rufus before taking his first case in the courts, so even if they did not serve a strict ten years they certainly served some time.[11]

 Crassus, however, seems to have begun his oratorical career earlier than they did, for he conducted his first notable case probably at the age of only 21 and was certainly speaking in the forum and even accepting political appointments the following year.  If he did no military service at all he would certainly have been very unusual both in his own generation and the next.[12]

 Perhaps not unique: Crassus' contemporary and enemy M. Brutus, also an advocate, was accused of never having seen an army-camp; but this accusation was made by Crassus himself in the course of a sharp exchange in court, which first of all means that it may be an exaggeration and secondly may make us wonder whether Crassus could have got away with such an accusation if the very same thing could have been said about him.[13]

 But any time Crassus did serve in the army could not have been longer than five or six years, even if he began at 15 or 16.[14]

In C. Carbonem

Crassus' first notable accomplishment as an orator was his prosecution of C. Papirius Carbo, apparently L. Metello L. Cotta cos. (DCXXXV a.u.c.) just after Carbo's consulate. Carbo had been an associate of C. Sempronius Gracchus but distanced himself from Gracchus after the latter's death and even defended his killer in court.[15]

 The charge on which Carbo was prosecuted is unknown.[16]

 In any case, Carbo anticipated conviction and killed himself, and the prosecution evidently established Crassus as a rising star of the law-courts.[17]

 It is not known how far, if at all, the trial had progressed before Carbo gave up hope, and his despair may have been prompted as much by the political power of his enemies as by the rhetorical powers of his accuser; nonetheless, Crassus, only 21 years old, had defeated a consular who was also a very distinguished orator, and Cicero identifies this as the case which brought him to prominence.[18]

De colonia Narbonem deducenda

In the following year, M. Catone Q. Rege cos. (DCXXXVI a.u.c.), Crassus made a speech in support of the foundation of a colony, proposed by the consul Q. Marcius Rex, in Gallia Narbonensis.[19]

 The political context of the debate is lost, but the issue seems to have been hotly contested, with the people in favour of the colony and the senate opposed to it, for Cicero says that Crassus "wanted to take up a popular cause in the matter of the Narbonese colony and to found that colony himself, as indeed he did", and that in his speech "he disparaged as much as he could the authority of the senate".[20]

 Again Crassus found himself on the winning side, although again we cannot be sure whether this success was the result of his own talents or other political factors: the colony of Narbo Martius was duly approved, and Crassus was one of the duumviri sent out to supervise its foundation.[21]

Pro Licinia

The next of Crassus' exploits that claimed the attention of history came C. Metello Cn. Carbone cos. (DCXLI a.u.c.) when Crassus was 27.[22]

 The previous year a young woman named Helvia, the daughter of a Roman eques, had been struck by lightning and was found lying dead in such a shocking state that it was regarded as a fearful portent.[23]

 It was interpreted as foretelling a disgrace for virgins and for the equestrian class.[24]

 This prompted a certain Manius, the slave of the Italian orator T. Betutius Barrus, to come forward with information against certain Vestal virgins whom he accused of having sexual relations with various men.[25]

 After further investigations, three Vestals, Marcia, Aemilia, and Licinia, were brought to trial before the pontifex maximus, accused of liaisons with a number of men including equites.[26]

 The pontifex maximus, after taking the advice of the whole collegium pontificum, condemned Aemilia but acquitted the others; but this caused a public outcry, and consequently a special court was set up under the presidency of L. Cassius Longinus which condemned all three.[27]

 Licinia was possibly a first cousin and at any rate a relative of Crassus, who made a speech in her defence which Cicero describes as "very eloquent".[28]


At this point it is perhaps worth looking back over the first five years of Crassus' public career to see what can be discerned of his political views and allegiances during that period. The time of the Gracchi had seen an alliance of the many equites with the rural plebs against the opposition of senatorial conservatism. A number of important nobiles had also supported the Gracchi. These included P. Mucius Scaevola and his brother P. Licinius Crassus Dives Mucianus, each of whom may have had links to the young L. Crassus. P. Crassus was, of course, his adoptive relative; P. Scaevola was the father of Q. Scaevola, with whom Crassus enjoyed a famous partnership throughout his political career: they were colleagues in every office Crassus held except the tribunate and the censorship.[29]

 They must have been born within a year or so of one another and may well have grown up together.  P. Scaevola and P. Crassus also had a first cousin, another Q. Scaevola, whose daughter Mucia married L. Crassus some time before M. Catone Q. Rege cos. (DCXXXVI a.u.c.).[30]

It seems, however, that Crassus' father-in-law had kept his distance from the Gracchi and their radical agenda, though he equally condemned those who murdered them and persecuted their followers.[31]

 He was, in fact, a member of a loose group of prominent men who had either kept quiet or steered a middle course in the Gracchan crisis and who came to dominate the political scene in the decade afterwards.  This group appears to have been centred on the large and noble family of the Caecilii Metelli.  It also included the Servilii Caepiones, one of whom was the Q. Caepio whose lex iudiciaria Crassus supported Q. Caepione C. Serrano cos. (DCXLVIII a.u.c.) and whose son he later praised L. Crasso Q. Scaevola cos. (DCLIX a.u.c.); the same Caepio was also related by marriage to Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus who was Crassus' colleague as duumvir and probably joined him in supporting the colony at Narbo.[32]

 Crassus is tied to the Metelli also through his daughters: one later married the younger C. Marius, son of the famous Marius who was a protégé of the Metelli; the other married P. Scipio Nasica, the son of a woman of the Metellan family.[33]

 Much later in his life Crassus was friends with Q. Metellus Numidicus, but we cannot tell when the friendship began.[34]


It appears that, at this time, the Metelli and their allies were making efforts to capture the support of the equites and to espouse policies which, though far less radical than those of the Gracchi, were nonetheless favourable to businessmen, farmers of moderate means, and others outside the narrow senatorial elite.[35]

 This provides a sensible context for Crassus' early career.

Some have thought that the prosecution of C. Carbo L. Metello L. Cotta cos. (DCXXXV a.u.c.) was engineered by the senatorial group which had opposed the Gracchi but which disliked Carbo for unrelated reasons.[36]

 This same group had, however, helped him to the consulate only the year before, and it is more likely that the prosecution was driven either by Gracchan sympathizers such as P. Crassus and P. Scaevola (in revenge for his desertion) or else by the Metellans (simply to get a dangerous and unpopular rival out of the way).[37]

 Either would explain the involvement of L. Crassus, who had links to both groups.  In any case the prosecution would have been a popular move among poorer citizens, which chimes with Crassus' somewhat populist stance over the Narbonese colony.  The surviving fragment of Crassus' speech is framed more from an anti-Gracchan or moderate point of view, but this may well have been calculated to appeal to the jury and may tell us little about the motive of the prosecution or about Crassus' own views at the time.[38]

 There is no evidence that Crassus had any personal reason to dislike Carbo, though this cannot be ruled out.[39]

The matter of the colony is rather obscure, but we may note that in general in this period the founding of colonies was seen as a way of providing for poor citizens and was therefore more a Gracchan than a senatorial policy.[40]

 The colony at Narbo may have been a continuation of this Gracchan policy.  Alternatively (or perhaps in addition) it may have been seen as a business-friendly move in the interests of the equites, since it would help to protect northern trade routes and promote Romanization in southern Gaul.[41]

 Traditionalists tended to resist the foundation of colonies partly because the inhabitants of a new colony would tend to become clients of the men responsible for founding it, and recent years had shown the dangers of Roman politicans having large concentrations of clients in the Italian countryside.  At any rate it is clear that the Narbonese proposal was a popular one and was opposed by the senate, thus again placing Crassus in the moderate, if not Gracchan, tradition.

The affair of the Vestals may have been entirely apolitical, and Crassus' involvement may have been purely on account of his family ties to Licinia. It has been suggested, however, that the prosecution of Aemilia, Licinia, and Marcia was partly in indirect retribution by members of the priestly colleges against C. Licinius Crassus (probably the father of Licinia), Q. Marcius Rex, and M. Aemilius Lepidus Porcina (possibly the fathers of Marcia and Aemilia respectively), all of whom had recently clashed with the priestly authorities.[42]

 In the case of C. Crassus, the clash was over his efforts to introduce an element of popular election into the selection of priests.   So if this was a factor in the prosecutions, L. Crassus' involvement is again in opposition to the entrenched powers of the political elite.

Crassus' early political activity, therefore, could broadly be called progressive and even anti-establishment, though not to the same extent as the Gracchi; and he may have pursued it with the support of the Metellan group and / or the remnants of the Gracchan party.[43]

 It was in this mode, and with these allies, that he began the ascend the cursus honorum.

The young politician

Crassus does not seem to have sailed easily up the cursus honorum: he achieved the praetura some two or three years after he first became eligible, and he first had to hold not only the tribunatus but also the aedilitas, whereas many of his contemporaries were able to do without one or other of these offices.[44]

 No doubt throughout these years he also continued to appear in the courts.

Multae causae

Regrettably, Crassus rather disappears from view in the five years between the trial of the Vestals and his first ordinary magistracy, the quaestura, at least in as much as none of his activities can be securely dated to this period. He made many appearances in court, about most of which we know nothing except that they established Crassus as one of the foremost orators of his generation.[45]

A number of Crassus' court-cases are known through casual references in the sources but cannot be dated with any confidence. They are summarized here, but it must be remembered that any or all of them may belong not to this period but to other moments in his forensic career.

The case against Cn. Carbo is Crassus' best attested early prosecution, but probably not his first. Cicero tells the story that when Crassus was very young ("adulescentulus") and opening his case in a prosecution in the court of the praetor Q. Maximus he was so nervous that he completely went to bits and had to be rescued by Maximus kindly adjourning the hearing.[46]

 Another probably criminal case concerned a certain Piso, though we do not know on which side Crassus appeared; by skilful cross-examination Crassus turned the court against a witness named Silus.[47]

Though criminal cases are more likely to be recorded by the sources, we do know of private-law cases in which Crassus appeared. One was between C. Sergius Orata and a certain Considius, in which Crassus was apparently advocate for C. Sergius.[48]

 The case apparently concerned a contract related to the public water-supply and perhaps concerned rights of fishing in the lacus Lucrinus, but little is recorded except Crassus' witticism that if Orata, a pioneer of artificial and indoor fisheries, could not get oysters from the lake he would be able to find them among his roof-tiles.  In another private case Crassus represented his friend C. Visellius Aculeo against M. Marius Gratidianus, who was represented by the deformed orator L. Aelius Lamia; the iudex in the case was M. Perperna.[49]

 Again the case is recorded not for its contents but for a pair of jokes by Crassus at the expense of Lamia's appearance and oratorical skill.

A case that can be dated slightly more confidently, perhaps M'. Balbo C. Catone cos. (DCXL a.u.c.) or P. Scipione L. Bestia cos. (DCXLIII a.u.c.), was the trial of L. Piso, charged apparently with res repetundae.[50]

 Crassus was Piso's advocate at the trial and appears to have secured his acquittal.[51]

The quaestor

The date when Crassus held his first regular magistracy, the quaestura, is not directly attested, but M. Rufo Sp. Albino cos. (DCXLIV a.u.c.) is a reasonable guess (alternatives are M. Scauro M. Metello cos. (DCXXXIX a.u.c.), P. Scipione L. Bestia cos. (DCXLIII a.u.c.), Q. Metello M. Silano cos. (DCXLV a.u.c.), or, less likely, L. Metello Q. Scaevola cos. (DCXXXVII a.u.c.) or C. Geta Q. Maximo cos. (DCXXXVIII a.u.c.)).[52]

 As has been mentioned, he was elected to this office alongside Q. Scaevola.[53]

 As quaestor he was sent abroad to Asia.[54]

 There is no direct evidence of the identity of the magistrate under whom he served, or what they did there, nor is it easy to guess.  No magistrate with imperium is known to have been assigned the province of Asia in any of the years in which Crassus could possibly have been quaestor, nor is it even known what may have been going on in Asia in those years that made it worth designating as a province.  Evidently something was going on, however, because Crassus' father-in-law Q. Scaevola had been there as praetor probably P. Manilio C. Carbone cos. (DCXXXIV a.u.c.), and M. Antonius served there as quaestor (again to an unknown magistrate) C. Metello Cn. Carbone cos. (DCXLI a.u.c.) and M. Druso L. Pisone cos. (DCXLII a.u.c.).[55]

 Indeed it is tempting to imagine, though unsupported by evidence, that Crassus took over directly from his later oratorical rival Antonius.  In any case it appears that, like Antonius, Crassus remained in his province beyond his minimum term, remaining at least into the following year.[56]

Though we know nothing of his official business in Asia, we know that he spent at least some of his leisure time learning from Metrodorus of Scepsis, an orator and philosopher about the same age as Crassus himself.[57]

 At the end of his service in Asia he apparently travelled via Macedonia to Athens.[58]

 There, too, he listened to, and even debated the nature of oratory with, a number of philosophers and orators, apparently encouraged in this by a young M. Marcellus who was with him there (and perhaps also at earlier stages of his journey).[59]

 Crassus arrived at Athens two days after the celebration of the Eleusinian mysteries and apparently made the audacious request that they be repeated for his benefit; when this was refused he became disgruntled and consequently did not stay in the city very long.[60]

The tribunus plebis

Crassus' tribunate, according to Cicero, "was so quiet that, if he had not in that magistracy dined with Granius the herald and if Lucilius had not told us that story twice, we should not have known that he had been tribune".[61]

 Regrettably, though various fragments of the writings of the satirist C. Lucilius have been identified as coming from his account of this dinner, not enough survives to give any coherent picture of the story.[62]

De lege iudiciaria

The following year (Q. Caepione C. Serrano cos. (DCXLVIII a.u.c.)), aged 34, Crassus spoke in favour of the lex Servilia iudiciaria, proposed by the consul Q. Caepio, which proposed to abolish the equites' monopoly of juries in the criminal courts.[63]

 In that speech, which Cicero identifies as the moment when Latin speech came of age, he is known to have extolled the virtues of the senate and said some unflattering things about the equites.[64]

 The proposal, it seems, gained the approval of the assembly and passed into law.[65]

 The composition of criminal juries was a contentious issue throughout the late republican period, and the unusual circumstance of a major legal reform being proposed by a consul rather than a tribunus plebis may demonstrate the importance and controversy of the proposal.  Interestingly, the contio at which Crassus gave his speech was apparently convened and presided over by Q. Scaevola, who was tribunus plebis at the time.[66]

 A magistrate holding a contio was expected to call speakers both for and against a given issue, but given Scaevola's attitudes throughout his life it is fair to assume that he supported Caepio's proposal, and this may therefore have been the beginning of his alliance with Crassus if it had not already been established earlier.[67]

Pro Cn. Planco and the changing political landscape

Another of those many cases of which we know little is that in which Crassus undertook the defence of a certan Cn. Plancus (presumably a Cn. Munatius Plancus, since the Munatii are the only gens known to have produced magisterial Planci). The date is uncertain except that it must come some time after Q. Caepione C. Serrano cos. (DCXLVIII a.u.c.); nor do we know anything about the charge or the context. What we have is the name of the prosecutor, one M. Iunius Brutus (the son of the legal expert), and several anecdotes about the repartee between him and Crassus.[68]

 Crassus' jokes at Brutus' expense will not be retailed here, but it is worth noting that Brutus, as part of his prosecution, tried to discredit Crassus as inconsistent by having some assistants read out Crassus' speech on the colony at Narbo and his speech on the lex Servilia iudiciaria to contrast their political perspectives.  We are told that Crassus, in reply, "set out the underlying facts of each occasion, so that each speech would be seen to have been made according to the circumstances and the case at hand".[69]

 This is interesting because it suggests that Crassus believed that a true understanding of the circumstances of each speech would explain any apparent inconsistencies; or, at any rate, it shows that Crassus thought he could paint a picture of those circumstances that would appear to explain the inconsistencies.  It is impossible to tell from this single vague sentence whether the relevant circumstances were political, personal, or both, and thus we cannot guess whether Crassus' explanation was along the lines of 'what I said was correct on each occasion' or 'it was perfectly right and proper for me to say those things at those times even if they were not all strictly correct': a Roman audience would have been more willing than a modern audience to accept an explanation of the latter kind, but of course the former kind would have been more convincing.[70]

 Whatever Crassus said or did not say on this occasion, however, this anecdote highlights the contrast between the speech de lege Servilia iudiciaria, in which he praised the senate and disparaged the equites, and the speech twelve years earlier in which he disparaged the senate and championed a popular cause in the interests of the business class and the rural poor; and his method of self-justification should prompt us to ask ourselves what, if anything, in the circumstances of those twelve years may explain the contrast.

The trial of the Vestals M'. Balbo C. Catone cos. (DCXL a.u.c.) was, it seems, the beginning of period under which the Metellan group came under severe pressure from its senatorial opponents. The trial itself was, on the whole, a failure for the Metellans. It seems to have done Crassus' reputation no harm, but nor did he win his case; more seriously, the pontifex maximus who had acquitted Licinia and Marcia in the first hearing was L. Metellus Delmaticus, and the overturning of his verdict in the second trial must have made him look at best incompetent and at worst corrupt.[71]

 Then, probably P. Scipione L. Bestia cos. (DCXLIII a.u.c.), came the prosecution of the bright young Q. Metellus for extortion.[72]

 But on this occasion the anti-Metellans failed dramatically: the jury was so certain of Metellus' honesty and integrity that it did not even trouble itself by considering the evidence before acquitting him.[73]

 The trial of L. Piso may well also form part of this picture, since Piso was a friend and ally of M. Aemilius Scaurus, a star of the Metellan group at this time.[74]

 Scaurus himself had struggled (ultimately successfully) against senatorial opposition between L. Metello Q. Scaevola cos. (DCXXXVII a.u.c.) and M. Scauro M. Metello cos. (DCXXXIX a.u.c.).[75]

 If Piso was close to the Metelli, this is further evidence that Crassus himself was in their orbit at this time.

By M. Rufo Sp. Albino cos. (DCXLIV a.u.c.) the Metellan group had emerged from this difficult period and established itself as supreme in political life. Its members were no longer opposing the senatorial elite: they had become the senatorial elite. This, together with the passing years, might in itself be enough to explain a drift toward a more conservative outlook on Crassus' part. But around Q. Metello M. Silano cos. (DCXLV a.u.c.) the senatorial class as a whole came under fire over the matter of the war with Iugurtha. Iugurtha had expanded his north African kingdom at the expense of his brothers and in defiance of Roman orders, but the senate had taken no firm move against him until he finally made the mistake of executing a number of Roman merchants in the captured city of Cirta. After some fighting the wily Iugurtha surrendered, allowed himself to be summoned to Rome to explain himself, and once there not only managed to get a tribune to forbid him from speaking but took the opportunity, before returning to Africa, to assassinate a rival who had taken refuge in Italy. Once back in Africa he promptly resumed the war and inflicted a humiliating defeat on the Roman army.[76]

 All this aroused great indignation in Rome among both ordinary people and equites: most felt that the senate had been too lenient with Iugurtha, and many believed that senatores had been bribed.[77]

 Q. Metello M. Silano cos. (DCXLV a.u.c.) the tribunus plebis C. Mamilius set up a special court, almost certainly with a jury-panel exclusively of equites like ordinary courts at the time, and brought charges against nearly everyone involved.[78]

 Few of the targets were close associates of the Metellan group, and most of them seem to have been targeted less for their role in the war and more for their role in the suppression of the Gracchi nearly fifteen years before.[79]

 At least one of the victims, however, was apparently member of the group and was defended at trial by M. Scaurus, himself suspected by some of connivance with Iugurtha.[80]

 The trials were apparently not a partisan move but an attack on the whole senatorial class, and naturally prompted that class, including the Metellans, to close ranks against the populist tribunes.  Many equites, alienated from the senate by the perceived mismanagement of the war (and thus the disruption of trade with north Africa), were now aligned with the populists against the formerly sympathetic Metellans; by Ser. Galba L. Hortensio cos. (DCXLVI a.u.c.) the champion of the equites, C. Marius, had completely broken with the Metelli.

It is in this context that Crassus emerges with a more conservative and senatorial outlook, praising the senate and criticizing the equites (and particularly their abuse of judicial power) in his famous speech of Q. Caepione C. Serrano cos. (DCXLVIII a.u.c.). The surviving fragment of this speech (if that is indeed what it is) is also interesting in itself:[81]

"Rescue us from our distress, rescue us from the jaws of those whose cruelty cannot be satisfied even by our blood; do not allow us to be subservient to anyone except yourselves collectively, whom we can and ought to serve."[82]

 First, the use of "us" may perhaps suggest that by this time Crassus was himself already a senator, although it is possible that this fragment comes from a speech-within-a-speech in which Crassus describes what the senate might say to the people.  Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, although he speaks from a pro-senatorial point of view he does so using distinctly 'democratic' language, calling the senate the slave of the people.  This was by no means a standard analysis of the Roman constitution, and indeed the highly conservative P. Rutilius disapproved of this passage, perhaps for that reason.[83]

 Of course in a speech to a crowd of the great unwashed any politician may perhaps express himself in democratic language for the sake of expediency, but it is also possible that this was Crassus' sincere belief about the relationship between the senate and the people.[84]

 All this may not be enough to dismiss all charges of inconsistency, but it may perhaps persuade us that the inconsistency arose from a genuine change of view in light of changing circumstances rather than mere popularity-seeking disingenuity in his youth.

Aedilis curulis in a time of upheaval

The period from Q. Caepione C. Serrano cos. (DCXLVIII a.u.c.) to Q. Metello T. Didio cos. (DCLVI a.u.c.) was a tumultuous one in Roman politics, but apparently a quiet one for L. Crassus. It can be sketched briefly here.[85]

 P. Rufo Cn. Maximo cos. (DCXLIX a.u.c.) C. Marius returned victorious from the war against Iugurtha.  Meanwhile Roman forces had suffered terrible defeat at Arausio in Gallia, and the people bypassed the senate to appoint Marius to lead the Gallic campaign.  The campaign had suffered a number of setbacks under the command of noble senatorial generals, and the distaster of Arausio triggered a further backlash against the political elite in general and one member in particular.  The blame for Arausio was laid by many at the door of Q. Caepio, a leading member of the Metellan group whose lex iudiciaria had been so famously supported by Crassus.  C. Mario (II) C. Fimbria cos. (DCL a.u.c.) the lex Servilia iudiciaria was partly repealed by the tribunus plebis C. Servilius, and Caepio himself, who had already been recalled to Rome in disgrace, was removed from the senate and brought before a special court to explain what had happened to the booty he had won during the campaign.[86]

 At the same time another tribune, Cn. Ahenobarbus, launched less successful attacks against M. Silanus, another of the unfortunate generals of the Gallic war, and against M. Scaurus, a personal enemy and a leading ally of the Metelli, as well as transferring the power to choose new pontifices from the collegium pontificum to the people.  The following year, C. Mario (III) L. Oreste cos. (DCLI a.u.c.), two more tribuni plebis continued the assault.  L. Saturninus proposed to exile Cn. Mallius, Caepio's superior at Arausio, while C. Norbanus prosecuted and convicted Caepio himself.[87]

 Saturninus defied senatorial opposition and the veto of two of his colleagues to carry a lex agraria, and his activities in the following years, in alliance with Glaucia and Marius, brought him into bitter opposition with the eminent and severe Q. Metellus Numidicus, resulting in Metellus' departure into exile C. Mario (VI) L. Flacco cos. (DCLIV a.u.c.).  At the end of that year matters came to a head: after riots and bloodshed Marius turned against his former allies and, backed by the senate, arrested and imprisoned Saturninus and Glaucia, who despite his precautions were killed by the mob.

Amidst all this, L. Crassus is very little in evidence. A close ally of the embattled Caepio and a member of the group whose leaders included Metellus Numidicus and M. Scaurus, he may have felt it best to keep his head down. A comment of Cicero's shows that he and Scaevola supported the arrest of Saturninus and may even have joined other leading statesmen in taking up arms against him; but he seems to have taken no major role in those events.[88]

 He is listed by Cicero as one of C. Marius' enemies in the period of the latter's Gallic campaigns, from C. Mario (II) C. Fimbria cos. (DCL a.u.c.) to C. Mario (V) M'. Aquillio cos. (DCLIII a.u.c.): this is not unlikely, but equally it is a rather vague reference and we may suspect some confusion (or deliberate fudging) since Crassus was hardly important enough to count as one of Marius' major opponents at this time.[89]

 We also know that at some point during his career he made at least one speech in which he ridiculed C. Memmius, a frequent critic of senatorial policy and an enemy of M. Scaurus; this most likely belongs to this period or perhaps slightly earlier.[90]

Some time between P. Rufo Cn. Maximo cos. (DCXLIX a.u.c.) and C. Mario (VI) L. Flacco cos. (DCLIV a.u.c.) he held the office of aedilis curulis with his old ally Q. Scaevola. Though the aedilitas was not a highly political post, it is nevertheless unlikely that both men would have been elected during the anti-senatorial backlash of the years C. Mario (III) L. Oreste cos. (DCLI a.u.c.) to C. Mario (VI) L. Flacco cos. (DCLIV a.u.c.); on the other hand, it is hard to see Scaevola, a pillar of the establishment and a lawyer to boot, breaking the custom of leaving two years between offices (he was tribune Q. Caepione C. Serrano cos. (DCXLVIII a.u.c.)), so C. Mario (III) L. Oreste cos. (DCLI a.u.c.) (having been elected the previous year, before the full anti-senatorial storm broke) seems most likely. Cicero, and probably his audience too, remembered their aedilitas as one of outstanding splendour.[91]

 In particular we know that Crassus brought over four or six pillars of marble from Mount Hymettus near Athens, about twelve feet high, which he used as part of the stage-set of a temporary theatre: this was the first time imported marble had been used in Rome.[92]

 Scaevola imported not pillars but lions, becoming the first to show a lion-fight in Rome.[93]

 All this magnificence may well be another indication that extreme measures were needed to counteract the unpopularity of Crassus, Scaevola, and their allies at this time.[94]

The praetor

The date

Crassus' next office, again held with Scaevola, was the praetura. The date is again uncertain. If aedilis curulis C. Mario (III) L. Oreste cos. (DCLI a.u.c.), he would have been eligible to be praetor C. Mario (VI) L. Flacco cos. (DCLIV a.u.c.). With his reputation as an orator, and with his popularity enhanced by such splendid games and displays, he should in ordinary times have been a shoo-in for the praetura; in that period of hostility toward the nobility in general and the Metellan group in particular, however, it may be that his success, and perhaps even his candidacy, was delayed.[95]

 Moreover, Cicero seems to indicate that he was not yet praetor when Saturninus was killed C. Mario (VI) L. Flacco cos. (DCLIV a.u.c.).[96]

 It is certain, at any rate, that at some point in his career he suffered electoral setbacks (whether actually rejected at the polls or merely postponing his candidacy), for he reached the consulate five or six years later than he might have done.  At least one of those years of delay was probably voluntary, to allow Scaevola to catch up with him, but the rest can only indicate a period when his popularity (or that of the people he relied on for support) was low, and such a period is more likely to be found in the unfriendly times of Saturninus and Glaucia than before his aedilitas or after his praetura.

The political climate

If he was praetor M. Antonio A. Albino cos. (DCLV a.u.c.) or Q. Metello T. Didio cos. (DCLVI a.u.c.), that would fit very well with the character of those years.[97]

 Saturninus' legislation (or at least some of it) was delcared invalid, and his remaining sympathizers were steadily pushed aside by the senatorial aristocracy.  One, a certain P. Furius who had deserted Saturninus at the last moment but had nonetheless continued to block the recall of Metellus from exile, was prosecuted by another, a relative of Saturninus, C. Appuleius.  The trial degenerated into a riot in which Furius was lynched.  A third populist, Sex. Titius, tried to propose a lex agraria but was defeated by the oratory of M. Antonius, consul in that year.  In the consular elections the victors were a Metellus (Q. Metellus Nepos) and a man who had tried to veto the prosecution of Q. Caepio (T. Didius); it is easy to imagine Crassus and Scaevola being elected praetores as part of this same Metellan resurgence.


Crassus was, then, praetor perhaps M. Antonio A. Albino cos. (DCLV a.u.c.) or Q. Metello T. Didio cos. (DCLVI a.u.c.), or at any rate no later than the latter year, with Q. Scaevola his colleague. His official activities as praetor are not recorded: it was a quiet year both at home and abroad, and it is difficult to say whether he was sent out to govern a province or kept in Rome to carry out judicial functions.[98]

Relations with C. Marius

It may have been about this time that Crassus betrothed his daughter Licinia to the young son of C. Marius.[99]

 The marriage itself was contracted within the next five or six years.[100]

 It seems that Marius was at this time patching up relations with at least the more open-minded members of the Metellan group: Cn. Lentulo P. Crasso cos. (DCLVII a.u.c.) he collaborated with Crassus' friend M. Antonius, and he may also have cooperated in a business venture with M. Scaurus.[101]

 This reconciliation may have brought some little advantage to Crassus and his associates in the form of the general's lingering prestige and popularity, but Marius himself was politically impotent at this time, and the political reward must have been at least cancelled, if not outweighed, by the strain it must have put upon Crassus' friendship with Marius' firm enemies like P. Rutilius and Q. Catulus.[102]

 By bringing Marius back in from the cold, Crassus and his like-minded friends showed both personal generosity and a political desire to reach out to the equites and the people, many of whom still regarded Marius with respect and affection.

The augur

Crassus was an augur by the time of his death and probably long before.[103]

 It was not unusual for nobiles to attain such prestigious priesthoods while still young; surely Crassus must have become an augur at latest by the time of his praetura.

The consul and leading advocate


Cn. Ahenobarbo C. Longino cos. (DCLVIII a.u.c.) L. Crassus was a candidate for the consulate. Like most (if not all) candidates for high office, he had to go about asking for votes in what was, for a highly successful politician of noble birth, an embarrassingly undignified business: so much so that he could not bear to let his very eminent and rather severe father-in-law Q. Scaevola see him do it, and had to ask the latter to leave the forum so that Crassus could continue his canvass.[104]

Lex Licinia Mucia

He was duly elected along with his friend, the other Q. Scaevola. Together they enacted the lex Licinia Mucia de civibus redigundis. This statute was aimed at people, particularly Italians, who were passing themselves off as Roman citizens.[105]

 Some had been legitimately given citizenship by Roman generals like Marius acting with statutory authority, but others were no doubt spurious.  Crassus and Scaevola returned such people to their original status, and gave the standing treason court powers to hear accusations against alleged false citizens.[106]

 The legislation was later criticized as contributing to the outbreak of the Italian war.[107]

 At the time it was perhaps not meant, however, as an anti-Italian measure, for it did not seek to cancel legitimate grants of citizenship, merely to stop those who were trying to acquire it illegally.[108]

Pro Q. Caepione

As consul Crassus was also called upon to defend the young Q. Caepio, son of his old ally.[109]

 The charge was of maiestas, and was based upon events of that tumultuous year C. Mario (VI) L. Flacco cos. (DCLIV a.u.c.) when Caepio forcibly broke up the meeting at which Saturninus tried to pass his lex agraria.  Though Crassus' speech was brief (and perhaps unenthusiastic, given Caepio's disruptive behaviour and hostility to Crassus' allies M. Scaurus and M. Drusus), Caepio was acquitted.[110]

 Intriguingly, the prosecutor was T. Betutius Barrus, who was also involved in the trial of the Vestals in which Crassus had appeared for the defence.[111]

 The rhetorica ad Herennium appears to preserve the line of argument used against Caepio, and Crassus' defence that Caepio had not impaired the maiestas of the Roman people by his actions against Saturninus but had in fact protected it.[112]

Gallia Cisalpina

Crassus' consular province was Gallia Cisalpina.[113]

 There he hunted down and defeated some bandits who had been distressing the province.[114]

 These bandits were, it seems, few, disorganized and lacking leadership, and were in general not worthy of official designation as hostes populi Romani (enemies of the Roman people).[115]

 Consequently, when he asked the senate for a triumph on account of his victory, his friend and colleague Q. Scaevola vetoed the motion, maintaing the traditional rule that a triumph could only be granted in recognition of a victory over a hostis.[116]

 Some have seen this as a result, or as the start, of a breach between the two men, but the evidence is not clear.[117]

It may be that the unimpressive nature of Crassus' victory was reported to Rome by C. Carbo, son of the Carbo whom Crassus had prosecuted in his youth. Carbo went to visit Crassus' province, reportedly with the sole aim of discrediting the man he blamed for his father's death; Crassus, however, immediately took him in, gave him a place on his senior staff, and made a point of seeking his advice on all matters.[118]

 This was perhaps merely a clever way of neutralizing a hostile intruder, but Crassus is said to have regretted the elder Carbo's suicide and may have genuinely wished the young man well.[119]

 Nonetheless Carbo apparently remained Crassus' bitter enemy until the latter's death.[120]

In M. Marcellum

At the height of his powers, and perhaps therefore around the time of his consulate, Crassus brought a prosecution against one M. Claudius Marcellus, a personal enemy of his.[121]

 Little is known of the background of this case, or of the reason for the enmity between Crassus and Marcellus.  The defendant was acquitted, and it may be that Crassus allowed his anger to overcome his restraint for he began authoritatively but ended impotently.[122]

Pro T. Matrinio

Within a few years after Crassus' consulate, a citizen of Spoletum named T. Matrinius was prosecuted for an offence under the lex Licinia Mucia.[123]

 Matrinius had been given Roman citizenship by C. Marius, who had been authorized to do so by a lex Appuleia de coloniis deducendis; the prosecutor L. Antistius challenged the validity of the grant on what appears to have been a technical point of law.[124]

 Marius himself appeared and said a few words in support of Matrinius, and it is said that by his great authority he secured an acquittal.[125]

 There is a difficulty, however, about Crassus' involvement, for the source is ambiguous: it has been read as saying that Crassus undertook the defence, and it has also been read as saying that he did not.[126]

If Crassus did defend Matrinius, it was presumably because Marius had called upon the bond of loyalty created by the marriage of their children. Although from a legal and logical standpoint there was no inconsistency between Crassus' opposition to false citizens and his defence of a man accused of being a false citizen, it could nonetheless have been a slightly uncomfortable position for him. The prosecution may even have been engineered partly to achieve this result, as well as to create tension between Crassus and those of his allies who were no friends of Marius.[127]

 But in view of the uncertainty about Crassus' involvement, little can confidently be built on it.

Causa Curiana

Some time between C. Flacco M. Herennio cos. (DCLXI a.u.c.) and L. Philippo Sex. Caesare cos. (DCLXIII a.u.c.) Crassus was involved in one of the most famous private-law cases in Roman legal history, the causa Curiana.[128]

 In his will, a man had appointed his son as his heir, with the proviso that if his son died before reaching puberty then a certain M'. Curius should be heir in stead.  The problem was that the man never had a son at all.  When he died, therefore, his family claimed the inheritance on the basis that the will was invalid, while M'. Curius argued that the intention of the deceased was that he should inherit in the absence of a son, even though this had not been said explicitly in the will.  The case excited public interest perhaps partly because it raised wider questions of literal or broad interpretation of wills and other legal documents, but probably also because of the advocates representing the two sides: Crassus, at the height of his fame and powers, represented Curius, while his former consular colleague, Q. Scaevola, the most famous lawyer of the day, represented the family.[129]

 It appears that Crassus deployed every argument at his disposal, ranging from technical arguments about the meanings of particular words to broad appeals to justice and the public interest.[130]

 He was successful, and the inheritance was awarded to M'. Curius.

Causa Sergiana

Another private-law case in which Crassus appeared in this period found him acting on behalf of C. Sergius Orata (for whom he also acted gainst Considius), and was suing M. Marius Graditianus (whom he also sued on behalf of C. Visellius Aculeo).[131]

 Marius was on this occasion represented by Crassus' great rival M. Antonius.  Sergius had sold Marius a house which Marius later sold back to Sergius; but in the second transaction Marius omitted to state that the land was subject to a servitus (a legal liability owed by the owner of the property to the owner of a neighbouring property, roughly similar to en easement in modern common-law jurisdictions).  The law made a seller liable to pay compensation for any defects he failed to declare, and Crassus argued in favour of the letter of the law, while Antonius argued for an exception in this case since Sergius already knew perfectly well about the servitus when he bought the house back from Marius.[132]

 The outcome is not recorded, though possibly Crassus was the victor.[133]

Friends and allies[134]

The matter of Crassus' triumph, and the causa Curiana soon afterward, raises the question of Crassus' relationship with Q. Scaevola at this time. Some have seen these incidents as marking an end of their friendship and even a hostile relationship thereafter.[135]

 We may doubt whether their appearance on opposing sides in a private-law trial, where neither stood to gain or lose anything personally from the outcome, need involve any loss of friendliness: it is true that trials often triggered or perpetuated inimicitiae, but most recorded trials are criminal ones and often highly political at that.[136]

 There is no evidence of inimicitiae ever arising from or being acted out by the mere appearance of individuals as advocates for opposing parties in a private-law case.[137]

 Moreover we may note that Q. Scaevola the augur, Crassus' father-in-law and Q. Scaevola's cousin, seems to have advised Crassus on his conduct of the case.[138]

 More significant, and earlier in time, is the matter of the triumph.  Opposing another senator's application for a triumph was a classic feature of inimicitiae and we should be astonished if Scaevola's veto did not put some strain on his relationship with Crassus.[139]

 We may also observe that there is no record of Crassus and Scaevola cooperating or associating thereafter.  In particular, they did not share the censura as they had every other ordinary magistracy except the tribunate; but this tells us nothing since Scaevola never sought that office and may even have been prevented from seeking it by a family custom.[140]

 Outright hostility, at any rate, appears to be ruled out by Cicero's statement that in his conduct of the causa Curiana Crassus restrained his famous cutting wit and proceeded in a respectful and cheerful tone.[141]

 Nor in fact do Crassus' many recorded jokes at the expense of others include any at Scaevola's.  Perhaps Bauman in close to the mark in suggesting that "the partnership did not survive the consulship, and though relations remained formally correct they were never again as cordial as they had been".[142]

Of greater importance in tracing Crassus' movements through the larger political currents of these years is his relationship with C. Marius. Regrettably there is little firm evidence to grasp. Certainly the betrothal between Crassus' daughter and Marius' son was not broken off, and there is some evidence that the marriage itself was contracted about C. Flacco M. Herennio cos. (DCLXI a.u.c.) or at least by late in the year L. Philippo Sex. Caesare cos. (DCLXIII a.u.c.).[143]

 Meanwhile, Crassus' student P. Sulpicius, who was a firm adherent of Marius by L. Sulla Q. Rufo cos. (DCLXVI a.u.c.), may already, perhaps through Crassus, have been on friendly terms with him by L. Philippo Sex. Caesare cos. (DCLXIII a.u.c.).[144]

 We may observe that Q. Scaevola the augur, Crassus' father-in-law and thus the grandfather of Marius' new son-in-law, was still a supporter of Marius, at least in preference to the alternative, in the year L. Sulla Q. Rufo cos. (DCLXVI a.u.c.).[145]

 C. Visellius Aculeo, an eques, was for many years a member of Crassus' household and remained so until the end of Crassus' life, and he was also probably related to Marius; similarly the Tullii Cicerones, a powerful family in Arpinum but not yet notable in Rome, had links to both Marius and Crassus.[146]

 On the other hand, some have seen an estrangement between Crassus and Marius by C. Pulchro M. Perperna cos. (DCLXII a.u.c.), though perhaps not entirely convincingly.[147]

 It seems impossible to say anything with confidence about Crassus' relations with Marius in this period, but such evidence as there is seems to weigh against a serious falling-out.  It may be that they simply had little to do with one another either way, since in this period Marius was of relatively little importance in the daily politics of the republic.

Two mentions have been made of Crassus' connection by marriage to Q. Scaevola the augur, and it is important therefore to note the possibility that at some stage before late in the year L. Philippo Sex. Caesare cos. (DCLXIII a.u.c.) Crassus' marriage to Scaevola's daughter came to an end. This is implied by Cicero's statement that Id. Sep. L. Philippo Sex. Caesare cos. (DCLXIII a.u.c.) Scaevola "used to be his father-in-law".[148]

 The very point being made in that passage is that Scaevola and Crassus were still on good terms, however, and this may lead us to suppose that the marriage ended with Mucia's death rather than divorce.[149]

 On the other hand, Cicero claims to have conversed with Mucia, or at least to have heard her converse: even if she had died only shortly before Crassus, Cicero cannot have been older than 16 at the time, and it is difficult to assess how likely this is.[150]

 It is true that he was in his youth a student of her father's and could have met her through him, but Cicero only began to study under Scaevola L. Caesare P. Lupo cos. (DCLXIV a.u.c.), the year after Crassus' death, and it is not known that his family was on familiar terms with Scaevola's before then; nor does Cicero seem to have met Crassus, which he would probably have done if he had met his wife while he was still alive.[151]

 Cicero comments that Mucia inherited a pleasing and refined style of speech from her parents (her mother was Laelia, the daughter of C. Laelius), and that this elegance of expression was also passed on to her two daughters by Crassus.[152]

 Nothing else is recorded of Mucia's life or character, but Münzer notes that the relationship between Crassus and Scaevola the augur was apparently closer than that between many Roman nobiles and their fathers-in-law and suggests that this is a sign that Mucia was especially close to both men.[153]

Meanwhile, having established himself as one of Rome's pre-eminent orators, Crassus had naturally acquired disciples. One, P. Sulpicius, who has been mentioned above, was devoted to him.[154]

 He launched his oratorical career C. Caldo L. Ahenobarbo cos. (DCLX a.u.c.) with a prosecution of C. Norbanus, a move with no discernible personal motivation and therefore probably motivated by a desire on the part of the Metellan group, such as it was by this date, to rake over the events of C. Mario (VI) L. Flacco cos. (DCLIV a.u.c.); Norbanus was defended, rather reluctantly, by M. Antonius, Crassus' only real oratorical rival, and was acquitted; but Sulpicius evidently made a sufficient impression, and was sufficiently helped by Crassus and his friends, to be elected quaestor for the following year.[155]

 Another of Crassus' students was C. Cotta, the eldest of three brothers whose father apparently died undistinguished but whose grandfather and uncle were consules.[156]

 C. Pulchro M. Perperna cos. (DCLXII a.u.c.) Cotta was one of the advocates for the defence in the trial of his uncle P. Rutilius Rufus, though he took only a small part; another was Q. Scaevola the pontifex, Crassus' colleague in many magistracies.[157]

 Both Crassus and Antonius offered their own services as well, but Rutilius seems to have refused not for any lack of warmth toward either man but out of a general moral objection to the use of emotive rhetoric in court-cases.[158]

 C. Carbo's prosecution, much later, of Cotta's younger brother may (in the absence of any other evidence as to the origin of this feud) have something to do with the old enmity between the Carbones on the one hand and Crassus and M. Antonius on the other.[159]

 Cotta and Sulpicius were themselves friends, and both were friends of M. Drusus, who was also the friend and brother-in-law of Q. Caepio (son of Crassus' old ally of the same name) and apparently on good terms with Crassus himself.[160]

 Such were the young men with whom Crassus associated.  There was also Q. Hortensius, who entered public life at the age of 19 in the year when Crassus was consul: both Crassus and his colleague Scaevola are said to have been impressed by his first speech.[161]

 Gruen calls him a protégé of Crassus, but the closest the sources come to this is when Cicero calls him Crassus' "sodalis", which may mean a friend or associate but more probably refers to the fact that they were both augures.[162]

It is important to mention that other great orator M. Antonius, Crassus' elder by about three years.[163]

 He and Crassus encountered each other in their late 20s, if not before, for it appears that Antonius was accused of involvement in the scandal of the three Vestal virgins C. Metello Cn. Carbone cos. (DCXLI a.u.c.) and defended himself while Crassus defended Licinia.[164]

 Some years after Crassus made his name by prosecuting C. Carbo Antonius successfully prosecuted the latter's brother, Cn. Carbo.[165]

 He also shared with Crassus an interest in the development of C. Cotta's oratorical talent, and indeed Cotta may have adhered more closely to Antonius than to Crassus.[166]

 His later activities show him more or less in political alignment with Crassus, and Cicero depicts them as being on friendly terms, indeed saying that Antonius was "joined to Crassus in very close friendship.[167]

A last important ally was M. Scaurus, who had been princeps senatus continuously since Ser. Galba L. Hortensio cos. (DCXLVI a.u.c.) and was later reaffirmed in that position by Crassus when he was censor. He dominated the political scene throughout this period, consistently opposed populists and agitators, and was not always popular with the most conservative and upright members of the senate either. Crassus often found himself on the same side of an issue as Scaurus, and they appear to have worked together on a number of occasions, including perhaps the attempt to absorb Marius into the senatorial aristocracy.[168]

 Again it is difficult to say whether they were much in each other's company socially, but they remain associated, at least intermittently, throughout Crassus' career.[169]

In all, then, Crassus had become a pillar of the establishment and had accordingly become somewhat more conservative than in his youth. His consular legislation, if not deliberately anti-Italian, was certainly aimed at enforcing the restrictions on Roman citizenship that many in the next generation (such as M. Drusus), and even a few in the previous generation (such as C. Gracchus) had thought too harsh. He, who himself had been among the opponents of L. Saturninus, was prepared (though perhaps not keen) to defend those who had gone to violent and arguably illegal lengths to stop Saturninus. He was an ally of the anti-populist M. Scaurus and the later Sullan partisan M. Antonius. But he also perhaps maintained good relations with C. Marius, appeared in a landmark private-law case arguing in favour of a broad and progressive interpretation of the law, and his later support of M. Drusus shows that he was not absolutely opposed to reform.

Last years


C. Pulchro M. Perperna cos. (DCLXII a.u.c.) Crassus crowned his political career by becoming censor with his distinguished contemporary Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus the pontifex maximus. The two men appear to have had an early association as duumviri coloniae Narbonis Martii deducendae M. Catone Q. Rege cos. (DCXXXVI a.u.c.) and were both, at least some of the time, allies of the Servilii Caepiones; but it is not clear how close they had been in the intervening years, and on one reconstruction of events they may have been members of rival political groupings in the period after the war with Iugurtha.[170]

 At some time, either before or during their joint tenure of the censura, they fell out spectacularly, and the sources preserve many (often undated) anecdotes concerning their bad relationship.  It is impossible to trace the cause of their mutual dislike, but the tenor of many of the anecdotes is that Ahenobarbus disapproved of Crassus' luxurious lifestyle and of his frivolity,[171]

whereas Crassus criticized Ahenobarbus' severity and lack of feeling.[172]

 Whatever triggered it, Pliny puts the quarrel down to the difference in their characters.[173]

 Crassus even went so far as to make a speech during their censura in which he denounced Ahenobarbus, and this speech was still known and read in the time of Cicero.[174]

The chief political event for which Crassus' censura was remembered by later generations was his measure, taken jointly with his colleague, against the "rhetores Latini" at Rome.[175]

 The censores accused these teachers of setting up new schools on a model different from that prescribed by Roman tradition and inducing boys to "sit idle day in and day out"[176]

 The precise effect of this edict is unclear: Tacitus reports it as an order to close the schools, and Cicero says that it "did away with" them.[177]

 It is arguable whether the censores had any formal power to close schools, and indeed the edict itself does not purport to close them, merely saying that "we do not like them", but the effect of this condemnation may well have been to reduce their popularity and force them to close for lack of demand.[178]

 This measure has been seen as a continuation of an anti-Italian policy on the part of Crassus, or at least of a concern to avoid the dilution of Roman customs by excessive Italian influence, previously exemplified by the lex Licinia Mucia.[179]

 It is worth noting, however, that the ancient sources make very little comment on the fact that the rhetores were Latini, treating as relevant only the fact that they were professional teachers of rhetoric; and indeed the only contemporary criticism we know of is the allegation that Crassus wanted out of jealousy to prevent the next generation sharpening their talents.[180]

Another anecdote about Crassus appears to belong in the year when he was censor: it seems that Cn. Carbo (nephew of the C. Carbo whom Crassus had prosecuted in his youth, and therefore cousin of the latter's son, who had tried and failed to find evidence of Crassus' impropriety in the latter's consular province), as tribunus plebis in that year, held a meeting of the assembly during which a veto was exercised; Carbo did not dissolve the meeting but persisted, and some kind of violent disorder resulted. It further seems that Carbo was prosecuted de vi over the incident, or at least his prosecution was discussed; he claimed immunity (presumably because he was a sitting magistrate), and the question was referred to the senate by the consul C. Claudius Pulcher. During the debate, the senate adopted the recommendation of Crassus that if, when a meeting of the assembly had been vetoed and had begun to descend into disorder, the presiding magistrate refused to dissolve the meeting but persisted with it, that magistrate could properly be held responsible for any violence that occurred and should therefore not benefit from the usual statutory immunity.[181]

 Nothing more is known about the assembly, the veto, the prosecution (if there ever was one), or the circumstances.  This Carbo went on to become a significant supporter of C. Marius from around Cn. Octavio L. Cinna cos. (DCLXVII a.u.c.) but, apart from this incident, nothing is known of him before then.

47 years old when he was censor, Crassus is referred to at this period, by a late source, as one of the leading citizens in Rome;[182]

other ancient writers maintain that he was the leading orator of his time but seem to concede that his influence as a politician was perhaps not of the first rank.[183]

 Nonetheless he had crowned his cursus honorum with the highest ordinary magisracy in the state and had achieved higher distinction than many of his contemporaries.  With his taste for luxurious living it is possible to imagine him at this point withdrawing from active public life; but, unlike L. Lucullus for example in the next generation, his career had not been significantly frustrated, and indeed he had reached the age when his relative lack of military talent should have largely ceased to matter and his oratorical ability should have placed him in a position of greater influence than his more soldierly peers.  In the following year, certainly, he showed no sign of intenting to retire from the political stage.

The tribunate of M. Drusus and the death of L. Crassus

The year after Crassus was censor was the year of the legislative programme of M. Drusus. Drusus was a friend of Crassus' students Cotta and Sulpicius and the son-in-law of his old ally Q. Caepio. L. Philippo Sex. Caesare cos. (DCLXIII a.u.c.) as tribunus plebis he proposed a series of leges beginning with several popular measures to distribute land and provide cheap corn and going on to attempt to break the equites' monopoly of criminal juries.[184]

 Drusus was not without powerful backing: in particular, Crassus is mentioned alongside M. Scaurus as his adviser.[185]

 This is not a surprising combination: Drusus' father had been Scaurus colleague as censor, but more importantly both Crassus and Scaurus had great experience of the courts (Scaurus mostly as a defendant and a witness) over the years, and Crassus had indeed made one of his great speeches in support of the similar proposal of Q. Caepio Q. Caepione C. Serrano cos. (DCXLVIII a.u.c.).  Drusus also brought forward a proposal designed to prevent judicial corruption.  Regrettably the detail of Drusus' proposals about the law-courts is not clear, so we do not know for certain what it was that aroused the opposition of some members of the senate.  One fervent opponent, the son of Q. Caepio, may have been motivated primarily by personal enmity; the motives of another, L. Marcius, consul in that year, are inscrutable.[186]

 The opposition was strenuous, and even produced violence and threats of violence.[187]

The chronology of the year is unclear, but it was probably before September's ludi Romani that Drusus began to propose the extension of Roman citizenship to the Italians.[188]

 This caused still greater consternation, and during the ludi Romani Crassus withdrew to his home in Tusculum with P. Sulpicius and C. Cotta and was joined by Q. Scaevola the augur and M. Antonius to discuss the situation.[189]

 They were joined the following day by Q. Catulus and C. Caesar Strabo.[190]

 The mood, according to Cicero (who claimed to have heard it from Cotta), was gloomy.  While Crassus was in Tusculum he received news of a speech made by Philippus rejecting the counsel of the senate (which continued to support Drusus) and declaring that he could not cooperate with it.[191]

 Drusus called a meeting of the senate and sent to Crassus asking him to lend his support.  Id. Sep.  in the morning the senate met and Crassus delivered a speech denouncing the consul's conduct.  Philippus, losing his temper, made the apparently unprecedented and certainly disproportionate threat to confiscate some of Crassus' property as security for his good behaviour, whereupon Crassus refused to be silenced and made a proposal reasserting the loyalty and sagacity of the senate, which was adopted by the senate.[192]

 The speech he made on this occasion, which had been prepared in advance, was apparently widely thought to be among his finest.[193]

 It was also his last: while speaking, he was afflicted with a pain and a fever, and died seven days later, a.d. XIII Kal. Oct.  L. Philippo Sex. Caesare cos. (DCLXIII a.u.c.).

Crassus was apparently survived by his two daughters, and certainly by at least one, the wife of P. Scipio Nasica.[194]

 They were both themselves eloquent speakers.[195]

 Having no sons (or at least none that we know of and almost certainly none who survived him), Crassus in his will adopted his grandson, the younger son of Licinia and Scipio, as a son, the child thereafter bearing the name L. Licinius Crassus Scipio.[196]

 This son, "said to have great talent", appears to have died in his youth.[197]


Pliny may well have been right to regard Crassus' clashes with Ahenobarbus as mainly down to their incompatible characters and approaches to life, but it may well be that Crassus, himself an augur and for many years a close ally of both Q. Scaevola the augur and Q. Scaevola the pontifex (who later became pontifex maximus after Ahenobarbus' death), objected to Ahenobarbus' transfer of the choice of new pontifices to popular election, especially since the popularity he won by this measure allowed him to become pontifex maximus, quite possibly defeating Scaevola the pontifex and / or M. Scaurus for the position.[198]

 Moreover Ahenobarbus had a long-standing feud with Scaurus.[199]

 More broadly, however, the tension between the colleagues reflects not only Crassus' character but his outlook on the society and community in which he lived: he embraced Greek learning and the cultural and material luxuries that Rome's empire brought, Hymettian columns and all; he was a man of great feeling, even extending his affection to a pet eel,[200]

and was offended by Ahenobarbus' old-fashioned emotional reticence; and he may well, as a man who apparently built his career largely upon his own talent and effort, have reacted badly to the way Ahenobarbus regarded the role of pontifex as his by birthright.

The measure against the new rhetorical schools may show the limits of Crassus' cultural open-mindedness, but since we know so little about these schools it is difficult to say whether Crassus' concern that they encouraged idleness and impertinence was reactionary or simply correct. His sententia on magisterial immunity seems to be in line with his advocacy in the causa Curiana of a non-literal interpretation of the law designed to achieve a just outcome. But more than this, it is a sign that Crassus, even at this late stage of his career, was no unthinking conservative: his interpretation had the effect both of reinforcing tribunician veto, one of the principal weapons of the tribuni plebis who so often promoted reform and not infrequently opposed senatorial policies, and also of encouraging magistrates to dissolve public meetings at the first signs of disorder, thus asserting that not only the disruptive tribune but also the stubborn presiding magistrate must take responsibility for violent disturbances.

Finally, Crassus' support of Drusus is significant. It draws a line of continuity back to his early career and his support of the lex Servilia iudiciaria. It also shows continuing concern over miscarriages of justice such as the conviction of P. Rutilius the year before, just as he had reacted against the equestrian quaestio Mamilia all those years previously (though admittedly one might suggest that his concern was over any senator, innocent or guilty, being convicted by an equestrian jury), and shows that he continued to be interested in positive structural reforms (quite radical ones, in fact, if Drusus' proposal was indeed to double the size of the senate as many sources suggest).[201]

 And it reminds us of his political pragmatism and flexibility, since he was prepared to endorse (and may well have helped to plan) a legislative programme including populist measures such as corn-distributions; he even exerted himself to defend, although he perhaps had not contemplated and did not entirely approve, the proposal to enfranchise the Italians.  Moreover it is notable that he was able, through force of argument, personality, and oratory, to carry the senate with him in his support of Drusus despite what must have been the considerable misgivings of many members at the time.

Overview of character and achievements

As an orator

Crassus was much admired by Cicero, who tends to regard him as the greatest orator not only of his generation but of any generation up to his own;[202]

and Cicero's admiration is confirmed, to a greater or lesser extent, by every source that mentions him.  He was also perhaps the first to build so successful a career almost exclusively on oratorical prowess without any significant military achievements.[203]

 His contribution to the development of Roman oratory was by all accounts considerable, not so much for any particular technical or stylistic innovations as for a greater finesse, elegance, and command of rhythm and sound, as well as subtler and more carefully chosen strategies of argument and persuasion.  He may well have been among the first to publish speeches in written form.[204]

 Among the many qualities in his oratory praised by the sources, those that stand out most are its dignity, wit, and charm.[205]

 His very quick and cutting sense of humour is attested by the large number of his jokes that the sources have preserved, and Cicero says that he was particularly gifted in altercatio, the rapid and spontaneous exchange of repartee with an opponent.[206]

 Though in this way his mind evidently worked quickly, he also spent time in intense thought and could often be seen to gaze fixedly in meditation before making speeches.[207]

 He chose his words carefully and avoided clichés and well-worn phrases.[208]

 In comparison with M. Antonius he is said to have been less vigorous and less effective in evoking a mood of instinctive sympathy for a client, but more skilled in logical argumentation in court and more effective in persuading crowds in his political speeches.[209]

 With respect to political speeches he seems to have been the first, or at least among the first, to adapt populist language and rhetorical tactics to pro-senatorial use.[210]

 Although he was a pleasant conversationalist, it was not his voice so much as his delivery (forceful and passionate in his youth, gentler and smoother in his later years) that marked him out.[211]

 Not only his vocal delivery but also his movements and facial expressions were such that he seemed to be genuinely moved but whatever emotion he was seeking to evoke in his audience.[212]

Though he had studied rhetoric in Greece and Asia, Crassus was apparently not enormously interested in the theoretical side of oratory and disliked excessive dissection of rhetorical technique and craft.[213]

 His natural talent, albeit augmented by conscious study and exercise, was so great that he found it difficult to tolerate some of the instances of bad advocacy he encountered and tended to assume these must be deliberate acts of sabotage rather than mere incompetence.[214]

 The fact that his oratorical brilliance was largely innate rather than consciously generated may explain why he was always reticent when asked to explain how he did it.[215]

As a lawyer

He was clearly knowledgeable about law (not a universal quality in Roman advocates), for he knew three different books by the jurist M. Brutus well enough to find, in the middle of a trial, a number of passages in them that he could use to make fun of the author's son; and he was closely connected to three legal experts: Scaevola his friend, Scaevola his father-in-law, and C. Visellius Aculeo.[216]

 Though not among the great legal thinkers, he was involved in at least two different attempts to reform the judicial system (those of Q. Caepio and M. Drusus), made at least one recorded original contribution to criminal statutory interpretation (the matter of Cn. Carbo and the responsibility of the presiding magistrate for disorder at a meeting of the assembly), and won a landmark case concerning the interpretation of private legal documents (the causa Curiana).[217]

 His participation in the courts was not only as an advocate, for in the last month of his life (and perhaps on many other occasions before) he had acted as a legal advisor to the praetor urbanus.[218]

 He may even have planned to write a law-book of his own in his retirement.[219]

 He refused to give legal advice, however, deferring in that area to his frequent colleague Q. Scaevola; and even though he clearly spent a great deal of time in court he is said to have been more choosy in accepting cases than was M. Antonius.[220]

As a politician

Not the most significant figure in the political history of his time, Crassus did not live to see perhaps the most important event to which he contributed: the Italian war.[221]

 His lex Licinia Mucia was later blamed for arousing the resentment among the Italian allies that led to the war, while on the other hand he was a leading supporter of M. Drusus, whose proposal for Italian enfranchizement and subsequent (and probably consequent) death were the immediate triggers for the war.  We may also wonder how the history of the subsequent decade if he, a pillar of the senatorial establishment but also the father-in-law of C. Marius, had remained alive.  But Crassus died before the civil war of Marius and Sulla, for which Cicero thought him lucky; contemplating the fates of many of his friends and contemporaries, we may agree.[222]

Lifestyle and outlook

Crassus enjoyed fine and expensive things and was criticised for it; nonetheless there must have been some restraint in his extravagance or Cicero could not with a straight face have called him "the most thrifty among people of refined tastes".[223]

 We have heard about his marble columns and pet eel; he also left behind him a good number of dining-couches with brass decorations (evidently items of sufficient rarity to draw comment), which his heirs sold.[224]

 He had at least one country estate, at Tusculum; but so did many of his peers, and it is not said to have been more luxurious than average.[225]

 Crassus also valued leisure, and remarked, "He seems to me no free man who does not occasionally do nothing at all".[226]

 Despite spending time with philosophers in Greece and Asia in his youth, he appears to have espoused no particular philosophical doctrine (and indeed affected to look down on philosophy) but to have taken a homely approach to life that tempered an acceptance of his natural limitations with a certain ambition and drive to excel: he claimed that "he could contentedly put up with being surpassed in respect of whatever comes to people by chance or by nature, but he could not put up with being outdone in respect of whatever people can achieve for themselves".[227]

 One of the qualities he may have had particularly in mind among those denied to him by birth and fortune is the possession of an illustrious ancestry, for we know that he made fun of others who were overly proud of their lineage.[228]

 Most of our evidence about Crassus' character comes from his admirer Cicero and it is not easy therefore to assess his faults, though one has the impression that impatience and high-handedness may have been among them.  Nonetheless he seems to have been more widely liked than disliked, and Cicero's depiction may not be far wrong.

Cursus honorum[229]

M. Catone Q. Rege cos. (DCXXXVI a.u.c.)
by Q. Metello M. Silano cos. (DCXLV a.u.c.)
L. Longino C. Mario cos. (DCXLVII a.u.c.)
by C. Mario (VI) L. Flacco cos. (DCLIV a.u.c.)
by Q. Metello T. Didio cos. (DCLVI a.u.c.)
L. Crasso Q. Scaevola cos. (DCLIX a.u.c.)
C. Caldo L. Ahenobarbo cos. (DCLX a.u.c.) (Gallia Cisalpina)
C. Pulchro M. Perperna cos. (DCLXII a.u.c.)
L. Philippo Sex. Caesare cos. (DCLXIII a.u.c.)
from unknown date
to L. Philippo Sex. Caesare cos. (DCLXIII a.u.c.)


  1. Cicero, Brutus 161.
  2. The Licinii are attested as far back as the first generation of the republic, and by the time of Crassus' birth had collectively accumulated six consulates.
  3. Cicero always calls him by his praenomen and cognomen, L. Crassus, which he only ever does with nobiles (Adams, J.N., Conventions Of Naming In Cicero (Classical Quarterly 28, 1978, pp.145-166)); moreover Cicero directly labels Crassus a nobilis in pro Rabirio perduellionis reo, 21.
  4. P. Crassus: Cicero, de oratore, 3.3.10 ("propinquum suum"); P. Crassus Dives: Cicero, de oratore, 1.37.170 ("propinquum nostrum"). On the other hand Cicero, who usually indicates any relationship between speakers in his dialogues and other people whom they mention, fails to signal any relationship between L. Crassus and the M. Crassus mentioned in de oratore, 1.36.166. From the chronology this is probably M. Crassus Agelastus, but this man was the brother of P. Crassus Dives and therefore surely no less a relative of our subject than Dives.
  5. Cicero, Brutus, 26.102 (as a teacher); de oratore, 2.12.54 (as a friend).
  6. Cicero, de oratore, 1.31.138-32.145. The dismissive tone may say more about Cicero's attitude than Crassus'.
  7. Cicero, de oratore, 1.34.154-155.
  8. Cicero, de oratore, 1.10.40.
  9. Polybius, 6.19.5; Plutarch, C. Gracchus, 2.5; Develin, R., Patterns In Office-Holding, 366-49 B.C. (Latomus, 1979), p.59.
  10. It is worth noting a comment of Asconius on Cicero's lost pro Cornelio (p.68 in Clark's edition). Cicero says, "... ut Q. Caecilio M. Iunio coss. quae leges rem militarem impedirent, ut abrogarentur" ("... for example, when such statutes as might have been hampering military matters be abrogated, as happened when Q. Caecilius M. Iunius were consules"); and Asconius comments, "... hic Iunius male rem adversus Cimbros gessit . . . (?)ac plures leges quae per eos annos (?)quibus hec significabantur populo latae erant, quibus militiae stipendia minuebantur, abrogavit" ("... this Iunius also conducted matters badly against the Cimbri... (?)and he [or 'it'?] abrogated many statutes which during those years (?)by which this used to be made known to the people were carried, by which stipendia militiae were reduced"). The text of Asconius' commentary seems to be slightly corrupt and lacunose, but it seems to say that M. Iunius Silanus abrogated statutes which had been in force for some years and whose effect had been to reduce "stipendia militiae". Frustratingly it impossible to say on purely linguistic grounds whether this means "the number of years of military service" or "the salary for military service", but in historical context of the national emergency that the Cimbric war had become by Silanus' consulate it would perhaps make more sense for him to be increasing the length of compulsory service than to be increasing pay, though of course either measure would tend to strengthen the army. Broughton, T.R.S., The Magistrates Of The Roman Republic (American Philological Association, 1951), vol.1 p.545, takes it to mean "military service" rather than "military pay". Williamson, C., The Laws Of The Roman People: Public Law In The Expansion And Decline Of The Roman Republic (University of Michigan, 2005), p.461, appears to agree. If this is right, then it may be that Crassus took advantage of the reductions that Silanus later abrogated. In any case it would imply that the statutory minimum period of military service was in fluctuation in this period and perhaps throughout the late republic.
  11. Cicero in the Italian war: Cicero, Philippica, 12.27; Caelius in Africa: Cicero, pro Caelio, 73.
  12. The inference that he never served at all, or at most a year or two, might be drawn from Cicero, de oratore, 2.90.365: "[Crassus] puer in forum venerim neque inde unquam diutius quam quaestor abfuerim" ("I [Crassus] came to the forum [i.e. an oratorical career] as a boy and have never been away from it longer than when I was quaestor"); but we should probably understand this to refer only to absences from the forum since his oratorical career began, and thus it does not exclude any length of military service abroad before then.
  13. Cicero, de oratore, 2.55.226.
  14. Which some did: Develin, R., Patterns In Office-Holding, 366-49 B.C. (Latomus, 1979), p.59.
  15. For details and sources see Carbo's biography.
  16. Gruen argues that it was extortion: Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p. 108-109. Bauman rejects this conclusion and proposes a charge somehow implicating Carbo in the death of P. Scipio Aemilianus: Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), p.318 n.111. See below for more on the political context of the trial.
  17. Carbo's suicide: Cicero, Brutus, 103; Cicero, ad familiaribus, 9.21.3. Valerius Maximus, a less reliable source, says Carbo went into exile (3.7.6). On the trial's importance for Crassus' career, Cicero says, "Accusavit C. Carbonem eloquentissimum hominem admodum adulescens; summam ingeni non laudem modo sed etiam admirationem est consecutus" ("He prosecuted C. Carbo, an excellent speaker, when he was only a boy; thus he achieved not only the highest praise but also applause for his abilities"): Brutus, 159; similar comments in Cicero, de officiis, 2.13.47.
  18. One story told by Valerius Maximus, 6.5.6, if true, may suggest that at least some rats were deserting Carbo's sinking ship: "scrinium eius [Carbonis] a servo allatum ad se [Crassum], complura continens quibus facile opprimi posset, ut erat signatum cum servo catenato ad eum remisit." ("when a case of his [Carbo's] papers was brought to him [Crassus] by a slave, containing much material with which he might easily be overcome, he sent it back to him still sealed as it had been and with the slave in chains"). Carbo's oratorical reputation: Cicero, "Hic optimus illis temporibus est patronus habitus" ("He was held the best advocate of those times") (Brutus, 106); Carbo is also listed among famous orators of the period by Velleius Paterculus, 2.9.1. For Cicero's comment on the case's role in Crassus' career, see the previous note.
  19. Some have rejected this date for the debate about the colony at Narbo, but it is persuasively defended by Levick, B., Cicero, Brutus 43. 159 ff., and the Foundation of Narbo Martius (Classical Quarterly 21, 1971, pp.170-179).
  20. First quotation: "Voluit adulescens in colonia Narbonensi causae popularis aliquid attingere eamque coloniam, ut fecit, ipse deducere" (Cicero, Brutus, 160). Second quotation: "quantum potest de auctoritate senatus detrahit" (Cicero, pro Cluentio, 140).
  21. Cicero, Brutus, 160. Cicero adds that "exstat in eam legem senior, ut ita dicam, quam aetas illa ferebat oratio". This could mean either "the speech about that lex survives, more mature, I should say, than his age suggests" or "the speech about that lex survives, older, I should say, than that period used to produce". If Cicero means that it sounds like the speech of an older man, then he himself proves the point, for he erroneously thinks that the speech dates from after the trial of the Vestals.
  22. There is a minor chronological problem here. Cicero, Brutus, 160, says that Crassus was 27 at the time of his speech. This gives a date of C. Metello Cn. Carbone cos. (DCXLI a.u.c.) or M. Druso L. Pisone cos. (DCXLII a.u.c.). But the Epitome of Livy, 63.4, and Iulius Obsequens, 37, date the trial of the Vestals to M'. Balbo C. Catone cos. (DCXL a.u.c.). One solution might be to suppose that the whole process dragged on into the following year, and that Crassus' speech was made C. Metello Cn. Carbone cos. (DCXLI a.u.c.). This is not very easy to sustain. The wording of both the Epitome and Obsequens seems to indicate that the whole process was completed by the end of the year. Moreover, Marcobius, Saturnalia, 1.10.5-6, citing Fenestella, says that judgment was given against Aemilia a.d. XVII Kal. Ian. and Licinia's case was heard a.d. XV Kal. Ian. , which must be in December M'. Balbo C. Catone cos. (DCXL a.u.c.) unless we are to imagine that the whole process began M'. Balbo C. Catone cos. (DCXL a.u.c.) and was still not complete by December of the following year. There were, however, two trials: one before the pontifices in which only Aemilia was condemned (Asconius on pro Milone, 32), and a second before a special court under L. Cassius. The best solution, therefore, is to regard Fenestella, Obsequens, and the Epitome as all giving the date for the first trial, which ended in December M'. Balbo C. Catone cos. (DCXL a.u.c.), and that it was at the second trial, C. Metello Cn. Carbone cos. (DCXLI a.u.c.), that Crassus gave his speech, aged 27 as Cicero says. This still does not square very well with the wording of Obsequens, but it is not altogether incompatible with the Epitome (which does not specifically date the trial but merely places it between events known to have occurred M'. Balbo C. Catone cos. (DCXL a.u.c.) and others known to have occurred the following year), and it does chime with Fenestella, who is clearly giving dates only for the trial before the pontifices. Indeed even without Cicero's reference to Crassus' age we would probably have to assume that the special court was set up C. Metello Cn. Carbone cos. (DCXLI a.u.c.) as there would hardly have been time to do so between the end of the pontifical trial (which cannot have finished before a.d. XV Kal. Ian. and the end of the year; and indeed the trial before L. Cassius does seem to have been held early in the year since M. Antonius was about to set off for his province when he was summoned to appear (Valerius Maximus, 3.7.9). This chronology is found in Broughton, T.R.S., The Magistrates Of The Roman Republic (American Philological Association, 1951), vol.1 pp.534-537.
  23. The state of the body is described in detail (and in very similar terms) by Plutarch, Quaestiones Romanae, 83, by Iulius Obsequens, 37, and by Orosius, 5.20. Obsequens names her father P. Elvius, while Orosius calls him L. Helvius.
  24. Obsequens' use of the word "responsum" shows that some religious authorities were formally consulted about the meaning of the portent and gave a formal answer; no source, however, identifies which authorities were consulted. Rasmussen, S.W., Public Portents In Republican Rome (Analecta Romana Instituti Danici Supplementum XXXIV, 2003), p.94, indicates that it was the decemviri sacris faciundis, but she appears to be conflating this with the later consultation which came after the trials. Plutarch, Quaestiones Romanae, 83, makes it clear that there was a first consultation, of "soothsayers", after the death of Helvia and a second, of the decemviri, after the trials. The gist of the responsum is given by Plutarch in the same passage, and also (perhaps verbatim) by Iulius Obsequens, 37: "Responsum infamiam virginibus et equestri ordini portendi" ("[It was] answered that it presaged a scandal for the virgins and for the equestrian class").
  25. The slave is mentioned by Plutarch, Quaestiones Romanae, 83, and by Cassius Dio, 26.87.5. His name is provided by Dio, his master's name by Plutarch. According to Plutarch T. Betutius was one of the men who had been involved with the Vestals; Dio seems to say that Manius himself had been involved, or at least that he had been bribed to keep the secret by the promise of his freedom. As to the precise information which he gave, Plutarch says that he named all three of the Vestals who were later brought to book, but Dio indicates that he informed only on Aemilia and Licinia, while Marcia's indiscretion was only discovered through later inquiries. Betutius is mentioned as a notable orator from Asculum by Cicero, Brutus, 169.
  26. This was not strictly a trial but a hearing before the pontifex maximus, who traditionally had jurisdiction in such cases. The charge was of incestum: Epitome of Livy, 63.4; Iulius Obsequens, 37; Asconius on pro Milone, 32. Orosius, 5.20 uses the term stuprum, but this is probably just sloppiness. Marcia and Licinia, as well as Aemilia, are mentioned by the Epitome of Livy, 63.4; Plutarch, Quaestiones Romanae, 83; Cassius Dio, 26.87.5; and Asconius on pro Milone, 32. Orosius, 5.20, and Macrobius, Saturnalia, 1.10.5, mention only Aemilia, whose conduct was evidently regarded as the most disgraceful. As to their lovers, Plutarch names Betutius (who was apparently not a Roman citizen: Cicero, Brutus, 169) and Obsequens mentions "aliquot equit[es]" ("some equites"). Dio says that Marcia had a relationship with an eques but was not involved in the activities of the other two, who, he says, entertained a number of men, singly and in groups, separately and together, including one another's brothers. It seems that M. Antonius was also alleged to have been the lover of either Marcia or Licinia (not Aemilia since he was accused in the court of L. Cassius, by which time Aemilia had already been condemned): Valerius Maximus, 3.7.9 and 6.8.1. Orosius names one of Aemilia's lovers as the eques L. Veturius (though this may be a corruption of T. Betutius) and says that she was responsible for drawing the other two Vestals into her illicit activities. The discrepancies among the various accounts may be the result of ordinary distortion as the story was passed from source to source, but they may also reflect different accounts put forward at the trial itself: the version which distances Marcia from the other two may have been Marcia's defence, while the version in Orosius would have been a suitable argument for Licinia's advocate, Crassus himself.
  27. Asconius on pro Milone, 32.
  28. The relationship, along with the possible political motives for the prosecution, is discussed by Münzer, F., Roman Aristocratic Parties And Families (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), pp. 222-223. They were first cousins if Licinia was, as seems likely, the daughter of C. Crassus who was tribunus plebis Template:-145 and, as also seems likely, he was the son of the consular C. Crassus and, as seems possible, Crassus' father was also a son of that consular. Crassus' speech was probably at the trial before L. Cassius, both for chronological reasons (see note above) and because if the speech had secured an acquittal Cicero would probably have said so. Cicero's full comment on the speech is, "In ea ipsa causa fuit eloquentissimus orationisque eius scriptas quasdam partis reliquit" ("In that same case he was very eloquent and he has left some writings of part of his speech"): Brutus, 160.
  29. Cicero, Brutus, 161.
  30. For the relationships among the Scaevolae and Licinii, see Münzer, F., Roman Aristocratic Parties And Families (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), pp. 238, 255. The evidence for the date of Crassus' marriage to Mucia comes from Cicero, de oratore, 3.171, which quotes from a satire of Lucilius on the prosecution of Q. Scaevola by T. Albucius: Lucilius depicts Scaevola as referring to Crassus as his son-in-law. The trial took place L. Metello L. Cotta cos. (DCXXXV a.u.c.) and may have continued into M. Catone Q. Rege cos. (DCXXXVI a.u.c.); it is discussed by Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), pp.321-329. Crassus and his father-in-law also seem to have had a mutual friend in Granius the herald: Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.116 with n.47.
  31. Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), pp.112-116.
  32. On the Metelli and the Caepiones see Münzer, F., Roman Aristocratic Parties And Families (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), pp. 226-236; Scullard, H.H., From The Gracchi To Nero (Routledge, 1988), pp.44-5.
  33. The marriages: Münzer, F., Roman Aristocratic Parties And Families (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), p.238. Marius and the Metelli: Scullard, H.H., From The Gracchi To Nero (Routledge, 1988), pp.44-5. Scipio and the Metelli: Guen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p. 117.
  34. Cicero, de oratore, 3.18.68. At some time in his life Crassus also acquired an estate at Tusculum that had previously belonged to a Q. Metellus, perhaps the same man: Cicero, pro Balbo, 56. Crassus did not, however, acquire the property directly from this Metellus but rather from a freedman called Sotericus Marcius; it may have passed through other hands as well between Metellus and Marcius. Possibly Cicero is not even recording the owners in chronological order, in which case it may gone from Crassus to Metellus rather than the other way (in which case Metellus Pius is a good candidate). By Cicero's time the estate had found its way to L. Cornelius Balbus.
  35. Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.111 and following.
  36. Carbo had been an opponent of P. Scipio and was suspected of involvement in his death. This explanation for the prosecution is apparently thought plausible by Greun, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), pp.107-108.
  37. Bauman thinks a pro-Gracchan motive more likely than an anti-Gracchan one: Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), p.379; but he also suggests that Crassus was pursuing a non-ideological private grudge against Carbo held by his father-in-law Scaevola: pp.320-321.
  38. The full fragment: "Non si Opimium defendisti, Carbo, idcirco te isti bonum civem putabunt; simulasse te et aliud quid quaesisse perspicuum est, quod Ti. Gracchi mortem saepe in contionibus deplorasti, quod P. Africani necis socius fuisti, quod eam legem in tribunatu tulisti, quod semper a bonis dissedisti" ("Not even if you did defend Opimius, Carbo, are those people going to consider you a good citizen: it is obvious that you were pretending and aiming at something else, for you often bemoaned the death of Ti. Gracchus in your public speeches, you were a partner in the murder of P. Africanus, you enacted that statute in your tribunate, you have always been at variance with respectable statesmen").
  39. Cicero, de oratore, 1.34.154, has Crassus call Carbo "my enemy" ("nostrum... inimicum"). This is being said long after the prosecution but refers to Crassus' youth. The implication seems to be that they were inimici before the prosecution, but it is conceivable that Cicero is merely confused.
  40. C. Gracchus himself was instrumental in the creation of two new colonies and may have contemplated a third: Scullard, H.H., From The Gracchi To Nero (Routledge, 1988), p.33.
  41. Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.112; Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), p.331.
  42. Münzer, F., Roman Aristocratic Parties And Families (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), pp. 222-224. We also note in this connection that this Q. Marcius was probably a relative of the consul whom Crassus supported, and that the pontifex maximus who was lenient to Licinia and Marcia was a Metellus, whereas the judge who subsequently condemned them was an ally of the P. Scipio who was in turn an opponent of the Gracchi. But all this may be pushing speculation too far.
  43. It should be noted that young politicians, particularly as tribuni plebis, were fully licensed and even perhaps encouraged by tradition to be somewhat anti-establishment, and for every firebrand like the Gracchi who took things too far there was at least one populist reformer who later ended up safe and sound as a respectable senator: a progressive stance for a young politician was by no means a career-killer.
  44. "The tenure of both posts... was practised by men who distrusted their electoral chances for the praetorship" according to Wiseman, T.P., New Men In The Roman Senate, 139 B.C.-A.D. 14 (Oxford University Press, 1971), p.161.
  45. Cicero, Brutus, 160: "Multae deinde causae" ("Next were many cases").
  46. Cicero, de oratore, 1.26.121. Broughton, T.R.S., The Magistrates Of The Roman Republic (American Philological Association, 1951), vol.1 p.526-527, suggests that this was the very case of Carbo, but this seems unlikely both in principle (would so nerve-wracked a young advocate have had the gumption to prosecute such a major target, and could he have defeated in the divinatio all others who would no doubt have wanted to prosecute such an unpopular politician?) and on the strength of the Ciceronian text (for the de oratore contains several references to the prosecution of Carbo and would surely make the connection between the two if there were one). More plausibly, Broughton identifies the praetor in question as Q. Maximus Eburnus.
  47. Cicero, de oratore, 2.70.289. A number of Pisones are known from this period, but this one cannot be confidently identified with any of them.
  48. Valerius Maximus, 9.1.1.
  49. Cicero, de oratore, 2.45.262.
  50. Cicero, de oratore, 2.46.265; Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.133.
  51. Cicero, de oratore, 2.285 records an effective piece of cross-examination by Crassus of one of the witnesses for the prosecution. The reasons for assuming an acquittal are mentioned by Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.134 note 163.
  52. One's confidence in the date depends on one's views on various other unresolved questions, some about Crassus himself and others about the cursus honorum in general. If there was any statutory minimum age for election as quaestor in this period then it was probably 25, in which case Crassus could technically have been quaestor as early as the year M. Scauro M. Metello cos. (DCXXXIX a.u.c.); if the only requirement was that the candidate have completed his compulsory military service, and if, as has been discussed above, Crassus served no more than six years, then he could legally have run for quaestor L. Metello L. Cotta cos. (DCXXXV a.u.c.). But his ancestry was not of the highest calibre, he was no military hero, and his allies and patrons were themselves still on their way to the 'Metellan ascendancy' of the next decade: it is likely that he had to spend some years establishing his status as a rising star of the courts before running for office. As to the latest possible date, it depends whether one considers any gap to have been required by law or custom between the quaestura and higher offices. There are examples of people who observed no gap at all, such as C. Gracchus and L. Saturninus, but there is so little evidence that it is difficult to say whether these were exceptional. Even if Crassus left no gap, we know that he was probably served more than one year as quaestor, so he cannot have entered that office later than the second year before his tribunate, and that gives a latest date of Q. Metello M. Silano cos. (DCXLV a.u.c.). Amidst this uncertainty, we can say with some confidence that he was not quaestor C. Metello Cn. Carbone cos. (DCXLI a.u.c.) or M. Druso L. Pisone cos. (DCXLII a.u.c.), since in those years M. Antonius was quaestor in Asia: Broughton, T.R.S., The Magistrates Of The Roman Republic (American Philological Association, 1951), vol.1 p.536, 539. We can also eliminate the years L. Metello L. Cotta cos. (DCXXXV a.u.c.) and M. Catone Q. Rege cos. (DCXXXVI a.u.c.), when we have Crassus in Rome prosecuting Carbo and then supporting the colony at Narbo, and also M'. Balbo C. Catone cos. (DCXL a.u.c.) and C. Metello Cn. Carbone cos. (DCXLI a.u.c.) for the trial of the Vestals (since Crassus was apparently prorogued as quaestor he cannot have entered that office M'. Balbo C. Catone cos. (DCXL a.u.c.) or he would not have been in Rome in time for the trial, which was very probably early the next year).
  53. Cicero, Brutus, 161.
  54. Cicero, de oratore, 3.75.
  55. Broughton, T.R.S., The Magistrates Of The Roman Republic (American Philological Association, 1951), vol.1 pp.523-524 (Scaevola), 536-539 (Antonius).
  56. Cicero, de oratore, 2.90.365: "... neque inde [ab foro] unquam diutius quam quaestor abfuerim" ("... nor have I ever been away [from the forum] longer than when I was quaestor"). If it was the longest he had ever been away then it must have been longer than his year in Gallia Cisalpina as consul.
  57. Cicero, de oratore, 1.11.45, 2.90.365, 3.20.75.
  58. "... et inde [Asia] decedens Athenis..." ("... and leaving there [Asia] for Athens...") (Cicero, de oratore, 3.20.75); "... cum quaestor ex Macedonia venissem Athenas..." ("... when, as quaestor, I had come to Athens from Macedonia...") (Cicero, de oratore, 1.11.45). It is not altogether clear whether he was on official business or simply journeying home. "Decedens" may indicate nothing more than the fact that he left, but the word is also often used of the departure of a magistrate from his province when his official task there has been completed or when he has been relieved of command. On the other hand "quaestor... venissem" implies that he was still quaestor when he arrived in Athens. The statements can perhaps be reconciled, either by conjecturing that a quaestor remained officially a quaestor even after leaving his province until he had actually returned to Rome (analogously to the way as a pronconsul or propraetor retained his imperium until he re-entered the city) or by recognizing that Romans of the late republic did not distinguish public from private activities as sharply as is often done today (L. Sulla, for example, spent some recreational time in Athens while he was (at least in his own mind) proconsul Cn. Carbone (II) L. Cinna (IV) cos. (DCLXX a.u.c.)), and Crassus' father-in-law Q. Scaevola visited Athens and Rhodes while praetor in Asia.
  59. Cicero, de oratore, 1.11.45-47 (naming a number of philosophers), 1.13.57 (encouraged by Marcellus to debate with them), 3.20.75.
  60. Cicero, de oratore, 3.20.75. This dates his arrival to either spring, when the 'lesser mysteries' were (celebrated annually on a variable date), or the 25th of Boedromion (late summer) two days after the end of the 'greater mysteries' (celebrated every five years on a fixed date).
  61. Cicero, Brutus, 160: "ita tacitus tribunatus ut, nisi in eo magistratu cenavisset apud praeconem Granium idque nobis bis narravisset Lucilius, tribunum plebis nesciremus fuisse".
  62. The fragments are collected in Warmington, E.H. (ed.), Remains Of Old Latin (Harvard University Press, 1967), pp.186-195.
  63. Crassus' speech: Cicero, Brutus, 161. The effect of the lex: Cicero, de oratore, 2.199; Iulius Obsequens, 41.
  64. The moment of Latin maturity: Cicero, Brutus, 161. The contents of the speech (which survived in writing in Cicero's day): Cicero, de oratore, 1.52.225 (probably); pro Cluentio, 140; Brutus, 164. Crassus' jokes at Cicero, de oratore, 2.66.267 and 2.59.240 may well also belong to this speech, or other exchanges on the subject of the lex Servilia.
  65. Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.158 with note 8.
  66. Cicero, Brutus, 43.161. The possible significance of this, especially for Scaevola's career, is discussed by Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), pp.363-364.
  67. They need not necessarily have been allies to have held the quaestura together, for at least eight quaestores were elected every year (Lintott, A., The Constitution Of The Roman Republic (Oxford University Press, 1999), pp.134-135; Mousourakis, G., The Historical And Institutional Context Of Roman Law (Ashgate, 2003), pp.94-95) and they cannot all have been political allies.
  68. The name and the anecdotes: Cicero, de oratore, 2.55.222-226; Cicero, pro Cluentio, 51.140-141; Quintilian, 6.3.43-44.
  69. Cicero, pro Cluentio, 51.141: "exposuit utriusque rationem temporis, ut oratio ex re et ex causa habita videretur". The precise meaning of the sentence is tricky because of the broadness of the words "ratio" and "res". The "ratio temporis" could be the reasoning, the explanation, a description, the business, the policy, the principles, or the nature of the time; and the "res" could be the subject-matter, the content, the circumstances, the factual basis, or the political background of the speech. Still, the general point is clear.
  70. Cicero reports that Crassus "aliquantum esse commotus dicitur" ("is said to have been somewhat agitated / excited"): Cicero, pro Cluentio, 51.140; and Cicero himself opines that "moleste... fortasse tulerat se in eis orationibus reprehensum, quas de re publica habuisset, in quibus forsitan magis requiratur constantia" ("perhaps he had taken offence at being censured for these speeches, which he had made concerning affairs of state, in which consistency is perhaps more justifiably looked for"): Cicero, pro Cluentio, 51.141. We may note also that the explanation of the circumstances was not the sole, or maybe even the main, plank of Crassus' response, for he went on to use extracts from Brutus' father's books to ridicule Brutus in a manner totally irrelevant to Brutus' original accusation: Cicero, pro Cluentio, 51.141; Quintilian in his account and Cicero in de oratore mention only the ridicule. Though not conclusive, all this tends to support the suspicion that Crassus felt an uncomfortable truth in the accusation.
  71. Asconius on pro Milone, 32.
  72. On the date see Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), pp.132-133.
  73. Cicero, ad Atticum, 1.16.4; Valerius Maximus, 2.10.1.
  74. On the date see Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), pp.133-134. Piso's friendship with Scaurus is demonstrated by the fact that the latter appeared as a witness on his behalf at the trial: Cicero, de oratore, 2.265. For Scaurus' links to the Metelli, Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), pp.118-123.
  75. He was defeated as a candidate for the consulate; the following year he narrowly succeeded, but was promptly prosecuted for bribery. He was acquitted. See generally Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), pp.119-123.
  76. Sallust, bellum Iugurthinum, 8-39; Scullard, H.H., From The Gracchi To Nero (Routledge, 1988), pp. 46-47.
  77. Sallust, bellum Iugurthinum, 7.7; Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.143.
  78. Sallust, bellum Iugurthinum, 40.1.
  79. Sallust comments that the prosecutions were "magis odio nobilitatis... quam cura rei publicae" ("more from hatred of the nobility... than from care for the republic"): bellum Iugurthinum, 40.3). Among the targets were L. Opimius (the consul who killed C. Gracchus), L. Calpurnius (who had recalled from exile the man who had presided over persecutions of the followers of Ti. Gracchus), and C. Galba (who had probably collaborated with the anti-Gracchans after the death of C. Gracchus).
  80. For L. Calpurnius' links with the Metellan group, and for Scaurus' role in the whole affair, see Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), pp.145-149. Gruen also regards C. Galba and C. Cato as members of the Metellan group, but the evidence is weak (pp. 145-147; 150).
  81. The quotation in Cicero, de oratore, 1.52.225 is thought to belong to this speech by, among others, Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.158 n.7; Dominik, W., & Hall, J. (eds), A Companion To Roman Rhetoric (Blackwell, 2007), p.242. On the other hand, however, Cicero seems to say that the speech from which the fragment is taken was delivered when Crassus was "a very famous man and an extremely distinguished leader of the community" ("clarissimo viro, et amplissimo princip civitatis"), which seems rather inflated if the fragment indeed belongs to Q. Caepione C. Serrano cos. (DCXLVIII a.u.c.). There is also the fact that the fragment may imply that Crassus was a member of the senate, which would be by no means impossible but perhaps a little surprising so early in his career.
  82. Cicero, de oratore, 1.52.225: "Eripite nos ex miseriis, eripite nos ex faucibus eorum, quorum crudelitas nostro sanguine non potest expleri; nolite sinere nos cuiquam servire, nisi vobis universis, quibus et possumus et debemus". Also quoted in Cicero, paradoxa Stoicorum, 41, with a rather different opening phrase.
  83. Cicero, de oratore, 1.53.227.
  84. There was indeed a large crowd: "in maxima contione" (Cicero, de oratore, 1.52.225).
  85. A survey is provided by Scullard, H.H., From The Gracchi To Nero (Routledge, 1988), pp.50-59.
  86. The date of Glaucia's tribunate is not certain: see Scullard, H.H., From The Gracchi To Nero (Routledge, 1988), p.52; Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), pp.166-167. As to the special court, the outcome is not clear but Caepio may have been fined: Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), pp.162-163.
  87. Caepio went into exile. The fate of Mallius is unknown.
  88. Cicero, pro Rabirio perduellionis reo, 21. The passage appears to be a list of people who were actually part of the lynch-mob, but this serves the purpose of Cicero's speech and should not be relied upon too heavily.
  89. Cicero, de provinciis consularibus, 19: "Quis plenior inimicorum fuit C. Mario? L. Crassus, M. Scaurus alieni, inimici omnes Metelli. At ii non modo illum inimicum ex Gallia sententiis suis non detrahebant..." ("Who had more enemies than C. Marius? L. Crassus and M. Scaurus were unfavourable to him, all the Metelli were his enemies. But these not only did not vote to recall their enemy from Gaul..."). Similarly Scaurus may have been averse to Marius before C. Mario (VI) L. Flacco cos. (DCLIV a.u.c.) but was apparently, like Crassus, more friendly in the following years.
  90. Cicero, de oratore, 2.59.240-241 and 2.66.267. Memmius was active P. Scipione L. Bestia cos. (DCXLIII a.u.c.) to C. Mario (VI) L. Flacco cos. (DCLIV a.u.c.); the latter joke suggests a time when Memmius was popular and successful, but we do not really know enough about his career to narrow this down.
  91. Cicero, in Verrem, 4.59.133: "L. Crasso, Q. Scaevolae, C. Claudio, potentissimis hominibus, quorum aedilitates ornatissimas vidimus" ("L. Crassus, Q. Scaevola, and C. Claudius, men of great power, whose very elaborate aedilitates we have seen"); de officiis, 2.16.57: "L. Crassus cum omnium hominum moderatissimo Q. Mucio magificentissima aedilitate functus est" ("L. Crassus, together with that most restrained of men Q. Mucius, discharged the most magnificent aedilitas"); de oratore, 3.24.92: "apparatu nobis opus est et rebus exquisitis undique et collectis, arcessitis, comportatis, ut tibi, Caesar, faciendum est ad annum, ut ego [Crassus] in aedilitate laboravi, quod quotidianis et vernaculis rebus satisfacere me posse huic populo non putabam" ("We need magnificence and refined things, collected, discovered, and accumulated from all sources, as you shall have to do, Caesar, in a year, and as I [Crassus] tried to do as aedile, since I thought I would not be able to satisfy the people with everyday and household things").
  92. Pliny, historia naturalis, 17.1 (four pillars); 36.3 (six pillars); Valerius Maximus, 9.1.4 (ten pillars).
  93. Pliny, historia naturalis, 8.20.
  94. Wiseman, T.P., New Men In The Roman Senate, 139 B.C.-A.D. 14 (Oxford University Press, 1971), pp.160-161.
  95. We know of one other member of the Metellan group, about the same age as Crassus, who tried to run for praetor C. Mario (V) M'. Aquillio cos. (DCLIII a.u.c.) or C. Mario (VI) L. Flacco cos. (DCLIV a.u.c.) and failed: L. Sulla.
  96. Cicero, pro Rabirio perduellionis reo, 21: "cum omnes praetores, cuncta nobilitas ac iuventus accurreret, Cn. et L. Domitii, L. Crassus, Q. Mucius, C. Claudius, M. Drusus" ("when all the praetores, the whole nobility and youth hastened forth, Cn. and L. Domitius, L. Crassus, Q. Mucius, C. Claudius, M. Drusus"). He has already mentioned the men of consular rank and goes on to mention still younger men, so evidently this is a list in order of seniority. None of the men with whom Crassus is mentioned are likely to have been praetor by C. Mario (VI) L. Flacco cos. (DCLIV a.u.c.), and this is presumably why they are mentioned after the praetores. C. Claudius must be C. Pulcher who was praetor L. Crasso Q. Scaevola cos. (DCLIX a.u.c.), and M. Drusus was only a former quaestor at the time.
  97. A survey in Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), pp.188-190. The date Q. Metello T. Didio cos. (DCLVI a.u.c.) is suggested by Broughton, T.R.S., The Magistrates Of The Roman Republic (American Philological Association, 1951), 2.4-5.
  98. His skills and experience would, of course, have suited him well for a judicial duty, but such duties were, at least in theory, awarded by lot and not by merit.
  99. On the date, Gruen, E.S., Political Prosecutions In The 90's B.C. (Historia, 1966, pp.32-64), p.43. But Badian, E., Caepio And Norbanus (Historia, 1957, pp.318-346), p.329, argues that it cannot have been until after L. Crasso Q. Scaevola cos. (DCLIX a.u.c.).
  100. Certainly before September L. Philippo Sex. Caesare cos. (DCLXIII a.u.c.): Cicero, de oratore, 1.66; 3.8. Apparently before the trial of T. Matrinius around C. Caldo L. Ahenobarbo cos. (DCLX a.u.c.): Cicero, pro Balbo, 49. Probably soon after the younger Marius came of age, which must have been about C. Flacco M. Herennio cos. (DCLXI a.u.c.) since he was born Q. Metello M. Silano cos. (DCXLV a.u.c.).
  101. Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), pp.192-193.
  102. Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.195.
  103. Cicero, de oratore, 1.10.30.
  104. Valerius Maximus, 4.5.4; Cicero, de oratore, 1.24.112.
  105. Cicero, de officiis, 3.11.47.
  106. For detailed discussion of the provisions see the article on the lex.
  107. Asconius on Cicero, pro Cornelio: "Verum ea lege ita alienati animi sunt principum Italicorum populorum ut ea vel maxima causa belli Italici quod post triennium exortum est fuerit" ("Indeed the leaders of the Italian peoples were so alienated by that statute that it was even the greatest cause of the Italian war which broke out three years later").
  108. On the origins of the statute there is a puzzling item from Cicero, de oratore, 2.44.257: "Statius Scauro stomachanti ex quo sunt nonnulli qui tuam legem de civitate natam Crasse dicant: St, tacete, quid hoc clamoris? Quibus nec mater, nec pater, tanta confidentia? Auferte istam enim superbiam". This can be translated either as "Statius said to an angry Scaurus [the following quotation], from which there are some who say your own lex de civitate, Crassus, was born: Shh, be quiet, what is this racket? No mother, no father, but such arrogance? Take your pride away", or else "Statius said to an angry Scaurus, from whom there are some who say your own lex de civitate was born: Shh, be quiet, what is this racket? No mother, no father, but such arrogance? Take your pride away". The former would seem to suggest that this quotation inspired the statute. It is hard to see why, unless the implication is that the quotation encapsulates Crassus' own hostility to 'parentless' (i.e. foreign) people and their 'racket' (perhaps their bad Latin). The latter implies that M. Scaurus was a driving force behind the lex.
  109. Cicero, Brutus, 44.162.
  110. Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.195-196. Though the outcome of the trial is not explicitly recorded, Caepio was still around and making trouble again a few years later.
  111. See discussion above.
  112. Rhetorica ad Herennium, 2.12.17; a similar passage is found in Cicero, de partitione oratoria, 30.105. M. Antonius used the same defence at the trial of Norbanus, which fell at about the same time. Cicero appears at de oratore, 2.25.107, to suggest that Antonius was the originator of the defence, though this may be simply because the issue of disputed definitions of offences falls during Antonius' part of the dialogue; the other possibility, that Crassus was the first to use it, is at first glance more plausible since he was more a lawyer than Antonius and was close to a number of lawyers including his father-in-law, and may also be suggested by the fact that it was, to judge from the rhetorica ad Herennium and Cicero, de partitione oratoria, 30.105, the use of the defence at Caepio's trial that came to be used as the classic example. The technical aspects of the defence are discussed by Bauman, R.A., The Crimen Maiestatis In The Roman Republic And Augustan Principate (Witwatersrand University Press, 1967. Elsewhere Bauman seems to consider that the defence was Crassus' invention: Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), p.335.
  113. Cicero, de inventione, 2.111.
  114. Cicero, de inventione, 2.111.
  115. Cicero, de inventione, 2.111.
  116. Cicero, de inventione, 2.111; in Pisonem, 26, with Asconius' commentary.
  117. Discussed in Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), p.347; see also discussion above
  118. Valerius Maximus, 3.7.6.
  119. Cicero, in Verrem, 2.3.3.
  120. Cicero, de oratore, 3.3.10 ("inimicissimi").
  121. Cicero, pro Fonteio, 24; Valerius Maximus, 8.5.3. On the date see also Gruen, E.S., Political Prosecutions In The 90s B.C. (Historia, 1966), p.51. This Marcellus was perhaps the Marcellus who was later L. Caesar's lieutenant in the Italian war.
  122. Valerius Maximus, 8.5.3: "impetu gravis, exitu vanus apparuit".
  123. There is no specific evidence of the date except that it must obviously have been after L. Crasso Q. Scaevola cos. (DCLIX a.u.c.) when the lex was passed and before L. Philippo Sex. Caesare cos. (DCLXIII a.u.c.) when Crassus died. Gruen, E.S., Political Prosecutions In The 90s B.C. (Historia, 1966), pp.48-49, suggests placing the trial in a political context which would put it closer to L. Crasso Q. Scaevola cos. (DCLIX a.u.c.).
  124. Cicero, pro Balbo, 48.
  125. Cicero, pro Balbo, 49.
  126. The crucial sentence is: "Tanta auctoritas in C. Mario fuit ut non per L. Crassum, adfinem suum, hominem incredibili eloquentia, sed paucis ipse verbis causam illam gravitate sua defenderit et probarit". It can be translated as "C. Marius had such authority that he defended and vindicated the case not by L. Crassus, his relative and a man of incredible eloquence, but by his own few words and his seriousness". The meaning may be that C. Marius did not even trouble to ask for Crassus' help, or it may be that although Crassus conducted the defence it was Marius who carried the day. Gruen, E.S., Political Prosecutions In The 90s B.C. (Historia, 1966), pp.48-49, supports the latter interpretation. Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), p.368, rejects this possibility apparently on the grounds that it would have been inconsistent for Crassus, who had legislated against false citizens, to defend someone who was being accused of false citizenship under his own statute; but if Matrinius was not guilty then he was not a false citizen and it would not have been at all inconsistent for Crassus to defend him.
  127. This is the suggestion of Gruen, E.S., Political Prosecutions In The 90s B.C. (Historia, 1966), pp.48-49.
  128. On the date, and the cases' possible implications for the relationship between Crassus and Scaevola and for Scaevola's legal and political views, see Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), pp.344-351; for more technical legal discussion of the case, with full quotations from the main sources, see Watson, A., The Law Of Succession In The Later Roman Republic (Oxford University Press, 1971), pp.44, 53-55, 94-96, and Watson, A., Law Making In The Later Roman Republic (Oxford University Press, 1974), pp.129-131.
  129. The case aroused much anticipation and drew a considerable crowd: Cicero, de oratore, 1.39.180: "quo concursu hominum, qua exspectatione".
  130. Cicero, Brutus, 53.197-198; Watson, A., Law Making In The Later Roman Republic (Oxford University Press, 1974), pp.129-131.
  131. The date is to be inferred from Cicero, de oratore, 1.39.178, saying that the case happened "nuper" ("recently"). The same word is used in the same text, at 1.39.180, to refer to the causa Curiana.
  132. Crassus' argument here is in interesting contrast to his case in the causa Curiana, but the task of a lawyer, in those days as today, was to present the argument that favoured his client, not the one he himself believed in.
  133. The case is described by Cicero, de officiis, 3.16.67, and de oratore, 1.39.178. A victory for Crassus is perhaps implied by the sentence introducing the anecdote in de officiis: "Sed huius modi reticentiae iure civili comprehendi non possunt; quae autem possunt, diligenter tenentur" ("But such witholdings of information cannot be comprehensively dealt with by law; those which can, however, are kept scrupulously in check").
  134. Friendships and associations not mentioned in the text are listed here for the sake of completeness. He was a friend of Q. Metellus Numidicus (Cicero, de oratore, 3.18.68), Q. Pompeius Rufus (Cicero, de oratore, 1.37.168), M. Bucculeius (Cicero, de oratore, 1.39.179), C. Velleius (Cicero, de oratore, 3..21.78), M. Vigellius (Cicero, de oratore, 3.21.78), his childhood teacher C. Coelius Antipater (Cicero, de oratore, 2.12.54; Brutus, 26.102), M. Marcellus (Cicero, de oratore, 1.13.57), N. Furius (Cicero, de oratore, 3.23.87), and Q. Granius (Cicero, de oratore, 2.61.253. His appearance on two different occasions as advocate for C. Sergius Orata may imply a friendly relationship (Cicero, de oratore, 1.39.178; Valerius Maximus 9.1.1; Cicero, de officiis, 3.16.67). He was a close friend of C. Visellius Aculeo, whom he greatly admired, with whom he shared his home, and whom he at least once represented in court (Cicero, de oratore, 1.43.191; 2.1.2; 2.65.262). Q. Catulus and C. Caesar Strabo were "very dear friends" of Crassus according to Cicero, de oratore, 2.4.15. On the other hand, we hear that he was less friendly with C. Lucilius than the latter wished, on account of the poet's animosity to Crassus' father-in-law (Cicero, de oratore, 1.16.72).
  135. A good survey of the arguments in Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), pp.346-348.
  136. Epstein, D.F., Personal Enmity In Roman Politics, 218-43 B.C. (Croom Helm, 1987), pp.90-126
  137. Indeed we know that Crassus referred to his opponent in another private-law case as his friend: Valerius Maximus, 9.1.1.
  138. Cicero, pro Caecina, 69. We should of course be careful of assuming that Scaevola the augur and Scaevola the pontifex enjoyed consistently good relations merely because they were cousins.
  139. Opposition of triumphs as a feature of inimicitiae: Epstein, D.F., Personal Enmity In Roman Politics, 218-43 B.C. (Croom Helm, 1987), pp.59-60, 77-78.
  140. Cicero, Brutus, 43.161: "... censuram sine Saceola gessit; eum enm magistratum nemo umquam Scaevolarum petivit."
  141. Cicero, de oratore, 2.54.221-55.222. In one preserved fragment he lightly teases Scaevola's perfectionism while acknowledging his legal expertise: Cicero, de oratore, 2.6.24.
  142. Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), p.347. We may also note that Scaevola is never referred to as Crassus' friend (amicus, familiaris, &c.) in Cicero's de oratore, set in the last year of his life: e.g. 1.37.170; 1.39.180; 1.53.229; 1.57.244; and in particular 3.3.10.
  143. A betrothal contracted before the groom comes of age would normally lead to a marriage soon after the coming of age: the young Marius will have come of age about C. Flacco M. Herennio cos. (DCLXI a.u.c.). Also, Cicero's use of the word "adfinis" ("relative by marriage) to describe Crassus' relationship to Marius at the time of the trial of T. Matrinius suggests that the marriage had taken place by then; but the date of the trial itself is uncertain, except that it must have been between L. Crasso Q. Scaevola cos. (DCLIX a.u.c.) and L. Philippo Sex. Caesare cos. (DCLXIII a.u.c.) and may have been earlier rather than later: Gruen, E.S., Political Prosecutions In The 90s B.C. (Historia, 1966), pp.48-49. At any rate all this tends to confirm continuing amicable relations between Crassus and Marius around L. Crasso Q. Scaevola cos. (DCLIX a.u.c.) at the earliest. The marriage had clearly taken place by Id. Sep. L. Philippo Sex. Caesare cos. (DCLXIII a.u.c.) for at that date Marius was Crassus' "affinis": Cicero, de oratore, 1.15.66.
  144. Cicero, de oratore, 1.15.66, implies that Sulpicius would be likely to turn to Marius for military advice. See discussion by Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.225.
  145. Valerius Maximus, 3.8.5.
  146. Aculeo and Crassus: Cicero, de oratore, 1.43.191; 2.1.2. Crassus and the Cicerones: Cicero, de oratore, 2.1.2. Other links: Wiseman, T.P., New Men In The Roman Senate (Oxford University Press, 1971), pp.31, 55-57, with sources cited there.
  147. Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), p.346 with n.36. But Bauman cites Cicero, pro Archia, 20, which has no apparent bearing on the point, and Cicero, de provinciis consularibus, 19, which clearly refers to the Gallic campaigns before C. Mario (VI) L. Flacco cos. (DCLIV a.u.c.), not to this period.
  148. Cicero, de oratore, 1.7.24: "socer eius... fuerat".
  149. Thus Münzer, F., Roman Aristocratic Parties And Families (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), p.380. It is worth mentioning that elsewhere in the same dialogue Scaevola is called "socer" and Laelia, his wife, is called "socrus" ("mother-in-law") in the present tense: 3.18.68; 3.12.45.
  150. Brutus, 58.211. The phrase is "sermo mihi fuit notus", which could mean either that he talked to her or that he heard her, though either way it implies more than a few occasions.
  151. Date of Cicero's attachment to Scaevola: Cicero, Brutus, 89.306.
  152. Cicero, Brutus, 58.211: "Auditus est nobis Laeliae C. f. saepe sermo; ergo illam patris elegantia tinctam vidimus et filias eius Mucias ambas, quarum sermo mihi fuit notus, et neptes Licinias..." ("We have heard the speech of Laelia the daughter of Gaius; thus we have seen her touched with her father's elegance and also both her daughters, the Muciae, whose conversation I knew, and her granddaughters the Liciniae...") The specific wording of the sentence suggests inheritance from the father (thus Laelia from Laelius, the Muciae from Scaevola, and the Liciniae from Crassus), but at the same time the sequence of individuals is matrilineal and the whole point of the passage is to illustrate that eloquence can be inherited not only from one's father but also from one's mother ("patres paedagogi matres etiam" ("fathers, teachers, and indeed mothers"), says the preceding section), so it is not altogether clear to whom Cicero is crediting the pleasant speech of Mucia and her daughters.
  153. Münzer, F., Roman Aristocratic Parties And Families (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), p.380; though the two men may equally have become friends when Crassus studied law under Scaevola, presumably before the marriage: Cicero, de oratore, 1.10.40.
  154. Cicero, de oratore, 1.21.97; 3.3.11.
  155. Cicero, de oratore, 2.47.197-2.50.204; Valerius Maximus, 8.5.2 (indicating M. Scaurus as the instigator of the prosecution).
  156. Münzer, F., Roman Aristocratic Parties And Families (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), pp.295-296. Cotta is said to have been devoted to Crassus: Cicero, de oratore, 3.311.
  157. Cicero, de oratore, 1.53.229.
  158. Cicero, de oratore, 1.53.230; Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), pp.204-205. Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), p.347 rather stretches Rutilius' disapproval of Crassus' style when he says that Rutilius "did not like Crassus", and uses Crassus' failure to take part in the trial as evidence of a coolness between Crassus and Scaevola without addressing Cicero's clear implication that Crassus offered and was refused.
  159. Cassius Dio, 36.40.3-4; Valerius Maximus, 5.4.4; Münzer, F., Roman Aristocratic Parties And Families (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), p.296. This Carbo is not, it seems, the same C. Carbo Arvina who went to spy on Crassus in his consular province, and his relationship to the latter is not clear: he is probably too old to be the son of Arvina, unless he began his political career very young; Arvina was probably the eldest grandson of C. Carbo who was praetor Template:-168, and it is therefore hard to imagine that this Carbo can be any closer than a second cousin. The connection to Arvina's grudge against Crassus may therefore appear too remote to be credible.
  160. The relationship among Cotta, Sulpicius, Drusus, and Crassus is evidenced by, for example, Cicero, de oratore, 1.21.97; 1.7.25 ("maximi familiares"). Drusus and Cotta both had P. Rutilius as an uncle: Münzer, F., Roman Aristocratic Parties And Families (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), p.288. Crassus was certainly behind Drusus during the early part of the latter's tribunate: Cicero, de domo suo, 50; Cicero, de oratore, 3.1.2-3.2.6. Drusus and Caepio: Münzer, F., Roman Aristocratic Parties And Families (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), pp.268-273.
  161. Cicero, Brutus, 64.229; Cicero, de oratore, 3.61.229.
  162. Cicero, de oratore, 3.61.228.
  163. Cicero, Brutus, 43.161.
  164. No source is explicit, but the incident mentioned in Valerius Maximus, 3.7.9 and 6.8.1, must surely be the same as that discussed above. Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.129, proceeds on this basis.
  165. Cicero, ad familiaribus, 9.21.3; Apuleius, apologia, 66; Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.131.
  166. Cicero, Brutus, 55.203, de oratore, 2.3.12.
  167. For his political activities see, for example, Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), pp.192-193 (associating with C. Marius after the latter's return from exile), 194-195 (forensic work Cn. Lentulo P. Crasso cos. (DCLVII a.u.c.)), 218 (attacked by the enemies of M. Drusus). For Cicero's depiction see de oratore throughout. "Very close friendship" ("summa cum Crasso familiaritate coniunctus"): Cicero, de oratore, 1.7.24-25.)
  168. Crassus also worked with Scaurus during the trial of L. Piso, whom Crassus defended and for whom Scaurus appeared as a witness, and he and Crassus shared the distinction of being disapproved of by P. Rutilius, who prosecuted Scaurus after his first election to the consulatus.
  169. They were also, for what it is worth, neighbours: Cicero, de oratore, 1.49.214.
  170. See the brief survey of this period above.
  171. Ahenobarbus on Crassus: Valerius Maximus, 9.1.4: "Cn. Domitius L. Crasso collegae suo altercatione orta obiecit quod columnas Hymettias in porticu domus haberet. Quem continuo Crassus quanti ipse domum suam aestimaret interrogavit, atque ut respondit 'sexagies sestertio,' 'quanto ergo eam' inquit 'minoris fore existimas si decem arbusculas inde succidero?' 'Ipso tricies sestertio' Domitius. Tunc Crassus: 'uter igitur luxuriosior est, egone, qui decem columnas centum milibus nummum emi, an tu, qui decem arbuscularum umbram tricies sestertii summa compensas?'" ("Cn. Domitius, when a quarrel arose, accused L. Crassus of having columns of Hymettian marble in the portico of his house. Without hesitating, Crassus asked how he valued his own house; when he replied, 'Six million sestetii,' Crassus said, 'How much less, then, would it be worth if I cut down ten of the saplings there?' 'Three million sestertii,' said Domitius. Then Crassus replied, 'Which of us, then, is the more extravagant: I, who bought ten columns for a hundred thousand pieces, or you, who equate the shade of ten saplings with a value of three million sestertii?'") A somewhat different version is given by the elder Pliny, historia naturalis, 17.1-6, according to which Ahenobarbus rebukes Crassus for having a house worth ten million sestertii, to which Crassus replies that Ahenobarbus can have the property at that price so long as Crassus can remove six trees; when Ahenobarbus rejects the offer, Crassus calls him extravagant for valuing six trees at ten million sestertii; the columns do not feature, though Pliny goes on to mention them shortly afterwards. Also Macrobius, Saturnalia, 3.15.4-5: "Is tamen Crassus, vir censorius, nam cum Cn. Domitio censor fuit, cum supra ceteros disertus haberetur essetque inter clarissimos cives princeps, tamen murenam in piscina domus suae mortuam atratus tamquam filiam luxit. Neque id obscurum fuit, quippe collega Domitius in senatu hoc ei quasi deforme crimen obiecit: neque id confiteri Crassus erubuit, sed ultro etiam, si dis placet, gloriatus est censor, piam affectuosamque rem fecisse se iactitans." ("But this Crassus, for instance, a former censor, was censor with Cn. Domitius, when he was considered eloquent above everyone else and was foremost among the most illustrious citizens, and nonetheless showed himself in mourning at the death of an eel in the fish-pond at his house as if it were his daughter who had died. Nor was this a secret: indeed his colleague Domitius reproached him with it in the senate as a disgraceful charge: nor was Crassus ashamed to admit it, but moreover, if it please the gods, the censor even took pride in it, boasting that his behaviour had been dutiful and tender.")
  172. Crassus on Ahenobarbus: Suetonius, Nero, 2.2: "In hunc [Cn. Ahenobarbum] dixit Licinius Crassus orator non esse mirandum, quod aeneam barbam habret, cui os ferreum, cor plumbeum esset." ("Of him [Cn. Ahenobarbus] the orator Licinius Crassus said it was no wonder that he had a beard of bronze since he also had a face of iron and a heart of lead.") Aelian, de natura animalium, 8.4, mentions that in response to the accusation made by Domitius concerning Crassus' pet eel (see note above), Crassus replied that while he himself had mourned the death of an eel, Ahenobarbus, by contrast, had shown no sorrow at the death of his three wives.
  173. Pliny the elder, historia naturalis, 17.1.3-4.
  174. It is mentioned, for example, by Cicero, de oratore, 2.11.45, and Brutus, 44.162-164.
  175. The full text of the edict is quoted by Gellius, noctes Atticae, 15.11.2, and by Suetonius, de rhetoribus, 1. The incident is also mentioned by Tacitus, dialogus de oratoribus, 35, and Cicero, de oratore, 3.24.93-95
  176. Gellius, noctaes Atticae, 15.11.2: "dies totos desidere". According to Cicero (de oratore, 3.24.94), Crassus felt that these schools made their students not only idle but disrespectful.
  177. Tacitus, dialogus de oratoribus, 35: "a Crasso et Domitio censoribus claudere, ut ait Cicero, 'ludum impudentiae' iussi sunt"; Cicero, de oratore, 3.24.93: "quos ego censor edicto meo sustuleram".
  178. Gellius, noctes atticae, 15.11.2: "visum est faciendum, ut ostenderemus nostram sententiam, nobis non placere".
  179. The anti-Italian link with the lex Licinia Mucia is made, for example, by Gruen, Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.203.
  180. Cicero, de oratore, 3.24.93.
  181. The only passage to refer to this incident is Cicero, de legibus, 3.19.42: "Quod vero actoris iubeo esse fraudem, id totum dixi ex Crassi, sapientissimi hominis, sententia; quem est senatus secutus, cum decrevisset C. Claudio consule de Cn. Carbonis seditione referente, invito eo, qui cum populo ageret, seditionem non posse fieri, quippe cui liceat concilium, simul atque intercessum turbarique coeptum sit, dimittere. Quod qui permovet, cum agi nihil potest, vim quaerit, cuius inpunitatem amittit hac lege." ("What I lay down about the culpability of the presiding magistrate I take entirely from the opinion of Crassus, that wisest of men, which was followed by the senate when it decreed, on the question of the consul C. Claudius about the rebellious behaviour of Cn. Carbo, that there can be no violent disturbance without the acquiescence of the magistrate who is presiding over the assembly, since he has the power to dissolve the meeting as soon as the undertaking has been vetoed and things are falling into disorder. For whoever excites things when no business can be transacted is inviting violence, in which case the statute does not provide immunity.") The Cn. Carbo in question is evidently the presiding magistrate of an assembly, probably the plebeian assembly since Cicero uses the word "concilium". Since he is apparently claiming immunity as a magistrate, this suggests that the senate is discussing the matter in the same year in which the disturbance itself occurred, and the best fit is the year C. Pulchro M. Perperna cos. (DCLXII a.u.c.), when we have a C. Claudius as consul, a Cn. Carbo as tribunus plebis, and a Crassus as a significant figure in the senate. This date and these identifications are accepted by Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.232, pushing the incident perhaps further than is merited by inferring inimicitia between Crassus and Carbo; Smith, W., A Dictionary Of Greek And Roman Biography And Mythology (Taylor, Walton, and Maberly, 1853), entry on Cn. Papirius Cn. f. C. n. Carbo; Keyes, C.W., Cicero, de re publica, de legibus (Harvard University Press, 1928), note on p.508.
  182. Macrobius, Saturnalia, 3.15.4, calls him "inter clarissimos cives princeps" ("foremost among the most illustrious citizens").
  183. Cicero, de oratore, 3.2.7, remarks that "privatis magis officiis et ingenii laude floruit quam fructu amplitudinis aut rei publicae dignitate" ("he flourished more in his private business and the repute of his talent than in the profits of his greatness or his position in the state"). Similarly Valerius Maximus contrasts Crassus' supremacy in the law-courts with Scaurus' supremacy in the senate: Valerius Maximus, 8.5.3.
  184. Quick summaries can be found in, among others, Scullard, H.H., From The Gracchi To Nero (Routledge, 1982), pp. 62-63; Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), pp.207-210.
  185. Cicero, de domo sua, 50: "... tamenne arbitraris id quod M. Drusus in legibus suis plerisque, perbonus ille vir, M. Scauro et L. Crasso consiliariis non obtinuerit..?" ("... but do you think that what that excellent man M. Drusus with his legislation, and with M. Scaurus and L. Crassus as his advisers, could not achieve..?"); Crassus may also have been one of the decemviri agris dandis assignandis appointed to implement Drusus' agrarian scheme: Cichorius, Römische Studien (Berlin, 1922), pp.116-125, discussed by Broughton, T.R.S., The Magistrates Of The Roman Republic (American Philological Association, 1952), vol.2 pp.23-24.
  186. Enmity between Drusus and Caepio, formerly friends and brothers-in-law: Pliny the elder, historia naturalis, 33.1.6; Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.195.
  187. Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.211.
  188. Velleius Paterculus, 2.14.1, indicates that he only added this proposal when his programme had already run into implacable opposition, which is difficult to imagine before the middle of the year.
  189. Cicero, de oratore, 1.7.24-27.
  190. Cicero, de oratore, 2.3.12.
  191. For this and what follows see Cicero, de oratore, 3.1.2-2.6.
  192. Valerius Maximus, probably exaggerating or misunderstanding his source, says that Philippus ordered that Crassus himself be arrested: 6.2.2.
  193. Cicero, de oratore, 3.1.3.
  194. Cicero had heard the conversation of both (Cicero, Brutus, 58.211), which was perhaps more likely after Crassus' death than before since Cicero was only 15 or 16 at that time and seems (to judge from de oratore, 2.1.2-3) to have had no personal memories of Crassus. Brutus, 58.211 also says that M. Brutus had heard the wife of Scipio speak, which can only have been long after Crassus' death since Brutus was only born L. Cinna (III) Cn. Carbone cos. (DCLXIX a.u.c.).
  195. Cicero, Brutus, 58.211.
  196. Cicero, Brutus, 58.212.
  197. "Summo... dicitur ingenio fuisse": Cicero, Brutus, 58.212. The past tense places his death certainly before the year C. Caesare (III) M. Lepido cos. (DCCVIII a.u.c.), but it was probably considerably before then because, first, when Brutus is asked his opinion of him he is unable to produce any first-hand comment but merely reports what is said of him, and second, he held no known political office, which is barely explicable for a man of "great talent" and impeccable lineage unless he died young or, conceivably, chose a life of quiet obscurity.
  198. Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), p.381-382.
  199. Valerius Maximus, 6.5.5.
  200. Aelian, de natura animalium, 8.4, records that Crassus used to dress the eel with jewellery, that it used to eat from his hand, and that it recognized his voice and would swim to him when he called.
  201. Proposal to double the senate: Appian, bellum civile, 1.35; anon., de viris illustribus 66.4, 66.10.
  202. E.g., Cicero, Brutus, 38.143.
  203. In this, too, he prefigures Cicero, and indeed was in a way more successful than the latter in that he reached the office of censor. Others had previously built political success without military victories, but generally these were based on fields of distinction other than oratory, such as law (Ti. Coruncanius) or religion (C. Servilius Geminus, perhaps).
  204. Dominik, W., & Hall, J. (eds), ‘’’A Companion To Roman Rhetoric’’’ (Blackwell, 2007), p.242-243.
  205. See, for example, Cicero, Brutus, 38.143.
  206. Cicero, Brutus, 43.159. His barbed wit is mentioned, and examples provided, in Cicero, de oratore, 2.54.220-2.56.227 and 2.59.240-242. In the same work, at 2.71.289, is a hint that his comic delivery was usually dead-pan.
  207. Cicero, de oratore, 3.5.17.
  208. Cicero, de oratore, 3.9.33. Rackham, H., Cicero De Oratore (Harvard University Press, 1942), vol. 2 p. 29, translates "obsoletior" as "old-fashioned" but it surely has its more usual meaning of "worn-out" or "hackneyed" (compare the Oxford Latin Dictionary, which in fact cites this passage as an example of this meaning).
  209. Cicero, Brutus, 39.144 (logical argument); 44.165 (effectiveness in public meetings).
  210. As has been mentioned with respect to the speech on the lex Servilia; see also Dominik, W., & Hall, J. (eds), A Companion To Roman Rhetoric (Blackwell, 2007), p.243.
  211. Cicero, de officiis, 1.37.133, saying that the Lutatii Catuli were equally pleasing in ordinary conversation; de oratore, 1.60.255, saying he spoke "remissius et lenius" in comparison to his earlier "summa vis et contentio".
  212. Cicero, de oratore, 2.45.188. His movements, however, were restrained, and he always stood on the same spot throughout a speech: Cicero, de oratore, 3.9.33.
  213. Cicero, de oratore, 1.21.97; 1.35.163; and throughout.
  214. Cicero, de oratore, 1.34.154-155 (exercises); 2.73.297-75.303 (intolerance of poor advocacy).
  215. Cicero, de oratore, 1.21.97-99.
  216. Books by M. Brutus: Cicero, de oratore, 2.55.223-224; Cicero, pro Cluentio, 51.141. Aculeo's legal expertise: Cicero, de oratore, 1.43.191. Cicero also attests Crassus' interest in law: de oratore, 1.44.199; 2.33.143.
  217. Cicero mentions Crassus as particularly strong in arguing points of legal interpretation and definition: Brutus, 39.144. Another contribution to statutory interpretation may perhaps be the defence he used at the trial of Q. Caepio based on the definition of the crimen maiestatis: see the footnote to the discussion above.
  218. Cicero, de oratore, 1.37.168. He and his former father-in-law were "in tribunali... sedent[es]": this must have been as members of the consilium of the praetor, who was a friend of theirs.
  219. Cicero, de oratore, 1.42.190; 2.33.142-144. But this may be Cicero projecting himself onto the character of Crassus: Bauman, R.A., Lawyers In Roman Republican Politics (C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1983), pp.343-344.
  220. Cicero, Brutus, 42.155 (refusal to give advice); 57.207 (selection of cases).
  221. Crassus is, however, identified by Gruen as one of the five leading members, in the last decade of his life, of what had formerly been the Metellan group: Gruen, E.S., Roman Politics And The Criminal Courts, 149-78 B.C. (Harvard University Press, 1968), p.194 n.28.
  222. Cicero, de oratore, 3.2.8-3.3.12.
  223. "parcissimus elegantium": Cicero, Brutus, 40.148; this attracts comment from Gellius, noctes Atticae, 11.2.4.
  224. Pliny the elder, historia naturalis, 34.8.14.
  225. Cicero, de oratore, 1.7.24; in the grounds was a plane-tree with benches beneath (Cicero, de oratore, 1.7.28-29) and a grove with seating in it (Cicero, de oratore, 3.5.18). The estate later ended up in the hands of L. Cornelius Balbus (Cicero, pro Balbo, 56); regrettably it is not possible to guess with any confidence how it made that journey.
  226. "Mihi enim liber esse non videtur, qui non aliquando nihil agit": quoted in Cicero, de oratore, 2.6.24, from part of his speech in the causa Curiana. He gave short shrift to someone who asked permission to visit him before dawn (Cicero, de oratore, 2.64.259), but we cannot say for sure whether this was a general objection to getting up early or a dislike of the visitor in question.
  227. "Quae natura aut fortuna darentur hominibus, in eis rebus se vinci posse animo aequo pati; quae ipsi sibi homines parare possent, in eis rebus se pati non posse vinci": Cicero, de oratore, 2.11.45. A similar contrast of nature with achievement is exploited in Crassus' joke at the expense of the unbeautiful and unskilled orator L. Aelius Lamia in Cicero, de oratore, 2.65.262. Crassus' pose of disdain for philosophy: Cicero, de oratore, 2.1.4.
  228. Cicero, de oratore, 2.59.242.
  229. For sources see Broughton, T.R.S., The Magistrates Of The Roman Republic (American Philological Association, 1951), and discussion above.

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