For many years I have been puzzled by the fate of Marcus Licinius Crassus. Reading the many historical treaties concerning the fall of the Roman Republic you might have been forgiven for believing that there were two men called Marcus Licinius Crassus. The first was the hugely successful political operator who rose from relative obscurity to become the richest man in Rome, a man who forged a highly successful alliance with two of the most powerful men Rome ever produced - Caesar and Pompey - and the man who comprehensively defeated one of Rome's most dangerous enemies - Spartacus. Then there is the other Crassus - the militarily incompetant who managed to be defeated by a Parthian army half the size of his own forces and who then managed to lose his own life in an obvious trap. The question has always been how can these two different images of one man ever be reconciled. The answer, it turns out, is relatively simple but I won't steal Mr. Sampson's thunder by revealing it here. If you are reading this review then I presume you have more than a passing interest in this subject and my advice would be read this book - you won't be disappointed. This is historical analysis at it's very best written by an historian whose logical approach brooks little argument.
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