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Crassus and Pompey in Roman Republic during 60’s of the I century BC

Marcus Licinius Crassus

Marcus Licinius Crassus belonged to senatorial aristocracy which descended from a senatorial genus – of course Licinius. During period of the proscription by purchasing the property Crassus acquired enormous wealth, which was magnified by all sorts of speculation. He bought houses after the fire, because those houses did not cost lot money. Then he would issue a lease of the house or he would sell the house at high price. Crassus also owned mines of silver, land and a large number of slaves. He considered that a rich person could only be the man, which has enough means to support an entire Roman army. He had a huge number of clients. Still after Sulla’s death, and during the reign of Sulla’s oligarchy, he did not have some particular political influence. Crassus for his victory over Spartacus got ovation and a laurel wreath.

Gnaeus Pompey acquired military glory. He was in charge for the battle against Gaius Marius supporters in Sicily and Africa. At the same time Gnaeus Pompey troops proclaimed him an emperor, and Sulla awarded his triumph. Only people, which used to be magistrates could become emperor and be awarded by triumph. This was the practice before Pompey became emperor. Gnaeus Pompey’s position became even stronger after victories over: Junius Brutus (Lepidus supporter, Quintus Sertorius, and over what was left of Spartacus troops). He was one of the major landowners, which enjoyed popularity among his soldiers.

Senatorial oligarchy prevented the rise some of its members, just like during the period before Gracchus. That is the reason why Pompey after his return from Spain was not allowed to allocate the land to his soldiers. Pompey did not celebrate a triumph and he did not gain a consulate. These circumstances forced him to get closer to the leaders of populares. After a successful victory over Spartacus, Crassus organized a feast on 10.000 tables and he gave to people corn which can last for three months. However, his period of the agreement with his consulate colleague was not strong. Neither one of them (Crassus and Pompey) did not dismissed their army until the very end of their consul when they made truce. In 67 BC, Pompey waged war with the pirates in the Mediterranean Sea and then he took part in the wars against the Pontus King Mithridates VI. In 66 BC, Pompey defeated Mithridates VI. The land of Mithridates became a Roman province. After that Pompey conquered the Armenian King Tigranes the Great and in 64 BC. He turned Syria into a Roman province as well. In 62 BC, Pompey considered that his mission is completed, and he returned to Rome.
Pompey’s conquering represented a further development of the Roman provincial politics, which began during period of Marius and Sulla. Pompey’s conquering increased incomes of the Roman state treasury.

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