Bust of Crassus, in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
Marcus Licinius Crassus
1st century AD bust of Pompey, after an original from 55–50 BC
The Parthian Empire in 94 BC at its greatest extent, during the reign of Mithridates II ((r. 124 – 91))
Bust of Crassus, in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
Extent of the Parthian Empire
A view of Monte Conero in Marche, Italy (formerly Picenum), birthplace of Pompey
The silver drachma of Arsaces I (r. c. 247–211 BC) with the Greek language inscription ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ "of Arsaces"
A Roman marble head of the triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus, mid-1st century BC, Grand Palais, Paris
Formations at the start of the battle
Roman statue putatively depicting Pompey, at the Villa Arconati a Castellazzo di Bollate (Milan, Italy), brought from Rome in 1627 by Galeazzo Arconati
Parthia, shaded yellow, alongside the Seleucid Empire (blue) and the Roman Republic (purple) around 200 BC
A Roman bust of Pompey the Great made during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD), a copy of an original bust from 70 to 60 BC, Venice National Archaeological Museum, Italy
Relief of a Parthian cataphract attacking a lion using kontos
Marble bust of Pompey at the Louvre, Paris
Drachma of Mithridates I, showing him wearing a beard and a royal diadem on his head. Reverse side: Heracles/Verethragna, holding a club in his left hand and a cup in his right hand; Greek inscription reading ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ "of the Great King Arsaces the Philhellene"
From left to right: Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Pompey the Great
Roman coin of Augustus (19 BC) showing a Parthian soldier returning the standards captured at Carrhae. Augustus hailed the return of the standards as a political victory over Parthia.
Modern bust of Pompey in the Residenz, Munich
Drachma of Mithridates II (r. c. 124–91 BC). Reverse side: seated archer carrying a bow; inscription reading "of the King of Kings Arsaces the Renowned/Manifest Philhellene."
Denarius minted by Publius Licinius Crassus, son of the triumvir Marcus, as monetalis in 55 BC; on the obverse is a laureate bust of Venus, perhaps in honor of his commanding officer Julius Caesar; on the reverse is an unidentified female figure, perhaps representing Gaul
Parthian horseman
A Roman portrait of Crassus, Pompey's political rival turned begrudging ally, in the Musée du Louvre, Paris
Han dynasty Chinese silk from Mawangdui, 2nd century BC, silk from China was perhaps the most lucrative luxury item the Parthians traded at the western end of the Silk Road.
"The torture of Crassus," 1530s, Louvre
Detail from the breastplate of Augustus Prima Porta, showing a Parthian man returning the aquila lost by Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae
A denarius of Pompey minted in 49–48 BC
Bronze statue of a Parthian nobleman from the sanctuary at Shami in Elymais (modern-day Khūzestān Province, Iran, along the Persian Gulf), now located at the National Museum of Iran. Dated 50 BC-150 AD, Parthian School.
A tetradrachm of Tigranes II the Great of Armenia, minted at Antioch, 83–69 BC
A Roman marble head of the triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus, who was defeated at Carrhae by Surena
Pompey in the Temple of Jerusalem, a miniature by Jean Fouquet, 15th century
Roman aurei bearing the portraits of Mark Antony (left) and Octavian (right), issued in 41 BC to celebrate the establishment of the Second Triumvirate by Octavian, Antony and Marcus Lepidus in 43 BC
The bust of Mithridates of Pontus in the Louvre, Paris
Drachma of Phraates IV (r. c. 38–2 BC). Inscription reading ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΕΥΕΡΓΕΤΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ "of the King of Kings Arsaces the Renowned/Manifest Benefactor Philhellene"
Judea (shown in blue) under Hyrcanus II in 63 BC, having been reduced to a small vassal as Pompey annexed the north for Rome (shown in red)
A close-up view of the breastplate on the statue of Augustus of Prima Porta, showing a Parthian man returning to Augustus the legionary standards lost by Marcus Licinius Crassus at Carrhae
A modern bust of Pompey, restored in the 17th century with a black marble base, Vaux-le-Vicomte, France
A denarius struck in 19 BC during the reign of Augustus, with the goddess Feronia depicted on the obverse, and on the reverse a Parthian man kneeling in submission while offering the Roman military standards taken at the Battle of Carrhae
18th-century depiction of the third triumph
Map of the troop movements during the first two years of the Roman–Parthian War of 58–63 AD over the Kingdom of Armenia, detailing the Roman offensive into Armenia and capture of the country by Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo
From left to right: Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Pompey the Great
Parthian king making an offering to god Herakles-Verethragna. Masdjid-e Suleiman, Iran. 2nd–3rd century AD. Louvre Museum Sb 7302.
The Tusculum portrait, a bust of Julius Caesar in the Archaeological Museum of Turin, Italy
Rock relief of Parthian king at Behistun, most likely Vologases III (r. c. 110–147 AD)
A Roman bust of Pompey the Great made during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD), a copy of an original bust from 70 to 60 BC, Venice National Archaeological Museum, Italy
A Parthian (right) wearing a Phrygian cap, depicted as a prisoner of war in chains held by a Roman (left); Arch of Septimius Severus, Rome, 203 AD
The Flight of Pompey after Pharsalus, by Jean Fouquet
A Sarmatian-Parthian gold necklace and amulet, 2nd century AD. Located in Tamoikin Art Fund
Roman bust of Cleopatra VII of Ptolemaic Egypt, mid-1st century BC, Altes Museum, Antikensammlung Berlin, showing Cleopatra with a "melon" hairstyle and Hellenistic royal diadem worn over the head
Parthian golden necklace, 2nd century AD, Iran, Reza Abbasi Museum
Theodotus shows Caesar the head of Pompey; etching, 1820
A Parthian ceramic oil lamp, Khūzestān Province, Iran, National Museum of Iran
The head of Pompey on a denarius minted in 40 BC by his son Sextus Pompeius Magnus Pius
Coin of Kamnaskires III, king of Elymais (modern Khūzestān Province), and his wife Queen Anzaze, 1st century BC
A statue of a young Palmyran in fine Parthian trousers, from a funerary stele at Palmyra, early 3rd century AD
Coin of Mithridates II of Parthia. The clothing is Parthian, while the style is Hellenistic (sitting on an omphalos). The Greek inscription reads "King Arsaces, the philhellene"
A ceramic Parthian water spout in the shape of a man's head, dated 1st or 2nd century AD
Parthian votive relief from Khūzestān Province, Iran, 2nd century AD
A barrel vaulted iwan at the entrance at the ancient site of Hatra, modern-day Iraq, built c. 50 AD
The Parthian Temple of Charyios in Uruk.
A wall mural depicting a scene from the Book of Esther at the Dura-Europos synagogue, dated 245 AD, which Curtis and Schlumberger describe as a fine example of 'Parthian frontality'
A sculpted head (broken off from a larger statue) of a Parthian soldier wearing a Hellenistic-style helmet, from the Parthian royal residence and necropolis of Nisa, Turkmenistan, 2nd century BC
Parthian long-necked lute, c. 3 BC – 3 AD
Royal Parthian objects at the Persia exhibition, Getty Museum

The Battle of Carrhae was fought in 53 BC between the Roman Republic and the Parthian Empire near the ancient town of Carrhae (present-day Harran, Turkey).

- Battle of Carrhae

An invading force of seven legions of Roman heavy infantry under Marcus Licinius Crassus was lured into the desert and decisively defeated by a mixed cavalry army of heavy cataphracts and light horse archers led by the Parthian general Surena.

- Battle of Carrhae

Crassus rose to political prominence following his victory over the slave revolt led by Spartacus, sharing the consulship with his rival Pompey the Great.

- Marcus Licinius Crassus

Crassus used Syria as the launchpad for a military campaign against the Parthian Empire, Rome's long-time eastern enemy.

- Marcus Licinius Crassus

In 60 BC, Pompey joined Crassus and Caesar in the military-political alliance known as the First Triumvirate.

- Pompey

Crassus' campaign was a disastrous failure, ending in his defeat and death at the Battle of Carrhae.

- Marcus Licinius Crassus

The following four-year period of peace between the remaining two members of the Triumvirate, Julius Caesar and Pompey, argues against the view that Crassus had been a peacekeeper within the group and supports the views of most Roman historians that friction between Crassus and Pompey had always been a greater cause of tension than that between Caesar and Pompey.

- Battle of Carrhae

The Parthians destroyed the army of Marcus Licinius Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, and in 40–39 BC, Parthian forces captured the whole of the Levant except Tyre from the Romans.

- Parthian Empire

When this siege failed, Tigranes the Younger once again fled, this time to the Roman commander Pompey.

- Parthian Empire

Soon after this, Phraates III, the king of Parthia asked to be given the son in exchange for an agreement to set the river Euphrates as the boundary between Parthia and Rome, but Pompey refused.

- Pompey

Shortly after the death of Julia, Crassus died at the Battle of Carrhae (May 53 BC), bringing the first triumvirate to an end.

- Pompey
Bust of Crassus, in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen

3 related topics with Alpha


From left to right: Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey

First Triumvirate

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From left to right: Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey
A Roman bust of Marcus Tullius Cicero, depicted here at about age sixty, in the National Archaeological Museum of Spain
A Roman bust of Pompey the Great made during the reign of Augustus (27 BC - 14 AD), a copy of an original bust from 70 to 60 BC, Venice National Archaeological Museum, Italy
A Roman bust of Lucius Cornelius Sulla in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
The Tusculum portrait, a bust of Julius Caesar in the Archaeological Museum of Turin, Italy
A Roman bust of Crassus in the Louvre, Paris, France
Family tree showing the relationship between the three members of the First Triumvirate, as well as their relationships with other prominent members of the Republic.

The First Triumvirate (80-70BC) was an informal alliance among three prominent politicians in the late Roman Republic: Gaius Julius Caesar, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and Marcus Licinius Crassus.

Crassus embarked on an expedition against the Parthians to match Caesar's victories in Gaul but died in the disastrous defeat of Carrhae in 53 BC.

Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC

Roman Republic

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State of the classical Roman civilization, run through public representation of the Roman people.

State of the classical Roman civilization, run through public representation of the Roman people.

Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC
Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC
The "Capitoline Brutus", a bust possibly depicting Lucius Junius Brutus, who led the revolt against Rome's last king and was a founder of the Republic.
Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC
Map showing Roman expansion in Italy.
The Temple of Hercules Victor, Rome, built in the mid 2nd century BC, most likely by Lucius Mummius Achaicus, who won the Achaean War.
Pyrrhus' route in Italy and Sicily.
Bust of Pyrrhus, found in the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, now in the Naples Archaeological Museum. Pyrrhus was a brave and chivalrous general who fascinated the Romans, explaining his presence in a Roman house.
Coin of Hiero II of Syracuse.
The Roman Republic before the First Punic War.
Diagram of a corvus.
Denarius of C. Caecilius Metellus Caprarius, 125 BC. The reverse depicts the triumph of his great-grandfather Lucius, with the elephants he had captured at Panormos. The elephant had thence become the emblem of the powerful Caecilii Metelli.
Principal offensives of the war: Rome (red), Hannibal (green), Hasdrubal (purple).
A Carthaginian quarter shekel, perhaps minted in Spain. The obverse may depict Hannibal under the traits of young Melqart. The reverse features one of his famous war elephants.
Roman marble bust of Scipio Africanus, found in the Tomb of the Scipios.
Scene of the Battle of Corinth (146 BC): last day before the Roman legions looted and burned the Greek city of Corinth. The last day on Corinth, Tony Robert-Fleury, 1870.
Bust, traditionally identified as Gaius Marius, instigator of the Marian reforms.
Denarius of Faustus Cornelius Sulla, 56 BC. It shows Diana on the obverse, while the reverse depicts Sulla being offered an olive branch by his ally Bocchus I. Jugurtha is shown captive on the right.
A Roman marble head of Pompey (now in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek)
Map of the Gallic Wars
The Tusculum portrait, a Roman sculpture of Julius Caesar, Archaeological Museum of Turin, Italy
The Curia Julia, the senate house started by Julius Caesar in 44 BC and completed by Octavian in 29 BC, replacing the Curia Cornelia as the meeting place of the Senate.
The Roman Forum, the commercial, cultural, religious, and political center of the city and the Republic which housed the various offices and meeting places of the government
Detail from the Ahenobarbus relief showing (centre-right) two Roman foot-soldiers c. 122 BC. Note the Montefortino-style helmets with horsehair plume, chain mail cuirasses with shoulder reinforcement, oval shields with calfskin covers, gladius and pilum.
Roman warrior, fresco in Pompeii, ca. 80—20 BC
A Roman naval bireme depicted in a relief from the Temple of Fortuna Primigenia in Praeneste, c. 120 BC; now in the Museo Pio-Clementino in the Vatican Museums
Temple of Janus as seen in the present church of San Nicola in Carcere, in the Forum Holitorium of Rome, Italy, dedicated by Gaius Duilius after his naval victory at the Battle of Mylae in 260 BC
An inscribed funerary relief of Aurelius Hermia and his wife Aurelia Philematum, former slaves who married after their manumission, 80 BC, from a tomb along the Via Nomentana in Rome
The "Togatus Barberini", depicting a Roman senator holding the imagines (effigies) of deceased ancestors in his hands; marble, late 1st century BC; head (not belonging): mid 1st century BC
Ruins of the Aqua Anio Vetus, a Roman aqueduct built in 272 BC
The Temple of Portunus, god of grain storage, keys, livestock and ports. Rome, built between 120 and 80 BC
The tomb of the Flavii, a necropolis outside the Nucerian gate (Porta Nocera) of Pompeii, Italy, constructed 50–30 BC
Denarius of Lucius Caesius, 112–111 BC. On the obverse is Apollo, as written on the monogram behind his head, who also wears the attributes of Vejovis, an obscure deity. The obverse depicts a group of statues representing the Lares Praestites, which was described by Ovid.
Inside the "Temple of Mercury" at Baiae, a swimming pool for a Roman bath, built during the late Roman Republic, and containing one of the largest domes in the world before the building of the Pantheon
Denarius of Caesar, minted just before his murder, in 44 BC. It was the first Roman coin bearing the portrait of a living person. The lituus and culullus depicted behind his head refer to his augurate and pontificate. The reverse with Venus alludes to his claimed descent from the goddess.
The ruins of the Servian Wall, built during the 4th century BC, one of the earliest ancient Roman defensive walls
The Orator, c. 100 BC, an Etrusco-Roman statue of a Republican senator, wearing toga praetexta and senatorial shoes; compared to the voluminous, costly, impractical togas of the Imperial era, the Republican-era type is frugal and "skimpy" (exigua).
Banquet scene, fresco, Herculaneum, Italy, c. 50 BC
The Amphitheatre of Pompeii, built around 70 BC and buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius 79 AD, once hosted spectacles with gladiators.

These multiple tensions led to a series of civil wars; the first between the two generals Julius Caesar and Pompey.

Although they still controlled a great deal of territory, this defeat marked the decline of their empire, as they were to begin facing increasingly aggressive subjects in the east (the Parthians) and the west (the Greeks).

At the head of some seventy thousand men, Spartacus led them in a Third Servile War – they sought freedom by escape from Italy – before being defeated by troops raised by M. Licinius Crassus.

After initial successes, he marched his army deep into the desert; but here his army was cut off deep in enemy territory, surrounded and slaughtered at the Battle of Carrhae in which Crassus himself perished.

Orodes II's portrait on the obverse of a tetradrachm, showing him wearing a beard and a diadem on his head, Mithradatkert mint

Orodes II

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Orodes II's portrait on the obverse of a tetradrachm, showing him wearing a beard and a diadem on his head, Mithradatkert mint
Coin of Mithridates IV
Map of the Parthian–Roman borders, ca. 55 BC.
Parthian mounted archer, located in Palazzo Madama, Turin.
Coin of Quintus Labienus
Regular coin of Orodes II with a seated archer on the reverse
Coin of Orodes II with Tyche-Khvarenah on the reverse

Orodes II (also spelled Urud II; Wērōd), was King of Kings of the Parthian Empire from 57 BC to 37 BC. He was a son of Phraates III, whom he murdered in 57 BC, assisted by his elder brother Mithridates IV.

Meanwhile, the Roman general and triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus had made an attempt to extend his share of Roman territory by eastward conquest.

This attempt proved disastrous, with Crassus meeting his end in 53 BC, in the Battle of Carrhae, by Orodes' general Surena.

During the Roman Republican civil wars, the Parthians sided first with Pompey and then with Brutus and Cassius, but took no action until 40 BC, when Pacorus, assisted by the Roman deserter Quintus Labienus, conquered a great part of Syria and Asia Minor, but was defeated and killed by Ventidius in 38 BC. Orodes, who was deeply afflicted by the death of his favourite son, relinquished the throne to his son Phraates IV, and died soon afterward.