A report on Marcus Licinius Crassus

Bust of Crassus, in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
Bust of Crassus, in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
A Roman marble head of the triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus, mid-1st century BC, Grand Palais, Paris
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
From left to right: Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Pompey the Great
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
"The torture of Crassus," 1530s, Louvre

Roman general and statesman who played a key role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.

- Marcus Licinius Crassus
Bust of Crassus, in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen

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1st century AD bust of Pompey, after an original from 55–50 BC

Pompey

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Leading Roman general and statesman.

Leading Roman general and statesman.

1st century AD bust of Pompey, after an original from 55–50 BC
A view of Monte Conero in Marche, Italy (formerly Picenum), birthplace of Pompey
Roman statue putatively depicting Pompey, at the Villa Arconati a Castellazzo di Bollate (Milan, Italy), brought from Rome in 1627 by Galeazzo Arconati
Marble bust of Pompey at the Louvre, Paris
Modern bust of Pompey in the Residenz, Munich
A Roman portrait of Crassus, Pompey's political rival turned begrudging ally, in the Musée du Louvre, Paris
A denarius of Pompey minted in 49–48 BC
A tetradrachm of Tigranes II the Great of Armenia, minted at Antioch, 83–69 BC
Pompey in the Temple of Jerusalem, a miniature by Jean Fouquet, 15th century
The bust of Mithridates of Pontus in the Louvre, Paris
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 modern bust of Pompey, restored in the 17th century with a black marble base, Vaux-le-Vicomte, France
18th-century depiction of the third triumph
From left to right: Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Pompey the Great
The Tusculum portrait, a bust of Julius Caesar in the Archaeological Museum of Turin, Italy
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
The Flight of Pompey after Pharsalus, by Jean Fouquet
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
Theodotus shows Caesar the head of Pompey; etching, 1820
The head of Pompey on a denarius minted in 40 BC by his son Sextus Pompeius Magnus Pius

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

The Tusculum portrait, possibly the only surviving sculpture of Caesar made during his lifetime. Archaeological Museum, Turin, Italy.

Julius Caesar

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Roman general and statesman.

Roman general and statesman.

The Tusculum portrait, possibly the only surviving sculpture of Caesar made during his lifetime. Archaeological Museum, Turin, Italy.
Gaius Marius, Caesar's uncle
Dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla stripped Caesar of the priesthood.
A denarius depicting Julius Caesar, dated to February–March 44 BC—the goddess Venus is shown on the reverse, holding Victoria and a scepter. Caption: CAESAR IMP. M. / L. AEMILIVS BVCA
The extent of the Roman Republic in 40 BC after Caesar's conquests
Vercingetorix throws down his arms at the feet of Julius Caesar, painting by Lionel Royer. Musée Crozatier, Le Puy-en-Velay, France.
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.
Cleopatra and Caesar, 1866 painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme
This mid-1st-century-BC Roman wall painting in Pompeii is probably a depiction of Cleopatra VII as Venus Genetrix, with her son Caesarion as Cupid. Its owner Marcus Fabius Rufus most likely ordered its concealment behind a wall in reaction to the execution of Caesarion on orders of Octavian in 30 BC.
Green Caesar, posthumous portrait of the 1st century AD, Altes Museum, Berlin
Statue of Julius Caesar, Via dei Fori Imperiali, Rome
La clémence de César, Abel de Pujol, 1808
Denarius (42 BC) issued by Gaius Cassius Longinus and Lentulus Spinther, depicting the crowned head of Liberty and on the reverse a sacrificial jug and lituus, from the military mint in Smyrna. Caption: C. CASSI. IMP. LEIBERTAS / LENTVLVS SPINT.
The senators encircle Caesar, a 19th-century interpretation of the event by Carl Theodor von Piloty
The Death of Caesar, Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1867
Bust of Mark Antony made during the Flavian dynasty (69–96 AD)
Marc Antony's Oration at Caesar's Funeral by George Edward Robertson
Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, Caesar's adopted heir
The Chiaramonti Caesar bust, a posthumous portrait in marble, 44–30 BC, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican Museums
Reliefs of Cleopatra and her son by Julius Caesar, Caesarion, at the Temple of Dendera
Roman painting from the House of Giuseppe II, Pompeii, early 1st century AD, most likely depicting Cleopatra VII, wearing her royal diadem, consuming poison in an act of suicide, while her son Caesarion, also wearing a royal diadem, stands behind her
Julii Caesaris quae exstant (1678)
A 1783 edition of The Gallic Wars
Bust in Naples National Archaeological Museum, photograph published in 1902
Bust in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples
Bust of Julius Caesar from the British Museum
Modern bronze statue of Julius Caesar, Rimini, Italy
Statue of Julius Caesar, Via dei Fori Imperiali, Rome
Flowers placed on the remains of the altar of Caesar in the Roman Forum of Rome, Italy
Portrait at the Archaeological Museum of Sparta
Bronze statue at the Porta Palatina in Turin
Bust in the Archaeological Museum of Corinth

In 60 BC, Caesar, Crassus and Pompey formed the First Triumvirate, a political alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years.

Marcus Licinius Crassus

Battle of Carrhae

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Fought in 53 BC between the Roman Republic and the Parthian Empire near the ancient town of Carrhae .

Fought in 53 BC between the Roman Republic and the Parthian Empire near the ancient town of Carrhae .

Marcus Licinius Crassus
Extent of the Parthian Empire
Formations at the start of the battle
Relief of a Parthian cataphract attacking a lion using kontos
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.
Parthian horseman
Detail from the breastplate of Augustus Prima Porta, showing a Parthian man returning the aquila lost by Crassus at the 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.

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.

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.

The Parthian Empire in 94 BC at its greatest extent, during the reign of Mithridates II ((r. 124 – 91))

Parthian Empire

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Major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran from 247 BC to 224 AD. Its latter name comes from its founder, Arsaces I, who led the Parni tribe in conquering the region of Parthia in Iran's northeast, then a satrapy under Andragoras, in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire.

Major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran from 247 BC to 224 AD. Its latter name comes from its founder, Arsaces I, who led the Parni tribe in conquering the region of Parthia in Iran's northeast, then a satrapy under Andragoras, in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire.

The Parthian Empire in 94 BC at its greatest extent, during the reign of Mithridates II ((r. 124 – 91))
The silver drachma of Arsaces I (r. c. 247–211 BC) with the Greek language inscription ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ "of Arsaces"
Parthia, shaded yellow, alongside the Seleucid Empire (blue) and the Roman Republic (purple) around 200 BC
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"
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."
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.
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 Roman marble head of the triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus, who was defeated at Carrhae by Surena
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
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"
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 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
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
Parthian king making an offering to god Herakles-Verethragna. Masdjid-e Suleiman, Iran. 2nd–3rd century AD. Louvre Museum Sb 7302.
Rock relief of Parthian king at Behistun, most likely Vologases III (r. c. 110–147 AD)
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
A Sarmatian-Parthian gold necklace and amulet, 2nd century AD. Located in Tamoikin Art Fund
Parthian golden necklace, 2nd century AD, Iran, Reza Abbasi Museum
A Parthian ceramic oil lamp, Khūzestān Province, Iran, National Museum of Iran
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 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.

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.

Italy and surrounding territory, 218 BC

Third Servile War

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The last in a series of slave rebellions against the Roman Republic known as the Servile Wars.

The last in a series of slave rebellions against the Roman Republic known as the Servile Wars.

Italy and surrounding territory, 218 BC
The Gladiator Mosaic at the Galleria Borghese
Initial movements of Roman (red) and Slave (blue) forces from the Capuan revolt to the end of winter 73–72 BC. Insert: Vesuvius area.
Spartacus, by Denis Foyatier, c. 1830, displayed at the Louvre. An example of a modern heroic depiction of Spartacus.
The events of 72 BC, according to Appian's version of events
The events of 72 BC, according to Plutarch's version of events
The events of early 71 BC. Marcus Licinius Crassus takes command of the Roman legions, confronts Spartacus, and forces the rebel slaves to retreat through Lucania to the straits near Messina. Plutarch says this occurred in the Picenum region, while Appian places the initial battles between Crassus and Spartacus in the Samnium region.
The last events of the war in 71 BC, where the army of Spartacus broke the siege by Crassus' legions and retreated toward the mountains near Petelia. Shows the initial skirmishes between elements of the two sides, the turn-about of the Spartacan forces for the final confrontation. Note the legions of Pompey moving in from the north to capture survivors.
The Fall of Spartacus

Eventually Rome fielded an army of eight legions under the harsh but effective leadership of Marcus Licinius Crassus that destroyed the army of slaves in 71 BC. This happened after a long and bitter fighting retreat before the legions of Crassus and after the rebels realized that the legions of Pompey and Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus were moving in to entrap them.

The Death of Spartacus by Hermann Vogel (1882)

Spartacus

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Thracian gladiator who, along with Crixus, Gannicus, Castus, and Oenomaus, was one of the escaped slave leaders in the Third Servile War, a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic.

Thracian gladiator who, along with Crixus, Gannicus, Castus, and Oenomaus, was one of the escaped slave leaders in the Third Servile War, a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic.

The Death of Spartacus by Hermann Vogel (1882)
Balkan tribes, including the Maedi ("Maidoi", on map).
The extent of the Roman Republic at 100 BC.
A 19th-century depiction of the fall of Spartacus by the Italian Nicola Sanesi (1818–1889)
Viva Spartaco, Spartaco a Rosarno: graffiti connecting Spartacus with 2010 Rosarno riots between locals and migrant farm workers
Spartacus, marble sculpture by Denis Foyatier (1830), Louvre Museum

Alarmed at the continued threat posed by the slaves, the Senate charged Marcus Licinius Crassus, the wealthiest man in Rome and the only volunteer for the position, with ending the rebellion.

Portrait of Sulla on a denarius minted in 54 BC by his grandson Pompeius Rufus

Sulla

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Roman general and statesman.

Roman general and statesman.

Portrait of Sulla on a denarius minted in 54 BC by his grandson Pompeius Rufus
Denarius minted in Rome, portraying Sulla's first great victory, in which he ended the Jugurthine War: The front depicts Diana wearing a cruciform earring, a double necklace of pearls and pendants, and jewels in her hair, pulled into a knot; crescent above, lituus behind. The reverse shows Sulla seated on a raised seat with a bound Jugurtha kneeling beside him; before him kneels Bocchus, offering an olive branch
Marius as victor over the invading Cimbri
So-called "Sulla", a copy (probably from the time of Augustus) after a portrait of an important Roman from the second century BC, with similarities to the so-called "Marius", suggesting that both statues were conceived and exhibited together as either siblings or rivals; Munich, Glyptothek
Ruins of the town Aeclanum, conquered in 89 BC by Sulla
Bust formerly thought to be of Sulla, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Asia Minor just before the First Mithridatic War
A Roman bust most likely depicting Sulla, a first-century AD copy of an original from 80–50 BC, Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Marcus Licinius Crassus marched with an army from Spain, and would later play a pivotal role at the Colline Gate.

Map of the Roman Republic in the mid-1st century BC

Caesar's civil war

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One of the last politico-military conflicts of the Roman Republic before its reorganization into the Roman Empire.

One of the last politico-military conflicts of the Roman Republic before its reorganization into the Roman Empire.

Map of the Roman Republic in the mid-1st century BC
Roman world in 56 BC, when Caesar, Crassus and Pompey met at Luca for a conference in which they decided to add another five years to the proconsulship of Caesar in Gaul and to give the province of Syria to Crassus and both Spanish provinces and Africa to Pompey.
Julius Caesar pausing on the banks of the Rubicon
Column of Julius Caesar, where he addressed his army to march on Rome and start the Civil War, Rimini, Italy
Caesar's campaign to Munda

Caesar had allied himself with Crassus and Pompey in the so-called First Triumvirate during his consulship.