|Marcus Licinius Crassus|
|First appearance||S3E01: Enemies of Rome|
|Last appearance||S3E10: Victory|
|Relationships|| Tertulla (Wife)|
Licinia (Cousin, deceased)
Kore (Body Slave/Lover,deceased)
Tiberius (Son, deceased)
Julius Caesar (Tribune/Friend)
Mummius (Soldier/Friend, deceased)
Hilarus (Trainer, deceased)
Spartacus (Rival/Enemy, deceased)
Marcus Licinius Crassus is the main antagonist of the final season of Spartacus. He is the richest man in Rome and a senator of the Republic. Envied and despised by the highborn among the Senate, he craves the power and respect that defeating Spartacus and his rebel army would bring him.
Marcus Crassus is middle-aged noble who wears the typical finely-cut Roman robes, fitting for a man of his station. Despite his age he boasts a well toned, yet thin build.
When deployed in combat, Crassus wears the armor of a Roman officer, and wields his fathers sword on the field of battle.
Marcus Crassus displays a keen, power hungry attitude. He presents one of most intelligent minds that Spartacus and the rebellion army ever faces. He expects more from his son as a military authority, waiting for him to display true competence as a leader before granting him a position rather than force him in through bribes or favors. Marcus Crassus craves the down fall of Spartacus for the glory of Rome. Unlike Glaber and Varinius, Crassus is more calculative and doesn't underestimate Spartacus. Also unlike other Roman leaders tasked to take down Spartacus, Crassus actually admires the rebel general, especially for his keen intellect, unique strategies, and military tactics.
While somewhat arrogant, Crassus believes in working hard to earn titles and position and is furious at his son's spoiled nature. Crassus also doesn't view slaves as worthless either, taking a particular interest in gladiators and holding a great deal of respect to them. This is seen from his interactions with Kore and Hilarus, as he shows great care for them. Contrary to many other Romans, Crassus also has a profound sense of justice and believes that nobody is above punishment, including fellow Romans and even family, friends, or lovers. Crassus proves this trait in the enslavement of Laeta, demoting Tiberius and before forcing him to participate in decimation, the decimation of Sabinus, and the crucifixion of Kore.
He displays a great care for his family, but his time is often consumed by pressing business and work, which causes occasional rifts in his marriage. Crassus' greatest weakness, however, is his oblivious nature to the conflicts of those closest to him, which has resulted in several damages within the effort of the army, particularly the rivalry between Tiberius and Caesar.
Crassus possesses formidable fighting skills, having been trained as both a Roman soldier and even in the ways of a champion-level gladiator, eventually being capable of besting one. He was trained in the style of dimachaeri, wielding two blades.
As such, the Imperator is of considerable skill, able to easily best low-level rebels during combat, and even managed to skillfully hold his own against the rebel leader Spartacus during their final confrontation, despite not being on the former champion's level. It should be noted that Spartacus had received several wounds from battle whilst dispatching a clutch of soldiers and was already in a weakened state; while Crassus had suffered a head wound and most likely a concussion from their initial confrontation. This leads him to stand as one of, if not the most, skilled Roman in swordplay seen in the series.
Crassus is also a skilled and highly cunning tactician who, unlike Glaber, Varinius, and other high-ranking Romans, does not adhere to typical Roman tactics and traditions, making a more flexible strategist. This sharp reasoning served as way to best Spartacus' own keen mind, on several occasions.
Blood and SandEdit
Crassus is mentioned throughout the first season on several occasions. His cousin Licinia makes an appearance, and following her "disappearance" it is revealed that Crassus had offered a massive reward to anyone who would bring information that would lead to her whereabouts, even more so to the capture of the suspects if any foul play was involved.
Again, while not making an actual appearance, Crassus is mentioned through dialogue. He is mentioned by Glaber when arguing with Ilithyia in regards to how she killed Licinia, and that Glaber had to give patronage to Batiatus in order to cover it up. Crassus is again mentioned, in passing, when Varinius makes a derogatory joke about him to two ladies at a party. Crassus' power and reputation is augmented when Varinius tells Ilithyia not to let Crassus hear of this jest, for fear of reprisal.
War of the DamnedEdit
Crassus is first seen in Rome, sparring with his slave Hilarus. The former gladiator tutors Crassus, whom is revealed to be a dedicated student. Senator Metellus interrupts the two men, informing Crassus of the complications that Spartacus' rebellion has caused the republic. Metellus goes on to ask for the assistance of Crassus; 10,000 men, and in return Crassus will be given command under Cossinius and Furius. Crassus accepts Metellus' offer. But his wife Tertulla insists that their son, Tiberius accompanies Crassus as a tribune, but Crassus refuses, saying that Tiberius is not yet ready and must prove himself on the field.As Crassus' training with Hilarus continues, he tries to teach his son that a slave is as worthy an adversary as a any Roman, but the lesson proves to be for nothing as Tiberius does not listen to him. One night, Crassus and Hilarus continue to train. However, Crassus offers Hilarus freedom and 10,000 denarii if Hilarus can strike him down, which Crassus sees as a test to see if he is ready to face Spartacus. Hilarus accepts and they enter a final fight. Hilarus briefly overwhelms him, but Crassus gains the upper hand and kills Hilarus. Following the deaths of Cossinius and Furius, Metellus returns and grants Crassus the rank of Imperator, granting him sole command of the war against Spartacus. Crassus reveals that their deaths were a part of his plan to quickly ascend up the political ladder.
Julius Caesar arrives at the House of Crassus and after a brief tussle with Crassus' guards, is welcomed by the man himself. Crassus strikes an alliance with Caesar in order to bring an end to Spartacus' rebellion. He orders Caesar to remain unshaven and the purpose of this is not revealed. When Caesar makes a move on Kore, Crassus briefly scolds him. Crassus later discovers Tertulla preparing her and their family's belongings for travel with Crassus. He denies them, saying he wont have his family close to the threat of death. Crassus later has a passionate encounter with Kore, whose words move him to a final decision with what role his son, Tiberius shall play in his campaign against Spartacus. Crassus makes Tiberius his "word and will" and warns his son not to tempt engagement with Spartacus until he arrives with proper force. This enrages Caesar, but Crassus tells him to treat his son with respect and that Caesar will become his military tribune.Crassus is later seen visiting his son after he was wounded during a failed attempt on Spartacus. A disappointed Crassus states that Caesar has secreted himself amongst the Rebels ranks to hasten their fall. During a later meeting, Crassus scolds his son for ignoring his commands and engaging Spartacus before proper force could arrive. He employs the ancient punishment of decimation for Tiberius' men falling into retreat. After having sex with Kore later on, Crassus decides to treat Tiberus like any other. During decimation, Crassus orders his son to join his men. After Tiberius is forced to kill his best friend and is banished to the followers camp, he develops a deep resentment for Marcus Crassus.
As Crassus plans the downfall of Spartacus, Metellus interrupts the Imperator and questions as to why Spartacus remains active despite the Senate's investment in Crassus. Unfazed, Crassus discusses military strategy and battle tactics with Metellus, and justifies his reasoning in bringing down the rebel army. Later on, Crassus makes love with Kore in his private tent.After Caesar's successful infiltration of the rebel camp in Sinuessa and Crassus' negotiations with the Cilician pirates, Spartacus and the rebels are forced to retreat from the city, but not before Crassus himself gives chase with his Roman horde. Reunited with Caesar, Crassus manages to confront Spartacus at the rear gates of the city, where he witnesses Spartacus, Crixus , and Agron defend against an entire Roman phalanx formation. As the rebels close the bridge to block the pathway from the Romans, Caesar points out the rebel king as "The man you seek". Crassus calls out Spartacus' name, and the two leaders encounter each other for the first time. The meeting is short though, as Spartacus barely manages to escape under the bridge, the rebels now fully retreated to the mountains. Caesar questions Crassus' decision to maintain themselves in Sinuessa instead of giving chase, but the confident Crassus ensures Caesar it is all within his plan, and quells further doubts. Within the city walls of Sinuessa, Crassus comforts Kore and assures her placement in the city, and then holds Tiberius responsible for setting up a celebration in honor of the name of Caesar, unbeknownst of Tiberius' resentful actions against his father for the earlier decimation. Tiberius, however, complies with his duty, and soon the celebrations are prepared. In his villa, Crassus then interrogates Laeta, who was a captured prisoner among the rebels, and questions her loyalty to the Romans, and as to why she allowed the rebels such valuable resources and supplies. Laeta adamantly responds she only did this to save her people within the city, who were targets of attack by the rebels, and declares her allegiance never wavered. The Imperator then inquires as to the character of Spartacus, to which Laeta informs the rebel leader is no longer a man consumed by vengeance, but by a desire for freedom of all people under the tyranny of Rome. Crassus thanks her for the information, when just then a surviving Heracleo and his remaining pirates arrive to take Laeta away as their slave, as part of their dealing with the Romans. Despite Laeta's protests, Crassus honors the terms, although he warns the pirates to never return to the city unless they desired death. Crassus attends the celebration of Caesar, where surviving rebels are tortured to death in various ways, such as being torn limb from limb or getting their heads bashed in while wearing metal helmets. Here, Crassus displays his repertoire of financial skills and acumen in investments, as he negotiates with the visiting Metellus about taking over the city as theirs, with Metellus getting a good chuck of Sinuessa for himself, in exchange for the Senate to hear grandiose tales of Crassus victories over Spartacus. After Donar commits suicide against Caesar in an effort to showcase his defiance over Rome, Crassus tries to save the situation by joking that rebels even kill themselves out of fear of Caesar, prompting riotous laughing among his soldiers. Soon enough, Crassus plan for allowing the rebels to retreat is clear - a dug-out ditch in the mountain preventing the rebels from escaping, as well as an incoming storm. Crassus then prepares to fight Spartacus in the mountains, and ensembles his soldiers to set up camp nearby. Kore then tries to inform Crassus of the actions of his son, although Crassus proves too busy to listen. Before he leaves to the mountains, Crassus reinstates Tiberius back to his former ranking, assuring his son of his worth within the army, and gives him command over Caesar. Crassus also informs Tiberius that the body slave Kore would be promoted to a high-ranking position of villaca in the city of Sinuessa, where she can be closer to both Crassus and Tiberius. When an infuriated Caesar demands an explanation for his percieved demotion, Crassus replies Caesar has already acquired various accolades, and commands him to do his duty.
At the Roman encampment in the mountains, Crassus has already devised a trap for Spartacus using the dead body of Donar, although Spartacus and his rebels survive. To his surprise and irritation, he finds Caesar and Kore in the mountains, the latter of which requests words with the Imperator. although she can't find a proper way to break them. The two lovers share another night in their tent, although late in the night Kore contemplates her future. In the morning, Crassus wakes to find a Roman guard killed and that Kore run off in the night. He infuriatingly questions Caesar as to why he brought her here in the first place. As Crassus prepares to investigate the ditch they build, he takes Caesar and Tiberius alongside him, he triggers a trap by Spartacus. As Crassus knelt down just in time for an arrow to miss him, raining arrows fly from the rebels as Crassus and the Romans retreat. Before Crassus escapes, however, he sights a smirking Spartacus, who has won his first victory over Crassus himself.When the Romans pursue the rebels, they lose scores of men before Crassus arrives. Although Caesar advises caution and rest, an agitated Crassus demands that they continue their pursuit of Spartacus. Back at camp, compounding Crassus' problems, Metellus voices not only the Senate's disapproval towards Crassus' progress but his own, and refuses Crassus the earlier offer of Sinnuesa's villas and tax breaks. At breaking point, Crassus begins to strike Metellus repeatedly until he is stopped by Caesar. Crassus then threatens the Senator that if word gets out over this meltdown, he will send assassins in the night to finish him off.
When Crixus' army defeats Arrius and his legions outside of Rome, Crassus' legions appear on the horizon, taking Crixus and his rebels by surprise. Charging forth, Crassus' men completely annihilate the rebels serving under Crixus. While attempting to fight his way toward Crassus, Crixus is speared through the back by Tiberius. Pondering what to do with the mortally wounded rebel general, Crassus' orders that Crixus be beheaded and that his head be sent back to Spartacus as message.
Spartacus then sends some of his men to Crassus' camp, posing as Pompey' soldiers, in order to lure him and some of his men to meet with them. However, Tiberius goes in Crassus' name instead, and on arrival Tiberius and his men are captured. In the meantime, Crassus watches on as Agron is crucified. When Crassus learns of his son's capture by Pompey's messenger, he sends Caesar to offer a trade: the 500 remaining survivors for Tiberius' life. Despite Caesar's concerns, he obliges to Crassus.
In the time of the exchange of Tiberius with the 500 prisoners, he is killed by Kore with a knife, and when Tiberius' body returned to a saddened Crassus, Caesar conspires with Kore and tells him that a rebel men stabbed his son in the exchange. Crassus then says they will march for Spartacus to see him to deserved end. He embraces Kore, who refers to him as Marcus, but he corrects her saying that from now on she will call him Dominus.
To throw off the inevitable arrival of Pompey, Spartacus and the other rebels ambush many Roman villas to free the slaves, with every rebel proclaiming the name of Spartacus for himself in strategy. Crassus and Caesar discuss for the events, and can't believe they're all Spartacus, knowing the Thracian as a man of strategy. He then looks thoughtfully at a mold of Tiberius' face and on getting his revenge.
Before the battle, Crassus prepares to meet Spartacus by sparring with his men. Kore is brought to him in shackles, as she looks at the Tiberius' face mold, to which Crassus says he appears at peace. He says it's a false image of the boy he knew who was always with the furrowed brow, just like his father. Crassus is reflective while his body slave says she wishes nothing more that their journeys had set a different path. Caesar enters and says Spartacus' men have been spotted.
The armies march towards one another and stand their ground across a field. Rufus advances and Spartacus throws a spear at him, forcing him to stop. He states that Crassus wants to talk. Up on a hill, Crassus and a clutch of men meet with Spartacus and his main rebels. Spartacus wonders why he called him up and Crassus responds that it was the same reason he came: curiosity. Both leaders disarm themselves and left alone to speak. Crassus says Spartacus can't win this time and Spartacus notes he's been told that by every Roman he's conquered. Crassus tries to talk about their losses, and Spartacus warns him to not make those things equal and refers that he didn't give the order to the woman to kill Tiberius, in this moment Crassus learns the truth for the death of his son but does not speak, and he points out that even if they lose they are making the decision of their own free will. Crassus wonders if Spartacus gets justice for his wife if he'll withdraw from the Republic. Spartacus says there is no justice in this world. Crassus says, finally, something about which they can agree. Afterwards, they shake hands and showing respect to each other. Spartacus says when they meet again he will kill him, Crassus responds that he will try with Spartacus adding it's all a free man can do. Crassus is livid and goes back to his tent to confront Kore and Caesar and the truth comes out fully. Kore confesses when Crassus says only the truth will gain forgiveness. He is devastated and puts a knife to her neck. Caesar explains that Tiberius raped her. He asks why she didn't tell him which she says she tried. Crassus then remembers back to telling Kore on the night she left that nothing could turn him against his son. Caesar says they didn't want to cause him further pain. Crassus looks at the mold of Tiberius' face and destroys it, seeing himself in it as 'grotesque'. Kore tries to reassure him and he apologizes to her for all she has suffered and tells her it shall end when Spartacus falls. The two then embrace warmly.
The next day, the two sides square off. Crassus gives his gratitude to Caesar for his loyalty throughout the campaign. Rufus sneers that Spartacus is a fool for facing them with so few men. Crassus retorts that Spartacus has proven to be many things but not a fool among them. Crassus orders the siege engines to open fire upon the rebels, which are effective until the rebels push foward with their own hidden tactics. Crassus orders the continued strikes, even though this means killing his own men with the fire as well. He says it will end the war, though Caesar remains against the idea.Crassus tells his men to show no mercy as the Romans then use siege engines to rain pitch pots and ballistae bolts on the rebel army. Spartacus orders the rebel army to advance, so that the siege weaponry cannot fire without the risk of hitting Roman lines. The Roman infantry advance in tandem. The fighting becomes intense and Crassus calls out to Spartacus, charging on horseback towards him. Spartacus jumps of the back of a dead Roman soldier and knocks Crassus off his horse, injuring him in the head. Rufus and Roman troops surround their Imperator, dragging him off to safety before Spartacus can finish him off.
Crassus is carried up to a ridge by his men, but angrily demands to return to the fight, contrary to the insistence of Rufus by his side not to risk his life. Spartacus, in a rage, promptly charges up the ridge and kills Crassus' bodyguards, including Rufus. Now alone, Crassus picks up two swords, to combat Spartacus on equal footing. The two then proceed to engage in an equally-matched fight. Spartacus manages to disarm Crassus, but Crassus pulls a familiar trick he did against Hilarus; yanking the naked blade from Spartacus with his bare hands, and shoving the blade at Spartacus' torso. Spartacus, however, stops the blade using the exact same trick, headbutts Crassus, and body slams him into the dirt.Spartacus is about to finish Crassus off, when he himself is impaled by three spears hurled by a small band of arriving Roman troops. Spartacus, mortally wounded and down in his knees, watches on as Crassus admires the warrior and says to him "Would that you'd been born Roman and stood beside me." Spartacus replies "I bless the fates it was not so." Crassus raises a sword for the final blow, but unexpectedly Agron rides up along Nasir and the retreating remnants of the rebel army, and knocks Crassus off a small cliff on the ridge, with the rest of the Roman soldiers killed off. Crassus, however, survives the fall. Caesar and other Roman troops arrived from the battlefield to come to Crassus' aid. They scramble back up the hill, yet Spartacus and the rebels are gone. Crassus says he'll bleed to death, and that victory is theirs. He orders the remainder of the captured slaves to be crucified, at the side of the Appian Way, as a deterrent to any slaves throughout the Roman Republic who would think of turning against their masters again. During Gannicus' crucifixion, Kore is seen right beside him, having been crucified next to him. Crassus is saddened by this, but says he did what he had too, because Kore had participated on the side of Spartacus, although he has forgiven her. Pompey finally arrives, with Metellus in tow, to greet Crassus and report that he came upon Spartacus in the north and defeated him as they tried to flee to the mountains. Caesar is livid, saying he knows this is a lie and that Spartacus was defeated right there by their own troops, but Crassus stops his comrade and honors Pompey, to which Pompey says Crassus honors him. Crassus says he honors Rome and those who are of like mind who would see her flourish. Pompey, knowing full well what Crassus is doing, thanks him and invites him to dine when Crassus gets back to Rome. Crassus and Caesar share final words before setting out on their business to construct the First Triumvirate, leaving the Third Sevile War behind them.
List of AppearancesEdit
Descended from an aristocratic family in Rome, Marcus Licinius Crassus, known as "the richest man in Rome" during his life-time, was partially credited with securing victory for the Republic over the forces of Spartacus during the Third Servile War and would later become a founding member, along with Julius Caesar and Pompey Magnus, of the First Triumvirate.
In 87 BC, the forces of Gaius Marius seized control of Rome during what became known as The Social War. During this war, the Crassus family had allied themselves with Marius' nemesis, Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Thus, when Marius took control of the city, Crassus' father, a former consul of Rome named Licinius Crassus, took his own life. His head, along with those of many other Roman noblemen who had allied themselves with Sulla were placed atop stakes in the Roman forum. Marius died shortly after taking the city and his second in command, Lucius Cornelius Cinna (Caesar's father-in-law) ascended to power. Cinna placed multiple proscriptions (bounties) on many of the remaining noblemen who had supported Sulla. Crassus found himself among these men and soon thereafter left Rome and fled to Hispania.
Crassus lived in hiding in Hispania for nearly a year. He would eventually make his way to Greece where he joined up with Sulla himself who was about to launch an attack on Italy and retake Rome. Sulla was successful in his campaign and eventually captured Rome on November 1st, 82 BC. During this final battle at the gates of Rome, Crassus commanded the right wing of Sulla's army, distinguishing himself greatly. Following the successful completion of the war, Crassus turned his full attention away from the battlefield and onto business.
Much of Crassus' wealth was acquired through rather unethical means by proscriptions against political opponents of Sulla's regime. Crassus was said to have added names of citizens to the proscription's lists who were not previously written down. Crassus was also in charge of his own private fire-service (such services existed in the Roman Republic before the formation of the Cohortes Vigiles by Augustus), where Crassus would force the home owner to sell his property at a reduced price, and would order his slaves to cease work on containing the fire until his client complied with his demands. It is believed that Crassus' personal fortune amounted to two hundred million sestertii. Four sestertii amounted to one denarius. A single denarius was considered to be the daily wage of an unskilled Roman laborer or soldier. For a worker currently making minimum wage in the United States, a single day's wages is around US$58. If one were to use this as a comparison, then Crassus' wealth might have roughly stood somewhere around 2.9 billion US dollars.
The year following the Roman victory over Spartacus, Crassus would go on to hold the Consulship of the Republic of Rome, with Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus as his co-consul.
In the year 60 BCE, eleven years after the Third Servile War, Crassus, together with Gaius Julius Caesar and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, formed an informal political alliance known to history as the First Triumvirate.
In 53 BCE, some eighteen years after the conclusion of the Third Servile War, when Crassus held the Proconsulship of Syria, he pursued war with the Parthian Empire, as he hungered for recognition as a general from the Senate, and was jealous of both Caesar's conquests in Gaul as well as Pompey's successes in Hispania and the eastern Mediterranean, not to mention that Pompey received the credit for the victory over Spartacus' army. In this, Crassus was offered aid by King Artavazdes II of Hayasdan (Armenia), and was offered a safer route into Mesopotamia through Armenian lands, but Crassus decided to approach the Parthians directly by crossing the Euphrates River. Crassus and his forces would suffer defeat at the Battle of Carrhae, where many of the Roman forces were killed or taken captive by the Parthian Spahbod (general) Surena. Crassus' Quaestor, Gaius Longinus Cassius, would lead 10,000 men, a fraction of Crassus' legions, back into the safety of the Province of Syria, while among the casualties at Carrhae was Publius Licinius Crassus, the youngest son of Marcus Crassus, whom died while leading a cavalry charge of his father's Gallic Auxiliaries against the elite Cataphracts of the Parthian cavalry. Marcus Crassus would be captured himself, and was shortly executed on Surena's orders by having molton gold poured down his throat. Afterward, Surena reportedly sent Crassus' head to the Parthian emperor Orodes II, who was watching a Greek play of Agave. Crassus head was sent to the actor on the stage who used it as a prop to represent the character Pentheus.
- Simon Merrells, the actor who plays Marcus Licinius Crassus is (6'0") 183cm tall and weighs 168lbs.
- Crassus was born in the Roman year 639 Ab Urbe Conditia (115 BCE), otherwise known contemporarily as the Year of the Consulship of Marcus Aemilius Scaurus and Marcus Caecilius Metellus.
- Historically, Crassus never had a son named Tiberius, but had two sons; Publius and Marcus, although Tiberius could potentially be the show's version of Marcus, as to avoid confusion over the names of the son and father.
- Unlike other Romans (Glaber, Varinius and Cossinius), who believed Spartacus to be beneath them, Crassus admires and doesn't underestimate Spartacus.
- Historically, the Senate would not 'grant' the title Imperator to a general. Military commanders were only acclaimed as imperator by their troops after winning a great victory. This would allow the general to apply to the Senate for a triumph, after which they would relinquish their imperium (high military command). By the Principate era of Roman history, Imperator would become part of the titulature of the Caesars, where it would evolve into the monarchical title of emperor.
- In the novel Spartacus: Morituri, Spartacus and Crassus meet while Spartacus is still a Gladiator in Batiatus' Ludus. However, in the show, they make no reference to this.
"A man's true enemy is doubt, a thing I would not carry into battle against Spartacus."
—Crassus to Tiberius
"Caesar is blessed with storied name, and shall one day rise to shame the very sun."
—Crassus to Tiberius
"Coin to set Midas to envy is carried to your ships. See yourself far from my presence. Or witness rise of morning sun from the shores of the afterlife."
—Crassus to Heracleo
"Behold! The greatest warriors take their own lives in fear of Caesar."
—Crassus to his troops
"Knowledge and patience, the only counter to greater skill." —Crassus to Hilarus
"Then he and I stand the same, each believes himself the hero, the other, villain."
—Crassus to Laeta
"Greed is but a word jealous men inflict upon the ambitious."
—Crassus to Metellus
"If only you had been born a Roman, you would have stood beside me."
--Crassus to Spartacus
"... the past cannot be altered, the present holds but regret and loss, it is only in the days to come that a man may find solace"
--Crassus to Caesar