Titus Livius – rendered as Livy in English – was a Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people – Ab Urbe Condita Libri – covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditional foundation in 753 BC through the reign of Augustus in Livy's own lifetime, he was on familiar terms with members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and in friendship with Augustus, whose young grandnephew, the future emperor Claudius, he exhorted to take up the writing of history. Livy was born in Patavium in northern Italy, now modern Padua. There is a debate about the year of his birth- either in 64 BC, or more in 59 BC. At the time of his birth, his home city of Patavium was the second wealthiest on the Italian peninsula, the largest in the province of Cisalpine Gaul. Cisalpine Gaul was merged in Italia during his lifetime and its inhabitants were given Roman citizenship by Julius Caesar. In his works, Livy expressed his deep affection and pride for Patavium, the city was well known for its conservative values in morality and politics.
"He was by nature a recluse, mild in averse to violence. The governor of Cisalpine Gaul at the time, Asinius Pollio, tried to sway Patavium into supporting Marcus Antonius, the leader of one of the warring factions; the wealthy citizens of Patavium refused to contribute money and arms to Asinius Pollio, went into hiding. Pollio attempted to bribe the slaves of those wealthy citizens to expose the whereabouts of their masters, it is therefore that the Roman civil wars prevented Livy from pursuing a higher education in Rome or going on a tour of Greece, common for adolescent males of the nobility at the time. Many years Asinius Pollio derisively commented on Livy's "patavinity", saying that Livy's Latin showed certain "provincialisms" frowned on at Rome. Pollio's dig may have been the result of bad feelings he harboured toward the city of Patavium from his experiences there during the civil wars. Livy went to Rome in the 30s BC, it is that he spent a large amount of time in the city after this, although it may not have been his primary home.
During his time in Rome, he held a government position. His writings contain elementary mistakes on military matters, indicating that he never served in the Roman army. However, he was educated in rhetoric, it seems that Livy had the financial resources and means to live an independent life, though the origin of that wealth is unknown. He devoted a large part of his life to his writings, which he was able to do because of his financial freedom. Livy was known to give recitations to small audiences, but he was not heard of to engage in declamation a common pastime, he was familiar with the imperial family. Augustus was considered by Romans to have been the greatest Roman emperor, benefiting Livy's reputation long after his death. Suetonius described how Livy encouraged the future emperor Claudius, born in 10 BC, to write historiographical works during his childhood. Livy's most famous work was his history of Rome. In it he narrates a complete history of the city of Rome, from its foundation to the death of Augustus.
Because he was writing under the reign of Augustus, Livy's history emphasizes the great triumphs of Rome. He wrote his history with embellished accounts of Roman heroism in order to promote the new type of government implemented by Augustus when he became emperor. In Livy's preface to his history, he said that he did not care whether his personal fame remained in darkness, as long as his work helped to "preserve the memory of the deeds of the world’s preeminent nation"; because Livy was writing about events that had occurred hundreds of years earlier, the historical value of his work was questionable, although many Romans came to believe his account to be true. Livy had at least one daughter and one son, he produced other works, including an essay in the form of a letter to his son, numerous dialogues, most modelled on similar works by Cicero. Titus Livius died in his home city of Patavium in either AD 12 or 17. Livy's only surviving work is the "History of Rome", his career from his mid-life 32, until he left Rome for Padua in old age in the reign of Tiberius after the death of Augustus.
When he began this work he was past his youth. Seneca the Younger gives brief mention that he was known as an orator and philosopher and had written some treatises in those fields from a historical point of view. Livy's History of Rome was in high demand from the time it was published and remained so during the early years of the empire. Pliny the Younger reported that Livy's celebrity was so widespread, a man from Cadiz travelled to Rome and back for the sole purpose of meeting him. Livy's work was a source for the works of Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, Florus, Granius Licinianus and Orosius. Julius Obsequens used Livy, or a source with access to Livy, to compose his De Prodigiis, an account of supernatural e
Paulus Orosius — less Paul Orosius in English — was a Gallaecian Chalcedonian priest and theologian, a student of Augustine of Hippo. It is possible that he was born in Bracara Augusta capital of the Roman province of Gallaecia, which would be the capital of the Kingdom of the Suebi by his death. Although there are some questions regarding his biography, such as his exact date of birth, it is known that he was a person of some prestige from a cultural point of view, as he had contact with the greatest figures of his time such as Saint Augustine of Hippo and Saint Jerome. In order to meet with them Orosius travelled to cities on the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, such as Hippo Regius and Alexandria; these journeys defined his life and intellectual output. Orosius did not just discuss theological matters with Saint Augustine. In addition, in 415 he was chosen to travel to Palestine in order to exchange information with other intellectuals, he was able to participate in a Church Council meeting in Jerusalem on the same trip and he was entrusted with transporting the relics of Saint Stephen.
The date of his death is unclear, although it appears to have not been earlier than 418, when he finished one of his books, or than 423. He wrote a total of three books, of which his most important is his Seven Books of History Against the Pagans, considered to be one of the books with the greatest impact on historiography during the period between antiquity and the Middle Ages, as well as being one of the most important Hispanic books of all time. Part of its importance comes from the fact; the book is a historical narration focusing on the pagan peoples from the earliest time up until the time Orosius was alive. Orosius was a influential figure both for the dissemination of information and for rationalising the study of history. Despite the importance of his books many questions remain regarding his life, hampering efforts to construct a biography with any certainty; this is true for sources of information regarding his birth and death. However, his life has been studied and there are a number of authors who propose dates for both events.
The main biographical references for Orosius come from the writings of Gennadius of Massilia and Braulio of Zaragoza, although his own writings should not be overlooked. In addition, Orosius is mentioned in letters written by Saint Augustine. While there is no doubt regarding his surname of Orosius, there are questions regarding the use of the name "Paulus"; the problem is that it is not certain if he used this name or if he was called Orosius and whether Paulus has been added with the passing of time. This could have happened given that the initial "P" for priest was always placed next to his name, over time this could have led to the confusion. However, this idea is flawed as authors writing after Orosius's death use the name Paulus. In fact Casimiro Torres Rodríguez, one of the main scholars of Orosius's life, indicates that Paulus might be his Christian name and Orosius his native name, a theory that cannot be dismissed. Whatever the truth of the matter this subject has been studied and the most current theory is that of Pedro Martínez Cavero, another important Orosius scholar.
The subject of his birthplace is still disputed. There are four theories regarding his birthplace, that can be summarised as follows: Born in Braga: this idea is most accepted as it has the most evidence supporting it. If he was not born in Braga, it is he was born in the area around the town; this idea is supported by Orosius's own works and two letters written by Saint Augustine, the 166th and the 169th. Born in Tarragona: this theory has been put forward because in his Histories Orosius talks of "Tarraconem nostra"; the 19th-century author Teodoro de Mörner held this opinion, but nowadays it does not seem reasonable to support the idea based on one indication. Originated in A Coruña: this is a new theory based on the fact that Orosius twice mentioned it in the geographical section of his Histories. Originated in Brittany: like the previous theory the supporting data for this theory rests on the fact that Orosius had some knowledge of this area. Lastly, his supposed date of birth varies between sources, however, a date has now been calculated.
It is known for certain that in 415 Saint Augustine referred to Paulus Orosius as "a young priest", which means that at that time he could not have been older than 40, as he was young, he had to be older than 30, as he was a priest. Therefore, his date of birth can be fixed as being between 375 and 385, although the most accepted date is considered to be 383; this assumes that when Orosius met Saint Augustine he was 32 years old, that is, he had been an ordained priest for two years. Despite the scarcity of sources, if his date of birth is accepted as that given above or at least within the window between 375 and 385 it can be seen that Orosius grew up during a period of cultural flourishing along with Hydatius and the Ávitos. Priscillianism was an important doctrine at this time and it is considered that after entering the priesthood he took an interest in the Priscillianist controversy, being debated in his native country; the classical theorie
Faenza is an Italian city and comune, in the province of Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, situated 50 kilometres southeast of Bologna. Faenza is home to a historical manufacture of majolica-ware glazed earthenware pottery, known from the name of the town as faience. Faenza, at the foot of the first Subapennine hills, is surrounded by an agricultural region including vineyards in the hills, cultivated land with traces of the ancient Roman land-division system, fertile market gardens in the plains. In the nearby green valleys of the rivers Samoggia and Lamone there are great number of 18th and 19th century stately homes, set in extensive grounds or preceded by long cypress-lined driveways. According to mythology, the name of the first settlement, had Etruscan and Celtic roots, meaning in Latin "Splendeo inter deos" or "I shine among the gods," in modern English; the name, coming from the Romans who developed this center under the name of Faventia, has become synonymous with ceramics in various languages, including French and English.
Here Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius defeated populares army of Gnaeus Papirius Carbo in 82 BC. From the second half of the 1st century AD the city flourished as a result of its agricultural propensities and the development of industrial activities such as the production of everyday pottery and brickwork objects and linen textiles. Here Totila and an Ostrogothic army defeated the Byzantine army in Italy in the Battle of Faventia in 542 CE. After a period of decadence from the 2nd century to the early Middle Ages it regained prosperity from the 8th century on. Around the year 1000 with the government of the Bishops and subsequently in the age of the Comune the city began a long period of richness and building expansion which reached its peak with the rule of the Manfredi family; the first consuls were elected in 1141 and in 1155 a podestà was in charge of government of the city. In the wars between Guelphs and Ghibellines that began in the following years Faenza was at first loyal to the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1178, however, it entered the Lombard League. The inner disputes anyway favoured acquisition of power by Maghinardo Pagano, who remained podestà and capitano del popolo for several years. At the beginning of the 14th century the Guelph Manfredi began a rule over Faenza, to last for two centuries; the peak of splendour was reached under Carlo II Manfredi, in the second half of the century, when the city centre was renewed. In 1488 Galeotto Manfredi was assassinated by his wife: his son Astorre III succeeded him, but was in turn killed in Rome as a prisoner of Cesare Borgia, who had captured Faenza in 1501. After a brief period of Venetian domination Faenza became part of the Papal States until 1797. Faenza was liberated by the New Zealand Army on 14 December 1944. Faenza's architectural attractions are concentrated in the two contiguous main squares: Piazza del Popolo, lined by two double order porticoed wings, Piazza della Libertà. Faenza Cathedral: located along the east side of Piazza della Libertà.
Influenced by Tuscan style, it is one of the highest expressions of Renaissance art in Romagna. Built to Giuliano da Maiano's design, it was begun in 1474 and completed in 1511; the marble decoration of the façade remained unfinished. The interior, a nave and two aisles with obvious references to Brunelleschi's San Lorenzo in Florence, houses numerous works of Renaissance art, chiefly sculpture, among which are the tombs of St. Terence and St. Emilian and that of St. Savino done in Florence by Benedetto da Maiano. Sant'Antonio San Bartolomeo Santa Maria del Carmine Church of the Commenda Santa Maria ad Nives Santa Maria dell’Angelo Palazzo del Podestà and the Town Hall, both of medieval origin, stand in Piazza del Popolo; the former was restored in the early 20th century while the latter — radically transformed in the 18th century — was the Palazzo of the Captain of the People and the residence of the governing Manfredi family. Goldsmiths' Portico opposite the Cathedral this open gallery and monumental fountain with bronzes were built in the first decade of the 17th century.
Clock Tower, in front of the entrance to the Piazza, is a postwar rebuilding of the 17th century tower that stood at the crossroad of the cardo and the decumanus gate of the Roman Faventia. Among the other monuments of the historic centre are Palazzo Milzetti, the richest and most significant Neoclassical building in the region, the Teatro Masini. In the nearby, the Villa Case Grandi dei Ferniani has a collection of 18th and 19th century Faenza ceramics. Grotta Tanaccia Karstic Park and the Carnè Natural Park, a vast green area with a visitor’s centre and refreshments, are of great interest, characterized by a typical landscape of dolinas and swallow holes. Faenza is home to the International Museum of Ceramics; the museum houses pieces from all over the world and from every epoch, from classical amphoras to the works of Chagall and Picasso, there is a rich section dedicated to Faenza pottery in the golden age of the Renaissance. Other interesting art collections are located in the Municipal Art Gallery, the Diocese Museum, the Bendandi Museum and the Manfredi Library.
The historic production of Faenza majolica is recognized worldwide as one of the highest moments of artistic creativity expressed through pottery. The tradition was born from a convergence of favourable conditions: a territory rich in clay, a centuries-old history of political and commercial relations with nearby Tuscany; as a testament to the popularity of the city's majolica through
The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. Roman society under the Republic was a cultural mix of Latin and Greek elements, visible in the Roman Pantheon, its political organisation was influenced by the Greek city states of Magna Graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate. The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, judicial and religious powers. Whilst there were elections each year, the Republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of large families monopolised the main magistracies. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.
Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours as well as the Gauls, who sacked the city in 387 BC; the Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. After the Gallic Sack, Rome indeed conquered the whole Italian peninsula in a century, which turned the Republic into a major power in the Mediterranean; the Republic's greatest enemy was doubtless Carthage, against. The Punic general Hannibal famously invaded Italy by crossing the Alps and inflicted on Rome two devastating defeats at the Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but the Republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. With Carthage defeated, Rome became the dominant power of the ancient Mediterranean world, it embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated Philip V and Perseus of Macedon, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, the Lusitanian Viriathis, the Numidian Jugurtha, the great Pontic king Mithridates VI, the Gaul Vercingetorix, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.
At home, the Republic experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. At first, the Conflict of the Orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century BC; the vast conquests of the Republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. In order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the Populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the Gracchi brothers, Saturninus, or Clodius Pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the Optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. Mass slavery caused three Servile Wars. In this context, the last decades of the Republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in Rome to gain control of the political system.
Marius Sulla dominated in turn the Republic. These multiple tensions lead to a series of civil wars. Despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Caesar's heir Octavian and lieutenant Mark Antony defeated Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, but turned against each other; the final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic. Since the foundation of Rome, its rulers had been monarchs, elected for life by the patrician noblemen who made up the Roman Senate; the last Roman king was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. In the traditional histories, Tarquin was expelled in 509 because his son Sextus Tarquinius had raped the noblewoman Lucretia, who afterwards took her own life. Lucretia's father, her husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, Tarquin's nephew Lucius Junius Brutus mustered support from the Senate and army, forced Tarquin into exile in Etruria.
The Senate agreed to abolish kingship. Most of the king's former functions were transferred to two consuls, who were elected to office for a term of one year; each consul had the capacity to act as a check on his colleague, if necessary through the same power of veto that the kings had held. If a consul abused his powers in office, he could be prosecuted. Brutus and Collatinus became Republican Rome's first consuls. Despite Collatinus' role in the creation of the Republic, he belonged to the same family as the former king, was forced to abdicate his office and leave Rome, he was replaced as co-consul by Publius Valerius Publicola. Most modern scholarship describes these events as the quasi-mythological detailing of an aristocratic coup within Tarquin's own family, not a popular revolution, they fit a narrative of a personal vengeance against a tyrant leading to his overthrow, common among Greek cities and theorised by Aristotle
Gaius Marius the Younger
Gaius Marius Minor known in English as Marius the Younger or informally "the younger Marius", was a Roman general and politician who became consul in 82 BC alongside Gnaeus Papirius Carbo. He committed suicide that same year at Praeneste, after his defeat at the hands of Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Marius the Younger was the son of the Gaius Marius, seven times consul and a famous military commander, his mother, was an aunt of Julius Caesar. In his youth, Marius was educated with Titus Pomponius Atticus and Marcus Tullius Cicero by Greek tutors. Like his father, Marius advanced his political career through popularist tactics. During the Social War, he served under Lucius Porcius Cato, whom one source claims Marius killed at the Battle of Fucine Lake over Cato's claims that Cato's achievements were on par with the elder Marius's victory over the Cimbri. Seeking to strengthen his political alliances, the elder Marius married his son to Licinia, a daughter of Lucius Licinius Crassus. In the political turmoil launched by his father in 88 BC to strip his rival Lucius Cornelius Sulla of command of the Roman forces in the First Mithridatic War, the Younger Marius accompanied his father into exile when Sulla unexpectedly marched on Rome, forcing them both to flee.
At Ostia, young Marius sailed to Africa. There he went to the court of Hiempsal II of Numidia to seek his help against Sulla, but the king decided to hold him captive instead, he managed to escape with the help of one of Hiempsal’s concubines whom the young Marius had seduced. He joined up with his father who had come to Africa, they escaped to the Kerkennah Islands. Learning of Cinna’s fight to retain his consulship in 87 BC, father and son returned to Rome, where Marius the elder took control of the situation, gathering an army of slaves and gladiators, murdering his enemies, both real and imagined. According to Cassius Dio, the younger Marius inaugurated his father’s seventh consulship by murdering one Plebeian Tribune and sending his head to the newly installed consuls, while having another tribune thrown from the heights of the Capitoline Hill, he banished two praetors, ordering that neither should receive fire or water from any Roman citizen. When his father died in 86 BC, the young Marius assumed leadership of his father’s adherents and clients, although overall control of the Marian faction was held by Cinna, elected consul on consecutive years until his death in 84 BC.
The young Marius is said to have lacked his father's charisma and sought to achieve popularity on the family name. Young Marius was elected to the consulship for 82 BC; this was a political move by Carbo, his consular colleague, to drum up popular support and enthusiasm for the war against Sulla. Two talented and better-qualified men among the Marian faction, his cousin Marius Gratidianus and Quintus Sertorius, were passed over in favor of the younger Marius's symbolic value. However, many of the old veterans from the elder Marius’s former armies came out of retirement and flocked to the younger Marius’s side, and, by the battle of Sacriportus, his army numbered 85 cohorts. In the subsequent civil war in 82 BC, Lucius Cornelius Sulla and his army defeated the armies of Marius at the battle of Sacriportus, after which he retreated with around 7000 surviving troops to the fortress city of Praeneste, along with the treasury of the Capitoline temple. Sulla's prefect Quintus Lucretius Ofella, conducted the siege, throttling the town with a ring of constructed earth and tuff barricades.
Marius gave orders to Lucius Junius Brutus Damasippus, the Urban Praetor to kill all those who were to support Sulla’s return, including his father-in-law, Quintus Mucius Scaevola Pontifex, the ex-consul Lucius Domitius, Publius Antistius and Papirius Carbo, among others. Although both Gnaeus Papirius Carbo and Lucius Junius Brutus Damasippus attempted to break the siege, they were unsuccessful. Towards the end of the siege Marius made one final attempt to escape, this time by digging a tunnel under the walls, but the attempt was uncovered. Marius committed suicide. In 45 BC, a man referred to as Amatius appeared in Rome, claiming to be the son of the Younger Marius. Maria T. Robert S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, Vol II. Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, Vol II
Tribune of the Plebs
Tribunus plebis, rendered in English as tribune of the plebs, tribune of the people or plebeian tribune, was the first office of the Roman state, open to the plebeians, throughout the history of the Republic, the most important check on the power of the Roman Senate and magistrates. These tribunes had the power to preside over the Concilium Plebis; the tribunes of the plebs were sacrosanct, meaning that any assault on their person was prohibited by law. In imperial times, the powers of the tribunate were granted to the emperor as a matter of course, the office itself lost its independence and most of its functions. During the day the tribunes used to sit on the tribune benches on the Forum Romanum. Fifteen years after the expulsion of the kings and establishment of the Roman Republic, the plebeians were burdened by the weight of crushing debt. A series of clashes between the people and the ruling patricians in 495 and 494 BC brought the plebeians to the brink of revolt, there was talk of assassinating the consuls.
Instead, on the advice of Lucius Sicinius Vellutus, the plebeians seceded en masse to the Mons Sacer, a hill outside of Rome. The senate dispatched Agrippa Menenius Lanatus, a former consul, well-liked by the plebeians, as an envoy to the plebeians. Menenius was well-received, told the fable of the belly and the limbs, likening the people to the limbs who chose not to support the belly, thus starved themselves; the plebeians agreed to negotiate for their return to the city. No member of the senatorial class would be eligible for this office, the tribunes should be sacrosanct; the senate agreeing to these terms, the people returned to the city. The first tribuni plebis were Lucius Albinius Paterculus and Gaius Licinius, appointed for the year 493 BC. Soon afterward, the tribunes themselves appointed two others as their colleagues; the ancient sources indicate the tribunes may have been two or five in number. If the former, the college of tribunes was expanded to five in 470 BC. Either way, the college was increased to ten in 457 BC, remained at this number throughout Roman history.
They were assisted by plebeian aediles. Only plebeians were eligible for these offices. Although sometimes referred to as plebeian magistrates, the tribunes of the people, like the plebeian aediles, who were created at the same time, were technically not magistrates, as they were elected by the plebeian assembly alone. However, they functioned much like magistrates of the Roman state, they could convene the concilium plebis, entitled to pass legislation affecting the plebeians alone, beginning in 493 BC to elect the plebeian tribunes and aediles. From the institution of the tribunate, any one of the tribunes of the plebs was entitled to preside over this assembly; the tribunes were entitled to propose legislation before the assembly. By the third century BC, the tribunes had the right to call the senate to order, lay proposals before it. Ius intercessionis called intercessio, the power of the tribunes to intercede on behalf of the plebeians and veto the actions of the magistrates, was unique in Roman history.
Because they were not technically magistrates, thus possessed no maior potestas, they relied on their sacrosanctity to obstruct actions unfavourable to the plebeians. Being sacrosanct, no person could interfere with their activities. To do so, or to disregard the veto of a tribune, was punishable by death, the tribunes could order the death of persons who violated their sacrosanctity; this could be used as a protection. This sacrosanctity made the tribunes independent of all magistrates. If a magistrate, the senate, or any other assembly disregarded the orders of a tribune, he could "interpose the sacrosanctity of his person" to prevent such action. Only a dictator was exempted from the veto power; the tribunes could veto acts of the Roman senate. The tribune Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus imposed his veto on all government functions in 133 BC, when the senate attempted to block his agrarian reforms by imposing the veto of another tribune. Tribunes possessed the authority to enforce the right of provocatio ad populum, a precursor of the modern right of habeas corpus.
This entitled a citizen to appeal the actions of a magistrate by shouting appello tribunos! or provoco ad populum!. Once invoked, this right required one of the tribunes to assess the situation, determine the lawfulness of the magistrate's action. Any action taken in defiance of this right was illegal on its face. In effect, this gave the tribunes of the people unprecedented power to protect individuals from the arbitrary exercise of state power, afforded Roman citizens a degree of liberty unequalled in the ancient
Lucius Licinius Crassus
Lucius Licinius Crassus, sometimes referred to as Crassus Orator, was a Roman consul and statesman. He was considered the greatest orator of his day, most notably by his pupil Cicero. Crassus is famous as one of the main characters in Cicero's work De Oratore, a dramatic dialogue on the art of oratory set just before Crassus' death in 91 BC. Lucius Licinius Crassus was born in 140 BC, it is not known which Licinius Crassus his father was, as there are a number of similarly-named Licinii Crassi active in the mid-second century BC. However, prosopographical investigation by scholars has established that he must have been a grandson of Gaius Licinius Crassus, the consul of 168 who marched his army from Gallia Cisalpina to Macedonia against the will of the Senate. Lucius was, the child of one of this Gaius Crassus' sons. Lucius was taught at a young age by jurist Lucius Coelius Antipater, he studied law under two eminent statesmen, both of whom were from branches of the Mucii Scaevolae gens: Publius Mucius Scaevola.
The latter was still alive in the year of Crassus' death, appears alongside Crassus as a character in Cicero's De Oratore. When aged only 21, Crassus shot to fame in 119 BC for his prosecution of the proconsul Gaius Papirius Carbo, who committed suicide rather than face the inevitable guilty verdict. From this point on, Crassus was recognised as one of the foremost orators in Rome. However, Crassus came to regret this celebrated prosecution because it brought him many political enemies. One such enemy was Carbo's son, Gaius Papirius Carbo the Younger, who followed Crassus to his province in 94 BC with the aim of gathering evidence for a revenge prosecution. Crassus was remembered by Romans for his wise response to the younger Carbo. Little else is known of Crassus' political activities in the 110s BC, he is known to have supported the efforts of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus to create a citizen colony at Narbo Martius in 117 BC. At the age of twenty-seven, Crassus defended his relative Licinia, one of the Vestal Virgins, scandalously accused of infidelity that year.
Crassus was successful during Licinia's first prosecution in front of the pontifices, she was acquitted. However, she was prosecuted again by the special inquisitor Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla in early 113; this time, Crassus was not successful, Licinia was buried alive. Crassus served as Quaestor sometime around the year 109 BC, he was appointed to the province of Asia Minor. On his return journey, he departed after a dispute with the locals. Having missed the ceremony of the Eleusinian Mysteries by only two days, Crassus requested that the Athenians repeat the affair so that he too might be initiated; when the Athenians refused, he angrily left the city. It seems Crassus related this anecdote to the young Cicero, who recorded it many years in the De Oratore. Crassus served as Tribune of the Plebs in 107 BC at the age of 33, his tribunate was as an example of a notably'quiet' one: Cicero had not realised Crassus served as tribune until he read about it by chance in a passage of Lucilius. Crassus served as Aedile in 100 BC.
Alongside Scaevola Pontifex, Crassus put on expensive games for the people, which were remembered decades afterwards for their extravagance. As was common with many young politicians at the start of the cursus honorum, Crassus had employed popularis overtones in his prosecution of Carbo, but over time, he became an staunch defender of conservative values. In 106 BC, Crassus gave a famous speech; this law was proposed by the consul Quintus Servilius Caepio, aimed to end the equestrian monopoly on juries. Since the legislative reforms of Gaius Gracchus, jurors for a number of important courts had been drawn only from the ranks of the equites. Crassus and the other conservative senators wanted mixed juries drawn from both senators and equestrians, he therefore attacked the equestrian courts in a famous speech, considered by Cicero to be Crassus' finest moment: Save us from wretchedness, save us from the fangs of men whose cruelty can only be satisfied by our blood. In the translation by Rackham and Sutton, published in 1942: Deliver us out of our woes, deliver us out of the jaws of those whose ferocity cannot get its fill of our blood.
Crassus' oratory won the day, the Lex Servilia was passed. It was, however, to prove short lived, as a few years a law of Gaius Servilius Glaucia restored the equestrian monopoly on the juries. Regardless of the long-term outcome of the Lex Servilia, Crassus' speech was celebrated, it became a literal model of Roman eloquence, was being studied in a textbook by the young Cicero a few years later. In the last year of his life, Crassus once again attacked the equestrian juries when he championed the legislation of Marcus Livius Drusus the Younger in 91 BC, it is worth noting that when Quintus Servilius Caepio, the proposer of the jury law in question, was prosecuted in 103 BC by the tribune Gaius Norbanus fo