The Causes of Rome’s Failure and the Stain of Crassus


As Crassus’ infringed Mesopotamia in 54–53 BCE, the influences were unforeseen and unintended. However, the sinister defeat shocked the whole Roman world and suddenly made the Parthians a strong opponent to Rome. Additionally, the shame Romans felt after the Battle of Carrhae was considerable. The battle scarred the Roman psyche and seriously harmed the Roman ego. This paper mainly synthesizes and inquires into the reason which has became a malicious and maliagnant Roman literary tradition of anti-Crassus propaganda, and examines how hundreds of Roman writers over the course of numerous centuries used the dead and disgraced Crassus as a convenient scapegoat to help to explain Rome’s failure in dominating the East and subduing the Parthian enemies. It is proved that these writers ignored the legal causes for the First Romano-Parthian War (56 BCE – 1 CE), which Crassus had inherited, and the paper illustrates how the tragedy at Carrhae became a popular moralizing lesson, which mainly contributes to its avarice, impiety, and arrogancy.


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