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Crassus: The First Tycoon (Ancient Lives)

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The focus is really on the power politics of the times and much less on the day to day life of this 'first financier'. A memorable phase it is too: 'Vagises held out a soft hand, palm upward, laughed and said: "Hair will grow here, Crassus, before you see Seleuceia.

For a book titled “The First Tycoon” I know little of his financial innovations, and one would be already familiar with the stories told in this book if they had prior knowledge of Caesar, Pompey and Cicero. The purpose of the silver, the gold (and the lithium if they had recognised it) was to test the national character to leave it alone. Had he taken the advice of one of his officers and a future assassin of Caesar Cassius he might have salvaged something. One of the strengths of Stothard's writing is that he shows rather than tells: anecdote is preferred to adjectives.Peter Stothard's 'Crassus' is a new biography written for Yale University Press's Ancient Lives series, which aims to prove that the lives of ancient thinkers, rulers, warriors, and politicians are still relevant today.

Some said that his open mouth, shriveled by desert air, had been filled with molten gold as testament to his lifetime of greed.

There is an enormous amount of information condensed in the few pages and it is certainly not for beginners, but a good way for amateur enthusiasts to refresh their memory and knowledge of this fascinating period in Roman history, covering roughly the period from the end of the Sulla-Marius rivalry to the beginnings of Caesar's reign and the beginning of the end for the Republic. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. It has all the necessary elements: the harmatia of the protagonist - that fatal flaw in someone otherwise favoured by fortune; the hubris and nemesis; that peripeteia when realization dawns that retreat and defeat are the only option; and heaps of dramatic irony as the audience watches how each chapter or 'scene', each stage in Crassus's life leads to this one conclusion. Scriitorul englez, jurnalist și critic, se pare că a scris această operă la "comanda" Universității Yale ca parte dintr-o serie mai largă în care sunt descrise scurt, clar și la obiect, viețile antice ale unor personalități alese mai mult sau mai puțin aleatoriu (Cleopatra, Ramses, Demetrius, Julian Apostatul). It was a Parthian insult which essentially meant as hair cannot grow on a man's palm it conformed to the Greek word adunaton that something cannot happen until something impossible happens 'deserts freezing over, dogs climbing pear trees.

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