A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

14. P.LiciniusCrassusDives, M. F. P. N., brother of No. 13 and father of the triumvir. He was the proposer of the lex Licinia, mentioned by Gellius (2.24), to prevent excessive expense and gluttony in banquets. The exact date of this law is uncertain, but it was alluded to by the poet Lucilius, who died before the consulship of Crassus, which took place B. C. 97. The sumptuary law of Crassus was so much approved of, that it was directed by a decree of the senate to take effect immediately after its publication, and before it had been actually passed by the populus. (Macrob. 2.13.) It was abolished at the proposition of Duronius in B. C. 98. (V. Max. 2.9.5.) The extravagance of the games and shows given by the aediles had now become unreasonably great, and Crassus during his aedileship yielded to the prevailing prodigality. (Cic. de Of. 2.16.) During the consulship of Crassus, the senate made a remarkable decree, by which it was ordained " no homo immolaretur,"--a monstrous rite, says Pliny, which up to that time had been publicly solemnized. (Plin. Nat. 30.3.) After his consulship, he took the command in Spain, where he presided for several years, and, in the year B. C. 93, was honoured with a triumph for his successes in combating the Lusitanian tribes. In the social war, B. C. 90, he was the legate of L. Julius Caesar, and in the following year his colleague in the censorship (Festus, s. v. referri), and with him enrolled in new tribes certain of the Latini and Itali, who were rewarded for their fidelity with the rights of citizenship. In the civil war which commenced soon afterwards, he took part with Sulla and the aristocracy. When Marius and Cinna, after being proscribed, returned to Rome in the absence of Sulla, he stabbed himself in order to escape a more ignominious death from the hands of their partisans. (Liv. Epit. lxxx.)