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

20. P.LiciniusCrassusDives, M. F., younger son of the triumvir, was Caesar's legate in Gaul from B. C. 58 to the second consulship of his father. In B. C. 58, he fought against Ariovistus; in the following year, against the Veneti and other tribes in north-western Gaul; and in B. C. 56, he distinguished himself in Aquitania. In the next winter, Caesar sent him to Rome with a party of soldiers who were intended to forward the election of the triumvirs Pompey and Crassus, and he also brought home 1000 Gallic cavalry, who afterwards took part in the Parthian war. Notwithstanding the mutual dislike of Cicero and Crassus the triumvir, Publius was much attached to the great orator, and derived much pleasure and benefit from his society. In B. C. 58, he strove to prevent the banishment of Cicero, and with other young Romans appeared in public clad in mourning; and, on his return to Rome, in B. C. 55, he exerted himself to procure a reconciliation between Cicero and his father. (Cic. ad Qu. Fr. 2.9.2.) At the end of the year B. C. 54, he followed the triumvir to Syria, and, in the fatal battle near Carrhae, behaved with the utmost gallantry. (Plut. Crass. 25.) Seeing that he could not rescue his troops, he refused to provide for his own safety, and, as his hand was disabled by being transfixed with an arrow, he ordered his sword-bearer to run him through the body. Though he was more ambitious of military renown than of the fame of eloquence, he was fond of literature. He was a proficient in the art of dancing (Macrob. 2.10 fin.), and under the teaching of his friend and freedman Apollonius, became well skilled in Greek. (Cic. Fam. 13.16.) There is extant a Roman denarius (post, p. 882) which has been usually supposed to refer to him, although the name inscribed and the device on the reverse would equally or better apply to his grandfather, Publius the censor, No. 14. See below, p. 882a. (Eckhel, v. p. 232; Spanh. ii. p. 99.)