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

was with Lepidus in Gaul, in B. C. 43, when Antony was compelled to seek refuge there, and was the main instrument in bringing about the union between the armies of Lepidus and Antony. Three years later, B. C. 40, he was consul suffectus with L. Cornelius Balbus, and afterwards he was one of the legates of Antony, whom he accompanied in his campaign against the Parthians. In B. C. 38, when Antony returned from that expedition, Canidius Crassus remained in Armenia, and continued the war against those nations with considerable success,for he defeated the Armenians, and also the kings of the Iberians and Albanians, and penetrated as far as the Caucasus. In the campaign which Antony made against the Parthians in B. C. 36, Crassus was as unfortunate as the other Roman generals, all of whom suffered great losses, and were compelled to retreat. In B. C. 32, when Antony resolved upon the war with Octavian, Crassus was commissioned to lead the army, which was stationed in Armenia, to the coast of the Mediterranean. On the outbreak of the war many of Antony's friends advised him to remove Cleopatra from the army, but Crassus who was bribed by the queen, opposed this plan, and she accordingly accompanied her lover to the fatal war. Shortly afterwards, however, Crassus also advised Antony to send her back to Egypt, and to fight the decisive battle on the land and not on the sea. This time his advice was disregarded. During the battle of Actium, Crassus who had the command of Antony's land forces, could only act the part of a spectator. After the unfortunate issue of the seafight, Crassus and his army still held out for seven days in the hope that Antony would return; but in the end Crassus in despair took to flight, and followed his master to Alexandria, where he informed him of the issue of the contest and of the fate of his army. After the fall of Antony Crassus was put to death by the command of Octavianus. He died as a coward, although in times of prosperity he had been in the habit of boasting, that death had no terrors for him. (Cic. Fam. 10.21; D. C. 48.32, 49.24; Plut. Ant. 34, 42, 56, 63, 65, 68, 71, Comparat. Dem. c. Ant. 1 ; Vell. 2.85, 87; Oros. 6.19.)