Crassus AE18 dated Year 13 of the Pompeian Era (= 54 / 53 BC)
Diademed head of Zeus right.
ANTIOXEWN THS MHTPOROLEWS - Zeus seated left, IG in exergue.
Vagi 18 RPC4212 ex. Classical Cash
There are no known portrait coins of Crassus. This little bronze was minted under his authority when governor of Syria, right before he marched off into Parthia and got his head handed to him. Actually, that is imprecise - he had his son's head handed to him, Crassus didn't die until the next day. Faced with 10,000 horse archers, Crassus drew up his troops in a large square and waited for the enemy to run out of arrows. Sadly for Crassus the Parthians also had 1,000 camels with spare arrows, making Crassus the originator of the strategy employed so effectively by Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War - that of placing one's army out in the open and letting the enemy use it for target practice. Unfortunately the strategy didn't work out for Saddam as badly as it did for Crassus. Saddam's head isn't on a pike. Yet.
Publius Licinius Crassus 18mm denarius
S C - Laur., dr. & diademed bust of Venus r.
P. CRASSVS M.F. - Female stg before horse which she holds by bridle, shield and cuirass at her feet
Licinia 18 Craw 430/1 ex. Eric Kondratieff
By all accounts Crassus' son Publius was a fine young man. He served with distinction under Caesar in Gaul. He left Gaul with 1,000 Gallic horsemen to join his father's Parthian expedition. These horsemen made up the core of Crassus' cavalry. They were hideously outclassed and outnumbered by the Parthian horseman. When Publius led the cavalry out to chase away the horse archers who were raining arrows down on the foot soldiers, the Parthians allowed the Gauls to chase them out of support range of the main army. They then turned on the invaders. Publius' head was tossed into the Roman square an hour later.