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Battle of Carrhae: An example of avarice.

Posted October 16th, 2017 at 08:04 AM by Radrook

Battle of Carrhae: An example of avarice.

Published by Radrook in the blog Flash Fiction 1. Views: 0
I have always been fascinated by the history of Rome-in particular its military success and reverses. One of the most interesting I find is the battle of Carrhae, a small town near which it took place, because it illustrates two things that the Bible tells us:

1. that the blind leading the blind will lead them all into a pit

Matthew 15:14

New International Version
Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."

2. that love of money can lead to all kinds of self-inflicted wounds.

1 Timothy 6:10

New International Version
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Most modern historians tend to view insatiable greed, envy as the motivation for the campaign.. So this is in full harmony with their opinion.

Now, the man who is responsible for providing us with this confirmation was the rich and famous Crassus-the richest man in Rome at the time. . He riches were derived from, his unscrupulous policies to increase his wealth.

Part of his military fame was for having defeated Spartacus the gladiator who led a rebellion against Rome involving freed slaves. But of course he wanted more! He envied Julius Caesar’s growing military success in Gaul as well as Pompey’s successes . So after gaining control of Syria by being appointed as its governor, he struck East towards the Parthian Empire. Not that Parthia deserved to be attacked since Rome and Parthia were at peace. So this was a personal venture largely subsidized by his own money in order to gain more fame and increase wealth.

The gist of the story, to make a long story short, is this. Crassus ignored the advice to stay clear of the desert and refused the offer of 10,000 Armenian cavalry from king Artavasdes II .

Instead he paid attention to the advice of an Arab in the employ of the Parthian king and plunged mindlessly into the arid region where a trap had been laid by Parthia general Surena. There he and his 34,000 were surrounded by Parthian cavalry and showered with seemingly endless barrages of arrows.

His son, Publius Crassus, who had brought 1,000 Celtic cavalry from Gaul was beheaded and his head displayed on a spear after he fell into a trap where his cavalry was confronted by 1000 heavily armored Parthian cataphracts and prevented from escaping by horse archers.

Crassus was forced to retreat to the town of Carrhae and leave 5000 wounded behind to be slaughtered. He was finally beheaded himself and had his head displayed in a Parthian play as a prop according to Plutarch's biography of Crassus. . The total losess were 20,000 killed and 10,000 captured. All this totally unnecessary since at age 62 Crassus was already rich and famous.
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