Crassus is quite useful for a city near an opposing player as you can quickly claim useful tiles and stifle the other city's growth. He can also be used to strategically control other civilizations' movements - for example, by claiming the opening of a bay to the ocean, or claiming a chokepoint between mountain ranges. He is also useful for researching resources that lie outside the 3-hex workable range of a city.
Considered the wealthiest man in Roman history, and one of the richest of all time, Marcus Licinius Crassus was the second of three sons fathered by the influential Roman senator Publius Crassus. As a young officer, Marcus had been forced to flee to Hispania when Lucius Cinna took control of Rome 87 BC, but returned to support Lucius Sulla in the ensuing civil war. After Sulla’s victory, he held a praetorship, gaining some fame for putting down the slave uprising led by Spartacus. In 70 BC, Crassus and Pompey pressured the Senate into electing them co-consuls; once in office, they reversed most of Sulla’s reforms.
During the next decade, as Pompey scored military victories abroad, Marcus Crassus amassed enormous wealth, mostly from the sale of property previously confiscated by Sulla, and loans to senators who liked living too well. He also maintained a troop of 500 slaves skilled in construction, and when one of Rome’s frequent fires broke out, would then buy up the ruins, quickly rebuild the neighborhood, and then charge exorbitant rents. At one point it was said that Crassus owned most of Rome.
He certainly wasn’t the first rich man to have delusions of grandeur, but in his case it proved decidedly deleterious. In 60 BC Crassus joined Pompey and young Julius Caesar in forming the so-called First Triumvirate to rule Rome. Whether it was jealousy of Caesar and Pompey or simply greed, Marcus Crassus managed to get the Senate to appoint him governor of the rich province of Syria. Not satisfied plundering Syria, he embarked on an ill-advised invasion of Parthia, where he was killed at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC. Legend has it that his head was severed and molten gold poured into his mouth as a mark of his infamous greed.
- Marcus Licinius Crassus in other games