The baggage train occupied the interior of the square. His death permanently unraveled the alliance between Caesar and Pompey. The cataphract wore scale body armor, articulated plating on his arms and greaves on his legs. But Antony was in such haste to depart for Phraata (according to Plutarch, to conquer it quickly and return to Cleopatra) that he failed to bring along any siege equipment, including his 80-foot ram. Rick Mears, race car driver; three-time Indycar national champion (1979, 1981, 1982). Plutarch estimated the final count of Roman casualties to be 20,000 killed and 10,000 captured. Antony’s first move upon entering Parthian territory in 36 BC was to lay siege to the city of Phraata. For further reading, he recommends: Plutarch’s Lives and Warfare in the Classical World by John Warry. That night, Cassius and some other officers who saw that he had suffered a complete breakdown, took upon themselves the decision to withdraw all the able-bodied troops they could to the town of Carrhae, leaving their wounded behind. Joseph Conrad, Polish-born novelist (Heart of Darkness, Nostromo). 1) Battle of Carrhae (6 May, 53 BC) – We start off the list with a Roman defeat – and, it was not just any defeat. The final pathetic phase of Crassus’ campaign began when he opted once again to hire a local guide to lead him and his 1,500-man contingent in their breakout. B.D. Before Crassus departed Rome, however, Ateius publicly cursed him, setting down a chafing-dish with lighted fire in it, pouring incense and burning libations on it, Plutarch reported, and calling upon and naming several strange and horrible deities. The fierce Celts were able to seize the cataphracts’ lances and drag them to the ground, where the Parthians’ heavy armor rendered them helpless. This article was written by Belleville, Illinois-based contributor Bryan Dent. Some Gauls dismounted and crept under the Parthian horses, which they disemboweled, unhorsing the riders. Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. Surena was eventually slain along with his bodyguards, and the remaining Parthians broke and fled. The remaining 10,000 or so Roman legionaries were captured. Some Romans objected to a war against Parthia. The Parthians rode forward with Publius’ head on the point of a spear, and, Plutarch wrote, scoffingly inquired where his parents were, and what family he was of, because it was impossible that so brave and gallant a warrior should be the son of so pitiful a coward as Crassus. The battle took place in 53 BC, near the town of Carrhae. It is regarded as one of the greatest tactical feats in military history … The Romans repeatedly advanced towards the Parthians to attempt to engage in close-quarters fighting, but the horse archers were always able to retreat safely, loosing Parthian shots as they withdrew. The Battle of Carrhae was fought in 53 BC between the Roman Republic and the Parthian Empire near the town of Carrhae.The Parthian Spahbod ("General") Surena the Iranian decisively defeated a numerically superior Roman invasion force under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus.It is commonly seen as one of the earliest and most important battles between the Roman and Parthian … Unknown to them, however, Surena hid the main body of his army behind the first rank, and had them conceal the glittering of their armor. Crassus refused the offer and decided to take the direct route through Mesopotamia, and capture the great cities in the region. Crassus ordered his troops to advance and envelope the horse-archers. This was exactly what Crassus wanted, since Pompey was coming with an army from Iberia, and Crassus desperately needed a quick victory before his old rival arrived. The Roman forces advanced and came to a stream. Indeed, only the threat of losing his political prestige could bestir Antony from the bed of his paramour, the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra VII. Crassus paid no attention. The Parthian king, Orodes II, in response to Crassus' preparations for war, divided his army and he took most of his soldiers, mostly infantry and a small amount of cavalry, to punish the Armenians and sent the rest of his forces, 9000 mounted archers and 1000 cataphracts under the command of the General Surena to hold off Crassus' army until Orodes could return from Armenia with the rest of the army. He managed to defeat his opponent by good timing. Therefore the majority of wounds inflicted were nonfatal hits to exposed limbs. Crassus next went to the port of Brundusium (now Brindisi in southern Italy). When he ordered a cheer, the army only made a faint and unsteady noise. Roman casualties amounted to about 200 killed and 1000 wounded, while the Parthians suffered over 9400 killed. Next, in 71 BC Crassus maneuvered Spartacus onto the peninsula of Rhegium, where he bottled up the slave army by building a trench across the isthmus, described by Plutarch as three-hundred furlongs long, fifteen feet broad and as much in depth. Once again, the Armenian urged that Crassus withdraw from the desert and renew the attack from Armenia, where their forces could be joined on friendly ground. At that point, Plutarch wrote, Crassus wrapped his cloak around him, and hid himself. The Battle of Carrhae was an important battle between the Roman Republic and the Parthian Empire. With a long lance as his primary weapon, he looked like a forerunner of the medieval knight, differing only in the absence of stirrups hanging from his saddle. Crassus’ band did find their way to a road, but were immediately forced to retreat back into the thickets when the Parthians discovered them. What was the major flaw in Pharnaces II's strategy? It was said that there would have been harsh retribution if Caesar won because the surviving son of Crassus would be among the Roman forces. The Battle of Carrhae between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic in 53 BC. The Battle of Carrhae was a decisive Roman victory and marked the beginning of the end of the Parthian empire. He advanced to the city of Zeugma on the Euphrates and crossed to the east bank. But after winning another battle over one of Crassus’ lieutenants, the slaves, over-confident and never really disciplined, persuaded him to lead them in a final, decisive battle. Commander Surena and Arsacid Parthian Army L… Those tactics, however, could only delay the inevitable. Back at the square, Marcus Licinius Crassus had received no word from Publius, because all of the latter’s messengers were slain. Who won the Battle of Zela? Spartacus and one-third of his force managed to break out on a wild, snowy night, however, by filling a section of the trench with earth, thereby making it passable. The Parthians had a standard practice of employing captured soldiers as border guards. The triumvirate aimed to expand their faction's power through traditional means: military commands, placing political allies in office, and advancing legislation to promote their interests. The battle marked the death of the much despised and probably the richest Roman of his time – Marcus Licinius Crassus (the very same general who subdued Spartacus). But even that proved to be one ruler too many. Most of Crassus’ officers were for staying by the river and awaiting the Parthian attack. 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