ABSTRACT

Since their joint consulship of 70 b.c. Crassus must have become increasingly jealous of Pompey's spectacular career. True, he had very considerable political influence, which he owed in part to a skilful, if not an over-scrupulous, use of his vast wealth, but the hero of the battle of the Colline Gate and the conqueror of Spartacus was overshadowed by the military triumphs of Pompey. A certain apprehension began to mingle with his jealousy. Pompey would return all-powerful: how would he use that power? might he become a second Sulla, and if so how would Crassus stand? He therefore attempted to build up his political power during Pompey's absence in a series of intrigues, in which he was supported by Caesar, who after his quaestorship in Spain gained the aedileship for 65, helped no doubt by Crassus' wealth. Caesar was more friendly to Pompey than Crassus was, but he may have found in Crassus a useful stepping-stone to advancement. The Optimate leaders (men like Catulus, the Metelli, the two Luculli and Hortensius) must have been even more apprehensive about Pompey's return, but despite a common fear they made no overtures to Crassus or the Populares.