Tragic Twisted & True

A Death by Gold


Photo Credit: Viserys’ death by molten crown of gol d // Game of Thrones HBO

That was a very grisly scene if you watched it with any knowledge of human physiology.

Though not nearly as horrible as the death that inspired it. I won’t go into detail on how you actually die in either situation, but suffice it to say if you know, you know.

The death that inspired Viserys’ grown of gold was the legendary death of Marcus Lincinus Crassus.

Photo Credit: CentrePasquArt — Kunsthaus Centre d’art, exhibition “Aurum”, Bienne, 2008

So let’s get to our twisted and true.

In 54 BCE Marcus Licinius Crassus was captured after a failed invasion of the Parthian Empire, modern-day Syria.

Political Manuervers

Marcus Licinius Crassus was a member of the First Triumvirate and it was during the time he was working with Pompey & Julius Ceasar. It was an alliance of political expediency.

The alliance was to help prop up Julius Ceasar, a disciple* of Pompey who also owed debts to Crassus. Crassus and Pompey put aside their differences to help Ceasar pass legislation through a gridlocked Senate that would benefit them.

One early example is a law that canceled one-third of the money owed by public contractors (publicani) in Asia, and increased Crassus’ now legendary personal fortune.

Plutarch, Crassus had accumulated a vast sum of 7,100 talents or 142 million dollars.

Political infighting and propaganda would leave the three without power by the end of Ceasar’s first consulship in 59 BCE. In 56 BCE the three met in Ravenna to reestablish their triumvant.

Crassus and Pompey desired a joint consulship and good provincial assignments. Caesar needed an extension in his command to prevent a possible usurpation by his political enemies in Rome.

Disaster in Syria

The Parthians, are one example of the Victors writing history. Their conquerors Sassanian Empire, tried to destroy their material and cultural legacy.

The Greeks and Romans, who hold an outsized role in the dictation of history from this period, have…



Alexandra Henning The Hysterical Historian

I write about politics, science, among other topics as the mood strikes through a historical lense.