Lamentations for Crassus

delightful paintings

Oh Crassus!
Croesus of the Western Empire
Plutocrat of the Republic
Why seek ye glory in the East?

Was the crucifying of Spartacists
along the Appian Way
not enough to ensure your name
forever carved in Memory’s stone?

Crossing the Euphrates
not heeding Cicero’s words
“nulla causa”
were not the omens filled with dread

entrails slipping from your fingers
Jupiter’s bolts striking the camp
the freed eagle wheeling home
toward Rome?

When did your arrogance fly?
When the barbarians took the field
with cataphracts glistening in the sun
among the mounted archers?

Did glory fade at the first light of day
when gleaming coats of mail
appeared on man and horse
amidst the Army of the Parthians?

When tens of thousands of horsed archers
showered clouds of arrows
on seven Roman Legions
forced to yield their Eagle Standards?

Perhaps you knew the day was lost
when you saw the head
of your son
on a Parthian pike.

Mighty Roman Crassus
you would die that day
mouth filled with molten gold
your head presented to the King.

And Cassius, loyal friend to Brutus
would lead the Legions westward in defeat
to a place where, like us,
Romans were still exceptional

and later, on reflection, it would seem
the Republic died with Crassus on that day
though Cassius would strike a blow
but fail to save it.

Oh Crassus, after lo these many years
soldiers of the Western Empire
still bleed and die
in the Sands of Parthia.




About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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3 Responses to Lamentations for Crassus

  1. beetleypete says:

    Nice to see some very accurate Roman history contained in a poetic tribute to one of their lost leaders.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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