The parallels with Geoffrey Robinson are interesting. Crassus stood surety for some of Ceasar's vast debts in 62 and was rewarded two years later with a place in the unofficial First Triumvirate, along with Caesar and Pompey the Great - a rich man plus a populist politician and a seasoned general.
The historian Sir Ronald Syme commented: "The lust of power, that prime infirmity of the Roman noble, impelled him to devious paths and finally to dangerous elevations."
But presumably Mr Robinson need not expect as grisly a fate as that of Crassus. The Parthians trapped his army at Carrhae in 53. They cut off his head and brought it to the Parthian king as he was enjoying a recital of Euripides' Bacchae. The actor took on the role of Agave, who tears his son to pieces, and cradled Crassus' head while singing a Bacchic song of triumph.
Mrs M LANCH
Harrow on the Hill, Middlesex