Crassus – a very modern tycoon of ancient Rome who met a nasty end
In Rome, Crassus’ wealth was legendary. Pliny the Elder estimated the value of his property to be roughly equal to the entire annual budget of the Roman Republic. It’s hard to compare to today, but in terms of scale, the UK’s annual budget was over £100 billion last year. But today’s expression is not “rich as Crassus”, but “rich as Croesus” (and a relatively small fish), the king of Lydia 500 years ago. The name of the latter faded.