PART VIII: THE HAIRY MAN GOES TO WAR (2)
Unfortunately, an army and a chip on your shoulder does not a brilliant general make, and in 53 B.C., Crassus very quickly blundered into trouble only shortly after entering Parthian territory, near the city of Carrhae. The Parthians' secret weapons were the armored knight (called a cataphract) and the horse-archer, and they used them to great effect against Crassus's largely horseless legions. Much of his army was pincushioned with arrows, and Crassus himself was taken prisoner while negotiating his surrender. One version of his death says that he was beheaded. Another far more lurid version says that the Parthians, well-aware of his vast wealth, forced Crassus to drink molten gold for his avarice.
With a single legion, Caesar marched to the Rubicon River on January 10, 49 B.C. This was the border of Italy, which if crossed in arms by a Roman general meant civil war. Caesar inspired his troops with something nonchalant and ballsy ("Alea iacta est" - the die is cast) and crossed into history, or infamy, depending on which side of the Rubicon you were watching from.