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The Battle of Carrhae was fought in 53 BCE between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic near the town of Carrhae. The Parthian Spahbod Surena decisively defeated a superior Roman invasion force under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus. It is commonly seen as one of the earliest and most important battles between the Roman and Parthian empires and one of the most crushing defeats in Roman history.

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At the battle of Carrhae in 53 BC Parthian cataphracts attack what's left of a Roman force. - art by Johnny Schumate

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"The Parthian shot was a military tactic made famous by the Parthians, an ancient Iranian people. The Parthian archers mounted on light horse, while retreating at a full gallop, would turn their bodies back to shoot at the pursuing enemy. The maneuver required superb equestrian skills, since the rider's hands were occupied by his bow."

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The Battle of Carrhae was fought in 53 BC between the Roman Republic and the Parthian Empire near the town of Carrhae. The Parthian Spahbod ("General") Surena the Iranian decisively defeated a numerically superior Roman invasion force under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus. It is commonly seen as one of the earliest and most important battles between the Roman and Parthian empires and one of the most crushing defeats in Roman history.

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Carrhae. 53 BC. The head of Publius Licinius Crassus is presented to Surena the Parthian general after Publius was surrounded and his force of Gallic cavalry destroyed. The Parthians then pushed the head onto a spear and paraded it in front of the main Roman position and of course his father Marcus Licinius Crassus.

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Battle of Carrhae (53 BC), battle between Rome led by Crassus and Parthia led by Surena; Surena outnumbered by 5 to 1 gave Rome one of the worst defeats of their history

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A denarius struck in 19 BC during the reign of Augustus, with the goddess Feronia depicted on the obverse, and on the reverse a Parthian man kneeling in submission while offering the Roman military standards taken at the Battle of Carrhae[106]

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From about the fourth century BC, the Greeks and Romans began talking of Seres, the Kingdom of Silk. Some historians believe the first Romans to set eyes upon the fabulous fabric were the legions of Marcus Licinius Crassus, Governor of Syria. At the fateful battle of Carrhae near the Euphrates River in 53 BC, the soldiers were so startled by the bright silken banners of the Parthian troops that they fled in panic.

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