Roman Republic (Imperatorial Period)
C. Cassius Longinus, Consul 42 BC
Crawford 500/2; HCRI 220; Sydenham 1306; Calicó 65b, Nearly Extremely Fine
Military mint, probably at Smyrna. P. Lentulus Spinther, legate. C · CASSI IMP behind, LEIBERTAS before, diademed head of Libertas right. Reverse: LENTVLVS/SPINT in two lines below, capis and lituus.
L. Cassius Longinus had been an enemy of Julius Caesar from the very beginning. Although he had supported the Pompeian cause in 49 BC, after he was forced to surrender in 48 BC, Caesar gave him the opportunity to redeem himself by appointing Cassius as legate and then as praetor peregrinus in 44 BC. Caesar’s faith was misplaced, for instead of expressing gratitude for his second chance Cassius organized the plot to assassinate the dictator on the Ides of March. Once the deed was done, Cassius fled to Syria where he raised an army for a final showdown with Mark Antony and Octavian at Philippi in 42 BC. Cassius had a reputation for rapaciousness in his exactions from the provinces. The gold used for this issue may have come from wealth demanded from the people of Syria and Judaea as well as from his infamous sacking of the great port city of Rhodes.