Thursday 5 August 2021

Gaius Cassius Longinus

Gaius Cassius Longinus, often referred to as simply Cassius, was a Roman senator and general best known as a leading instigator of the plot to assassinate Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 BC. He was the brother-in-law of Brutus. Cassius had a successful military career including taking part in the infamous Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, where he was serving under the Triumvir Marcus Crassus as a quaestor. Crassus was part of the First Triumvirate, with Julius Caesar and Pompey. The Battle of Carrhae would be one of Rome's greatest defeats. Crassus was killed.

A coin of Gaius Cassius Longinus.
By 50 BC civil war was looming. Without Crassus the First Triumvirate was finished. With Caesar and Pompey at each other's throats, Cassius, along with his friend Brutus, sided with Pompey. Caesar was victorious at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC, causing Pompey to flee to Egypt where he would be murdered. Cassius fled but was intercepted by Caesar and he promptly surrendered. Cassius found Caesar to be very forgiving. Now allies, he promoted Cassius to the position of legate.
On the Ides of March, 44 BC, Cassius and the other conspirators murdered Caesar in the Theatre of Pompey. Caesar suffered 23 stab wounds, with one to the heart fatally wounding him.