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    Superb Cassius Denarius

    C. Cassius Longinus, Imperator and Assassin of Caesar (44-42 BC). AR denarius (20mm, 3.77 gm, 6h). NGC Choice AU★ 5/5 - 5/5. Military mint moving with Brutus and Cassius, probably at Smyrna, early 42 BC, P. Lentulus Spinther, legate. C•CASSI•IMP-LEIBERTAS, diademed and veiled head of Libertas right / LENTVLVS / SPINT, jug on left with handle to left, and lituus on right turned left. Crawford 500/5. Sydenham 1305. CRI 223.

    Ex Heritage Auction 3033 (ANA Platinum Night, 8 August 2014), lot 23066; RBW Collection (Numismatica Ars Classica Sale 63, 17 May 2012), lot 521; Numismatica Ars Classica 8, (2-4 April 1995), lot 624.

    One of the main ringleaders in the plot to assassinate Julius Caesar, Gaius Cassius Longinus had been a survivor and hero of the Parthian War of Crassus (53-51 BC). Initially a backer of Pompey, he accepted a pardon from Caesar in 48 BC and loyally served him for the next four years. It soon became apparent the dictator had no intention of stepping down, and thus Cassius was one of the first to plunge his dagger into Caesar on the Ides of March, 44 BC. After fleeing Rome, Cassius returned to Syria and commandeered several crack legions and a fleet. He joined forces with Brutus in 42 BC and the two marched into Thrace to meet the pro-Caesarian legions led by Marc Antony and Octavian. At the first clash at Philippi in early October, Cassius suffered a reverse and rashly fell on his sword before he could be told that Brutus had counterattacked and saved the day. Demoralized by his friend's death, Brutus was easily defeated three weeks later and took his own life.

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