DescriptionSYRIA. Antioch. Q. Caecilius Bassus as Proconsul (46-45 BC). AR tetradrachm (15.65 gm). Imitating types of Philip I Philadelphus. Dated Year 4 of the Caesarian era = 46/5 BC. Diademed head of Philip I right / Zeus seated left on throne, holding Nike and scepter; monogram to left; Δ (date) in exergue. McAlee 5b. Prieur 5. HGC 9, 1360d. Rare. NGC Choice AU 5/5 - 4/5.
Q. Caecilius Bassus, a supporter of Pompey, seized the province of Syria in 46 BC after inciting a mutiny in the army of Sextus Caesar, Julius Caesar's cousin, who had been governing Syria since 48 BC. Bassus obtained help from the Parthians and managed to hold out in Syria for two years, withstanding several sieges from generals sent by Caesar. After the Ides of March in 44 BC one of the assassins of Caesar, L. Cassius Longinus, arrived in Syria and induced Bassus to turn over his province. His final fate is unknown. The rare coinage bearing his monogram and dated to the fourth year of the Caesarian era (46/5 BC) was only recently identified.
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