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Coin Detail
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ID:     74000545
Type:     Roman Republican
Issuer:     C. Cassius and M. Aquinus
Date Ruled:     BC
Metal:     Gold
Denomination:     Aureus
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     BC 43-42
Weight:     7.86 g
Die Axis:     12 h
Obverse Legend:     M.AQVINVS.LEG.LIBERTAS
Obverse Description:     Diademed head of Libertas right; M.AQVINVS.LEG.LIBERTAS around
Reverse Legend:     C. CASSI IMP.
Reverse Description:     Tripod surmounted by the cortina and two laurel-branches; fillet on each side C. CASSI IMP. around
Mint:     Military Mint
Primary Reference:     Crawford 499/1
Reference2:     Bahrfeldt 57
Reference3:     Sydenham 1303
Reference4:     Kestner -; BMCRR East 72; CRI 218; CalicĂ“ 64
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     EF, usual light die rust on obverse
Notes:     Sale: Triton X, Lot: 545 Very rare. C. Cassius Longinus was one of the principal conspirators against Julius Caesar. Following the assassination, he moved to the east, where he sought to amass an army. His prior reputation of military success against the Parthians while governing the province of Syria proved invaluable, and by 43 BC his army boasted nearly twelve legions. He was able to stave off Antony's general Dolabella, secured his base in Syria, and begin preparations for an invasion of Egypt. At the same time, Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus formed the triumvirate, and this posed too great a threat to ignore. Cassius halted his impending invasion of Egypt and moved west to meet up with Brutus' forces at Smyrna. The two regicides agreed to take joint action against the triumvirs, and began by attacking their allies in Asia. The following year, having successfully secured their rear in Asia, the pair moved into Thrace, and chose a position outside Philippi to meet the approaching army of Antony and Octavian. Brutus moved against Octavian with great success, capturing the young Caesarian's camp, but Cassius' army was routed by Antony. Unaware of his partner's success, Cassius thought the entire cause was lost, and had his freedman Pindarus slay him.This issue was likely struck by Cassius just prior to his meeting with Brutus in Smyrna. The obverse type of Libertas was a prominent theme in many of the tyrannicides' coinage. The tripod on the reverse is a reference to Apollo in his role as the god of prophesy. His support would have been important to ensure the victory of the liberators over the Caesarians. The type may also be a personal reference to Cassius' membership in the college of the quindecimvirisacris faciundis, one of whose responsibilities was the custody of the Sibylline Books, which would also have a prophetic connotation for the future plans of Brutus and Cassius regarding the Roman state. Another interesting aspect of this issue is that it is the first of Cassius' coinage to designate him as imperator. His previous issues named him as proconsul, and this change may reflect his sizeable military command, as well as an intent to claim overall command of both the tyrannicides' forces.