Gaius Cassius Longinus

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Gaius Cassius Longinus (before 85 BC – October 42 BC) was a Roman senator, a leading instigator of the plot to kill Julius Caesar,[1] and the brother in-law of Marcus Junius Brutus.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Little is known of Gaius Cassius' early life. He studied philosophy at Rhodes under Archelaus and became fluent in Greek.[2] He was married to Junia Tertia (Tertulla), who was the daughter of Servilia Caepionis and thus a half-sister of his co-conspirator Brutus. They had one son.

Quaestorship and Parthia

Cassius' first office was as quaestor under Marcus Licinius Crassus in 53 BC, an office in which he proved himself to have a capable military mind. He traveled with Crassus to the province of Syria, and attempted to dissuade him from attacking the Parthia, suggesting that they secure a base at the Euphrates. Crassus ignored Cassius and led the army into the Battle of Carrhae, during which he also ignored Cassius' plans for strengthening the Roman line. The result was the most famous Roman rout since the Second Punic War.

Cassius managed to save the remnants of the army with the help of Crassus' legate, Gaius Octavius. The army in turn tried to make Cassius its new commander, but he refused out of loyalty to Crassus. Crassus was killed by Parthian forces after treacherous guides led him astray during the retreat from Carrhae, but Cassius managed to escape with 500 cavalry and meet up with the surviving legionaries.

For two years afterwards, Cassius governed the province of Syria as proquaestor, defending the border against Parthian incursions until the new proconsul arrived. The last incursion resulted in the death of the Parthian commander Osaces, and split the Parthian troops. Marcus Tullius Cicero, then governor of Cilicia, sent Cassius a note of congratulations for the victory.[3]

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