Numismatica Ars Classica > Auction 135Auction date: 21 November 2022
Lot number: 262

Price realized: 44,000 CHF   (Approx. 46,248 USD / 44,638 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:


The Roman Republic.
C. Cassius Longinus with Lentulus Spinther. Aureus, mint moving with Cassius (probably Smyrna) 43-42 BC, AV 8.00 g. C·CASSI·IMP – LEIBERTAS Diademed and veiled bust of Vesta r., wearing necklace. Rev. LENTVLVS / SPINT Sacrificial vase and lituus. Babelon Cassia 17. C 5. Bahrfeldt 59. Sydenham 1304. Crawford 500/4. Sear Imperators 222. Biaggi 44 (this coin). RBW 1763. Calicó 66 (this coin illustrated).
Very rare. A pleasant specimen of this important issue. Struck on a full flan.
Good very fine / about extremely fine

Ex NAC sale 49, 2008, B.d.B., 115. Privately purchased from Ratto in 1952. This coin is illustrated in The Roman Aurei by X. E. Calicó.
The biographer Plutarch held Cassius in low regard, describing him as a man who was not well liked, and who ruled his soldiers through fear. He says: "...Cassius was known to be a man of violent and uncontrolled passions, whose craving for money had often tempted him to stray from the path of justice, and it therefore seemed natural that his motive for fighting...was not to win liberty for his fellow-countrymen, but to secure some great place for himself."
None the less, from the earliest days of his career, Cassius demonstrated a remarkable leadership quality, and he proved to be especially courageous under fire. His bold leadership in the murder of his long-time benefactor Julius Caesar thrust him into a limelight that in hindsight he might have avoided had he known the consequences.
Cassius produced a good variety of coin types, none of which bear his portrait. This is unfortunate since there do not seem to be any securely identified portraits of this brilliant, sarcastic and ill-tempered commander in any other form. This aureus was struck c.43-42 B.C., perhaps about the time Brutus and Cassius met at Smyrna in 42 B.C., and not long before Cassius took his own life at Philippi. Based on Cassius' activities in the two years leading to Philippi, it may well have been struck using the proceeds of his lucrative raids in Syria and on the island of Rhodes.


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Estimate: 20000 CHF