Q. Cassius Longinus, moneyer
AR Denarius. 3.95g, 20.2mm
MINTED: Rome mint, 55 BC
REF: Crawford 428/2; Sydenham 918
OBVERSE: Head of Libertas right, wearing hair collected into a knot, decorated with jewels, and falling down neck, and wearing single-drop earring and necklace of pendants; LIBERT upward to left, Q • CASSIVS downward to right.
REVERSE: Temple of Vesta, circular, surmounted by figure holding scepter and patera, flanked by antefixes; curule chair within; urn to left, tabella (voting tablet) [inscribed AC (Absolvo Condemno)] to right.
Ex Prof Dr Hildebrecht Hommel Collection, acquired from Hirsch, auction 63, 1969, lot 2454
Good Very Fine. Cabinet toning, with hints of golden highlights on reverse. A beautiful example.
A fascinating reverse type, with the tabella (a voting tablet bearing the words "Absolvo : Condemno") and an urn into which it was cast, referring to the introduction of a Roman legal process, the secret vote. This had been introduced in the lex Cassia tabellaria of 137 BC by L. Cassius Longinus Ravilla, an ancestor of the moneyer. The Temple of Vesta alludes to this Cassius being appointed in 113 BC to preside over the investigation of three Vestal Virgins who had been accused of breaking their vows of chastity. The Vestals, who had earlier been acquitted by the Pontifex Maximus, were subsequently re-tried and condemned to death by Cassius.
Quintus Cassius Longinus was the brother of the famous Cassius who was the main instigator of the plot to assassinate Julius Caesar. Quintus issued this coin as moneyer in 55 BC. In 48 BC, he would serve as governor of Hispania, where he gained a reputation for rapacity and corruption.
ROMAN REPUBLIC . Q Cassius Longinus, 55 BC . AR Denarius . **Pedigreed to 1969**
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