Unusually, this denarius is rarer than the corresponding aureus (Crawford 505/1). This rare and remarkable denarius was struck for Cassius by his lieutenant Marcus Servilius, most likely at Sardis in Asia Minor. The head of Liberty on the obverse reflects the Republican party line against supporters of the dead tyrant Caesar, while the naval pennant, or aplustre, refers to Cassius’ victory at Rhodes.
Cassius, along with Brutus, was one of the main conspirators in the tyrannicide of Julius Caesar. The two formed an allegiance against the combined forces of Marc Antony and Octavian; however Plutarch suggests that there was a great deal of tension between the them. He also presents Cassius as an unpopular man, who used fear to keep his soldiers in check. He is described as “a man of violent temper” whose character was “not so sincere” as his ally’s. Despite shortcomings in his personality, Cassius did prove to be a successful general, subduing the Rhodians after they had refused to support himself and Brutus against the Triumvirs. It is to this that the reverse imagery of the type refers, the aplustre to his naval command, and the floral decorations likely allude to the rose associated with Rhodes. This military prowess, however, was to be short-lived; soon after this type was issued, Cassius, along with Brutus, met with Antony and Octavian at Philippi, and seeing that their cause was lost, committed suicide.
Laureate head of Libertas right
C CASSI IMP
Aplustre, the branches ending in flowers (a symbol here of sea power, referring to Cassius’ naval victory over the Rhodian fleet in 42 B.C. and occupation of Rhodes)
M SERVILIVS LEG
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.