Open main menu

Gaius Cassius Longinus (consul AD 30)

Gaius Cassius Longinus was an Ancient Roman jurist and politician from the first century AD. A grandnephew of Servius Sulpicius Rufus, he was also a descendant, great grandson or nephew, of Gaius Cassius Longinus, one of Caesar's assassins.[1] Longinus was suffect consul of the second half of the year 30 as the colleague of Lucius Naevius Surdinus.[2]

Cassius, a pupil of Sabinus, was head of the legal school called the Sabinians or Cassinians. His principal works are the libri (commentarii) iuris civilis in at least ten volumes, which only survive in quotes by later authors such as Iavolenus. After completing his term as suffect consul, Longinus served as proconsular governor of Asia minor in 40–41, then governor of the imperial province of Syria in 41-49. He was exiled by Nero to Sardinia in 65, but returned to Rome when Vespasian acceded to the purple.[3]

Tacitus includes a speech of Cassius on the debate that arose when there had been mass protests in Rome when 400 innocent slaves were to be executed because they belonged to the household of a master who had been murdered by his slave.[4] It is open to question as to what extent the speech we have reflected what Cassius actually said, and to what extent it represents Tacitus's views, though it is at least possible that Tacitus made use of the Senate's records; the hard line expressed is in line with what we know about Cassius.[5] In the speech Cassius conceded that the execution would be unjust. He also conceded it violated the rights of private interests but justified it on the grounds of the public good. The private interests that concerned him did not include any right to life for the slaves but the loss to the heirs.[5] Modern commentators side with those who protested at the time in regarding the law as inherently unjust.[5]

He married Junia Lepida, a descendant of Augustus. Lepida bore Longinus two children:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ David Shotter (2 October 2012). Nero. Routledge. pp. 114–. ISBN 978-1-134-36431-2.
  2. ^ Alison E. Cooley, The Cambridge Manual of Latin Epigraphy (Cambridge: University Press, 2012), p. 460
  3. ^ Vasily Rudich (15 August 2005). Political Dissidence Under Nero: The Price of Dissimulation. Routledge. pp. 50–. ISBN 978-1-134-91451-7.
  4. ^ Tacitus, Annales XIV.42-45
  5. ^ a b c Fear of slaves, fear of enslavement in the ancient Mediterranean, Anastasia Serghidou, pp. 151-2
  • Kupisch, Berthold (2001). "Cassius Longinus". In Michael Stolleis (ed.). Juristen: ein biographisches Lexikon; von der Antike bis zum 20. Jahrhundert (in German) (2nd ed.). München: Beck. p. 124. ISBN 3-406-45957-9.
Political offices
Preceded by
Lucius Cassius Longinus,
and Marcus Vinicius

as Ordinary consuls
Suffect consul of the Roman Empire
with Lucius Naevius Surdinus
Succeeded by
Tiberius Caesar Augustus V,
and Lucius Aelius Seianus

as Ordinary consuls