19. C. Cassius
Longinus, the celebrated jurist, was governor of Syria, A. D. 50, in the reign of Claudius, and conducted to the Euphrates Meherdates, whom the Parthians had desired to have as their king. Though there was no war at that time, Cassius endeavoured, by introducing stricter discipline into the army and keeping the troops well trained, to maintain the high reputation which his family enjoyed in the province. [See above, No. 11.] On his return to Rome he was regarded as one of the leading men in the state, and possessed great influence both by the integrity of his character and his ample fortune. On these accounts he became an object of suspicion to the emperor Nero, who imputed to him as a crime that, among his ancestral images, he had a statue of Cassius, the murderer of Caesar, and accordingly required the senate to pronounce a sentence of banishment against him, A. D. 66.
This order was, of course, obeyed, and Cassius was removed to the island of Sardinia, but was recalled from banishment by Vespasian.
At the time of his banishment he is said by Suetonius to have been blind.
The mother of Cassius was a daughter of Tubero, the jurist [TUBERO], and she was a granddaughter of the jurist Serv. Sulpicius. (Tac. Ann. 12.11
; Suet. Nero 37
; Plin. Ep. 7.24
; Pompon. de Orig. Juris,
in Dig. 1
. tit. 2.47.)
Considerable controversy has arisen from Pomponius (l.c.
) stating that C. Cassius Longinus was consul in A. D. 30, whereas other authorities make L. Cassius Longinus [No. 19] consul in that year. Hence, some writers suppose that C. Cassius and L. Cassius were the same person, while others maintain that they were both jurists, and that Pomponius has confounded them. Others, again, think that L. Cassius was consul suffectus in the same year that C. Cassius was consul.
It is, however, more probable that Pomponius has made a mistake. (See Reimarus, ad Dion. Cass.
C. Cassius wrote ten books on the civil law (Libri Juris Civilis
), and Commentaries on Vitellius and Urseius Ferox, which are quoted in the Digest. Cassius was a follower of the school of Masurius Sabinus and Ateius Capito; and as he reduced their principles to a more scientific form, the adherents of this school received afterwards the name of Cassiani.
The characteristics of this school are given at length under CAPITO, p. 601. (Compare Steenwinkel, Dissert. de C. Cassio Longino JCto.
Lugd. Bat. 1778.)