CASSIUS LONGINUS, Caius, Roman statesman, best known by his prominent part in the assassination of Caesar. His early life is not known. He served under Crassus in the Parthian campaign in 53 b. c. and displayed much skill and courage. Though a tribune of the Plebs, he opposed Caesar and sided with the aristocratic faction and Pompey.
Caesar took him prisoner, but later pardoned him and made him a legate. He afterward raised him to high office, but Cassius was won by Brutus to enter into a conspiracy to assassinate his benefactor in 44 B. C. Public indignation broke out at Caesar's funeral against the assassins. The military power falling into the hands of Mark Antony, Cassius fled to Syria, where he made himself master. His forces were united with those of Brutus. They crossed the Hellespont in 44 B. c. and took up a strong position near Philippi, where the army under Octavianus and Antony was thrown against them. Brutus succeeded in repulsing the army of the former, but Cassius was defeated by Antony, and, thinking all was lost, he compelled Pandarus, his freedman, to put him to death in the year 42 B. C.