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Cassius, Avidius—Cassock

appointment (48) to take the field against Juba, king of Numidia, gave him an excuse for fresh oppression. The result was an unsuccessful insurrection at Corduba. Cassius punished the leaders with merciless severity, and made the lot of the provincials harder than ever. At last some of his troops revolted under the quaestor M. Marcellus, who was proclaimed governor of the province. Cassius was surrounded by Marcellus in Ulia. Bogud, king of Mauretania, and M. Lepidus, proconsul of Hither Spain, to whom Cassius had applied for assistance, negotiated an arrangement with Marcellus whereby Cassius was to be allowed to go free with the legions that remained loyal to him. Cassius sent his troops into winter quarters, hastened on board ship at Malaca with his ill-gotten gains, but was wrecked in a storm at the mouth of the Iberus (Ebro). His tyrannical government of Spain had greatly injured the cause of Caesar.

See Dio Cassius xli. 15, 24, xlii. 15, 16, xliii. 29; Livy, Epit. 111; Appian, B.C. ii. 33, 43; Bellum Alexandrinum, 48-64.

5. Gaius Cassius Longinus (1st century A.D.), Roman jurist, consul in 30, proconsul of Asia 40–41, and governor of Syria under Claudius 45–50. On his return to Rome his wealth and high character secured him considerable influence. He was banished by Nero (65) to Sardinia, because among the images of his ancestors he had preserved that of the murderer of Caesar. He was recalled by Vespasian, and died at an advanced age. As he was consul in 30, he must have been born at the latest in the year 3 B.C. Cassius was a pupil of Masurius Sabinus, with whom he founded a legal school, the followers of which were called Cassiani. His chief work was the Libri Juris Civilis in ten books, which was used by the compilers of the Digest of Justinian.

See Tacitus, Annals, xvi. 7-9; Suetonius, Nero, 37; Dio Cassius lix. 29; Teuffel-Schwabe, Hist. of Roman Literature, § 298, 3.


CASSIUS, AVIDIUS (d. A.D. 175), Roman general, a Syrian by birth, lived during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. He especially distinguished himself during the Parthian War (A.D. 162–165), at the conclusion of which he was apparently appointed military governor of Asia, though the actual extent of his jurisdiction is doubtful. In 172 he was sent to Egypt, where he put down a dangerous rising of the Bucolici, the robber herdsmen of the delta of the Nile, after which he returned to Syria. In 175 the emperor Aurelius fell ill, and his wife Faustina, to secure her position in case of his death, offered her hand and the throne to the successful general. A rumour of Aurelius's death having reached Syria, Cassius, without waiting for confirmation, proclaimed himself emperor; when the report proved false, it was too late for him to draw back, and he accordingly prepared for war. The senate declared him a public enemy, although Aurelius even then expressed the hope that he might have the opportunity of pardoning him. Deploring the necessity for taking up arms against his trusted officer, Aurelius set out for the east. While in Illyria, he received the news that Cassius had been slain by his own officers. The murderers offered his head to Aurelius, who refused to admit them, and ordered its immediate burial.

See Dio Cassius lxxi. 2-4, 17, 22-28, 30, 31; Fronto, Letters, i. 6; Lives of Marcus Aurelius, Verus and Commodus in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae, and the special biography of Avidius Cassius in the same by Vulcacius Gallicanus. The various letters and documents in the last-named are generally considered spurious, and the portions of the narrative founded on them consequently untrustworthy. See also article in Pauly-Wissowa's Realencyclopädie, ii. pt. 2 (1896).


CASSIUS, GAIUS, Latin poet, general and politician, called Parmensis from his birthplace Parma, was one of the murderers of Julius Caesar, and after his death joined the party of Brutus and his namesake Cassius the conspirator. In 43 B.C. he was in command of the fleet on the coast of Asia, but after the battle of Philippi joined Sextus Pompeius in Sicily. When Pompeius, having been defeated in a naval engagement at Naulochus by the fleet of Octavian under Agrippa, fled to Asia, Cassius went over to Antony, and took part in the battle of Actium (31). He afterwards fled to Athens, where he was soon put to death by Octavian, whom he had offended by writing an abusive letter (Suetonius, Augustus, 4). Cassius is credited with satires, elegies, epigrams and tragedies. Some hexameters with the title Cassii Orpheus are by Antonius Thylesius, an Italian of the 17th century. Horace appears to have thought well of Cassius as a poet, for he asks Tibullus whether he intends to compete with the opuscula (probably the elegies) of Cassius (Epistles, i. 4. 3). The story in the Horace scholia, that L. Varius Rufus published his famous tragedy Thyestes from an MS. which he found amongst the papers of Cassius after his death, is due to a confusion of Cassius's murderer, Q. Attius, Varus, with the tragedian (Appian, B.C. v. 2, 139; Cicero, ad Fam. xii. 13; Vell. Pat. ii. 87; Orosius, vi. 19; see also the diffuse treatise of A. Weichert, De L. Varii et Cassii Parmensis Vita et Carminibus, 1836). Cassius Parmensis must not be confused with Cassius Etruscus (Horace, Satires, i. 10. 60), an improviser, who is said to have used enough paper to furnish his funeral pyre.


CASSIVELAUNUS, or Cassivellaunus, a British chieftain, ruler of the country north of the Thames, who led the native tribes against Julius Caesar on his second expedition (54 B.C.) (see Britain). After several indecisive engagements, Caesar took the camp of Cassivelaunus, who was obliged to make peace on condition of paying tribute and giving hostages. But these promises were not meant to be kept, and it appears certain that the tribute was never paid. According to Bede (Hist. Eccles. i. 2), the remains of Cassivelaunus's entrenchment were visible seven or eight centuries later.

See Caesar, B.G. v. 11-22; Dio Cassius xl. 2, 3; Orosius vi. 9. 6; Eutropius vi. 17; Polyaenus, Strategemata, viii. 23. For the etymology of the name (which is Celtic in origin, and appears later as Caswallon) see J. Rhys, Celtic Britain, pp. 289-290 (1904); C. I. Elton, Origins of English History (1890); and Stock's edition of Caesar, De Bello Gallico (1898).


CASSOCK (Fr. casaque, a military cloak), a long-sleeved, close-fitting robe worn by the clergy and others engaged in ecclesiastical functions. The name was originally specially applied to the dress worn by soldiers and horsemen, and later to the long garment worn in civil life by both men and women. As an ecclesiastical term the word "cassock" came into use somewhat late (as a translation of the old names of subtanea, vestis talaris, toga talaris, or tunica talaris), being mentioned in canon 74 of 1604; and it is in this sense alone that it now survives. The origin of the word has been the subject of much speculation. It is derived through the French from the Italian casacca, which Florio (Q. Anna's New World of Words, 1611) translates as "a frock, a horseman's cote, a long cote; also a habitation or dwelling," and it is usually held that this in turn is derived from casa, a house (cf. the derivation of "chasuble," q.v.). This, however, though possible is uncertain. A Slav origin for the word has been suggested (Hatzfeld and Darmesteter, Dic. gén. de la langue française), and the Cossack horseman may have given to the West both the garment and the name. Or again, it may be derived from casequin (Ital. casecchino), rather than vice versa, and this in turn from an Arabic kazāyand (Pers. kashāyand), a padded jerkin; the word kasagân occurring in Mid. High Ger. for a riding-cloak, and gasygan in O. Fr. for a padded jerkin (Lagarde in Gött. gelehrte Anzeiger, April 15, 1887, p. 238).

The cassock, though part of the canonical costume of the clergy, is not a liturgical vestment. It was originally the out-of-doors and domestic dress of lay-people as well as clergy, and its survival among the latter when the secular fashions had changed is merely the outcome of ecclesiastical conservatism. In mild weather it was the outer garment; in cold weather it was worn under the tabard or chimere (q.v.); sometimes in the middle ages the name "chimere" was given to it as well as to the sleeveless upper robe. In winter the cassock was often lined with furs varying in costliness with the rank of the wearer, and its colour also varied in the middle ages with his ecclesiastical or academic status. In the Roman Catholic Church the subtanea (Fr. soutane, Ital. sottana) must be worn by the clergy whenever they appear, both in ordinary life (except in Protestant countries) and under their vestments in church. It varies in colour with the wearer's rank: white for the pope, red (or black edged with red) for cardinals, purple for bishops, black for the lesser ranks: members of religious orders, however,