Caecilius Bassus


Cavalry officer who gained control of Roman forces in Syria by provoking a mutiny among troops opposed to the dictatorship of Julius Caesar. Quintus Caecilius Bassus had served under Pompey, who was murdered by partisans of Caesar in 48 CE. When Caesar appointed his cousin Sextus governor of Syria (47 CE), Bassus began rallying troops to his cause by circulating a forged report that Caesar had been deposed. After Sextus was murdered by his own soldiers (46 CE), Bassus became de facto commandant of Roman forces in Syria. His prominence was prolonged by the turmoil following Julius Caesar's own assassination. Though the Roman Senate named Dolabella governor of Syria, he never gained control of it. For when Caesar's assassin, Cassius, arrived in Syria, he took command of the troops that Bassus had led.

References: Josephus, Antiquities 14.268-272.
                  ______, War
1.216, 219.
Cassius Dio, Roman History 47.26-28.
                  Livy, History of Rome 114 [periocha]
                  Appian, History of Rome: Civil Wars 3.77-78, 4.58-59.

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