Gaius Sosius, General of Antony, Æ 22 mm, (7.20 g), circa 38 BC, Uncertain city in Cilicia or Syria, Bare male head right of Quaestor (Sosius?) / Quaestor's symbols: Fiscus, sella quaestoria and hasta, Q below. Sear, Imperators 958; AMNG 228; RPC 5409; Laffaille 324.
Incl. seller's ticket. Rare.
Gaius Sosius, Governor of Syria 38-34 BC.
General of Marc Antony, he commanded two legions of Roman forces in Herod's conquest of Jerusalem from Antigonus.
Captured Aradus in 38 BC & Jerusalem in 37 BC, and given the title "Imperator".
Assisted Octavian & Agrippa vs. Sextus Pompey and was given a Triumph in Rome in 34 BC.
Consul 32 BC with Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus during the Triumvirate of Anthony, Octavian and Lepidus.
Gaius Sosius was a Roman general and politician.
Sosius was governor in 38 BC. Antony supported Herod the Great against his rival Antigonus, and Josephus describes how Sosius commanded the Roman forces in support of Herod's claim. Sosius captured the island and town of Aradus in 38 BC and Jerusalem in July of 37 BC, for which he was acclaimed Imperator. Josephus notes that he was about to allow the soldiers to loot the fallen city and slay its inhabitants, when Herod intervened. Herod asked if the Romans, by emptying the city of money and men, had a mind to leave him to become king of a desert, and paid the troops a donative instead, with Sosius himself receiving a "most royal bounty". Sosius called the defeated king the feminine name "Antigona" and imprisoned him for Antony to execute later.
In 36 BC Sosius assisted Octavian and Agrippa against Sextus Pompey and afterward probably stayed in Rome, where he celebrated a triumph in Rome in 34 BC and was consul along with Domitius Ahenobarbus in 32 BC. During his consulship, he rebuilt the Temple of Apollo, which had been constructed in 431 BC. He introduced a measure in the Senate to censure Octavian, but this was vetoed by a tribune. As war between Octavian and Antony approached, Sosius fled Octavian and Rome along with some 300 senators. At Actium in 31 BC, Sosius commanded the left wing of Antony's naval forces. This wing of heavy ships entered the battle first, but was overwhelmed by the smaller, faster ships of Agrippa, commander of Octavian's fleet. Meanwhile, Cleopatra, and then Antony, escaped through the opening created by the movement. Sosius fought on, surrendered and was spared by Octavian.
Gaius Sosius was elected quaestor in 66 BC and praetor in 49 BC. Upon the start of the civil war, he joined the party of the Senate sometimes called optimates by modern scholars (even though the term belongs to the era of Sulla and Marius). Upon the flight of Pompey to Greece, Sosius returned to Rome and submitted to Julius Caesar.
After the assassination of Caesar, Sosius joined the party of Mark Antony, by whom in 38 BC he was appointed governor of Cilicia in the place of Publius Ventidius. As governor, Sosius was commanded by Antony to support Herod against Antigonus the Hasmonean, when the latter was in possession of Jerusalem. In 37 BC, he advanced against Jerusalem and after he became master of the city, Sosius placed Herod upon the throne.
In return for this services, he was awarded a triumph in 34 BC, and he became consul along with Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus as his colleague in 32 BC. When civil war broke out between Antony and Octavian, Sosius espoused the cause of Antony and violently attacked Octavian in the senate, for which he was forced to flee to the east. In 31 BC, Sosius commanded a squadron in Mark Antony's fleet with which he managed to defeat the squadron of Taurius Rufus - according to Dio 50.14 - and put it to flight, but when the latter was reinforced by Marcus Agrippa, Sosius's ally Tarcondimotus - the king of Cilicia - was killed and Sosius himself was forced to flee. Dio mistakenly suggests that Sosius died as well, but later affirms he was alive at the battle of Actium. At Actium, Sosius commanded the left wing of the fleet. After the battle, from which he managed to escape, his hiding place was detected and Sosius was captured and brought before Octavian but, at the intercession of Lucius Arruntius, Octavian pardoned him. He returned to Rome and completed his building project on the temple of Apollo Medicus (begun in 34 BC), dedicating it in Octavian's name.
Sosius attended the Ludi Saeculares in 17 according to an inscription CIL 6.32323=ILS 5050 as a quindecimvir. According to Gaius Stern, Sosius appears on the Ara Pacis within the College of the quindecimviri sacris faciundis.
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