Mark Antony was military commander for Julius Caesar during his conquest of Gaul and subsequent civil war. Caesar appointed Antony the administrator of Italy while he eliminated his political opponents in Greece, NorthAfrica, and Spain. After Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C., Antony joined forces with MarcusLepidus, one of Caesar's generals, and Caesar's adoptive son Octavian in a three-man dictatorship known as the Second Triumvirate. The Triumvirate defeated Caesar's murderers, the Liberatores, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 B.C. and divided government of the Republic between themselves. Antony took Rome's eastern provinces, including authority over Ptolemaic Egypt ruled by Queen Cleopatra, and command of Rome's war against Parthia. Relations within the Triumvirate were strained as the various members sought greater political power. Civil war between Antony and Octavian was averted in 40 B.C. when Antony married Octavian's sister Octavia Minor. Despite his marriage, Antony continued his love affair with Cleopatra. With Lepidus expelled in 36 B.C., the Triumvirate finally broke up in 33 B.C. as disagreements between Octavian and Antony erupted into civil war in 31 B.C. The Roman Senate, at Octavian's direction, declared war on Cleopatra and proclaimed Antony a traitor. Antony was defeated by Octavian at the naval Battle of Actium the same year. Defeated, Antony fled with Cleopatra back to Egypt where he committed suicide. With Antony dead, Octavian was left as the undisputed master of the Roman world and would reign as the first Roman Emperor with the title Augustus.
Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG XXII
Antony's LEG XXII must have been disbanded by Augustus. Other Twenty-Second Legions (Deiotariana, Primigenia) were raised after Actium.
RR72208. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/38, Sydenham 1245, BMCRR II East 217, RSC I 59, VF, obverse 1/5 off center, weight 3.561 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III•VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow, border of dots; reverse LEG - XXII, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, border of dots; ex Roma Numismatics e-auction 11, lot 195; rare; $375.00 (€281.25) ON RESERVE
In June 36 B.C., Mark Antony launched a major offensive against the Parthians with about 100,000 Roman and allied troops, including 10 legions and 10,000 cavalry. The campaign was a disaster. He was defeated, abandoned by his allies, and lost more than a quarter of his men, many to disease and starvation during his winter retreat to Egypt. Meanwhile, Octavian had forced Lepidus resign and had swayed the traditional Republican aristocracy against Antony. Antony was condemned as a man of low morals who had ?gone native? and abandoned his faithful wife and children in Rome to be with the promiscuous queen of Egypt. Several times Antony was summoned to Rome, but he remained in Alexandria with Cleopatra. The Triumvirate was no more. In Rome, Octavian ruled alone.
RP71397. Bronze AE 23, RPC I 4467; Baramki AUB 192, pl. XV, 10, F, green patina, weight 7.498 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Aradus mint, 36 - 35 B.C.; obversebare head right; reverse bull leaping left, CK∆ (year 224 of Arados) above, MH (48 nummi?) below; extremely rare; $360.00 (€270.00)
In 38 B.C. Mark Antony, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus and MarcusLepidus signed the Treaty of Tarentum, extending the Second Triumvirate until 33 BC.
SH69319. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1474, Crawford 533/2, Sear Imperators 267, Sydenham 1199, RSC I 13, BMCRR II East 141, aF, weight 3.299 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 135o, Athens mint, summer 38 B.C.; obverse M ANTONINVS M F M N AVGVR IMP TERT, Mark Antony standing right, as priest, holding lituus; reverseIII VIR R P CCOS DESIGITER ET TERT, radiate head of Sol right; $250.00 (€187.50)
Mark Antony and Octavian, Thessalonica, Macedonia, 37 B.C.
The reverseinscription abbreviates, MAPKOΣ ANTΩNIONΣ AYTOKPATΩP ΓAIOΣ KAIΣAP AYTOKPATΩP. The bust of Libertas on the obverse "refers to the grant of freedom by the Triumvirs to Thessalonica in 42 BC after the battle of Philippi (the victory which is celebrated on the reverse)." -- RPC I, p. 29.
RP71965. Leaded bronze AE 30, BMC Macedonia p. 115, 63; RPC I 1551; Sear Imperators 672; SNG Cop 374; SNG ANS 823, gF, weight 24.719 g, maximum diameter 30.1 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 37 B.C.; obverse ΘEΣΣAΛONKEΩN EΛEYΘEPIAΣ, diademed and draped bust of Eleutheria (Liberty) right, E (year 5) below chin; reverse M ANT AYT Γ KAI AYT, Nike advancing left, extending wreath in right, palm frond in left; from the Andrew McCabe collection, ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 10, lot 493; $220.00 (€165.00)
Aegium, Achaea, Greece, c. 37 - 31 B.C., Under Antony and Cleopatra
Kroll connected the types with Antony and Cleopatra, who controlled Achaea when this coin was struck. Dionysos refers to Antony, who called himself the "new Dionysos," and the typically Ptolemaic eagle symbolizes Cleopatra.
GB67910. Bronze tetrachalkon, BCD Peloponnesos 438 - 439, BMC Peloponnesus 6 - 7, Kroll Bronze 3, Weber 3954, F, weight 3.916 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Aegium mint, Theoxios and Kletaios, magistrates, c. 37 - 31 B.C; obverse AIΓIEΩN, head of young Dionysos right, wreathed in ivy; reverse ΘEOΞIOΣ KAHTAIOΣ, eagle standing left, head left, wings closed; rare; $200.00 (€150.00)
Mark Antony and Octavian, Thessalonica, Macedonia, 37 B.C.
The reverseinscription abbreviates, MAPKOΣ ANTΩNIONΣ AYTOKPATΩP ΓAIOΣ KAIΣAP AYTOKPATΩP. The bust of Libertas on the obverse "refers to the grant of freedom by the Triumvirs to Thessalonica in 42 BC after the battle of Philippi (the victory which is celebrated on the reverse)." -- RPC I, p. 29
SH63716. Leaded bronze AE 31, BMC Macedonia p. 115, 63; RPC I 1551; Sear Imperators 672; SNG Cop 374; SNG ANS 823, F, weight 18.710 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 37 B.C.; obverse ΘEΣΣAΛONKEΩN EΛEYΘEPIAΣ, diademed and draped bust of Eleutheria (Liberty) right, E (year 5) below chin; reverse M ANT AYT Γ KAI AYT, Nike advancing left, extending wreath in right, palm frond in left; $195.00 (€146.25)
Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG II
This may have been II Sabina, disbanded by Augustus. The well-known II Augusta, which took part in the conquest of Britain and was later stationed in South Wales, was one of Octavian's legions, and so not likely to be the Second Legion referred to on this coin. Other Second Legions (Adiutrix, Italica, Parthica and Traiana) were raised much later in imperial times.
RR70126. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/14, Sydenham 1216, BMCRR II East 190, RSC I 27, F, uneven strike, porous, marks, weight 3.398 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 225o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow, border of dots; reverse LEG - II, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, border of dots; $160.00 (€120.00)
Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG VI - Ferrata, the "Ironclad"
The VI Ferrata, the "Ironclad", was an old legion of Caesar's that fought for Antony. It was retained by Augustus, and later served in Syria and Judaea. The VI Victrix, on the other hand, was one of Octavian's legions. This coin-type was 'restituted' by Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, presumably in connection with the latter's Eastern campaigns.
RR71335. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/19, Sydenham 1223, BMCRR 197, RSC I 33, aF, marks, tight flan, weight 3.278 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III •VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow, border of dots; reverse LEG - VI, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, border of dots; $150.00 (€112.50)
Antioch, Syria, 41 - 40 B.C., Time of Marc Antony, Labienus and Pacorus
About the time this coin was minted, the Parthians led by Quintus Labienus and Pacorus I attacked Syria, which was under Marc Antony's authority. Quintus Labienus was the son of Caesar's general TitusLabienus. He served under Brutus and Cassius, and after the battle at Philipi fled to Parthia, where he had visited before as an ambassador. After several battles against Antony's governor, Saxa, they occupied the entire province and later Asia Minor and Palestine. In Judea, Pacorus deposed King John Hyrcanus II and appointed his nephew Antigonus as king in his place. Labienus was killed during a Roman counter attack in 39 B.C. The territory was recovered for Rome. Pacorus retreated to Parthia but died one year later in an attack on a Roman camp.
RP69599. Bronze AE 27, McAlee 56; RPC I 4223; SNG Cop 81; BMC Galatia p. 154, 25; Cohen DCA 382, VF, deep punch on obverse, weight 11.991 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 41 - 40 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPOΠO THΣ IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY, Zeus seated left, Nike in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, pileus surmounted by star before, date BOΣ (Seleukid year 272) in exergue; $135.00 (€101.25)
Banti, A. and L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Firenze, 1972-1979). Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l’Empire Romain. (Paris, 1880). Crawford, M. Roman Republican Coinage. (Cambridge, 1974). Grueber, H.A. Coins of the Roman Republic in The British Museum. (London, 1910). Rutter, N.K. ed. Historia Numorum. Italy. (London, 2001). Seaby, Sear, and Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Volume I, The Republic to Augustus. (London, 1989). Sear, D. R. The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49 - 27 BC. (London, 1998). Sear, D. R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000). Sydenham, E. The Coinage of the Roman Republic. (London, 1952).
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