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Home>Catalog>RomanCoins>TheImperators>MarcAntony PAGE 1/212»»»

Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C.

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, North Africa, and Spain. After Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C., Antony joined forces with Marcus Lepidus, 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 VII
Click for a larger photo This LEG VII was probably raised by Antony and disbanded by Octavian. It may have been the XV Apollinaris, a legion later was reconstituted by Octavian. The VII Claudia, an old legion of Caesar's, fought for Octavian.
SH73466. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/20, Sydenham 1224, BMCRR II East 198, RSC I 34, VF, toned, both sides off center, weight 3.460 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, 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 - VII, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, border of dots; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00

Aegium, Achaea, Greece, c. 37 - 31 B.C., Under Antony and Cleopatra
Click for a larger photo 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 SALE PRICE $180.00

Attica, Athens, Summer 32 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Kroll dates this issue to the summer of 32 B.C., when Antony and Cleopatra stayed in Athens. The head of Zeus is in the Ptolemaic style and represents Egypt, while Dionysos represents Antony.
GB69775. Bronze AE 20, SNG Cop 311 (same dies); Kroll 144; Svoronos Athens pl. 25, 36 ff.; BMC Attica p. 86, 604; Lindgren-Kovacs 1544, F, weight 6.291 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, summer 32 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus; reverse head of Dionysos, wearing ivy wreath, A−Θ/E flanking; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; very rare; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00

Mark Antony and Octavian, Thessalonica, Macedonia, 37 B.C.
Click for a larger photo The reverse inscription 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
SH72307. Leaded bronze AE 31, BMC Macedonia p. 115, 63; RPC I 1551/20-26; Sear Imperators 672; SNG Cop 374; SNG ANS 823, aVF, weight 17.561 g, maximum diameter 29.3 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; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00

Mark Antony and Octavian, Thessalonica, Macedonia, 37 B.C.
Click for a larger photo The reverse inscription 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 SALE PRICE $176.00

Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG IV
Click for a larger photo This may have been IV Scythica, which could have been a legion raised by Antony (although little is known about its early history). It is less likely to have been the IV Macedonica, an Antonian legion that deserted to Octavian.
SL70952. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/17, Sydenham 1219, BMCRR II East 195, RSC I 30, ANACS certified G6 (4894862), maximum diameter 16.9 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 - IV, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, border of dots; in ANACS plastic case (slab); $195.00 SALE PRICE $176.00

Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG XX
Click for a larger photo Antony's XX must have been disbanded by Augustus. The well-known XX Valeria Victrix (which later took part in the conquest of Britain) was probably constituted by Octavian, perhaps after Actium.
SL70953. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/36, Sydenham 1243, BMCRR II East 215, RSC I 57, ANACS G4 (4756278), maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 90o, 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 - XX, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, border of dots; $175.00 SALE PRICE $158.00

Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG III
Click for a larger photo This legion was probably Caesar's old III Gallica, which fought for Antony. Another possibility is III Cyrenaica, which was perhaps taken over from Lepidus. The III Augusta was probably an Octavian legion.
RR73430. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/15, Sydenham 1217, BMCRR II East 193, RSC I 28, F, banker's marks, obverse 1/5 off center, weight 3.390 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 90o, Patrae(?) mint, fall 32 - spring 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 - III, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, border of dots; ex Heritage auction 231446 (13 Nov 2014), lot 62042; old typed tag notes, "Seaby 343 $117.00 (1982)"; $175.00 SALE PRICE $158.00

Mark Antony and Octavian, Thessalonica, Macedonia, 37 B.C.
Click for a larger photo The reverse inscription 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; $155.00 SALE PRICE $140.00

Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG XV
Click for a larger photo This LEG XV was probably raised by Antony and disbanded by Octavian. It is not likely to have been the XV Apollinaris, a legion that was reconstituted by Octavian.
RR90398. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/20, Sydenham 1224, BMCRR II East 198, RSC I 34, Fair, weight 3.154 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 315o, 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 - XV, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, border of dots; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00



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REFERENCES

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).

Catalog current as of Monday, March 30, 2015.
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Roman Coins of Mark Antony