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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Imperators ▸ Marc AntonyView Options:  |  |  |   

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

Mark Antony was military commander for Julius Caesar during his conquest of Gaul. Caesar made Antony the administrator of Italy while he eliminated his opponents in Greece, North Africa, and Spain. After Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C., Antony joined Lepidus 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 among themselves. Antony took the east, including Egypt, ruled by Queen Cleopatra, and command of Rome's war against Parthia. Relations within the Triumvirate were strained but civil war between Antony and Octavian was averted when Antony married Octavian's sister Octavia. Despite his marriage, Antony continued his affair with Cleopatra and even married her. The Triumvirate finally broke up in 33 B.C. and erupted into civil war in 31 B.C. The Roman Senate, at Octavian's direction, declared war on Cleopatra and proclaimed Antony a traitor. Octavian defeated Antony at the naval Battle of Actium the same year. Defeated, Antony and Cleopatra fled back to Egypt where they 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 II

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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.
SH76924. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/14, Sydenham 1216, BMCRR II East 190, RSC I 27, Sear CRI 349, gVF, well struck, toned, crowded flan, marks and scratches, weight 3.521 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANTAVG / III VIRRPC, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - II, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; ex Germania Inferior Numismatics; $550.00 (489.50)


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

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This may have been a legion raised by Antony and disbanded by Augustus. The XI Claudia, an old legion of Caesar's, fought for Octavian (and won the title Actiaca at the battle of Actium).
SL79267. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/25, Sydenham 1229, BMCRR II East 203, RSC I 39, NGC F, strike 3/5, surface 2/5, banker's marks (2400602-008), toned, weight 3.48 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANTAVG / III VIRRPC, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - XI, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; NGC certified (slabbed); $500.00 (445.00)


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 42 - 31 B.C., Akko-Ptolemais, Phoenicia

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In 38 B.C. (or 37 B.C.), Mark Antony, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus and Marcus Lepidus signed the Treaty of Tarentum, extending the Second Triumvirate until 33 B.C.
RP72123. Bronze AE 26, RPC I 4740; Seyrig Monnayage 19; Sofaer pl. 7, 118; Kadman 73; Rouvier 993; Rosenberger -, aF, rough, earthen encrustations, weight 10.071 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 0o, Akko-Ptolemais, Phoenicia mint, 39 - 38 B.C.; obverse bare head of Antony right, within laurel wreath; reverse Tyche standing left on prow of galley, head right, apluster and rudder in right hand, cornucopia and palm in left, L IA / KAI AΣY (year 11 of Caesarian Era) upper left, ΠTOΛE/MAEΩN / IEPAΣ in three horizontal lines on right; rare; $450.00 (400.50)


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

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This old Caesarean legion was known at different times as Victrix, Antiquae, Paterna and finally XII Fulminata ('the thunderers'). Its veterans settled (among other places) in Patras in Greece. After fighting without great distinction in the First Jewish Revolt, the legion was transferred to Melitene in Cappadocia, where it remained for several hundred years.
RR76782. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/20, Sydenham 1224, BMCRR II East 198, RSC I 34, VF, toned, contact marks, graffiti, weight 3.561 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANTAVG / III VIRRPC, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - XII, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; $450.00 (400.50)


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

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The triumvirs referred to in the reverse legend were L. Mussidius Longus, Q. Oppius, and Marcus Antonius. In October 42 B.C. the Republican army was defeated by the legions Antony and Octavian at Philippi. Cassius and Brutus committed suicide. Brutus' body was brought to Antonius' camp, where he cast his purple paludamentum over his dead body and ordered an honorable funeral for his erstwhile comrade. The Republican cause was crushed; Rome rested in the hands of the Second Triumvirate.
RR77478. Silver denarius, Crawford 496/1, Sydenham 1168, BMCRR Gaul 60, RSC I 12, Sear CRI 128, SRCV I 1467, aVF, areas of flat striking, attractive golden iridescence over luster, weight 3.605 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 315o, military mint with Antony in Greece, 42 B.C.; obverse M ANTONI IMP, bare head of Antony right with light beard; reverse III VIR R P C, distyle temple within which radiate head of Sol set on medallion; from the Andrew McCabe Collection; rare; $450.00 (400.50)


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In 38 B.C. Mark Antony, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus and Marcus Lepidus signed the Treaty of Tarentum, extending the Second Triumvirate until 33 BC.
SH79737. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1474, Crawford 533/2, Sear CRI 267, Sydenham 1199, RSC I 13, BMCRR II East 141, gF, toned, marks and scratches, banker's marks, weak legends, weight 3.741 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, summer 38 B.C.; obverse M ANTONINVS M F M N AVGVR IMP TERT, Mark Antony standing right, as priest, holding lituus; reverse III VIR R P C COS DESIG ITER ET TERT, radiate head of Sol right; $400.00 (356.00)


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

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Struck by Antony and Cleopatra at Patrae while preparing for the struggle with Octavian. Twenty-three different legions are named on coins of this issue. This may have been the famous V Alaudae ('the larks'), a Caesarean legion which remained loyal to Antony but was later retained by Augustus. There are other possibilities, however: V Macedonica, a Caesarean legion about which little is known; V Urbana, disbanded after Actium (and therefore quite likely an Antonian legion); and V Gallica, a Caesarean legion that was probably the one that under Lollius lost its eagle to German raiders in Gaul in 17 B.C.
SH77472. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/18, Sydenham 1221, BMCRR II East 196, RSC I 32, Sear CRI 354, VF, toned, minor flan flaw on obverse, light scratches, weight 3.401 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, Patrae mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT AVG III. VIR. R. P. C., galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - V, legionary aquila between two standards; $375.00 (333.75)


Roman Republic, Second Triumvirate, Mark Antony and Octavian, Spring - Early Summer 41 B.C.

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AVG in the obverse legend, abbreviates Antony's official position as Augur (not Augustus, a title which did not yet exist). The augur was an official and priest, whose main role was to interpret the will of the gods by studying the flight of birds: whether they are flying in groups or alone, what noises they make as they fly, direction of flight and what kind of birds they are. This was known as "taking the auspices." The ceremony and function of the augur was central to any major undertaking in Roman society, public or private, including matters of war, commerce, and religion. The Roman historian Livy stresses the importance of the augurs: "Who does not know that this city was founded only after taking the auspices; that everything in war and in peace, at home and abroad, was done only after taking the auspices?"

Octavian's "equivalent" position as Pontifex, a priest, is abbreviated PONT in the reverse legend.

The moneyer M. Barbatius was a friend of Julius Caesar. In 41 B.C. he was a quaestor pro praetore to Antony in the East.
RR73605. Silver denarius, RSC I Mark Antony and Augustus 8, BMCRR 103, Sydenham 1181, Crawford 517/2, SRCV I 1504, F, well centered, toned, grainy surfaces, weight 3.156 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, military mint moving with Antony, Ephesus(?) mint, spring - early summer 41 B.C.; obverse M ANT IMP AVG III VIR R P C M BARBAT Q P (MP and AV ligate), bare head of Antony right; reverse CAESAR IMP PONT III VIR R P C, bare head of Octavian right; scarce; $360.00 (320.40)


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

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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.
RR73643. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/15, Sydenham 1217, BMCRR II East 193, RSC I 28, Sear CRI 350, aVF, weight 3.378 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis ,180o, Patrae(?) mint, fall 32 - spring 31 B.C.; obverse ANTAVG / III VIRRPC, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - III, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; $270.00 (240.30)


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

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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.
RR77566. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/15, Sydenham 1217, BMCRR II East 193, RSC I 28, Sear CRI 350, F, weight 3.121 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, fall 32 - spring 31 B.C.; obverse ANTAVG / III VIRRPC, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - III, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; $200.00 (178.00)




  



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REFERENCES

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Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
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Crawford, M. Roman Republican Coinage. (Cambridge, 1974).
Grueber, H.A. Coins of the Roman Republic in The British Museum. (London, 1910).
Russo, R. The RBW Collection of Roman Republican Coins. (Zurich, 2013).
Rutter, N.K. ed. Historia Numorum. Italy. (London, 2001).
Seaby, H.A., D. Sear, & R. 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 Thursday, June 30, 2016.
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Roman Coins of Mark Antony