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Home>Catalog>RomanCoins>TheImperators>MarcAntonyPAGE 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, 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; $500.00 (€435.00)


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

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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.
RS74074. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/18, Sydenham 1221, BMCRR II East 196, RSC I 32, Sear CRI 354, VF, banker's marks, weight 3.281 g, maximum diameter 17.6 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; reverse LEG - V, legionary aquila between two standards; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 229, lot 1161; $445.00 (€387.15)


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; $400.00 (€348.00)


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.
RS73643. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/15, Sydenham 1217, BMCRR II East 193, RSC I 28, aVF, weight 3.378 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis ,180o, 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; $350.00 (€304.50)


Attica, Athens, Summer 32 B.C.

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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 (€174.00)


Mark Antony and Octavian, Thessalonica, Macedonia, 37 B.C.

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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 CRI 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 (€169.65)


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

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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 (€169.65)


Aegium, Achaea, Greece, c. 37 - 31 B.C., Under Antony and Cleopatra

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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; $180.00 (€156.60)


Mark Antony and Octavian, Thessalonica, Macedonia, 37 B.C.

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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 CRI 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; $180.00 (€156.60)


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

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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 (€152.25)




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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, May 25, 2015.
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Roman Coins of Mark Antony