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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 XVI

Click for a larger photo This may have been a legion disbanded by Augustus. The legion XVI Gallica probably fought for Octavian.
SH73606. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/31, Sydenham 1236, BMCRR II East 211, RSC I 48, VF, toned, weight 3.388 g, maximum diameter 16.8 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 - XVI, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, border of dots; ex Savoca Coins; $550.00 (€478.50)


Roman Republic, Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG XXII

Click for a larger photo Antony's LEG XXII must have been disbanded by Augustus. Other Twenty-Second Legions (Deiotariana, Primigenia) were raised after Actium.
RR73979. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/38, Sydenham 1245, BMCRR II East 217, RSC I 59, gVF, lightly toned, granular surfaces with some porosity, flan flaw on edge, weight 3.426 g, maximum diameter 17.5 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 - XXII, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, border of dots; ex CNG e-auction 346, lot 418; rare; $550.00 (€478.50)


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

Click for a larger photo 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 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 (€217.50)


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

Click for a larger photo This old Caesarean legion was known at different times as Victrix, Antiquae, Paterna and finally XII Fulminata ('the thunderers'). The cognomen Antiquae is only known for the twelfth legion from these coins. 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.
RR73589. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1480, Crawford 544/9, Sydenham 1231, BMCRR II East 222, RSC I 40, Sear CRI 363, F, well centered, weight 3.096 g, maximum diameter 17.7 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•XII•ANTIQVAE, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, border of dots; ex Pecunem Gitbud & Naumann, auction 20, lot 536; this is the first example of this type handled by Forum!; scarce; $225.00 (€195.75)


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 (€174.00)


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 (€174.00)


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. 29SH72307. 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; $200.00 (€174.00)


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. 29SH63716. 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

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 (€169.65)




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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 Sunday, April 19, 2015.
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Roman Coins of Mark Antony