Mark Antony (Triumvir) Gens: Antonia Moneyer: Military Mint Coin: Silver Denarius
ANTAVG III VIR. R.P.C. - Galley right under oars
Legion XII Antiqvae - Eagle between standards
Mint: Patras ? (32-31 BC)
Wt./Size/Axis: 2.72g / 1mm / 12h
Thierry DUMEZ NUMISMATIQUE
Acquisition/Sale: Thierry DUMEZ NUMISMATIQUE MA-Shops $0.00 10/18
Notes: Nov 23, 18 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection
"ANT AVG | III VIR R P C"
("Antonius Augur | Triumvir rei publicae constituendae")
trans. "Antony Augustus (military title), Triumvirate for the Restoration of the Republic"
Marcus Antonius (Latin: M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N;[note 1] 14 January 83 BC – 1 August 30 BC), commonly known in English as Mark Antony or Marc Antony, was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from an oligarchy into the autocratic Roman Empire.
Antony was a supporter of Julius Caesar, and served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul and the Civil War. Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, and Spain. After Caesar's death in 44 BC, Antony joined forces with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, another of Caesar's generals, and Octavian, Caesar's great-nephew and adopted son, forming a three-man dictatorship known to historians as the Second Triumvirate. The Triumvirs defeated Caesar's murderers, the Liberatores, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, and divided the government of the Republic between themselves. Antony was assigned Rome's eastern provinces, including the client kingdom of Egypt, then ruled by Cleopatra VII Philopator, and was given the command in Rome's war against Parthia.
Relations among the triumvirs were strained as the various members sought greater political power. Civil war between Antony and Octavian was averted in 40 BC, when Antony married Octavian's sister, Octavia. Despite this marriage, Antony carried on a love affair with Cleopatra, who bore him three children, further straining Antony's relations with Octavian. Lepidus was expelled from the association in 36 BC, and in 33 BC disagreements between Antony and Octavian caused a split between the remaining Triumvirs. Their ongoing hostility erupted into civil war in 31 BC, as the Roman Senate, at Octavian's direction, declared war on Cleopatra and proclaimed Antony a traitor. Later that year, Antony was defeated by Octavian's forces at the Battle of Actium. Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt, where they committed suicide.
With Antony dead, Octavian became the undisputed master of the Roman world. In 27 BC, Octavian was granted the title of Augustus, marking the final stage in the transformation of the Roman Republic into an empire, with himself as the first Roman emperor.
LEG XII ANTIQVAE
This was Caesar's 12th legion, raised in 58 BC for the campaign against the Helvetii. It served throughout the wars in Gaul (58 to 49), Italy (49), and at Pharsalus (48). It was disbanded 46-45 BC and the colonists were settled at Parma. The legion was reformed in 44-43 BC most likely by Lepidus. The legion was then passed to Antony in 41-31 BC and was present at Actium. It appears on Antony's coinage as LEG XII ANTIQVAE. Colonists were settled at Patrae, Greece alongside men of Legio X Equestris, perhaps by Antony, more likely by Octavian soon after Actium.
The legion's whereabouts during most of Augustus' reign is unclear. The 12th was very possibly the unnamed third legion (with III Cyrenaica and XXII Deiotariana) stationed in Egypt. That unnamed legion disappears from Egypt at just about the same time that Legio XII Fulminata is first found in Syria. By early in the reign of Tiberius, the 12th legion was based at Raphanae.
Above the ship ANT AVG abbreviates the name Antonius along with one of his titles, Augur, a priest of the Roman state religion. Below the ship is his other title III VIR. R.P.C. (tresviri rei publicae constituendae), which loosely translates as “Triumvir for the Reorganization of the Republic”. A triumvir in this case was a member of the “Second Triumvirate” an informal power-sharing arrangement formed in 43 BCE between three men: Antony, Octavian (Julius Caesar’s great-nephew and designated heir,) and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (c. 88 – 12 BCE), last high priest of the Republic and Caesar’s political ally.
The legionary denarii were struck by Antony for the use of his fleet and legions, most likely at his winter headquarters at Patrae just before the Actian campaign. They may have been struck with silver from Cleopatra's treasury. The legionary denarii provide an interesting record of the 23 legions, praetorian cohorts and the chort of speculatores of which Antony's army was composed. Some of them give the name as well as the number of the legion honored. They have a lower silver content than the standard of the time. As a result they were rarely hoarded, heavily circulated and are most often found in very worn condition. The Francis Jarman collection includes the very rare and scarce named legions and cohorts.