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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The ImperatorsView Options:  |  |  |   

Coins of the Roman Imperators

Mark Antony and Octavia, 39 B.C., Ephesos, Ionia

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The obverse legend abbreviates Consul Designatus, Iterum et Tertium, meaning Consul Elect for the second and third time. The reverse legend abbreviates Triumvir Reipublicae Constituendae, the title adopted in November of 43 B.C. by the three Caesarian leaders (Mark Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus) when they formed the Second Triumvirate to oppose the tyrannicides Brutus and Cassius.
SH86609. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, RPC I 2202, Sydenham 1198, Crawford 263, RSC Octavia and M. Antony 3, Sear CRI 263, BMCRR East 135, SRCV I 1513, Choice gVF, toned, well centered, some die wear and rust, scratches, weight 11.723 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, summer - autumn 39 B.C.; obverse M ANTONIVS IMP COS DESIG ITER ET TERT (Consul Elect for the 2nd and 3rd time), conjoined head of Antony and bust of Octavia right, Antony nearer and wreathed in ivy, Octavia draped; reverse Dionysus standing half left on cista mystica, in his right hand, thyrsus in his left hand, flanked by two interlaced snakes with heads erect, III VIR (triumvir) downward on left, R P C (Reipublicae Constituendae) upward on right; $2430.00 (€2138.40)


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C., L. Aemilus Buca

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"The coin that killed Caesar." The obverse legend declares Caesar is "Dictator for Life" and he wears the veil, symbolic of his life-term position as Pontifex Maximus. Caesar would be both the dictator and high priest of Rome for the remainder of his life, but his life would end only a few weeks after this coin was struck. For Caesar to put his image on coins and in effect declare himself king was too much for Brutus and his republican allies. On the Ides of March (15 March) 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed to death by as many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius. According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theater of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The ides of March have come," meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied, "Aye, Caesar, but not gone." This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March."

Minted for Caesar's planned Parthian war, this type was often carelessly struck indicating the mint was working under great pressure.
SH89754. Silver denarius, Crawford 480/7b, Sydenham 1062, Sear CRI 104a, RSC I Julius Caesar 24, Russo RBW 1682, BMCRR I Rome 4155, SRCV I 1410, aEF, toned, light marks, off center, irregular flan with edge splits , weight 3.780 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, struck by L. Aemilus Buca, Rome mint, lifetime issue, Feb - Mar 44 B.C.; obverse CAESAR DICT PERPETVO, wreathed head of Caesar right; reverse Venus seated left, Victory in extended right, long transverse scepter in left hand, L:BVCA downward behind; ex CNG e-auction 353 (17 Jun 2015), lot 409; rare; $1350.00 (€1188.00)


Pompey the Great, Proconsul, Murdered in 48 B.C., Minted by his son Sextus Pompey

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Struck by Sextus Pompey after his victory over Salvidienus and relates to his acclamation as the Son of Neptune. Although Sextus Pompey was the supreme naval commander, Octavian had the Senate declare him a public enemy. He turned to piracy and came close to defeating Octavian. He was, however, defeated by Marcus Agrippa at the naval battle of Naulochus (3 September 36 B.C.). He was executed by order of Mark Antony in 35 B.C.
SH91677. Silver denarius, Crawford 511/3a, RSC I Pompey the Great 17, Sydenham 1344, BMCRR Sicily 7, Cohen Pompey the Great 18, Sear CRI 344, SRCV I 1392, VF, deep old-cabinet toning, slightly off center, banker's mark on cheek, weight 3.703 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Sicilian mint, 42 - 40 B.C.; obverse MAG PIVS IMP ITER, head of Pompey the Great right, between capis and lituus (augural symbols); reverse Neptune standing left, right foot on prow, nude but for chlamys on left arm, holding apluster, flanked by the Catanaean brothers, Anapias and Amphinomus, running in opposite directions with their parents on their shoulders, PRAEF above, CLAS ET ORAE / MARIT EX S C in two lines in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $1250.00 (€1100.00)


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

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In Feb 44 B.C. the senate named Julius Caesar dictator for life. Fearing that he wished to become king, on the 15th of Mar, 63 senators assassinated him with their knives. His assassination plunged the Roman Republic into 17 years of civil war, after which it would re-emerge as the Roman Empire.
SH91678. Silver denarius, BMCRR Rome 4143 (also G); Crawford 480/3; RSC I 34; Sydenham 1056; Sear Imperators 100; SRCV I 1407; RBW 1678 var. (H) , Choice F, excellent portrait for the grade, well centered, dark old cabinet toning, banker's marks, scratches, lightly etched, weight 3.408 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, moneyer M. Mettius, Jan - Feb 44 B.C.; obverse CAESAR·IMP, wreathed head of Caesar right, cymbium (boat shaped cup used as a wine ladle) and lituus (augural wand) behind; reverse M METTIVS, Venus standing left, Victory in her extended right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, resting left elbow on shield which rests on globe, G (control letter) in lower left field; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, ex Pegasi Coins; rare; $1200.00 (€1056.00)


Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, Posthumous, 42 B.C., Moneyer L. Livineius Regulus

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L. Livineius Regulus had served with Caesar in North Africa.
SH87936. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1425, Crawford 494/24, Sear CRI 115, Sydenham 1106, RSC I 27, BMCRR Rome 4274, F, iridescent rainbow toning, well centered, banker's mark, weight 3.462 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 42 B.C.; obverse wreathed head of Julius Caesar right, laurel branch behind, winged caduceus before; reverse L LIVINEIVS / REGVLVS, bull charging right; rare; $610.00 (€536.80)


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

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According to Livy, the caduceus, a symbol of peace, was sometimes carried by diplomats sent to negociate a treaty. Antony and Octavian allied to defeat Caesar's assassins, but after defeating Brutus and Cassius, each was determined to obtain absolute power. While Antony was in Egypt, his brother and his wife gathered an army to remove Octavian but they were defeated. Antony and Octavian met with their armies at Brundisium, but the legions, both Caesarian, refused to fight. The two men reached an agreement. This is when this coin was struck by Octavian's mint with Antony's portrait on the obverse. It appeared that peace was finally reigning in the Roman world, but it only was a short calm before another storm.
RR89740. Silver denarius, Crawford 529/3, Sydenham 1328, Sear CRI 303, BMCRR II Gaul 94, Russo RBW 1817, RSC I Mark Antony 5, F, uneven toning, light marks, weight 3.488 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 270o, travelling mint with Octavian mint, 39 B.C.; obverse ANTONIVS IMP, bare head right; reverse CAESAR - IMP (counterclockwise below), winged caduceus; rare; $500.00 (€440.00)


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit

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RS91805. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. Crawford 443/1, Sydenham 1006, RSC I 49, Sear CRI 9, BMCRR Gaul 27, Russo RBW 1557, SRCV I 1399 (silver, official, military mint), aVF, excellent centering, uneven toning, small plating breaks, weight 2.862 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, c. 49 B.C.; obverse elephant walking right trampling on a carnyx (a Celtic war trumpet) ornamented to look like a dragon, CAESAR below; reverse implements of the pontificate: culullus (cup) or simpulum (ladle), aspergillum (sprinkler), securis (sacrificial ax), and apex (priest's hat); ex Numismatik Naumann auction 75 (3 Mar 2019), lot 584; $450.00 (€396.00)


Roman Republic, Second Triumvirate, Mark Antony and Octavian, 40 - 39 B.C.

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In 40 B.C., with the Treaty of Brundisium, the Triumvir Rei Publica Constituende (Three Men for the Restoration of the Republic) agreed to divide the Roman Republic into spheres of influence. Gaius Octavian, who took the name Caesar, controlled the Western provinces. Mark Antony controlled the Eastern provinces; the River Drin, the boundary between the provinces Illyricum and Macedonia, would serve as their frontier. Marcus Aemilius Lepidus controlled Hispania and Africa. The treaty was cemented by the marriage of Antony and Octavia, sister of Octavian.
SH91537. Silver denarius, Crawford 528/3; Sydenham 1194; RSC I Mark Antony and Augustus 2; BMCRR East 123; Sear CRI 251; SRCV I 1506, F, old cabinet toning, well centered, some die wear, banker's mark, scratches, tiny test cut on edge, weight 3.660 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 90o, struck by Antony (in Syria?), traveling military mint, Autumn 41 B.C.; obverse M ANTON IMP IIIVIR R P C AVG (Marcus Antonius, imperator, triumvir rei publica constituende, augur), bare head of Antony right; reverse CAESAR PONT IIIVIR R P C (Caesar, pontifex, triumvir rei publica constituende), bare head of Octavian right; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; very scarce; $400.00 (€352.00)


Julius Caesar, and Augustus, Thessalonica, Macedonia, After 14 A.D.

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Traditionally attributed to Thessalonica, but Touratsoglou rejected that attribution based on the style and die axis. We believe the style is not remarkably different from similar types from Thessalonica and, as discussed in RPC I, ΘE on the reverse may be an abbreviation of the ethnic.
RP88931. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 5421 (8 spec., uncertain mint); BMC Thessalonica p. 115, 61; SNG Evelpidis 1327; Varbanov 4154 (R5); SNG Cop -; Touratsoglou -, Choice aVF, glossy dark green patina, scattered light corrosion, weight 6.654 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonika (?, Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 14 A.D.; obverse ΘEOC (downward behind), bare head of Julius Caesar right; reverse CEBACTOY ΘE (clockwise from upper right), bare head of Augustus right; $260.00 (€228.80)


Antonia, Daughter of Mark Antony, Wife of Nero Drusus, Mother of Claudius, Grandmother of Caligula

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Antonia was daughter of Marc Antony and Octavia, wife of Nero Claudius Drusus, sister-in-law of Tiberius, mother of Claudius, and grandmother of Caligula. Renowned for her beauty and virtue, Antonia spent her long life revered by the Roman people and enjoyed many honors conferred upon her by her relatives. All her coinage was issued early in the reign of Claudius. She died around 37 A.D., possibly as a result of forced suicide ordered by Caligula.
RP91440. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC I Claudius 92, BMCRE I Claudius 166, Cohen I 6, BnF II Claudius 143, SRCV I 1902, aVF, green patina, centered on a tight flan, corrosion, weight 14.008 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 41 - 50 A.D.; obverse ANTONIA AVGVSTA, bare-headed bust right, hair in long plait; reverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, Claudius standing left, veiled and togate, simpulum in right, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $230.00 (€202.40)




  



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REFERENCES

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Carson, R. Principal Coins of the Romans, Vol. I: The Republic, c. 290-31 BC. (London, 1978).
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, 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 Saturday, July 20, 2019.
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The Imperators