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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Imperators| ▸ |Marc Antony||View Options:  |  |  | 

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

Mark Antony was military commander for Julius Caesar during his conquest of Gaul and administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated his opponents in Greece, 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. They defeated Caesar's murderers, the Liberatores, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 B.C. and divided 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 was averted when Antony married Octavian's sister Octavia. Despite the marriage, Antony continued his affair with Cleopatra and even married her. The Triumvirate broke up in 33 B.C. and erupted into civil war in 31 B.C. At Octavian's direction, the Roman Senate declared war on Cleopatra and proclaimed Antony a traitor. Octavian defeated Antony at the Battle of Actium the same year. Defeated, Antony and Cleopatra fled back to Egypt where they committed suicide. With Antony dead, Octavian was the undisputed master of the Roman world and would reign as the first Roman emperor with the title Augustus.


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; $2400.00 (2112.00)


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; $450.00 (396.00)


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

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Antony's legion X may have been disbanded by Augustus. The famous X Fretensis ('from the Channel') fought for Octavian. In 66 A.D., Legion X Fretensis moved to Judaea to suppress the revolt. In 68, the Xth destroyed the monastery of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls originated. In 70, the Xth camped on the Mount of Olives and used war machines to hurl 25 kg stones 400 meters at the ramparts of besieged Jerusalem. After a five month siege and the horrors of starvation, the city was taken and then completely destroyed. In the autumn of 72, the Xth, auxiliary troops, and thousands of Jewish prisoners erected a wall of circumvallation around Masada, the last Jewish stronghold. The Jewish defenders chose mass suicide before the final assault. After the revolt, the Xth was the sole legion in Judaea and garrisoned at Jerusalem. X Fretensis is recorded to have existed at least until the 410s.Legion X Camp

RR91406. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/24, Sydenham 1228, BMCRR II East 202, RSC I 38, Sear CRI 361, Nice VF, nice toning, bumps and marks, light porosity, spots of corrosion on edge, reverse a little off center, weight 3.342 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, autumn 32 - spring 31 B.C.; obverse ANTAVG / III VIRRPC, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - X, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, ex Pegasi Coins; $450.00 (396.00)







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REFERENCES|

Babelon, E. Monnaies de la Republique Romaine. (Paris, 1885).
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Carson, R. Principal Coins of the Romans, Vol. I: The Republic, c. 290-31 BC. (London, 1978).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Crawford, M. Roman Republican Coinage. (Cambridge, 1974).
Grueber, H. Coins of the Roman Republic in The British Museum. (London, 1910).
Russo, R. The RBW Collection of Roman Republican Coins. (Zurich, 2013).
Rutter, N. ed. Historia Numorum. Italy. (London, 2001).
Seaby, H., D. Sear, & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Volume I, The Republic to Augustus. (London, 1989).
Sear, D. The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49 - 27 BC. (London, 1998).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. 1, 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 Friday, September 20, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Mark Antony