Featured Mark Antony's Wives..... and Brother..... and Daughter

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Cherd, Nov 27, 2022.

  1. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    Until recently, I had a gapping hole in my collection pertaining to Mark Antony... and specifically his 3 wives that appeared on coinage. I made it a point to try to fill some of these holes and not only managed to knock out the ones on my list, but also snag a few others that weren't on the list. They are now some of my favorite coins, so I figured I would share them here:

    Fulvia was Antony's wife when the Second Triumvirate was established. As Antony's wife and Octavian's mother-in-law, she was the most powerful woman in Rome and didn't shy away from wielding her influence. She remained in Rome to look after Antony's affairs while he was galivanting around in the East pretending to be a god and banging every queen and noblewoman in sight.


    Fulvia became desperate when Antony started his very public affair with the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra VII, with whom he would go on to have 3 children, and was further enraged when Octavian divorced her daughter. Octavian had been left with the unenviable task of satisfying land grants for soldiers that had supported the Triumvirate's rise to power, and he'd had to screw citizens out of their property to satisfy the debt. Fulvia decided to leverage the public disgruntlement by essentially going to war with Octavian.


    Fulvia enlisted the support of Antony's brother, Lucius Antony, who was consul at the time. Coins were minted in support of their efforts that included Fulvia's likeness, which made her the first non-diety female to appear on Roman coinage. Octavian ended up trapping the pair in Perusia and laid siege to the city until they surrendered. Lucius was pardoned and made a chief lieutenant in Spain, but Fulvia was forced to flee to Greece with her children. She apparently met with Antony in Athens where he scalded her for her actions and died of a mysterious illness shortly after.


    Antony then sailed to Italy with his armies to face Octavian, however, open battle proved untenable for both because, having shared service under Caesar, the soldiers refused to fight each other. This necessitated a diplomatic reconciliation between the two, which was solidified by having Octavian's sister, Octavia, married to Antony.


    Antony then headed back East with Octavia in tow where she gave birth to two daughters, Antonia Major and Antonia Minor. Another conflict boiled up over Antony's taxation in Greece (had been given to Sextus Pompey) and Octavian's lack of troop support for Antony's Parthian invasion. Octavia managed to negotiate a truce between the two back in Rome, where Antony left her behind and headed back East. Following his failed invasion of the Parthian Empire, he went back to Egypt to shack up with Cleopatra and divorced Octavia. Octavian declared war against Cleopatra, Marcus Agrippa defeated Antony at the naval Battle of Actium, and Antony and Cleopatra killed themselves. Octavia adopted and raised Antony's children by Cleopatra.

    Antonia Minor went on to marry Drusus the Elder, was sister-in-law to Tiberius, mother to Claudius, and grandmother to Caligula.

    Claudius/Antonia Minor

    If anybody would like to post their Mark Antony related coins then I'd love to see them!
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  3. The Meat man

    The Meat man Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice write-up and coins! I'm afraid my only contribution will be a bit disappointing - just a common Mark Antony legionary denarius, in very poor shape:

  4. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I have near 40 MA Legionary denarii, so I'll show just one:
    Marcus Antonius CHORTIS SPECVLATORVM.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: ANT AVG III VIR R P C, Praetorian galley, thyrsos behind prow REVERSE: CHORTIS SPECVLATORVM, three legionary standards
    Patrae 32-31 BC
    3.52g, 18.mm
    Cr544/12; Syd 1214
    ex. Marti Classical Numismatics
    Marcus Antonius  2.jpg
    Ionia Silver Cistophoric Tetradrachm
    OBVERSE: M ANTONIVS IMP COS DESIG ITER ET TERT, head of Antony right, wreathed in ivy, lituus below, all within wreath of ivy and grapes
    REVERSE: III VIR R P C, bust of Octavia right on cista flanked by snakes
    Ephesus 39 BC
    11.8gm, 26mm
    RPC I 2201, Sydenham 1197, Sear 262
  5. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    I'm especially envious of that Cleo VII coin. I really want one.
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  6. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Well-Known Member

    Great writeup and coins !

    Marcus Antonius, Denarius - Mint travelling with Marcus Antonius in 41 BC
    ANT AVG IMP III VI R P C, Head of Marcus Antonius right
    Fortuna standing left, holding rudder in right hand and cornucopiae in left; at feet, stork; below, PIETAS COS
    3,82 gr - 20 mm
    Ref : Crawford # 516/2, Sydenham # 1174, HCRI # 241, C # 77
    Ex. Auctiones.GmbH

    The following comment is copied from NAC auction # 52/294 about the very rare corresponding aureus :
    The year 41 B.C., when this aureus was struck at a mint travelling in the East with Marc Antony, was a period of unusual calm for the triumvir, who took a welcomed, if unexpected, rest after the great victory he and Octavian had won late in 42 B.C. against Brutus and Cassius at the Battle of Philippi. Antony’s original plan of organising an invasion of Parthia was put on hold after he sailed to Tarsus, where he had summoned Cleopatra VII, the Greek queen of Egypt. She was to defend herself against accusations that she had aided Brutus and Cassius before Philippi, but it is generally agreed that the summons was merely a pretext for Antony’s plan to secure aid for his Parthian campaign. Their meeting was anything but a source of conflict; indeed, they found much common ground, including their agreement that it was in their mutual interests to execute Cleopatra’s sister and rival Arsinoe IV, who had been ruling Cyprus. In addition to sharing political interests, the two agreed that Antony would winter in Egypt to share a luxurious vacation with Cleopatra that caused a further postponement of Antony’s designs on Parthia. Thus began another of the queen’s liaisons with noble Romans, a prior having been Julius Caesar (and, according to Plutarch, Pompey Jr. before him). During the course of his stay in Egypt Cleopatra was impregnated, which resulted in twins born to her in 40 B.C. But this care-free period was only a momentary calm in the storm, for trouble was brewing in both the East and the West. Early in 40 B.C. Syria was overrun by the Parthians, seemingly while Antony travelled to Italy to meet Octavian following the Perusine War, in which Octavian defeated the armies of Antony’s wife and brother. The conflict with Octavian was resolved when they signed a pact at Brundisium in October, and Syria was eventually recovered through the efforts of Antony’s commanders from 40 to 38 B.C.


    Marcus Antonius, Denarius - Mint travelling with Marcus Antonius, c.32-31 BC
    ANT AVG III VIR RPC, Galley right
    LEG III, Legionary eagle between two standards
    2,83 gr
    Ref : HCRI #350, Cohen #28

  7. Gallienus

    Gallienus coinsandhistory.com

    I have a denarius with Marc Anthony/ Octavian bought ca. 1988 or 89 in New Orleans, LA. I believe this issue is dated to 31 BC. It shows a strong portrait of Marc Anthony with a childish portrait of Octavian. It's quite a common issue, which good for the collecting community as it means a nice portrait of M.A. is readily available. Even tho at this time one can see M.A. has put on a few pounds...

    Roman Imperatorial
    denarius, ca. 31 BC, Marc Anthony/ Octavian

    I will have to say that I really like the OP's tetradrachm featuring Claudius/ Antonia Minor. Earlier silver tets like this are really interesting, and usually quite affordable pieces. Also the denarius showing MA struck in 41 BC seems to be quite nicely done. His portrait looks a lot more 'athletic' than this one made 10 years later.

    This is a very interesting time and an excellent topic for CT. I must mention that I've a really nice Pompey the Great denarius. Snagged semi-cheaply 5 yrs ago at a Heritage Jan NYICS sale when everyone was noticing the rare stuff.
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  8. Nick Zynko

    Nick Zynko ZmanFla

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  9. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    Great write up, I am saving it. I have no Coins to show of Antony or the women he fondled.
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  10. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Well-Known Member


    Does Cleopatra Selene (II) factor into your collection?
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  11. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    Sorry about the delay, been on vacation for a couple of weeks.

    I was previously unaware that she had coins (It's Antony/Cleopatra's daughter right?). I'll certainly look into it and put her on my radar. As for adding her to the collection, I suppose it depends on rarity, prices, etc.

    Lucius and Antonia were not on my "Top Get" list before they became available, so I guess you never know :)
  12. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Well-Known Member

    Yes, daughter of Antony and Cleopatra. She is on a denarius of Mauritania with Juba II. I have been looking for a nice one myself.
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  13. Sulla80

    Sulla80 Supporter! Supporter

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  14. Gallienus

    Gallienus coinsandhistory.com

    Just snagged the below at the FUN show in Florida Jan 5th-8th. A tetradrachm featuring Marc Anthony on the reverse side. I believe this is dated to 36 BC.

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  15. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    Poor Cleopatra! They made her look like Mark Anthony!
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  16. Gallienus

    Gallienus coinsandhistory.com

    Speaking off the cuff, I think that her salient feature was her magnetic personality and not looking like Scarlett Johansen. Cleo was engaged as a populist in a civil war over control of Egypt with her brother: Ptolemy the Lucky 13th.

    "This display by the 14 year old king, intended to garner support from the great Roman in the dynastic struggle against his sister Cleopatra VII Thea Philopater, likely was all that was necessary to push Caesar against him. Faced with the cunning political brilliance of the young queen, Ptolemy would soon find himself at odds with the greatest conqueror in the world.

    Caesar clearly favored Cleopatra and was perhaps willing to make his decision after just the one meeting."

    There are better ones available but the price escalates more quickly than that of a Cameo DMPL Morgan $ in 65 with a CAC sticker.
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  17. jeff!2457

    jeff!2457 New Member

    yall are some - Edited - .
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2023
  18. jeff!2457

    jeff!2457 New Member

    - Edited - .
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2023
  19. jeff!2457

    jeff!2457 New Member

    - Edited - .
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2023
  20. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    She actually looked much nicer than on her coinage with Mark Anthony
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  21. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    Obnoxious posts need to be moderated, which I'm assuming was the case with this guy. I just wish that there was a way to see the unedited versions, the insatiable curiosity kills me! :jawdrop:
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