But I have here a coin of Athens representing a whole different kind of divine deity, Dionysos: ATTICA. Athens. 39-37 BC. (Bronze, 18.5 mm, 4.75 g, 12 h). Head of youthful Dionysos to right. Rev. A-ΘE Athena advancing to right, holding spear with her right hand and aegis. Kroll 140. Svoronos pl. 25, 29. From the Vineyard Collection, ex Classical Numismatic Group 50, 23 June 1999, 732. To explain this we will zoom in to a much later period of Athens, way after the time of the democracies. In October 42, Brutus and Cassius were defeated at Philippi (Macedonia) by Mark Antony and Octavian. While Octavian returned to Italy, Mark Antony remained in Greece and set sail for Athens. Before Mark Antony decided to spar with Octavian, Antony visited Athens at least four times in the years between the Battle of Philippi and the Battle of Actium. The city even served as his headquarters between 40 and 36 BC, during which he was accompanied by his newly-wed wife Octavia (Octavian’s sister). CNG Triton XXII, Lot: 963. Mark Antony. Summer 32 BC. AR Denarius. Athens mint. Antony offered amnesty to the Athenians and he seemed to have engaged with Athens’ cultural life, also supporting Athens economically, and even wished to be addressed as φιλαθήναιος (friend of Athens) (Plut. Ant. 23.2). The Athenians responded accordingly by bestowing several honors onto Antony, antony’s wife Octavia was also honored, as is apparent from an inscription on an altar from the Agora which was dedicated to both Antony and Octavia: Ἀν̣τωνίου καὶ Ὀ κτα̣ίας δυῖν θε ῶν εὐεργετῶν To Antonius and Octavia, both gods and benefactors. Antony himself was honored as the (new) god Dionysos in Athens, Seneca the Elder describes that: “the Athenians came to him on his arrival with their wives and children, and saluted him as Dionysos”. Furthermore, the Panathenea festival in 38 BC was celebrated in honor of “Antonius, the new god Dionysos”. Why the god Dionysos was chosen for Antony remains unclear. Dionysos was already known amongst the Athenians as the bringer of prosperity and new life. During the Anthesteria spring-festival for example, the Athenians celebrated the arrival and sacred marriage of Dionysos with the wife of the archon of Athens, making Dionysos the king of Athens. An adapted form of this ritual was perhaps also performed upon Antony’s arrival in Athens, because Seneca the Elder records that: “they [the Athenians] went on to say that they were offering him their Minerva [Athena] in marriage, and asked him to marry her”. Looking at my newly obtained bronze coin, numismatic evidence also demonstrates the connection between Antony and Dionysos. The Athenian coins are often characterized as traditional, as they tend to depict Athena and an owl. During Antony’s stay in Athens the mint started to strike coins with Dionysos on the obverse. When taking into account the historical development of Athens’ bronze mint, it becomes apparent that this was the first and only appearance of Dionysos on Athenian bronzes. Three coin types, dated between 39 and 37 BC (coinciding with Antony’s stay in Athens), of which at least 102 specimens have been preserved, are known from the excavations of the Athenian Agora (Kroll (1993), 85, 102–103.). Please post your coins of Mark Antony and coins of Athens!