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Rome - The Imperators

Issuers: Octavian and Mark Antony: 2nd Triumvirate (with Lepidus)
Held Office: Moneyer: M. Barbatius Pollio. 41 BC
Denomination: Silver-plated AE (fourrée), imitating a Denarius of Antony's in the East.
Mint: (original) mint moving with M. Antonius 41 BC
Obverse: Bare head of Mark Antony, right "M•ANT•IMP•AVG•III•VIR•R•P•C•M•BARBAT•Q•P" (MP and AV in monogram)
Reverse: Bare head of Octavian, right "CAESAR•IMP•PONT•III•VIR•R•P•C"
Reference: RCVM 1504, *HCRI 243, RRC 517/2
Weight: 3.6 gms
Diameter: 20.4 mm
Comment: *HCRI= The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49-27 BC by David R Sear.

"BARBAT" = M. Barbatius Pollio, one of Antony's 3 lieutenants.

"Q. P." = quaestor pro praetore (title of Barbatius).


After the assassination of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Gaius Octavius (later Emperor Augustus) and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, formed the Second Triumvirate, which ultimately secured the end of the Roman Republic.

In 42 BC, at Philippi, the triumvirate crushed the forces of Caesar's two assassins, Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, who sought to restore the Roman Republic. Later in the same year, Antony summoned the Egyptian queen Cleopatra to meet him in the city of Tarsus, in Cilicia (now in Turkey), and explain her refusal to help the triumvirate in the civil war. Instead of punishing Cleopatra, however, Antony fell in love with her and returned with her to Egypt in 41 BC. In 40 BC he attended meetings of the triumvirate in Italy, at which a new division of the Roman world was arranged, with Antony receiving the eastern portion, from the Adriatic Sea to the Euphrates River; in the same year he attempted to cement his relations with Octavius by marrying the latter's sister Octavia. Nevertheless, Antony soon returned to Egypt and resumed his life with Cleopatra. Octavius made use of this fact to excite the indignation of the Roman people against Antony. When, in 36 BC, Antony was defeated in a military expedition against the Parthians, popular disapproval of his conduct deepened in Rome. In 34 BC he declared Caesarion (Cleopatra's son allegedly by Julius Caesar) as Caesar's heir in Octavian's place and divided the east among Cleopatra and their children. War inevitably followed. In 31 BC the forces of Antony and Cleopatra were defeated by those of Octavius at the naval Battle of Actium. The couple returned to Egypt, deserted by the Egyptian fleet and leaving behind most of Antony's own army. In 30 BC, besieged by the troops of Octavius in Alexandria and deceived by a false report of Cleopatra's suicide, Antony killed himself by falling on his sword.

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