Author Topic: Mark Antony (44-30 BC), AR "Legionary" Denarius, 32-31 BC, LEG XIII, Sear 1479 v  (Read 128 times)

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Offline Overlord

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Mark Antony (44-30 BC), AR "Legionary" Denarius, 32-31 BC, LEG XIII, Sear 1479 var (3.66 g, 18 mm)

Here's one for my HBO Rome collection. The historical Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo belonged to Legio XI Claudia, rather than Legio XIII Gemina, as depicted in the series. But who cares? For the Thirteenth!

The "legionary" coins of Mark Antony were most likely struck at his winter headquarters at Patrae just prior to the battle of Actium. These debased coins (which, some suggest, were struck using Cleopatra's silver) were not hoarded and remained in circulation for a considerable period of time. Legions I to XXIII were honoured on these issues, in addition to the praetorian cohorts.

Obverse: (ANT) AVG/(I)II VIR R P C (Antonius augurus, Triumvir rei publicae constituendae, i.e., "One of Three Men for the Restoration of the Republic"). Galley to the right with banners at the prow. Antony's fleet primarily consisted of the heavier quinquereme galleys, supported by smaller quadriremes, while the bulk of Octavian's fleet comprised the much lighter and faster Liburnian vessels. It didn't help matters that Antony's ships were undermanned (owing to an outbreak of malaria in his camp prior to the battle) and he faced defections (one of which brought Octavian and Agrippa his battle plans). I wonder if the low silver content of the pay played any part in the defections.

Reverse: LEG XIII. Eagle (aquila) facing right between two legionary standards (signa). Legio tertia decima Geminia was one of Julius Caesar's key units in Gaul and in the civil war, and was the legion with which he famously crossed the Rubicon on January 10, 49 BC. The legion appears to have still been in existence in the 5th century AD. Its symbol was the lion.