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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Superb Mark Antony & Octavian

CNG 111, Lot: 637. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $3000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

The Triumvirs. Mark Antony and Octavian. Spring-early summer 41 BC. AR Denarius (23mm, 3.78 g, 12h). Ephesus mint; M. Barbatius Pollio, quaestor pro praetore. Bare head of Mark Antony right / Bare head of Octavian right, with slight beard. Crawford 517/2; CRI 243; Sydenham 1181; RSC 8a; RBW 1798. Superb EF, fully lustrous, minor die break on reverse. Well struck on a broad flan.

The fraught relationship of Mark Antony and Octavian underwent numerous permutations during their 13-year joint domination of the Roman state. This denarius, struck in mid-41 BC in the eastern half of the Empire ruled by Antony, puts the political situation in stark terms, with Antony and Octavian, still sporting youthful long sideburns, on opposite sides. While Antony occupies the dominant obverse, Octavian calls himself by the potent name Caesar, soon to become a title for future Roman emperors.