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755837. Sold For $5750

MARK ANTONY and OCTAVIA. 39 BC. AR Cistophoric Tetradrachm (28mm, 11.88 gm, 1h). Ephesus mint. M ANTONIVS IMP COS DESIG ITER ET TERT, head of Antony right, wearing ivy wreath, lituus below; all within wreath of ivy and flowers / III VIR R P C, draped bust of Octavia right above cista, flanked by coiled snakes. RPC I 2201; CRI 262; Sydenham 1197; RSC 2. Choice EF. Exceptional centering and strike. Very rare in this state.

Shortly after the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, cracks began to appear in the Second Triumvirate. Antony's affair with Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, and his designs on Rome's eastern holdings, prompted Octavian to formulate a binding agreement that would buy him time. At Brundisium a pact was signed, bringing about a reconciliation and some semblance of peace. As a condition of this reconciliation, Antony was married to Octavian's widowed sister, Octavia. She stayed with him in Athens while he continued to prepare for a war against Parthia, and where, in 39 BC, he was associated with the "new Dionysus". In 37 BC, she helped negotiate the Pact of Tarentum, which renewed the triumvirate until 33 BC. Antony by this time, however, had renewed his affair with Cleopatra. He remained in the East, where he married the queen, and subsequently fathered several children. In 32 BC, as a renewal of civil war became imminent, Antony divorced Octavia. In the aftermath of Antony's death, Octavia, known for her loyalty and nobilty, brought Antony's surviving children to Rome to live with her.