about ancient nomos

Ancient Nomos Art is a museum of galleries exhibiting ancient coins and ancient mint maps. The coin gallery displays the diverse art and history of hand-crafted ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Persian and Medieval coinage. The ancient mints mapping gallery features Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Asia Minor and Medieval mint city regions and territories. Visitor's are welcome to explore, study and enjoy Ancient Nomos Art.

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Roman Republic – 41 BC

Mark Antony

From Ancient Galleries

Roman Republic – 41 BC

Obverse: Bare head of General Marcus Antonius facing right; beaded border.
Reverse: Bare head of Octavius Thurinus, wearing slight beard; beaded border.

Obv: M • ANT • IMP • AVG • III • R • P • C • M BARBAT • Q • P around the bust of bare headed Marcus Antonius facing right. Rev: CAESAR • IMP • PONT • III • VIR • R • P • C • around a large portrait bust of bare headed and youthful Gaius Octavian facing right, wearing slight beard.

After the assassination of Julius Caesar, led by his political opponents Brutus and Cassius, Rome’s power was divided between Mark Antony, Caesar’s second-in-command General and presumed heir, and Gaius Octavian, Caesar’s great-nephew and legal heir. Mark Antony and Octavian united themselves against Caesar’s assassins in what would become known as the “Second Triumvirate”. This coin represents a rare testament to the establishment of this Second Roman Triumvirate and is an awesome testament to the pivotal role Mark Antony and Octavian would have in redefining Roman events which shaped the course of the western world. However, such a union was known to be a tenuous relationship, as both individuals vied to acquire supreme power over the other. Antony, the older of the two, clearly believed himself the senior member. Octavian, on the other hand, at 19 and as Caesar’s legal heir, supposed otherwise. This coin was struck by the official Roman moneyer, M.B. Pollio, for Mark Antony and Octavian as he commands his military moving east through Greece. The double portrait demonstrates Mark Antony’s perceptions and propaganda to develop an iconography for the new regime. The bold obverse portrait may be taken as reserved for the new chief ruler, while the much younger reverse portrait of Octavian, with the traces of his first beard still remaining, is clearly the subordinate. The successful Triumvirate was further sealed through the marriage of Octavian’s sister to Mark Antony in 40 BC. Ancient historians describe the Parthian cause and the Cleopatra affair as cause for the slow decline of this new political arrangement. Ultimately, Octavian’s forces defeated Antony and Cleopatra at the naval battle of Actium, Greece in September of 31 BC. Both Mark Antony and Cleopatra later committed suicide in Alexandria and Octavian assumed control of Egypt and Alexandria from Rome.

The ANAM Special Features gallery examines the evolving ancient coin portraiture of Gaius Octaviun (later Emperor Augustus) during his five decades of Roman imagery. The ancient coin images of the Emperor Augustus can be divided into three distinct phases; his Actium period style, his idealized Hellenistic style as emperor and, following his death, the posthumous portrait styles. As this special features exhibit displays, characteristics of each of his evolving portrait styles can be seen to include; his disheveled youthful busts, realistic Republican style busts, through later appearances in a Hellenistic manner. To view the Special Features evolving Augustus coin portraiture exhibit, please use the following link: Evolving Augustus Portraiture Special Feature Exhibit

Value: Denarius. Metal: AR Silver. Weight: 3.89 grams. Mint: Ephesus. Date: Circa Spring-Summer 41 BC. Moneyer: M. Barbatius Pollio, Quaestor Pro Praetore.
Attribution: RSC 8a; Crawford 517/2; CRI 243; Sydenham 1181; Kestner 3793-95; BMCRR E 100.

Legend, Documentation and Attribution