Roman Republic (Imperatorial Period)

Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII, Triumvir and Queen, respectively 36 BC

McAlee 174; Prieur 27; RPC 4094, Superb Extremely Fine

Antioch in Syria. ??C???CC? ????????? ??? ???????, diademed and draped bust of Cleopatra right. Reverse: ???????C ??[???????? ?]????? ????? ??????, bare head of Mark Antony right. One of the finest known specimens.

A further propaganda weapon used by Octavian was Antony’s relationship with Cleopatra VIII. The two had met at Tarsus in 41 BC, and in the next year the triumvir followed her to Egypt despite his marriage to Octavia. With Cleopatra’s financial backing, Antony raised a grand army in the East and embarked upon a Parthian campaign in 38 BC, but this ended in disaster. Antony had three children with Cleopatra–Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene, and Ptolemy Philadelphus–to whom he bequeathed his eastern territories in the Donations of Alexandria (34 BC). When Octavian revealed this development he began to inspire support for a war against Antony and his eastern queen that finally broke in 31 BC. Antony and Cleopatra were defeated at the battle of Actium and committed suicide in the aftermath, forever enshrining them as the great tragic couple