Roman Republic (Imperatorial Period)

Mark Antony & Octavian, Triumvirs 41 BC

Crawford 517/1a; HCRI 242; Sydenham 1180; Bahrfedt 77; Calicó 109, Nearly Mint State

Ephesus. M. Barbatius Pollio, quaestor pro praetore. M · ANT I(MP) (AV)G III VIR · R · P · C · M BARBAT · Q · P, bare head of Mark Antony right. Reverse: CAESAR · IMP · PONT · III · VIR · R · P · C ·, bare head of Octavian right.

This gold aureus, struck in 41 BC, not long after the victory at Philippi, continues to advertise unity purpose in the Second Triumvirate although the relationships between Mark Antony, Octavian, and Marcus Lepidus would soon fray. Here, the placement of the head of Antony on the obverse and that of Octavian on the reverse lends an air of equality to the two triumvirs as do the legends, which refer to their acclamations as imperator, priestly offices (Antony as augur and Octavian as pintifex), and their titles as triumviri reipublicae constituendae (triumvirs for confirming the republic). However, somewhat greater emphasis is placed on Octavian, who does not have to share his inscription with M. Barbatus, the quaestor responsible for producing the issue and who calls himself simply Caesar as the heir of the deified deified Julius Caesar.