Issued before the Battle of Actium in 32 BC and likely minted at Antony’s winter headquarters in Patrae (Greece), it was silver denarii such as this that Mark Antony used to pay his legions and fleet. Seeking to associate himself with Julius Caesar, who had held the augurate, Antony too identified himself as augur; so one reads ANT AVG (abbreviating Antonius augurus); III VIR R P C abbreviates Triumvir rei publicae constituendae (“One of Three Men for the Restoration of the Republic”), which was adopted in 43 BC by Mark Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus when they formed the Second Triumvirate.
Twenty-three legions were honoured on Antony’s ‘legionary’ coinage, and of these, most are named strictly with Roman numerals. There are, however, special titled legions for which there were special issues: Legios XII Antiqvae, XVII Classicae, XVIII Lybicae, and the special units of the cohortes speculatorum (COHORTIS SPECVLATORVM) and the cohortes praetoriarum (CHORTIVM PRAETORIARVM).
Legion IV was later called the ‘Scythica’, but was probably originally raised by Antony. It was unusual in that it retained its identity even after Octavian’s reformation of the armies following his victory at Actium.
Praetorian galley to the right
ANT AVG III VIR R P C
Legionary Aquila between two signa
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