Mark Antony AR Legionary Denarius. 32-31 BC.LEG XI.Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis

Ancient Coins - Mark Antony AR Legionary Denarius. 32-31 BC.LEG XI.Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis
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Mark Antony AR Legionary Denarius. 32-31 BC. ANT AVG III VIR R P C, Praetorian galley to the right / LEG XI, legionary eagle (aquila) between two standards. Cr544/25; Syd 1229. RSC 0039.. F. 3.6g.  

Marcus Antonius (Latin: M�ANTONIVS�M�F�M�N[1]) (c. 83 BCAugust 1, 30 BC), known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. He was an important supporter of Gaius Julius Caesar as a military commander and administrator. After Caesar's assassination, Antony allied with Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus to form an official triumvirate which modern scholars have labelled the second triumvirate. The triumvirate broke up in 33 BC and the disagreement turned to civil war in 31 BC, in which Antony was defeated by Octavian at the Battle of Actium and then at Alexandria. Antony committed suicide along with his lover, Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt, in 30 BC.
From Wikipedia,the free encyclopedia.

A Roman legion was an infantry unit consisting of  heavily armed soldiers, equiped with shields, armor, helmets, spears and swords. In the early republic, the strength of a legion was about 3,000 men; there were 4,800 legionaries in the days of Julius Caesar; the twenty-five legions that defended the empire during the reign of Augustus counted more than 5,000 soldiers. They were the backbone of the Roman army, supported by auxiliary troops. Although in the third century, large cavalry units gradually superseded the legions as Rome's most important force, many of them are attested in the fourth and early fifth centuries

Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis: one of the Roman legions.  Its name means 'the legion that is loyal and faithful to Claudius'.

The eleventh and twelfth legions were recruited by the Roman general Julius Caesar for the campaign against the Helvetians in 58 BCE. Caesar also mentions this unit in his account of the battle against the Nervians, which took place in the late summer of 57. This unit must have been present at the other famous campaigns as well, such as the sieges of Bourges and Alesia.

During the civil war against Caesar's fellow-triumvir and rival Pompey the Great, which broke out in January 49, the Eleventh took part in Caesar's invasion of Italy and stayed in Apulia for some time. In the spring of 48, it fought at Dyrrhachium. It was present in the battle of Pharsalus (9 August 48) and was disbanded in 45. The veterans were settled at Bovianum in Central-Italy.

In 42, however, this legion was reconstituted by Caesar's heir Octavian. After it had fought for the members of the Second Triumvirate and against the assassins of Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, in the battle of Philippi, the unit went back to Italy and suppressed a rebellion at Perugia. Probably, it also fought in Octavian's campaigns against Sextus Pompeius, the son of Caesar's rival Pompey the Great, who had occupied Sicily and threatened the food supply of Rome. He was defeated by Octavian's general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.

Perhaps the Eleventh earned a surname at this stage (the Tenth was henceforth known as Fretensis), but we don't know what this name may have been. Surnames appear to have been rare at this moment anyhow, so we need not be surprised.

In 32, Octavian and his fellow-triumvir Marc Antony started a war, which culminated in the naval battle off Actium (31), where Octavian defeated his opponent and won the supremacy in the Mediterranean world. The eleventh legion seems to have fought bravely, and veterans commemorated on their tombstones that they had fought over there. From now on, Octavian was sole ruler of the Roman world and known as the emperor Augustus.

The Eleventh was now sent to the Balkans, where it stayed for almost a century. Its original base is not known, but after the reshuffling of the Roman forces after the disaster in the Teutoburg Forest (September 9 CE), the legion was staying on the Dalmatian coast at Burnum (modern Kistanje), which it occupied together with the seventh legion. The soldiers of the eleventh legion must have been employed on several places, such as the provincial capital Salonae, modern Split. A subunit stayed at Gardun, and other legionaries built new roads, opening the interior for economic development

It was still at Burnum when in 42 the governor of Dalmatia, Lucius Arruntius Camillus Scribonianus, revolted against the emperor Claudius, who had recently come to power. The soldiers of the Seventh and Eleventh, however, immediately put an end to this rebellion. They were awarded the honorary title Claudia Pia Fidelis, 'loyal and faithful to Claudius'.

In c.58, VII Claudia left Burnum, to be redeployed at the Danube. Its twin, our eleventh legion, remained on the Dalmatian coast, where it is mentioned at the time of  the emperor Nero's suicide in the summer of 68

The official new emperor was an old man named Galba, who got into troubles in January 69, when the commander of the army of Germania Inferior, Vitellius, revolted, and a rich senator named Otho declared himself emperor too. Galba was lynched on the Forum and every legion had to choose between Otho and Vitellius. With the Seventh and Fourteenth, our unit sided with Otho. A large subunit was sent to fight against Vitellius at Cremona, but was unable to prevent his victory - the soldiers arrived too late for the battle. The new emperor Vitellius, however, did not punish them and merely ordered their return to Dalmatia. 

The legion now sided with Vespasian, and was among the victors after the second battle of Cremona (October 69). In 70, it was part of the expeditionary force of general Cerialis, who suppressed the Batavian revolt. Having achieved this aim, the legion was sent to the old base of XXI Rapax, Vindonissa (modern Windisch) in Germania Superior. In Dalmatia, the Eleventh was replaced by IIII Flavia Felix.


During the conflict between the emperor Gallienus (260-268) and his rival Postumus of the Gallic Empire, the eleventh legion supported the first-mentioned, for which it was rewarded with surnames like Pia V Fidelis V ('five times faithful and loyal') and Pia VI Fidelis VI. Other units were considered to have been seven times faithful & loyal, but not the Eleventh. We don't know why its loyalty and faithfulness were recognized only six, not seven times. Nor do we know which emperor praised these qualities for the second, third and fourth time.

In 295, a mobile subunit of the eleventh legion fought in Egypt, and three years later, another subunit fought in Mauretania. In 302, a member of the Claudian legion named Julius was tortured to death at Durostorum, because he was a Christian. A man named Hesychius was the next legionary to be killed, for identical reasons.

In the early fifth century, the eleventh, Claudian legion was still guarding the Lower Danube at Durostorum. What happened later, is not known.

Since this legion was constituted by Caesar, its emblem may have been a bull, but this symbol is nowhere to be found. Instead, the soldiers may have worn badges showing the sea god Neptune. An alternative emblem may have been the she-wolf with the twins Romulus and Remus

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