Roman Provincial coin of Mark Antony with Octavia. 38-37 BC. EXTREMELY RARE, FLEET COINAGE SERIES

Ancient Coins - Roman Provincial coin of Mark Antony with Octavia. 38-37 BC. EXTREMELY RARE, FLEET COINAGE SERIES
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Mark Antony, with Octavia. 38-37 BC. Æ As - Very Fine, earthen deposits
Fleet coinage. L. Calpurnius Bibulus M. f., magistrate. Struck 38 BC.
Size: 24mm Weight: 10.7 g. 
Obverse:  Jugate heads of Mark Antony and Octavia right
Reverse: Galley right; below, [A and head of Medusa?].
Amandry, Bronze I, Series I.D; RPC I 4091 (same obverse die as illustration).
Only three specimens cited in RPC. (This coin appears to be much higher quality than the other 3 known coins & the only countermarked "As" similar to the Known countermarked Dupondius from the same series.).


This coin is not only extremely rare, but also of great historical importance in the development of the roman monetary system. It marks the first attempt to introduce the Sestertius, Dupondius and As. After the defeat of Marc Antony, Octavian monetary reform of currency adopted similar standards.


These coins introduced innovations to the Roman monetary system: for the first time a Sestertius was struck in bronze; the Tressis, a 3 As piece, had not been minted since the 3rd century BC; and there was a remarkable effort to clarify the denominations: (1) Marks of value, the Greek numerals Α Β Γ Δ. (2) Value symbols, on the As the head of Medusa, on the Dupondius the two caps of the Dioscuri, on the Tressis the triskeles, on the Sestertius a square object - astralagus, tessera or altar (3) Reverse type related to the value, Four hippocamps on the Sestertius, the Tressis has three ships with sails [AM: and incidentally three portrait busts, two jugate facing a third], the Dupondius two ships with sail, the As one, the Semis a ship without sail, the Quadrans a Prow.

The system of Greek letters proves the coins were intended to circulate in the Greek speaking areas. But the coins were Roman in essence and the purpose of the Fleet Coinage was possibly to provide in the east a complete coinage of copper based bronze to circulate with Roman gold and silver money.

This was a step in the Romanisation in the east. At the same time as Octavian was striking bronze coinages in the west, Antony could have wished to present his imago in the east. Of course this policy was not successful. The amount of coinage struck was quite small and the weight of the coins dropped so quickly that it became unacceptable". RPC pp 284-285. RPC goes on to discuss other matters most notably the mint locations, landing on Athens for Capito, Corinth for Atratinus, and Syria (city unknown) for Bibulus, and of course dating, with reference to the various specialist studies by Amandry, Bahrfeldt, Grant, Buttrey and Martini.

This coin with it's clear countermark sheds additional insight into this period that has been previously unknown.

Prezzo SKU : SI100
US$ 3,250.00
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Quotazione: 07/20/18

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