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Marc Antony Portrait Denarius - Damnatio Memoriae?

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Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
4150 Posts
 Posted 12/23/2018  3:32 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Ben to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
They say that towards Christmas, people run out of money and prices go down on eBay - that certainly seems to ring true as I've won 3 lots of coins over the last few days totalling 107 coins, mostly uncleaned. I'll post some of the better ones when they arrive.

For now, I'd like to get some opinions on this interesting piece while I wait for it to arrive. The pictures in the listing aren't terrific, but they are sufficient to see that this coin is a portrait denarius of the triumvir Marc Antony (I've cropped the best pictures of either side) that has been defaced by repeated chisel blows to the obverse.

Marc Antony was triumvir with Octavian and Lepidus for a period following Caesar's assassination, but eventually civil war broke out again (as was the fashion in Republican Rome), with Octavian eventually winning and declaring himself the first roman emperor. Octavian issued a darn atio memoriae against Marc Antony, but the evidence suggests that his memory was 'rehabilitated' later in the century. Defacing coinage is a time intensive way to erase someone (it is faster to simply melt down the offending coins), but some issues were deliberately defaced.

Fourees were also cancelled in this manner when discovered.

What are peoples opinions; damage, vandalism or damnatio?

RSC 12, Syd 1168, Cr496/1.
42 BC, Travelling Greek mint, probably Athens.
M ANTONI IMP, bare head right / III VIR R P C, facing head of Sol in a temple of two columns.

A little about the coin: it was issued in 42BC, around the same time that Marc Antony and Octavian defeated the Conspirators at the battles of Philippi. Marc Antony then overwintered in Athens, where it is suggested this coin was minted. The coin shows a bust of Antony on one side, with the inscription now giving him the title of Imperator (at this point, a military title). The reverse shows the head of Sol, facing, within a distyle temple, surrounded by III VIR R P C (tresviri rei publicae constituendae; the 3 men of the republic).
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