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Marc Antony Silver Denarius NGC CHAU 5x3

The “legionary denarii” of Marc Antony are among the most recognizable and collectible of all ancient coins. While many thousand survive, seldom are they encountered in such a high state of preservation along with great eye appeal like this particular example. They are of great historical importance and have an iconic design that is familiar even to those who know little about ancient coins.

This particular example is the finest we have handled.  It possesses complete originality, a bold and centered strike, and a lovely gunmetal blue toning that separates this coin from the rest.  Highly recommended and a very important coin from an historic standpoint.

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After Julius Caesar was murdered in 44 B.C., his two leading supporters, Marc Antony and Octavian (Augustus), clashed. When neither made headway, they became unwilling allies. By 32 B.C., however, they had tired of their fair-weather alliance and were sworn enemies. Antony had assumed command in the east of the Mediterranean, and Octavian in the west. Their final battlefield was at the port city of Actium, on the western coast of Greece.

In the years prior to the battle, Antony had joined forces with Cleopatra VII, the Greek queen of Egypt, who considered that alliance the best option for saving her kingdom. Meanwhile, Octavian had long maintained a partnership with Marcus Agrippa, one of Rome’s most gifted generals, whose tactical skills and loyalty allowed Octavian to triumph against all odds.

The Battle of Actium occurred on Sept. 2, 31 B.C., and involved both naval and land forces. Once it became clear that Octavian and Agrippa would triumph on that day, Antony and Cleopatra broke through the naval blockade with a portion of their fleets. Cleopatra returned directly to Egypt, whereas Antony tried (and failed) to raise more troops before joining her.

Before Octavian came to Egypt in pursuit, Antony committed suicide. Cleopatra did the same, but not before she met with Octavian and determined that he was unwilling to negotiate.

With Cleopatra’s death, Egypt fell into Roman hands, bringing to an end three centuries of Greek rule in Egypt.

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