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Gaius Antonius – Brother

Gaius Antonius

Silver Denarius

Brother of Marc Antony
Murdered 43 BC by Brutus

Gaius Antonius was the brother of Marc Antony and Lucius Antonius. Gaius was also a devoted follower of Julius Caesar like his two brothers. Marc Antony gave Gaius the government of Macedonia to administer following the death of Julius Caesar. He unsuccessfully defended Curicta, an island in the Adriatic Sea, in 49 BC. In 44 BC, Gaius came under siege by Brutus in Apollonia during the second Civil War. He was captured in 43 BC by Brutus who had him executed, some say in revenge for the execution of Cicero.

Monetary System

Mints: Military mint


AR Denarius


Octavia – 2nd Wife


Sister of Octavian

Second wife of Mark Antony
died 11 BC

Octavia was the sister of Octavian ( Augustus) born the daughter of Gaius Octavius and Atia, daughter of Caesar’s sister, Julia. At a rather young age, Octavia was married to the Consul Gaius Marcellus in 50 BC. Octavia bore three children in this marriage – two daughters and a son named Marcellus, who was eventually married to Octavian’s daughter Julia.

Julius Caesar considered having Octavia divorce and remarry Pompey the Great, but eventually that political marriage took place with Caesar’s daughter Julia. Octavia’s husband died sometime around 40 BC.

Octavia was once again considered for a political marriage, but this time by her brother Octavian (Augustus) to his partner in the Second Triumvirate – Marc Antony. Octavia became the second wife of Mark Antony in 40 BC following the death of Julius Caesar. Her marriage to Mark Antony was purely based upon politics. Octavia bore Marc Antony two daughters, the two Antonias. The younger Antonia married Nero Claudius Drusus, brother of Tiberius and give birth to the future Emperor Claudius. The elder Antonia, although overshadowed by her younger sister, married to L. Domitius Ahenobarbus which resulted in the birth of C. Domitius Ahenobarbus who in turn was the father of the future Emperor Nero.

Of course the story of Mark Antony falling madly in love with Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt, was obviously the break of this political bond. Octavia was eventually repudiated by Mark Antony in 32 BC. Nonetheless, Octavia, remained greatly respected and loved by the people of Rome, who felt that she had been wronged by Antony’s affair with Cleopatra. Following Antony’s defeat and eventual death, Octavia did remain loyal to his memory. She also continued to care for all of his children including those from his previous wife Fulvia and of Cleopatra. Octavia lived as a Roman matron. She was very much aggrieved by the premature death of her son Marcellus in 23 BC. Eventually, Octavia died in 11 BC.

Monetary System

Cistophorus of Mark Antony & Octavia

Mints: Rome


AU Aureus – with Mark Antony (6.54 grams)
AR Cistophorus – with Mark Antony
Æ Sesterius – with Mark Antony
Æ Tripondius
Æ Dupondius
Æ As


Marcus Antonius Jr – Son

Marcus Antonius Jr

son of Marc Antony
executed by Octavian circa 30 BC

Mark Antony Junior was the son of Mark Antony and Fulvia, his first wife. Little is known about this once potential heir of Rome, but that he was executed at Alexandria after his father’s death by the orders of Octavian. The unpopularity of his mother Fulvia, no doubt left little good will toward the young man despite the fact that Octavian had at one time been married to his half-sister, Claudia.

Monetary System

Mints: Alexandria

Obverse Legends:



AU Aureus with his father (6.54 grams)

Fulvia – 1st Wife


wife of Marc Antony

Fulvia was the wife of Marc Antony who became one of the most hated figures of the late Republic. She was the daughter of Marcus Fulvius Bambalio and was first married to Scribonius Curio. She was later divorced and remarried to Clodius Pulcher who was murdered in 52 BC. It was at this point in time when Fulvia first made her appearance in the public arena following Clodius’ death. Her husband was the infamous demagogue of the time who was killed in a fracas with his bitter enemy Milo. Fulvia displayed his body to the crowds who congregated outside their house on the Palatine, and gave evidence against Milo in the subsequent trial. Cicero defended Milo unsuccessfully raising the traditional mysterious third party who no one could identify. Cicero argued that Fulvia never let Clodius out of her sight, except apparently on the key occasion of the fracas. Her behaviour could, of course, be evidence of nothing more sinister than close affection or at worst a very dominant wife. But this incident revealed her strong personality to attack on behalf of loyalty, which earned her the continued dislike at that time on the part of Cicero.

Marc Antony became Fulvia’s third husband most likely sometime following the death of Clodius yet prior to 45 BC. Cicero hinted that Fulvia had perhaps begun an affair with Antony while still married to Clodius. However, we must keep in mind that Cicero was not above prejudice when it came to Fulvia. Indeed, Antony perhaps did not realize what he had bargained for in this arrangement. As events would later prove, he could find no one who could be more of a fanatical supporter than Fulvia. She also bore him a son, Marc Antony Junior who was later executed by Octavian at Alexandria following the deaths of Antony and Cleopatra.

In 44 BC, Cicero tells us that Fulvia was present when Antony executed a number of centurions, when the legions refused to obey his commands at Brundisium. During the brutal and savage incident, we are told that Fulvia was present and that her face was spattered with blood. Antony apparently invited the centurions to his house and Fulvia’s presence there should not be considered as unusual. Nonetheless, Cicero attempts to lay part of the blame on Fulvia clearly showing his bias in the matter.

There was certainly no love lost between Fulvia and Cicero. As tradition holds, when Cicero was put to death and his head delivered to Antony, Fulvia allegedly spat on it, pulled out the tongue and stuck hairpins in it, amidst much celebration. Even with the death of Cicero, Fulvia still had her enemies and among them was none other than Octavian himself, despite the fact that Octavian had at one time been married to Claudia, Fulvia’s daughter with Clodius.

In 43 BC, the Triumvirs agreed that there were to be widespread proscriptions and seizure of property. While Antony was away, Fulvia acted as his agent in Rome. Another story emerges about Fulvia at this period in time about her abuse of the political process to acquire property. Fulvia is said to have coveted a fine house belonging to Caesetius Rufus. When Rufus at first refused to sell his property, he is said to have offered it as a gift to Fulvia when the proscriptions began. This change of heart apparently did him no good whatsoever since he was proscribed in any case and his head supposedly passed on to Fulvia to be impaled by her on a pole, at least according to Dio.

Following the victory at Philippi in 42 BC, Antony departed for the East and Octavian in 41 BC began confiscating land from a number of Italian cities in order to found colonies for military veterans. Octavian’s policies in this matter were met by the stiff resistance of Lucius, brother of Antony and guardian of his interests. Lucius then recruited the aid of Fulvia and she promptly appeared with Antony’s children before his old soldiers and urged them to remember their loyalty to their commander. Lucius also took up the cause of dispossessed Italians. In the autumn of 41 BC, Lucius gathered his troops at Praeneste planning to launch an attack on Rome itself. Fulvia appears to have joined him there, and, according to the tradition, girded a sword, issued the watchword, harangued the troops and held councils of war with senators and knights. This type of behaviour certainly stirred up intense disapproval among the writers of the late Republic. The very presumption of a woman in Roman culture who would seek to command the loyalty of the troops was simply not politically correct. There is little doubt that writers such as Florus described Fulvia as having a lot of gaul or girt to brandish her husband’s sword. Dio tells us that Octavian took great offense at her military posturing. The poet Martial accused Fulvia of engaging in battle out of pure sexual frustration challenging Octavian with ‘aut futue aut pugnemus’ (‘either screw me or let’s fight’).

Octavian appears to have chosen the battlefield rather than in the bed when it came to Fulvia; and later Cleopatra for that matter. Octavian moved to confront the military threat and forced the surrender of Lucius’ forces at Perusia. In the aftermath, Fulvia fled with her children to join Antony and his mother in Athens.

Antony was less than thankful for her support against Octavian. Antony blamed Fulvia for the failures in Italy and demanded to know what she had done. The one thing Antony did not want at this time was for Fulvia to begin a conflict between himself and Octavian. Fulvia became ill and she at last retired to Sicyon on the Gulf of Corinth, where she died in mid 40 BC, apparently heartbroken over Antony’s lack of support for her and obvious ingratitude for her unending loyalty toward him, not to mention his infidelities. Antony is said to have departed for Italy without ever visiting her sickbed. Within the year Antony would marry Octavian’s sister.

While contemporary historians certainly disliked Fulvia, one cannot help to note that she was a woman of strong convictions and unquestionable loyalty. She defended her second husband Clodius even in death and defended the interests of Antony despite his lack of loyalty to her.

Monetary System

Fulvia was the first living Roman woman to have her portrait placed on coinage.

Mints: Rome, Eumenia

Obverse Legends:


AU Aureus (Fulvia as Victory)
AR Quinarius ¼ (1.90grms)
Æ21 Eumenia (4.77 grms)

Marc Antony – 42 BC

Marc Antony

Born 83 – Died 30 BC, age 53

Imperator, 46 – 30 BC

Marcus Antonius was born in 83 BC, the son of Antonius Creticus and Julia, who was related to Julius Caesar. His father was a rather unsuccessful admiral who died early during his childhood. His mother remarried to P. Cornelius Lentulus who raised him for most of his childhood. In 63 BC, Lentulus was strangled on the orders of Cicero for his involvement in the Catiline Affair. This would prove to be an event in Antony’s life that he would never forget and which Cicero would ultimately pay for with his own life at the hands of Antony.

At sometime around 58 BC, Marc Anthony traveled to Syria and at the age of 22, he became a cavalry commander who served with distinction in Judaea and Egypt under Aulus Gabinius in 57 – 54BC. Antony was later assigned to Caesar in Gaul where he became a staff member. His service to Caesar proved useful and in 52 BC he was given the title Tribune of the People. Thus, Antony became a Quaestor with a reputation of being very vocal on behalf of Caesar’s interests while serving out his duty in Rome.

It was during this period in Rome where Antony first married Fulvia, the widow of Clodius Pulcher. Fulvia also made the same enemy in Rome before her marriage to Antony – the senator Cicero. Her husband had been murdered by Milo, a friend of Cicero and in fact Cicero defended him at his trial. Nonetheless, Milo was found guilty and Fulvia became a hated enemy of Cicero. Therefore, Antony and Fulvia at least had one thing in common – their dislike of Cicero.

In 49 BC, Marc Antony received the title of Augur (priest and soothsayer). It was during this same year when he vetoed the Senate’s attempt to strip Caesar of his command. Antony was forced to flee Rome and return to Gaul, but as things calmed down he returned to Rome to watch over Caesar’s interests. He was so vigorous in his support of Caesar at the outbreak of the hostilities between Caesar and Pompey, that he was expelled from the Senate chambers. Antony fled Rome once again and joined Caesar before he would face Pompey in battle.

Antony commanded the left wing of Caesar’s Legions at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC where Pompey was soundly defeated. Following the end of hostilities, Antony became Caesar’s right-hand man in Rome and was given the title, co-consul in 44 BC.

The debt crisis that raged during this period cast Caesar as the man of the people against the corrupt Senate of Rome. Antony himself was convinced that upon total victory, Caesar would simply nullify all outstanding debt. His conviction in this matter was so strong, that Antony purchased the estate of Pompey assuming that the debt would be wiped out by Caesar and he would have the assets at little or no cost.

Caesar did not nullify all debts, but did order state valuers thereby forcing the moneylenders, many of whom were senators, to accept the return of assets against which they had once lent money. He also applied all interest payments to principle thus indeed creating one of the most unique solutions to a debt crisis in history.

When Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March, 44 BC, Antony immediately took possession of Caesar’s papers and residence, including whatever assets he had held. He gave his famous oration at Caesar’s funeral in the forum and was instrumental in turning the people against the corrupt Senators led by the assassin Brutus. However, Antony’s actions were not altogether as noble as those of Caesar. For when Caesar’s true heir (Octavian) arrived in Rome, Antony refused to cooperate and acted quite indignant.

Octavian found himself in a difficult position when he arrived in Rome. With Antony’s lack of cooperation and refusal to relinquish Caesar’s assets, Cicero sought to exploit matters between the two greatest threats to the corrupt Senate. Octavian was given the rank of a senator and the Senate backed Octavian against Antony. While initially, Antony was successful in capturing Cisalpine Gaul, he suffered a humiliating defeat in April 43 BC at Forum Gallorum and especially at Mutina, against the young unproven Octavian. Antony was forced to retreat into Galla Narbonensis where he was joined by Plancus, Asinius Pollio and Lepdius.

Second Triumvirate

Octavian came to realize that his true enemy was the Senate and that they were succeeding once again in pitting one supporter against another, as was the case between Pompey and Caesar. Octavian wisely approached Antony in an effort to reach a truce and to combine forces.

During November 43 BC, Antony joined forces with Octavian and Lepidus in what became known as the Second Triumvirate. On November 27th, 43 BC, Cicero gave a particularly vicious and biting attack against Antony that Cicero’s name appeared at the top of a list of men who they condemned to death for constant support of the corrupt system of government that had developed.

The assassins tried to mask their real intentions by calling themselves Republicans. While there were some that perhaps honestly still believed in Republican ideals who had not taken part directly in Caesar’s assassination, most had turned the Senate of Rome into an old boy’s club dividing the spoils of the Empire among them, rigging elections and even going as far as to alter the calendar just to extend their term of office. Both Brutus and Cassius, the leaders of the so-called Republicans, were deeply involved in the corruption and had gathered immense wealth due to monopolies in trade won purely by appointments by the Senate. Thus, the conflict that emerged was indeed far more than Caesar trying to become Dictator. It was the collapse of Democracy by its own hand that allowed corruption of the Senate to escalate to such an extent that free elections had become a thing of the past.

The new combined forces of the Triumvirate marched against the corrupt forces of the Senate. In 42 BC, the two opposing armies met at Philippi in Thessaly where the Triumvirate won a brilliant victory led primarily by Antony, (Octavian was ill at the time) in two separate battles. The two assassins who were the leaders of the corrupt Senate, Brutus and Cassius, committed suicide. Some of those who survived the battle, like the son of Cicero and Murcus, fled to Sicily where they joined Sextus Pompey. Cicero, on the other hand, attempted to flee but was hunted down by Antony’s soldiers, captured and executed. His head and hands were chopped off and sent back to Rome where his head was at first given to Fulvia as a gift for what she had suffered at his instigation. Cicero’s hands were nailed to the Rostra in the Forum.

Tetradrachm Mark Antony with Cleopatra

After the Battle of Philippi, Octavian returned to Rome, while Antony remained in Tarsus in Asia Minor where he planned to carry out Caesar’s original intention to invade Parthia. In 41 BC, while still in Tarsus, Antony summoned Cleopatra VII, now Queen of Egypt, and former lover of Caesar, to answer reports that she had aided his enemies. Cleopatra used her legendary charms on Antony and managed to successfully exonerate herself. The two of them then travelled to Alexandria, Egypt, where history informs us of the complete attraction each had for the other. Antony’s fellow officers said he was under her “spell,” and he spent most of his time during the winter of 41 – 40 BC in Cleopatra’s court.

Tensions between Octavian and Antony began to resurface. Matters were not helped by Antony’s wife Fulvia and his brother Lucius back in Italy. The two had openly engaged in conflict against Octavian in what became known as the Perusine War. They were easily defeated by Octavian and Fulvia fled to Athens. Antony had been unaware that tensions between his wife and Octavian actually came to war. Upon learning of what happened, Antony quickly traveled to Athens to confront his wife. Fulvia became ill and died shortly thereafter and Antony never visited her even when he heard that she was close to death. Nonetheless, the death of Fulvia ended the hostilities and Octavian and Antony once again made peace at a meeting in 40 BC. At Brundisium, Octavian gave his sister Octavia to Anthony in marriage receiving in return Antony’s province of Cisalpine Gaul.

The Triumvirate was renewed for an additional five years in 37 BC and Antony launched his Parthian campaign the following year. Antony’s dream of a Parthian conquest proved to be far from successful. While he managed to turn back the Parthian King Phraates IV at Phraaspa, he was ultimately forced to retreat due to the heat and cunning skills of the legendary Parthian calvary.

Lepidus, a successful general in his own right, tired of handling administrative matters in Rome and as Governor in Africa. Consequently, Lepidus made an ill-fated attempt to acquire Sicily for himself in 36 BC. As a result, he was deprived of all his powers and administrative offices except that of Pontifex Maximus, which he held until his death in exile in 13 BC. This reduced the Triumvirate effectively to two partners, in an association that became increasingly strained. Antony controlled the military power of the East, and Octavian held the West.

Antony began to dream of a new great Eastern Empire and no doubt the ambitious Cleopatra helped in that direction. Tensions between Octavian and Antony once again started to emerge. Antony infuriated Octavian, as well as his own supporters, by his notorious infidelity toward Octavia. He even had several children with Cleopatra. Egypt had become his ally and Cleopatra had the wealth to entice her new lover.

The final split between Antony and Octavian came 33 BC followed by Antony’s divorce of Octavia. Antony had granted “gifts” of kingdoms and provinces which should have been Roman to his new Queen, Cleopatra. Octavian knew that the people still loved their Antony and he needed to somehow win universal support. Octavian read Antony’s will which left large gifts to his illegitimate children by Cleopatra. The Senate ultimately was obliged to declare war against Cleopatra, not Antony, but stripped Antony of all power.

Legionary Coinage of Antony

Octavian was given a fleet of ships, and he advanced towards Egypt. Antony met Octavian’s fleet outside the Gulf of Actium on the western coast of Greece on September 2nd, 31 BC. Antony had heavier ships equipped with better artillery, while Octavian’s ships were lighter and able to maneuver quickly. Octavian also had Marcus Agrippa, his old schoolmate, the naval genius who had previously defeated Sextus Pompey’s fleet. As the ships jockeyed for position and advantage, Cleopatra’s fleet arrived to assist Antony. Octavian’s fleet out maneuvered Antony and the Egyptians, and in the middle of the battle the tide was turning against them. Cleopatra, sensing defeat, fled the battle early and Antony abandoned his own troops and followed her to Alexandria with a fleet of sixty of Cleopatra’s smaller, faster ships.

Octavian then pressed onward to Alexandria finally arriving after almost a year’s slow journey. Cleopatra tried once again to use her charms on Octavian, but they had no effect. Cleopatra could not charm nor negotiate her way out of this situation. Antony fell upon his sword and after learning of Antony’s demise, Cleopatra took her own life with a poisonous snake (asp) in August of 30 BC. Octavian took Alexandria and executed Marc Antony Junior, his son by Fulvia, who was also there in Alexandria with his father. Caesarian, Cleopatra’s son she claimed was Caesar’s, was also executed by Octavian. However, at least some of Antony’s children with Cleopatra were spared for political purposes. Their daughter, also named Cleopatra, was married to Juba II, King of Mauretania. Antony’s children with Octavia did become heirs to Octavian in the future Emperors Caligula, Claudius and Nero who were all descendants of Antony’s daughter with Octavia, Antonia.

With Lepidus reduced to obscurity in exile (although he was never a real threat to Octavian), Antony and Cleopatra dead, their personal treasure and the considerable wealth of Egypt captured, the Pompeian party mostly dead or in disarray, and the corruption eliminated from the Senate, Octavian became the de facto master of the Greco-Roman-Egyptian World.

Monetary System

Mints: Rome, Gallia Transalpina, Gallia Cisalpina, traveling mint

Obverse Legends:



AU Aureus (8 grams)
AR Denarius (3.94 grams)
AR Legionary Denarius (struck to pay for Actium)
AR Quinarius (1.78 grams)
Æ As

With Caesar

AR Denarius (3.94 grams)

With Lucius Antonius

AU Aureus (8 grams)
AR Denarius (3.94 grams)

With Octavian

AU Aureus (8 grams)
AR Denarius (3.94 grams)
AR Quinarius (1.78 grams)

With Lepidus

AU Aureus (8 grams)
AR Denarius (3.94 grams)
AR Quinarius (1.78 grams)

With Octavia

AU Aureus (8 grams)
AR Cistoporus
Æ Sesterius
Æ As

With Cleopatra

AR Tetradrachm (14.12 grams)
AR Denarius (3.94 grams)
Æ As

Ahenobarbus – 31 BC

Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus

Died Circa 30 BC

Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (17BC-40AD) was the son of L. Domitius Ahenobarbus who had been consul in 54 BC and the biological father to the Emperor Nero. Gnaeus had been a supporter of Pompey who fought at Pharsalus and was subsequently pardoned by Caesar. He then sided with the so-called republicans after Caesar’s assassination serving among the supporters of Brutus. In return for his loyalty, Brutus appointed Ahenobarbus commander of a fleet in the lonian Sea. He subsequently won a great naval victory over Cn. Domitius Calvinus on the first day of the battle of Philippi, thus preventing the Caesarian troops from departing the harbor at Brundisium. For this achievement, Ahenobarbus was saluted imperator.

Ahenobarbus appears to have turned to piracy as an occupation. Yet he was skillful at switching sides in politics when it suited him. Eventually, Ahenobarbus was reconciled in 40 BC with Marc Antony, who made him governor of Bithynia. Ahenobarbus then managed to become consul in 32 BC and fled in support of Antony when conflict began to erupt with Octavian. Amazingly, Ahenobarbus deserted Antony switching back to Octavian claiming his disapproval of Antony’s alliance with Cleopatra. Ahenobarbus eventually died before the battle of Actium.


The aurei and denarii struck by Gn. Domitius Ahenobarbus was of only one commission on his own authority. Inasmuch as the types appear to be personal, the issue is presumed to belong to the period between the battle of Philippi and the reconciliation with Antony, when he was raiding the shores of lonia as a freelance pirate. The portrait on the obverse has been read by some as a depiction of the imperator himself, but a very different portrait appears on denarii of the same issue, suggesting that both portraits, or at least one, may depict some ancestor who cannot now be precisely identified. It has been suggested that the portrait on the aureus is that of Gn. Domitius Ahenobarbus, consul of 192 and legate to L. Scipio in the war against Antiochus the Great two years later. This same Cn. Domitius may be the one who erected the temple of Neptune commemorated on the reverse of the aureus; it stood in the circus of Plaminius and contained an important sculptural group by Scopas according to Pliny (Hist. Nat., XXXVI, 26). The legend suggests that the Domitius Ahenobarbus may have repaired or refurbished the temple in gratitude for his victory overDomitius Calvinus at Brundisium, which is symbolized by the denarius reverse of the same issue. However, it is difficult to imagine how this could have been accomplished with Roman finances in the hands of Octavian at that time.

Nevertheless, strangely, Ahenobarbus  was a close relative of the five Roman Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Ahenobarbus was the only son of Antonia Major (niece of the emperor Augustus and daughter of Augustus’ sister Octavia Minor who was married to triumvir Mark Antony) and Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 16 BC). His only siblings were Domitia Lepida the Elder and Domitia Lepida the Younger, mother of the Empress Valeria Messalina (third wife of the Emperor Claudius). He was a great-nephew of the Emperor Augustus, brother-in-law and second cousin of the Emperor Caligula; maternal cousin of the Emperor Claudius and the biological father to theEmperor Nero

Monetary System

Mints: military traveling mint

Obverse Legends



AU Aureus (6.54 grams)
AR Denarius


Cassius – 42BC

Gaius Cassius Longinus

Imperator, 44 – 42 BC
Assassin of Caesar
died 42 BC

Gaius CASSIUS Longinus was appointed Quaestor in 53 BC. Little is known of his early life. Much of what has come down related to the period of the Civil War. Cassius had served in the military under Marcus Crassus – a member of the 1st Triumvirate. At the battle of Carrhae against the Parthians, he stood by and watched the annihilation of the famous Crassus. It is at that point in his career that power seemed to come his way. In the aftermath of the battle, Cassius assumed control of the meager remnants of the legions, returning in 52 BC to eventually defeat the Parthians. Cassius had formed a power base in Syria that allowed him to extort money from anyone who wished to trade in the area. As such, this position enabled him to increase his wealth significantly.

Cassius was appointed Tribune in 49 BC. Despite serving under Crassus, a member of the 1st Triumvirate with Caesar, Cassius sided with Pompey and the corrupt Senate of Rome against Caesar. Despite the fact that Cassius was then later pardoned by the naive Caesar and made a Legate in 48 BC, Cassius remained a greedy man intent upon following his own self-interest – the pursuit of wealth.

After Caesar’s pardon in 48 BC, Cassius became politically active in “Republican Causes” and aligned himself with the wealthy corrupt nobles and senators of Rome. In 44 BC, Cassius became aPraetor, and it was proposed that he be given governorship of the Syrian provinces the following year. Earlier, as a supporter of Pompey, Cassius had been an associate of Brutus as well and in fact was married to Brutus’ half sister, Junia Tertulla. This association grew as both men appeared to have the same goal – to be part of the great mercantile monopoly that virtually controlled the Senatorial appointments. As such Cassius was in the middle of senatorial corruption for his personal expansion of wealth.

When Caesar moved to end the corrupt appointment system, Cassius and Brutus conspired with the noblemen to assassinate Caesar in the Senate chamber on the Ides of March (15th), 44 BC. In the aftermath of public outcry, orchestrated by Marc Antony, Cassius was forced to flee Rome. He at first fled to Sicily where he was given a commission to export corn to Italy. In September of that year, he fled to Syria, his old home territory. Cassius retained many associations in Syria where he ousted Dolabella, one of Marc Antony’s Counselors, and assembled an army. In the summer of 42 BC, Cassius joined forces with those of his co-conspirator – Brutus. They planned to confront the combined legions of Antony and Octavian at Philippi. The battle was lost and Cassius, having little alternative, committed suicide by ordering his shield bearer to put him to death as quickly as possible. Cassius never used his portrait on the coinage he issued preferring instead to display the image of Liberty either veiled or bare headed as a means of propaganda.

Another Gaius Cassius Longinus of mid-1st century AD was a descendant of the famed Cassius of the same name. This later Cassius was a lawyer or jurist and served as a governor during the reigns of Caligula and Nero. He served as governor of Syria in 45 AD, or perhaps earlier and authored 10 books on civil and other forms of law. In 58 AD, he criticized Nero for having too many honors and in 65 AD was charged with revering too greatly the memory of his ancestor Cassius. He was eventually banished by Nero to Sardinia. He returned to Rome once again under Vespasian and lived out his days in great popularity. He reportedly went blind at the end of his life.

Monetary System

Mints: Military moving mint

Obverse Legends


AU Aureus (8.18 grams)
AR Denarius (4.16-3.80 grams)

Note: Silver content 96%

Cornuficius – 42 BC

Lucius Cornificius

1st Century BC

Lucius Cornificius was a loyal supporter of Octavian. He participated in prosecuting Brutus for the crime of Caesar‘s assassination. He then joined the forces gathered by Octavian during the the second Civil War. In 36 BC, Cornificius commanded a large force in Sicily and came under siege by the notorious Sextus Pompey. His situation grew increasingly desperate as Sextus Pompey caused his casualties to rise significantly while choking off his supply-line. Marcus Agrippa finally was sent by Octavian to clear the area from the presence of the pirate Sextus Pompey. Agrippa managed to arrive just in time to save Cornificius from what would have been sure defeat.

It was said of Cornificius that forever thereafter, he traveled to dinner on the back of an elephant in commemoration of his good fortune. In 35 BC, Octavian appointed Cornificius to the consulship, during which period he had the satisfaction of witnessing Sextus Pompey’s execution. Cornificius also held a successful proconsulship in Africa.

Monetary System

Mints: Military moving mint


AU Aureus (6.54 grams)
AR Denarius

Brutus – 42 BC

 Marcus Junius Brutus

Imperator, 44 – 42 BC
Born 85 BC – Died 42 BC, age 43

Marcus Junius Brutus, perhaps the most famous assassin known to history, descended from a long line of distinguished Roman Republican ancestors. According to Roman tradition, one of these, Lucius Junius Brutus, the so-called “Founder of the Republic” and Consul in 504 BC, took a leading part in expelling King Thrquinius Superbus, the last of the Etruscan Kings. In 54 BC, as Moneyer of the Rome Mint, Brutus issued silver denani honoring two of his most illustrious ancestors, the previously mentioned Lucius and C. Servilius Ahala, Master of Horse in 439 BC, celebrating the commitment of his family to the freedom of the Republic.

Brutus was the son of Marcus Junius and Servilia. His mother was the half-sister of Cato Uticensis. Despite the fact that his father was killed in 77 BC by Pompey, Brutus sided with Pompey in 48 BC in the war against Caesar. Why Brutus would support the man who killed his father is not entirely known. He was brought up in a strict Republican household no doubt. However, Caesar was also known for his affair with Brutus’ mother, which has raised speculation that Brutus might have been the son of Caesar.

Following the defeat of Pompey at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC, Caesar pardoned Brutus and appointed him to the Governorship of Cisalpine Gaul. Caesar’s kind treatment of Brutus, despite the continuing criticism of Caesar’s dictatorship, continued through the next several years. In 44 BC, Brutus was made praetor and also received the governorship of Macedonia – an extremely profitable position.

In 44 BC, Brutus came under the strong influence of Gaius Cassius, a bitter enemy of Caesar. Brutus then became a leader in the group of irreconcilable nobles in an assassination plot against Julius Caesar. The assassins surrounded Caesar in the Senate chambers on March 15th, 44 BC – the Ides of March. Cassius was first stabbing Caesar in the neck, with Brutus delivering the fatal and final wound. The immediate public outcry, skillfully orchestrated by Marc Antony, forced Brutus and Cassius to flee to Macedonia.

Gold Aureus & Silver Denarius
Bare Head of Brutus – Assassination of Caesar

Rome was entering yet another civil war in the aftermath of the assassination of Julius Caesar. Cassius Dio tells us that Brutus broke with the Republican tradition of banning the portraits of living Roman citizens on his coinage. “And also on the coins, which he caused to be struck, he exhibited a likeness of himself, and a cap and two daggers…” The assassination was now being advertised by Brutus telling the world of his honorable deed.

Gold Aureus with military trophy promising victory

While in Macedonia, Brutus assembled a considerable army simultaneously keeping his lines of communication open to Rome. Although the Senate did not initially approve of Brutus’ occupation in Greece, having granted him another province instead, they eventually legalized his occupation in February 43 BC. In the summer of 42 BC, Brutus was joined by his co-conspirator, Cassius with his Syrian army where they planned to meet the forces of Antony and Octavian (Octavian being ill at the time of battle). In the ensuing two battles at Philippi in Thessaly the legions of Brutus and Cassius proved to be no match for Antony. Rather than be captured, the two co-conspirators each separately committed suicide, Brutus by falling on a friend’s sword. Octavian brought Brutus’ severed head back to Rome and threw it at the foot of Caesar’s statue to show to all in Rome that Caesar’s death had been avenged.

Although many have argued that Brutus’ cause may have been noble, his motives were less so. His actions and association with the noblemen and special interest groups of Rome professed the goal of the restoration of the Republic. In actual fact, Brutus seemed preoccupied with monopolizing commercial advantage and government appointments. It is clear that the plot against Caesar was far from noble and in reality may have been more of an attempt at removing Caesar who was becoming a direct threat to the financial security of the monopolistic noble class that dominated the Roman Senate.

Monetary System

Roman Silver Denarius issued by Brutus

Mints: Military moving mint

Obverse Legends:



AU Aureus (6.54 grams)
AR Denarius (4.61 grams)
AR Quinarius

Note: Silver content average 96%


Crassus – 44BC

Marcus Licinius Crassus

115 – 53 BC
member of 1st Triumvirate

Marcus Licinius Crassus is best remembered by history as the third member of the First Triumvirate along with Caesar and Pompey. Crassus was indeed a leading figure in the final days of the Roman Republic who played a key role in transforming history. Crassus was known as one of the wealthiest men in Rome. His family had long been involved in politics, and his father served as consul in 97 BCbefore entering into conflict with Marius in his struggle with Sulla. This conflict resulted in the father’s death in 87 BC.

The young Marcus Licinius Crassus had been sent off to Spain to insure his safety. Following his father’s death, Crassus immediately returned to Rome and joined the supporters of Sulla. His loyalty to Sulla was rewarded when large amounts of confiscated property fell under his control when Sulla became the dictator of Rome. He continued his accumulation of wealth and rose in political power as a result. His primary source of wealth came from his estates, from the slave trade and from silver mines. Political strength came from his contacts and popularity that had been carefully developed over the years.

Crassus became praetor, earning eventually a proconsular position over several legions. In 72 BC, a slave revolt broke out lead by perhaps the most famous of all slaves in history – Spartacus. Crassus took the field against Spartacus and won a major victory for which Pompey received the credit.

Crassus worked quietly against Pompey regarding his rise to power with great caution. Despite this sense of doubt, Crassus served in theconsulship of 70 BCwith Pompey. They argued and debated almost every issue resulting in their term together virtually useless with nothing much on their list of accomplishments. Crassus did finance a huge festival with 10,000 tables for the citizens during his office, but not much else was worth recording.

In 63 BC it was the Catiline affair which gripped all of Rome in a scandal. Many officials of note fell. Crassus had himself served with Catiline in the censorship and even he too came under suspicion for a time. But Crassus was saved from political disaster by Julius Caesar. It was Caesar who desired to build an alliance against the corruption that had consumed the Senate. With Crassus and Pompey bitterly opposed to one another, Caesar sought a political partnership between the three notable men.

In 60 BC, Crassus agreed to join what would become known as the First Triumvirate with Pompey and Caesar. Each shared all the full benefits of the state. Crassus found his situation basically unchanged. Pompey, who always lacked true intellect, was gradually being influenced by the senate while Caesar was conquering Gaul. In 56 BC, a meeting was held at Luca where their partnership was to be discussed. Crassus, it was decided, would share a consulship again with Pompey, and Caesar would remain in Gaul to finish his conquest. For Crassus, he was still the rich boy who lacked glory compared to Pompey and Caesar. Crassus attempted to establish himself militarily and demanded the territory of Syria. Even though he was 60 years old and deaf in one ear, Crassus put together an army and prepared for the invasion of Parthia. Despite two years of meticulous planning, Crassus’ attempt at military glory proved to be one of the worst disasters ever inflicted upon the Roman army.

In 53 BC, in the middle of the desert of Mesopotamia, near a town called Carrhae, Crassus allowed his troops to be surrounded by the Parthians. The Parthians showered the Roman army with arrows. In the blistering sun, Crassus’ army disappeared. Plutarch reported that a Parthian named Pomaxarthres killed Crassus himself while Dio wrote that Crassus died at the hands of one of his men in order to avoid capture. Nonetheless, the head and right hand of Crassus were sent to King Orodes of Parthia. Reportedly, Orodes poured molten gold into Crassus’ mouth, saying: “Satisfy yourself with the metal for which in life you were so greedy.”

Monetary System