Monday, April 13, 2020

Antony & Cleopatra Coins from the Antioch Mint

As mentioned in another post, Antony and Cleopatra sojourned in Antioch in 36-35 b.c.e.. Remarkably the literary evidence is poorer from the numismatic traces. 

The Antioch mint produced two rulers’ “portrait” type coins (Walker 2003). Antony and Cleopatra appear individually on coins from this region, but also appear together. 

On silver tetradrachms, minted between 37–32 bce, Cleopatra appears on the obverse with the legend “Queen Cleopatra Thea II.” The term thea, Greek for goddess, is also a reference to one of Cleopatra’s ancestors – Cleopatra Thea. Antony appears on the reverse with the legend “Antony, Imperator for third time and Triumvir.” 

Cleopatra appears in the form of a bust, wearing an elaborate dress and necklace, and Antony is shown only to the base of his neck. Both rulers appeared on coins from Antioch independently of one another (Walker and Higgs 2001: 234, nos. 218–22).


Ashton, Sally-Ann. Cleopatra and Egypt 
p. cm. – (Blackwell ancient lives)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4051-1390-8 (pbk. : alk. paper)

Walker, S., and Higgs, P., eds. 2001. Cleopatra of Egypt. From history to myth. London: British Museum Press.

Walker, S., “From queen of Egypt to Queen of Kings: the portraits of Cleopatra VII” in Bonacasa et al. eds., 508–17.

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