Mark Antony, 44-30 BC. Denarius (Silver, 21 mm, 3.78 g, 4 h), Antiochia on the Orontes or a military mint travelling with Canidius Crassus in Armenia, 37. ANTONIVS•AVGVR•COS•DES•ITER•ET•TERT Bare head of Mark Antony to right. Rev. IMP• - TERTIO - •III• - VIR•R•P•C Seven-pointed Armenian tiara to right, decorated with three stars; behind, crossed bow and arrow. Babelon 94. Crawford 539/1. RBW 1828. Sydenham 1205. A beautifully toned, very well centered and unusually well preserved example of this intriguing issue. Light deposits and a few minor marks, otherwise, good very fine.
From the Mike Gasvoda Collection, Numismatica Ars Classica 86, 8 October 2015, 36, ex UBS 78, 9 September 2008, 1204 and reportedly from the collection of E. Herzfelder.
This beautiful issue with an exceptionally detailed Armenian tiara commemorates Canidius Crassus' Armenian campaign in 37 BC, during which he defeated the King Artavasdes II (56-34 BC) in an attempt to secure the Roman flank prior to Antony's planned invasion of Parthia. The Armenians were successfully subdued, and Artavasdes swore allegiance to his new overlords, but when Mark Antony moved against the Parthian Empire in 36 BC, the Armenian king failed to adequately protect the triumvir's baggage train, and Mark Antony eventually blamed him for the disastrous failure of his campaign. Two years later, the Romans invaded Armenia and disposed Artavasdes II, who was then held captive in Egypt for some years before being executed at the order of Mark Antony right after the Battle of Actium.