Roman Empire, Antonia, +39 AD, AE Dupondius (41-54)
Daughter of Marc Antony and Octavia
Minted unter her son Claudius
Obv.Drap. bust r.
Rev.Claudius standing l. with simpulum
Antonia (* 39 BC, † in the 1st century BC or in the 1st century), called the elder (Latin: maior) to distinguish her younger sister of the same name, was a daughter of Marcus Antonius and Octavia, the sister of Augustus.
Antonia married Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, who held the consulship in 16 BC. Her son Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus married Agrippina the Younger; their son was the Emperor Nero. Antonia and Ahenobarbus' daughter Domitia Lepida married Marcus Valerius Messala Barbatus; their daughter Valeria Messalina married the Emperor Claudius and had two children with him, Claudia Octavia and Britannicus.
When Claudius took over the government of the Roman Empire (41-54), he was hardly known to his subjects. The newly minted emperor therefore fell back on his better-known ancestors to associate himself with them. The obverse of this coin shows his mother Antonia, who was highly respected among the people.
The reverse shows the emperor as a loving son performing the death cult for his mother as a visible sign of piety. As was customary for sacrifices, he has placed a fold of his toga over his head. In his hand he holds the simpulum, a kind of ladle from which he pours liquid in honour of the dead.