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Sicily, Ca. 40 BC
Sextus Pompey Ar. denarius, Sicily. MAG PIVS IMP ITER; bare head of Pompey the Great right between lituus and capis. Rev. Neptune left, foot on prow, between brothers Anapias and Amphinomus, parents on their shoulders, PR’F above, in ex CLAS ET OR’ / MARIT EX SC. Pompeia 27; Cr511/3a; Syd 1344.

Issued by the younger son of Pompey the Great, this coin features on the obverse the posthumous portrait of the brilliant Roman general, presumably as a source of political legitimacy. Pompey was killed in 48 BC, and following this Sextus Pompey would slip through the hands of Julius Caesar to Africa and then to Spain. Defeated in the Civil War, Sextus subsequently took control of Sicily and the surrounding waters (App. B.Civ 5.).

He became an effective maritime leader, which may explain the choice of Neptune on the reverse of this issue. Indeed by 40 BC, Sextus had consolidated control over Sicily and Sardinia and even began to refer to himself as the son of Neptune. The presence on the reverse of Anapias and Amphinomus carrying their parents constitutes a symbol of pietas, presumably chosen underscore Sextus’ own devotion to his family.

For additional information see: Evans, J. D., 1987, “The Sicilian Coinage of Sextus Pompeius (Crawford 511).” Museum Notes (American Numismatic Society), 32, 97–157.


  • Dimensions 

    D: 19mm ; 3.7g


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