About this artwork
The front (obverse) of this coin portrays the head of Pompey the Great, facing right. Priestly instruments, a praefericulum (tall vase with handle) and lituus (staff), appear to left and right. On the back (reverse), Anapius and Amphinomus carry their parents; between them, Neptune stands with his foot on a ship prow.
Coins were an efficient form of publicity, particularly when new rulers needed to legitimize their succession or strengthen their reputation. After Pompey’s defeat by Julius Caesar, his sons tried to revitalize their father’s reputation and thereby enhance their own stature by issuing coins with Pompey’s portrait, such as this one.
Currently Off View
- Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium
- Ancient Roman
- Denarius (Coin) Portraying Pompey the Great
- 42 BCE–40 BCE
- Obverse: MAG PIVS IMP [ITER] Reverse: PRÆF (above) CLAS ET ORÆ / MARIT EX S C
- Diam. 2 cm; 3.95 g
- Gift of Martin A. Ryerson