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Denarius (Coin) Portraying Pompey the Great

A work made of silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silver.

Date:

42-40 BCE, issued by Roman Republic, Sextus Pompeius Magnus

Artist:

Roman, minted in Sicily

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.

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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Culture

Ancient Roman

Title

Denarius (Coin) Portraying Pompey the Great

Origin

Sicilia

Date

42 BCE–40 BCE

Medium

Silver

Inscriptions

Obverse: MAG PIVS IMP [ITER] Reverse: PRÆF (above) CLAS ET ORÆ / MARIT EX S C

Dimensions

Diam. 2 cm; 3.95 g

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

Reference Number

1922.4851

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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