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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > Carausius > Imperatorial (49-27 BCE)
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Crawford 477/1, ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Sextus Pompey, AR Denarius
Rome, The Imperators.
Sextus Pompey, 45-44 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.85g; 18mm; 8h).
Spanish Mint.

Obverse: SEX MAG[N-IMP] SAL; bare head of Pompey the Great, facing right.

Reverse: PIETA[S]; Pietas facing left, holding palm and transverse scepter.

References: Crawford 477/1b; HCRI 232a; Sydenham 1042 (R7); BMCRR Spain 93; Pompeia 18; RBW 1670 (this coin).

Provenance: NAC 120 (6-7 Oct 2020) Lot 626; RBW Collection [NAC 63 (2012) Lot 441]; Munzen und Medaillen FPL 511 (1988), Lot 62.

Likely struck in Spain after Caesar departed following his victory at Munda over the Pompeian forces led by Sextus brother Gnaeus, this was Sextus Pompeys first coinage and was used to assemble forces and ships to resurrect the Pompeian cause. There is uncertainty whether this issue occurred before or after Caesars assassination on the Ides of March in 44 BCE; with Sear suggesting Sextus may have felt more comfortable issuing coins after the assassination. The use of Pompey the Greats head and imagery relating to Sextus pious devotion to his fathers cause were common devices on Sextus coinage until his eventual downfall.

This is one of the rarities of the Imperatorial series, with Schaefers Roman Republican Die Study including only 7 obverse dies (for 2 varieties) and 10 reverse dies. There is a known obverse die link to a coin of Sextus elder brother, Gnaeus, used to strike coins before Munda. This coin is likely the earlier of the two obverse varieties as it omits the name Pius which Sextus later adopted. Many of the issues with the obverse of this coin are die damage including the flatness to the head and the die break before the forehead.

There is dispute as to the meaning of SAL on the obverse. David Sear believes it is part of legend (possibly an abbreviation of salutatus), while Crawford thinks it is a mintmark of Salpensa in Spain.
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Jay GT4  [Dec 10, 2020 at 04:32 AM]
Great rare coin and nice provenance
quadrans  [Dec 10, 2020 at 04:39 AM]
Nice piece 👍
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