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Research Coins: The Coin Shop

 
795158

Nomos AG, 71

795158. Sold For $17500

Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great). 49 BC. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.88 g, 12h). Mint moving with Pompey in Greece. Terentius Varro, proquaestor. VARRO • PRO • Q, diademed herm of Jupiter Terminus right / MAGN • PRO/COS in two lines in exergue, Dolphin downward to right, scepter, and eagle standing left, all on ground line. Crawford 447/1a; CRI 8; Sydenham 1033; Kestner 3534; BMCRR Spain 64; RSC 3. Superb EF, fully lustrous. Struck from fresh dies of highly artistic style.


The symbolism of this coin, struck sometime prior to Pompey’s defeat at Pharsalus in 48 BC, was meant to extol his extraordinary past deeds, which counted for naught in his war against Caesar. The reverse of this coin commemorates Pompey’s naval victory over the Cilician pirates (the dolphin) and that on land against Mithridates VI of Pontus (the eagle). The figure of Jupiter Terminus on the obverse was a personification of the concept of boundaries, and refers to the Senate’s grant of extraordinary proconsular powers to Pompey.