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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
591847
Sale: Triton V, Lot: 1847. Estimate $1500. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 16 January 2002. 
Sold For $2400. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SEXTUS POMPEY. 38-37 BC. AR Denarius (3.50 gm). MAG PIVS IMP ITER, galley adorned with aquila, sceptre and trident before the Pharos of Messana, decorated with a statue of Neptune / PRÆF CLAS ET ORÆ MARIT EX S C, the monster Scylla, her torso of dogs and fishes, wielding a rudder as a club. Crawford 511/4a; Sear, CRI 335; Sydenham 1348; RSC 2. Toned, choice VF, exceptional flan and centering. ($1500)

It seems beyond doubt that this coin marks Pompey's "victory" over Octavian's fleet, which was mainly accomplished by an unfavorable wind that drove the latter's ships onto the rocks known as Scylleum near the harbor of Messana. Therefore the dates given for this issue in RSC and Crawford (42-40 BC) are wrong; the disaster at Messana occurred circa 38 BC.