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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
640880
Sale: CNG 64, Lot: 880. Estimate $750. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2003. 
Sold For $960. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SEXTUS POMPEY, son of Pompey the Great. 38-37 BC. AR Denarius (3.70 gm). Sicilian mint. Galley adorned with aquila, sceptre, and trident before the Pharos of Messana, decorated with a statue of Neptune / The monster Scylla, her torso of dogs and fishes, wielding a rudder as a club. Crawford 511/4a; CRI 335; Sydenham 1348; RSC 2. Toned VF, crude strike. ($750)

From the Tony Hardy Collection.

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 the references (42-40 BC) are wrong; the disaster at Messana occurred circa 38 BC.