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Triton XXIV

Lot nuber 951

Q. Pomponius Musa. 56 BC. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.91 g, 5h). Rome mint.

Triton XXIV
Lot: 951.
 Estimated: $ 1 500

Roman Republican, Coin-in-Hand Video, Silver

Sold For $ 2 250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

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Q. Pomponius Musa. 56 BC. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.91 g, 5h). Rome mint. Diademed head of Apollo right, wearing hair in ringlets; Q • POMPONI downward to left, MVSA upward to right / Hercules Musagetes, Conductor of the Muses, standing right, wearing lion skin on shoulders, playing lyre; club to right; HERCVLES downward to right, MVSARVM downward to left. Crawford 410/1; Sydenham 810; Pomponia 8; BMCRR Rome 3602-4; RBW –. Attractively toned, off center, scratches, flaw/chip at obverse edge. EF.

From the Lampasas Collection. Ex Classical Numismatic Group 111 (29 May 2019), lot 619; August Voirol Collection (Münzen und Medaillen AG 38, 6 December 1968), lot 182; Münzhandlung Basel VI (18 March 1936), lot 1437.

Although the moneyer Q. Pomponius Musa is unknown to history, his choice of Hercules Musagetes and the nine Muses as coin types is remarkable and clearly connected to his cognomen.

The reverses of this series – Hercules playing the lyre and the Muses, can be none other than the celebrated statue group by an unknown Greek artist, taken from Ambracia and placed in the Aedes Herculis Musarum, which was erected by M. Fulvius Nobilior in 187 BC after the capture of Ambracia in 189 BC (Plin. NH xxxv.66; Ov. Fast. vi.812). By the second century BC, Rome had overrun most of Greece and was captivated by Hellenic art and culture, not the least of which was its sculpture. Fulvius is said to have taken the statues to Rome because he learned in Greece that Hercules was a musagetes (leader of the Muses). Remains of this temple have been found in the area of the Circus Flaminius close to the southwest part of the circus itself, and northwest of the porticus Octaviae. An inscription found nearby, ‘M. Fulvius M. f. Ser. n. Nobilior cos. Ambracia cepit’ may have been on the pedestal of one of the statues. The official name of the temple was Herculis Musarum Aedes, which Servius and Plutarch called Herculis et Musarum Aedes.

The final winners of all Triton XXIV lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 19-20 January 2021. This lot is in Session Three, which begins 20 January 2021 at 9 AM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and 22.50% for all others.

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