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Pompey posthumous portrait at Pompeiopolis


Valentinian
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Pompey the Great conquered much of the East for Rome in the 60s BC. In Cilicia there was a city Soloi/Soli that he renamed (modestly!) Pompeiopolis. Tarsos was the main city of the region and Pompeiopolis was not an important place, but it did mint coins  for five small issues (in AD 30/1, 64/5, 83/4, 86/7, and 86/7 -- the local dates are visible on some examples). Two (the last two, under Domitian) have the distinctive portrait of Pompey:

PompeyAtPompeiopolis2232.jpg.d99c889917a1e9a88606964510b6983c.jpg

23 mm. 8.90 grams.
Struck under Domitian in 83/4
RPC II online 1725 under Domitian.
SNG France 2, 1223-1225 (same dies as 1223).  SNG Levante 878. Supplement 238.
Lewis II --, Hunterian --, SGI --, Lindgren & Kovacs --, Lindgren III --, Weber III --, McClean --, Boston --.

A posthumous portrait on Pompey on a Roman Republican denarius would be expensive. This portrait is good, larger, and less expensive. 

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I am very happy to see you post this @Valentinian - a couple weeks ago I found what looked like a Pompey portrait in an eBay junk lot.  It was!  From Soloi -Pompeiopolis, mine is a different reverse type.  Needless to say, I was pretty thrilled to find a Pompey portrait for a dollar. 

Attributing this was difficult, and I never got all the way with it - the reverse legends are pretty much missing except a prominent ΔI in right field.  The date range for these are all over the place, from Pompey to Domitian.  Your information on the dates for these is interesting - the stuff I was finding online was vague and sometimes contradictory (there are quite a few on acsearch, etc.)

513336679_PompeiopolisCilicia-PompeyNikelotJun2022(0).jpg.c283cf642093990ad287912421fbaf4f.jpg

Pompey the Great (era)    Æ 18 Soloi-Pompeiopolis (c. 50 B.C.-50 A.D.) Bare head of Pompey the Great right / [ΠOMΠHIOΠOΛITΩ?], Nike advancing right, holding wreath; ΔI [ΛΑ ?] in right field. SNG France 1213-1217; SNG Levante 880-882 var. (5.50 grams / 18 mm) eBay June 2022 Lot @ $0.99

Attribution:  Many varieties of this type; most online sources are vague about attribution.  Reverse legends missing, except ΔI in right field.  Other with ΔI have ΛΑ below.  See: Numismatik Naumann Auct. 42; Lot 576; 03.04.2016 / Roma E-Sale 31; Lot 212; Nov. 2016 (asiaminorcoins.com) / Artemide Aste 45E; Lot 242; Dec. 15-16, 2018. 

Here are the others I found with a similar reverse legend: 

30919860_PompeiopolisCilicia-PompeyNikelotJun2022(0comp).jpg.a2f04d6e7db35e9522beb0c143942d14.jpg 

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@Marsyas Mike, congratulations on finding one in a group lot. 

For my attribution I used the volumes of Roman Provincial Coinage that are on-line:

https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/volumes

I selected a volume and searched for obverse design "Pompey". Or, I could select the city Pompeiopolis in Cilicia if I knew that. In the volume for Domitian (volume II) my type is 1725. Your type is in volume 1.  On that site clicking on the images my bring up additional examples of any type. 

 

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1 hour ago, Valentinian said:

@Marsyas Mike, congratulations on finding one in a group lot. 

For my attribution I used the volumes of Roman Provincial Coinage that are on-line:

https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/volumes

I selected a volume and searched for obverse design "Pompey". Or, I could select the city Pompeiopolis in Cilicia if I knew that. In the volume for Domitian (volume II) my type is 1725. Your type is in volume 1.  On that site clicking on the images my bring up additional examples of any type. 

 

Thanks for the search tips, @Valentinian.  I spent some time on the RPC site, but I went in on an "advanced search" in Pompeiopolis with Nike as a reverse type.  The closest I came was indeed in Volume I, but it is not the same as mine - the later Nike walking issues had a long reverse legend that ran around the edge.  Mine is too far gone to really tell what it is, but the letters in the field make it unlikely it is this, the only one I could find (which also has letters on the obverse):

 

https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/1/4003A

 

This is why I didn't reference an RPC number in my attribution.  I'm going to keep looking though!  Thanks again for the tip.  

 

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This is my only image of Pompey the Great,

Denarius of Sextus Pompey Minted in Sicily 42-40 BC Obv Head of Pompey the Great right Rv. Neptune standing left foot on prow flanked by the Catanean brothers running in opposite directions each carrying one of the parents on their shoulders. Crawford 511/3a CRI 334 3.89 grms 19 mm Photo by W. Hansen511-c.jpg.d355f400594f4daff7a5669334b18b59.jpg

Though not clear on my coin Pompey had adopted the anastole, the curl of hair over the forehead that was characteristic of the portraits of Alexander the Great. One can see this more clearly on some of the portrait busts of Pompey seen at some museums. On the reverse Sextus is clearly advertising two themes that reoccur on his coinage, the command of the sea that he enjoys as well as his fidelity to his family.  

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I wasn't aware of Pompey posthumous coins struck under Domitian : good find !

76a65c4c06d34b56af9b3ab0f6ab3ab2.jpg

Sextus Pompey, As struck in Sicily c.43-36 BC
Head of Janus with features of Pompey the Great, MAGN above
Prow of galley right, PIVS IMP in field
16.57 gr
Ref : HCRI # 336, RCV #1394, Cohen #16

 

2ee5e2ef7eed4433b26e404161e4a43b.jpg

Sextus Pompeius and Q. Nasidius, Denarius - Mint moving with Sextus Pompeius, Sicily, 42-39 BC
NEPTVNI, head of Pompey the great right, trident before head, dolphin below
Q.NASIDIVS at exergue, galley sailing right, star in upper field
3.92 gr
Ref : HCRI # 235, RCV # 1390, Crawford # 483/2, Sydenham # 1350, Cohen # 20
Ex Freeman & Sear, Ex Barry Feirstein collection (NAC auction # 42/279)
Ex Roma Numismatics

Q

Edited by Qcumbor
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