Q. Pomponius Musa
Denier - Rome (c. 66 av. J.-C.)
Rarissime dans cette qualité.
3.86g - Cr. 410/1
Superbe à FDC - NGC CHOICE AU (5/5 4/5)
Nothing is known about this moneyer, but he undoubtedly chose to depict Hercules musagetes (conductor of the Muses) in con- nection with his cognomen. This iconography, with the god playing the lyre, echoes the obverse of the coin with the diademed head of Apollo, who had been offered this musical instrument by Hermes, its inventor. It is assumed that this coin illustrates a Greek statuary group, which had been taken from Ambracia (captured in 189 BC) and placed in the Herculis et Musarum ædes in Rome, a temple erected by M. Fulvius Nobilior in 187 BC (Pliny NH xxxv.66; Ovid Fast. vi.812), the remains of which have been found near the south-west of the Circus Flaminius and the north-west of the Porticus Octaviae, including an inscription M.
Fulvius M. f. Ser. n. Nobilior cos. Ambracia cepit (CIL 6.1307 = ILS 16) that could have survived from this statue’s pedes- tal. Hersh and Walker dated this emission to 56 BC, because there were none in the Mesagne hoard of 58 BC – despite Crawford who had suggested 66 BC – and the coin’s rarity (Crawford did not think that any type by this moneyer had been struck with more than ten reverse dies) suggests that it’s absence from the hoard is no definitive proof. Moreover, on the obverse, one notices an apex (an accent mark indicating a long vowel) above the V in MVSA, which is very rare on Roman Republican coins: the only other case known is the denarius of L. Furius Cn.f. Brocchus of 64 or 63 BC (Crawford 414), which suggests that the earliest date for this coin is more likely.