Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2012 | 16 | 167-182

Article title

Propaganda war over Sicily? Sicily in the Roman coinage during the civil war 49-45 BC


Selected contents from this journal

Title variants

Languages of publication



Sicily seemed not to play an important role during the civil war between Caesar and Pompey the Great. Despite downplaying the importance of the island in the historical narratives concerning the conflict motifs referring to Sicily were placed on some of the coins struck in the period (Crawford 1974, nos 439, 445/1 and 457). Usually they were interpreted as a part of ancestral propaganda (Crawford 1974, nos 439 and 445/1) or as a means of emphasizing the moneyer’s status in order to promote himself (Crawford 1974, No. 457). This article approaches the problem of interpretation of the coinage in question from another perspective. By placing this issue in the historical context in which they were minted this paper tries to show that in fact the coins were meant for the Sicilians in the first place. Therefore the Sicilians are seen as the preferred recipients of propaganda messages transmitted via these coins in order to win them to the moneyer’s cause. Since the coins referring to Sicily were minted by both sides of the conflict they may be seen as a part of a propaganda war over Sicily.






Physical description


  • Jagiellonian University


  • Amela Valverde L. 1990-1991. La amonedación pompeyana en Hispania. Su utilización como medio propagandistico y como reflejo de la clientela de la gens Pompeia. Faventia 12-13, 181-197.
  • Amela Valverde L. 2000a. Acuñaciones de Cneo Pompeyo hijo en Hispania. Numisma 50, 7-33.
  • Amela Valverde L. 2000b. Las acuñaciones romanas de Sexto Pompeyo en Hispania. Archivo Español de Arqueología 73, 105-119.
  • Battenberg Ch. 1980. Pompeius und Caesar: Persönlichkeit und Programm in ihrer Münzpropaganda. Marburg.
  • Broughton T. R. S. 1952. The Magistrates of the Roman Republic 2. 99 B.C.-31 B.C. New York.
  • Burnett A., Amandry M. and Ripolles P. P. 1992. Roman Provincial Coinage 1. The Julio-Claudians. London.
  • Buttrey Jr. Th. V. 1960. The denarii of Cn. Pompeius Jr. and M. Minatius Sabinus. ANSMN 9, 75-95.
  • Crawford M. H. 1974. Roman Republican Coinage. Cambridge.
  • Dobek-Ostrowska B. 2004. Podstawy komunikowania społecznego. Wrocław.
  • Erdkamp P. 2005. The Grain Market in the Roman Empire: A Social, Political, and Economic Study. Cambridge.
  • Evans J. D. 1987. The Sicilian Coinage of Sextus Pompeius (Crawford 511). ANSMN 32, 97-157.
  • Evans J. D. 1992. The Art of Persuasion: Political Propaganda from Aeneas to Brutus. Ann Arbor.
  • Farney G. D. 2007. Ethnic Identity and Aristocratic Competition in Republican Rome. Cambridge.
  • Furtwängler A. 1895. Masterpieces of Greek Sculpture, a Series of Essays on the History of Art. London.
  • Garnsey P. 1998. Famine and Food Supply in Graeco-Roman World. Responses to Risk and Crisis. Cambridge.
  • Grant M. 1969. From Imperium to Auctoritas. A Historical Study of Aes Coinage in the Roman Empire 49 BC - AD 14. London.
  • Grueber H. A. 1910. Coins of the Roman Republic in the British Museum 1. Aes Rude, Aes Signatu, Aes Grave and Coinage of Rome. London.
  • Hadas M. 1966. Sextus Pompey. New York.
  • Harlan M. 1995. Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins 63 BC - 49 BC. London.
  • Holm A. 1897. Geschichte Siziliens im Alterthum 3. Lübeck.
  • Hutton C. A. 1896/1897. On three bronze statuettes. BSA 3, 149-155.
  • Jensen K. B. and Rosengren K. E. 1990. Five traditions in search of the audience. European Journal of Communication 5, 207-238.
  • Kopij K. 2009. Mennictwo synów Pompejusza Wielkiego w Hiszpanii. Biuletyn Numizmatyczny 354, 81-98.
  • Kopij K. 2011a. Pietas in the propaganda of Sextus Pompey. SAAC 15, 203-218.
  • Kopij K. 2011b. The coins related to Pompey the Great through the lens of the theology of victory. In Proceedings of the 6th International Numismatic Congress in Croatia, 26-29 September 2010, 141-150. Rijeka.
  • Kopij K., forthcoming. Use of local identities in the monetary propaganda of “Senate’s faction” during the war with Caesar. In International conference: Etniczność – obywatelskość – tożsamość w świecie antycznym. W 1800 rocznicę wydania edyktu Karakalli, Zielona Góra, 21 March 2012.
  • Martini R. 1988. Monetazione bronzea romana tardo-repubblicana: Divos Julius di Octavianus, „assi” di Sextus Pompeius, emissioni dei prefetti di Antonius. Milan.
  • Martini R. 1989. Note metrologiche sulle emissioni bronzee di Sextus Pompeius. Gaceta Numismatica 94-95, 23-29.
  • Martini R. 1995. Monetazione bronzea romana tardo-repubblicana: Sextus Pompeius. Milan.
  • Mattingly H. 1960. Roman Coins. From the Earliest Times to the Fall of the Western Empire. London.
  • Mattingly H. and Sydenham E. A. 1968. The Roman Imperial Coinage 1. Augustus to Vitellius. London.
  • McQuail D. 2008. Teoria komunikowania masowego, transl. M. Bucholc, A. Szulżycka. Warsaw.
  • Morawiecki L. 1983. Political Propaganda in the Coinage of the Late Roman Republic (44-43 BC). Wrocław.
  • Morawiecki L. 1989. Władza charyzmatyczna w Rzymie u schyłku Republiki 44-27 r p.n.e. Rzeszów.
  • Morawiecki L. 2001. Legum ac libertatis auctor et vindex. Marek Juniusz Brutus i jego program polityczny. Poznań.
  • Pérez Ch. 1986. Monnaie du pouvoir, pouvoir de la monnaie: une pratique discursive originale, le discours figuratif monétaire (1er s. av. J.-C. -14 ap. J.-C.). Paris.
  • Rickman G. 1980. The Corn Supply of Ancient Rome. Oxford.
  • Stone III Sh. C. 1983. Sextus Pompey, Octavian and Sicily. AJA 87, 11-22.
  • Woytek B. 1995. ‘MAG PIVS IMP ITER’: die Datierung des sizilischen Münzprägung des Sextus Pompeius. JNG 45, 79-94.
  • Zanker P. 1990. The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus. Ann Arbor.
  • Zarrow E. M. 2003. Sicily and the coinage of Octavian and Sextus Pompey: Aeneas or the Catanean Brothers? NC 163, 123-135.

Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.