AR Q. Pomponius Musa denarius 66 B.C.(3.79g;19mm)
O: Laureate bust of Apollo right; six pointed star behind; Cr410/8; Syd 82; Babelon Pomponia 22.
R: Q POMPONI MVSA, Urania, the Muse of Astronomy, standing left, pointing with wand to globe on tripod.
G: FLEUR DE COIN. Lightly toned, with beautiful lustre. Ex. NAC 54, lot 231 (described as good EF)
S: Roma Numismatics via Vcoins 7/13/10
The gens Pomponia claimed descent from Pompo, son of Numa Pompilius, who was the originator of the sacred rites of sacrifice to Apollo, as depicted on the coinage of Pomponius Molo. Unsurprisingly then, Apollo features on the obverse of this moneyer’s coins, while the reverse is type parlant of Musa’s own name.
Urania, like all the Muses, is a daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. The ancient bard Linus is called her son by Apollo, and Hymenaeus also is said to have been a son of Urania. She was regarded, as her name indicates, as the Muse of Astronomy, and was represented with a celestial globe to which she points with a little staff.