After the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, Marcus Antonius and Octavian, the later Emperor Augustus, instituted a triumvirate to secure their power against the Senate and the assassins of Caesar, the Republicans. One of their antagonists was Sextus Pompeius, son of Pompeius Magnus, the former arch enemy of Caesar.
Sextus Pompeius recruited an army and conquered Sicily, where he established his head quarters. There he had coins minted to pay his mercenaries. This denarius depicts the head of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, Sextus' father. The reverse shows Neptune, the god of the sea, between Anapias and Amphinomus. Those two were brothers who, as legend went, had once saved their parents from an eruption of Aetna. The two brothers were held as a symbol for pietas, the duty towards parents.
Sextus Pompeius was finally defeated after many political and military battles in 36 BC; the following year, he was executed in Miletus.