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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Adoptive Emperors ▸ CommodusView Options:  |  |  |   

Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

L Aelius Aurelius Commodus was the son of emperor Marcus Aurelius and empress Faustina II. Caesar in 177 A.D., Commodus succeeded his father as Augustus in 180. His rule of twelve years quickly degenerated into debauchery, paranoia, and insanity. He actually believed he was Hercules reincarnated and even participated in gladiatorial contests. The empire was directed by his unscrupulous favorites while the emperor amused himself in whatever decadent way he saw fit. His assassination in 192 A.D. was viewed as a blessing by most Romans of the day.

Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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The reverse depicts a Commodus' forth liberalitas, a gift distribution of money to the people of Rome. A citizen is using his drapery to catch coins thrown from above - the coins are depicted by four pellets. Liberalitas holds a counting board, a money shovel with shallow holes in it, used to quickly distribute a specific number of coins to each recipient.
RB82726. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 310(b) (S), BMCRE IV 455, Cohen III 310 var. (no drapery), Hunter II 82 var. (same), SRCV II -, F/aF, dark brown patina, well centered, areas of corrosion, weight 25.932 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 181 - 182 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG, laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse TR P VI IMP IIII COS III P P, Commodus seated left on platform; behind him, officer standing facing with head to left; in front of him, Liberalitas standing front, head to left, holding counting-board in her right hand and cornucopia in her left; below on steps, citizen standing right, holding up fold of toga catching coins, S - C flanking platform, LIB AVG IIII in exergue; scarce; $220.00 (187.00)

Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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RS85051. Silver denarius, RSC II 472, RIC III 101 var. (thunderbolt vice Victory), BMCRE IV 151 var. (same), SRCV II 5676 var. (same), Hunter II -, aVF, attractive toning, bumps and marks, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 2.603 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 184 - Dec 185 A.D.; obverse COMM ANT AVG P BRIT, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P X IMP VII COS IIII P P, Jupiter seated left on throne with low back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, Victory on globe in extended right hand (dividing legend), inverted spear behind in left hand; extremely rare variant with Jupiter holding Victory and a spear instead of the normal thunderbolt and a long scepter, missing from most references and collections, only one sale in the last two decades on Coin Archives, and only three specimens in Reka Devnia hoard; $200.00 (170.00)

Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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This coin was struck during a three week period after Commodus changed from TR P VII to TR P VIII on 10 Dec. 182, and before he became COS IIII on 1 Jan. 183. It is an extremely rare coin, missing from most references and collections. RSC II and BMCRE IV both reference only the one single specimen in the Reka-Devnia Hoard. There are no sales of the type in the last two decades recorded on Coin Archives, but we do know of several additional examples.
RS85053. Silver denarius, Reka-Devnia p. 91, pl. III, 40 (1 spec.!); RSC II 854b; Szaivert MIR 559-4/30; BMCRE IV p. 705, †; RIC III -; Cohen III -; Hunter -; SRCV II -, F, nice portrait, well centered obverse, reverse a little off center, light bumps and marks, edge cracks, weight 2.525 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 10 Dec 182 - 1 Jan 183; obverse M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse TR P VIII IMP V COS IIII P P, Roma seated left, helmeted and draped, Victory in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, shield at side; extremely rare; $200.00 (170.00)

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Would make a nice gift for a Medical professional! Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RB86660. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC III 390 (S); Cohen III 692; Hunter II 108; BMCRE IV p. 788, §; cf. SRCV II 5846 (IMP VII IMP IIII COS III), VF, nice portrait, well centered on a tight flan, porous, weight 8.883 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 183 A.D., second issue; obverse M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse SALVS AVG TR P VIII IMP VI COS IIII P P, Salus (goddess of health) standing facing, head left, with right hand feeding snake rising from altar on left, long scepter in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $160.00 (136.00)

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This coin refers to Commodus' belief that he was Hercules reincarnated. According to the historian Herodian, "he issued orders that he was to be called not Commodus, son of Marcus, but Hercules, son of Jupiter. Abandoning the Roman and imperial mode of dress, he donned the lion-skin, and carried the club of Hercules."
RS87495. Silver denarius, RSC II 190, RIC III 251 (S), BMCRE IV 339, Hunter II 65, MIR 18 853-4/90, SRCV II 5644, VF, fantastic portrait, toned, obverse slightly off center, edge cracks, weight 2.302 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 330o, Rome mint, late 191 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.; obverse L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL, Commodus wearing lion skin in imitation of Hercules and Alexander the Great; reverse HER-CVL / RO-MAN / AV-GV, in three lines across field divided by club, all within laurel wreath; scarce; $160.00 (136.00) ON RESERVE

Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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An excellent gift for a veterinarian! The 18th-century French numismatist Belley, cited in BMC Mysia p. 105, suggested that the SVB in the reverse legend should be expanded to "subvenienti," giving the meaning "To Aesculapius, the god who helps." This extraordinary depiction of Aesculapius is the only ancient coin reverse type referring to veterinary medicine.
RP85221. Bronze AE 24, RPC online IV temp 624 (5 spec.); SNGvA 1337; Weber 5152; BMC Mysia p. 105, 104 var. (obv. leg.); SNG Cop 290 var. (same); cf. SNG BnF 1484 (obscure), F, well centered, light scratches, some legend weak, areas of corrosion, centration dimples, weight 8.321 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 195o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, Mar/Apr 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.; obverse IMP CAI(sic) Λ AV - COMODVS, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse DEO AESC SVB (Deo Aesculapius subvenienti - to Aesculapius, the god who helps), Asclepius seated right on throne, treating an injured bull standing left before him, with his right hand holding the bull's raised right foreleg, C G H I P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) in exergue; rare; $150.00 (127.50)

Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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The Roman's believed Jupiter, as the king of the gods, favored those in positions of authority similar to his own. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. This unusual reverse legend dedicates this coin to Jupiter defender of the health of the Emperor. The seven stars on the reverse may refer to the seventh centenary (700 year anniversary) of the founding of Jupiter's great Capitoline temple.
RS85776. Silver denarius, RSC II 245, BMCRE IV 253, RIC III 256 (R), SRCV II 5651, Hunter III - (p. clviii), aVF, weight 2.370 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 191 - 192 A.D.; obverse L AEL AVREL COMMODVS AVG P FEL, laureate head right; reverse IOVI DEFENS SALVTIS AVG, Jupiter moving left, looking back right, brandishing thunderbolt overhead in right hand, scepter in left hand, drapery at waist flying behind, seven stars around; rare; $150.00 (127.50)

Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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The Romans believed that Fortuna, after deserting the Persians and Assyrians, took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Syria and Egypt. At last arriving on Mount Palatine, she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel, entered Rome where she took up her abode forever. It appears, however, she kept her wheel. She just hid it under her seat.
RS85778. Silver denarius, RSC II 770, RIC III M661, BMCRE IV p. 506, M798; cf. SRCV II 505 (TR P V); Hunter II -, Choice VF, excellent centering, die wear, light bumps and marks, edge cracks, weight 3.301 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, spring 179 A.D.; obverse L AVREL COMMODVS AVG, laureate youthful beardless head right; reverse TR P IIII IMP III COS II P P, Fortuna seated left, holding rudder by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, wheel under seat; $135.00 (114.75)

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS83948. Silver denarius, RSC II 805a, BMCRE IV 62, RIC III 15, Hunter II -, SRCV II -, gVF, centered on a tight flan, radiating flow lines, die wear, small edge cracks, weight 2.588 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 10 Dec 180 - 10 Dec 181 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS COMMODVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse TR P VI IMP IIII COS III P P, Felicitas standing facing, head left, raising caduceus in right hand, long grounded scepter near vertical in left hand; Numismatik Naumann, auction 62, lot 1105 (part of); $130.00 (110.50)

Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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The elaborate Annona reverse composition reflects the special care Commodus took in supplying the much needed African grain to Rome (in fear of mob uprisings).
RS85777. Silver denarius, RSC II 467, Hunter II 24, RIC III 94, BMCRE IV 143 var. (obv. leg.), SRCV II -, VF, well centered, light toning, light marks and scratches, edge cracks, weight 3.376 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 184 A.D.; obverse M COMM ANTON AVG PIVS BRIT, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P VIIII IMP VII COS IIII P P, modius with six heads of barley, four upward in center and one hanging down on each side; ; $125.00 (106.25)






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Catalog current as of Thursday, August 16, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Commodus