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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Adoptive Emperors| ▸ |Commodus||View 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|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.|, |denarius|
Unpublished in the major references which list this rare reverse type with the L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL obverse legend. RSC II also lists a hybrid with M COMM ANT AVG P BRIT FEL.
SL14050. Silver denarius, unpublished mule, cf. RSC II 245a, RIC III 256, BMCRE IV 349, Cohen 245, NGC Ch F, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (5768432-002), weight 2.186 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 191 A.D.; obverse M COMM ANT P FEL AVG BRIT P P, laureate head right; reverse IOVI DEFENS SALVTIS AVG, Jupiter advancing left, naked except for cloak flying behind, hurling thunderbolt with right hand, long scepter in left hand, four stars left, three stars right; no other specimens known to Forum, NGC| Lookup; very rare; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00


|Commodus|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Alexandria| |Mint|, |denarius|
Doug Smith notes, "Only recently have rare coins of this mint for Commodus been recognized." All examples share the same reverse spelling errors. This specimen has an error on the obverse as well. Click here to read more about |Alexandria denarii| on |Doug |Smith's website.
RS92312. Silver denarius, unpublished, RIC III -, SRCV II -, Cohen III -, RSC II -, BMCRE IV -, VF, nice portrait, golden toning, flow lines, tight flan, small edge cracks, holed, weight 3.437 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 192 A.D.; obverse M COMM ANTO-N AVG PIVS RBIT, laureate head right; reverse LIR AVG R M TR P XVII COS VII P P, Libertas standing right, pileus in right, long scepter in left hand, star in left field; very rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


|Commodus|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.|, |denarius|
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. She was the goddess of health, cleanliness and sanitation. While her father was more directly associated with healing, she was associated with the prevention of sickness and the continuation of good health. Her name is the source of the word "hygiene."
RS94701. Silver denarius, RSC II 762b; Hunter II 13; SRCV II 5702; RIC III M649 var. (draped); BMCRE IV p. 503, M780 (draped), VF, nice young portrait, flow lines, slight porosity, uneven tone, edge ragged with cracks, weight 3.011 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 177 - Dec 178 A.D.; obverse L AVREL COMMODVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse TR P III IMP II COS P P, Salus seated left, branch extended in right hand, left arm rests on chair, snake rising up from the ground before her; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00


|Commodus|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.|, |denarius|
In 185, Commodus drained Rome's treasury to put on gladiatorial spectacles and confiscated property to support his pleasures. He participated as a gladiator and boasted of victory in 1,000 matches in the Circus Maximus.
RS94706. Silver denarius, RIC III 121; RSC II 497; BMCRE IV p. 723, *; SRCV II-; Hunter V -, VF, some legend off flan, small edge cracks, weight 2.747 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec. 185 A.D.; obverse M COMM ANT P FEL AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XI IMP VII COS V P P, Felicitas standing front, head left, caduceus in right hand and vertical scepter in left hand; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


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

|Cappadocia|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Caesarea,| |Cappadocia|, |didrachm|
Mount Erciyes (Argaios to the Greeks, Argaeus to the Romans) is a massive stratovolcano 25 km to the south of Kayseri (ancient Caesarea) in Turkey. The highest mountain in central Anatolia, with its summit reaching 3,916 meters (12,848 ft). It may have erupted as recently as 253 B.C., as may be depicted on Roman era coins. Strabo wrote that the summit was never free from snow and that those few who ascended it reported seeing both the Black Sea to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south in days with a clear sky.
RP87685. Silver didrachm, cf. RPC IV Online 10073; Metcalf Cappadocia 146a; SNGvA 6441; SNG Cop 250 var. (legends); Sydenham Cappadocia Supp. 370a var. (same); BMC Galatia -, aVF, frosty porous surfaces, bumps and marks, tine edge split, reverse legend ending in exergue is obscure, weight 3.343 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, COS III, 181 - 182 A.D.; obverse AYT M AYPH KOMO - ANTΩNINOC C, laureate head right; reverse UΠATOC Γ - ΠAT ΠA-[TP...(?)], Mount Argaios with rocks and trees, surmounted by Helios standing left on summit, globe in his right hand, long scepter in left hand; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


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

|Parium|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Parium,| |Mysia|, |AE| |24|
Founded in 709 B.C., the ancient city of Parion was a major coastal city, near Lampsacus, with two harbors used to connect Thrace with Anatolia. Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it came under the domain of Lysimachus, and subsequently the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia in the province of Asia. It was the main customs station through which all goods bound for Byzantium from Greece and the Aegean had to pass. When this coin was minted, Parium was within the Conventus of Adramyteum. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, Parium was in the province of Hellespontus. Today it is the village of Kemer in the township of Biga, Canakkale province, Turkey.
MA95714. Bronze AE 24, RPC online IV 3152 (4 spec.); ANS Collection 1944.100.43132; BMC Mysia p. 105, 103 var. (no globe); SNG BnF -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Tb -, F, weight 8.010 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, c. 178 - 180, probably 180; obverse IMP CAI Λ AV - COMODVS, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, with a short beard, from behind; reverse Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between hooves, cornucopia on back, C G I H PAR (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; very rare; $85.95 (79.07) ON RESERVE


|Commodus|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |Dec| |192| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Hilaritas, the personification of rejoicing, is usually depicted as a matron, standing with a cornucopia in her left hand and a long palm frond on the ground in her right. Green branches were a sign of gladness and for special occasions, both public and private, it was the custom in ancient times to ornament streets, temples, gates, houses, and even entire cities, with branches and leaves of trees. This tradition carries on today in the form of wreaths and Christmas trees.
RB91329. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 497 (S); Cohen III 213; BMCRE IV p. 810, 593 var. (rev. HILARITAS...); MIR 18, 729-6/30 var. (same); SRCV II 5754 var. (same); Hunter II -, F , broad and heavy flan, spot of reverse encrustation, weight 27.795 g, maximum diameter 33.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 186 - Dec 187 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANT P FELIX AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse HILARIT AVG PM TR XII IMP VIII COS V P P, Hilaritas standing slightly left, head left, olive branch in extended right hand, grounded palm frond vertical in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across the field below center; scarce; $95.00 SALE |PRICE| $85.50


|Commodus|, |Crispina,| |Augusta,| |178| |-| |182| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Commodus|, |denarius|
Juno was the chief female divinity in the Roman pantheon, the protector and special counselor of the Roman state, and a member of the Capitoline Triad. She was a daughter of Saturn, the sister and wife of Jupiter, and the mother of Juventas, Mars, and Vulcan. She had many different aspects, such as Juno Moneta, Juno Sospita, and Juno Lucina, but here she is depicted as Juno Regina, "Juno the Queen." Juno is usually shown holding a patera, scepter or a statuette of Athena, and is often accompanied by a peacock. Her Greek equivalent is Hera.
RS92469. Silver denarius, RIC III 283, RSC II 21, BMCRE IV 41, Hunter II 10, SRCV II 6001, VF, old collection toning, flow lines, minor flaw reverse left field, flan ragged with edge splits, weight 2.244 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 180 - 182 A.D.; obverse CRISPINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse IVNO, Juno standing facing, veiled, head left, patera in right hand, long scepter in left hand, peacock left at feet on left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


|Commodus|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.|, |denarius|
The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins.
RS94703. Silver denarius, BMCRE IV 309 (also star right), RIC III 241, RSC II 288, Hunter V -, SRCV II -, aVF, well centered on a tight flan, toned, scattered mild porosity, reverse die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 1.806 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, 192 A.D.; obverse L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL, laureate head right; reverse LIB AVG P M TR P XVII COS VII P P, Libertas standing slightly left, head left, pileus (freedom cap - worn by freed slaves) in right hand, vindicta (rod) in vertical in left hand, star right field; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


|Commodus|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.|, |denarius|
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).
RS94704. Silver denarius, RIC III 95, RSC II 17, BMCRE IV 144, MIR 18 647, SRCV II 5627, Hunter II - (p. clii), VF, centered on a tight flan, some mint luster, flow lines, part of edge ragged with splits and cracks, weight 2.770 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 184 A.D.; obverse COMM ANT AVG P BRIT, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P VIIII IMP VII COS IIII P P, Annona standing slightly left, head left, statuette of Concordia holding patera and scepter in Annona's right hand, cornucopia in her left hand, modius overflowing with grain at feet on left, two persons on prow at feet on right, ANN in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00




  



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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

COMMANTAVGPBRIT
COMMANTFELAVGPBRIT
COMMODOCAESAVGFILGERM
COMMODOCAESAVGFILGERMSARM
COMMODVSCAESAVGFILGERM
DIVOCOMMODO
IMPCAESLAVRELCOMMODVSAVGGERMSARM
IMPCAESLAVRELCOMMODVSGERMSARM
IMPLAVRELCOMMAVGGERMSARM
IMPLAVRELCOMMODVSAVGGERMSARM
LAELAVRCOMAVGPF
LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL
LAVRECOMMODVSAVG
LAVRELCOMMODVSAVG
LAVRELCOMMODVSAVGGERMSARM
LAVRELCOMMODVSAVGTRPIII
LAVRELCOMMODVSAVGTRPIIII
LCOMMODVSAVG
MANTONINVSCOMMODVSAVG
MAVRELANCOMMAVGPFEL
MCOMMANTAVGPBRIT
MCOMMANTAVGPBRITFEL
MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT
MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP
MCOMMANTOAVGPIVSFEL
MCOMMANTAVGBRIT
MCOMMANTONAVGPIVSBRIT
MCOMMANTONVSPIVSBRIT
MCOMMODANTPFELIXAVGBRITPP
MCOMMODVSANTONAVGPIVS
MCOMMODVSANTONINVSAVG
MCOMMODVSANTONINVSAVGPIVS
MCOMMODVSANTPFELIXAVGBRIT


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calic, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayn, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. III: De Marco Aurelio a Caracalla (Del 161 d.C. al 217 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 3: Marcus Aurelius to Clodius Albinus. (Paris, 1883).
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. III: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1930).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 4: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1940).
Mouchmov, N. Le Tresor Numismatique De Reka-Devnia (Marcianopolis). (Sofia, 1934).
Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE) http://numismatics.org/ocre/
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet. II. Trajan to Commodus (London, 1971).
Szaivert, W. Die Mnzprgung der Kaiser Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus un Commodus (161-192). (Wien, 1984).
Seaby, H. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. II: The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty AD 96 - AD 235. (London, 2002).
Toynbee, J. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

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