There are currently no items available for purchase in this Department. Search our Auction Archives below to find item values.
Lot
23402

Ancients: Commodus (AD 177-192). AV aureus (20mm, 7.23 gm, 6h)....

2013 September 25 - 27, 30 & October 1 World and Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach #3026

Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
Make Offer:
Make Offer to Owner

Owner's willingness to entertain and respond to Offers has not yet been verified.
Claim Item: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
Auction Ended On: Sep 25, 2013
Item Activity: 8 Internet/mail/phone bidders
554 page views
Location: Long Beach Convention Center, Room 103A
300 E. Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802

Description:
Exceptional Portrait of the Young Commodus
Commodus (AD 177-192). AV aureus (20mm, 7.23 gm, 6h). Rome, AD 181. M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right / SECVRITAS PVBLICA TR P VI IMP IIII, COS III P P in exergue, Securitas, draped, seated right, resting head on right hand and holding transverse scepter in left. RIC 23c. Calicó 2325a. Rare. Well-centered and lustrous. Good Extremely Fine.

The sole reign of Commodus, AD 180-192, is often viewed as the tipping point where the Roman Empire's long decline began. Commodus has thus been featured in novels, plays, and feature films as a villain, most recently in the cinema epics "Fall of the Roman Empire" (1964) and "Gladiator" (2001). Son of the greatly revered "Philosopher Emperor" Marcus Aurelius (AD 161-180), Commodus was the first emperor born "in the purple" in AD 161. Marcus made him co-Augustus in AD 177. He accompanied Marcus on a strenuous military campaign against the Germanic tribes in 178; worn out by his exertions, Marcus died on 17 March AD 180. Freed of his dutiful father's control, Commodus immediately cut a deal with the Germans and abandoned all further plans of military conquest. Returning to Rome, he plunged into sensual pursuits and left governing to a succession of favorites who plundered the public purse and aggrandized themselves. His lax rule led to plots against the regime, ruthlessly suppressed. Rejecting the intellectuality of his father, Commodus fancied himself as a great athlete, hunter and gladiator. After the fall of his corrupt vizier Cleander in AD 190, Commodus took control of governmental affairs himself and his megalomania ran riot. Wealthy Romans in high positions were routinely executed so their estates could be confiscated to finance this orgy of self-indulgence. While the Roman commons  seemed to enjoy his antics, his close advisors began to fear for their own lives and ultimately arranged his death by strangulation at the hands of his wrestling instructor, Narcissus. The damage done by his 12 years of listless, corrupt rule was deep and lasting.

While Commodus continued and worsened the debasement of Roman silver coinage begun by his father, the gold coinage remained of high purity, weight and artistry. This beautiful aureus, struck early in his sole reign, depicts him as a young man very much in the image of his father. The historians Dio and Herodian both describe him as exceptionally handsome, a picture borne out by his coin portraits and sculpture. The reverse evokes the "Security of the Public" in an uncertain age.

View large image(s) of this item

Service and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)

Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

Find Auction Prices for Comparable Items:

Photographs:
Sign-in or Join (free & quick) to see the full image


FLOOR AUCTIONS View All
Open For Bidding
Coming Soon
HERITAGE MEMBERSHIP
910,584
bidder-members
$969,787,660
sold in the last year
VIEW BENEFITS
  1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
  2. Bid online
  3. Free Collector newsletter
  4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
  5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    winnings 
CONSIGNMENTS WANTED
Consign to the 2015 April 8 - 14 CICF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago.
Learn About Consigning With Us
You and your colleagues at Heritage could not have packaged the collection in a more professional and attractive way to buyers.
Robert Ruff,
New York, NY
HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. To compare for yourself, visit: compete.com
Take our 2014 Coin
and Currency Survey
Grand prize:
A Certified Uncirculated
1907 High Relief $20!*
Take the Survey
HERITAGE VIDEO TUTORIAL
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF SEARCH
RECENT AUCTIONS
2014 December 4 - 7 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston
2014 December 4 - 7 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston
REALIZED $9,569,753
2014 September 3 - 10 Long Beach Expo World Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
2014 September 3 - 10 Long Beach Expo World Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
REALIZED $9,041,265
2014 September 4 - 8 Long Beach Expo World Currency Signature Auction - Long Beach
2014 September 4 - 8 Long Beach Expo World Currency Signature Auction - Long Beach
REALIZED $1,817,724