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    Commodus: Dynasty's End

    Commodus (AD 177-192). AV aureus (21mm, 7.26 gm, 6h).  Rome, AD 178. L • AVREL • COM-MODVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right of the youthful, beardless Commodus / TR P III • IMP II • COS • P • P •, Castor standing left, nude but for chlamys and pileus, cradling spear in left arm and with his right holding bridle of horse standing behind, foreleg raised. RIC (Aurelius) 648.  BMCRE (Aurelius) 774-5. Cohen 760. Calicó 2337b. Deeply struck from dies of fine style, with exceptional surfaces. NGC (photo-certificate) Choice AU 5/5 - 4/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex McLendon Collection (Christie's New York, 12 June 1993), lot 153. 

    Commodus, the last emperor of the Antonine Dynasty, is seen here at the age of 17 or 18. The reverse assigns him the the Tribunican Power for the third time, the title of Imperator (victorious general) for the second time, the office of Consul, and the honorific Pater Patriae ("father or the fatherland"), all rather heady for a youth who would normally just be making his first steps on the cursus honorum ("course of honor"). The hurried assignment of high office to Commodus surely reflects the desire of his father, Marcus Aurelius, to ensure a secure, stable succession in the wake of the abortive rebelion by Avidius Cassius in AD 176, which was predicated on the belief that Marcus was gravely ill and Commodus too young, or entirely unsuited, for office. 

    All Roman gold coins from the Dimitriadis Collection have been issued a photo-certificate by NGC. These may be sent in for encapsulation after the auction at the request of the buyer, free of charge. Please e-mail SamS@HA.com if you would like to utilize this option.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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