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    Commodus Rising

    Commodus (AD 177-192). AV aureus (20mm, 7.31 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 Choice MS ★ 5/5 - 5/5.

    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 stuff 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 rebellion 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. 




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    11th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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