Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Medallic Commodus Sestertius

    Commodus (AD 177-192). Orichalcum sestertius (34mm, 27.77 gm, 12h). Rome, AD 192. L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL, laureate head right / PROVIDENTIAE AVG, Commodus as Hercules standing left, holding club on rock, placing foot on prow, and receiving grain ears from Africa, standing right, wearing an elephant-skin headddress with a lion at her feet. RIC 641. Cohen 644. Attractive green patina. Well-struck on a large flan. A simply magnificent and imposing coin. Good Extremely Fine.

    From The Dr. Patrick Tan Collection. Ex Lanz 120 (18 May 2004), lot 366 (cover coin). 

    Rejecting the intellectuality of his father, Commodus favored the physicality of the Arena and fancied himself as "the Roman Hercules," a great athlete, hunter and gladiator. On this remarkable sestertius he depicts himself as Hercules on the reverse, clasping hands with the personification of Egypt, on which Rome's grain supply depended. After the fall of his corrupt vizier Cleander in AD 190, Commodus took control of governmental affairs himself and made the Empire an expression of his megalomania, renaming Rome as "Colonia Commodiana" and revamping the very calendar months to match his 12 names (Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus Augustus Herculius Romanus Exsuperatorius Amazonius Invictus Felix Pius). Wealthy Romans in high positions were routinely executed so their estates could be confiscated to finance this orgy of self-indulgence. Still the Roman people seemed largely to enjoy his antics, and the Legions remained loyal throughout; however 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.




    View all of [The Dr. Patrick Tan Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 580

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    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 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 9 days left to consign to the 2019 September 4 - 9 Long Beach Expo World Coins Signature Auction - !

    Learn about consigning with us

    I want to thank you for all of your assistance relative to my coin collection.
    Alan D.,
    Boston, MA
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 June 6 - 9 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
    2019 June 6 - 9 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
    REALIZED $8,299,985
    2019 April 25 - 29 Central States World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
    2019 April 25 - 29 Central States World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
    REALIZED $8,017,283
    2019 April 25 - 29 Central States World Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
    2019 April 25 - 29 Central States World Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
    REALIZED $1,965,334