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    Description

    Crispina, wife of Commodus (Augusta, AD 177-182/3 or 188). AR denarius. NGC Choice XF. Rome, AD 178-192. CRISPINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right / CONCORDIA, Concordia standing left holding patera and cornucopia. RIC (Commodus) 278. Scarce! Toned with some iridescence; character-filled portrait giving Crispina a rather bratty expression.

    Bruttia Crispina was the daughter of Gaius Bruttius Praesens, an influential Roman nobleman from Lucania. Her marriage to the teenaged Commodus was arranged by his father, Marcus Aurelius, to shore up support among the Roman gentry in the wake the abortive rebellion of Avidius Cassius (AD 175). Crispina was a legendary beauty but this probably had little effect on the egocentric Commodus, who took a succession of lovers of both sexes. Her incorruptibility and her inability to produce an heir apparently led Commodus to tire of her; accordingly, she was charged with adultery and banished to the island of Capri, likely in AD 188, where she was later executed. It is sometimes asserted she died much earlier in the reign, after the conspiracy of Lucilla in AD 182, but this is due to a faulty reading of the main sources for the era, the Historia Augusta and Cassius Dio; indeed inscriptions record her as still being empress in the late AD 180s. Her coinage is not nearly as extensive as that of previous empresses, probably due to her husband's indifference. The portraiture, however, depicts a graceful and delicately beautiful young lady with a long, swan-like neck.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2017
    25th Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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