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Denario di Commodo come Ercole romano


apollonia
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Buon pomeriggio

Mio esemplare proveniente dalla Summer Auction Rauch del settembre 2011

1aOk.Rauch denario di Commodo 166655l.jpg

RÖMISCHE KAISERZEIT

Commodus (177/180-192). (D) Denarius (2,110 g, 18 mm, h 6), Roma, 191-192 n.Chr. Av.: L - AEL AVREL CO-MM AVG P FEL, Kopf mit Löwenhaube n.r. Rv.: HERCVLI ROMANO AVG, Bogen, Keule und Köcher. -- Stellenweise minimale Auflagen im Av. RIC 253, RSC 195. s. sch.

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La mia moneta è sotto peso di ca. 1 g, ma ne ho visto un’altra con questa caratteristica, in compenso accompagnata da una lunga descrizione.

1bOk.CNG Denario di Commodo 97000675.jpg

Commodus. AD 177-192. AR Denarius (18mm, 2.10 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 192. Head right, wearing lion skin headdress / Club facing downward between bow and quiver. RIC III 253; MIR 18, 857-4/72; RSC 195. Good VF.

During the latter part of his reign, Commodus began associating himself with Hercules. While the Antonine emperors had traditionally associated themselves with the divine hero, Commodus appropriated the iconography more aggressively by wearing a lion skin and carrying a club, both main attributes of Hercules, and having statues of himself dressed as the god erected throughout the empire (for a bust of Commodus as Hercules, see Capitoline bust [Inv. MC 1120]; for the use of Herculean images on provincial issues of Commodus, see http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/). The appropriation of this imagery went to apparently megalomaniacal lengths. According to Dio (73.15), Commodus in AD 190 ordered that the names of the months be changed to correspond with his name and titles – Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus Augustus Herculeus Romanus Exsuperatorius Amazonius Invictus Felix Pius, and that each legion replace its epithet with Commodiana. Shortly thereafter, when fire had destroyed a large section of Rome, Commodus used it as an opportunity to re-found the city as a whole and, thereby, identify himself completely with Hercules, who was considered the founder of many ancient Greek cities. Commodus ordered the restored city to be called Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana, its citizens were now know as Commodiani, and the Senate was restyled as the Senatus Commodianus Fortunatus. All of this revitalization on his part, Commodus believed, would bring about a new Golden Age. In the autumn of AD 192, Commodus officially adopted the name Hercules; it was at this time that his portrait on the coinage began to show him wearing a lion skin. This transformation was brief, however, for, on 31 December AD 192, only three weeks after assuming the tribunician power for the eighteenth time, he was assassinated by an athlete in his bath.

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Questo esemplare battuto alla Nomos 2 del maggio 2010 è uno dei meglio conservati e coniati.

1cOK. CNG Denario di Commodo 90020193.jpg

Commodus. AD 177-192. Denarius (Silver, 2.88 g 6), Rome, very late 191-192. L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL Head of Commodus to right, wearing the lion skin headdress of Hercules. Rev. HERCVLI ROMANO AVG Bow, club and quiver loaded with arrows. BMC 343. Cohen 195. RIC 253. An astonishingly well-preserved and sharply struck coin, rare thus. Struck on a slightly tight flan, otherwise, good extremely fine.


As is well known, Commodus, the son of the philosopher emperor Marcus Aurelius, became increasingly deranged as his reign moved on, and this coin is palpable evidence for the form of madness that led to his assassination soon after it was issued. By the late 180s he had identified himself with Hercules and sought to emulate him by killing both animals and humans in the arena. His passion for gladiatorial combats was so great that contemporaries suggested his actual father was a gladiator who Faustina II had taken as a lover. The fact that he advertised his beliefs on the coinage must have been one of the reasons why the conspiracy against him was formed. The silver coinage of Commodus is notorious for its generally poor condition: many were lightly struck and seldom anywhere near as attractive of those of his immediate predecessors. This piece is exceptional and particularly well struck.

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