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Commodus - provincial Roman coin from Histria - reverse Commodus - provincial Roman coin from Histria - obverse
~22 mm diameter, ~6 grams, AE
Reverse: bearded god (wearing kalathos, short tunic and chlamys?), riding to the right, holding cornucopia(?), outer pearl circle, inscription ICTPI HNΩN, Istrienon
Obverse: laureate emperor Commodus to the right, draped and cuirassed bust, inscription AYTMAVRKOM ANTΩNINOC, outer pearl circle

The ancient coin pictures above are present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of Mr. GLV. The coin belongs to the category of provincial Roman coins, sometimes called Greek imperial. The coin corresponds to the description at number 162 in the Moushmov catalog and is described in AMNG I at position 490 (but the splitting of the legend on the reverse differs; AMNG = Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands, B. Pick, 1898).

About emperor Commodus

Emperor Commodus (Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus), the last of the Antoninian dynasty, ruled the Roman Empire between 180 and 192. In 166 A.D. he received from his father, emperor Marcus Aurelius, the title of Caesar, and in 177 the title of Augustus. Following his assassination on January first 193, his successor was Pertinax.

About the legend on the coin reverse

The legend on the reverse is AYT M AVR KOM ANTΩNINOC, representing the translation into Greek of the Latin legend IMP(erator) M(arcus) AUR(elius) COM(modus) ANTONINOS. The word imperator was translated by autocrator (autokrates in Greek meaning governing by one's self), IMP being replaced by AVT.

About the dating of the coin

Commodus has changed his name for several times. In 180 AD he changed his given name from Lucius to Marcus. In 191 AD Commodus has returned to Lucius as first name. Also in 191 AD he added Aelius to his name (in order to pretend a kinship with emperor Hadrian), renouncing the name Antoninus - name adopted in 180 AD.

In conclusion, the coin was struck in 180-191. On the site Roman Provincial Coinage Online this coin is confined to the interval 184 - 190 (but we could not find on which criteria this attribution was made).


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