Commodus

177 - 192 A.D.

Commodus vies with Caligula and Nero as Roman history's most perverse and sadistic of rulers. Like Caligula and Nero before, Commodus was an ordinary (by imperial standards) ruler who succeeded Marcus Aurelius, his father, upon his death. In his one major positive deed, Commodus called off the expedition against the Germans which his father had commenced on terms favorable to Rome. He sped off to Rome where he much preferred living the perks of an emperor to the dirty business of waging wars. While he whiled away his time pursuing a hedonistic lifestyle he was happy to delegate administrative responsibilities to others.

Unfortunately, his appointees never seemed to last long on the job. Whether through incompetence, bad luck or corruption, one by one these fell and needed replacement. Commodus little by little began gaining a taste for power as the shuffling of his foremen took place and, finally, he decided to manage the empire himself. It is starting with this period that Commodus began to act increasingly unpredictably and growingly cruel. A botched conspiration against him, orchestrated by no less than his beloved sister Lucilla, was discovered and his surviving the episode turned him afterwards into a highly paranoid individual who had countless officials executed for disloyalty imagined or real.

In his final year of life he shocked Romans of all classes by personally moonlighting as a gladiator. Of course, these fights were arranged so that he could invariably come out the victor. Because of this a record-breaking 700+ victories were scored in his name, each one ending in the deaths of one or more gladiators and/or wild beasts at the Colosseum. A successful conspiracy against him was finally hatched by one of his lovers who first tried poisoning him but he threw up and a wrestler was summoned who strangled him to death on the last day of the year 192.

The recent Hollywood release "The Gladiator" is a fictionalized account of Commodus as emperor which has him at odds with a popular gladiator.

Aureus

RIC 239a, BMC 311 Aureus Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL; Laureate and draped bust right, seen from behind.
Rev: LIBAVGVIIIPMTRPXVIICOSVIIPP Liberalitas standing left, holding abacus and cornucopia.


AR Denarius

RIC 12, Cohen 803 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMODVSANTONINVSAVG - Laureate head right
Rev: TRPVIIMPIIIICOSIIIPP - Roma seated on shield left, holding Victory and scepter.


RIC 14a, Cohen 812 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMODVSANTONINVSAVG - Laureate head right.
Rev: TRPVIIMPIIIICOSIIIPP - Annona standing left, holding corn ears over modius and cornucopia. Lot sold for $26 2/28/02.


RIC 17, Cohen 806 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMODVSANTONINVSAVG - Laureate head right.
Rev: TRPVIIMPIIIICOSIIIPP - Pax standing left, holding branch and cornucopia. Lot sold for $12 12/8/01.


RIC 19, Cohen 804 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMODVSANTONINVSAVG - Laureate head right.
Rev: TRPVIIMPIIIICOSIIIPP - Providentia standing left, holding wand over globe and scepter.


RIC 36a, Cohen 311 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMODVSANTONINVSAVG - Laureate head right.
Rev: LIBAVGVTRPVIIIMPIIIICOSIIIPP - Liberalitas standing left, holding abacus and cornucopia. Lot sold for $28 2/10/02.


RIC 44, Cohen 846 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMODVSANTONAVGPIVS - Laureate head right.
Rev: TRPVIIIMPVCOSIIIPP - Providentia standing left, holding wand over globe and scepter.


RIC 54, Cohen 878 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMODVSANTONAVGPIVS - Laureate head right
Rev: TRPVIIIIMPVICOSIIIIPP - Mars advancing right with shield and spear at the ready.


RIC 64 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMODVSANTONAVGPIVS - Laureate head right.
Rev: TRPVIIIIMPVICOSIIIIPP - Pax standing left, holding branch and cornucopia.


RIC 66, Cohen 903 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMODVSANTONAVGPIVS - Laureate head right.
Rev: TRPVIIIIMPVICOSIIIIPP - Salus standing left, holding scepter and feeding snake rising up from altar from a patera held out to the left field. Lot sold for $20 12/11/01.


RIC 71, Cohen 427 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMODVSANTONAVGPIVS - Laureate head right
Rev: TRPVIIIIIMPVICOSIIIIPP - Mars standing right, holding reversed spear and shield set upon the ground. Lot sold for $10 12/13/01.


RIC 72, Cohen 424 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMODVSANTONAVGPIVS - Laureate head right.
Rev: TRPVIIIIIMPVICOSIIIIPP - Minerva standing right, brandishing spear and holding shield at the ready; at feet right, an owl.


RIC 75, Cohen 448 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMODVSANTONAVGPIVS - Laureate head right.
Rev: TRPVIIIIIMPVICOSIIIIPP - Fides standing right, holding corn ears and basket of fruits.


RIC 86, Cohen 940 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMODVSANTONAVGPIVS - Laureate head right.
Rev: TRPVIIIIIMPVICOSIIIIPP - Commodus standing left, holding branch and cornucopia; at feet, a hexagonal shield. Lot sold for $19 12/11/01.


RIC 93, Cohen 466 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTONAVGPIVSBRIT - Laureate head right
Rev: PMTRPVIIIIIMPVIICOSIIIIPP - Victory advancing left, holding palm and wreath.


RIC 94, Cohen 467-8 AR Denarius Obv: COMMANTAVGPBRIT - Laureate head right
Rev: PMTRPVIIIIIMPVIICOSIIIIPP - Modius with six corn ears visible.


RIC 102, Cohen 476 AR Denarius Obv: COMMANTAVGPBRIT - Laureate head right
Rev: PMTRPXIMPVIICOSIIIIPP - Roma standing left, holding Victory and spear. Lot sold for $26 11/2/01.


RIC 106, Cohen 18 AR Denarius Obv: COMMANTAVGPBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: PMTRPXIMPVIICOSIIIIPP - Annona standing left, holding statuette and cornucopia; behind is prow of galley and to front, a modius.


RIC 108, Cohen 117 AR Denarius Obv: COMMANTAVGPBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: PMTRPXIMPVIICOSIIIIPP - Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopia.


RIC 117, Cohen 486 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFILAVGBRIT - Laureate head right
Rev: PMTRPXIIMPVIICOSVPP - Jupiter seated left, holding thunderbolt and scepter. Lot sold for $19 11/9/01.


RIC 120, Cohen 499 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: PMTRPXIIMPVIICOSVPP - Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopia.


RIC 125, Cohen 505 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right
Rev: PMTRPXIIMPVIICOSVPP - Commodus seated in a curule chair, holding globe and being crowned by a flying Victory from behind.


RIC 126, Cohen 53 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right
Rev: PMTRPXIIMPVIICOSVPP - Concordia standing left with a standard in each hand.


RIC 131, Cohen 150 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: PMTRPXIIMPVIICOSVPP Exe: FORTRED - Fortuna seated left, hold rudder on globe and cornucopia; under seat, a wheel.


RIC 135, Cohen 340 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: LIBERTAVGPMTRPXIIMPVIICOSVPP - Libertas standing left, hold pileus and rod.


RIC 137, Cohen 514 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: PMTRPXIIMPVIIICOSVPP - Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and scepter.


RIC 138, Cohen 241 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: IOVEXSVPPMTRPXIIMPVIII Exe: COSVPP - Jupiter seated left, holding branch and scepter.


RIC 146, Cohen 34 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: AVCTPIETPMTRPXIIIMPVIIICOSVPP - Pietas standing left, dropping incense from patera into lit altar and holding box in left arm.


RIC 152, Cohen 242 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: IOVEXSVPPMTRPXIIIMPVIII Exe: COSVPP - Jupiter seated left, holding branch and scepter.


RIC 154, Cohen 278 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: LAETAVGPMTRPXIIIMPVIIICOSVPP - Laetitia standing left, holding branch and palm.


RIC 155, Cohen 385 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTAVGPIVSBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: NOBILITAVGPMTRPXIIIMPVIIICOSVPP - Nobilitas standing right, holding scepter and statuette.


RIC 157, Cohen 397 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTONAVGPIVSBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: PATERSENATPMTRPXIIIMPVIIICOSVPP - Commodus standing left, holding branch and transverse scepter. Lot sold for $25 12/10/01.


RIC 159, Cohen 646 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTONAVGPIVSBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: PVBLICFELPMTRPXIIIMPVIIICOSVPP - Felicitas standing left, holding patera and scepter.


RIC 160, Cohen 966 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right
Rev: VIRTVTAVGPMTRPXIIMPVIIICOSVPP - Fides standing left, holding Victory and spear, shield kept together by left hand leaning on shield. Lot sold for $15 12/6/01.


RIC 164d, Cohen 537 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right
Rev: PMTRPXIIIIMPVIIICOSVPP - Equity standing left, holding scales and cornucopia.


RIC 165, Cohen 547 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: PMTRPXIIIIMPVIIICOSVPP - Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopia.


RIC 166a, Cohen 540 AR Denarius Obv: COMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right
Rev: PMTRPXIIIIMPVIIICOSVPP - Fortuna seated left, holding rudder and cornucopia.


RIC 167d, Cohen 532 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: PMTRPXIIIIMPVIIICOSVPP - Genius standing left, holding patera and corn ears. Lot sold for $24 12/19/01.


RIC 169 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: PMTRPXIIIIMPVIIICOSVPP - Salus seated left, holding patera and feeding snake rising from altar using it.


RIC 173, Cohen 259 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: IOVIVVENPMTRPXIIIICOSVPP - Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and scepter, at feet left, an eagle.


RIC 179, Cohen 697 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: SECVRORBPMTRPXIIII - Securitas seated left, holding globe and left at side.


RIC 187, Cohen 260 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP - Laureate head right.
Rev: IOVIVVENPMTRPXIIIICOSVDESVI - Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and scepter, at feet left, an eagle.


RIC 188, Cohen 351 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP - Laureate head right.
Rev: MARTPACPMTRPXIIIICOSVDESVI - Mars standing left, holding branch and spear.


RIC 189, Cohen 366 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP - Laureate head right.
Rev: MINVICTPMTRPXIIIICOSVDESVI - Minerva standing left holding Victory, to her front, a shield, to her rear, a trophy.


RIC 190, Cohen 695 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP - Laureate head right.
Rev: SECORBPMTRPXIIIICOSVDESVI - Securitas seated left, holding globe.


RIC 192, Cohen 387 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: OPTIMEMAXIME - Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and scepter.


RIC 201, Cohen 279 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right
Rev: LAETITIAEAVG - Laetitia standing left, holding corn-ears and rudder on globe. Lot sold for $9 11/10/01.


RIC 202a, Cohen 323 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP - Laureate head right
Rev: LIBERALITASAVGVII - Liberalitas standing left, hold abacus and cornucopia.


RIC 205, Cohen 22 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP - Laureate head right.
Rev: APOLMONETPMTRPXVCOSVI - Apollo standing front, head right, holding right hand on head, left elbow leaning on column, legs crossed. Lot sold for $16 12/20/01.


RIC 208d, Cohen 282 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP - Laureate head right
Rev: LIBAVGPMTRPXVCOSVI - Libertas standing left, holding pileus and rod.


RIC 209, Cohen 719 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP, laureate head right
Rev: TEMPFELICPMTRPXVICOSVI, winged caduceus between crossed cornuacopiae.


RIC 212, Cohen 555 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP - Laureate head right.
Rev: PMTRPXVIMPVIIICOSVI - Commodus seated left, holding branch and scepter.


RIC 218a, Cohen 24 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP - Laureate head right.
Rev: APOLPALPMTRPXVIIMPCOSVI - Apollo standing front, head right; plectrum in right hand and lyre resting atop column to the right. Lot sold for $57 12/18/01.


RIC 219, Cohen 45 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP - Laureate head right.
Rev: CONCCOMPMTRPXVICOSVI - Concordia standing left, holding patera and scepter.


RIC 220, Cohen 127 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right
Rev: FIDEICOHPMTRPXVICOSVI - Fides standing left, holding corn ears and standard.


RIC 222a, Cohen 357 AR Denarius Obv: COMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP - Laureate head right
Rev: MINAVGPMTRPXVICOSVI - Minerva advancing right holding shield and spear in left hand, looking back left at extended right arm holding branch, as if waving on followers behind her, forward.


RIC 223a AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP - Laureate head right.
Rev: MINERAVGPMTRPXVI - Minerva advancing right, head turned back looking branch in right hand, shield in left hand.


RIC 224, Cohen 655 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTONAVGBRITPII - Laureate head right.
Rev: ROMFELPMTRPXVIIMPVIICOSVI - Roma seated left, holding Victory and scepter.


RIC 227, Cohen 172 AR Denarius Obv: COMMANTPFELAVGBRITPP - Laureate head right
Rev: GENAVGFELICCOSVI - Genius standing left, holding patera over lit altar, left and in other hand, a cornucopia. Lot sold for $227 12/5/01.


RIC 235, Cohen 578 AR Denarius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL - Laureate head right.
Rev: PMTRPXVIICOSVIIPP - Fortuna Felix standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopia; in left field. Lot sold for $25 2/3/02.


RIC 236, Cohen 575 AR Denarius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL - Laureate head right.
Rev: PMTRPXVIICOSVIIPP - Pietas seated left, holding right hand to child at front and scepter; * in left field. Lot sold for $17 2/14/02.


RIC 237, Cohen 568 AR Denarius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL - Laureate head right
Rev: PMTRPXVIIIMPVIIICOSVIIPP - Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm; in field, a star. Lot sold for $41 11/1/01.


RIC 239, Cohen 325 AR Denarius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL - Laureate head right.
Rev: LIBAVGVIIIPMTRPXVIICOSVIIPP - Liberalitas standing left, holding abacus and cornucopia.


RIC 241, Cohen 288 AR Denarius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL - Laureate head right.
Rev: LIBAVGPMTRPXVIICOSVIIPP - Libertas standing front, holding pileus and rod; star in right field.


RIC 241v, Cohen 288 AR Denarius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL - Laureate head right
Rev: LIBAVGPMTRPXVIICOSVIIPP - Libertas standing front, holding pileus and left hand pointing up: star in right field. Lot sold for $22 12/9/01.


RIC 251d, Cohen 190 AR Denarius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL - Head in lion-skin right.
Rev: HER CVI/RO MAN/AV GV/ - Club within a wreath.


RIC 254a AR Denarius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL - Laureate head right
Rev: HERCVLIROMANOAVG - Hercules standing left, holding club and lion-skin, crowning trophy.


RIC 254c, BMC 346a AR Denarius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL. Laureate head of Commodus right.
Rev: HERCVLIROMANO. Hercules standing left, holding club and lion-skin and crowning trophy.


RIC 255, Cohen 239 AR Denarius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL - Laureate head right.
Rev: IOMSPONSORSECAVG - Commodus standing left, holding globe and scepter; behind him also standing left, Jupiter, placing right arm on his shoulder and holding a thunderbolt.


RIC 261, Cohen 703 AR Denarius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL - Laureate head right
Rev: SERAPIDICONSERVAVG - Serapis, radiate, standing front, head left, holding a branch and a scepter. Lot sold for $54 11/5/01.


RIC 261d, Cohen 703 AR Denarius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL - Laureate head right.
Rev: SERAPIDICONSERV - Serapis, radiate, standing front, head left, holding branch and scepter.


RIC 262, Cohen 984 AR Denarius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL - Laureate head right.
Rev: VOTSOLVPROSALPR - Commodus, veiled and draped, standing left holding patera over altar, sacrificing and taking vows.


RIC 264, Cohen 78 AR Denarius, Marcus Aurelius Commemorative Obv: DIVVSMANTONINVSPIVS - Bare head right
Rev: CONSECRATIO - Eagle on bar right, head turned left and up.


RIC 275, Cohen 97 AR Denarius, Marcus Aurelius Commemorative Obv: DIVVSMANTONINVSAVGPIVS - Bare head right.
Rev: CONSECRATIO - Four tiered pyre, garlanded with quadriga atop.


RIC 384, Cohen 532 AR Denarius Obv: MCOMMANTPFELAVGBRIT - Laureate head right.
Rev: PMTRPXIIIIMPVIIICOSVPP - Genius standing left, holding patera and corn ears.


RIC 599, Cohen 291 AR Denarius Obv: COMMODOCAESAVGFILGERM - Bare head right
Rev: LIBERALITASAVG - Liberalitas standing left, holding abacus and cornucopia.


RIC 617 (Marcus Aurelius) AR Denarius Obv: COMMODOCAESAVGFILGERMSARM - Bareheaded bust right, draped.
Rev: PRINCIVVENT - Commodus standing left holding branch and scepter.


RIC 626 AR Denarius Obv: IMPCAESLAVRELCOMMODVSGERMSARM; Laureate and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: TRPOTIIICOS; Salus standing left, feeding serpent, held in arms, and holding staff. Lot sold for $46 11/13/01.


RIC 636 (Marcus Aurelius) AR Denarius Obv: IMPCAESLAVRELCOMMODVSGERMSARM - Laureate bust right, draped and cuirassed.
Rev: TRPOTIICOS - Jupiter seated left, holding Victory and scepter.


RIC 642 (Marcus Aurelius) AR Denarius Obv: IMPCAESLAVRELCOMMODVSGERMSARM - Laureate bust right, draped and cuirassed
Rev: TRPOTIICOS - Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm. Lot sold for $76 12/8/01.


RIC 651, Cohen 64 AR Denarius Obv: LAVRELCOMMODVSAVG - Laureate bust right, draped and cuirassed
Rev: COSPP - Roma standing left, holding Victory and a spear. Lot sold for $26 11/2/01.


RIC 663 (Marcus Aurelius) AR Denarius Obv: LAVRELCOMMODVSAVG - Laureate head right.
Rev: TRPOTIIIIIMPIICOSIIPP - Salus seated left, holding food over altar feeding a snake.


RIC 664 (Marcus Aurelius), Cohen 774 AR Denarius Obv: LAVRELCOMMODVSAVG - Laureate head right.
Rev: TRPOTIIIIIMPIIICOSIIPP - Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm.


Sestertius

RIC 607 Sestertius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL; Laureate head right.
Rev: PMTRPXVIIIMPVIIICOSVIIPP; Fortuna standing holding caduceus and cornucopia.


RIC 637, Cohen 192 Sestertius Obv: LAELAVRELCOMMAVGPFEL, head right, wearing lion's skin headdress
Rev: HER-CVL/ROM-ANO/AV-GV/S C and club within wreath.