Imperator Caesar Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus Augustus
Reign: Marcus Aurelius
Date: 177 AD
Reference: Reference: RIC III Marcus Aurelius 651
OCRE Online: http://numismatics.org/ocre/id/ric.3.m_aur.651
Provenance: CNG Classical Numismatic Group Lancaster, USA (Auction 529, Lot 688)
Special: Rare bust type
Obverse: Bust of Commodus, laureate, draped, cuirassed, right
Inscription: L AVREL COMMODVS AVG
Translation: Lucius Aurelius Commodus, Augustus
Reverse: Roma, helmeted, draped, standing left, holding Victory in extended right hand and vertical spear in left hand
Inscription: COS P P
Translation: Consul, Pater Patriae
Translation: Consul, father of the nation
Comment: At the end of 176 AD, the Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Commodus returned to Rome from their victorious campaigns against the Germanic tribes and the Sarmatians (First Danubian War). After their return, Rome celebrated a magnificent triumphal procession (“de Germanis” and “de Sarmatis”) on 23 December 176 AD. A few days later, on 01 January 177 AD, Commodus took over his first consulship together with M. Plautius Quintillus. At the end of 177 AD, the second so-called Danubian War broke out (against the Marcomanni and Quades). The denarius presented here must therefore have been issued between the beginning and the end of AD 177 – between the first consulate and the renewed outbreak of war. The reverse of this denarius shows the victorious Roman city goddess (with Victory) and a spear with its tip pointing downwards towards the ground. This symbolises a peace won by victory (first Danubian War and return to Rome) and must therefore have been minted before the second outbreak of war.
The style-type of bust depicted on the obverse is Rare.