Commodus, 177-192

Commodus, 177-192

Commodus (31 August 161 AD– 31 December 192 AD), born Lucius Aurelius Commodus and died Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus, was Roman emperor from 177 to 192. 

His accesion as emperor was the first time a son had succeeded his biological father since Titus succeed Vespasian in 79. He was also the first emperor to have both a father and grandfather on the throne. Commodus was the first (and until 337, the only) emperor "born in the purple", i.e., during his father's reign.

Whereas the reign of his father Marcus Aurelius had been marked by almost continuous warfare, that of Commodus was comparatively peaceful, but was marked by political strife and the increasingly arbitrary and capricious behaviour of the emperor himself. For example, in November 192, Commodus held Plebeian Games, in which he killed hundreds of animals and fought as gladiator. Of course he won all his bouts.

In the same year his concubine tried to poison him, after she was taken into confidence by a conspiracy to supplant the emperor. Commodus survived this attack barely, but he was later strangled in his bath by his wrestling partner.

Commodus declared the largest devaluation of the denarius since Nero's time. He reduced the weight of the denarius as well as the silver purity. The denarii and sestertii feature in part military images like Victory and in part other types, which reflect his fickle nature like Salus referencing his fear of illness or conspiracy.

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Product no.: 309508

Roman Empire, Commodus, 177-192, AE Sestertius (179)

Obv.Laur. head r.

Rev.Minerva at an altar with spear and shield

250.00 *

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Product no.: 387398

Roman Empire, Commodus, 177-192, AE Dupondius

Rad. head r.

Rv.Two prisoners shackled to trophy

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Product no.: 9870050_2

Roman Empire, Commodus, 180-192, AR Denarius

Obv.: Head of Commodus r.

Rev.: Fortuna seated left

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