Thursday, February 26, 2004

Coin of the Week - A Denarius of Commodus

A Coin dated to 180-183 AD of the infamous Roman Emperor Commodus. Staring alongside Russel Crowe in the movie Gladiator.

On the obverse of the coin appears the head of Commodus
On the Reverse, Mars is holding a spear and trophy - a symbol of the Emperor's martial prowess.

There is no evidence that he killed Marcus Aurelius as depicted in the film. The film was correct in Commodus hosting a great many games and spectacles, and Commodus did apparently participate in gladiatorial combat in front of the crowds himself, not to mention dressing up like Hercules, which was unfortunately not depicted in the film.

Commodous, like many Roman Emperors came to a sticky end - Commodus was murded by being strangled in his bath by an athlete in a plot that apparently had the involvement of his mistress.

Click here for a brief bio of Commodus.

This coin is in VF condition and is for sale at Harlan J. Berk with an estimate (top selling price) of $90.00. Not a high price to pay for a silver coin of an infamous emperor.

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