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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 154. Estimate CHF25000. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF24500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Commodus. 177-192. Aureus (Gold, 7.22 g 7), Rome, 178. L AVREL COMMODVS AVG Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Commodus to right Rev. TR P III IMP II COS P P Castor standing left, holding spear and bridle of a horse that stands behind him to left. BMC 774. Calicó 2337b. Cohen 760. RIC 648. A splendid coin, nicely toned and with an appealing, youthful portrait. Good extremely fine.

When this coin was struck Commodus was only 17 years old and had been co-emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius for about a year. The portrait gives no sign of the psychotic personality he was to develop, which can clearly be seen on his portraits of the late 180s and early 190s. Castor was one of the Dioscouri and symbolizes Commodus in his role as princeps iuventutis.