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313, Lot: 188. Estimate $100.
Sold for $220. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MESOPOTAMIA, Edessa. Commodus, with Abgar VIII (or IX). AD 177-192. Æ (15mm, 1.36 g, 5h). Laureate head of Commodus right / Diademed and draped bust of Abgar right, wearing tiara ornamented with +. BMC 13. VF, black patina, flan crack.

Ex Classical Numismatic Group 35 (20 September 1995), lot 1228.

According to legend, the 1st century King of Osroene Abgar V, a contemporary of Christ, corresponded by letter with Jesus in hopes of having Him visit his kingdom and cure an illness with which Abgar had been afflicted. The legend may have its origins in the conversion to Christianity of Abgar VIII or IX (the exact number is open to debate), who ruled sometime from the late 170s to the early to mid 210s. Some have (wishfully) interpreted the cross that appears on Abgar’s tiara on some coins of Commodus to be an explicitly Christian symbol.