SILVER COIN – DENARIUS, ANCIENT ROME, c. 177 AD
Mounted as a pendant in a modern custom gold mount, marked 14K.
Ruler: Commodus - Emperor 177-192 AD, coin struck 177 AD
Obverse: “IMP CAES L AVR COMMODUS GERM SARM” - Laureate bust of Emperor, right.
Reverse: “TR POT COS” – Winged Victory standing left with wreath and palm branch.
Diameter without loop is 23mm, total weight is 6.24gm.
The Emperor Commodus (Lucius Aurelius Commodus, 161-192 AD) was the son of Marcus Aurelius, one of the best-loved emperors of Rome. After his father’s death in 180 AD, Commodus became sole emperor. He had no interest in frontier warfare or the tedious details of government and left those tasks to his generals and prefects. He considered himself to be personification of the Greek hero Hercules and had numerous statues of him dressed as Hercules placed about Rome. However, Commodus is most remembered as the Gladiator Emperor, taking singular pleasure in public games and gladiatorial combat, in which he sometimes participated, even going into the Colosseum ring and fighting wild beasts and some human foes.
Commodus was poisoned and strangled on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 192 AD. In 193 AD, the tumultuous year following his death, there were five men who claimed the title of Emperor. The capable general and politician Septimius Severus eventually overcame his opponents and began the Severan dynasty which would rule Rome till 235 AD.