Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

The Alexandrian Coinage of Commodus. A die study.

Sep 16, 2022, 2:20 PM
Auditorium Maximum - Hall B

Auditorium Maximum - Hall B

on-line oral presentation S47. ROME 13. ROMAN & BYZANTINE EGYPT


Mona Ashour (Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University-Egypt )


The Alexandrian coinage of Commodus (AD 175-192) is dominated by billon tetradrachms with the head or bust of the Emperor mainly accompanied by the legend Μ(ΑΡΚΟΣ) Α(VΡΗΛΙΟΣ) ΚΟ(ΜΜΟΔΟΣ) ΑΝΤΩ(ΝΙΝΟΣ) CΕΒ(ΑΣΤΟΣ) ΕV(CΕΒΗΣ). This paper discusses a die study of 2,189 coins which shed light on the output of the Egyptian mint of that period. The metrological and iconographic studies led to a revision of the propaganda of the Emperor through coinage. While the low ratio of coins to obverse dies (1 for 2 approximately) is not conclusive, it sheds light on how the Emperor focused on certain types, which ultimately led to his deification (as shown by the overwhelming presence of Zeus on the reverse) and mirroring his representations as Heracles. The series struck by Commodus in Alexandria also suggest a change from the iconographical syncretism developed by his predecessors on bronze coinage.

Primary author

Mona Ashour (Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University-Egypt )

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