Coins in the Provinces

Coins found in the provinces hold many thematic consistencies with coins that were minted in Rome.  Images referring to deities were also the most common pictures found on the reverse of coins in the provinces as they were in Rome.  We begin to see images of Commodus in the provinces as early as 175. This date is interesting because it would mean that Commodus appeared on coins before he gained the title of Augustus.  The coin depicted below specifically refers to Commodus as Caesar, and appears to have Latin text despite being minted in Corinth.  Most coins minted in the provinces east of Rome contained Greek text and titles.  The reverse also contains an interesting image of Aeneas carrying Anchises and leading Ascanius.  Here Commodus connects himself with the origins of Rome on a coin before he becomes sole ruler of Rome, or that may be the image identified with where the coin was minted.  This coin represents an interesting mix of Latin culture in a coin minted in Greece.

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Drachma, Commodus, 175, Obverse

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Drachma, Commodus, 175, Reverse

(RPC: 5225)

On the next image we see an image of Commodus, now with Greek letters and titles.  Coins containing Greek text often used the AVP, which meant to represent “AVTOKPATP,” which translates to “Autocrator.”  Also interesting is that on this coin minted in 175 Commodus only has the title Caesar, whereas on the previous coin minted in the same year he held the title Caesar Augustus.  The club on the reverse may be a reference to Hercules, but is more likely an image connected with where the coin was minted.  Consistencies in coins minted throughout the Provinces and in Rome illustrate how uniform the Empire was at the time of Commodus.

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Drachma, Commodus, 175, Obverse

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Drachma, Commodus, 175, Reverse

(RPC: 4160)