Numismatics
Honorand: Commodus, Emperor of Rome, A.D. 161–192, ruled 180–92
Honorand: Annius Verus, son of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina II, A.D. 162–169
Ruler: Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome, A.D. 121–180, ruled A.D. 161–80
Ruler: Lucius Verus, Co-emperor of Rome, A.D. 130–169, ruled 161–69
Mint: Rome
Artist: Unknown

Medallion of Commodus and Annius Verus

A.D. 166–69

Bronze

42.71 g, 12:00, 37 mm
Ruth Elizabeth White Fund
2012.122.1

Roman medallions were exceptional pieces—usually about twice the weight of contemporary bronze coinage, representing the work of the finest engravers and concentrating on a select number of themes—and were intended for presentation to high-ranking officials, foreign delegates, and the like. The succession was always of prime importance to the imperial family, and this piece struck between A.D. 166 and 169 portrays the young Commodus (born 161) and his brother Annius Verus (born 162), children of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina II. Commodus occupies the position of seniority on the left, and he would eventually become the emperor’s successor in 180; Annius died in September A.D. 169, establishing a terminal date for the piece. The theme of the four seasons on the reverse illustrates the “happiness of the times” proclaimed by the reverse legend.

Culture: 
Roman
Period: 
2nd century A.D.
Classification: 
Numismatics
Geography: 
Made in Rome, Italy
Status: 
By appointment
Provenance: 

Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich, May 13, 2001, cat. O, lot 13; Freeman and Sear, Chatsworth, Calif., Spring 2005, cat. 10, lot 105; CNG, Lancaster, Pa., September 19, 2012, cat. 91, lot 916; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.