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

A.D. 166–69

Numismatics

On view, 1st floor, Ancient Art


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.

Medium

Bronze

Dimensions

42.71 g, 12:00, 37 mm

Credit Line

Ruth Elizabeth White Fund

Accession Number

2012.122.1

Culture
Period

2nd century A.D.

Classification
Disclaimer

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 records is ongoing.

Numismatics

Obverse Description

Obverse Description: COMMODVS CAES VERVS CAES Bust of Commodus (on l.) facing that of Annius Verus, both draped.

Reverse Description

Reverse Description: TEMPORVM / FELICITAS in ex. The Four Seasons represented by boys dancing.
Provenance

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.
Bibliography
  • William E. Metcalf, "A Medallion of Commodus and Annius Verus," in "Recent Acquisitions," special issue, Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2014), 84–86, ill
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

medals

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