MOESIA INFERIOR NICOPOLIS Commodus 177-192 AD bronze


MOESIA INFERIOR, NICOPOLIS ad ISTRUM, Commodus, 177-192 AD, minor, no date, Obverse: laureate head R, fragmentary legend around, Reverse: wolf suckling Romulus and Remus R, ΝΙΚΟΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ, bronze, 16-18mm, 2.23g, Moushmov-886, irregular edge, F

1 in stock

SKU: 2002151574


Commodus was the son of Marcus Aurelius, turned out to have no aptitude for the job of Emperor. After 15 years of messing around he was assassinated. Incompetent, but lucky: no major wars during his reign.

Nicopolis ad Istrum was a Roman town now in northern Bulgaria.

Moesia was a region spread over southern Romania, Kosovo, and Serbia, and northern North Macedonia and Bulgaria. The Romans conquered the region during the late Republic, to protect their holdings in Macedonia to the south. That was their operating principle: extend their territories to protect what they already had. Like all other attempts at world conquest, it failed due to lack of resources. In Moesia, during the 3rd century AD, a number of cities issued large, well made bronze coins. Marcianopolis is now the Bulgarian town of Devnya. Elagabalus was a notably wierd Emperor whose personal characteristics interfered with governance. Julia Maesa was his grandmother, and a political person whose activities eventually brought her boy to the throne.

The Romans, as they were building their empire, preferred to let the local coinage arrangements remain in place. As they developed their political system into the Cult of Personality that was the Empire, they started putting imperial portraits on the local coins. Later, as the Empire began to shrink, they preferred to centralize their coinage operations, eliminating local control. There were also allied and client states, some of which, at times, issued coins celebrating the alliance or subservience. The main catalog reference for these coins on this web site is Greek Imperial Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.