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Activitatea atelierului monetar de la Callatis în vremea lui Commodus

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Excerpt In this study, we aimed to focus on the coins from Callatis during the reign of Emperor Commodus. They are not well known, both in the specialized literature
and in the monetary discoveries. We have gathered 39 coins with the name of Commodus, to which are added three pseudo-autonomous Demeter type pieces overstruck, from the numismatic literature, from the former collections or the selection of the auction houses displayed on the internet. Based on them, we identified six superior denomination issues, accompanied by three low denomination issues, which are distributed as it follows, by virtue of the stylistic analogies with the emperor's portrait on Roman sestertius's issues: first issue
- years 177-180 (with his father, Marcus Aurelius, by virtue of the Lucius praenomen on the obverse); second issue - dates from 180, when he settles as unique emperor of the Roman Empire; third and fourth issues - appear to be struck between the years 181-183; fifth issue - is the most abundant issue, to which we add also low denomination pieces of Aphrodite and Priapos types, as well as Eros / Thanathos type, towards the year 185; sixth issue -between the years 188-189, concurrently with it, pieces of Eros-Thanathos type were also issued, in a very similar artistic style. In our group, there are three overstruck one from Callatis, Commodus, the other being older issues from the Megarian city or even from elsewhere, maybe Histria, from the same period. They were overstruck with a new image, the veiled bust of Demeter with crown of wheat, which in the Callatis iconography is associated with the coins of 3 assaria. We should note the intentional application on the obverse of an image signifying a certain monetary value (Γ), 3 assaria, on a piece with the imperial title, which valued more as metal, being the equivalent of 4 or 5 assaria. The very good state of conservation of the piece from Commodus (pl. IV, 40) determines us to consider that the process of overstriking took place after a few years since its issue. The overstriking operation was intended for some older issues, especially for those with the Commodus portrait; it took place at one point, being determined by certain political and economic causes. This moment could be located after the end of Commodus's reign in 192, when the emperor is the subject of a damnatio memoriae because of his extravagant behavior. On the other hand, this operation of overstriking the old bronze coins, which no longer corresponded to the political situation, is understood to take place sooner after the installation of Septimius Severus on the imperial throne and the initiation of monetary reform after the end of the civil war (194). Probably it happened with the striking of new issues with the portrait of Septimius Severus; in this context, a forced lower rate is imposed for the older coins. At the same time, at this moment can be situated the striking of a new series of pseudo-autonomous Demeter type coins (pl. V, 41-44), which present stylistic features very similar to the model applied on the Commodus coin from Callatis.
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  • Revista de Cercetări Arheologice şi Numismatice; V; anul 2019
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Editura Publicat de: Cetatea de Scaun
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