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Obv. L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL. Bust of Commodus as Hercules right, wearing lion's skin headdress; Rev. HERCVLI ROMANO AVG. Bow, club, and quiver with arrows. Reference: RIC III 253, BMC 343, RSC 195.
"First he cleared the grove of Zeus, and slew the lion in his liar; the tawny hide concealed his back, oval of those awful jaws cowled his golden hair" Euripides Heracles (359ff).
This silver denarius was struck in AD 192, the scalp of the Nemean lion symbolizing affinity with Hercules, who killed it as his first labor (Apollodorus, II.5.1) and wore its invulnerable scalp and hide.
References: Apollodorus: The Library (1921) translated by J. G. Frazer (Loeb Classical Library). The Attic red vase image of Hercules is from the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston).
See also Commodus as Hercules.
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