Very Fine Roman Egypt billon tetradrachm coin.
Struck for Emperor Commodus, son of Marcus Aurelius.
Minted in the Emperor's 24th Alexandrian year = 183/4 CE.
Certified by NGC to VF.
Emmett: 2555/24, rated R5 (highest rarity)!
Obverse: laureate head of emperor facing right.
Reverse: Sarapis head facing right, surrounded by date letters L K Delta = 24.
The Cult of Serapis was promoted by Ptolemy I Sotar (Ptolemaic dynasty) as a means of fostering harmony between Egyptian and Greek subjects. The god combined Osiris and the Apis Bull (the sacred bull of Memphis) with aspects of the Greek gods Zeus (the king of the gods), Dionysus (also known as Bacchus, the god of wine), Helios (the personification of the Sun), Hades (the god of the underworld) and Asklepios (god of medicine). Linguistically, his name is the result of the fusion of Osiris and Apis, and there is evidence that a cult of Osarapis existed before the Ptolemaic Period, but the Ptolemaic version was a much more Greek conception.
Serapis personified divine majesty and represented the sun, fertility, healing and the afterlife. his consort was Isis, the wife of Osiris and the most popular goddess during the Ptolemaic Period.