Roman Egypt billon tetradrachm minted for Emperor Commodus, son of Marcus Aurelius.
Certified by NGC to VF.
Minted in the Emperor's 24th Alexandrian year = 183/4 CE.
Emmitt: 2555/24, rated R5 (highest rarity)!
Obverse: laureate head of emperor.
Reverse: Sarapis head right.
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 personificartion of the Sun), Hades (the god of the underworld) and Asklepios (god of medcine). 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 verison 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.