FACTOID # 29: 73.3% of America's gross operating surplus in motion picture and sound recording industries comes from California.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
RELATED ARTICLES
People who viewed "Commodus" also viewed:
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Commodus
Commodus
Emperor of the Roman Empire
Commodus as
Hercules, Capitoline Museums
Reign 17717 March 180
(with Marcus Aurelius);
18 March 180
31 December 192 (alone)
Full name Lucius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus
Born 31 August 161(161-08-31)
Lanuvium
Died 31 December 192 (age 31)
Rome
Predecessor Marcus Aurelius (alone)
Successor Pertinax
Consort to Bruttia Crispina
Dynasty Antonine
Father Marcus Aurelius
Mother Faustina
Roman imperial dynasties
Antonine Dynasty
Antoninus Pius
Children
   Natural - Faustina the Younger, also one other daughter and two sons, all died before 138
   Adoptive - Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus
Marcus Aurelius with Lucius Verus
Marcus Aurelius alone
Children
   Natural - 13, including Commodus and Lucilla
Commodus

Lucius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (August 31, 161December 31, 192) was a Roman Emperor who ruled from 180 to 192 (also with Marcus Aurelius from 177 until 180). The name given here was his official name at his accession; see 'Changes of Name' for earlier and later forms. He was the son of Marcus Aurelius; it was the first time a son had succeeded his father as Emperor since Titus exactly a century before, and he was the first Emperor "born to the purple", i.e. born while his father was already reigning as Emperor. Ordinary Magistrates Extraordinary Magistrates Titles and Honors Emperor Politics and Law This article discusses the nature of the imperial dignity, and its dynastic development throughout the history of the Empire. ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 393 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1870 × 2850 pixel, file size: 2. ... Michelangelos design for Capitoline Hill, now home to the Capitoline Museums. ... Events A systematic persecution of Christians begins in Rome under Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. ... is the 76th day of the year (77th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see number 180. ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (called the Wise) (April 26, 121[2] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. ... is the 77th day of the year (78th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see number 180. ... is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Commodus assassinated by a wrestler named Narcissus at the behest of Commodus concubine, chamberlain and Praetorian prefect. ... is the 243rd day of the year (244th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events March 7 - Roman emperor Antoninus Pius dies and is succeeded by co-Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. ... Lanuvium (more frequently Lanivium in Imperial Roman times, modern Civita Lavinia) is an ancient city of Latium, some 32 km southeast of Rome, a little Southwest of the Via Appia. ... is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Commodus assassinated by a wrestler named Narcissus at the behest of Commodus concubine, chamberlain and Praetorian prefect. ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (called the Wise) (April 26, 121[2] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. ... Publius Helvius Pertinax (August 1, 126 - March 28, 193) was Roman emperor for a short period in 193. ... Coin issued in the name of Bruttia Crispina Bruttia Crispina (d. ... The Antonines most often referred to were two successive Roman Emperors who ruled between A.D. 138 and 180: Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius, famous for their skilled leadership. ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (called the Wise) (April 26, 121[2] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. ... Faustina the Younger Annia Galeria Faustina, the Younger, (c. ... The Antonines most often referred to were two successive Roman Emperors who ruled between A.D. 138 and 180: Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius, famous for their skilled leadership. ... Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus Pius (September 19, 86–March 7, 161) was Roman emperor from 138 to 161. ... Faustina the Younger Annia Galeria Faustina, the Younger, (c. ... Events February 25 - Roman emperor Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius on condition that Antonius would adopt Marcus Annius Aurelius Verus. ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (called the Wise) (April 26, 121[2] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. ... Lucius Ceionius Commodus Verus Armeniacus (December 15, 130 – 169), known simply as Lucius Verus, was Roman co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius (161–180), from 161 until his death. ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (called the Wise) (April 26, 121[2] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. ... Lucius Ceionius Commodus Verus Armeniacus (December 15, 130 – 169), known simply as Lucius Verus, was Roman co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius (161–180), from 161 until his death. ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (called the Wise) (April 26, 121[2] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. ... Denarius of Lucilla. ... is the 243rd day of the year (244th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events March 7 - Roman emperor Antoninus Pius dies and is succeeded by co-Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. ... is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Commodus assassinated by a wrestler named Narcissus at the behest of Commodus concubine, chamberlain and Praetorian prefect. ... Ordinary Magistrates Extraordinary Magistrates Titles and Honors Emperor Politics and Law This article discusses the nature of the imperial dignity, and its dynastic development throughout the history of the Empire. ... Lucius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (August 31, 161 – December 31, 192) was a Roman Emperor who ruled from 180 to 192 (also with Marcus Aurelius from 177 until 180). ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (called the Wise) (April 26, 121[2] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. ... For other uses, see Titus (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Early life and rise to power (161–180)

Childhood

Commodus was born as Lucius Aurelius Commodus in Lanuvium, near Rome, the son of the reigning emperor Marcus Aurelius. He had an elder twin brother, Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus, who died in 165. On October 12, 166, Commodus was made Caesar together with his younger brother Marcus Annius Verus; the latter also died in 169, having failed to recover from an operation, which left Commodus as Marcus Aurelius’s sole surviving son. He was looked after by his father’s physician, Galen, in order to keep him healthy and alive (Commodus was the sole heir to the throne after the deaths of his brothers). Galen treated many of Commodus's common illnesses. Commodus received extensive tuition at the hands of what Marcus Aurelius called ‘an abundance of good masters’. The focus of Commodus’s education appears to have been intellectual, possibly at the expense of military training. Lanuvium (more frequently Lanivium in Imperial Roman times, modern Civita Lavinia) is an ancient city of Latium, some 32 km southeast of Rome, a little Southwest of the Via Appia. ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (called the Wise) (April 26, 121[2] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. ... Events Roman operations under Avidius Cassius was successful against Parthia, capturing Artaxata, Seleucia, and Ctesiphon. ... is the 285th day of the year (286th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events Pope Soter succeeds Pope Anicetus Change of Patriarch of Constantinople from Patriarch Laurence to Patriarch Alypius Dacia invaded by barbarians Conflict erupts on the Danube frontier between Rome and the Germanic tribe of the Marcomanni Roman envoy sent out by emperor Antoninus Pius. ... Marcus Annius Verus was a Roman man who lived in the first and second century. ... Second Marcomanni War begins. ... For other uses, see Galen (disambiguation). ...


Sole reign (180–192)

Whereas the reign of Marcus Aurelius had been marked by almost continuous warfare, that of Commodus was comparatively peaceful in the military sense, but was marked by political strife and the increasingly arbitrary and capricious behaviour of the Emperor himself. In the view of Dio Cassius, a contemporary observer, his accession marked the descent "from a kingdom of gold to one of rust and iron"[1] - a famous comment which has led some historians, notably Edward Gibbon, to take Commodus's reign as the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire. Despite his notoriety, and considering the importance of his reign, Commodus’s years in power are not well chronicled. The principal surviving literary sources are Dio Cassius (a contemporary and sometimes first hand observer, but for this reign only transmitted in fragments and abbreviations), Herodian and the Historia Augusta (untrustworthy due to its character as a work of literature rather than history, with elements of fiction embedded within its biographies. In the case of Commodus it may well be embroidering upon what the author found in reasonably good contemporary sources). Dio Cassius Cocceianus (c. ... Edward Gibbon (1737–1794). ... This article is about the historiography of the decline of the Roman Empire. ... Herodian or Herodianus of Syria (ca. ... The Augustan History (Lat. ...


Commodus remained with the Danube armies for only a short time before negotiating a peace treaty with the Danubian tribes. He then returned to Rome and celebrated a triumph for the conclusion of the wars on October 22, 180. Unlike the preceding Emperors Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius, he seems to have had little interest in the business of administration and tended throughout his reign to leave the practical running of the state to a succession of favourites, beginning at this time with Saoterus, a freedman from Nicomedia who had become his chamberlain. Dissatisfaction with this state of affairs would lead to a series of conspiracies and attempted coups, which in turn eventually provoked Commodus to take charge of affairs, which he did in an increasingly dictatorial manner. Nevertheless, though the senatorial order came to hate and fear him, the evidence suggests that he remained popular with the army and the common people for much of his reign, not least because of his lavish shows of largesse (recorded on his coinage) and because he staged and took part in spectacular gladiatorial combats. One of the ways he paid for his donatives and mass entertainments was to tax the senatorial order, and on many inscriptions the traditional order of the two nominal powers of the state, the Senate and People (Senatus Populusque Romanum) is provocatively reversed (Populus Senatusque ...). is the 295th day of the year (296th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see number 180. ... This article is about the Roman Emperor. ... Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus (January 24, 76 –– July 10, 138), known as Hadrian in English, was emperor of Rome from 117 A.D. to 138 A.D., as well as a Stoic and Epicurean philosopher. ... Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus Pius (September 19, 86–March 7, 161) was Roman emperor from 138 to 161. ... This article is considered orphaned, since there are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Nicomedia (modern İzmit, also known as Iznik) was founded by Nicomedes I of Bithynia at the head of the Gulf of Astacus (which opens on the Propontis) in 264 BC. The city has ever since been one of the chief towns in this part of Asia Minor. ... Look up chamberlain in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The conspiracies of 182

At the outset of his reign Commodus, aged 19, inherited many of his father’s senior advisers, notably Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus (the second husband of Commodus’s sister Lucilla), his father-in-law Gaius Bruttius Praesens, Vitrasius Pollio, and Aufidius Victorinus, who was Prefect of the City of Rome. He also had five surviving sisters, all of them with husbands who were potential rivals. Four of his sisters were considerably older than he; the eldest, Lucilla, held the rank of Augusta as the widow of her first husband, Lucius Verus. Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus, a general of Marcus Aurelius, married Aurelius daughter, Annia Aurelia Galeria Lucilla, and rose to the rank of senior senator in Rome before twice refusing emperorship for himself. ... Denarius of Lucilla. ... Lucius Fulvius Gaius Bruttius Praesens Laberius Maximus (c. ... Augustus (plural augusti) is Latin for majestic, the increaser, or venerable. The feminine form is Augusta. ... Lucius Ceionius Commodus Verus Armeniacus (December 15, 130 – 169), known simply as Lucius Verus, was Roman co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius (161–180), from 161 until his death. ...


The first crisis of the reign came in 182, when Lucilla engineered a conspiracy against her brother. Her motive is alleged to have been jealousy of the Empress Crispina. Her husband Pompeianus was not involved, but two men alleged to have been her lovers, Marcus Ummidius Quadratus (the consul of 167, who was also her first cousin) and Appius Claudius Quintianus, attempted to murder Commodus as he entered the theatre. They bungled the job and were seized by the Emperor’s bodyguard. Quadratus and Quintianus were executed; Lucilla was exiled to Capri and later killed. Pompeianus retired from public life. One of the two praetorian prefects, Tarrutenius Paternus, had actually been involved in the conspiracy but was not detected at this time, and in the aftermath he and his colleague Tigidius Perennis were able to arrange for the murder of Saoterus, the hated chamberlain. For other uses, see Capri (disambiguation). ... Praetorian prefect (Latin Praefectus praetorio) was the constant title of a high office in the Roman state that changed fundamentally in nature. ... Sextus Tigidius Perennis (?–185) was a prefect of the Roman imperial bodyguard, known as the Praetorian Guard, during the reigns of the emperors Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. ...


Commodus took the loss of Saoterus badly, and Perennis now seized the chance to advance himself by implicating Paternus in a second conspiracy, one apparently led by Publius Salvius Julianus, who was the son of the famous jurist and was betrothed to Paternus’s daughter. Salvius and Paternus were executed along with a number of other prominent consulars and senators. Didius Julianus, the future Emperor, a relative of Salvius Julianus, was dismissed from the governorship of Germania Inferior. Perennis took over the reins of government and Commodus founded a new chamberlain and favourite in Cleander, a Phrygian freedman who had married one of the Emperor’s mistresses, Demostratia. Cleander was in fact the person who had murdered Saoterus. After those attempts on his life, Commodus spent much of his time outside Rome, mostly on the family estates at Lanuvium. Though physically strong he was mentally lazy, and his chief interest was in sport: taking part in horse-racing, chariot-racing, and combats with beasts and men, mostly in private but also on occasion in public. Didius Julianus Marcus Severus Didius Julianus (133–193) was emperor of the Roman Empire from 28 March until 1 June 193. ... Cleander was a Roman freedman who gained extraordinary power as chamberlain and favourite of the Emperor Commodus, rising to command the Praetorian Guard and bringing the principal offices of the Roman state into disrepute by selling them to the highest bidder. ... In antiquity, Phrygia (Greek: ) was a kingdom in the west central part of the Anatolia. ... poop. ... Lanuvium (more frequently Lanivium in Imperial Roman times, modern Civita Lavinia) is an ancient city of Latium, some 32 km southeast of Rome, a little Southwest of the Via Appia. ...


Dacia and Britain

Commodus inaugurated 183 as consul with Aufidius Victorinus for colleague and assumed the title 'Pius'. War broke out in Dacia: few details are available but it appears two future contenders for the throne, Clodius Albinus and Pescennius Niger, both distinguished themselves in the campaign. Also in Britain in 184 the governor Ulpius Marcellus re-advanced the Roman frontier northward to the Antonine Wall but the legionaries revolted against his harsh discipline and acclaimed another legate, Priscus, as Emperor. Priscus refused to accept their acclamations, but Perennis had all the legionary legates in Britain cashiered. On 15 October 184 at the Capitoline Games a Cynic philosopher publicly denounced Perennis before Commodus, who was watching, but was immediately put to death. According to Dio Cassius Perennis, though ruthless and ambitious, was not personally corrupt and generally administered the state well.[2] However the following year a detachment of soldiers from Britain (they had been drafted to Italy to suppress brigands) also denounced Perennis to the Emperor as plotting to make his own son Emperor (they had been enabled to do so by Cleander, who was seeking to dispose of his rival) and Commodus gave them permission to execute him as well as his wife and sons. The fall of Perennis brought a new spate of executions: Aufidius Victorinus committed suicide. Ulpius Marcellus was replaced as governor of Britain by Pertinax; brought to Rome and tried for treason, Marcellus narrowly escaped death. For other uses, see Dacia (disambiguation). ... Clodius Albinus. ... Pescennius Niger as emperor. ... Ulpius Marcellus was a Roman governor and general of the later 2nd century AD. He was sent by the Emperor Commodus to govern Roman Britain and suppress a serious revolt in AD 180. ... The Antonine Wall, looking east, from Barr Hill between Twechar and Croy The Antonine Wall, remains of Roman fortlet, Barr Hill, near Twechar Location of Hadrians Wall and the Antonine Wall in Scotland and Northern England. ... is the 288th day of the year (289th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events The Yellow Turban Rebellion breaks out in China. ... Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus on Capitoline Hill, 6th-1st century BC. In Ancient Rome, the Capitoline Games (Latin: Ludi Capitolini) were annual games, or combats instituted by Camillus, 387 BC, in honor of Jupiter Capitolinus, and in commemoration of the Capitols not being taken by the Gauls that same... This article is about the ancient Greek school of philosophy. ... Publius Helvius Pertinax (August 1, 126 - March 28, 193) was Roman emperor for a short period in 193. ...


Cleander's zenith and fall (185–190)

Cleander proceeded to concentrate power in his own hands and to enrich himself by becoming responsible for all public offices: he sold and bestowed entry to the Senate, army commands, governorships and, increasingly, even the suffect consulships to the highest bidder. Unrest around the Empire increased, with large numbers of army deserters causing trouble in Gaul and Germany. Pescennius Niger mopped up the deserters in Gaul in a military campaign, and a revolt in Brittany was put down by two legions brought over from Britain. In 187 one of the leaders of the deserters, Maternus, came from Gaul intending to assassinate Commodus at the Festival of the Great Goddess in March, but he was betrayed and executed. In the same year Pertinax unmasked a conspiracy by two enemies of Cleander - Antistius Burrus (one of Commodus’s brothers-in-law) and Arrius Antoninus. As a result Commodus appeared even more rarely in public, preferring to live on his estates. Early in 188 Cleander disposed of the current praetorian prefect, Atilius Aebutianus, and himself took over supreme command of the Praetorians with the new rank of a pugione (dagger-bearer) with two praetorian prefects subordinate to him. Now at the zenith of his power, Cleander continued to sell public offices as his private business. The climax came in the year 190 which had 25 suffect consuls – a record in the 1,000-year history of the Roman consulship – all appointed by Cleander (they included the future Emperor Septimius Severus). For modern diplomatic consuls, see Consulate general. ... Gaul (Latin: ) was the name given, in ancient times, to the region of Western Europe comprising present-day northern Italy, France, Belgium, western Switzerland and the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine river. ... Historical province of Brittany, showing the main areas with their name in Breton language The traditional flag of Brittany (the Gwenn-ha-du), formerly a Breton nationalist symbol but today used as a general civic flag in the region. ... Events Rebellion of Zhang Chun and Zhang Ju. ... Events A part of Rome burns, and emperor Commodus orders the city to be rebuilt under the name Colonia Commodiana First year of Chuping era of Chinese Han Dynasty Births 190 is a number Deaths Athenagoras of Athens, Christian apologist Categories: 190 ... Lucius Septimius Severus (or rarely Severus I) (b. ...


In the spring of 190 Rome was afflicted by a food shortage, for which the praefectus annonae Papirius Dionysius, the official actually in charge of the grain supply, contrived to lay the blame on Cleander. At the end of June a mob demonstrated against Cleander during a horse-race in the Circus Maximus: he sent the praetorian guard to put down the disturbances but Pertinax, who was now City Prefect of Rome, despatched the vigiles to oppose them. Cleander fled to Commodus, who was at Laurentium in the house of the Quintillii, for protection, but the mob followed him calling for his head. At the urging of his mistress Marcia, Commodus had Cleander beheaded and his son killed. Other victims at this time were the praetorian prefect Julius Julianus, Commodus’s aunt Annia Fundania Faustina, and his brother-in-law Mamertinus. Papirius Dionysius was executed too. The Emperor now changed his name to Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus and, at 29, took over more of the reins of power, though he continued to rule through a cabal consisting of Marcia, his new chamberlain Eclectus, and the new praetorian prefect Quintus Aemilius Laetus who about this time also had many Christians freed from working in the mines in Sardinia. Marcia, the widow of Quadratus who had been executed in 182, is alleged to have been a Christian. For other uses, see Circus Maximus (disambiguation). ... Marcia (birth and death dates unknown) was the cousin and mistress of 2nd century AD Roman Emperor Commodus. ... Sardinia (pronounced ; Italian: ; Sardinian: or ) is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ...


A new order (190–192)

In opposition to the Senate, in his pronouncements and iconography Commodus had always laid stress on his unique status as a source of god-like power, liberality and physical prowess. Innumerable statues around the Empire were set up portraying him in the guise of Hercules, reinforcing the image of him as a demigod, a physical giant, a protector and a battler against beasts and men (see "Commodus and Hercules" and "Commodus the Gladiator" below). Moreover as Hercules he could claim to be the son of Jupiter, the representative of the supreme god of the Roman pantheon. These tendencies now increased to megalomaniac proportions. Far from celebrating his descent from Marcus Aurelius, the actual source of his power, he stressed his own personal uniqueness as the bringer of a new order, seeking to re-cast the Empire in his own image. During 191 the city of Rome was extensively damaged by a fire which raged for several days, during which many public buildings including the Temple of Pax, the Temple of Vesta and parts of the imperial palace were destroyed. Perhaps seeing this as an opportunity, early in 192 Commodus, declaring himself the new Romulus, ritually re-founded Rome, renaming the city Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana. All the months were renamed to correspond exactly with his (now twelve) names: Lucius, Aelius, Aurelius, Commodus, Augustus, Herculeus, Romanus, Exsuperatorius, Amazonius, Invictus, Felix, Pius. The legions were renamed Commodianae, the fleet which imported grain from Africa was termed Alexandria Commodiana Togata, the Senate was entitled the Commodian Fortunate Senate, his palace and the Roman people themselves were all given the name Commodianus, and the day on which these reforms were decreed was to be called Dies Commodianus.[3] Thus he presented himself as the fountainhead of the Empire and Roman life and religion. He also had the head of the Colossus of Nero adjacent to the Colosseum replaced with his own portrait, gave it a club and placed a bronze lion at its feet to make it look like Hercules, and added an inscription boasting of being "the only left-handed fighter to conquer twelve times one thousand men".[4] For other uses, see Hercules (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Jupiter (disambiguation). ... A pantheon (from Greek Πάνθειον, temple of all gods, from πᾶν, all + θεός, god) is a set of all the gods of a particular religion or mythology, such as the gods of Hinduism, Norse, Egyptian, Shintoism, Greek, vodun, Yoruba Mythology and Roman mythology. ... Romulus may refer to any of these articles: Romulus is a mythical founder of Rome, brother of Remus. ... The Emperor Nero had a colossal statue of himself erected in the vestibule of the Domus Aurea. ... The Colosseum by night: exterior view of the best-preserved section. ...


Character and physical prowess

Character and motivations

Bust of Commodus (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) According to Herodian[1] he was well proportioned and attractive, with naturally blonde and curly hair.
Bust of Commodus (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) According to Herodian[1] he was well proportioned and attractive, with naturally blonde and curly hair.

Dio Cassius, a first-hand witness who had no reason to defend Commodus, describes him as "not naturally wicked but, on the contrary, as guileless as any man that ever lived. His great simplicity, however, together with his cowardice, made him the slave of his companions, and it was through them that he at first, out of ignorance, missed the better life and then was led on into lustful and cruel habits, which soon became second nature."[5] His recorded actions do tend to show a rejection of his father’s policies, his father’s advisers, and especially his father’s austere lifestyle, and an alienation from the surviving members of his family. Whether this was a wholesale psychological rejection of his father is not something that can be assessed at this distance in time. It seems likely, however, that he was brought up in an atmosphere of Stoic asceticism, which he rejected entirely upon his accession to sole rule. After repeated assassination attempts on Commodus' life, Roman citizens were often killed for raising his ire. One such notable event was the attempted extermination of the Quintilii house. Condianus and Maximus were executed under the guise that, while the two Quintilii weren't implicated in any plots of rebellion, their wealth and talent would make them unhappy with their current state of affairs.[6] Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1920x2560, 865 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Commodus Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1920x2560, 865 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Commodus Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create... Madonna in Green by Raffaello Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel. ... Herodian or Herodianus of Syria (ca. ... Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy, founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early third century BC. It proved to be a popular and durable philosophy, with a following throughout Greece and the Roman Empire from its founding until all the schools of philosophy were ordered closed...


Changes of name

On his accession as sole ruler Commodus added the name Antoninus to his official nomenclature. In October 180 he changed his praenomen from Lucius to Marcus, presumably in honour of his father. In 182 he took the title Pius and in 185 that of Felix. In 191 he restored his praenomen to Lucius and added the family name Aelius, apparently linking himself to Hadrian and Hadrian's adopted son Lucius Aelius Caesar, whose original name was also Commodus. Later that year he had dropped 'Antoninus' and adopted as his full style Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus Augustus Herculeus Romanus Exsuperatorius Amazonius Invictus Felix Pius (the order of some of these titles varies in the sources). Exsuperatorius (the supreme) was a title given to Jupiter, and Amazonius identified him again with Hercules. An inscribed altar from Dura-Europos on the Euphrates shows that Commodus's titles and the renaming of the months were disseminated to the furthest reaches of the Empire; moreover, that even auxiliary military units received the title Commodiana, and that Commodus claimed two additional titles: Pacator Orbis (pacifier of the world) and Dominus Noster (Our Lord). The latter eventually would be used as a conventional title by Roman Emperors, starting about a century later, but Commodus seems to have been the first to assume it.[7] In the Roman naming convention used in ancient Rome, male names typically contain three proper nouns which are classified as praenomen (or given name), nomen gentile (or Gens name) and cognomen. ... Lucius Aelius Verus (??? - January 1, 138) (born Lucius Ceionius Commodus) became the adopted son, and intended successor, of Emperor Hadrian (January 24, 76 - July 10, 138), but never attained the throne. ... The Temple of Bel at Dura-Europos Dura-Europos (Fort Europos)[1] was a Hellenistic and Roman walled city built on an escarpment ninety meters above the banks of the Euphrates river. ...


Commodus and Hercules

Disdaining the more philosophic inclinations of his father, Commodus was extremely proud of his physical prowess. He was generally acknowledged to be extremely handsome. As mentioned above he ordered many statues to be made showing him dressed as Hercules with a lion's hide and a club. He thought of himself as the reincarnation of Hercules, frequently emulating the legendary hero's feats by appearing in the arena to fight a variety of wild animals. He was left-handed, and very proud of the fact. Cassius Dio and the writers of the Augustan History say that Commodus was a skilled archer, who could shoot the heads off ostriches in full gallop, and kill a panther as it attacked a victim in the arena. For other uses, see Hercules (disambiguation). ... Cassius Dio Cocceianus (ca. ... The Augustan History (Lat. ... A melanistic leopard, or black panther The black panther is the common name for a black specimen (a melanistic variant) of any of several species of cats. ...


Commodus the gladiator

The emperor also had a passion for gladiatorial combat, which he took so far as to take to the arena himself, dressed as a gladiator. This action was considered to be unusual conduct for an emperor by the people of Rome. The Roman people also found Commodus' naked gladiatorial combats as disgraceful and disgusting.[8] It was rumoured that he was actually the son, not of Marcus, but of a gladiator whom his mother Faustina had taken as a lover at the coastal resort of Caieta.[9] In the arena Commodus always won since his opponents always submitted to the emperor. Thus, these public fights would not end in a death. Privately, it was his custom to slay his practice opponents.[10] For each appearance in the arena, he charged the city of Rome a million sesterces, straining the Roman economy. For other uses, see Gladiator (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Arena (disambiguation). ... In Roman mythology, Caieta was the wet-nurse of Aeneas. ... The sestertius was an ancient Roman coin. ...


Commodus did raise the ire of many military officials in Rome for his Hercules persona in the arena. Often wounded soldiers and amputees would be placed in the arena for Commodus to slay with a sword. Commodus' eccentric behavior would not stop there. Citizens of Rome missing their feet due to accident or disease were taken to the arena where they were tethered together for Commodus to club to death while pretending they were giants.[11] These acts may have contributed to his assassination.


The end of the reign (192)

In late 192, a destructive fire burned down the Temple of Pax, the Temple of Vesta, and part of the Imperial state palace. In November, Commodus held Plebian Games in which he shot hundreds of animals with arrows and javelins every morning, and fought as a gladiator every afternoon, naturally winning all the bouts. In December he announced his intention to inaugurate the year 193 as both consul and gladiator on January 1. Vesta may refer to: The goddess Vesta in Roman mythology equivalent to Greek Hestia The asteroid 4 Vesta, named for the Roman deity. ...


At this point the prefect Laetus formed a conspiracy with Eclectus to supplant Commodus with Pertinax, taking Marcia into their confidence. On December 31 Marcia poisoned his food, but he vomited up the poison and the conspirators therefore sent the wrestler Narcissus to strangle him in his bath. Upon his death, the Senate declared him a public enemy (a de facto damnatio memoriae) and restored the original name to the city of Rome and its institutions. Commodus' statues were thrown down. His body was buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian. However, in 195, the emperor Septimius Severus, trying to gain favor with the family of Marcus Aurelius, rehabilitated Commodus's memory and had the Senate deify him. Narcissus was a Roman athlete and wrestler from the 2nd century AD. He was employed by emperor Commodus as his wrestling partner and personal trainer in order to train him for his appearances in the Colosseum as a gladiator. ... Tondo of the Severan family, with portraits of Septimius Severus, Julia Domna, Caracalla, and Geta. ... For the town with the same name, see Castel SantAngelo (RI) Castel SantAngelo from the bridge. ... Lucius Septimius Severus (or rarely Severus I) (b. ...


Commodus was succeeded by Pertinax, whose reign was short lived, being the first to fall victim to the Year of the Five Emperors. Commodus's death marked the end of the Nervan-Antonian dynasty. Publius Helvius Pertinax (August 1, 126 - March 28, 193) was Roman emperor for a short period in 193. ... The Year of the Five Emperors refers to 193, in which there were five claimants for the title of Roman Emperor. ... The Five Good Emperors. ...


Commodus in popular culture

Film

In both films, Commodus is not assassinated but killed in hand-to-hand combat. The Fall of the Roman Empire is a 1964 film starring Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness, James Mason, and Christopher Plummer. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the 2000 film. ... Joaquín Rafael Phoenix (pronounced IPA: ; born October 28, 1974), formerly credited as Leaf Phoenix, is a two-time Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-winning Puerto Rican film actor. ... Although he never won an Oscar for any of his movie performances, the comedian Bob Hope received two honorary Oscars for his contributions to cinema. ...


Other

  • British adventure writer Talbot Mundy's novel Caesar Dies deals with Commodus' murder and events leading up to it.
  • The video game Colosseum: Road to Freedom has included Commodus as an opponent in the Colosseum.
  • Along with other contemporary figures, Commodus also features prominently in the historically authentic MMORPG Roma Victor, which is set in the 180s.

An image from World of Warcraft, one of the largest commercial MMORPGs as of 2004, based on active subscriptions. ... Roma Victor is a historically authentic MMORPG based on the Roman Empire in the latter half of the second century AD. Roma Victor is being developed by RedBedlam Ltd. ...

Ancestors

Commodus' ancestors in three generations
Commodus Father:
Marcus Aurelius
Paternal Grandfather:
Marcus Annius Verus
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Marcus Annius Verus
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Rupilia Faustina
Paternal Grandmother:
Domitia Lucilla
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Tullus Domitius Calvisius
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Catilia
Mother:
Faustina the Younger
Maternal Grandfather:
Antoninus Pius
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Titus Aurelius Fulvus
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Arria Fadilla
Maternal Grandmother:
Faustina the Elder
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Marcus Annius Verus
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Rupilia Faustina

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (called the Wise) (April 26, 121[2] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. ... Marcus Annius Verus was a Roman man who lived in the first and second century. ... Rupilia was the name of two Roman woman. ... Domitia Lucilla or Domitia Calvilla was the mother of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. ... Faustina the Younger Annia Galeria Faustina, the Younger, (c. ... Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus Pius (September 19, 86–March 7, 161) was Roman emperor from 138 to 161. ... Titus Aurelius Fulvus was the grandfather of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. ... Annia Galeria Faustina, better known as Faustina the Elder, (died c. ... Marcus Annius Verus was a Roman man who lived in the first and second century. ... Rupilia was the name of two Roman woman. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Dio Cassius 72.36.4, Loeb edition translated E. Cary
  2. ^ Dio Cassius 73.10.2, Loeb edition translated E. Cary
  3. ^ Commodus (AD 180–192)
  4. ^ Dio Cassius 73.22.3
  5. ^ Dio Cassius 73.1.2, Loeb edition translated E. Cary
  6. ^ Dio Cassius 73.5.3, Loeb edition translated E. Cary
  7. ^ M.P. Spiedel, 'Commodus the God-Emperor and the Army', Journal of Roman Studies LXXXIII, 1993, pp.109-114.
  8. ^ Herodian's Roman History F.L. Muller Edition 1.15.7
  9. ^ Historia Augusta, Life of Marcus Aurelius, XIX. The film The Fall of the Roman Empire makes use of this story: one of the characters is an old gladiator who eventually reveals himself to be Commodus's real father.
  10. ^ Dio Cassius 73.10.3
  11. ^ Dio Cassius 73.20.3, Loeb edition translated E. Cary

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Commodus
Preceded by
Titus Pomponius Proculus Vitrasius Pollio II and Marcus Flavius Aper II
Consul of the Roman Empire with Marcus Peducaeus Plautius Quintillus
177
Succeeded by
Servius Cornelius Scipio Salvidienus Orfitus and Domitius Velius Rufus
Preceded by
Servius Cornelius Scipio Salvidienus Orfitus and Domitius Velius Rufus
Consul of the Roman Empire with Publius Martius Verus
179
Succeeded by
Lucius Fulvius Gaius Bruttius Praesens and Sextus Quintilius Condianus
Preceded by
Marcus Aurelius
Roman Emperor
180–192
Succeeded by
Pertinax
Preceded by
Lucius Fulvius Gaius Bruttius Praesens and Sextus Quintilius Condianus
Consul of the Roman Empire with Lucius Antistius Burrus
181
Succeeded by
Marcus Petronius Sura Mamertinus and Quintus Tineius Rufus
Preceded by
Marcus Petronius Sura Mamertinus and Quintus Tineius Rufus
Consul of the Roman Empire with Gaius Aufidius Victorinus
183
Succeeded by
Lucius Cossonius Eggius Marullus and Cnaeus Papirius Aelianus
Preceded by
Maternus and Titus Claudius Marcus Appius Atilius Bradua Regillus Atticus
Consul of the Roman Empire with Marcus Acilius Glabrio
186
Succeeded by
Lucius Bruttius Quintius Crispinus and L. Roscius Aelianus Paculus
Preceded by
Domitius Iulius Silanus and Quintus Servilius Silanus
Consul of the Roman Empire with Marcus Petronius Sura Septimianus
190
Succeeded by
Popilius Pedo Apronianus and M. Valerius Bradua Mauricus
Preceded by
Popilius Pedo Apronianus and Marcus Valerius Bradua Mauricus
Consul of the Roman Empire with Pertinax
192
Succeeded by
Quintus Pompeius Sosius Falco and Gaius Iulius Erucius Clarus Vibianus

  Results from FactBites:
 
Commodus - definition of Commodus in Encyclopedia (613 words)
Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (originally Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus) (August 31, 161–December 31, 192 A.D.) was a Roman Emperor who ruled from 180 to 192 A.D. He is often considered to have been one of the worst Roman Emperors, and his reign brought to a close the era of the "five good emperors".
Commodus was the son of the popular and successful Marcus Aurelius.
Commodus also had a passion for gladiatoral combat, which he took so far as to take to the arena himself, dressed as a gladiator.
Commodus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1015 words)
Nevertheless, as generous and magnanimous as his father was, Commodus turned out to be just the opposite, with the sole exception being that he stopped the persecution of Christians started by his father.
A year later, Commodus was strangled in his bath by the wrestler Narcissus, ordered by Commodus' mistress/cousin Marcia, a day before he planned to march into the Senate dressed as a gladiator to take office as consul.
Commodus' selling of high offices to incompetent people, leading to massive corruption and his paid exploits in the gladiatorial arena, amounting to one million sesterces paid by the city of Rome for every appearance, severely ruined the Roman economy.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m