His mother Faustina was actually the youngest daughter of Antoninus, and though later histories slandered her as an adultress in truth she and Marcus Aurelius … , Priscus refused to accept their acclamations, and Perennis had all the legionary legates in Britain cashiered. This happed to the cultured Quintilii brothers, whose palatial villa on the Via Appia to the southeast of Rome was seized by the emperor. Written by Edward Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom The Roman Emperor Commodus (161-192 AD) is widely regarded as one of the ‘bad emperors’ and a bloody tyrant. As the son of emperor Marcus Aurelius, Commodus was the first Roman emperor to have been "born in the purple," and thus dynastically selected to be his successor. All the months of the year were renamed to correspond exactly with his (now twelve) names: Lucius, Aelius, Aurelius, Commodus, Augustus, Herculeus, Romanus, Exsuperatorius, Amazonius, Invictus, Felix, and 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.  Finally, Commodus killed a giraffe, which was considered to be a strange and helpless beast..  As mentioned above, he ordered many statues to be made showing him dressed as Hercules with a lion's hide and a club. Even this plot, like the others before it, almost failed! Medusa's head had snakes instead of hair and eyes that turned those looking at... Socrates, Aristotle and Plato are by far the most famous Greek philosophers commonly associated with the Greek classical period. When he was born, Commodus was actually the younger of twins. He also reduced the silver purity from 79 percent to 76 percent – the silver weight dropping from 2.57 grams to 2.34 grams. Dio Cassius 73.10.2, Loeb edition translated E. Cary, To “accept kinship with Commodus ... the bluntly pragmatic decision was taken to deify the former emperor, thus legitimizing Severus’ seizure of power.” See, Dio Cassius 73.1.2, Loeb edition translated E. Cary, Dio Cassius 73.5.3, Loeb edition translated E. Cary. Pompeianus retired from public life. Although the empire passed relatively smoothly into the care of the elder statesman Pertinax, as emperor he lost the support of the Praetorians and was murdered within months of his accession. 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. Commodus was 31 years old and had ruled almost 13 years. In April 175, Avidius Cassius, Governor of Syria, declared himself Emperor following rumours that Marcus Aurelius had died. He renamed Rome “Commodiana” and called the Roman people “Commodiani.” And he changed the names of every month into variations on his own name. In October of that year, Commodus was bestowed with the title Germanicus alongside his father. Commodus (/ˈkɒmədəs/; 31 August 161 – 31 December 192) was Roman emperor jointly with his father Marcus Aurelius from 176 until his father's death in 180, and solely until 192. In 183 AD Commodus officially changed the name of the Roman Empire to the Commodian Empire and renamed all the months of the year in his honour:- January - Madtime; February - Barking; March - Fairies His son, for all his other faults, had no desire for conflict. This was done on the 31st of December, 192. Commodus (A.D. 180-192) Dennis Quinn.  Another event—as recorded by the historian Aelius Lampridius—took place at the Roman baths at Terme Taurine, where the emperor had an attendant thrown into an oven after he found his bathwater to be lukewarm. Most infamous was Commodus’ proclivity for the gladiatorial arena. Except where otherwise noted, the notes below indicate that an individual's parentage is as shown in the above family tree. Lucius Aurelius Commodus and his twin brother Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus were born on the 31st of August in the Roman year 914, nowadays better known as 161 AD. The father of Commodus was Marcus Aurelius, one of the best and noblest of the Roman emperors. Commodus also had a passion for gladiatorial combat, which he took so far as to take to the arena himself, dressed as a secutor. They bungled the job and were seized by the emperor's bodyguard. 1, eingeleitet und übersetzt von E. Hohl, bearbeitet und übersetzt von E. Merten (1976) 138. On 31 December, Marcia poisoned Commodus' food but he vomited up the poison, so the conspirators sent his wrestling partner Narcissus to strangle him in his bath. Silver Denarius featuring obverse portrait of Marcus Aurelius and reverse portrait of young Commodus, 175 AD, via Museu de Prehistòria de València. The story of Commodus then is the story of a man who fell from exalted heights. He accompanied his father, Marcus, during the Marcomannic Wars in 172 and on a tour of the Eastern provinces in 176. He reduced the weight of the denarius from 96 per Roman pound to 105 per Roman pound (3.85 grams to 3.35 grams). He also reduced the silver purity from 79 percent to 76 percent – the silver weight dropping from 2.57 grams to 2.34 grams. made famous by Joaquin Phoenix in the 2000 film, rescue of a condemned criminal from the jaws of a leopard in one bout, Cassius Dio, the most reliable historian for the reign of Commodus, even attests that the emperor went so far as to be named a “god!”, as both consul, the leading magistrate, and gladiator, the conspirators had to send in Narcissus, a powerful young man at the court, to go into the bath where Commodus was reeling from the effects of the poison, and strangle him. During these three short months Pompeianus, who had been the patron of Pertinax years before, took an active part in the counsels of state, and Servius Cornelius Scipio Salvidienus Orfitus, opponents always submitted to the emperor, "De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and Their Families", Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, "Tulane University "Roman Currency of the Principate, "History Behind The Game – Ryse: Son of Rome", "Box Set Binge: Roman Empire: Reign of Blood, The Path and Deutschland 83", "Imperial Elements in the Formula of the Roman Emperors during the First Two and a Half Centuries of the Empire", Servius Cornelius Scipio Salvidienus Orfitus, Lucius Fulvius Rusticus Gaius Bruttius Praesens, Tiberius Claudius Marcus Appius Atilius Bradua Regillus Atticus, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Commodus&oldid=995501279, Roman emperors murdered by the Praetorian Guard, Roman emperors to suffer posthumous denigration or damnatio memoriae, Articles with dead external links from October 2016, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2020, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from January 2018, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 10. This is what the Senate sends you!” whilst brandishing a dagger). When he passed away Commodus took the throne and became emperor. 16. This was acting as the emperor’s headquarters during the Marcomannic War, as the emperor fought against incursions made by a series of Germanic tribes. Commodus’ father was the last of the “5 good emperors,” however he didn’t follow in his footsteps. It was time to full-on mad bat crazy. It is a legacy that endures to this day. Commodus’ public role in the administration of the empire as Marcus’ colleague in power was made increasingly visible, including on coinage. His role as the leader of the army, and as a triumphal Roman commander, was already being established.  Dio notes that the targeted senators actually found this more ridiculous than frightening, and chewed on laurel leaves to conceal their laughter. 13 Most Important Greek Philosophers Before Socrates (Presocratics), 12 Facts You Did Not Know About The Acropolis of Athens, Cubist Art For Dummies: A Beginner’s Guide, The Cathars: Persecuting Heretical Christians In The 13th Century, Op Art Defined in 7 Mind-Blowing Illusions, 11 Facts About The Great Wall of China You Don’t Know, The Influence Of Illustration On Modern Art, 15 Facts About Filippo Lippi: The Quattrocento Painter from Italy. The retaliatory purges in Rome allowed new men to occupy the positions of influence closest to Commodus. The Emperor Commodus Leaving the Arena at the Head of the Gladiators (detail) by Edwin Howland Blashfield (1848–1936), Hermitage Museum and Gardens, Norfolk, Virginia.  This was only a few months after the the death of Antoninus Pius. On 12 October 166, Commodus was made Caesar together with his younger brother, Marcus Annius Verus. Commodus was also known for fighting exotic animals in the arena, often to the horror and disgust of the Roman people. Her motive is alleged to have been envy of the Empress Crispina. However, he would eventually fall foul of popular discontent. In December, he announced his intention to inaugurate the year 193 as both consul and gladiator on 1 January. 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 Romanus, and added an inscription boasting of being "the only left-handed fighter to conquer twelve times one thousand men".. The emperor was famed for his beast hunts, including his rescue of a condemned criminal from the jaws of a leopard in one bout.  On his father's death in 180, Commodus changed this to Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Commodus, before changing back to his birth name in 191.. Like his father before him, Commodus enjoyed the benefits of an exemplary Roman aristocratic education, focusing on raising a child fit to rule the empire. In opposition to the Senate, in his pronouncements and iconography, Commodus had always stressed his unique status as a source of god-like power, liberality, and physical prowess. – E. Mer-ten, Bäder und Badegepflogenheiten in der Darstel-lung der Historia Augusta (Antiquitas. Harvard University Press, 1961, 73.10.3, Dio Cassius 73.20.3, Loeb edition translated E. Cary, Gibbon p.. 106 "disgorged at once a hundred lions; a hundred darts". He thought they should all be named after him, too. He was the first emperor to be ‘born in the purple’, that is, during the reign of his father. In Greek mythology, Medusa was one of the three Gorgons. Commodus was one fo 14 siblings and the reason he made it to the throne, was because he was the only one to survive. ), and Earnest Cary. The emperor now changed his name to Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus. After Commodus was murdered, the Senate met before daybreak, and declared sixty-six year old Pertinax, who was the son of a former slave, emperor. Commodus 31 August 161 - 31 December 192), was Roman Emperor from 180 to 192. Leading men in the Empire were viewed with suspicion and often removed from the picture, regardless of their loyalty or not. Lucilla was exiled to Capri and later killed. The title suggests that Commodus was present at his father's victory over the Marcomanni. Lucilla was over ten years his senior and held the rank of Augusta as the widow of her first husband, Lucius Verus. Commodus was the first (and until 337, the only) emperor "born in the purple," meaning during his father's reign. 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