When Commodus decided to remove the Senate and rule on his own, she protested, causing him to issue an order for her death. Read another story from us: ‘Gladiator 2’ Moving Forward with Director Ridley Scott There are myriad stories of Julius Caesar, Nero, Caligula, and then there’s Emperor Commodus, who set Rome on its road to ruin. Wikimedia CommonsA bust of Roman Emperor Commodus, styled as if he were a reincarnation of Hercules, which is precisely what he believed himself to be. Unfortunately, Commodus’ stomach rejected the wine, but, while he was cleaning himself off in the bath, Narcissus, a professional wrestler, was brought in to choke Commodus until the emperor was dead. Contemporary Roman writer Cassius Dio describes the young heir as “rather simple-minded,” but he ruled agreeably with his father and joined Marcus Aurelius in the Marcomannic Wars against the Germanic tribes along the Danube, which the emperor had been waging for several years. Having no living brothers, as his twin died at the age of four, he was brought up to be Emperor. Lucius Aurelius Commodus was born to the philosopher/king and Faustina the Younger at Lanuvium, a city fourteen miles southeast of Rome on August 31, 161 CE. All his opponents submitted to him. 1 Biography 2 What … Although in real life Commodus did not murder his father Marcus Aurelius, as he does in the movie Gladiator, the movie is similar to the real story in that both depict the assassination attempt by Commodus’s sister, followed by Commodus’s descent into madness and the way in which his ego led to recklessness and senseless violence. He wiped out an entire family, the Quinctilius, just for being wealthy and popular. They were sometimes tied together so Commodus could kill two at once with his club. Currency was devalued and the economy collapsed, leading the country into a civil war that lasted four years. His favorite was a woman named Marcia who was allowed to give him advice, but even she was not immune to his cruelty. Commodus had upset the peaceful balance that Rome had enjoyed for almost eighty years. Cassius Dio recorded one incident where, after becoming tired out, Commodus ordered a cup of chilled wine to him and “drank it at one gulp.” In an amusing anecdote, Dio continued, “At this both the populace and we senators all immediately shouted out the words so familiar at drinking-bouts, ‘Long life to you!'”. On this day in AD 192, the Roman emperor Commodus was murdered. The second, the freeman Cleander, he allowed to be torn apart by a mob who were outraged at the freeman’s abuses. He kept most of the advisers from his father’s regime in place and the first three years of his reign ran as smoothly as that of his father with the added benefit that Rome was no longer fighting any wars. He also kept a harem of over three hundred women and one boy, who was named “The Boy Who Loves Commodus.”. In fact, the rule of Commodus might have gone down as quite unremarkable in the history of Rome were it not for one unfortunate incident. “Commodus was a greater curse to the Romans than any pestilence or any crime” and the city had descended into bankruptcy and chaos. The movie is far from historically accurate. Its protagonist, Maximus, is entirely fictitious. The Death of Commodus, from a history book published in 1900. After this look at Commodus, check out these interesting facts about Ancient Rome. In Gladiator Begins, Commodus, although ruthless in pursuit of his goals, shows great respect and admiration for the Protagonist. He promptly renamed himself Caesar Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus, and, throughout his rule from 177 to 192 AD, he became increasingly cruel and sadistic. Anyone who caught the emperor’s attention risked also inadvertently invoking his wrath. Commodus, the son and heir of the distinguished ‘ philosopher emperor’ Marcus Aurelius , was a failure as a Roman emperor.He was appointed co-emperor of Rome and ruled alongside his father when he was just 16 years old and became the sole emperor after the death of his father in 180 AD. In 180 AD, Marcus Aurelius died, leaving Commodus as sole Emperor of Rome. Roman artwork. Commodus was a spoiled, narcissistic young man who was something of an embarrassment to his father. Bust of Bruttia Crispina. Commodus's directly responsible for the brutal death of his wife and son, and Maximus vows to continue fighting in the arena until he can find a way to kill Commodus. Sources diverge on the origins of the conspiracy, with some claiming Lucilla was jealous of Commodus’ wife Crispina (incest between Commodus and Lucilla is suggested in Gladiator) while others maintain she saw the first warning signs of her brother’s mental instability. Ancient Rome was full of colorful characters. This wasn’t confined to the arena, either. It was unheard of for an Emperor to engage in such activities and caused quite a scandal. He was portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix. The perfect Commodus Gladiator Stab Animated GIF for your conversation. Commodus: The True Story Of The Mad Roman Emperor Immortalized In ‘Gladiator’, Commodus exposes Lucilla’s plot in this scene from, Commodus is confronted by Maximus in the arena in this scene from. He tortured his victims. Commodus' death also, strangely, saves Rome as well, but there's nothing sacrificial or heroic about it, just as there is nothing sacrificial or heroic about killing of a virus. When Marcus Aurelius tells Commodus his decision, Commodus - who has always felt unloved and ignored by his father - flies into a rage and strangles him. He also declared himself to be an incarnation of the god Hercules and forced the senate to recognize his divinity. In one final act of madness, Commodus ordered the head of the Colossus of Nero to be replaced with his own and added the inscription “the only left-handed fighter to conquer twelve times (as I recall the number) one thousand men.”. Lucio Aurelio Cómodo [a] (31 de agosto de 161-31 de diciembre de 192) fue el último emperador de la dinastía Antonina.Gobernó con el nombre de Emperador César Marco Aurelio Cómodo Antonino Augusto [b] desde el 17 de marzo del año 180 hasta su muerte, [c] aunque había sido asociado al trono ya en el año 177 al recibir el título de augusto. In 193 AD, Marcia brought Commodus a glass of poisoned wine while he was preparing to bathe. Commodus is also recorded to have killed various beasts in the arena by himself, including ostriches, a giraffe, panthers, and lions. He also petitioned them to declare him a living god. It worked and the Nerva-Antonine dynasty which had ruled Rome for nearly a century had come to an end and the city soon descended into civil war. But now, the people want to know how the story ends. Gladiator painting by Jean-Leon Gerome, 1872. Romans saw such acts as a disgrace, and coupled with his tyranny, Commodus was widely hated throughout the empire. Commodus definitely knew how to make a threat. By 192 A.D., the Roman people had had enough. On November 27, 176, Aurelius promoted 15-year old Commodus to the rank of Imperator, which some say is a role similar to commander. A bust of Roman Emperor Commodus, styled as if he were a reincarnation of Hercules, which is precisely what he believed himself to be. According to ancient.eu, Roman historian Cassius Dio remarked, “This man was not naturally wicked but, on the contrary, as guileless as any man that ever lived. They had no children, and, about ten years into the marriage, she was banished to Capri and later was executed for adultery. Part of a statuary group representing Commodus’ apotheosis. After … Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus was born August 31, 161 AD in what is now Lanuvio, Italy to Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Faustina the Younger, the daughter of Emperor Antoninus Pius. The only male son of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor. Once there, he threw the head down at their feet and gestured as if to say, “You’re next.” Unfortunately, it didn’t quite have the intended effect. But once Marcus Aurelius died in 180 A.D. (of natural causes, not at his son’s own hand, as depicted in Gladiator), Commodus hastily made peace with the tribes so he could return to Rome “to enjoy the pleasure of the capital with the servile and profligate youths whom Marcus had banished, but who soon regained their station and influence about the emperor.”, Despite his unusual personal tastes, Commodus at first behaved more like a typical spoiled, rich youth than a bloody dictator. The only son of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, Commodus is also the black sheep of his family: he is a ruthless, amoral and unstable man who lusts after his own sister and thinks of himself as a god. Commodus isn't only motivated by politics—he's also motivated by (you got it) revenge. The Emperor Commodus actually fought as a gladiator in the Colosseum ordering his fights to be inscribed in the public records and announced in the city-gazette. Its version of Lucilla might as well be. 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.He was also a dangerously deranged man who forced the Senate to name him a demi-god and eventually assassinate him. Bust of Commodus as Hercules, hence the lion skin, the club and the golden apples of the Hesperides. Lucius Aurelius Commodus, born 161 A.D., was appointed co-emperor by his father Marcus Aurelius in 177 A.D. when he was just 16 years old. He was brutal, even by the standards of men who beat each other to death for the amusement of an audience. Bust of imperator Commodus in the Capitoline Museum in Rome, Italy. Commodus would “enter the arena in the garb of Mercury and casting aside all his other garments, would begin his exhibition wearing only a tunic and unshod.”, As disgusted as the senators were by the sight of their emperor running around half-naked in the sands of the amphitheater, they were too terrified to do anything but play along. He executed the two would-be assassins along with a group of prominent senators who were also allegedly involved while Lucilla was exiled to Capri before also being killed on her brother’s orders a year later. Text by Lauren Shelton. His closest advisor, Perennis, who took on Commodus’ emperor duties, attempted to assassinate him, but the plot failed and Perennis was executed. His rule was the beginning of the end for that most famous empire. The only male son of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor. At one of his gladiator battles, he reportedly slew an ostrich and then carried its decapitated head over to where his rival senators were seated. However, even these favorites were not safe from his fury. As Edward Gibbon noted in his famous Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, in the intervening years between the death of Domitian and the reign of Commodus, “the vast extent of the Roman empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of virtue and wisdom.” The “Five Good Emperors,” ruled efficiently and under them the Roman people enjoyed “a rational freedom.” However, just when the days of the mad emperors seemed long gone, Commodus brought the madness roaring back. The invitation meant almost certain death; no one would dare beat him, and when he won, he would show no mercy. Unfortunately, Commodus’ stomach rejected the wine, but, while he was cleaning himself off in the bath, Narcissus, a professional wrestler, was brought in to choke Commodus until the emperor was dead. 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