Commodus is a narcissist. His cognomen was adopted by all subsequent emperors. Since Nerva, the Antonines had presided over unprecedented stability and prosperity. He wiped out an entire family, the Quinctilius, just for being wealthy and popular. He had Nero’s colossus altered to resemble himself as Hercules, with an inscription added: “Jupiter’s son, victorious Hercules am I, not Lucius, even though forced to bear that name.”. order … Commodus was Roman emperor from 180 to 192 CE. His name changed throughout his reign; see changes of name for earlier and later forms. He was of low birth (he was an ex-slave), ambitious, and cunning—and during his ascendancy, which stretched from approximately 182 to 189, he was practically emperor while Commodus indulged his private pursuits. First emperor: nephew of of Julius Caesar, who was named "Princeps" after he defeated Antony and Cleopatra. Image by Sarah Jordan. On this day in 3BC the Roman emperor Galba was born. The prevailing suspicion and fear are revealed in the strange tale of Sextus Condianus, the son of a senator murdered on Commodus’s orders. This was done on the 31st of December, 192. Did emperor commodus die at the hands of a gladiator? Sources such as Cassius Dio indicate that, just as his father seems to have predicted, Commodus avoided the running of the empire on a day-to-day basis and instead delegated this to a string of favourites whom he made his chief ministers. When he was a ruler along with his father, he accompained Marcus Aurelius during the Marcomannic Wars in 172 and on a tour of the Eastern provinces in 176. The gladiator emperor! Commodus was assassinated because the Senate ans court insiders were not happy with his actions emperor. The emperor was strangled in his bath by Narcissus, a wrestler who was tasked with the deed by a small group of conspirators: the Praetorian Prefect, Aemilius Laetus; Commodus’ chamberlain, Eclectus; and Commodus’ mistress, Marcia. Only one child survived. Commodus has a disregard for the rules, born from the fact that he disliked his father's strict adherence to them. Pertinax rose through the ranks through his military service, which eventually encompassed a political position in the Roman […] Commodus was assassinated because the Senate and court insiders were not happy with his actions as emperor. These men, whether freedmen like Saoterus and later, the powerful Cleander, or Praetorian Prefects like Perennis, would rise to power, manage affairs to their own benefit, and then be cut down and replaced either through intrigue at the imperial court, or by Commodus himself as a means to appease a particular group when their deeds became more widely known. In 181 or 182, a conspiracy was unearthed involving Commodus’s sister, Lucilla, and her husband, Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus. Commodus’s depravity didn’t stop when he left the arena. The plot failed, and Commodus retaliated by executing a number of leading senators. Political … Commodus was the first (and until 337, the only) emperor "born in the purple", i.e., during his father's reign. Commodus was assassinated in 192, succeeded by Pertinax whose reign did not last long during the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors. order now. Commodus was the first (and until 337, the only) emperor "born in the purple", i.e., during his father's reign. Beyond the occasional unrest in places like Britain and Africa, the years of Commodus’s reign were relatively quiet in the provinces. Learn more about Diocletian and the crises of the Third Century. Commodus also alienated public opinion by having a wide range of extraordinary honours voted to him, including renaming the legions, the months of the year and even Rome itself after himself or the virtues he believed he possessed. See Privacy and Cookies for details. Even if he’d stripped Commodus of the title Caesar, he would have created a situation where he remained in the wings as a potential rival to any successor, around whom opposing factions could rally, splitting the empire in another civil war. Commodus (August 31, 161–December 31, 192 CE) was the emperor of Rome between 180–192 CE. Their heads were put on display in Rome. He was supreme commander of Rome's armies and personal commander of the VI Legion. He appears to have been quite good. From the Lecture Series: Emperors of Rome. His long-term mistress, Marcia, also seems to have been involved. All rights reserved. Commodus was born in 161, the son of the popular and highly respected emperor Marcus Aurelius and his wife Faustina the Younger. When Commodus put her name on his death list she planned to assassinate him and conspired with the person she was seeing to kill him. First they gave him poison; and when this proved ineffective they had him strangled by the athlete with whom he was accustomed to exercise. Lucilla plotted to have Commodus assassinated, but Commodus had her exiled for the plot and later executed. This wasn’t confined to the arena, either. Commodus himself was the star attraction. After his death, Publius Helvius Pertinax, the city prefect, became emperor but the transition was not smooth, and the Empire quickly slipped into a civil war which persisted until Septimius Severus succeeded in eliminating his rivals and attaining the throne. He was the son of the reigning emperor, Marcus Aurelius, and Aurelius's first cousin, Faustina the Younger, the youngest daughter of Emperor Antoninus Pius, who had died only a few months before.Commodus had an elder twin brother, Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus, who died in 165. Commodus holds deep-seated fears, anger, and bitterness. See our policy. PLAY. While Commodus was generally popular with the army and the lower classes, he alienated the upper class, leading to a series of plots against him. He was not just claiming Hercules as his patron deity, but claiming to be Hercules. Many perished at Commodus’s hands, and their property was confiscated. He was badly deluded and narcissistic, a result of bei… Otherwise we'll assume you're OK to continue. Commodus (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus; 31 August 161 – 31 December 192), was Roman Emperor from 180 to 192.He also ruled as co-emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 until his father's death in 180. Commodus was assassinated in 192, succeeded by Pertinax whose reign did not last long during the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors. Pertinax rose through the ranks through his military service, which eventually encompassed a political position in the Roman […] These shows helped forge and reinforce divine connections for Commodus to the public. He was a Triumvirate Holdings leader alongside Nero and Caligula. This day in AD 357 marked Constantius II’s entry into Rome, On this day in 1775, in a packed meeting house in Boston, Massachusetts, Doctor Joseph Warren wore a toga, On this day in AD503 a group of monks got drunk. The sources suggest that Commodus was keen to return to the pleasures of Rome, which may have been true, but it’s also possible that he recognized his father’s plan to annex northern territory for Rome was misguided. Additionally, Commodus charged Rome financially every time he appeared in the arena. In March A.D. 180, no one was in a position to challenge Commodus’s accession, especially after the armies voiced their support on the spot. Julius Caesar. Commodus singlehandedly began the downfall of Rome even though the 5 emperors before him were possibly the best and allowed Rome to thrive and dominate in the ancient world. This duplicitous start set the tone for his stint as Roman Emperor which lasted three short months before he, too, was assassinated on this day in 193. “Commodus was a greater curse to the Romans than any pestilence or any crime” and the city had descended into bankruptcy and chaos. At least two other unsuccessful plots are on record against Commodus, the details of which are vague and disputed, but one apparently involved the prefect Perennis and led to his death in the year 185. Commodus was a Roman emperor during the early years of the first millennium. Dio says that he and his colleagues found this spectacle not threatening but silly, and they laughed—but to avoid risking death, they concealed their mirth by chewing the laurels of the wreaths that they were wearing. The Senate was informed that his name would no longer be Commodus; he was to be called Hercules, son of Zeus. Domitian, Commodus, Caracalla and Elagabalus were some of the others. 7 Learn More: Construction in Transition—The Colosseum. The forts and roads beyond the river were abandoned, peace was made with the Iazyges, and the frontier system was strengthened. Yet another attempt on his life had been foiled, but the conspirators did not lose their nerve. Q: When did Commodus die? Perhaps it was a reluctance to regard his son as a savage. Perennis made praetorian prefect ; return to Rome 181 Consul III (with Lucius Antistus Burrus) There were quite a few emperors who abused their power and were assassinated. Considering his actions, Commodus’s assassination on December 31, 182 AD, came as no surprise. His misrule extended to murdering many prominent men and courtiers for a variety of reasons, both for minor personal sleights (real or imagined), or on false charges of conspiracy which fed his paranoia. Indeed, it was Marcia’s discovery of her name, and those of Eclectus and Laetus, on a list of intended victims that moved them to have the emperor murdered on 31 December, 192, at the age of 31. We Will Write A Custom Essay Sample On ANY TOPIC SPECIFICALLY FOR YOU For Only $13.90/page. The latter he practiced in private, as shame prevented him from racing in public. Commodus was assassinated because the Senate and court insiders were not happy with his actions as emperor. Both characteristics were probably reactions to his hard-working, modest father. But the Historia Augusta suggests that it was anger at Commodus misrule which provided the impetus. Condianus’s final fate is not recorded anywhere, but the fact the emperor targeted people because they looked like somebody else speaks volumes about Commodus’s reign. So, unlike what happened in the movie, Commodus outlived his sister. On this day in AD 31 the Praetorian Prefect Sejanus was executed. 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