Historical Figures

Commodus (161-192)


Ancient Roman Emperor from 180 AD. He was born on August 31, 161, the son of Mark Aurelius and Faustina. Already in the years 176-177 his father made him a tribune of the people, co-ruler, consul and high priest. Marcus Aurelius died during the war expedition on March 17, 180, in a military camp in Windobon, near today's Vienna, as a result of an epidemic. Commodus, contrary to the testament, gave up the Markoman and Kwady lands conquered by his father. The new emperor did not rule personally at first, devoting himself to amusement and debauchery, the state was then led by the Praetorian Prefect Perennis.

In 182, a conspiracy to kill Commodus was discovered, among others his sister Lucylla, who was to be jealous of the position of the Emperor's wife. His wife, Kryspina, was also later killed, but the exact reasons are unknown as she was not part of the Lucylla plot. The bomber, intending to use a dagger, shouted to Commodus "this is what the senate sends you", which became the cause of the emperor's obsession and the cause of numerous trials and forced suicides of senators. And in the country under the successor of Perennis named Kleander, corruption became widespread.

Just like Caligula once, Commodus seemed to have lost his mind. He treated himself as the incarnation of Hercules, ordered that he be depicted in such a way on numerous statues, he also took part in games. Commodus even changed the name of Rome to Colonia Commodiana. It was decided to put an end to his madness. On the night of December 31 to January 1, 193, Commodus was murdered. His concubine Marcia and Emilius Letus, the then prefect of the praetorians, took part in the plot. When the poisoning attempt was unsuccessful, the work was completed by the strongman Narcissus, who strangled the emperor. He was succeeded by Petrynaks.

Previous Post