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Sunday, 15 June 2014

Commodus

Lucius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus was born on August 31, 161 in Lanuvium, near Rome. He was the son of the reigning emperor, Marcus Aurelius, and Aurelius' first cousin, Faustina the Younger; the youngest daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.

Commodus ruled as co-emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 until his father's death in 180.
A bust of Commodus as a youth (Roman-Germanic Museum, Cologne).

His accession as emperor on March 17, 180 was the first time a son had succeeded his father since Titus succeeded Vespasian in 79.

According to Herodian, Commodus was well proportioned and attractive, with naturally blonde and curly hair.

By CristianChirita. - Own work., Wikipedia Commons

Commodus' chief interest was in sport: taking part in horse racing, chariot racing, and combats with beasts and men.

During gladiatorial combats, Commodus sat in his royal box equipped with a bow and arrows. From there he watched the cruel spectacle of men being chased by lions and leopards, and at the very moment when a beast was about to spring on its prey, he took aim and killed it.

Commodos collected all the dwarfs, cripples, and freaks he could find in Rome and had them brought to the Colosseum where they were ordered to fight each other to the death with meat cleavers.

Physically strong, Commodus had a passion for gladiatorial combat, which he took so far as to take to the arena himself, dressed as a gladiator. He fought and won 1,301 battles in the gladiatorial arena, since his opponents always submitted to the emperor.

On December 31, 192 Commodus was strangled to death by his wrestling partner, Narcissus, in his bath.

The historian Edward Gibbon took Commodus's reign as the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire.

The 2000 Academy Award-winner for Best Picture, Gladiator, co-starred Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus. Commodus serves as the main antagonist of the movie.

Europress Family Encyclopedia 1999., Wikipedia  

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