Commodus

Reece Period attributed: Period 9

Obverse image of a coin of Commodus

Member of the The Antonines dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from 175 until 192.

Lucius Aurelius Commodus was born in AD 161. He was the only son among Marcus Aurelius’ fourteen children to survive infancy. In 175, Commodus was made Caesar and in 177, his father elevated him to be joint ruler, and they fought together on the Danube front. On Marcus Aurelius’ death, his son broke off hostilities and ended the northern war in what was considered a shameful settlement, but there was no more trouble on that border for several decades. On the Database, there is a ruler dropdown of 'Commodus under Marcus Aurelius' for coins of Commodus struck between 175 and 180.

Commodus had little interest in government and ruled via a series of powerful administrative officials. This method led to many conspiracies against the emperor, and he reacted violently—exiling and eventually killing his sister and niece, among others. Perennis, the leader of the Praetorian Guard, assumed control and Commodus sought only debauchery and pleasure. However, Perennis started plotting to make his own son emperor, and a large force of troops marched into Rome to alert Commodus to the danger.

Cleander succeeded Perennis as controller of ther government. He too fell, though probably due to a conspiracy by his own enemies. At this point Commodus showed signs of megalomania and general mental instability. He renamed Rome “Colonia Commodiana” and commissioned statues of himself dressed as Hercules. He also fought in the gladiatorial games, unprecedented behaviour for an emperor.

Commodus was poisoned by his favourite concubine, Marcia; when the poison failed to do him in, the emperor was strangled by a young athlete. Commodus’ name was taken out of all documents, though Septimius Severus deified him four years later. The emperor is remembered as a cruel megalomaniac who renamed all the months after himself.

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We have recorded 785 examples.

Record: LVPL-1623CA
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: Complete silver Roman denarius of Commodus…
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Record: LVPL-046353
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A Roman copper alloy sestertius of Commodu…
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Record: BERK-B24DB9
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: Fragment of a silver denarius of Commodus&…
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Record: GLO-8CF064
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: Copper alloy Sestertius of Commodus dated …
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Other resources about Commodus

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Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Commodus
  • Full names:
    • Commodus
  • Title: Consul of the Roman Empire
  • Predecessor: Marcus Aurelius
  • Successor: Pertinax
  • Definition: Commodus (; 31 August 161 – 31 December 192) was Roman emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 until his father's death in 180, and solely until 192. His reign is commonly considered to mark the end of the golden period in the history of the Roman Empire known as the Pax Romana. He accompanied Marcus his father during the Marcomannic Wars in 172 and on a tour of the Eastern provinces in 176. He was made the youngest consul in Roman history in 177 and later that year elevated to co-emperor with his father. During his solo reign, the Empire enjoyed a period of reduced military conflict compared with the reign of Marcus Aurelius, but intrigues and conspiracies abounded, leading Commodus to an increasingly dictatorial style of leadership that culminated in a god-like personality cult, with him performing as a gladiator in the Colosseum. His assassination in 192 marked the end of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty. He was succeeded by Pertinax, the first emperor in the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors.
  • Parents:
  • Birth place:
  • Death place:
  • Spouse:
  • Other title(s):
    • Consul of the Roman Empire
    • List of Roman emperors
  • Came After:
    • and Lucius Annius Ravus
    • Septimius Severus
    • and Gaius Julius Erucius Clarus Vibianus
    • Marcus Petronius Sura Mamertinus
    • Lucius Novius Rufus
    • Lucius Tutilius Pontianus Gentianus
    • Quintus Pompeius Sosius Falco
    • Titus Flavius Claudianus
    • Servius Cornelius Scipio Salvidienus Orfitus
    • and ignotus
    • and Lucius Aemilius Iuncus
    • and Quintus Tineius Rufus
    • and Apuleius Rufinus
    • and Domitius Velius Rufus
  • Came before:
    • M. Flavius Aper II
    • and Quintus Servilius Silanus
    • and Sextus Quintilius Condianus
    • Titus Pomponius Proculus Vitrasius Pollio
    • Marcus Petronius Sura Mamertinus,
    • Domitius Iulius Silanus
    • Popilius Pedo Apronianus
    • Servius Cornelius Scipio Salvidienus Orfitus,
    • and Marcus Valerius Bradua Mauricus
    • and Quintus Tineius Rufus
    • and Domitius Velius Rufus
    • Lucius Fulvius Rusticus Gaius Bruttius Praesens II,
  • Subjects on wikipedia:

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