Commodus: an emperor at the crossroads | Olivier Hekster - porkostournaments.info
Question: Was Commodus and Lucilla half brother and sister? Wondering because of Commodus' attraction for Lucilla. Was incest normal at that time?. The relationship ended and Maximus married and had a son, while Lucilla married, had a son and later was widowed. There is still some tension between. Lucilla. Commodus fought in the arena. His own people didn't like him. In AD his own sister Annia Lucilla, together with her cousin, the.
Her husband, Pompeianus, was not involved, but two men alleged to have been her lovers, Marcus Ummidius Quadratus Annianus the consul ofwho was also her first cousin and Appius Claudius Quintianusattempted to murder Commodus as he entered a theater. They bungled the job and were seized by the emperor's bodyguard. Quadratus and Quintianus were executed.
Lucilla was exiled to Capri and later killed. Pompeianus retired from public life. One of the two praetorian prefectsTarrutenius Paternushad actually been involved in the conspiracy but his involvement was not discovered until later on, and in the aftermath, he and his colleague, Sextus Tigidius Perenniswere able to arrange for the murder of Saoterus, the hated chamberlain.
Commodus took the loss of Saoterus badly, and Perennis now seized the chance to advance himself by implicating Paternus in a second conspiracy, one apparently led by Publius Salvius Julianuswho was the son of the jurist Salvius Julianus and was betrothed to Paternus' daughter.
Salvius and Paternus were executed along with a number of other prominent consulars and senators. Didius Julianusthe future emperor and a relative of Salvius Julianus, was dismissed from the governorship of Germania Inferior. Cleander[ edit ] Perennis took over the reins of government and Commodus found a new chamberlain and favourite in Cleandera Phrygian freedman who had married one of the emperor's mistresses, Demostratia.
Cleander was in fact the person who had murdered Saoterus. After those attempts on his life, Commodus spent much of his time outside Rome, mostly on the family estates at Lanuvium.
Being physically strong, his chief interest was in sport: According to Herodian  he was well proportioned and attractive, with naturally blond and curly hair.
War broke out in Dacia: Also, in Britain inthe governor Ulpius Marcellus re-advanced the Roman frontier northward to the Antonine Wallbut the legionaries revolted against his harsh discipline and acclaimed another legate, Priscus, as emperor. His tale wasn't believed and he was immediately put to death. According to Dio Cassius, Perennis, though ruthless and ambitious, was not personally corrupt and generally administered the state well.
The fall of Perennis brought a new spate of executions: Aufidius Victorinus committed suicide. Ulpius Marcellus was replaced as governor of Britain by Pertinax ; brought to Rome and tried for treason, Marcellus narrowly escaped death. Cleander's zenith and fall — [ edit ] Remnants of a Roman bust of a youth with a blond beard, perhaps depicting emperor Commodus, National Archaeological Museum, Athens Cleander proceeded to concentrate power in his own hands and to enrich himself by becoming responsible for all public offices: Unrest around the empire increased, with large numbers of army deserters causing trouble in Gaul and Germany.
Pescennius Niger mopped up the deserters in Gaul in a military campaign, and a revolt in Brittany was put down by two legions brought over from Britain. Inone of the leaders of the deserters, Maternus, came from Gaul intending to assassinate Commodus at the Festival of the Great Goddess in March, but he was betrayed and executed. As a result, Commodus appeared even more rarely in public, preferring to live on his estates. Early inCleander disposed of the current praetorian prefect, Atilius Aebutianusand himself took over supreme command of the Praetorians at the new rank of a pugione "dagger-bearer" with two praetorian prefects subordinate to him.
Now at the zenith of his power, Cleander continued to sell public offices as his private business. In the spring ofRome was afflicted by a food shortage, for which the praefectus annonae Papirius Dionysiusthe official actually in charge of the grain supplycontrived to lay the blame on Cleander.
At the end of June, a mob demonstrated against Cleander during a horse race in the Circus Maximus: Cleander fled to Commodus, who was at Laurentum in the house of the Quinctiliifor protection, but the mob followed him calling for his head. At the urging of his mistress MarciaCommodus had Cleander beheaded and his son killed.
Other victims at this time were the praetorian prefect Julius Julianus, Commodus' cousin Annia Fundania Faustinaand his brother-in-law Mamertinus. Papirius Dionysius was executed, too.
The emperor now changed his name to Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus. At 29, he took over more of the reins of power, though he continued to rule through a cabal consisting of Marcia, his new chamberlain Eclectus, and the new praetorian prefect Quintus Aemilius Laetus. Megalomania — [ edit ] A denarius of Commodus In opposition to the Senate, in his pronouncements and iconographyCommodus had always stressed his unique status as a source of god-like power, liberality, and physical prowess.
Innumerable statues around the empire were set up portraying him in the guise of Herculesreinforcing the image of him as a demigod, a physical giant, a protector, and a battler against beasts and men see "Commodus and Hercules" and "Commodus the Gladiator" below.
Moreover, as Hercules, he could claim to be the son of Jupiterthe supreme god of the Roman pantheon. These tendencies now increased to megalomaniacal proportions.
Far from celebrating his descent from Marcus Aurelius, the actual source of his power, he stressed his own personal uniqueness as the bringer of a new order, seeking to re-cast the empire in his own image. Duringthe city of Rome was extensively damaged by a fire that raged for several days, during which many public buildings including the Temple of Paxthe Temple of Vestaand parts of the imperial palace were destroyed. Perhaps seeing this as an opportunity, early in Commodus, declaring himself the new Romulusritually re-founded Rome, renaming the city Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana.
All the months of the year were renamed to correspond exactly with his now twelve names: The legions were renamed Commodianae, the fleet which imported grain from Africa was termed Alexandria Commodiana Togata, the Senate was entitled the Commodian Fortunate Senate, his palace and the Roman people themselves were all given the name Commodianus, and the day on which these reforms were decreed was to be called Dies Commodianus.
He also had the head of the Colossus of Nero adjacent to the Colosseum replaced with his own portrait, gave it a club, and placed a bronze lion at its feet to make it look like Hercules Romanus, and added an inscription boasting of being "the only left-handed fighter to conquer twelve times one thousand men". The abbreviation "CO" has been restored with paint. In NovemberCommodus held Plebeian Games, in which he shot hundreds of animals with arrows and javelins every morning, and fought as a gladiator every afternoon, winning all the fights.
Also, in December, he announced his intention to inaugurate the year as both consul and gladiator on 1 January. At this point, the prefect Laetus formed a conspiracy with Eclectus to supplant Commodus with Pertinax, taking Marcia into their confidence.
On 31 December, Marcia poisoned Commodus' food but he vomited up the poison, so the conspirators sent his wrestling partner Narcissus to strangle him in his bath. Upon his death, the Senate declared him a public enemy a de facto damnatio memoriae and restored the original name of the city of Rome and its institutions. Statues of Commodus were demolished. His body was buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian. Commodus' death marked the end of the Nerva—Antonine dynasty.
Commodus was succeeded by Pertinaxwhose reign was short lived, being the first to fall victim to the Year of the Five Emperors. Inthe emperor Septimius Severustrying to gain favour with the family of Marcus Aurelius, rehabilitated Commodus' memory and had the Senate deify him.
If we take Aelius to be his family name then his name should look like this: Decimus Aelius Meridius Maximus. It would depend on which his family gave him and which is army buddies gave me.
What did Commodus look like? The face of royalty, ladies and gents. However, when you start looking into the life and times of Commodus, the movie diverges much more radically.
I think that if they had tried to stay closer to history as we know, the story might have even been better. Marcus Aurelius was on campaign in Germania when he died. He did die in CE. Marcus called for his son to join him on campaign when Commodus was about 13, gave him the honor of full manhood at this time, and had pulled enough strings to make him consul by the time he was Commodus was obviously being groomed to take over when his father died. He did not have to scheme and plan and worry about succession.
Furthermore, he was in battle or in camp with his father for years, not joining him at direct request and traveling in luxury. In fact, Commodus was the first Roman emperor who was raised in royalty and succeeded his father. All emperors before Marcus Aurelius had appointed men for other reasons than relation by blood. I should clarify here — thanks to a commentator! Conversely, Vespasian had two sons become emperor, but they were both born and raised by the time their father earned the title.
Furthermore, Marcus Aurelius died when Commodus was only Not only he did he have the promise of all the power and position, but he was still young. Why would he kill his father when he could still spend his time without as much responsibility?
Also, he was young and inexperienced when he took over, and according to Cassius Dio his lack of guile and lack of great intelligence meant that his older advisers could manipulate him. What if the movie had started with Commodus as a good looking younger man with a great deal of potential?
The first sign of trouble could be his pulling away from battle and returning to Rome. This way, he gains the support of the army, is thoughtful, but maybe also a coward for retreating from battle. Could he at least TRY to look like less of a douche? Maximus could still be a solider — not a general though, he should fly under the radar — who gets forced into slavery for some reason. Perhaps he fights for the other side and gets captured by soldiers. A prisoner of war being sold into slavery would not be unusual.
He could now have a great deal of resentment against Rome and want to get back to his family. In truth, particularly in the early days of the Republic, you only had a chance of being in the senate if you were part of the aristocratic patrician class. The senate was comprised of elected magistrates. Once you became a magistrate, you were in the senate for life.
There was only one position for magistrates that dealt directly with the people, and even then they dealt with the Council of Plebs. This council consisted of roman citizens who were male.
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If you were a woman or not a citizen, then you had no voice in politics. Senators largely looked after their own interests, and as the Republic continued they got more corrupt and self-centered. Emperors brought them peace? Bring on the Emperors! But the speech Proximo gives early in the film about buying slaves to profit from their deaths? Anyone who owned or sponsored gladiators had to put in time to train them, to feed them, to give them medical attention.
If they died in the first battle, you lost out on the profit you could gain from seeing them fight time and again. Not to mention, that these early fights outside of Rome would have been less bloody in history.
By this time, gladiator fights that ended in death were largely banned outside of Rome, and sometimes the contestants would fight with wooden weapons to prevent death. The movie could give Maximus the chance to prove himself by winning fights, as this nobody from another army.
Commodus could still call for more gladiators from outside Rome. The historical Commodus was obsessed with games, particularly gladiator fights. When he first became emperor he would participate in practice fights in privacy, but as the years wore on he began to insert himself into the arena. This had mixed results. His ability has an archer in killing animals impressed the Roman people, they ate it up. When he actually fought in the arena against men?
That would be far more dubious. Only slaves were debased enough to be forced into entertainment, and someone of the aristocracy fighting in such a manner would have been humiliating to some degree. They could slowly show him growing more unstable.
The turning point of horror in the film could center around Commodus entering the arena as Hercules something else he actually did. In one historical account, Commodus had men in Rome without feet, or otherwise handicapped, chained together and made them costumes to turn them into the monstrous giants of mythology. He then clubbed them to death as Hercules saving the people.Gladiator - Clip - Was I Very Different Then?
The historical Commodus was approximately x more horrifying than the movie version leering at his sister. I thought he might have good reasons for killing his father, but NOW I know that he's a creep. In truth, about two years after Commodus became emperor, Lucilla devised a plot to assassinate him. This is what the senate has sent you! Not to mention, that the senate had nothing to do with the plot to kill Commodus.
You could say that this attempt made Commodus even worse than Lucilla already thought he was.
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Oh, he also exiled his sister and had her killed. Can you imagine this woman being set up as a key player in the movie only to have her killed partway through? It would certainly help turn the audience against Commodus, probably even more than they were when he asked her to spend the night with him. Seriously, get rid of the incest, put in the failed assassination. Put these women in the mix, let them learn how terrible he is and begin to start their own plotting.
What type of relationship did Commudus have with Lucilla? by crystal fox on Prezi
They could meet with Maximus in secret and start up a plan, and take on proactive roles in trying to keep Commodus from becoming completely amoral. I like this approach because it gives more women the chance to act. In the version we have now, Connie Nielsen is the only one who really gets to talk, aside from the prostitutes.
With more of the historical women, we now get a good three or four roles of women plotting and manipulating the scene. Also, it gives Marcia the chance to be awesome. In one explanation for why she decided to help assassinate Commodus, she found a tablet on which he had written the names people he wanted to kill. She was at the top of the list.
When she saw this, Marcia apparently said: So, Commodus, this is my reward for my love and devotion, after I have put up with your arrogance and your madness for so many years. But, you drunken sot, you shall not outwit a woman deadly sober! How fantastic is that? I am on the Marcia bandwagon. Let the ladies get in on the death and assassination. Marcia attempted to poison him, and when he vomited up most of the poison, they sent in a wrestler by the name of Narcissus to finish him off.
Perhaps instead, Marcia could sneak Maximus in to kill him if we are intent on having Maximus carry off the final heroic act. As it stands, having a slave kill an emperor in the arena is too ridiculous. No matter how much the people hated Commodus, they would never have reacted to his death like they did in the film.
His sister would not have failed to pay respects to his dead body.