Essay on Commodus

1453 Words 6 Pages
Some claim that Commodus was the worse emperor in the history of Rome. The fact that his father, Marcus Aurelius, was a popular and successful ruler may have raised the precedent that Commodus had to live up to. But for whatever reason, Commodus proved a disconnected and self indulgent leader.
At the age of five Commodus was named Caesar, and at the age of seventeen he became co-Augustus with his father. He spent his childhood accompanying Marcus Aurelius on political campaigns, and learned a lot on how to run an empire. However, after the death of his father the people of Rome found that the years under Marcus Aurelius had not impacted Commodus' leadership skills. Commodus' reign was filled with bad decisions, causing the people of Rome
…show more content…
As Commodus' reign continued it became clearer that the ruler was mentally instable. He lived a dark life, one of self indulgence and debauchery. He neglected his political responsibilities and focused more on his desires. Commodus had many concubines, and throughout his reign had flings with about 300 women and boys. While distracted by his lifestyle, the emperor allowed prefects to run the day to day business of the empire. As the prefects became more and more powerful the king would kill them, making sure that no one threatened his authority.
The brutal way in which Commodus ruled created many enemies of the emperor. Even his sister conspired against him. However, when her plan came to Commodus' attention he exiled her to an island, and after a while killed her along with all the others involved. Another instance of Commodus' brutality comes from an event in which the emperor ordered the killing of a while city. He did this horrible act because one of its residents had looked at him in an "unfriendly" way. This massacre added to the many infamous deeds Commodus performed.
In AD 190, Commodus took advantage of the unfortunate circumstance Rome found itself in. A fire had begun and had burned part of the city. The emperor took this opportunity to rebuild the city, and change its name to Colonia Commodiana. Not only did he rename the city, but he renamed months of the year after himself, and
Open Document