Does the name Commodus sound familiar? Well, it may be from the film “Gladiator”, which is an Oscar-winning 2000 film.
The villainous emperor in this movie played by Joaquin Phoenix, follows a real-life Roman emperor, Commodus, who in ancient history is reckoned as a “great curse to Romans than any crime or pestilence”.
Commodus competes with Nero and Caligula, as history’s most sadistic and perverse rulers of all time.
Similar to Nero and Caligula, Commodus was also an ordinary ruler who succeeded his father (Marcus Aurelius) after his death.
Commodus, in one of his major positive deeds, ended up the expedition against Germans which was started by his father on terms favoring the Romans.
He left for Rome where he preferred living like an emperor, rather than involving in dirty businesses for invoking wars.
He passed his time through a hedonistic lifestyle, where he was happy to offer others with administrative responsibilities.
However, none of his appointees ever seemed to last longer on the provided job, either because of bad luck, incompetence, or corruption. So one after another, new replacements kept coming. This way, Commodus slowly started getting the taste of power, and finally, he decided to manage and rule the entire empire himself.
This way the start of a period where Commodus started becoming crueler and increasingly unpredictable.
His beloved sister, Lucilla, started a conspiracy against him which was further founded. After surviving this scenario, he turned into a paranoid who got uncounted individuals executed for treason or disloyalty.
During his final year, he shocked every Roman in every class with his gladiator-like personality. Definitely, these combats were arranged to get him out as victorious.
Henceforth, a record 700+ victories were collected under his name, where every battle ender with the deaths of one or many gladiators, or even wild beasts at Colosseum.
One of his lovers finally hatched the cooked conspiracy against him, who first tried to poison him but was caught and thrown to a wrestler who dragged him to death. This was the last day of the year 192.