Emperor Lucius Aurelius Commodus
Born: August 31, 161 AD
Died: December 31, 192 AD
Became Emperor: 180 AD

Son of Emperor Marcus Aurelius
Brother of Annia Lucilla

Character in Gladiator Portrayed by:
Joaquin Phoenix

Lucius Aurelius Commodus was born on August 31, 161 AD at Lanuvium, which was about fourteen miles to the southeast of Rome. He was the tenth of fourteen children and the only son to survive childhood. Marcus Aurelius groomed him to be emperor. Commodus was made Augustus and joint emperor in 177 AD. Commodus spent two years (178-180 AD) leading Roman troops with his father in campaigns along the Danube River.

Commodus reigned twelve years. His sister Annia Lucilla part of a failed plot to assassinate Commodus in 182 AD, exiled and eventually executed. Soon after, Commodus stopped taking interest in the day-to-day matters of government and left it to his Praetorian prefects. Commodus fought many times in the arena as a gladiator, either killing helpless animals or gladiators.

Following a fire that destroyed portions of the city of Rome in 191 AD, Commodus decided that Rome would be renamed Colonia Commodiana (City of Commodus) and that he would begin rule of the 'new' city on January 1, 193 AD. This final madness was enough for another conspiracy to emerge led by Praetorian prefect Quintus Aemilius Laetus. The original means of death was poisoning by his concubine on the evening of December 31, 192 AD, but he simply became ill and vomitted up the poison. However, later that night he was strangled in his bed by his wrestling partner Narcissus.

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