as Caesar under Marcus Aurelius AD 166 - 177
as Augustus AD 177 - 192 (March AD 177 - 31 December 192)
Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (earlier and from 191 Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus).
Son of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior;
Husband of Crispina;
Brother of Lucilla, Annius Verus and Aurelius Antoninus;
Grandson of Antoninus Pius and Faustina Senior.
AD 166 - 169 - Caesar together with Annius Verus under Marcus Aurelius
AD 169 - 177 - Caesar (alone) under Marcus Aurelius
AD 177 - 180 - Augustus with Marcus Aurelius
AD 180 - 192 - Sole reign
Lucius Aurelius Commodus, a simple and guiles man, was proclaimed Caesar by his father Marcus Aurelius in 166, became Augustus in 177, and upon the death of Marcus Aurelius began his rule as sole emperor. His first deed was to strike a peace treaty with the Morcomani, judging perhaps correctly, that the Empire had outstretched itself. Returning to Rome, he quickly dispatched some prominent citizens, including his own sister, on the accusations of conspiracy and then relinquished almost all power to his praetorian prefects, who in their turn tried to outdo each other in the extent of imperial powers they appropriated. Commodusí own policy seems to have been to terrorize the senators and replenish the imperial treasury which his extravagance had emptied by confiscating their property. With time, his accusations became increasingly arbitrary and Commodus and his actions grew cruel and bizarre. Among other things, he hit upon the idea of renaming Rome in his own name, as colonia Commodiana. The Romans who frequented gladiatorial fights had the pleasure to see their emperor fighting in the arena as a common gladiator, with his opponents drugged or incapacitated of course, and the emperor disguised as Hercules. Things came to a head by the end of 192, and a conspiracy was hatched to get rid of him. On the last night of the year Commodusí wrestling partner strangled him in a friendly spar, most probably at the instigation of the praetorian prefect Quintus Laetus.
List all Commodus coins in the Catalog.