History of Europe

The worst monarch in Roman history! Only the 17th Emperor Commodus can defend

Last updated:2022-07-25

There are three emperors who have been sentenced to erasure by the Senate. Nero, Domitian, Commodus.

There is a move to reassess Nero and Domitian. There is also a factual achievement.

There were many emperors in Rome who were once called tyrants. There was a time when Tiberius and Claudius were also said to be so.

They were hated by the Senate, but they also have credit.

Commodus is the Roman emperor who is hated by the Senate and has no merit.

There is a movie set in Rome called "Gradiator". There is also an old movie called "The Fall of the Roman Empire" by Alec Guinness, who is famous for Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. Both are set in the Roman Empire under the rule of Commodus.

In the movie, Commodus is supposed to assassinate his father, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, but the facts are quite different.

This time, let's take a look at Commodus, the worst emperor in Roman history.

The spoiling of Emperor Aurelius

The father of Commodus is Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, one of the last of the Five Good Emperors.

Also known as the Tetsujin emperor, he is a beloved emperor, so it seems that posterity does not want to think that Commodus was the emperor at his will, which is often seen in movies including gladiators. ..

Emperor Aurelius was forcibly deprived of the throne by Commodus.

It's completely different.

It was Aurelius who succeeded Commodus, and it was also Aurelius who destroyed Commodus.

Originally Aurelius co-governed with a man named Lucius Wels, but Lucius died prematurely.

And instead of making his son the next emperor, he holds the same emperorship as himself during the reign of Emperor Aurelius. He never forcibly robbed him of the throne.

On the contrary, Emperor Aurelius takes Commodus everywhere he goes.

The reason why Aurelius did not see the nature of Commodus is that it is not unusual. It's the same reasoning that children of doctors and teachers tend to go crazy.

Emperor Aurelius spoiled Emperor Commodus too much.

The Five Good Emperors were established because they did not inherit. No one had a boy, but only Emperor Aurelius let his child take over his position.

Later generations wonder why a tyrant like Emperor Aurelius is such a tyrant, but there is one clear answer to that:Emperor Aurelius is a good human being, but not a good prince, and also good. He was never a father.

When his father died, he returned home

Emperor Aurelius died of illness in what is now Vienna, Vindobona. Commodus was also nearby. At that time, he was fighting the Germanic people, and all his soldiers insisted on the continuation of the war, but Commodus quickly signed a peace treaty with the Germanic people and returned to Rome. He was not interested in politics.

The soldiers were indignant, but this part is no longer the subject of much criticism.

Interestingly, Commodus actually did a tyranny in his reign, but he didn't waste it. This is in contrast to Caligula, which was more wasteful than tyranny.

In fact, he would not have had much strategic need to extend his territory to the northern part of the Donau River. Emperor Aurelius was also fighting to prevent the Germanic invasion, not to expand his territory.

Theodor Mommsen, a Nobel Prize-winning writer around here, has even evaluated it as "achieving 60 years of peace."

In fact, the fight against the Germanic people has not happened for about 60 years.

It may be the same theory that Liu Shan was not so interested in politics and did not destroy Shu.

Attempted assassination of the emperor

It is controversial whether Commodus was originally a tyrant. Some say it went crazy because of this incident.

As Commodus tried to get home from the theater, a bad guy attacked the emperor's party. The bad guys were caught and cross-examined and the mastermind was found to be his real sister, Lucilla.

It is said that this caused Commodus to go crazy.

It may be. It would be strange if anyone was killed by his real sister, who wasn't on bad terms and was trusted by him. What's more, it happened in the family of Emperor Aurelius, who always said that his family was important, and I don't know what to believe anymore.

When this happens, you will believe in humans, those who say only sweet words for you.

It's an interesting thing, and at this time in China, during the time of the Emperor Ling, the same thing happened and the Yellow Turban Rebellion, which was the beginning of the Three Kingdoms, occurred.

In the case of the Emperor Ling, he was a eunuch official named Ten Attendants, but in Rome it seems that he was a freedman named Cleandros.

Until Cleandros gained power, Perennis, the secretary of the guards, was in charge of almost all politics.

Perennis, like a military attaché, disregarded the Senate and was fooling himself into doing things without his approval.

Still, his political abilities seemed to be certain, and he seemed to have quelled the riots in Britannia and strengthened defense bases around the world.

By the way, there are usually two guards, but Commodus dismissed another secretary, Paterno, because he couldn't prevent the assassination. By the way, Paterno died shortly thereafter.

Not one or two were killed for this reason, but six Roman consuls with experience in Consul were also punished, four of whom were executed and two of whom were banished. .. Her sister's husband, Quintirinus, was also found guilty of death without trial and her property confiscated.

Perhaps Commodus is an irresistible person because he lived in his confiscated mansion himself.

The Romans are traditionally a family-friendly people. These actions were, of course, unpopular with Roman citizens. It was also unpopular with the Senate. 5 In the days of the Five Good Emperors, successive emperors had sworn not to kill Senators, but Commodus does not.

Still, the time when Perennis was still alive was decent. The latter half was terrible, even in this state, but it was just better for those who did politics.

Death of Perennis and Corruption of the Senate

Commodus wasn't so interested in politics that he naturally didn't attend the Senate parliament.

The only people who used to go to the Senate without a break were Trajan, Antoninus Pius, and Aurelius, and Hadrian and others had been on a tour, so they rarely went to the Senate. It is also the reason why Hadrian was denied his posthumous deification.

Even so, I knew that Perennis was unpopular with the Senate.

Cleandros gently listens to such Commodus.

"It seems that Perennis is aiming for the Emperor's throne."

The reason why he is a dark man is that he believes in the praises of his subordinates who are not Roku.

Even in the company, there are many 2nd and 3rd presidents. Commodus is one of them.

Perennis was killed one day without warning. His wife and children were with him.

Cleandros, who was out of the way, went out of control.

He was Greek, not Roman. That may not be the reason, but he begins to fertilize his stomach with tremendous momentum.

He was particularly keen on buying and selling the officials, and it was mainly the Senators who bought the officials.

On the other hand, those who get in the way are erased. In particular, the Secretary of the Guard, who did not agree with his intentions, immediately died. It seems that he was dead in as little as 6 hours.

In the end, he himself became the secretary of the guards.

Second attempted assassination of the emperor and death of a vassal

Commodus was most afraid of assassination.

The masterminds this time were two people, Mamertine and Bruce, who were the husbands of their sister and sister, respectively.

It's certain that Ruccira's case is her plot, but it seems that this is a fabrication. It seems likely that Cleandros made it.

Both were experienced consuls, but were eventually executed.

In such a situation, Cleandros seems to have taken control of the Senate, and he has even earned the title of father of the Senate.

It is no longer corrupt here.

However, Cleandros has done so much that he shouldn't touch it.

It is the stomach of the people.

Around this time, wheat was distributed free of charge in Rome. However, it is hard to say that it is of good quality, and it seems that Roman citizens enslaved the distributed wheat and sought good quality wheat in the market.

However, for some reason, good quality wheat is no longer on the market.

The people were angry.

An angry crowd rushes to the house of Commodus. Commodus irresistibly offered Cleandros to the people, and his vassal finally died.

It's unclear if wheat and Cleandros were actually related, but it seems that the civilian class was particularly resentful.

Commodus itself was hated by the Senate, but it didn't seem to be so unpopular with the public.

Roman Hercules

Commodus was the so-called brain muscle.

He just loved to train, and he himself became a gladiator and fought in the arena.

His sickly father, Aurelius, did not seem to have any respect for him, and he seemed to be seriously convinced that his father was Jupiter (Zeus).

Most of the statues of Commodus have been destroyed, but few of them look like the Greek hero Heracles.

If I wasn't born as a good emperor with Nero and Commodus, it might have been just an interesting guy ...

There are no more politicians anymore, and it seems that the letter from the emperor was always blank, just "Vale". Vale seems to mean good luck.

Assassination of the Emperor

Commodus was assassinated because of such a situation.

A bad emperor is usually assassinated in Rome.

This area may be different from the emperor of China.

It is said that the bad guys were the servants of Commodus. Since these bad guys weren't caught, it's probably correct to speculate that there was a guard or a Senate behind them.

Nero, Caligula and Caesar were assassinated by Senators.

The Senate sentenced the assassinated Commodus to erasure.

But he didn't even have a monument to destroy because he had no credit.

He was a helpless emperor, but during his reign there was no persecution of Christians.

Therefore, it has not received as much criticism as Nero in posterity.

Even today, the worst tyrant in Rome is Nero, who persecuted Christians.