Rome: Augustus to Marcus Aurelius Quiz | 25 Questions
Commodus born Lucius Aurelius Commodus and died Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus, was Roman emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from to his . Learn more about Marcus Aurelius's life, including his rise to power, his Demystified · Quizzes · Galleries · Lists · On This Day · Biographies · Newsletters It is sometimes assumed that in Hadrian's mind both Commodus and minors —and giving recognition to claims of blood relationship in the field of. Augustus' relationship with the Senate was different the Caesar's because he chose people who he trusted to fulfill the job. Claudius, Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius. Commodus began the decline of the Roman Empire.
Lucilla was banished to Capri and later executed. Her husband, Pompeianus, strangely enough, survived unscathed. The Hidden Poison Begins to Work That Quintianus claimed to be an agent of the entire Senate soured relations between the emperor and that body.
There now started the familiar and dreadful rounds of inquisition and denunciation that pitted senator against senator. Condianus, realizing his likely fate, faked his own death and then wandered the earth in disguise. So keen was Commodus to apprehend him that many men were arrested and killed merely for looking like Condianus.
Their heads were put on display in Rome. At least two other unsuccessful plots are on record against Commodus, the details of which are vague and disputed, but one apparently involved the prefect Perennis and led to his death in the year Entertaining the Emperor For his part, Commodus gave himself over to his private passions, chiefly gladiatorial combat and chariot racing. The latter he practiced in private, as shame prevented him from racing in public.
But as Dio records from personal observation, the emperor performed gladiatorial combats and beast hunts in the arena before adoring crowds. He appears to have been quite good. In private, he fought with sharp weapons, killing and maiming his opponents, but in public he fought only with blunt weapons—the prospect of an emperor of Rome dying on the sand before the eyes of his people was too atrocious even for Commodus to contemplate.
Dio notes that Commodus was a left-handed gladiator, a fact of which he was very proud.
He appears to have won every bout he fought. Triumphs and Flaws of Imperial Rome Not only were the senators and knights forced to attend whenever Commodus took to the sand, but they also had to chant: You win and win you will; from time everlasting, Amazonian, you win. Dio says that he and his colleagues found this spectacle not threatening but silly, and they laughed—but to avoid risking death, they concealed their mirth by chewing the laurels of the wreaths that they were wearing.
He then gave them sponges instead of stones to basically throw at him, and then he battered them all to death with a club. I Am Hercules Commodus as Hercules One feature of these shows that should be noted is the divine connections that they helped forge for Commodus. Prominent Romans since the republic had all associated themselves with gods, and the emperors were no exception. Which wiser, older man is to take my place? My powers will pass to Maximus to hold in trust until the Senate is ready to rule once more.
Rome is to be a Republic again. Commodus then strangles his father, makes himself emperor anyway, and tries to have Maximus murdered, setting up the plot for the rest of the film. Reign of Bloodwhich approaches the subject from a slightly more historical perspective.
Several academics appear as talking heads, discussing Marcus Aurelius and Commodus, and dramatized sections are interspersed depicting the events of his life. Some Key Facts This is a slightly complicated story. However, I find it helps to begin just by stating a few important historical facts, which I believe are partly obscured by the portrayal of events in Gladiator, although even people who have never seen that movie are often mistaken on these points.
Presumably at this time the most likely scenario would have been that when Marcus died, Commodus would serve alongside Lucius Verus as his junior co-emperor. Commodus had already been ruling as Emperor for about three years before Marcus died. Marcus had his son acclaimed Imperator on 27th November AD and later, in the summer of AD, he was granted the title Augustus, making him co-emperor with Marcus. So whereas Commodus is portrayed as Caesar in the movie Gladiator, waiting to succeed Marcus, who then refuses to let him take the throne, in reality Commodus had already been emperor for about three years before Marcus died.
To understand Commodus we have to go right back to his great-grandfather, by adoption, the emperor Hadrian. Toward the end of his life his behaviour was becoming erratic.
Marcus Aurelius | Biography, Meditations, & Facts | badz.info
However, the man died suddenly about a year later, forcing Hadrian to come up with another candidate. He then adopted a man called Aurelius Antoninus and appointed him Caesar on condition that Antoninus would in turn adopt a young boy called Marcus Annius Verus and make him his own successor.
So there was a plan that stretched decades into the future. However, these arrangements could easily be overturned by events. The man Hadrian had originally appointed Caesar had a young son, also called Lucius.
The Senate were terrified of the possibility of civil war caused by rival factions fighting over claims to the throne. When Hadrian died he was hated by the Senate for spying on and executing his enemies at Rome. It was probably considered necessary to unite the empire and prevent instability caused by the mess Hadrian had left by creating two rival dynasties with a claim on the throne. The one thing Marcus lacked was any military experience. When the two emperors were acclaimed, indeed, it was Lucius who was sent to deliver a speech to the soldiers, and not long after, when the Parthian War broke out, Marcus sent Lucius to Syria to oversee the campaign.
Lucius was nine years younger than Marcus and much fitter and healthier than him. He may also have been a bad emperor but it seems that Marcus felt it was necessary, for some reason, to appoint him. He reputedly spent his time partying far away from the action and let his generals do all the work for him. However, Lucius returned to Rome and celebrated his victory. Unfortunately, the Roman legions returning to their garrisons across Europe brought back a disease, probably a strain of smallpox, which became known as the Antonine Plague.
The Antonine Plague is an important character in this story because the histories tell us that by taking the lives of so many people it disrupted society in many ways. Those to whom family fortunes were bequeathed died prematurely.
Experienced senators, military officers, and government officials died prematurely and had to be replaced — there was a high turnover of staff in important positions. We can see this affected the imperial succession also. The Marcomannic Wars Shortly after Lucius returned, a huge coalition army of barbarian tribes from the north, led by King Ballomar of the Marcomanni, invaded the northern provinces of the Roman Empire. This time both Marcus and Lucius took command of the military response and left Rome together to drive the barbarian horde out of Italy and liberate the northern province of Pannonia.
War in the north would occupy Marcus for most of the rest of his reign and it would also cost the lives of many Romans, including men in senior positions. The city of Rome itself was thrown into total panic by the news that a barbarian army had penetrated Italy, because they feared Rome would be sacked. Ballomar had seized the opportunity when Rome was weak. Beleaguered troops were still on their way back to their garrisons in the north from the Parthian War far to the east.
The legions had also been devastated by the plague, which thrived in the conditions found in army camps.
This was undoubtedly done in response to the panic at Rome. It was clearly assumed that both Marcus and Lucius might die suddenly and that it was better to have a successor in place than leave Rome in chaos.
The death rate among children due to the plague would have been particularly high. Numerous measures were promulgated and judicial decisions made, clearing away harshnesses and anomalies in the civil lawimproving in detail the lot of the less-favoured—slaves, widows, minors—and giving recognition to claims of blood relationship in the field of succession see inheritance.
The pattern of ameliorating legislation was inherited rather than novel, and the measures were refinements rather than radical changes in the structure of law or society; Marcus was not a great legislator, but he was a devoted practitioner of the role of ombudsman. Moreover, there was nothing specifically Stoic about this legal activity, and in one respect the age of Antoninus Pius and Marcus signalizes a retrogression in the relationship of law to society, for under them there either began or was made more explicit a distinction of classes in the criminal law —honestiores and humiliores—with two separate scales of punishments for crime, harsher and more degrading for the humiliores at every point.
Although Marcus disliked the Christians, there was no systematic persecution of them during his reign. Their legal status remained as it had been under Trajan reigned 98— and Hadrian: Christians were ipso facto punishable but not to be sought out. This incongruous position did little harm in times of general security and prosperity, but when either of these were threatened, the local population might denounce Christians, a governor might be forced to act, and the law, as the central authority saw it, must then run its course.
The martyrdoms at Lyon in were of this nature, and, though it appears that Christian blood flowed more profusely in the reign of Marcus the philosopher than it had before, he was not an initiator of persecution. In Syria was invaded by the Parthians, a major power to the east. The war that followed — was nominally under the command of Verus, though its successful conclusion, with the overrunning of Armenia and Mesopotamiawas the work of subordinate generals, notably Gaius Avidius Cassius.
The returning armies brought back with them a plaguewhich raged throughout the empire for many years and—together with the German invasion—fostered a weakening of morale in minds accustomed to the stability and apparent immutability of Rome and its empire.
In or Marcus and Verus together set out on a punitive expedition across the Danubeand behind their backs a horde of German tribes invaded Italy in massive strength and besieged Aquileiaon the crossroads at the head of the Adriatic.
The military precariousness of the empire and the inflexibility of its financial structure in the face of emergencies now stood revealed; desperate measures were adopted to fill the depleted legions, and imperial property was auctioned to provide funds. Marcus and Verus fought the Germans off with success, but in Verus died suddenly, and doubtless naturally, of a stroke.Gladiator "So Much For The Glory Of Rome" Scene
Three years of fighting were still needed, with Marcus in the thick of it, to restore the Danubian frontier, and three more years of campaigning in Bohemia were enough to bring the tribes beyond the Danube to peace, at least for a time. The Meditations A more intimate contact with the thoughts pursued by Marcus during the troubling involvements of his reign, though not what would have been historically most valuable, his day-to-day political thoughts, can be acquired by reading the Meditations.
To what extent he intended them for eyes other than his own is uncertain; they are fragmentary notes, discursive and epigrammatic by turn, of his reflections in the midst of campaigning and administration. In a way, it seems, he wrote them to nerve himself for his daunting responsibilities. Strikingly, though they comprise the innermost thoughts of a Roman, the Meditations were written in Greek—to such an extent had the union of cultures become a reality.
In many ages these thoughts have been admired; the modern age, however, is more likely to be struck by the pathology of them, their mixture of priggishness and hysteria. Marcus was forever proposing to himself unattainable goals of conduct, forever contemplating the triviality, brutishness, and transience of the physical world and of humanity in general and himself in particular; otherworldly, yet believing in no other world, he was therefore tied to duty and service with no hope, even of everlasting fame, to sustain him.