How through a position of power did Commodus have an impact on the history of his time? Hypothesis:
Commodus was a disconnected and self-indulgent leader, his inability to rule Rome caused the start of the ‘Imperial Decline’ Context:
Caesar Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus, commonly referred to as Commodus, was the only surviving son and heir of Marcus Aurelius. He was born in 31 August AD 161 in Lanuvium, south-east of Rome. At the age of five, he, along with his younger brother, Marcus Annius Verus, was named Caesar (junior Emperor). However the latter later died which left Commodus as the only surviving son and heir. In AD 177, after the revolt of Cassius, Marcus Aurelius gave Commodus the title of Augustus, therefore making him joint emperor. Commodus was 16 at this time and it was accepted that the power still lay primarily with his father. However three years later in AD 180 Marcus Aurelius died, making Commodus the sole Emperor of Rome. Paragraph 1:
Why did Commodus’ reign have such a bad effect on Rome?
Commodus was simple minded and easily lead, he was more interested in focusing on his own indulgences than running the Empire. Explanation:
- When Marcus Aurelius died, left him surrounded by some of best men in the senate to guide him.. - reign filled with bad decisions- first one made treaty with fathers enemies - neglected duties, brutal & cruel, mentally unstable?
- Commodus’ reign caused the state of Rome’s Economy to plummet Example:
‘He was not naturally wicked, but on the contrary, as guileless as any man that ever lived. His great simplicity, however, together with his cowardice… - Dio Cassius Link to hypothesis and conclude paragraph:
Commodus was power hungry and greedy, however he was not prepared to bare the responsibilities that came with that power. His lack of interest gained not only him, but Rome, many enemies.