Cassius Dio wrote, “… he (Pertinax) at once reduced to order everything that had previously been irregular and confused; for he showed not only humaneness and integrity in the imperial administration, but also the most economical management and the most careful consideration for the public welfare.” To begin with, he reduced the extravagances that had been awarded the Guard by Commodus. [3] Pertinax through the help of patronage was commissioned an officer in a cohort. [30] Julianus was succeeded by Septimius Severus. Commodus rises to power as Rome's new emperor, but not everyone supports his ascent. [12], He served as proconsul of Africa from 188–189,[13] and followed this term of service with the urban prefecture of Rome,[14] and a second consulship as ordinarius with the emperor Commodus as his colleague. In the history as established by the novel, the plot against Pertinax was thwarted, and Pertinax introduced a series of reforms that would consolidate the Roman Empire to such a degree that it would still be a major power in the 21st century.[42]. He led a truly 'rags to riches' story as his father went from slavery to success and wealth in the wool trade, allowing his son to receive a classical education which, in turn, permitted Pertinax to lead a quiet and uneventful life as a teacher of grammar. Commodus in 180 AD. He attempted to emulate the restrained practices of Marcus Aurelius, and made an effort to reform the alimenta but he faced antagonism from many quarters. After his reign of terror, the Emperors became the absolute rulers of the Roman World, following his example. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. Commodus in popular culture And in AD 177, after the revolt of Cassius, Marcus Aurelius made him Augustus and thereby joint emperor. He was born in Alba Pompeia in Italy,[2] the son of freedman Helvius Successus. His twin brother, Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antonius, died at age four. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. He was fighting alongside his father on the Danube frontier when the Emperor died, but immediately returned to Rome after securing a favourable peace treaty. Pertinax. [15], After Pertinax's death, the Praetorians auctioned off the imperial title; the winner was the wealthy senator Didius Julianus, whose reign would end by his assassination on 1 June 193. However, the former teacher, as well as putting in order the affairs of state, also embarked on a series of state spending cuts which led to his general unpopularity and eventual downfall at the hands of the Praetorian Guard. Pertinax (/ˈpɜːrtɪnæks/; Publius Helvius Pertinax; 1 August 126 – 28 March 193) was a Roman soldier and politician who ruled as Roman emperor for the first three months of 193. In his Roman History, Cassius Dio wrote, “Pertinax was as excellent and upright man, but he ruled only a very short time, and was then put out of the way by the soldiers.”. 4 He Didn’t Actually Do Any Of His Duties. Pertinax would be deified by the emperor Septimius Severus. His brutal misrule precipitated civil strife that ended 84 years of stability and prosperity within the empire. Pertinax sent Laetus to meet them, but he chose to side with the insurgents instead and deserted the emperor. After only eighty-seven days on the imperial throne, he would be dead. 4. [27] Ancient sources suggest that they had received only half their promised pay. While the previous governor was fair and the Britons lived in peace, Commodus ruled as an evil tyrant, directly resulting in a massive rebellion led by King Oswald and his daughter Boudica. He also … Even provincial governors failed to support their new emperor; the madness of Commodus had taught them to be cautious of whoever sat on the throne. One of those reforms, the restoration of discipline among the Praetorian Guard, led to conflict that eventually culminated in Pertinax's assassination by the Guard. In conclusion, the emperor’s time on the throne had been a disaster, for he had been too harsh and too much of an authoritarian. After Maximus killed Commodus in the Colloseum, the emperor was chosen from the winner of a gladiator fight between two emperor wannabes. He achieved the rank of provincial governor and urban prefect. Commodus was born on 31 August AD 161 in Lanuvium, near Rome. Even though he tried to reason with them, his words fell on deaf ears; he and Electus were both stabbed to death. Information about the Roman emperor Commodus. As with many before him, his head was cut off, placed on a pole, and paraded through the streets of Rome. The empire was thrown into a civil war, and it would be four years before the dust would clear. [28], Although advised to flee, he then attempted to reason with them, and was almost successful before being struck down by one of the soldiers. He was born in 161 AD, and made joint ruler with his father, the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, at age 16. Most importantly of all, Commodus weakened the economy of Rome, with his lavish spending. Wasson, Donald L. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Despite his education, he did not inherit any of his father’s work. Commodus was succeeded by Pertinax, whose reign was short lived, being the first to fall victim to the Year of the Five Emperors. He attempted to institute several reform measures, although the short length of his time as emperor prevented the success of those attempts. Since there were no familial candidates, they chose a former teacher and military commander, Publius Helvius Pertinax. Pertinax would be the first of what became known as the Year of the Five Emperors. Just not that Commodus! [24] Neither the guards on duty nor the palace officials chose to resist them. The assassination of Emperor Commodus brought both panic and bloodshed to the city. Commodus, Emperor of Rome. Commodus had an elder twin brother, Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus, who died in 165. He even accused one palace official of embezzlement. [37], Pertinax is described by David Hume's essay Of the Original Contract as an "excellent prince" possessing an implied modesty when, on the arrival of soldiers who had come to proclaim him emperor, he believed that Commodus had ordered his death. He succeeded Commodus to become the first emperor during the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors. He took the throne as regent, but was killed by Maximus in the Colosseum. Commodus (161-192) was the son of Marcus Aurelius. He fought in the Roman–Parthian War of 161–166, where his success led him to be promoted to higher-ranking positions in both the military and political spheres. He is eager to pass knowledge on to his students. It was there that the now-deceased Commodus was condemned and Pertinax was proclaimed emperor - but this acceptance would soon turn to dismay and disgust. Despite some early friction, his close ties to Marcus Aurelius eventually helped him become a senator, a consul in 175 CE, the governor of Dacia and later Syria in 181 CE, and prefect of Rome in 189 CE. Please help us create teaching materials on Mesopotamia (including several complete lessons with worksheets, activities, answers, essay questions, and more), which will be free to download for teachers all over the world. His historical reputation has largely been a positive one, in line with Cassius Dio's assessment. Commodus was a bloody tyrant and his reign was also a disaster and contributed to the decline of the greatest Classical Empire. Aurelius’ physician, Galen, was tasked with looking after Commodus to ensure that he stayed healthy and well. Commodus was appointed as a co-ruler, at the age of 16, after fighting alongside his father and emperor, Marcus Aurelius, during the ‘Marcomannic Wars.’ Wasson, Donald L. After the removal of the emperor’s body (it was later interred in Hadrian’s Mausoleum), Laetus, the commander of the Praetorian Guard and one of the conspirators in Commodus’s death, and Electus, chamberlain to Commodus, made their way to the home of Pertinax and offered him the throne. Commodus's death marked the end of the Nervan-Antonian dynasty, and the beginning of the end for the Western Roman Empire. Commodus indeed led the troops in the wars on the Danube together with his father from AD 178, until the death of Marcus Aurelius in AD 180. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Pertinax/. Falco was pardoned - it became apparent that he had been set up - but several others involved were executed. The Julio-Claudian Dynasty [image:486] Augustus 16 Jan 27... A portrait bust of Roman emperor Pertinax who briefly reigned in... A photorealistic reconstruction of what the Roman emperor Pertinax... A bronze sestertius from the reign of Roman Emperor Pertinax (183... Pertinax: The Son of a Slave Who Became Roman Emperor. On 12 October 166, Commodus was made Caesar together with his younger brother, Marcus Annius Verus. Born on August 31, 161 AD, to Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his wife … 23 Dec 2020. Italics indicates a junior co-emperor, while underlining indicates a usurper. [2] In 175, he received the honor of a suffect consulship[8] and until 185, Pertinax was governor of the provinces of Upper and Lower Moesia, Dacia, Syria and finally governor of Britain. From there, Pertinax went to meet the Senate in the middle of the night. The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. To rebuild the empire’s finances - and pay the Guard their bonuses - he sold everything he could; he cleaned house. At first, events after the emperor’s death went exactly according to plan. Commodus was born in 161 AD near Rome, the son of Marcus Aurelius, the wise ruling emperor. [34], Pertinax's historical reputation is largely a positive one, beginning with the assessment of Cassius Dio, a historian and senator who was a colleague of Pertinax. 8 years ago. The excesses of Commodus had come to an end as the finances of the empire were now in ruin. [33] For some time, he held games on the anniversary of Pertinax's ascension and his birthday. The senate acclaimed Pertinax as emperor, damned the memory of Commodus, and undid all his ambitious renaming. Written by Donald L. Wasson, published on 19 September 2013 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. However, in 161 CE, at the age of thirty-five, he tired of the low pay and left teaching to enter the military. Contemporary Roman writer Cassius Dio describes the young heir as “rather simple-minded,” but he ruled agreeably with his father and joined Marcus Aurelius in the Marcomannic Wars against the Germanic tribes along the Danube, which the emperor had been waging for several year… As in the past - such as in the death of Emperor Caligula - the choice of a successor fell to the Praetorian Guard. Commodus was the tenth of fourteen children born to Aurelius, and was ultimately the only surviving son. Born Lucius Aurelius Commodus, he is known as a ruler who designed a major turning point in Roman history. Since there were no familial candidates, they chose a former teacher and military commander, Publius Helvius Pertinax. Lucius Aurelius Commodus, born 161 A.D., was appointed co-emperor by his father Marcus Aurelius in 177 A.D. when he was just 16 years old. Pertinax and his reign were in danger. [25], On 28 March 193, Pertinax was at his palace when, according to the Historia Augusta, a contingent of some three hundred soldiers of the Praetorian Guard rushed the gates[26] (two hundred according to Cassius Dio). Afterward, he wed Bruttia Crispina; he then traveled with his father to the Danube to protect the country in 178 AD till 180 AD when Marcus passed away. Born the son of a freed slave, Pertinax became an officer in the army. Commodus's sister ruled briefly after Commodus was killed by Maximus. "He failed to comprehend, though a man of wide practical experience, that one cannot with safety reform everything at once, and that the restoration of a state, in particular, requires both time and wisdom". He had simply tried too much, too soon. After the death of Commodus, Pertinax became emperor. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. [9] He was recalled after three years to Britain, where the Roman army was in a state of mutiny. Commodus didn’t really bother with the duties of being an … [6], During the 180s, Pertinax took a pivotal role in the Roman Senate until the praetorian prefect Sextus Tigidius Perennis forced him out of public life. Although he eventually gave the Praetorian Guard the bonuses he had promised, he would never win their loyalty. Réponse De Pertinax, Citoyen Du Canton De Vaud, Au Très-honoré Monsieur... Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Among those conspiring against him: his older sister Lucilla. He was supreme commander of Rome's armies and personal commander of the VI Legion. Cleander comes across as something of a neo-Sejanus. The Colosseum, Rome. He succeeded his father as Augustus after he killed him. Dio refers to him as "an excellent and upright man"[35] who displayed "not only humaneness and integrity in the imperial administrations, but also the most economical management and the most careful consideration for the public welfare". Commodus defeats his sister's coup but withdraws from governing, allowing others to amass power while he engages in an affair and banishes his wife. In 172 AD, during the Marcomannic War, Commodus was given the victory title Germanicus. Source(s): College. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. Related Content He was a member of the Roman Senate, serving at the same time as the historian Cassius Dio. Marcus Aurelius was a student of Stoic philosophy. Though describing him as a good man, Machiavelli considered Pertinax's attempt to reform a soldiery that had become "accustomed to live licentiously" a mistake, as it inspired their hatred of him, which led to his overthrow and death. Marcus "Aurelius" Commodus is a fictional character and the main antagonist of the 2000 Oscar winner historic action film Gladiator. Biography. 0 2. Pertinax was a Roman soldier and politician who ruled as Roman emperor for the first three months of 193. On March 28, 193 CE, three-hundred guards stormed the palace gates with little resistance. Realizing he needed to ensure the Guard’s support, Pertinax hurried to the Praetorian Guard’s camp where he guaranteed each soldier a bonus of 12,000 sesterces. Learn how and when to remove this template message, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pertinax&oldid=992934694, Roman emperors murdered by the Praetorian Guard, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles lacking reliable references from June 2019, Articles incorporating a citation from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Imperator Caesar Publius Helvius Pertinax Augustus, This page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 22:13. [16][note 1] His short reign (86 days) was an uneasy one. [39][40], Pertinax was the pseudonym of the French journalist André Géraud (1882–1974). Commodus, Roman emperor from 177 to 192 (sole emperor after 180). Pertinax was born on August 1, 126 CE at Alba Pompeia in Liguria to a freed slave Helvius Successus; his mother’s name is unknown. Caesar M. Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus) 176-192: Pertinax (Imp. Dio, 74:10. After serving in battle on the northern frontier in 178 and 179, together with Aurelius, Commodus returned to Rome in 180 after his father’s death. Caesar Augustus) AD 14-37. The general Maximus, weary of battle, decides to retire at his Spanish farm estate at the Emperor's behest, but the Emperor tells him that Commodus is unfit to rule and thus appoints him as regent to help save Rome from corruption. Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus, or just Commodus for short, is the main antagonist of the 2000 historic action film Gladiator. Ancient History Encyclopedia. [29] Pertinax must have been aware of the danger he faced by assuming the purple, for he refused to use imperial titles for either his wife or son, thereby protecting them from the aftermath of his own assassination. Fight for Glory He is often regarded as one of the Roman Empire's worst emperors since he brought Rome to decadence, leading to the Crisis of Third Century. Cite This Work He was portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, who would later portray Arthur Fleck in Joker. Commodus was born on 31 August 161, the son of Marcus Aurelius.He was a member of the pagan Roman House of Aurelius.Commodus was ambitious, brave (although not on the battlefield), and loyal to his family. Most likely, Antoninus Pius would have been succeeded by Commodus, believe it or not. [31] After his entry to Rome, Septimius recognized Pertinax as a legitimate emperor, executed the soldiers who killed him, and not only pressured the Senate to deify him and provide him a state funeral,[32] but also adopted his cognomen of Pertinax as part of his name. He succeeded Commodus to become the first emperor during the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors. Aurelius constantly gives his son lectures on duty and morality, he was as stern and powerful as Zeus. Jay. See, D. Fishwick, The Imperial Cult in the Latin West (Leiden, 1987-91), 473. "Pertinax." Caesar Augustus) 27 BC-AD 14. Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. [4], In the Parthian War that followed,[5] he distinguished himself, which resulted in a string of promotions, and after postings in Britain (as military tribune of the Legio VI Victrix)[6] and along the Danube, he served as a procurator in Dacia. Cassius Dio wrote, he “raised money as best he could from the statues, the arms, the horses, the furniture, and the favourites of Commodus, and gave the Praetorian all that he had promised ….” While the public was initially pleased (at least until he reduced the number of gladiatorial games), the Guard and the palace officials were not. Despite this, Commodus seemed to have been a lazy student and would be an even lazier … As an emperor, Commodus soon became a disappointment to Marcus Aurelius. He was also known for imagining that he was the god Hercules, entering the arena to fight as a gladiator or to kill lions with bow and arrow. He ruled as junior co-e… The latter died in 169 having failed to recover fr… [10] He tried to quell the unruly soldiers there but one legion attacked his bodyguard, leaving Pertinax for dead. 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