Roman Emperor. He was born in 161 AD, and made joint ruler with his father, the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, at age 16. 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. He allowed a series of powerful officials to run the Empire on his behalf, and this perceived weakness led to a series of attempts on his life. In 182 AD his sister Lucilla organised an assassination attempt, for which she was soon executed. Following this he passed the reigns of government to Tigidius Perennis, and retreated from public life to pursue a life of luxury and debauchery. In 185 AD he grew fearful of Perennis's increasing power and had him arrested and executed, he then handed control to Cleander, a former slave. Cleander held power until his execution at the demand of the mob in 190 AD. After Cleander's death he ruled in his own right, but soon began to show signs of megalomania. He had the senate declare him a living god, and gave orders that he should be addressed as Hercules son of Zeus. He also had the months of the year renamed after his many titles, and changed the name of Rome itself to "Colonia Commodiana". In later years he performed as a gladiator in the arena, killing animals while dressed as Hercules Venator, "the hunter". Those close to him became increasingly fearful for their lives, and sought to save themselves by killing him. In 192 AD his favourite mistress, Marcia, gave him poison, which he survived only to be strangled by a young athlete named Narcissus.
Bio by: js