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16. Commodiana

Where present, maps are downloadable.

CommodusBoy CommodusHercules Crispina CommodusLucilla

Commodus, the boy (coin and bust). Was there already a touch of petulance in the teenage face?

Bruttia Crispina was married to Commodus in 178 when he was sixteen. Ten years later she was banished to Capri (for adultery) and later executed. The couple

had no children.

Commodus (coin above) and his sister Annia Aurelia Galeria Lucilla, whose first husband had been the co-Augustus Lucius Verus, had a stormy relationship that came to a bloody end when her plot of 182 to have him killed failed and she was executed.

Commodus in the guise of Greek hero Hercules: the emperor was to take his identification with the potent god to the extreme, demanding to be worshipped as the deity. In a further sign of his madness, he made frequent appearances in the arena as a gladiator and renamed Rome Colonia Commodiana.

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Illustrations © Oliver Frey; Maps © Roger M. Kean    © 2010–2016 Reckless Books, England