Commodus as Hercules
Roman Emperor Commodus Portraying Himself as Hercules wearing a lion skin and wielding a club
Bust of the Roman Emperor Commodus Portraying Himself as Hercules

2nd Century A.D. Emperor Commodus Portrayed as Hercules reincarnated, wearing a lion skin and wielding a club. "Bust of Commodus as Hercules, 2nd Century A.D. The effete likeness of Emperor Commodus stares vacantly, his hair Pompadoured, with a lion skin over his head - not messing up one curl." - Musei Capitolini in Palazzo dei Conservatori [Capitoline Museums - Campidoglio Area]

Commodus

Commodus (Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus) was born in 161 AD and he became the Emperor of Rome in 180 AD and he ruled until 192 AD. He turned out to be a miserable successor to his famous father Marcus Aurelius. From a young age he was groomed for the throne, having had the finest education in the world. Marcus Aurelius was out expanding the Empire through wars on the Danube until he fell ill. His health was very poor and he died on March 17, 180 AD. Commodus came to him at Vienna and was made the new Emperor at 19 years of age.

He continued in his father steps for a short time but then the wars were suspended returned to Rome in a triumphal entry. He quickly ascertained who was plotting against him and he had them exiled or executed, including members of his own family and the prefect of his Praetorian Guard. He hated the Senate, and often executing them and seizing their property. He left the administration of the Empire to his certain prefects.

Commodus squandered the wealth of Rome, he was a curse upon the Roman Empire and Dio Cassius called Commodus a greater curse than any pestilence, and guilty of unseemly deeds. He loved the games, slaughtering innumerable animals and massacring many people for pleasure. He paraded as a gladiator and believed himself to be Hercules reincarnated wearing a lion skin and wielding a club.

Many plotted his death unsuccessfully, even his own concubine, some had tried to poison him and he survived. Finally they brought him a wrestling companion named Narcissus to practice with Commodus but actually murder him. He found Commodus in his own bath and strangled him to death on January 31, 192 AD.

A voice says, "Cry out." And I said, "What shall I cry?"
"All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field." Isa. 40:6

Close up of the Face of Commodus. The statue reveals the Roman Emperor Commodus Portraying Himself as Hercules wearing a lion skin and wielding a club
Close up of the Face of Commodus


Also See:

Commŏdus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities Commŏdus, L. Aurelius Antonīnus The son and successor of M. Aurelius Antoninus, who ascended the imperial throne A.D. 180. The reign of this prince is a scene of guilt and misery, which the historian is glad to dismiss with brevity. He appears, indeed, to have inherited all the vices of his mother, Faustina; and his father, in selecting him for his successor, allowed the feelings of the parent to triumph over the wisdom of the magistrate. He had accompanied his father on the expedition against the Marcomanni and the Quadi, but no sooner was Aurelius dead than his son became anxious to proceed to Rome, and soon concluded a hasty and disgraceful peace with the barbarians whom his father had been on the point of completely subjugating when he was cut off by disease. Notwithstanding the care which Aurelius had bestowed on his education, Commodus was ignorant to an extreme degree, having neither abilities nor inclination for profiting by the paternal example and instruction. On his return to Rome he speedily showed the bias of his natural disposition, giving himself up to unrestrained indulgence in the grossest vices. That he might do so without impediment, he intrusted all power to Perennis, praefect of the Praetorian Guard, a man of stern and cruel temper, who was at last slain by the soldiers for his severity. A conspiracy against the life of Commodus having failed, it was followed by a long succession of judicial murders to gratify the vengeance of the cowardly and vindictive tyrant. He was next threatened by a new danger: disaffection had spread over the legions; and an attempt of Maternus, a private soldier, who headed a band of deserters and projected the assassination of Commodus during the celebration of the festival of Cybelé, was so ably conceived that it must have been successful but for the treachery of an accomplice. But neither duty nor danger could draw Commodus from the sports of gladiators or the pleasures of debauchery. Cleander, a Phrygian slave, soon succeeded to the place and influence of Perennis, and for three years the Empire groaned beneath his cruelty and rapacity. At length a new insurrection burst forth, which nothing could allay, the praetorian cavalry being defeated in the streets by the populace, until the unworthy favourite was, by the emperor's command, delivered to the insurgents. In the meantime, Commodus was indulging his base tastes and appetites, not only by gross sensuality, but by attempting to rival the gladiators. Being a very skilful archer and of great personal strength, he delighted in killing wild beasts in the amphitheatre, and thus pretending to rival the prowess of Hercules. In the gladiatorial contests, he publicly engaged so often that he was the conqueror in 735 combats. Though luxurious in his dress, frequently resorting to the baths eight times in the day, scattering gold dust in his hair, and, from the fear of admitting the approach of a razor in the hand of another, singeing off his beard, he was especially proud of exhibitions of personal strength, and frequently, in the garb of a priest, butchered victims with his own hands. Among the flatteries of the obsequious Senate none pleased him more than the vote which styled him the “Hercules of Rome,” not even that which decreed to him the titles of Pius and Felix, or which offered to abolish the name of the Eternal City and substitute for it the title Colonia Commodiana. After thirteen years of unmitigated oppression, his favourite, Marcia, ultimately became the instrument by which the Roman world was delivered from its odious master. She discovered, from some private notes of Commodus, that herself, Laetus the praetorian praefect, and Eclectus the chamberlain, were on the list devoted to death. A conspiracy was immediately formed, Marcia administered poison to the emperor, and, lest the measure should not prove effectual, the deed was completed by suffocation, in A.D. 192. The life of Commodus has come down to us, written by Lampridius, in the Historia Augusta.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0062:alphabetic+letter%3DC:entry+group%3D21:entry%3Dcommodus-harpers

Commodus in Roman Biography Com'mo-dus, [Fr. Commode, ko'mod',] (Lucius /Ei.ius Aurelius,) a Roman emperor, born in 161 A.D., was the son 0/ Marcus Aurelius and Faustina. He succeeded his father in 180, and found the empire prosperous. Though he had been carefully educated, he soon exhibited a character which inspires unmixed detestation. He resigned the direction of the government to his favourites Perennis and others, and indulged his cruel temper and evil passions without restraint. He ordered his wife Crispina to be put to death, and took a concubine named Marcia. His subjects were required to offer homage to him as Hercules. Many senators and others were doomed to death by his cruelty. His officers Laetus and F.clectus having conspired with Marcia against him, he was poisoned and strangled in 192 A.D., and Pertinax then became emperor. See Tillfmont, "Histoire des Empereurs :" Dion Cassiu.% " History of Rome :" Lampridius, "Commodus."
http://books.google.com/books? id=GPXRKSUyj14C&printsec=frontcover&dq=pronouncing+dictionary+of+biograph y+and+mythology&hl=en&ei=ueCoTLOH

Commodus in Wikipedia Lucius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (31 August 161 – 31 December 192) was Roman Emperor from 180 to 192. He also ruled as co-emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 until his father's death in 180. His name changed throughout his reign; see Changes of name for earlier and later forms. His accession as emperor was the first time a son had succeeded his father since Titus succeeded Vespasian in 79. Commodus was the first emperor "born to the purple"; i.e., born during his father's reign. Early life and rise to power (161–180) Early life - Commodus was born as Lucius Aurelius Commodus in Lanuvium, near Rome, the son of the reigning emperor, Marcus Aurelius and first cousin Faustina the Younger. He had an elder twin brother, Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus, who died in 165. On 12 October 166, Commodus was made Caesar together with his younger brother, Marcus Annius Verus; the latter died in 169, having failed to recover from an operation, which left Commodus as Marcus Aurelius's sole surviving son. He was looked after by his father's physician, Galen, in order to keep him healthy and alive. Galen treated many of Commodus's common illnesses...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodus

Marcus Aurelius  - Upon the death of Ceionius Commodus, the emperor Hadrian turned his attention towards Marcus Aurelius; but he being then too young for an early assumption ...

Marcus Aurelius - Bronze Equestrian Statue - Bronze Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius placed in the Campidoglio by Michelangelo in the 16th century AD.

Antoninus Pius  - He died in 161 A.D., and was succeeded by Marcus Aurelius. His memory was so greatly venerated that five of his successors a ssumed the name of Antoninus.

Commodus  - Commodus in Roman Biography Com'mo-dus, [Fr. Commode, ko'mod',] (Lucius / Ei.ius Aurelius,) a Roman emperor, born in 161 A.D. , was the son 0/ Marcus ...

Numerian  - Born Marcus Aurelius Numerius Numerianus, he was a Roman Emperor ruling ... Numeri?nus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiqui ties Marcus Aurelius.

Gordianus  - Born Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus, he was ... Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius through her father Fulvus Antoninus.

Claudius Gothicus  - Born Marcus Aurelius Claudius, he was Roman Emperor ruling from 268 to 270. Claudius Gothicus in Roman Biography Claud ius, (Marcus Aurklius,) surnamed ...

Carus  - People - Ancient Rome: Carus Born Marcus Aurelius Carus, he was Roman Emperor ruling from 282 to 283. Carus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities ...

 

The Bible mentions a lot regarding Rome:

Acts 23:11 - And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

2 Timothy 4:22 - The Lord Jesus Christ [be] with thy spirit. Grace [be] with you. Amen. <[The second [epistle] unto Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second time.]>

Acts 18:2 - And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.

Colossians 4:18 - The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace [be] with you. Amen. <[Written from Rome to Colossians by Tychicus and Onesimus.]>

Ephesians 6:24 - Grace [be] with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. <[To [the] Ephesians written from Rome, by Tychicus.]>

Philemon 1:25 - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit. Amen. <[Written from Rome to Philemon, by Onesimus a servant.]>

Acts 2:10 - Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

Acts 19:21 - After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

Acts 28:16 - And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.

Romans 1:7 - To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called [to be] saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 6:18 - Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit. Amen. <[To [the] Galatians written from Rome.]>

Philippians 4:23 - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen. <[To [the] Philippians written from Rome, by Epaphroditus.]>

Acts 28:14 - Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.

Romans 1:15 - So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

2 Timothy 1:17 - But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found [me].
 

Heart Message

Roman Roads

"When the fullness of time came, God brought forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law." (Gal 4:4)

The Roman road was the bloodstream of the empire. Merchants paid taxes to Rome on all their transactions, and they needed the roads to carry their goods to an ever-widening market. Legionnaires marched upon them swiftly gaining efficient access to battle. In a sense, the roads were funding and facilitating Roman expansion.

Yet God had a higher purpose. A new kind of merchant would soon be traversing the entire Mediterranean area, not one who transports his treasure to the city marketplace, but one who is a treasure, and who carries true riches, - not to sell, but to give away freely. The transforming good news of God’s forgiveness through Jesus the Messiah was imbedded into the hearts of the Apostles and early believers, and God prepared those roads for them to walk upon and lead others into His path.

A new kind of soldier would be running these well built thoroughfares to fight, - not flesh and blood, but a spiritual warfare that would liberate entire civilizations from the bondage of Satan’s tyrannical oppression and coercion, to a Kingdom ruled by love, service and willing devotion.

Throughout history ‘the road’ has provided an excellent metaphor for life’
s journey. With amazement, we can look back over the winding grades of difficulty, the narrow pass of opportunity, the choice between security or adventure, when our road divided and we had to make the call.

Yes, all roads led to Rome, specifically the Forum, in the ancient empire of old, where an Emperor judged the players in the arena for their conduct before him. Our personal road will eventually and inevitably cease at the throne of Almighty God. It is He who must judge our travel upon this earth, in the blinding glory of His eternal justice. Compelled by His love, He placed sin’s damning penalty upon His Own Son, instead of us, so that we could freely receive the "thumbs up!" from Him who loves us beyond all measure.

 

 

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Bibliography on Ancient Images

The Art of Ancient Egypt, Revised by Robins, 272 Pages, Pub. 2008
 

 

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