How did Commodus die

INTRODUCTION
ORIGIN
FIRST YEARS
PERENNIS
CLEANDER
megalomania
DEATH
RATING
QUOTES

back to the hereditary emperor

back to the imperial index

back to
Overview of people

back to the index

Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus

death

Under this tense and sometimes unreal atmosphere everyone had to fear for his life; depending on the emperor's mood. A conspiracy in his immediate vicinity was the logical consequence. Eclectus, Cleander's successor as chamberlain, Marcia, Commodus' favorite concubine and the Praetorian prefect Quintus Aemilius Laetus - incidentally the first North African in this office - hatched the plan.

In the event that the army should not stand behind the conspirators, they made sure of leading personalities from the provinces. In the course of some personnel rochades, two of the Laetus's countrymen became governors; - the later emperor - Septimus Severus in Upper Pannonia and Clodius Albinus in Britain, furthermore a good friend named Pescennius Niger in Syria. The city prefect of Rome, Publius Helvius Pertinax, had been chosen as the candidate for the throne.

In the evening hours of December 31, 193, Marcia secretly administered poison to her master. Commodus spent the night in the Gladiator School Villa Vectiliana, as he wanted to prepare there for his performance the next day. When he went to bed he felt weak, eventually felt sick and vomited the administered poison. The conspirators impatiently switched to plan B and sent the tired emperor's fitness trainer, an athlete by the name of Narcissus, who unceremoniously strangled him with a string.

Bit-metallic medallion of the Commodus of
72.87 g

This piece achieved EUR 21,000 at the Viennese auction house H.D.Rauch!