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date: 24 November 2020

Commodus, Lucius Aureliuslocked

, Roman emperor, 180–192 ce
  • Anthony R. Birley

Extract

Lucius Aurelius Commodus, sole emperor 180–192 ce, one of twin sons born to M. *Aurelius and *Annia Galeria Faustina (2) in August 161, the first emperor ‘born in the purple’. Given the title Caesar in 166, he was summoned to his father's side after the usurpation of *Avidius Cassius in 175, received imperium and tribunicia potestas at the end of 176, and was consul in 177, now Augustus and co-ruler. He was married in 178 to Bruttia Crispina (see bruttius praesens, c.) and left Rome with Marcus for the second Marcomannic War. On his father's death on 17 March 180 he became sole emperor, taking the names M. Aurelius Commodus Antoninus, rapidly made peace, and abandoned the newly annexed territories, holding a triumph in October 180.Major wars were avoided during the reign, the exception being in Britain, where, following a breach of the northern frontier, victories were won by Ulpius Marcellus, for which Commodus assumed the title Britannicus in 184 ce.

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