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Re: [Imperial Rome] COMMODUS, Emperor from March 18th 180.

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  • gauiscaecilius
    The vast majorit of emperors were not born to the purple of course. Leaving out the godd emperors you have mentioned most of the others weere selected or won
    Message 1 of 17 , Sep 1, 2002
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      The vast majorit of emperors were not born to the purple of course.
      Leaving out the godd emperors you have mentioned most of the others
      weere selected or won by right of conquest the purple.

      Another emperor who was thoroughly unpleasant was Domitian the very
      opposite of his practical father (Vespasian) and elder brother
      (Titus). However Domitian was 17 when hs father ascended the throne.

      --- In imperialrome2@y..., Phil2Mkdon@a... wrote:
      > In a message dated 8/31/2002 3:35:09 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
      > gauiscaecilius@y... writes:
      >
      >
      > >
      > > Having read a reasonable amount Commodus I cannot help thinkinh
      that
      > > the portrayal of him in Gladiator was not far from the truth.
      What
      > > frightens me about Commodus is that he was the product of a wise
      and
      > > able man i.e. Marcus Aurelius.
      > >
      > >
      >
      > A genetic product, true, but the spoiled upbringing of the Imperial
      family
      > can destroy even the most promising sons -- We shouldn't forget
      that Commodos
      > was raised in the same atmosphere as Nero and Caligula, while the
      able
      > emperors Aurelian, Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Augustus,
      Vespasian,
      > Tiberius, Gallenus, Claudius, and Claudius II Gothicus, to name a
      few pretty
      > good blokes were never the born sons of Emperors (though obviously
      in many
      > cases they were of the Imperial family), but rose generally through
      their
      > ability or military prowess.
    • jachthondus
      ... fascinating! ... Hello Damascena, Thanks for your message! Whenever you should like me to write a portrait of another Emperor, you just ask me! I have
      Message 2 of 17 , Sep 1, 2002
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        --- In imperialrome2@y..., "Hathaway Shoshana" <shoshanah@e...> wrote:
        > OK ...he sounds thoroughly disgusting! But reading about him as
        fascinating!
        > Thanks for doing all this, Jach!
        >
        > Gently,
        > Damascena

        Hello Damascena,

        Thanks for your message!
        Whenever you should like me to write a portrait of another Emperor,
        you
        just ask me!
        I have come to like it, because it teaches me remembering a lot of
        details again...

        At the moment I am busy with the Emperor Heliogabalus, who's life has
        fashinated me for a long time.

        Greetings to You, from Jach.
      • jachthondus
        ... Hi Khaki, Thanks a lot for your messages! The Tolstoy s-saying is ever so true, reading through History and Life... Again: Thanks for commenting!
        Message 3 of 17 , Sep 1, 2002
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          --- In imperialrome2@y..., khakiberetman <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > Saddly, Marcus Aurelius and Faustina had a number of children
          > who died in infancy, and we have little idea how they would have
          > turned out. Their eldest daughter was married to Claudius
          > Severus, one of Marcus's generals and province governors, and
          > was able to retire in the province of asia to escape Commodus's
          > wrath.
          >
          > Lucilla, married first to Verus and then to Claudius Pompeianus,
          > became as excessive as her brother, with whom she had a 13
          > year age difference and never got on. The plot she launched
          > against him in 182 was a reckless operation that not only
          > accelerated Commodus's dementia but helped as a
          > reinforcement in the dictatorship of his aides, Perennis first and
          > then Cleander.
          >
          > Other daughters survived; one of them, Cornificia, had a long
          > relationship with Pertinax, Commodus's successor, who might
          > have married her to reinforce the imperial legitimacy and
          > transition, had he not been killed first.
          >
          > It seems psychology and pedagogy explains very much how this
          > family turned out so tragically. Marcus Aurelius had natural
          > wisdom and kindness, but also experienced long years of
          > apprenticeship with a similarly wise man, Antoninus Pius. The
          > early years of his marriage to Faustina were also happy ones.
          > The burdens of campaigning meant that he could not supervise
          > himself the upbringing of the children, and it also damaged the
          > relationship to Faustina; having lost half of her children, she
          > apparently spoilt the survivors. Faustina was also of a much
          > more domineering character than her husband, was less prone
          > to intellectualising, discussing and compromising, and may
          > have impressed this both onto Lucilla and Commodus.
          >
          > This story makes one think of Tolstoy's phrase that "each family
          > is unhappy in its own way".

          Hi Khaki,

          Thanks a lot for your messages!

          The Tolstoy's-saying is ever so true, reading through History and
          Life...

          Again: Thanks for commenting!

          Greetings, Jach.
        • gauiscaecilius
          Rather an interesting Emperor if only for his name. Until recently the only time I had come across him was by his alternative name Elagabalus as it used in a
          Message 4 of 17 , Sep 1, 2002
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            Rather an interesting Emperor if only for his name. Until recently
            the only time I had come across him was by his alternative name
            Elagabalus as it used in a Gilbert and Sullivan song.

            > At the moment I am busy with the Emperor Heliogabalus, who's life
            has
            > fashinated me for a long time.
            >
            > Greetings to You, from Jach.
          • khakiberetman
            I forgot an interesting bit of trivia: both Lucilla and Commodus were sole survivors of a set of twins. That Faustina survived so many pregnancies and
            Message 5 of 17 , Sep 1, 2002
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              I forgot an interesting bit of trivia: both Lucilla and Commodus
              were sole survivors of a set of twins.

              That Faustina survived so many pregnancies and deliveries,
              including two sets of twins, attests to her strong constitution.
            • QuintusLEGIIAVG@aol.com
              Now, someone mentioned that Commodus was the product of a wise and able man . However, there is one account that tells an interesting vision of Commodus
              Message 6 of 17 , Sep 2, 2002
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                Now, someone mentioned that Commodus was the "product of a wise and able man".  However, there is one account that tells an interesting vision of Commodus' demeanor....

                "Commodus was conceived after his mother, Faustina, fell violently in love with a gladiator she glimpsed from a distance.  The worried Marcus Aurelius reportedly consulted soothsayers, who told him that 'this gladiator should be killed and that Faustina should bathe in his blood and afterward lie with her husband. When this advice had been followed, the empress' passion was in fact spent, but she brought into the world Commodus, who was more of a gladiator than a prince'."

                Vale,
                Quintus Peltrasius
                Commander LEG II AVG
                ROMA VITA
              • jachthondus
                ... able ... vision of ... in love ... Aurelius ... should be ... lie with her ... was in fact ... gladiator ... Hi Quintus, Could you be so kind as to tell me
                Message 7 of 17 , Sep 3, 2002
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                  --- In imperialrome2@y..., QuintusLEGIIAVG@a... wrote:
                  > Now, someone mentioned that Commodus was the "product of a wise and
                  able
                  > man". However, there is one account that tells an interesting
                  vision of
                  > Commodus' demeanor....
                  >
                  > "Commodus was conceived after his mother, Faustina, fell violently
                  in love
                  > with a gladiator she glimpsed from a distance. The worried Marcus
                  Aurelius
                  > reportedly consulted soothsayers, who told him that 'this gladiator
                  should be
                  > killed and that Faustina should bathe in his blood and afterward
                  lie with her
                  > husband. When this advice had been followed, the empress' passion
                  was in fact
                  > spent, but she brought into the world Commodus, who was more of a
                  gladiator
                  > than a prince'."
                  >
                  > Vale,
                  > Quintus Peltrasius
                  > Commander LEG II AVG
                  > ROMA VITA

                  Hi Quintus,

                  Could you be so kind as to tell me the exact source of your quote?

                  Thanks and Greetings, Jach.
                • gauiscaecilius
                  Whilst I would not doubt the relating of the story by an ancient source. The comment you relate smacks to me of anti-Commodus propaganda. Commodus love of
                  Message 8 of 17 , Sep 3, 2002
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                    Whilst I would not doubt the relating of the story by an ancient
                    source. The comment you relate smacks to me of anti-Commodus
                    propaganda. Commodus love of playing the gladiator is well recorded
                    so why not defame him by suggesting that he was not the son of the
                    great emperor Aurelius but a common slave as gladiators were.

                    The story conveniently disposes of the living evidence by having the
                    perpetrator killed. Also the story is made more sensational by the
                    bathing in blood episode.

                    That still doesn't discount the possibility that Commodus was
                    illegitimate but if M Aurelius knew this would he have been quite so
                    keen to against the recent tradition of choosing a tried and tested
                    man as replacement.

                    --- In imperialrome2@y..., QuintusLEGIIAVG@a... wrote:
                    > Now, someone mentioned that Commodus was the "product of a wise and
                    able
                    > man". However, there is one account that tells an interesting
                    vision of
                    > Commodus' demeanor....
                    >
                    > "Commodus was conceived after his mother, Faustina, fell violently
                    in love
                    > with a gladiator she glimpsed from a distance. The worried Marcus
                    Aurelius
                    > reportedly consulted soothsayers, who told him that 'this gladiator
                    should be
                    > killed and that Faustina should bathe in his blood and afterward
                    lie with her
                    > husband. When this advice had been followed, the empress' passion
                    was in fact
                    > spent, but she brought into the world Commodus, who was more of a
                    gladiator
                    > than a prince'."
                    >
                    > Vale,
                    > Quintus Peltrasius
                    > Commander LEG II AVG
                    > ROMA VITA
                  • jachthondus
                    Hi, Mr. Gaius, The reason why I would love to know the real-source of Quintus s quote, is that I can t help a-sort-of-doubting the story! Faustina has
                    Message 9 of 17 , Sep 3, 2002
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                      Hi, Mr. Gaius,

                      The reason why I would love to know the real-source of Quintus's
                      quote, is that I can't help a-sort-of-doubting the story!
                      Faustina has delivered sooo many children of the Emperor...And there
                      were always so many "rumours" going through Rome during the whole
                      Empire...

                      Ofcourse: Marcus Aurelius has been from-home very-very-often; and
                      also for long-long-times...

                      Look at now-adays' situation: Highly-intelligent and wise people can
                      see one of their children end-up as a drugs-addict, f.i.!

                      Greetings, Jach.













                      --- In imperialrome2@y..., "gauiscaecilius" <gauiscaecilius@y...>
                      wrote:
                      > Whilst I would not doubt the relating of the story by an ancient
                      > source. The comment you relate smacks to me of anti-Commodus
                      > propaganda. Commodus love of playing the gladiator is well recorded
                      > so why not defame him by suggesting that he was not the son of the
                      > great emperor Aurelius but a common slave as gladiators were.
                      >
                      > The story conveniently disposes of the living evidence by having
                      the
                      > perpetrator killed. Also the story is made more sensational by the
                      > bathing in blood episode.
                      >
                      > That still doesn't discount the possibility that Commodus was
                      > illegitimate but if M Aurelius knew this would he have been quite
                      so
                      > keen to against the recent tradition of choosing a tried and tested
                      > man as replacement.
                      >
                      > --- In imperialrome2@y..., QuintusLEGIIAVG@a... wrote:
                      > > Now, someone mentioned that Commodus was the "product of a wise
                      and
                      > able
                      > > man". However, there is one account that tells an interesting
                      > vision of
                      > > Commodus' demeanor....
                      > >
                      > > "Commodus was conceived after his mother, Faustina, fell
                      violently
                      > in love
                      > > with a gladiator she glimpsed from a distance. The worried
                      Marcus
                      > Aurelius
                      > > reportedly consulted soothsayers, who told him that 'this
                      gladiator
                      > should be
                      > > killed and that Faustina should bathe in his blood and afterward
                      > lie with her
                      > > husband. When this advice had been followed, the empress' passion
                      > was in fact
                      > > spent, but she brought into the world Commodus, who was more of a
                      > gladiator
                      > > than a prince'."
                      > >
                      > > Vale,
                      > > Quintus Peltrasius
                      > > Commander LEG II AVG
                      > > ROMA VITA
                    • QuintusLEGIIAVG@aol.com
                      Yes Jach! My quote comes from a book that I ve mentioned before, but have yet to add the details to the book list on your site. What Life Was Like When Rome
                      Message 10 of 17 , Sep 3, 2002
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                        Yes Jach!

                              My quote comes from a book that I've mentioned before, but have yet to add the details to the book list on your site.


                              What Life Was Like When Rome Ruled the World, by the Editors of Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia. ISBN 0-7835-5452-4.  The exact quote is on page 148.  Unfortunately, it does not give the exact reference as to where they got it from- but I do have a source.

                              and for the person that said something about Commodus being illegitimate.  The book actually just says that Faustina fell IN LOVE with a gladiator.  But that Marcus Aurelius had him killed and had sex with his wife from whence Commodus was brought forth....  I am annoyed that I was doubted, but oh well...

                              Also, as far as the gladiators themselves....  Not all the gladiators were slaves and criminals.  Freedmen and citizens were known to have entered for the fame and all the perks as well (yes I know that death isn't that wonderful of a perk).  However, there has also been some discussion amongst scholars that say not all gladiators fought to the death.  That it cost a large sum of money to train them and the owners would not want to lose such an investment so easily.  So, some match-ups were merely fought to first blood, crippling blow, etc...

                        PS  Check your sources before you question mine please.

                        Vale,
                        Quintus Peltrasius
                        Commander LEG II AVG
                        ROMA VITA
                      • gauiscaecilius
                        Nobody was doubting that you had a valid source but wanted too know what is was to examine it. As you know most if not all ancient historians were biased some
                        Message 11 of 17 , Sep 4, 2002
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                          Nobody was doubting that you had a valid source but wanted too know
                          what is was to examine it. As you know most if not all ancient
                          historians were biased some seriously so. Knowing where the story
                          came from would be very helpful.

                          As for gladiators not always fighting to the death to my mind it is
                          near certain. Apart from the famous thumbs up/thumbs down mercy/death
                          bit sometimes the client putting on the games wouldn't be able or
                          willing to pay for a death match. The difference between Imperial
                          sponsored games in the Coliseum and funeral games in Boondocius Minor
                          in memory of a minor local dignitary is massive. Even low grade
                          gladiators don't come cheap as has been pointed out so if death was
                          not supposed to be an outcome the costs would be considerably less.

                          As for free citizens going into the ring I would have thought it was
                          unlikely during the Republic but I don't know under the empire. A
                          stern Republican would certainly have considered that standards had
                          dropped under the Empire (You can almost here him droning on "in my
                          day"). So it wouldn't be surprising if freeman gladiators did happen,
                          the rewards for a top gladiator were handsome after all

                          --- In imperialrome2@y..., QuintusLEGIIAVG@a... wrote:
                          > Yes Jach!
                          >
                          > My quote comes from a book that I've mentioned before, but
                          have yet to
                          > add the details to the book list on your site.
                          >
                          >
                          > What Life Was Like When Rome Ruled the World, by the Editors
                          of
                          > Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia. ISBN 0-7835-5452-4. The
                          exact quote
                          > is on page 148. Unfortunately, it does not give the exact
                          reference as to
                          > where they got it from- but I do have a source.
                          >
                          > and for the person that said something about Commodus being
                          > illegitimate. The book actually just says that Faustina fell IN
                          LOVE with a
                          > gladiator. But that Marcus Aurelius had him killed and had sex
                          with his wife
                          > from whence Commodus was brought forth.... I am annoyed that I was
                          doubted,
                          > but oh well...
                          >
                          > Also, as far as the gladiators themselves.... Not all the
                          gladiators
                          > were slaves and criminals. Freedmen and citizens were known to
                          have entered
                          > for the fame and all the perks as well (yes I know that death isn't
                          that
                          > wonderful of a perk). However, there has also been some discussion
                          amongst
                          > scholars that say not all gladiators fought to the death. That it
                          cost a
                          > large sum of money to train them and the owners would not want to
                          lose such
                          > an investment so easily. So, some match-ups were merely fought to
                          first
                          > blood, crippling blow, etc...
                          >
                          > PS Check your sources before you question mine please.
                          >
                          > Vale,
                          > Quintus Peltrasius
                          > Commander LEG II AVG
                          > ROMA VITA
                        • jachthondus
                          ... have yet to ... of ... exact quote ... reference as to ... LOVE with a ... with his wife ... doubted, ... gladiators ... have entered ... that ... amongst
                          Message 12 of 17 , Sep 4, 2002
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                            --- In imperialrome2@y..., QuintusLEGIIAVG@a... wrote:
                            > Yes Jach!
                            >
                            > My quote comes from a book that I've mentioned before, but
                            have yet to
                            > add the details to the book list on your site.
                            >
                            >
                            > What Life Was Like When Rome Ruled the World, by the Editors
                            of
                            > Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia. ISBN 0-7835-5452-4. The
                            exact quote
                            > is on page 148. Unfortunately, it does not give the exact
                            reference as to
                            > where they got it from- but I do have a source.
                            >
                            > and for the person that said something about Commodus being
                            > illegitimate. The book actually just says that Faustina fell IN
                            LOVE with a
                            > gladiator. But that Marcus Aurelius had him killed and had sex
                            with his wife
                            > from whence Commodus was brought forth.... I am annoyed that I was
                            doubted,
                            > but oh well...
                            >
                            > Also, as far as the gladiators themselves.... Not all the
                            gladiators
                            > were slaves and criminals. Freedmen and citizens were known to
                            have entered
                            > for the fame and all the perks as well (yes I know that death isn't
                            that
                            > wonderful of a perk). However, there has also been some discussion
                            amongst
                            > scholars that say not all gladiators fought to the death. That it
                            cost a
                            > large sum of money to train them and the owners would not want to
                            lose such
                            > an investment so easily. So, some match-ups were merely fought to
                            first
                            > blood, crippling blow, etc...
                            >
                            > PS Check your sources before you question mine please.
                            >
                            > Vale,
                            > Quintus Peltrasius
                            > Commander LEG II AVG
                            > ROMA VITA

                            Hi Quitus,

                            Thanks very much for your answer!

                            Be assured, that I didn't doubt for one moment of your quote.
                            I only was curious whether it was written by an Ancient-writer, or by
                            a modern-historian...

                            Greetings, Jach.
                          • khakiberetman
                            I think the Historia Augusta took up the story of Commodus being the son of a gladiator. On the other hand, the surviving statues of Commodus and Marcus
                            Message 13 of 17 , Sep 4, 2002
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                              I think the Historia Augusta took up the story of Commodus being the
                              son of a gladiator. On the other hand, the surviving statues of
                              Commodus and Marcus Aurelius do display the family resemblance,
                              notably the shape of the head and rather globulous eyes. At this
                              period, it is also worth noting that Roman statuary reached the
                              hieght of its realism.

                              Another estimation is that Faustina's adulterous relations took place
                              in later years, after Commodus was born; she had four or five more
                              children after him, and most likely used the time of her pregnancies
                              to prevent unwanted adulterous children.
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