Commodus was just 16 years old when his father, Marcus Aurelius, appointed him co-emperor.  They ruled jointly for roughly three years until his father’s death.  From that point, he ruled solely for another twelve years.  Commodus was highly educated but lacked military training.  He was disinterested in governing, using his position to further his own desires.  He fancied himself a gladiator, and the reincarnation of the god Hercules, physically imposing and a protector of the people.  His megalomaniacal behavior led to a public loss of confidence, and ultimately, his assassination by one of his sparring partners. 














 Denarius of Commodus                       Silver                                                       177 - 192 C.E.                          2015.16.0115                                    Gift of Ron D’Argenio