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Emperor Commodus Silver Denarius | by rustyruth1959
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Emperor Commodus Silver Denarius

Saturday Self Challenge


For the first challenge of the year, the topic will be creative minimalism using only one subject in your photo. It can be of any subject. Processing is allowed as needed.


I hope this is OK for the challenge, I struggled this week, getting outdoors was a bit of a no no with the weather. Anyway about the photo :)


Commodus (31st August 161 AD to 31st December 192 AD) full name Lucius Aurelius Commodus, was Roman emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 AD to his father's death in 180 AD, he then reigned alone until 192 AD.


Whilst his father was alive he accompanied Marcus Aurelius during the Marcomannic Wars in 172 AD and again on a tour of the Eastern provinces in 176 AD. He was made the youngest consul in Roman history in 177 AD, later that year he was elevated to co-emperor with his father.


Following his fathers death in 180 AD the Empire enjoyed a period of reduced military conflict, compared with the reign of Marcus Aurelius. However, there were many intrigues and conspiracies, leading Commodus to a assume an increasingly dictatorial style of leadership that culminated in him taking on a god like personality.


In November 192 AD Commodus held a series of Games, during which he shot hundreds of animals with arrows and javelins every morning, then he fought as a gladiator in the afternoons, winning all the fights.


During this time a group of conspirators were planning his death. On 31st December his food was poisoned, but he vomited up the poison. Following this failure the conspirators sent his wrestling partner Narcissus to strangle him in his bath. Upon his death, the Senate declared him a public enemy. His statues were torn down and his body was buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian.


His assassination marked the end of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty. He was succeeded by Pertinax, the first emperor in the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors.


His real life is different to the plot of the film Gladiator, but with some similarities. His odd personality, fondness of games and his desire to fight as a gladiator being a few.


The coin in the photo, from my collection, is an original Commodus silver denarius, I also own one of his father Marcus Aurelius, but the challenge called for 'minimal' so I didn't include that. The background is the blade of a replica Roman sword (I couldn't think what else to use) a Gladius, this was purchased some years ago, I believe at Fishbourne Roman Palace, it is almost identical to the one used by Maximus in the film, but I'm sure it's not quite as sharp, not that I've tried it.


Thank you for your visit and your comments, they are greatly appreciated.


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Taken on January 4, 2018