Commodus (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus) (August 31, 161 AD - December 31, 192 AD) was a Roman Emperor who ruled from 177 to 192 AD. He was renowned for ending the Reign of the Seven good emperors, and through misuse of power and civil strife ended 84 years of stability and prosperity for the people of Rome.
He was the son of Marcus Aurelius, who made him co-ruler towards the end of his reign, one of his first acts was negotiating peace with the German tribes. In 182, his sister Lucilla and several senators conspired to have him assassinated. Following the failure of this act, he executed the senators and stole their property. Following his rule became harsher and crueler.
Commodus became obsessed with organizing Gladiatorial tournaments, to the point where he would sometimes have his guards drive the spectators into the arena to watch them die. Its said he had the wounded chained together to make them easier to execute. He enjoyed acting like a Gladiator in the arena, thus embarrassing the royal family, as most Gladiators were slaves. His actions in doing this often meant his official duties were ignored, and he left much in the way of running to his officials, his actions devalued the currency and caused the steady decay into anarchy. Although trained to fight, he would only face opponents which couldn't hurt him, such as harmless animals, animals who had had their claws and teeth removed before the fight. He would spear animals from a platform or face opponents who had orders not to harm him. In one fight, to make the Emperor look good, the Gladiator fell to the ground as if the Emperor had knocked him down. Commodus drew a knife and stabbed the man to death.
As Commodus went on, he lapsed into insanity. In 186 he executed his chief minister to appease his army, then three years later, allowed his advisors to be killed by the rioting crowd. He renamed Rome Colonia Commodiana (Colony of Commodus), renamed the months of the year, the Senate, the army and even the people of Rome after him, and dressed like Hercules, imagining he was the god. Finally having enough, the Senate had a professional wrestler and Commodus' trainer strangle him to death in the Bath, following his announcement he would assume the consulship dressed as a Gladiator. Following this, the country quickly erupted into civil war, due to disagreements who should succeed Commodus.