The son of Marcus Aurelius, Commodus was a Roman emperor who ruled from 180 to 192 CE—a period some historians consider the beginning of the empire’s decline. Though his reign was fairly peaceful, Commodus was a tyrant who spent lavishly on gladiatorial combats, persecuted the Senate, and tried to rename Rome after himself. He fancied himself a gladiator, frequently killing exotic animals. His mistress and advisors had him strangled. He considered himself the reincarnation of what mythical hero?
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