Doma G: How Evil was Commodus?

The sculpture below is known as The Bust of Commodus as Hercules. Commodus was a Roman Emperor who was known for his passion for gladiatorial games. When I look at this sculpture, I see power and authority. Commodus is holding an item that looks like a baton in one hand and some apples in the other. He also has a headpiece that resembles a lion and his upper body looks muscular. After reading sections 9-11 of the Life of Commodus in Lampridius’s biography Historia Augusta, I realized Commodus wasn’t who I thought he was. Based off the readings, I would describe him as a greedy, selfish, crazy person. Section 9 starts off with, “He pretended once that he was going to Africa, so that he could get funds for the journey, then got them and spent them on banquets and gaming instead.” Doing something like this is pathetic and awful. He lied about traveling so he can use the money on gaming and banquets instead. But it gets worse. In section 10 it states, “Whosoever ridiculed him he cast to the wild beasts.”. He was the type of person that only thought of violence as the only solution. He has killed many people for the littlest reasons. Commodus was very destructive and someone who I would never want to be around. His behavior is unacceptable and it is shown that he was like this ever since he was young. After reading the sections and seeing the sculpture, I can tell that the item in his hand is a club that he used to strike people while he was wearing woman’s garment or lion’s skin. Now I view the sculpture differently. All in all, Commodus was a nasty emperor and a super evil person.