Bethelie Rivera: How Evil Was Commodus?

Commodus was a Roman emperor, and just along his bust (“The Bust of Commodus”), it was designed to be sculpted to give off the appearance of masculinity and dominance, as he wanted to be seen as Hercules. The sculpture has Commodus holding fruits with his left hand, while a club in his right hand, resting on his shoulder (Which the club representing gladiator matches he would partake in, or the other killings he has done. While the fruits could mean the “giving” he thought he had done as being a Roman emperor). Along with wearing a headpiece that resembles a lion (which also represents power and/or strength). I viewed it as Commodus abusing the power he had and getting the respect he thought he deserved and becoming egoistic. However, with the brutal pain he brought when he was an emperor, as based on the Lampridius’s biography “Historia Augusta”, Commodus was sinister and conceited and in the biography stated that for his amusement he would have cut open someone who was obese, down the middle of his belly; This is so that his intestines would fall out and Commodus put a starling on the head of a man who had a few white hairs which resembled worms and it caused his head to fester through the continual pecking of the bird’s beak. Commodus would slaughter thousands just for his own entertainment. Killing thousands of innocent civilian lives to show that he was superior and almighty to his empire. In the final analysis, the view of the bust is different than I first thought of it to be, Commodus led his life to be violent and destructive to the whoever went against him or questioned his authority.