Pertinax (/ˈpɜːrtɪnæks/; Publius Helvius Pertinax; 1 August 126 – 28 March 193) was a Roman soldier and politician who ruled as Roman emperor for the first three months of 193. Unfortunately, his lack of skill in appeasing those around him (such as the Senate, the Guard, and the citizenry) would bring about his demise. [16][note 1] His short reign (86 days) was an uneasy one. As in the past - such as in the death of Emperor Caligula - the choice of a successor fell to the Praetorian Guard. Commodus's sister ruled briefly after Commodus was killed by Maximus. He would be the first emperor born while his father was the emperor and the last to inherit the throne as the previous five emperors (including Marcus) had obtained the throne through adoption. Commodus didn’t really bother with the duties of being an … Aurelius constantly gives his son lectures on duty and morality, he was as stern and powerful as Zeus. It was there that the now-deceased Commodus was condemned and Pertinax was proclaimed emperor - but this acceptance would soon turn to dismay and disgust. In 172 AD, during the Marcomannic War, Commodus was given the victory title Germanicus. Pertinax sent Laetus to meet them, but he chose to side with the insurgents instead and deserted the emperor. 1 Biography 2 What … Commodus defeats his sister's coup but withdraws from governing, allowing others to amass power while he engages in an affair and banishes his wife. "Pertinax." Marcus "Aurelius" Commodus is a fictional character and the main antagonist of the 2000 Oscar winner historic action film Gladiator. Roman Emperor. Pertinax and his reign were in danger. Despite some early friction, his close ties to Marcus Aurelius eventually helped him become a senator, a consul in 175 CE, the governor of Dacia and later Syria in 181 CE, and prefect of Rome in 189 CE. He was the tenth of fourteen children and the only son to survive - his twin brother Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antonius died at the age of four. Despite his education, he did not inherit any of his father’s work. Commodus (161-192) was the son of Marcus Aurelius. Updated October 06, 2019. After the assassination of Roman Emperor Commodus on December 31, 192 CE, the empire ’s throne was left vacant. He is often regarded as one of the Roman Empire's worst emperors since he brought Rome to decadence, leading to the Crisis of Third Century. Commodus was born on 31 August 161, the son of Marcus Aurelius.He was a member of the pagan Roman House of Aurelius.Commodus was ambitious, brave (although not on the battlefield), and loyal to his family. Realizing he needed to ensure the Guard’s support, Pertinax hurried to the Praetorian Guard’s camp where he guaranteed each soldier a bonus of 12,000 sesterces. Cite This Work For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Every illness was treated to ensure he remained strong and hale. He succeeded Commodus to become the first emperor during the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors. Commodus's death marked the end of the Nervan-Antonian dynasty, and the beginning of the end for the Western Roman Empire. He was fighting alongside his father on the Danube frontier when the Emperor died, but immediately returned to Rome after securing a favourable peace treaty. [36], Pertinax is discussed in The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli. Fight for Glory At some pont before the events of Ryse, he was appointed by his father as governor of Britannia. Commodus was born in 161 AD near Rome, the son of Marcus Aurelius, the wise ruling emperor. Though describing him as a good man, Machiavelli considered Pertinax's attempt to reform a soldiery that had become "accustomed to live licentiously" a mistake, as it inspired their hatred of him, which led to his overthrow and death. Even provincial governors failed to support their new emperor; the madness of Commodus had taught them to be cautious of whoever sat on the throne. [38], During the debate over ratification of the US Constitution, Virginia politician John Dawson, at his state's ratifying convention in 1788, spoke of the "atrocious murder" of Pertinax by the Praetorian Guard as an example of the danger of establishing a standing army. He was born in Alba Pompeia in Italy,[2] the son of freedman Helvius Successus. 8 years ago. [4], In the Parthian War that followed,[5] he distinguished himself, which resulted in a string of promotions, and after postings in Britain (as military tribune of the Legio VI Victrix)[6] and along the Danube, he served as a procurator in Dacia. Please support Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation. Marcus Aurelius was a student of Stoic philosophy. As an emperor, Commodus soon became a disappointment to Marcus Aurelius. After his reign of terror, the Emperors became the absolute rulers of the Roman World, following his example. He took the throne as regent, but was killed by Maximus in the Colosseum. Silver Spoon in Mouth. [15] After the murder had been carried out, Pertinax, who was serving as urban prefect at this time, was hurried to the Praetorian Camp and proclaimed emperor the following morning. Following the death of Commodus, Pertinax was acclaimed emperor. He ruled as junior co-e… Wasson, Donald L. Source(s): College. Unfortunately Pertinax miscalculated when he tried to reign in the Praetorian Guard. [23] In early March he narrowly averted one conspiracy by a group to replace him with the consul Quintus Sosius Falco while he was in Ostia inspecting the arrangements for grain shipments. As the son of emperor Marcus Aurelius, Commodus was the first Roman emperor to have been "born in the purple," and thus dynastically selected to be his successor. [12], He served as proconsul of Africa from 188–189,[13] and followed this term of service with the urban prefecture of Rome,[14] and a second consulship as ordinarius with the emperor Commodus as his colleague. Despite this, Commodus seemed to have been a lazy student and would be an even lazier … Lv 7. [11] When he was forced to resign in 187, the reason given was that the legions had grown hostile to him because of his harsh rule. He promptly renamed himself Caesar Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus, and, throughout his rule from 177 to 192 AD, he became increasingly cruel and sadistic. "Pertinax." Born the son of a freed slave, Pertinax became an officer in the army. He is eager to pass knowledge on to his students. After Maximus killed Commodus in the Colloseum, the emperor was chosen from the winner of a gladiator fight between two emperor wannabes. 0 2. As one of the guards plunged his sword into Pertinax, he said, “The soldiers have sent you this sword.”. [24] The plot was betrayed; Falco himself was pardoned but several of the officers behind the coup were executed. Since there were no familial candidates, they chose a former teacher and military commander, Publius Helvius Pertinax. He fought in the Roman–Parthian War of 161–166, where his success led him to be promoted to higher-ranking positions in both the military and political spheres. Related Content His unique ability as a leader did not go unnoticed by those around him, and he quickly became a tribune stationed at York. His brutal misrule precipitated civil strife that ended 84 years of stability and prosperity within the empire. Although Pertinax was told to leave by his chamberlain Electus, he chose instead to stay and face the guard. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. Just not that Commodus! He attempted to emulate the restrained practices of Marcus Aurelius, and made an effort to reform the alimenta but he faced antagonism from many quarters. Learn how and when to remove this template message, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pertinax&oldid=992934694, Roman emperors murdered by the Praetorian Guard, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles lacking reliable references from June 2019, Articles incorporating a citation from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Imperator Caesar Publius Helvius Pertinax Augustus, This page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 22:13. He also … Commodus was succeeded by Pertinax, whose reign was short lived, being the first to fall victim to the Year of the Five Emperors. The accession of the 19 year old Commodus upon the death of his father Marcus Aurelius on March 17, AD 180 is often considered a catalyst that sparked the initial decline of the Roman Empire. Emperor. Up until then he was the youngest consul in the history of Rome being around the age of 15. [3] Pertinax through the help of patronage was commissioned an officer in a cohort. https://www.ancient.eu/Pertinax/. Since there were no familial candidates, they chose a former teacher and military commander, Publius Helvius Pertinax. [11], When Commodus' behaviour became increasingly erratic throughout the early 190s, a conspiracy led to his assassination on 31 December 192. Please help us create teaching materials on Mesopotamia (including several complete lessons with worksheets, activities, answers, essay questions, and more), which will be free to download for teachers all over the world. His career before becoming emperor is documented in the Historia Augusta and confirmed in many places by existing inscriptions. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. The senate acclaimed Pertinax as emperor, damned the memory of Commodus, and undid all his ambitious renaming. In conclusion, the emperor’s time on the throne had been a disaster, for he had been too harsh and too much of an authoritarian. Commodus, Emperor of Rome. From there, Pertinax went to meet the Senate in the middle of the night. Wasson, D. L. (2013, September 19). We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. He received an excellent education as a child as his father was known for his philosophical musings and is, to this day, remembered as a philosopher. 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