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Lucius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (31 August 161 – 31 December 192) was Roman Emperor from 180 to 192. He also ruled as co-emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 until his father's death in 180. His name changed throughout his reign; see Changes of name for earlier and later forms. His accession as emperor was the first time a son had succeeded his father since Titus succeeded Vespasian in 79. Commodus was the first emperor "born to the purple"; i.e., born during his father's reign.


Early life and rise to power (161–180)

Early life

Commodus was born as Lucius Aurelius Commodus in Lanuvium, near Rome, the son of the reigning emperor, Marcus Aurelius and first cousin Faustina the Younger. He had an elder twin brother, Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus, who died in 165. On 12 October 166, Commodus was made Caesar together with his younger brother, Marcus Annius Verus; the latter died in 169, having failed to recover from an operation, which left Commodus as Marcus Aurelius's sole surviving son. He was looked after by his father's physician, Galen, in order to keep him healthy and alive. Galen treated many of Commodus's common illnesses.

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