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Roman marble bust of Commodus as Hercules. Circa191-192 AD found in an underground chamber in the Horti Lamiani area of Rome. The son of Marcus Aurelus is shown with the features of Hercules and is characterised by Greek hero’s attributes: the lion’s skin, the club, the apples of Hesperides. The character is accompanied by fantastic sea creatures in a composition symbolising his apotheosis. The work can be dated to the final period of the life of Commodus, between 191-192 AD. Commodus was one of Rome’s bad crazy Emperors being sadistic and debauched with a harem of 300 concubines to choose from. His favourite role playing character was that of Hercules and Commodus ordered many statues to be made showing him dressed as Hercules with a lion's hide and a club. He thought of himself as the reincarnation of Hercules, frequently emulating the legendary hero's feats by appearing in the arena to fight a variety of wild animals. Commodus raised the ire of many military officials in Rome for his Hercules persona in the arena. Often, wounded soldiers and amputees would be placed in the arena for Commodus to slay with a sword. Commodus's eccentric behaviour would not stop there. Citizens of Rome missing their feet through accident or illness were taken to the arena, where they were tethered together for Commodus to club to death while pretending they were giants.[17] These acts may have contributed to his assassination. Such ruthless antics probably led to the violent death of Commodus when a wrestler assassinated him by strangling him to death. MC.1120 Capitoline Museums, Rome
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Roman marble bust of Commodus as Hercules. Circa191-192 AD found in an underground chamber in the Horti Lamiani area of Rome. The son of Marcus Aurelus is shown with the features of Hercules and is characterised by Greek hero’s attributes: the lion’s skin, the club, the apples of Hesperides. The character is accompanied by fantastic sea creatures in a composition symbolising his apotheosis. The work can be dated to the final period of the life of Commodus, between 191-192 AD. Commodus was one of Rome’s bad crazy Emperors being sadistic and debauched with a harem of 300 concubines to choose from. His favourite role playing character was that of Hercules and Commodus ordered many statues to be made showing him dressed as Hercules with a lion's hide and a club. He thought of himself as the reincarnation of Hercules, frequently emulating the legendary hero's feats by appearing in the arena to fight a variety of wild animals. Commodus raised the ire of many military officials in Rome for his Hercules persona in the arena. Often, wounded soldiers and amputees would be placed in the arena for Commodus to slay with a sword. Commodus's eccentric behaviour would not stop there. Citizens of Rome missing their feet through accident or illness were taken to the arena, where they were tethered together for Commodus to club to death while pretending they were giants.[17] These acts may have contributed to his assassination. Such ruthless antics probably led to the violent death of Commodus when a wrestler assassinated him by strangling him to death. MC.1120 Capitoline Museums, Rome