The son of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior, at birth he was given the name of Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus. He was made Augustus and co-emperor to his father in AD 177. He accompanied Marcus Aurelius to the Second Germanic War, and upon Marcus’ death in 180, Commodus concluded a peace with the German and Sarmatian tribes, then hurried back to Rome.
Commodus’ family, the Antonines, were known for their fine governments, and the hopes of the people were that he would follow in that tradition. However, Commodus was interested in other things, and soon retired from governing, leaving it to a succession of favorites.
His later years were troubled and Commodus became a trial to his royal family. His mental health continued to deteriorate and this led to his demise in AD 192.