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Editor says, what if Commodus's elder twin brother had survived childhood? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
In 161 AD,on this day Faustina the Younger, the wife of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (pictured), gave birth to twin brothers, Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus and Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus.
Birth of Emperor Titus AureliusTheir accession as senior and junior emperors was the first time in Roman history that a son had succeeded his father since Titus succeeded Vespasian in 79. But of course the key difference was that this time around both co-rulers were "born in the purple". This proved vital, because it became increasingly clear that the younger twin was a flawed individual quite undeserving of his birth name Commodus, which means "obliging". Because he was anything but, a self-serving individual who required constant correction from his elder brother.
And fortunately for Rome, Titus survived a near death experience aged only four. He ruled alongside his brother and proved the better ruler, leaving his lazy and possibly mad twin to indulge his penchants for parties and gladiator fights.
Editor says, in reality Titus did perish aged four, and after their father died his younger brother Commodus ruled for erratically for thirteen years. In authoring this post, we have repurposed content from Wikipedia and Armarium Magnum web sites.. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.