Commodus as Hercules. Marble Roman bust of emperor Commodus as Hercules. Accordingly, Commodus is dressed in lion skin, holding a club in one hand, and the apples of the Hesperides in the other. 191-192 AD.
The following are segments from the ancient Roman Historia Augusta, The Life of Commodus, dating to about the 4th century:
"He was called also the Roman Hercules, on the ground that he had killed wild beasts in the amphitheatre at Lanuvium; and, indeed, it was his custom to kill wild beasts on his own estate.
He pretended once that he was going to Africa, so that he could get funds for the journey, then got them and spent them on banquets and gaming instead. He murdered Motilenus, the prefect of the guard, by means of poisoned figs. He allowed statues of himself to be erected with the accoutrements of Hercules; and sacrifices were performed to him as to a god.”