The ‘Five Good Emperors’ era is often seen as Rome and Roman civilization's high point. Gibbon claimed that the period of their rule was the happiest in human existence.<ref>Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Hamondsworth, Penguin, 1984), p 17</ref> The Roman Empire was largely peaceful and well-governed. The provinces had become more urbanized and Romanized, and a host of religions and minorities generally lived in peaceful harmony. The economy was generally buoyant, and long-distance trade flourished. Foreign invaders rarely breached the frontiers of the Empire.
The German tribes were an occasional treat, but the Parthians in the east had been humbled and weakened by Trajan. However, this era was not quite the golden age, as depicted by Gibbon. There was a great deal of poverty, inequality, banditry, and rebellions that were not unknown. The
Macromannic War, when Marcus Aurelius, after many hard battles, defeated a powerful confederation of German tribes, was an indication that the Romans were not invincible. Moreover, the so-called Antonine Plague had decimated the population of the Empire, and this demographic disaster was to have long-term consequences for Rome.<ref> Gilliam, J. F. "The Plague under Marcus Aurelius." American Journal of Philology 82.3 (July 1961), pp. 225–251 </ref> However, Commodus was to inherit a stable and secure realm after the achievements of his father, Marcus Aurelius.
==How did Commodus become Emperor?==