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References in periodicals archive ?
Sure, the chances of the real emperor Commodus resembling Joachim Phoenix are slim, but then so are the chances of him resembling his ancient marble portrait-bust from the Esquiline Hill in Rome, which shows him in the guise of Hercules, or indeed his portrayal in primary sources such as Dio Cassius, Herodian and the Augustan History. There, his inadequacies as emperor are made manifest through his slavish adherence to the gladiatorial arena, with stories so sensational as to make Scott's version believable.
The anonymous Augustan history Life of Alexander Severus says that the emperor placed a bust of Christ in his private chapel: he (a pagan) would hardly have so honoured someone whose existence was doubtful.
Mussato's Historia Augusta ("Augustan History"), a chronicle of Henry VII's actions in Italy, and his De gestis Italicorum post Henricum VII Caesarem ("Concerning the Deeds of the Italians After Emperor Henry VII") are important sources for the history of 14th-century Italy.