Most of us will remember him as Commodus, he was Emperor of Rome from 180 to 192.
So was Commodus as wicked as we see in the film? Well, according to Cassius Dio, in his History on Ancient Rome he was
"not naturally wicked but, on the contrary, as guileless as any man that ever lived. His great simplicity, however, together with his cowardice, made him the slave of his companions, and it was through them that he at first, out of ignorance, missed the better life and then was led on into lustful and cruel habits, which soon became second nature."
What I have read about him, I'm not so sure he was right!
Those plotting against him thought so too, Commodus died on the 31st of December 192 from a second attempt to assassinate him. His mistress poisoned his food but he managed to vomit it out of his system. He was eventually strangled later that day in his bath by his personal trainer on the order of his chamberlain.