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Antoninus Pius

This webpage reproduces part of the
Historia Augusta

published in the Loeb Classical Library,
1921

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!


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Part 2

(Vol. I) Historia Augusta

p133 The Life of Marcus Aurelius
Part 1

1 1 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Marcus Antoninus, devoted to philosophy as long as he lived and pre-eminent among emperors in purity of life, 2 was the son of Annius Verus, who died while praetor. His grandfather, named Annius Verus also, attained to a second consulship,1 was prefect of the city, and was enrolled among the patricians by Vespasian and Titus while they were censors. 3 Annius Libo, a consul, was his uncle, Galeria Faustina Augusta,2 his aunt. His mother was Domitia Lucilla, the daughter of Calvisius Tullus, who served as consul twice.3 4 Annius Verus, from the town of Succuba in Spain, who was made a senator and attained to the dignity of praetor, was his father's grandfather; his great-grandfather on his mother's side was Catilius Severus,4 who twice held the consulship and was prefect of the city. His father's mother was Rupilia Faustina, the daughter of Rupilius Bonus, a man of consular rank.

p135 5 Marcus himself was born at Rome on the sixth day before the Kalends of May in the second consulship of his grandfather and the first of Augur, in a villa on the Caelian Hill. 6 His family, in tracing its origin back to the beginning, established its descent from Numa, or so Marius Maximus tells, and likewise from the Sallentine king Malemnius, the son of Dasummus, who founded Lupiae.5 7 He was reared in the villa where he was born, and also in the home of his grandfather Verus close to the dwelling of Lateranus. 8 He had a sister younger than himself, named Annia Cornificia;6 his wife, who was also his cousin, was Annia Faustina.7 9 At the beginning of his life Marcus Antoninus was named Catilius Severus8 after his mother's grandfather. 10 After the death of his real father, however, Hadrian called him Annius Verissimus,9 and, after he assumed the toga virilis, Annius Verus. When his father died he was adopted and reared by his father's father.

2 1 Legamen ad paginam Latinam He was a solemn child from the very beginning; and as soon as he passed beyond the age when children are brought up under the care of nurses, he was handed over to advanced instructors and attained to a knowledge of philosophy. 2 In his more elementary education, he received instruction from Euphorion in literature and from Geminus in drama, in music and likewise in geometry from Andron; on all of whom, as being spokesmen of the sciences, he afterwards conferred great honours. 3 Besides these, his teachers in grammar were the Greek Alexander of Cotiaeum,10 and p137the Latins Trosius Aper, Pollio, and Eutychius Proculus of Sicca; 4 his masters in oratory were the Greeks Aninius Macer, Caninius Celer and Herodes Atticus,11 and the Latin Cornelius Fronto.12 5 Of these he conferred high honours on Fronto, even asking the senate to vote him a statue; but indeed he advanced Proculus also — even to a proconsulship, and assumed the burdens13 of the office himself.

6 He studied philosophy with ardour, even as a youth. For when he was twelve years old he adopted the dress and, a little later, the hardiness of a philosopher, pursuing his studies clad in a rough Greek cloak and sleeping on the ground;14 at his mother's solicitation, however, he reluctantly consented to sleep on a couch strewn with skins. 7 He received instruction, furthermore, from the teacher of that Commodus15 who was destined later to be a kinsman of his, namely Apollonius of Chalcedon,16 the Stoic; 3Legamen ad paginam Latinam and such was his ardour for this school of philosophy, that even after he became a member of the imperial family, he still went to Apollonius' residence for instruction. 2 In addition, he attended the lectures of Sextus of Chaeronea,17 the nephew of Plutarch, and of Junius Rusticus,18 Claudius Maximus,19 and Cinna Catulus,20 all Stoics. 3 He also attended p139the lectures of Claudius Severus,21 an adherent of the Peripatetic school, but he received most instruction from Junius Rusticus, whom he ever revered and whose disciple he became, a man esteemed in both private and public life, and exceedingly well acquainted with the Stoic system, 4 with whom Marcus shared all his counsels both public and private, whom he greeted with a kiss prior to the prefects of the guard,22 5 whom he even appointed consul for a second term,23 and whom after his death he asked the senate to honour with statues. On his teachers in general, moreover, he conferred great honours, for he even kept golden statues of them in his chapel,24 and made it a custom to show respect for their tombs by personal visits and by offerings of sacrifices and flowers. 6 He studied jurisprudence as well, in which he heard Lucius Volusius Maecianus, 7 and so much work and labour did he devote to his studies that he impaired his health — the only fault to be found with his entire childhood. 8 He attended also the public schools of rhetoricians. Of his fellow-pupils he was particularly fond of Seius Fuscianus25 and Aufidius Victorinus,26 of the senatorial order, and Baebius Longus and Calenus, of the equestrian. 9 He was very generous to these men, so generous, in fact, that on those whom he could not advance to public office on account of their station in life, he bestowed riches.

p141 4 1 Legamen ad paginam Latinam He was reared under the eye of Hadrian, who called him Verissimus, as we have already related,27 and did him the honour of enrolling him in the equestrian order when he was six years old 2 and appointing him in his eighth year to the college of the Salii. 3 While in this college, moreover, he received an omen of his future rule; for when they were all casting their crowns on the banqueting-couch28 of the god, according to the usual custom, his crown, as if placed there by his hand, fell on the brow of Mars. 4 In this priesthood he was leader of the dance, seer, and master, and consequently both initiated and dismissed a great number of people; and in these ceremonies no one dictated the formulas to him, for all of them he had learned by himself.

5 In the fifteenth year of his life he assumed the toga virilis, and straightway, at the wish of Hadrian, was betrothed to the daughter of Lucius Ceionius Commodus.29 6 Not long after this he was made prefect of the city during the Latin Festival,30 and in this position he conducted himself very brilliantly both in the presence of the magistrates and at the banquets of the Emperor Hadrian. 7 Later, when his mother asked him to give his sister31 part of the fortune left him by his father, he replied that he was content with the fortune of his grandfather and relinquished all of it, further declaring that if she wished, his mother might leave her own estate to his sister in its entirety, in order that she might not be poorer than her husband. 8 So complaisant was he, moreover, that p143at times, when urged, he let himself be taken to hunts or the theatre or the spectacles. 9 Besides, he gave some attention to painting, under the teacher Diognetus. He was also fond of boxing and wrestling and running and fowling, played ball very skilfully, and hunted well. 10 But his ardour for philosophy distracted him from all these pursuits and made him serious and dignified, not ruining, however, a certain geniality in him, which he still manifested toward his household, his friends, and even to those less intimate, but making him, rather, austere, though not unreasonable, modest, though not inactive, and serious without gloom.

5 1 Legamen ad paginam Latinam Such was his character, then, when, after the death of Lucius Caesar, Hadrian looked about for a successor to the throne. Marcus did not seem suitable, being at the time but eighteen years of age; and Hadrian chose for adoption Antoninus Pius, the uncle-in‑law of Marcus, with the provision that Pius should in turn adopt Marcus and that Marcus should adopt Lucius Commodus.32 2 And it was on the day that Verus33 was adopted that he dreamed that he had shoulders of ivory, and when he asked if they were capable of bearing a burden, he found them much stronger than before. 3 When he discovered, moreover, that Hadrian had adopted him, he was appalled rather than overjoyed, and when told to move to the private home of Hadrian, reluctantly departed from his mother's villa. 4 And when the members of his household asked him why he was sorry to receive royal adoption, he enumerated to them the evil things that sovereignty involved.

p145 5 At this time he first began to be called Aurelius instead of Annius,34 since, according to the law of adoption, he had passed into the Aurelian family, that is, into the family of Antoninus. 6 And so he was adopted in his eighteenth year, and at the instance of Hadrian exception was made for his age35 and he was appointed quaestor for the year of the second consulship of Antoninus, now his father. 7 Even after his adoption into the imperial house, he still showed the same respect to his own relatives that he had borne them as a commoner, 8 was as frugal and careful of his means as he had been when he lived in a private home, and was willing to act, speak, and think according to his father's principles.

6 1 Legamen ad paginam Latinam When Hadrian died at Baiae36 and Pius departed to bring back his remains, Marcus was left at Rome and discharged his grandfather's funeral rites, and, though quaestor, presented a gladiatorial spectacle as a private citizen. 2 Immediately after Hadrian's death Pius, through his wife, approached Marcus, and, breaking his betrothal with the daughter of Lucius Ceionius Commodus,37 . . . he was willing to espouse one so much his junior in years, he replied, after deliberating the question, that he was. 3 And when this was done, Pius designated him as his colleague in the consulship, though he was still only quaestor, gave him the title of Caesar,38 appointed him while consul-elect one of the six commanders of the p147equestrian order39 and sat by him when he and his five colleagues were producing their official games, bade him take up his abode in the House of Tiberius40 and there provided him with all the pomp of a court, though Marcus objected to this, and finally took him into the priesthoods41 at the bidding of the senate. 4 Later, he appointed him consul for a second term at the same time that he began his fourth. 5 And all this time, when busied with so many public duties of his own, and while sharing his father's activities that he might be fitted for ruling the state, Marcus worked at his studies42 eagerly.

6 At this time he took Faustina to wife43 and, after begetting a daughter,44 received the tribunician power and the proconsular power outside the city,45 with the added right of making five proposals in the senate.46 7 Such was his influence with Pius that the Emperor was never quick to promote anyone without his advice. 8 Moreover, he showed great deference to his father, though there were not lacking those who whispered things against him, 9 especially Valerius Homullus,47 p149who, when he saw Marcus' mother Lucilla worshipping in her garden before a shrine of Apollo, whispered, "Yonder woman is now praying that you may come to your end, and her son rule." All of which influenced Pius not in the least, 10 such was Marcus' sense of honour and such his modesty while heir to the throne. 7Legamen ad paginam Latinam He had such regard for his reputation, moreover, that even as a youth he admonished his procurators to do nothing high-handed and often refused sundry legacies that were left him, returning them to the nearest kin of the deceased. 2 Finally, for three and twenty years he conducted himself in his father's home in such a manner that Pius felt more affection for him day by day, 3 and never in all these years, save for two nights on different occasions, remained away from him.

For these reasons, then, when Antoninus Pius saw that the end of his life was drawing near, having summoned his friends and prefects, he commended Marcus to them all and formally named him as his successor in the empire. He then straightway gave the watch-word to the officer of the day as "Equanimity," and ordered that the golden statue of Fortune, customarily kept in his own bed-chamber, be transferred to the bed-chamber of Marcus.48 4 Part of his mother's fortune Marcus then gave to Ummidius Quadratus,49 the son of his sister, because the latter was now dead.

5 Being forced by the senate to assume the government of the state after the death of the Deified Pius, Marcus made his brother his colleague in the empire, giving him the name Lucius Aurelius Verus Commodus and bestowing on him the titles Caesar and Augustus. 6 Then they began to rule the state on p151equal terms,50 and then it was that the Roman Empire first had two emperors, when Marcus shared with another the empire he had inherited. Next, he himself took the name Antoninus, 7 and just as though he were the father of Lucius Commodus, he gave him the name Verus, adding also the name Antoninus; he also betrothed him to his daughter Lucilla,51 though legally he was his brother. 8 In honour of this union they gave orders that girls and boys of newly-named orders52 should be assigned a share in the distribution of grain.

9 And so, when they had done those things which had to be done in the presence of the senate, they set out together for the praetorian camp, and in honour of their joint rule promised twenty thousand sesterces apiece to the common soldiers and to the others53 money in proportion. 10 The body of their father they laid in the Tomb of Hadrian54 with elaborate funeral rites, and on a holiday which came thereafter an official funeral train marched in parade. 11 Both emperors pronounced panegyrics for their father from the Rostra, and they appointed a flamen for him chosen from their own kinsmen and a college of Aurelian priests55 from their closest friends.

8 1 Legamen ad paginam Latinam And now, after they had assumed the imperial power, the two emperors acted in so democratic a manner that no one missed the lenient ways of Pius; for though Marullus, a writer of farces of the time, irritated them by his jests, he yet went unpunished. 2 They gave funeral games for their father. 3 And p153Marcus abandoned himself to philosophy, at the same time cultivating the good-will of the citizens. 4 But now to interrupt the emperor's happiness56 and repose, there came the first flood of the Tiber — the severest one of their time — which ruined many houses in the city, drowned a great number of animals, and caused a most severe famine; 5 all these disasters Marcus and Verus relieved by their own personal care and aid. 6 At this time, moreover, came the Parthian war, which Vologaesus planned under Pius57 and declared under Marcus and Verus, after the rout of Attidius Cornelianus, than governor of Syria.58 7 And besides this, war was threatening in Britain, and the Chatti59 had burst into Germany and Raetia. 8 Against the Britons Calpurnius Agricola60 was sent; against the Chatti, Aufidius Victorinus.61 9 But to the Parthian war, with the consent of the senate, Marcus despatched his brother Verus, while he himself remained at Rome, where conditions demanded the presence of an emperor. 10 Nevertheless, he accompanied Verus as far as Capua,62 honouring him with a retinue of friends from the senate and appointing also all his chiefs-of‑staff. 11 And when, after returning to Rome, he learned that Verus was ill at Canusium63 he hastened to see him, after assuming vows in the senate, which, on his return p155to Rome after learning that Verus had set sail, he immediately fulfilled. 12 Verus, however, after he had come to Syria, lingered amid the debaucheries of Antioch and Daphne and busied himself with gladiatorial bouts and hunting.64 And yet, for waging the Parthian war through his legates, he was acclaimed Imperator,65 13 while meantime Marcus was at all hours keeping watch over the workings of the state, and, though reluctantly and sorely against his will, but nevertheless with patience, was enduring the debauchery of his brother. 14 In a word, Marcus, though residing at Rome, planned and executed everything necessary to the prosecution of the war.

9 1 Legamen ad paginam Latinam In Armenia the campaign was successfully prosecuted under Statius Priscus, Artaxata being taken, and the honorary name Armeniacus was given to each of the emperors.66 This name Marcus refused at first, by reason of his modesty, but afterwards accepted. 2 When the Parthian war was finished,67 moreover, each emperor was called Parthicus; but this name also Marcus refused when first offered, though afterwards he accepted it. 3 And further, when the title "Father of his Country" was offered him in his brother's absence, he deferred action upon it until the latter should be present.68 4 In the midst of this war he entrusted his daughter,69 who was about to be married and had already received her dowry, to the care of his sister, and, accompanying them himself as far as Brundisium, sent them to Verus together with p157the latter's uncle, Civica.70 5 Immediately thereafter he returned to Rome, recalled by the talk of those who said that he wished to appropriate to himself the glory of finishing the war and had therefore set out for Syria. 6 He wrote to the proconsul,71 furthermore, that no one should meet his daughter as she made her journey.

7 In the meantime, he put such safeguards about suits for personal freedom — and he was the first to do so — as to order that every citizen should bestow names upon his free-born children within thirty days after birth and declare them to the prefects of the treasury of Saturn.72 8 In the provinces, too, he established the use of public records, in which entries concerning births were to be made in the same manner as at Rome in the office of the prefects of the treasury, the purpose being that if any one born in the provinces should plead a case to prove freedom, he might submit evidence from these records. 9 Indeed, he strengthened this entire law dealing with declarations of freedom,73 and he enacted other laws dealing with money-lenders and public sales.

10 1 Legamen ad paginam Latinam He made the senate the judge in many inquiries and even in those which belonged to his own jurisdiction. With regard to the status of deceased persons, he ordered that any investigations must be made within five years.74 2 Nor did any of the emperors show more respect to the senate than he. To do the senate honour, moreover, he entrusted the settling of p159disputes to many men of praetorian and consular rank who then held no magistracy, in order that their prestige might be enhanced through their administration of law. 3 He enrolled in the senate many of his friends, giving them the rank of aedile or praetor; 4 and on a number of poor but honest senators he bestowed the rank of tribune or aedile. 5 Nor did he ever appoint anyone to senatorial rank whom he did not know well personally. 6 He granted senators the further privilege75 that whenever any of them was to be tried on a capital charge, he would examine the evidence behind closed doors and only after so doing would bring the case to public trial; nor would he allow members of the equestrian order to attend such investigations. 7 He always attended the meetings of the senate if he was in Rome, even though no measure was to be proposed, and if he wished to propose anything himself, he came in person even from Campania. 8 More than this, when elections were held he often remained even until night, never leaving the senate-chamber 9 until the consul announced, "We detain you no longer, Conscript Fathers". Further, he appointed the senate judge in appeals made from the consul.

10 To the administration of justice he gave singular care. He added court-days to the calendar until he had set 230 days for the pleading of cases and judging of suits, 11 and he was the first to appoint a special praetor in charge of the praetor of wards,76 in order that greater care might be exercised in dealing with trustees; for previously the appointment of trustees had been in the hands of the consuls. 12 As regards guardians, indeed, he decided that all youths might have them appointed without being obliged to show cause therefor, whereas previously they were appointed p161under the Plaetorian Law,77 or in cases of prodigality or madness.78

11Legamen ad paginam Latinam In the matter of public expenditures he was exceedingly careful, and he forbade all libels on the part of false informers, putting the mark of infamy on such as made false accusations. He scorned such accusations as would swell the privy-purse. 2 He devised many wise measures for the support of the state-poor,79 and, that he might give a wider range to the senatorial functions, he appointed supervisors for many communities80 from the senate. 3 In times of famine he furnished the Italian communities with food from the city; indeed, he made careful provision for the whole matter of the grain-supply. 4 He limited gladiatorial shows in every way, and lessened the cost of free theatrical performances also, decreeing that though an actor might receive five aurei, nevertheless no one who gave a performance should expend more than ten. 5 The streets of the city and the highways he maintained with the greatest care. As for the grain-supply, for that he provided laboriously. 6 He appointed judges for Italy and thereby provided for its welfare, after the plan of Hadrian,81 who had appointed men of consular rank to administer the law; 7 and he made scrupulous provision, furthermore, for the welfare of the provinces of Spain, which, in defiance of the policy of Trajan, had been exhausted by p163levies from the Italian settlers.82 8 Also he enacted laws about inheritance-taxes,83 about the property of freedmen held in trust, about property inherited from the mother,84 about the succession of the sons to the mother's share, and likewise that senators of foreign birth should invest a fourth part of their capital in Italy.85 9 And besides this, he gave the commissioners of districts and streets power either themselves to punish those who fleeced anyone of money beyond his due assessment, or to bring them to the prefect of the city for punishment. 10 He engaged rather in the restoration of old laws than in the making of new, and ever kept near him prefects with whose authority and responsibility he framed his laws.86 He made use of Scaevola also,87 a man particularly learned in jurisprudence.

12 1 Legamen ad paginam Latinam Toward the people he acted just as one acts in a free state. 2 He was at all times exceedingly reasonable both in restraining men from evil and in urging them to good, generous in rewarding and quick to forgive, thus making bad men good, and good men very good, and he even bore with unruffled temper the insolence of not a few. 3 For example, when he advised a man of abominable reputation, who was running for office, a certain Vetrasinus, to stop the town-talk about himself, and Vetrasinus replied that many who had fought with him in the arena were now praetors, the Emperor took it with good grace. 4 Again, in order to avoid taking an easy revenge on any one, instead of ordering a p165praetor who had acted very badly in certain matters to resign his office, he merely entrusted the administration of the law to the man's colleague. 5 The privy-purse never influenced his judgment in law-suits involving money. 6 Finally, if he was firm, he was also reasonable.

7 After his brother had returned victorious from Syria, the title "Father of his Country" was decreed to both,88 inasmuch as Marcus in the absence of Verus had conducted himself with great consideration toward both senators and commons. 8 Furthermore, the civic crown89 was offered to both; and Lucius demanded that Marcus triumph with him, and demanded also that the name Caesar should be given to Marcus' sons.90 9 But Marcus was so free from love of display that though he triumphed with Lucius, nevertheless after Lucius' death he called himself only Germanicus,91 the title he had won in his own war. 10 In the triumphal procession, moreover, they carried with them Marcus' children of both sexes, even his unmarried daughters; 11 and they viewed the games held in honour of the triumph clad in the triumphal robe. 12 Among other illustrations of his unfailing consideration towards others this act of kindness is to be told: After one lad, a rope-dancer, had fallen, he ordered mattresses spread under all rope-dancers. This is the reason why a net is stretched them to‑day.

13 While the Parthian war was still in progress, the Marcomannic war broke out, after having been postponed for a long time by the diplomacy of the men who were in charge there, in order that the Marcomannic p167war92 might not be waged until Rome was done with the war in the East. 14 Even at the time of the famine the Emperor had hinted at this war to the people, and when his brother returned after five years' service, he brought the matter up in the senate, saying that both emperors were needed for the German war. 13Legamen ad paginam Latinam So great was the dread of this Marcomannic war,93 that Antoninus summoned priests from all sides, performed foreign religious ceremonies, and purified the city in every way, and he was delayed thereby from setting out to the seat of war. 2 The Roman ceremony of the feast of the gods94 was celebrated for seven days. 3 And there was such a pestilence,95 besides, that the dead were removed in carts and waggons. 4 About this time, also, the two emperors ratified certain very stringent laws on burial and tombs, in which they even forbade any one to build a tomb at his country-place, a law still in force. 5 Thousands were carried off by the pestilence, including many nobles, for the most prominent of whom Antoninus erected statues. 6 Such, too, was his kindliness of heart that he had funeral ceremonies performed for the lower classes even at the public expense; and in the case of one foolish fellow, who, in a search with divers confederates for an opportunity to plunder the city, continually made speeches from the wild fig-tree on the Campus Martius, to the effect that fire would fall p169down from heaven and the end of the world would come should he fall from the tree and be turned into a stork, and finally at the appointed time did fall down and free a stork from his robe, the Emperor, when the wretch was hailedº before him and confessed all, pardoned him.

14 1 Legamen ad paginam Latinam Clad in the military cloak the two emperors finally set forth, for now not only were the Victuali and Marcomanni throwing everything into confusion, but other tribes, who had been driven on by the more distant barbarians and had retreated before them, were ready to attack Italy if not peaceably received. 2 And not a little good resulted from that expedition, even by the time they had advanced as far as Aquileia, for several kings retreated, together with their peoples, and put to death the authors of the trouble. 3 And the Quadi, after they had lost their king, said that they would not confirm the successor who had been elected until such a course was approved by our emperors. 4 Nevertheless, Lucius went on, though reluctantly, after a number of peoples had sent ambassadors to the legates of the emperors asking pardon for the rebellion. 5 Lucius, it is true, thought they should return, because Furius Victorinus, the prefect of the guard, had been lost, and part of his army had perished;96 Marcus, however, held that they should press on, thinking that the barbarians, in order that they might not be crushed by the size of so great a force, were feigning a retreat and using other ruses which afford safety in war, held that they should persist in order that they might not be overwhelmed by the mere burden of their vast preparations. 6 Finally, they crossed the Alps, and pressing further on, completed all measures necessary for the defence of Italy and Illyricum.97 7º They then decided, at Lucius' insistence, that letters should first be sent p171ahead to the senate and that Lucius should then return to Rome. 8 But on the way, after they had set out upon their journey, Lucius died from a stroke of apoplexy98 while riding in the carriage with his brother.


The Editor's Notes:

1 M. Annius Verus was consul three times, first under Domitian, again in 121 and 126.

2 See Pius i.6.

3 First in 109; the second date is unknown.

4 See note to Hadr. v.10.

5 In Calabria, about 20 miles S. of Brundisium.

Thayer's Note: The alert reader with a knowledge of modern Italian geography knows that Brindisi is not in Calabria —

But in Antiquity, it was: Calabria was the name of a small coastal district on the Adriatic coast of the "heel" of Italy, including Egnatia and Brundisium; it is part of what is now Puglia. The modern region of Calabria forms the "toe" of the country; the Romans called the northern part Lucania, and the southern part Bruttii.

6 Annia Cornificia Faustina. She was married to Ummidius Quadratus.

7 See Pius i.7.

8 Probably M. Annius Catilius Severus.

9 So also Dio, LXIX.21.2. This name appears on Greek (p135)coins, Eckhel, D. N. VII.69. It is perhaps an allusion to his love of frankness; see Fronto, Epist., pp29, 34, 49.

10 See εἰς ἑαυτ., i.10. His funeral oration was delivered by Aristides, Or. XII.

11 Ti. Claudius Atticus Herodes, consul in 143. The foremost orator of his time, he had a school at Athens attended by a great number of students. He presented public buildings to very many of the cities of Greece, but particularly to his native city, Athens, where he built the Odeum on the SE slope of the Acropolis and rebuilt the Stadium, using Pentelic marble. His life by Philostratus is extant (Vit. Soph.II.1).

12 M. Cornelius Fronto, famous as an orator and man of (p137)letters, and for his correspondence with Pius, Marcus, and Verus.

13 i.e. the giving of circus-games, the expense of which caused many to resign from the consulship; see Dio, LX.27.2. The cost of the games given by Fronto was borne by Pius; see Fronto, Epist., p25.

14 At the advice of his teacher Diognetus; see εἰς ἑαυτ. i.6.

15 i.e. Lucius Verus; see note to Hadr. xxiv.1.

16 See Pius x.4 and note.

17 See εἰς ἑαυτ. i.9.

18 See εἰς ἑαυτ. i.7.

19 See εἰς ἑαυτ. i.15.

20 See εἰς ἑαυτ. i.13.

21 Perhaps the "ἀδελφός" Severus mentioned in εἰς ἑαυτ. i.14.

22 The custom had arisen that the emperor should bestow a ceremonial kiss of greeting upon the senators and the foremost of the equestrian order; see Suet. Otho, vi. Plin., Pan. 23; Tac., Agr. 40.

23 For the first time in 133, for the second in 162; he was also prefect of the city.

24 See the similar practice of Severus Alexander, Alex. xxix.2.

25 Prefect of the city under Commodus (see Pert. iv.3), and consul for the second time in 188.

26 C. Aufidius Victorinus held a command in Germany (see c. viii.8), was proconsul of Africa, and consul for the second time in 183. He married Fronto's daughter.

27 c. i.10.

28 At the official banquet held by the Salii in some temple on their feast-day.

29 i.e., L. Aelius Caesar, the adopted son of Hadrian; see also c. vi.2. The daughter was probably the Fabia mentioned in c. xxix.10 and Ver. x.3‑4.

30 Under the republic, this official was charged with the administration of Rome when both consuls were absent from the city conducting the Feriae Latinae on Mons Albanus. In the empire the office was continued, although only as a formality, and was given to young men of high rank and (p141)often to princes of the imperial family; see Tac. Ann. IV.36, and Suet. Nero, vii.

31 See c. i.8 and note.

32 See Hadr. xxiv.1; Ael. vi.9; Pius iv.5. The statement that Lucius Verus was adopted by Marcus (so also Ael. v.12) is erroneous.

33 i.e., Marcus. The story of the dream is told also by Dio (LXXI.36.1).

34 On his name after his adoption see note to Hadr. xxiv.2.

35 See Pius vi.9‑10 and note.

36 See Hadr. xxv.6; Pius v.1.

37 See c. iv.5 and note.

38 See note to Ael. i.2. On coins of 139‑140 he is called Aurelius Caesar Augusti Pii filius; see Cohen II2 p409 f., Nos. 1‑40.

39 The seviri equitum Romanorum were the six commanders of the equestrian order. They received their appointment from the emperor, and were usually young men of senatorial families who had not as yet been admitted to the senate and sometimes princes of the imperial house, as Marcus, and Gaius, grandson of Augustus (Zonaras, X.35). Marcus had also the title of princeps iuventutis or honorary chief of the equestrian order (Dio, LXXI.35.5) a title bestowed by the acclamation of the order, with the consent or at the command of the emperor, upon the heir apparent.

40 See note to Pius x.4.

41 Especially the four great colleges of which the emperor was always a member, i.e., the pontifices, the augures, the quindecimvir sacris faciundis or keepers of the Sibylline Books, and the septemviri epulonum, and probably also the fratres arvales and the sodales of the various deified emperors (see note to Hadr. xxvii.3). The son of the emperor usually (p147)became a member of these colleges when he received the name Caesar.

42 Especially in rhetoric and literature; see Fronto, p36.

43 See Pius x.2. Coins struck in honour of the occasion bear the heads of Marcus and Faustina on the obverse and reverse respectively; see Cohen II2 p127, Nos. 3‑4.

44 Annia Galeria Aurelia Faustina, born in 146, was the eldest of Marcus' children.

45 See note to Pius iv.7.

46 The newly-elected emperor was regularly empowered by senatus consultum to propose a definite number of measures in each meeting of the senate, these proposals to take precedence over any others. The number varied but never seems to have exceeded five; see Pert. v.6; Alex. i.3; Prob. xii.8.

47 Cf. Pius xi.8.

48 Cf. Pius xii.5‑6.

49 M. Ummidius Quadratus, consul 167, was the son of Annia Cornificia Faustina (C.1.8, and iv.7).

50 Coins of 161 and 162 show Marcus and Lucius standing with clasped hands and bear the legend Concordia Augustorum; see Cohen III2 p8, Nos. 45‑59.

51 Annia Lucilla, his third child, born about 148.

52 Like the puellae alimentariae Faustinianae, founded by Pius; see Pius viii.1.

53 i.e., the centurions and other officers. Largess was also given to the populace; see coins of 161 with legend Liberalitas (p151)Augustorum and representation of the two emperors standing in front of a recipient (Cohen III2 p41, Nos. 401‑406).

54 See Hadr. xix.11.

55 i.e., the Sodales Antoniniani; see Pius xiii.4, and note to Hadr. xxvii.3.

56 Cf. the coins of 161 with the legend Felicitas Temporum (Cohen III2 p21, Nos. 196‑198).

57 See Pius ix.6 and note.

58 This war, called officially bellum Armeniacum et Parthicum, arose, as was usually the case with wars between the Romans and the Parthians, in a struggle for the control of the buffer-state Armenia. After defeating Aelius Severianus, the governor of Cappadocia, at Elegeia, on the upper Euphrates, and annihilating his legion (Dio, LXXI.2; Fronto, Prin. Hist., p209), the Parthians established their candidate on the Armenian throne. Then followed the defeat of Cornelianus in 161.

59 E of the Rhine, N and E of the Taurus Mountains.

60 Mentioned in British inscriptions as governor (legatus Augusti pro praetore) of the province of Britain. He afterwards held a command in the Marcomannic War.

61 See c. iii.8.

62 Verus' departure took place in the spring of 162. It was commemorated by coins of Verus with the legends Profectio Augusti and Fortuna Redux; see Cohen III2 p183 f., Nos. 132‑141, and p180 f., Nos. 86‑102.

63 In Apulia, modern Canosa. On Verus' illness see Ver. vi.7.

64 See also Ver. vi.8‑vii.1.

65 After the capture of Artaxata by Statius Priscus; see c. ix.1.

66 The title Armeniacus appears on Verus' coins of 163, together with the representation of conquered Armenia; see Cohen III2 p172, Nos. 4‑6, and p203, Nos. 330‑331. Marcus' coins, on the other hand, do not show it until 164; see Cohen III2 p5, Nos. 5‑8; p48, Nos. 466‑471, etc. The capture of Artaxata enabled Rome to make her candidate, Soaemus (Fronto, p127) king of Armenia; this event was commemorated by coins of 164 with the legend Rex Armeniis Datus; see Ver. vii.8, and Cohen III2 p185 f., Nos. 157‑165.

67 By the capture of Seleucia and Ctesiphon in 165; see Ver. viii.3, and Dio, LXXI.2.3. The title Parthicus Maximus (p155)appears on Verus' coins of 165 (Cohen III2 p188 f., Nos. 190‑196), and on Marcus' coins of 166 (Cohen III2 86 f., Nos. 877‑880).

68 It was finally taken by both Marcus and Lucius after the return of the latter in the summer of 166; see c. xii.7.

69 Lucilla; see c. vii.7, and Ver. vii.7.

70 M. Ceionius Civica Barbarus, consul 157, a brother of L. Aelius Caesar.

71 i.e., of Asia. Verus met her at Ephesus; Ver. vii.7.

72 The offices in charge of the public treasury, kept in the Temple of Saturn.

73 e.g., see c. x.1.

74 This principle was already in existence; Marcus limited it by the order that in case any person had been formally declared free-born, any investigation leading to a revision of this declaration could be made only during ship life-time; see Dig. XL.15.1.

75 See Hadr. vii.4 and note.

76 This office was instituted before Verus' death in 169. The first holder was Arrius Antoninus, who is described in an inscription as praetor cui primo iurisdictio pupillaris a sanctissimis imperatoribus mandata est (CIL V.1874 = Dessau, Ins. Sel. 1118).

77 The Lex Plaetoria de circumscriptione minorum annis XXV was passed prior to 191 B.C.; it is mentioned in Plautus, Pseud. 303. It aimed to protect persons under 25 from fraud, and it accordingly directed that such persons should apply to the praetor for guardians.

78 The Twelve Tables provided that the prodigus and the furiosus should not administer their own property but be under guardians; see Dig. XXVII.10.1, and Cic., de Inv. II.50, 148.

79 See note to Hadr. vii.8.

80 These officials were appointed by the emperor to administer (p161)the finances of communities in cases where mismanagement of the public funds had made such a measure necessary.

81 See Hadr. xxii.13; Pius ii.11. The arrangement seems to have been given up by Pius; see Appian, Bell. Civ. I.38. Under Marcus ex-praetors were appointed to this office; see CIL V.1874 = Dessau, Ins. Sel. 1118.

82 Cf. Hadr. xii.4.

83 The 5% tax on inheritances had been instituted by Augustus. Under Caracalla it was temporarily raised to 10%.

84 This was the Senatus Consultum Orfitianum of 178; see Dig. XXXVIII.17.

85 Trajan had already ordered that candidates for public office must invest a third of their capital in Italian land; see Plin., Epist. VI.19.

86 This marks the beginning of the change in the functions of the prefect of the guard from purely military to pre-eminently judicial. Under Severus and Alexander the office (p163)was held by the foremost jurists of Rome, Papinian, Ulpian, and Paullus.

87 As a member of his consilium (see Hadr. viii.9); Q. Cervidius Scaevola is often cited in the Digesta.

88 See c. ix.3 and note.

89 Of oak leaves, presented to a man who had saved the life of a fellow-citizen in battle.

90 M. Aurelius Commodus (b. 161), and M. Annius Verus (b. 162‑3). The ceremony took place on 12 October, 166; see Com. i.10; xi.13. Their effigies appear on coins (Cohen III2 p169 f.).

91 This title appears for the first time in inscriptions of 172; (p165)the probable date of its assumption was 15 October; see Com. xi.13, and cf. Dio, LXXI.3.5.

92 Called officially bellum Germanicum; see CIL VI.1549 = Dessau, Ins. Sel. 1100.

93 The Marcomanni and Quadi actually invaded Italy and laid siege to Aquileia; see Amm. Marc., XXIX.6.1. Furius Victorinus, the prefect of the guard, who was sent to resist them, was killed and a portion of his army annihilated; see c. xiv.5.

94 A very ancient purificatory ceremony, in which statues of the gods were placed on banqueting-couches in some public place and served with an offering on a table. According to tradition it was first celebrated in 399 B.C. in order to stay a plague; see Livy, V.13.5‑6.

95 It was supposed to have been brought from the East by the returning army of Verus (see Ver. viii.1‑2), and it ravaged Europe as far as the Rhine; see Amm. Marc. XXIII.6.24. It was still raging in 180 (see c. xxviii.4, and CIL III.5567 of 182), and it seems to have broken out again with great violence under Commodus; see Dio, LXII.14.3; Herodian, I.12.1‑2.

96 See note to c. xiii.1.

97 The war in Pannonia was prosecuted successfully, and after a victory the emperors were acclaimed Imperatores for the fifth time and gave honourable discharge to some soldiers; see CIL III p888 (dated 5 May, 167).

98 In 169 at Altinum in Venetia; see Ver. ix.10‑11.


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