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Part 1

This webpage reproduces part of the
Historia Augusta

published in the Loeb Classical Library,

The text is in the public domain.

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Lucius Verus

(Vol. I) Historia Augusta

 p171  The Life of Marcus Aurelius
Part 2

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 15 1 It was customary with Marcus to read, listen to, and sign documents at the circus-games; because of this habit he was openly ridiculed, it is said, by the people.

2 The freedmen Geminas and Agaclytus99 were very powerful in the reign of Marcus and Verus.

3 Such was Marcus' sense of honour,100 moreover, that although Verus' vices mightily offended him, he concealed and defended them; he also deified him after his death,101 aided and advanced his aunts and sisters by means of honours and pensions,102 honoured Verus himself with many sacrifices, 4 consecrated a flamen for him and a college of Antonine priests,103 and gave him all honours that are appointed for the deified. 5 There is no emperor who is not the victim of some evil tale, and Marcus is no exception. For it was bruited about, in truth, that he put Verus out of the way, either with poison — by cutting a sow's womb with a knife smeared on one side with poison,a and then offering the poisoned portion to his brother to eat, while keeping the harmless portion for himself1046 or, at least, by employing the physician Posidippus, who bled Verus, it is said, unseasonably. After Verus' death Cassius revolted from Marcus.105

 p173  [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 16 1 Such was Marcus' kindness toward his own family that he bestowed the insignia of every office on all his kin, while on his son,106 and an accursed and foul one he was, he hastened to bestow the name of Caesar,107 then afterward the priesthood,108 and, a little later, the title of imperator109 and a share in a triumph110 and the consulship. 2 It was at this time that Marcus, though acclaimed imperator, ran on foot in the Circus by the side of the triumphal car in which his son was seated.

3 After the death of Verus, Marcus Antoninus held the empire alone, a nobler man by far and more abounding in virtues, 4 especially as he was no longer hampered by Verus' faults, neither by those of excessive candour and hot-headed plain speaking, from which Verus suffered through natural folly, nor by those others which had particularly irked Marcus Antoninus even from his earliest years, the principles and habits of a depraved mind. 5 Such was Marcus' own repose of spirit that neither in grief nor in joy did he ever change countenance, being wholly given over to the Stoic philosophy, which he had not only learned from all the best masters,111 but also acquired for himself from every source. 6 For this reason Hadrian would have taken him for his own successor to the throne had not his youth prevented. 7 This intention, indeed, seems obvious from the fact that he chose Marcus to be the son-in‑law of Pius,112 in order that the direction of the Roman state might some time at least come into his hands, as to those of one well worthy.

 p175  [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 17 1 Toward the provinces from then on he acted with extreme restraint and consideration. He carried on a successful campaign against the Germans. 2 He himself singled out the Marcomannic war — a war which surpassed any in the memory of man — and waged it with both valour and success, and that at a time when a grievous pestilence had carried away thousands of civilians and soldiers.113 3 And so, by crushing the Marcomanni, the Sarmatians, the Vandals, and even the Quadi, he freed the Pannonias from bondage,114 and with Commodus his son, whom he had previously named Caesar, triumphed at Rome, as we told above.115 4 When he had drained the treasury for this war, moreover, and could not bring himself to impose any extraordinary tax on the provincials, he held a public sale in the Forum of the Deified Trajan116 of the imperial furnishings, and sold goblets of gold and crystal and murra,117 even flagons made for kings, his wife's silken gold-embroidered robes, and, indeed, even certain jewels which he had found in considerable numbers in a particularly holy cabinet of Hadrian's. 5º This sale lasted for two months, and such a store of gold was realised thereby, that after he had conducted the remainder of the Marcomannic war in full accordance with his plans, he gave the buyers to understand that if any of them wished to return his purchases and recover his money, he could do so. Nor did he make it unpleasant for anyone who did or did not return what he had bought.  p177 6 At this time, also, he granted permission to the more prominent men to hold banquets with the same pomp that he used himself and with servants similar to his own. 7 In the matter of public games, furthermore, he was so liberal as to present a hundred lions together in one performance and have them all killed with arrows.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 18 1 After he had ruled, then, with the good-will of all, and had been named and beloved variously as brother, father, or son by various men according to their several ages, in the eighteenth year of his reign and the sixty-first of his life he closed his last day.118 2 Such love for him was manifested on the day of the imperial funeral that none thought that men should lament him, since all were sure that he had been lent by the gods and had now returned to them. 3 Finally, before his funeral was held, so many say, the senate and people, not in separate places but sitting together, as was never done before or after, hailed him as a gracious god.

4 This man, so great, so good, and an associate of the gods both in life and in death, left one son Commodus; and had he been truly fortunate he would not have left a son. 5 It was not enough, indeed, that people of every age, sex, degree and rank in life, gave him all honours given to the gods, but also whosoever failed to keep the Emperor's image in his home, if his fortune were such that he could or should have done so, was deemed guilty of sacrilege. 6 Even to‑day, in fine, statues of Marcus Antoninus stand in many a home among the household gods. 7 Nor were there lacking men who observed that he foretold many things by dreams and were thereby themselves enabled to predict events that did come to pass.  p179 8 Therefore a temple was built for him and priests were appointed, dedicated to the service of the Antonines, both Sodales119 and flamens, and all else that the usage of old time decreed for a consecrated temple.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 19 1 Some say, and it seems plausible, that Commodus Antoninus, his son and successor, was not begotten by him, but in adultery; 2 they embroider this assertion, moreover, with a story current among the people. On a certain occasion, it was said, Faustina, the daughter of Pius and wife of Marcus, saw some gladiators pass by, and was inflamed for love of one of them; and afterwards, when suffering from a long illness, she confessed the passion to her husband. 3 And when Marcus reported this to the Chaldeans, it was their advice that Faustina should bathe in his blood and thus couch with her husband. 4 When this was done, the passion was indeed allayed, but their son Commodus was born a gladiator, not really a prince; 5 for afterwards as emperor he fought almost a thousand gladiatorial bouts before the eyes of the people, as shall be related in his life.120 6 This story is considered plausible, as a matter of fact, for the reason that the son of so virtuous a prince had habits worse than any trainer of gladiators, any play-actor, any fighter in the arena, anything brought into existence from the offscourings of all dishonour and crime. 7 Many writers, however, state that Commodus was really begotten in adultery, since it is generally known that Faustina, while at Caieta, used to choose out lovers from among the sailors and gladiators.121 8 When Marcus Antoninus was told about  p181 this, that he might divorce, if not kill her, he is reported to have said "If we send our wife away, we must also return her dowry". 9 And what was her dowry? the Empire, which, after he had been adopted at the wish of Hadrian, he had inherited from his father-in‑law Pius.

10 But truly such is the power of the life, the holiness, the serenity, and the righteousness of a good emperor that not even the scorn felt for his kin can sully his own good name. 11 For since Antoninus held ever to his moral code and was moved by no man's whispered machinations, men thought no less of him because his son was a gladiator, his wife infamous. 12 Even now he is called a god, which ever has seemed and even now seems right to you, most venerable Emperor Diocletian, who worship him among your divinities, not as you worship the others, but as one apart, and who often say that you desire, in life and gentleness, to be such a one as Marcus, even though, as far as philosophy is concerned, Plato himself, were he to return to life, could not be such a philosopher. So much, then, for these matters, told briefly and concisely.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 20 1 But as for the acts of Marcus Antoninus after the death of his brother,122 they are as follows: First of all, he conveyed his body to Rome and laid it in the tomb of his fathers.123 2 Then divine honours were ordered for Verus.124 Later, while rendering thanks to the senate for his brother's deification, he darkly hinted that all the strategic plans whereby the Parthians had been overcome were his own. 3 He added, besides, certain statements in which he indicated that now at length he would make a fresh beginning in the management of the state, now that Verus, who  p183 had seemed somewhat negligent, was removed. 4 And the senate took this precisely as it was said, so that Marcus seemed to be giving thanks that Verus had departed this life. 5 Afterwards he bestowed many privileges and much honour and money on all Verus' sisters, kin, and freedmen.125 For he was exceedingly solicitous about his good reputation, indeed he was wont to ask what men really said of him, and to correct whatever seemed justly blamed.

6 Just before setting out for the German war,126 and before the period of mourning had yet expired, he married his daughter127 to Claudius Pompeianus, the son of a Roman knight, and now advanced in years, a native of Antioch, whose birth was not sufficiently noble (though Marcus later made him consul twice), 7 since Marcus' daughter was an Augusta and the daughter of an Augusta. Indeed, Faustina and the girl who was given in marriage were both opposed to this match.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 21 1 Against the Mauri, when they wasted almost the whole of Spain,128 matters were brought to a successful conclusion by his legates; 2 and when the warriors of the Bucolici did many grievous things in Egypt,129 they were checked by Avidius Cassius, who later attempted to seize the throne.130 3 Just before his departure,131 while he was living in retreat at Praeneste, Marcus lost his seven-year‑old son, by name Verus Caesar,132 from an operation on a tumour under his ear. 4 For no more than five days did he mourn him; and even during this period, when consulted on public affairs he gave some time to them.  p185 And because the games of Jupiter Optimus Maximus133 were then in progress 5 and he did not wish to have them interrupted by public mourning, he merely ordered that statues should be decreed for his dead son, that a golden image of him should be carried in procession at the Circus, and that his name should be inserted in the song of the Salii.134

6 And since the pestilence135 was still raging at this time, he both zealously revived the worship of the gods and trained slaves for military service — just as had been done in the Punic war — whom he called Volunteers, after the example of the Volones.136 7 He armed gladiators also, calling them the Compliant, and turned even the bandits of Dalmatia and Dardania137 into soldiers. He armed the Diogmitae,138 besides, and even hired auxiliaries from among the Germans for service against Germans. 8 And besides all this, he proceeded with all care to enrol legions139 for the Marcomannic and German war. 9 And lest all this prove burdensome to the provinces, he held an auction of the palace furnishings in the Forum of the Deified Trajan, as we have related,140 and sold there, besides robes and goblets and golden flagons, even statues and paintings by great artists. 10 He overwhelmed the Marcomanni while they were crossing the Danube,141 and restored the plunder to the provincials.  p187 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 22 1 Then, from the borders of Illyricum even into Gaul, all the nations banded together against us — the Marcomanni, Varistae, Hermunduri and Quadi, the Suebians, Sarmatians, Lacringes and Buri, these and certain others together with the Victuali, namely, Osi, Bessi, Cobotes, Roxolani, Bastarnae, Alani, Peucini, and finally, the Costoboci. Furthermore, war threatened in Parthia and Britain. 2 Thereupon, by immense labour on his own part, while his soldiers reflected his energy, and both legates and prefects of the guard led the host, he conquered these exceedingly fierce peoples, accepted the surrender of the Marcomanni, and brought a great number of them to Italy.142

3 Always before making any move, he conferred with the foremost men143 concerning matters not only of war but also of civil life. 4 This saying particularly was ever on his lips: "It is juster that I should yield to the counsel of such a number of such friends than that such a number of such friends should yield to my wishes, who am but one". 5 But because Marcus, as a result of his system of philosophy, seemed harsh in his military discipline and indeed in his life in general, he was bitterly assailed; 6 to all who spoke ill of him, however, he made reply either in speeches or in pamphlets. 7 And because in this German, or Marcomannic, war, or rather I should say in this "War of Many Nations," many nobles perished, for all of whom he erected statues in the Forum of Trajan,144 8 his friends often urged him to abandon the war and return to Rome. He, however, disregarded this advice and stood his ground, nor did he withdraw before he had brought all the wars to a conclusion.145 9 Several proconsular provinces he  p189 changed into consular,146 and several consular provinces into proconsular147 or praetorian,148 according to the exigencies of war. 10 He checked disturbances among the Sequani by a rebuke and by his personal influence; 11 and in Spain,149 likewise, he quieted the disturbances which had arisen in Lusitania. 12 And having summoned his son Commodus to the border of the empire, he gave him the toga virilis,150 in honour of which he distributed largess among the people,151 and appointed him consul before the legal age.152

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 23 1 He was always displeased at hearing that anyone had been outlawed by the prefect of the city. 2 He himself was very sparing of the public money in giving largess153 — a fact which we mention rather in praise than in disparagement — 3 but nevertheless he gave financial assistance to the deserving, furnished aid to towns on the brink of ruin,154 and, when necessity demanded, cancelled tribute or taxes.155 4 And  p191 while absent from Rome he left forceful instructions that the amusements of the Roman people should be provided for by the richest givers of public spectacles, 5 because, when he took the gladiators away to the war, there was talk among the people that he intended to deprive them of their amusements and thereby drive them to the study of philosophy. 6 Indeed, he had ordered that the actors of pantomimes should begin their performances nine days later than usual in order that business might not be interfered with. 7 There was talk, as we mentioned above,156 about his wife's intrigues with pantomimists; however, he cleared her of all these charges in his letters. 8 He forbade riding and driving within the limits of any city. He abolished common baths for both sexes.157 He reformed the morals of the matrons and young nobles which were growing lax. He separated the sacred rites of Serapis from the miscellaneous ceremonies of the Pelusia.158 9 There was a report, furthermore, that certain men masquerading as philosophers had been making trouble both for the state and for private citizens; but this charge he refuted.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 24 1 It was customary with Antoninus to punish all crimes with lighter penalties than were usually inflicted by the laws; although at times, toward those who were clearly guilty of serious crimes he remained implacable. 2 He himself held those trials of distinguished men which involved the death-penalty, and always with the greatest justice. Once, indeed, he rebuked a praetor who heard the pleas of accused men in too summary a fashion, and ordered  p193 him to hold the trials again, saying that it was a matter of concern to the honour of the accused that they should be heard by a judge who really represented the people. 3 He scrupulously observed justice, moreover, even in his dealings with captive enemies. He settled innumerable foreigners on Roman soil.159 4 By his prayers he summoned a thunderbolt from heaven against a war-engine of the enemy, and successfully besought rain for his men when they were suffering from thirst.160

5 He wished to make a province of Marcomannia and likewise of Sarmatia,161 and he would have done so 6 had not Avidius Cassius just then raised a rebellion in the East.162 This man proclaimed himself emperor, some say, at the wish of Faustina, who was now in despair over her husband's death; 7 others, however, say that Cassius proclaimed himself emperor after spreading false rumours of Antoninus' death, and indeed he had called him the Deified. 8 Antoninus was not much disturbed by this revolt, nor did he adopt harsh measures against Cassius' dear ones. 9 The senate, however, declared Cassius a public enemy and confiscated his property to the public treasury. [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 25 1 The Emperor, then, abandoning the Sarmatian and Marcomannic wars, set out against him. 2 At Rome there was a panic for fear that Cassius would arrive during Antoninus' absence; but he was speedily slain and his head was brought to Antoninus. 3 Even then, Marcus did not rejoice at Cassius' death, and gave  p195 orders that his head should be buried. 4 Maecianus,163 Cassius' ally, in whose charge Alexandria had been placed, was killed by the army; likewise his prefect of the guard — for he had appointed one — was also slain. 5 Marcus then forbade the senate to impose any heavy punishment upon those who had conspired in this revolt; 6 and at the same time, in order that his reign might escape such a stain, he requested that during his rule no senator should be executed.164 7 Those who had been exiled, moreover, he ordered to be recalled; and there were only a very few of the centurions who suffered the death-penalty. 8 He pardoned the communities which had sided with Cassius, and even went so far as to pardon the citizens of Antioch, who had said many things in support of Cassius and in opposition to himself. 9 But he did abolish their games and public meetings, including assemblies of every kind, and issued a very severe edict against the people themselves. 10 And yet a speech which Marcus delivered to his friends, reported by Marius Maximus, brands them as rebels. 11 And finally, he refused to visit Antioch when he journeyed to Syria,165 12 nor would he visit Cyrrhus, the home of Cassius. Later on, however, he did visit Antioch. Alexandria, when he stayed there, he treated with clemency.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 26 1 He conducted many negotiations with kings, and ratified peace with all the kings and satraps of Persia when they came to meet him. 2 He was exceedingly beloved by all the eastern provinces, and on many, indeed, he left the imprint of philosophy. 3 While in Egypt he conducted himself like a  p197 private citizen and a philosopher at all the stadia, temples, and in fact everywhere. And although the citizens of Alexandria had been outspoken in wishing Cassius success, he forgave everything and left his daughter among them. 4 And now, in the village of Halala, in the foothills of Mount Taurus, he lost his wife Faustina, who succumbed to a sudden illness.166 5 He asked the senate to decree her divine honours and a temple, and likewise delivered a eulogy of her, although she had suffered grievously from the reputation of lewdness.167 Of this, however, Antoninus was either ignorant or affected ignorance. 6 He established a new order of Faustinian girls168 in honour of his dead wife, 7 expressed his pleasure at her deification by the senate,169 8 and because she had accompanied him on his summer campaign, called her "Mother of the Camp".170 9 And besides this, he made the village where Faustina died a colony, and there built a temple in her honour. This, however, was afterwards consecrated to Elagabalus.171

10 With characteristic clemency, he suffered rather than ordered the execution of Cassius, 11 while Heliodorus, the son of Cassius, was merely banished, and others of his children exiled but allowed part of their father's property.172 12 Cassius's sons, moreover, were granted over half their father's estate and were enriched besides with sums of gold and silver, while the women of the family were presented with jewels. Indeed, Alexandria, Cassius' daughter, and Druncianus, his son-in‑law, were allowed to travel wherever  p199 they wished, and were even put under the protection of the Emperor's uncle by marriage. 13 And further than this, he grieved at Cassius' death, saying that he had wished to complete his reign without shedding the blood of a single senator.173

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 27 1 After he had settled affairs in the East he came to Athens, and had himself initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries174 in order to prove that he was innocent of any wrong-doing, and he entered the sanctuary unattended. 2 Afterwards, when returning to Italy, he encountered a violent storm on the way. 3 Then, reaching Italy by way of Brundisium, he donned the toga175 and bade his troops do likewise, nor indeed during his reign were the soldiers ever clad in the military cloak.176 4 When he reached Rome he triumphed,177 then hastened to Lavinium. 5 Presently he appointed Commodus his colleague in the tribunician power,178 bestowed largess upon the people,179 and gave marvellous games; shortly thereafter he remedied many civil abuses, 6 and set a limit to the expense of gladiatorial shows. 7 Ever on his lips was a saying of Plato's, that those states prospered where the philosophers were kings or the kings philosophers. 8 He united his son in marriage with the daughter of Bruttius Praesens,180 performing the ceremony in the manner of ordinary citizens; and in celebration of the marriage he gave largess to the people.

 p201  9 He then turned his attention to completing the war,181 in the conduct of which he died. During this time the behaviour of his son steadily fell away from the standard the Emperor had set for himself. 10 For three years thereafter he waged war with the Marcomanni, the Hermunduri, the Sarmatians, and the Quadi, and had he lived a year longer he would have made these regions provinces. 11 Two days before his death, it is said, he summoned his friends and expressed the same opinion about his son that Philip expressed about Alexander when he too thought poorly of his son,182 and added that it grieved him exceedingly to leave a son behind him. 12 For already Commodus had made it clear that he was base and cruel.183

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 28 1 He died in the following manner:184 When he began to grow ill, he summoned his son and besought him first of all not to think lightly of what remained of the war, lest he seem a traitor to the state. 2 And when his son replied that his first desire was good health, he allowed him to do as he wished,185 only asking him to wait a few days and not leave at once. 3 Then, being eager to die, he refrained from eating or drinking, and so aggravated the disease. 4 On the sixth day he summoned his friends, and with derision for all human affairs and scorn for death, said to them: "Why do you weep  p203 for me, instead of thinking about the pestilence186 and about death which is the common lot of us all?" 5 And when they were about to retire he groaned and said: "If you now grant me leave to go, I bid you farewell and pass on before." 6 And when he was asked to whom he commended his son he replied: "To you,187 if he prove worthy, and to the immortal gods". 7 The army, when they learned of his sickness, lamented loudly, for they loved him singularly. 8 On the seventh day he was weary and admitted only his son, and even him he at once sent away in fear that he would catch the disease. 9 And when his son had gone, he covered his head as though he wished to sleep and during the night he breathed his last.188 10 It is said that he foresaw that after his death Commodus would turn out as he actually did, and expressed the wish that his son might die, lest, as he himself said, he should become another Nero, Caligula, or Domitian.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 29 1 It is held to Marcus' discredit that he advanced his wife's lovers, Tertullus and Tutilius189 and Orfitus and Moderatus, to various offices of honour, although he had caught Tertullus in the very act of breakfasting with his wife. 2 In regard to this man the following dialogue was spoken on the stage in the presence of Antoninus himself. The Fool asked the Slave the name of his wife's lover and the Slave answered "Tullus" three times; and when the Fool kept on asking, the Slave replied, "I have already told you thrice Tullus is his name".190 3 But the city-populace and others besides talked a great deal about this incident and found fault with Antoninus for his forbearance.

 p205  4 Previous to his death, and before he returned to the Marcomannic war, he swore in the Capitol that no senator had been executed with his knowledge and consent, and said that had he known he would have spared even the insurgents.191 5 Nothing did he fear and deprecate more than a reputation for covetousness, a charge of which he tried to clear himself in many letters. 6 Some maintain — and held it a fault — that he was insincere and not as guileless as he seemed, indeed not as guileless as either Pius or Verus had been. 7 Others accused him of encouraging the arrogance of the court by keeping his friends from general social intercourse and from banquets.

8 His parents were deified at his command, and even his parents' friends, after their death, he honoured with statues.

9 He did not readily accept the version of those who were partisans in any matter, but always searched long and carefully for the truth.

10 After the death of Faustina, Fabia192 tried to manoeuvre a marriage with him. But he took a concubine instead, the daughter of a steward of his wife's, rather than put a stepmother over so many children.

The Editor's Notes:

99 Cf. Ver. ix.3.

100 The section of the vita from this point through c. xix is a later interpolation; see Intro., p. xxii.

101 Cf. c. xx.1‑2, and the coins of Divus Verus with the legend Consecratio; see Cohen, III2, p176 f., Nos. 53‑59.

102 Cf. c. xx.5.

103 See note to Hadr. xxvii.3, and Pius, xiii.4. This priesthood was now called sodales Antoniniani Veriani, after (p171)Marcus' deification Marciani was added, after Pertinax' death Helviani (Pert., xv.4), after Severus' Severiani (CIL VI.1365), after Alexander's Alexandriani (Alex., lxiii.4).

104 Cf. Ver., xi.2; Dio, LXXI.3.1. According to another story, he was poisoned by Faustina; see Ver., x.1‑5.

105 In 175; see c. xxiv.6 f.; Av. Cass., vii, f.

106 i.e., Commodus.

107 See c. xii.8 and note.

108 On 20 January, 175; see Com.i.10; xii.1. On the priesthood held by sons of emperors see note to c. vi.3.

109 On 27 November, 176; see Com.ii.4; xii.4.

110 On 23 December, 176; see Com.ii.4; xii.5. This, however, seems not to have been the triumph held by Marcus in celebration of his victory in Pannonia; see c. xvii.3 and note.

111 Cf. c. ii.6‑iii.3.

112 This is an error, for Hadrian betrothed him to the daughter of Aelius Caesar; see c. iv.5 and vi.2.

113 See c. xiii.3.

114 This sentence sums up the war from Marcus' departure from Rome in October, 169 (cf. coins with Profectio Augusti, Cohen, III2, p51, No. 500) to the victory over the Sarmatians in 175, after which Marcus was acclaimed Imperator for the eighth time and assumed the title Sarmaticus; see c. xxiv.5 and Cohen, III2, p91 f., Nos. 916‑925.

115 See c. xvi.2. His triumph over the Germans and the Sarmatians was held in 176 after his return from the East; see c. xxvii.3; Cohen, III2, p17, No. 154, and p18, No. 164; CIL VI.1014 = Dessau, Ins. Sel., 374. Since the coins and the inscriptions date this triumph in the 30th year of the tribunician (p175)power of Marcus (10 December, 175 - 9 December, 176), and since the triumph of Commodus was held on 23 December, 176, the statement that Commodus triumphed with his father, as made here and in Com., ii.4, must be erroneous.

116 See note to Hadr., vii.6.

117 Probably a variety of agate; see J. Marquardt, Privatleben d. Römer2, II, p765 f.

118 See c. xxviii.

119 See note to Hadr., xxvii.3, and c. xv.4.

120 See Com.xi.12; xii.11.

121 For similar stories see c. xxiii.7 and xxix.1‑3; Victor. Caes., xvi.2. Evidence to the contrary seems to be afforded (p179)by Marcus' own affection and respect for her; see εἰς ἑαυτ. I.17.7.

122 See c. xiv.8. The interpolated section ends with c. xix; see note to c. xv.3.

123 i.e., the Tomb of Hadrian; see Ver., xi.1. His sepulchral inscription is CIL VI.991 = Dessau, Ins. Sel., 369.

124 Cf. c. xv.3‑4.

125 Cf. c. xv.3.

126 After his return to Rome with the body of Verus. He set out in October, 169; see note to c. xvii.3.

127 Lucilla, the widow of Verus.

128 Cf. c. xxii.11. The date is probably 172‑173, see Sev., ii.4.

129 According to Av. Cass., vi.7, this statement is taken from Marius Maximus' Life of Marcus. The rebellion is somewhat more fully described in Dio, LXXI.4. The Boukoloi, a tribe of herdsmen and brigands, lived in the NW of the Delta, not far from Alexandria. According to Dio's chronology, the rebellion happened after Marcus' assumption of the name Germanicus, i.e. in 172‑173.

130 See c. xxiv.6 f.; Av. Cass. vii f.

131 i.e., for the German war; see c. xx.6.

132 M. Annius Verus; see note to c. xii.8.

133 Probably the Ludi Capitolini, held on 15 October.

134 Germanicus' name had been similarly inserted in this song after his death; see Tac. Ann., II.82.

135 See c. xiii.3.

136 The name given to the slaves who volunteered for military service after the defeat at Cannae in the Second Punic War; see Livy, XXII.57.11, and Festus, p370.

137 The district east of southern Dalmatia; it is now the southern portion of the kingdom of Serbia.

138 The Diogmitai were the military police maintained by the Greek cities. They were also called upon to perform military service — the suppression of brigands — in 368; see Amm. Marc., XXVII.9.6.

139 These new legions were named Legio II Pia and Legio (p185)III Concordia; see CIL III.1980. They were afterwards called Legio II and III Italica; see Dio, LV.24.4.

140 See c. xvii.4‑5.

141 This is probably the victory commemorated by coins of 172 with a representation of Marcus and his soldiers crossing a bridge, presumably over the Danube; see Cohen, III2, p99 f., Nos. 999‑1001. Other coins of this year bear the legend Germania Subacta; see Cohen, III2, p23, Nos. 215‑216. It was in this year too that Marcus took the name Germanicus; see CIL III.1450.

142 Cf. c. xxiv.3.

143 i.e., his consilium; see Hadr., viii.9 and note.

144 See note to Hadr., vii.6.

145 But see c. xxiv.5 and xxv.1.

146 i.e., he took them from under the control of the senate and made them imperial provinces governed by legates of consular rank; see note to Hadr., iii.9.

147 i.e., transferred from the control of the emperor to that of the senate.

148 Either the author fails to understand what is trying to say here, or an omission in the text must be assumed, such as Hirschfeld's proposed insertion ex procuratoriis. He seems to mean that certain provinces now received as governors legates of praetorian rank (see note to Hadr., iii.9). As there is no evidence for the supposition that any provinces were transferred from the "consular" class to the "praetorian," it must be assumed that the provinces in question were previously governed by equestrian procurators. Such a transfer from "procuratory" to "praetorian" provinces was actually made under Marcus in the cases of Raetia and Noricum, to which were sent the two new legions mentioned in c. xxi.8.

149 Cf. c. xxi.1.

150 See Com.ii.2; xii.3; Dio, LXXI.22.2. The ceremony took place on the Danube frontier immediately prior to Marcus' departure for Syria.

151 Commemorated on coins of 175 with the legend Liberalitas Aug(usti) VI; see Cohen, III2, p43, Nos. 416‑420.

152 Under the empire the minimum age for the consulship seems to have been 33. See also note to Pius, vi.10.

153 Yet his coins record seven different largesses to the populace; see Cohen, III2, p41 f., Nos. 401‑427. See also c. xxvii.5 and note. His donation to the soldiers on his accession was unusually large (see c. vii.9), but on another occasion he is said to have refused the army's request for a donation; see Dio, LXXI.3.3.

154 See also c. xi.3. He also came to the relief of Smyrna when destroyed by an earthquake in 178; see Dio, LXXI.32.2.

155 In 178 all arrears due the treasury or the privy-purse were cancelled; see Dio, LXXI.32.2. This was merely an application of the principle established by Hadrian; see note to Hadr., vii.6.

156 See c. xix.

157 Cf. Hadr., xviii.10.

158 The Serapia, the annual festival of the Egyptian deity Serapis, was celebrated on 25 April; see Calendar of Philocalus (CIL I2, p262). A festival called Pelusia, celebrating the annual overflow of the Nile, was held on 20 March; see Lydus, de Mens., IV.40. The statement of the biographer has been explained by Mommsen (CIL I2 p313) as meaning that the customary licence of the Pelusia was limited in order to save the festival of Serapis from desecration. But in view of the interval between the dates this explanation is not altogether convincing; furthermore, licence is an unnatural meaning for vulgaritas and sacra Serapidis does not necessarily refer to the Serapia. The sentence seems rather (p191)to mean that the rites of Serapis were isolated from the mass of Egyptian cults celebrated at the Pelusia; so also Wilcken, Klio, IX p131 f.

159 Cf. c. xxii.2.

160 In the war against the Quadi in 174; see Dio, LXXI.8‑10. According to Dio, the thunder-storm was sent by Hermes at the prayer of an Egyptian magician. The Christian legend, on the other hand, declared that the storm was an answer to the prayers of the Twelfth Legion, the Fulminata, entirely composed of Christians; see Xiphilinus in Dio, LXII.9.

161 In 175, after a victory so decisive that Marcus was acclaimed Imperator for the eighth time, and took the title Sarmaticus; see Cohen, III2, p91 f., Nos. 916‑925; CIL VIII.2276.

162 Cf. Av. Cass., vii f.

163 Possibly, though not probably, the jurist L. Volusius Maecianus (see Pius, XII.1).

164 For his general policy in the punishment of senators, see c. x.6.

165 Faustina and Commodus seem to have accompanied him (p195)on this journey through Syria and Egypt; see c. xxvi.4 and Com., ii.3.

166 According to Dio, LXXI.29.1, her death was by some attributed to suicide.

167 Cf. c. xix.

168 Cf. Pius, viii.1. See also CIL VI.10222.

169 Commemorated by coins of Diva Faustina, with the legend Consecratio; see Cohen, III2, p141 f., Nos. 65‑83. She also received the name Pia; see the coins and CIL VI.1019 = Dessau, Ins. Sel., 382.

170 After his victory over the Quadi in 174; see Dio, LXXI.10.5. The title appears on her coins issued both before and after her deification; see Cohen, III2, p149 f., Nos. 159‑167.

171 The sun-god of Emesa in Syria, whose worship was introduced into Rome by the Emperor Elagabalus; see Carac., xi.7; Hel., i.5 f.

172 Cf. Av. Cass., ix.2‑4.

173 Cf. c. xxv.6.

174 As Hadrian had done; see Hadr., xiii.1.

175 See Hadr., xxii.2‑3. His return was commemorated by coins with the legend Fort(una) Red(ux); see Cohen, III2, p22, No. 210.

176 i.e., while they were in Italy.

177 See note to c. xvii.3.

178 On the significance of this appointment see Pius, iv.8 and note. It is commemorated on coins of Commodus of 177; see Cohen, III2, p326 f., Nos. 733‑738.

179 According to Dio, LXXI.32.1, each citizen received eight (p199)aurei (one for each year of Marcus' absence from Rome), a largess greater than had ever been given before.

180 Her name was Bruttia Crispina; see Dio, LXXI.31.1, and CIL X.408 = Dessau, Ins. Sel., 1117. The marriage was commemorated by coins, Cohen, III2, p388 f. She was afterwards banished on a charge of adultery and put to death in exile; see Dio, LXXII.4.6.

181 He and Commodus left Rome for Pannonia on 3 August, 178; see Com., xii.6. This war seems to have been called the Expeditio Germanica Secunda (CIL II.4114, and VI.8541 = Dessau, Ins. Sel., 1140 and 1573) or the Expeditio Sarmatica (CIL X.408 = Dessau, 1117).

182 Probably uttered during the period of estrangement when Alexander was living in Illyricum; see Plut., Alex., ix.

183 Cf. Com., i.7‑9.

184 His death occurred at Sirmium (Mitrowitz on the Save) according to Tertullian, Apologet., 25, at Vindobona (Vienna) according to Victor, Caes., XVI.12, Epit., XVI.12. According to a story preserved by Dio (LXXI.33.4), his physicians poisoned him in order to please Commodus. It has been supposed that he died of the plague (cf. §§ 4 and 8), but without very good reason.

185 Apparently, to abandon the campaign; cf. Com., iii.5.

186 See note to c. xiii.3.

187 Cf. Dio, LXXI.34.1, and Herodian, I.4.

188 Cf. Dio, LXII.33.4.

189 See note to Com., viii.1.

190 Ter-tullus means "Thrice-tullus".

191 See c. x.6; xxv.5‑6; xxvi.13.

192 He had been betrothed to her in his youth; see c. iv.5.

Thayer's Note:

a Now just in case you're chuckling to yourself that you'd never have been had that way — sow's womb was, although a delicacy, a standard item of food. Today the gossips would be hinting darkly at something like foie gras.

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