Marcus Aurelius (as Augustus)

Reece Period attributed: Period 8

Obverse image of a coin of Marcus Aurelius (as Augustus)

Member of the The Antonines dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from 161 until 180.

Marcus Annius Verus was born in AD 121 and somehow caught the attention of the reigning emperor Hadrian. At age 18, he was adopted by Antoninus Pius along with Lucius Ceionius Commodus; he because deeply attached to his adoptive father.

Upon the death of Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius had himself and Lucius Verus proclaimed co-emperors, although it seems to have been his father’s wish that only Marcus Aurelius fulfil that position. Marcus Aurelius may have thus elevated his adoptive brother because he wished to have more time for philosophy.

Soon after their accession, the dual Caesars faced the Parthian War and, immediately after, the Plague. Germanic invaders also attacked in the north. Verus suffered a stroke in 168, and Marcus Aurelius was left to rule alone. He had to deal with continued revolts in Germany, as well as an attempt by the governor of Syria to gain more power.

Faustina the Younger, wife of Marcus Aurelius, conspired against him with this governor of Syria (Cassius). However, soldiers loyal to the emperor killed Cassius and the ruler himself sought to avoid further conspiracy. At this point, Marcus Aurelius’ son Commodus joined him in the struggles on the Danube frontier.

The emperor died after several years of body pains and a possible dependence on opium. He was buried in Hadrian’s mausoleum and remembered as a good emperor who met with undue hardship.

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Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Marcus Aurelius
  • Full names:
    • Title: Consul of Rome
    • Predecessor: Antoninus Pius
    • Successor: Commodus
    • Definition: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (/ɔːˈriːliəs/ aw-REE-lee-əs; 26 April 121 – 17 March 180) was Roman emperor from 161 to 180 and a Stoic philosopher. He was the last of the rulers known as the Five Good Emperors (a term coined some 13 centuries later by Niccolò Machiavelli), and the second to last emperor of the Pax Romana, (27 BC to AD 180), preceeding his son Commodus in an age of relative peace and stability for the Roman Empire. He served as Roman consul in 140, 145, and 161. Marcus was born during the reign of Hadrian to the emperor's nephew, the praetor Marcus Annius Verus, and the heiress Domitia Calvilla. His father died when he was three, and his mother and grandfather raised him. After Hadrian's adoptive son, Aelius Caesar, died in 138, the emperor adopted Marcus's uncle Antoninus Pius as his new heir. In turn, Antoninus adopted Marcus and Lucius, the son of Aelius. Hadrian died that year, and Antoninus became emperor. Now heir to the throne, Marcus studied Greek and Latin under tutors such as Herodes Atticus and Marcus Cornelius Fronto. He married Antoninus's daughter Faustina in 145. After Antoninus died in 161, Marcus acceded to the throne alongside his adoptive brother, who reigned under the name Lucius Verus. Under Marcus's rule, the Roman Empire witnessed heavy military conflict. In the East, the Romans fought successfully with a revitalized Parthian Empire and the rebel Kingdom of Armenia. Marcus defeated the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatian Iazyges in the Marcomannic Wars; however, these and other Germanic peoples began to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. He modified the silver purity of the Roman currency, the denarius. The persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire appears to have increased during Marcus's reign, but his involvement in this is unknown. The Antonine Plague broke out in 165 or 166 and devastated the population of the Roman Empire, causing the deaths of five to ten million people. Lucius Verus may have died from the plague in 169. Unlike some of his predecessors, Marcus chose not to adopt an heir. His children included Lucilla, who married Lucius, and Commodus, whose succession after Marcus has been a subject of debate among both contemporary and modern historians. The Column and Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius still stand in Rome, where they were erected in celebration of his military victories. Meditations, the writings of "the philosopher" – as contemporary biographers called Marcus – are a significant source of the modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy. They have been praised by fellow writers, philosophers, monarchs, and politicians centuries after his death.
    • Parents:
    • Birth place: Roman Italy, Rome
    • Death place: Sirmium, Pannonia
    • Spouse:
    • Other title(s):
      • List of Roman consuls
      • Consul of Rome
      • List of Roman emperors
    • Came After:
      • Quintus Antonius Isauricus
      • Lucius Plautius Lamia Silvanus
      • Marcus Annius Libo (consul 161)
      • Lucius Poblicola Priscus
      • Lucius Aurelius Flaccus
      • Quintus Camurius Numisius Junior
    • Came before:
      • Marcus Ceccius Justinus
      • Decimus Velius Fidus
      • Gaius Julius Bassus (consul 139)
      • Oclatinia gens
      • Lucius Marcius Celer Marcus Calpurnius Longus
      • Novius Sabinianus
    • Subjects on wikipedia:

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