Antoninus Pius

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Antoninus Pius
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{{short description|2nd-century Roman Emperor}}

name Antoninus Pius

Augustus (honorific)>Augustus| full name = Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus| regnal name = *Titus Aelius Antoninus Caesar (as Caesar)
    image Antoninus Pius Glyptothek Munich 337 Detail.jpg| caption = Bust of Antoninus Pius, at Glyptothek, Munich.
    7 March 161| predecessor = Hadrian| successor = Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus (co-emperors)
    Faustina the Elder>Annia Galeria Faustina Nerva–Antonine dynasty>Nerva-Antonine| house-type = Imperial Dynasty
    • Arria Fadilla
    • Vibia Sabina (adoptive, from 25 February 138)BOOK, Wotton, William, The history of Rome: from the death of Antoninus Pius, to the death of Severus Alexander, 1701, T. Goodwin, 152,weblink }}| birth_date = 19 September 86
    Lanuvium, Italia (Roman Empire)>Italy| death_date = 7 March 161 (aged 74)| death_place = LoriumCastel Sant'Angelo>Hadrian's Mausoleum
    }File:Roman coins denarius Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius.jpg|{{largethumb}}|Denarius, struck 140 AD with portrait of Antoninus Pius (obverse) and his adoptive son (Marcus Aurelius]] (reverse). Inscription: ANTIVS P. P., TR. P., CO[N]S. III / AVRELIVS CAES. AVG. PII F. CO[N]S.){{Nerva–Antonine dynasty}}Antoninus Pius ({{IPAc-en|ˌ|æ|n|t|ə|ˈ|n|aɪ|n|ə|s|_|ˈ|p|aɪ|ə|s}}; ;Brian Campbell, Lawrence A. Tritle (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World, Oxford University Press, 2013, p. xxv.In Classical Latin, Antoninus' name would be inscribed as TITVS AELIVS HADRIANVS ANTONINVS AVGVSTVS PIVS. 19 September 86{{snd}}7 March 161), also known as Antoninus, was Roman emperor from 138 to 161. He was one of the Five Good Emperors in the Nerva–Antonine dynasty and the Aurelii.Bowman, p. 150Born into a senatorial family, Antoninus held various offices during the reign of emperor Hadrian, who adopted him as his son and successor shortly before his death. Antoninus acquired the cognomen Pius after his accession to the throne, either because he compelled the Senate to deify his adoptive father,Birley, p. 54; Dio, 70:1:2 or because he had saved senators sentenced to death by Hadrian in his later years.Birley, p. 55, citing the Historia Augusta, Life of Hadrian 24.4 His reign is notable for the peaceful state of the Empire, with no major revolts or military incursions during this time, and for his governing without ever leaving Italy. A successful military campaign in southern Scotland early in his reign resulted in the construction of the Antonine Wall. Antoninus was an effective administrator, leaving his successors a large surplus in the treasury, expanding free access to drinking water throughout the Empire, encouraging legal conformity, and facilitating the enfranchisement of freed slaves. He died of illness in 161 and was succeeded by his adopted sons Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus as co-emperors.

    Early life

    Childhood and family

    He was born as the only child of Titus Aurelius Fulvus, consul in 86,Bowman, p. 150 whose family came from Nemausus (modern Nîmes).Bury, p. 523 Titus Aurelius Fulvius was the son of a senator of the same name, who, as legate of Legio III Gallica, had supported Vespasian in his bid to the Imperial office and been rewarded with a suffect consulship, plus an ordinary one under Domitian in 85. The Aurelii Fulvii were therefore a relatively new senatorial family from Gallia Narbonensis whose rise to prominence was supported by the Flavians.THESIS, Hugo Thomas Dupuis, Whitfield, The rise of Nemausus from Augustus to Antoninus Pius: a prosopographical study of Nemausian senators and equestrians, MA, Queen's University, Ontario, 2012, 49–57,weblink 24 January 2016, The link between Antoninus' family and their home province explains the increasing importance of the post of Proconsul of Gallia Narbonensis during the late Second Century.JOURNAL, Michel, Gayraud, Le proconsulat de Narbonnaise sous le Haut-Empire, Revue des Études Anciennes, 72, 1970, 3–4, 344–363,weblink 24 January 2016, Antoninus was born near LanuviumBOOK, Harvey, Paul B., Religion in republican Italy, Cambridge University Press, 2006, 134, and his mother was Arria Fadilla. Antoninus’ father died shortly after his 89 ordinary consulship, and Antoninus was raised by his maternal grandfather Gnaeus Arrius Antoninus,Bowman, p. 150 reputed by contemporaries to be a man of integrity and culture and a friend of Pliny the Younger.{{sfn|Chisholm|1911}} The Arrii Antonini were an older senatorial family from Italy, very influential during Nerva's reign. Arria Fadilla, Antoninus' mother, married afterwards Publius Julius Lupus, suffect consul in 98; from that marriage came two daughters, Arria Lupula and Julia Fadilla.Birley, p. 242; Historia Augusta, Life of Antoninus Pius 1:6

    Marriage and children

    Some time between 110 and 115, Antoninus married Annia Galeria Faustina the Elder.Weigel, Antoninus Pius They are believed to have enjoyed a happy marriage. Faustina was the daughter of consul Marcus Annius VerusBowman, p. 150 and Rupilia Faustina (a half-sister to the Empress Vibia Sabina). Faustina was a beautiful woman, and despite (basically unproven) rumours about her character, it is clear that Antoninus cared for her deeply.BOOK, Vagi, David L., Coinage and History of the Roman Empire, C. 82 B.C. – A.D. 480: History, 2000, Taylor & Francis, 9781579583163, 240,weblink Faustina bore Antoninus four children, two sons and two daughters.Birley, p. 34; Historia Augusta, Life of Antoninus Pius 1:7 They were:
    • Marcus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus (died before 138); his sepulchral inscription has been found at the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome.Magie, David, Historia Augusta (1921), Life of Antoninus Pius, Note 6The inscription is {{CIL|06|00988}}.
    • Marcus Galerius Aurelius Antoninus (died before 138); his sepulchral inscription has been found at the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome.The inscription is {{CIL|06|00989}}. His name appears on a Greek Imperial coin.
    • Aurelia Fadilla (died in 135); she married Lucius Plautius Lamia Silvanus, consul 145. She appeared to have no children with her husband; and her sepulchral inscription has been found in Italy.Magie, David, Historia Augusta (1921), Life of Antoninus Pius, Note 7
    • Annia Galeria Faustina Minor or Faustina the Younger (between 125–130–175), a future Roman Empress, married her maternal cousin Marcus Aurelius in 146.
    When Faustina died in 141, Antoninus was greatly distressed.Bury, p. 528 In honour of her memory, he asked the Senate to deify her as a goddess, and authorised the construction of a temple to be built in the Roman Forum in her name, with priestesses serving in her temple.Birley, p. 77; Historia Augusta, Life of Antoninus Pius 6:7 He had various coins with her portrait struck in her honor. These coins were scripted ‘DIVA FAUSTINA’ and were elaborately decorated. He further created a charity which he founded and called it Puellae Faustinianae or Girls of Faustina, which assisted destitute girls of good family.JOURNAL, Fernand, Daucé, Découverte à Rennes d'une pièce de Faustine jeune, Annales de Bretagne, 75, 1, 1968, 270–276,weblink 23 October 2015, Finally, Antoninus created a new alimenta (see Grain supply to the city of Rome).The emperor never remarried. Instead, he lived with Galena Lysistrata, one of Faustina's freed women. Concubinage was a form of female companionship sometimes chosen by powerful men in Ancient Rome, especially widowers like Vespasian, and Marcus Aurelius. Their union could not produce any legitimate offspring who could threaten any heirs, such as those of Antoninus. Also, as one could not have a wife and an official concubine (or two concubines) at the same time, Antoninus avoided being pressed into a marriage with a noblewoman from another family (later, Marcus Aurelius would also reject the advances of his former fiancée Ceionia Fabia, Lucius Verus's sister, on the grounds of protecting his children from a stepmother, and took a concubine instead).BOOK, Strong, Anise K., Prostitutes and Matrons in the Roman World, 2016, Cambridge University Press, 9781107148758, 85,weblink BOOK, Lind, Goran, Common Law Marriage: A Legal Institution for Cohabitation, 2008, Oxford University Press, 9780199710539, 72,weblink BOOK, Birley, Anthony R, Marcus Aurelius: A Biography, 2012, Routledge, 9781134695690, 33,weblink

    Favour with Hadrian

    File:Antoninus Pius, sculpture of c.250 AD, Albertinum, Dresden.jpg|thumb|Antoninus Pius, sculpture of c.250 AD, AlbertinumAlbertinumHaving filled the offices of quaestor and praetor with more than usual success,Traver, Andrew G., From polis to empire, the ancient world, c. 800 B.C. – A.D. 500, (2002) p. 33; Historia Augusta, Life of Antoninus Pius 2:9 he obtained the consulship in 120. He was next appointed by the Emperor Hadrian as one of the four proconsuls to administer Italia,Bowman, p. 149 then greatly increased his reputation by his conduct as proconsul of Asia, probably during 134–135.Bowman, p. 149He acquired much favor with Hadrian, who adopted him as his son and successor on 25 February 138,Bowman, p. 148 after the death of his first adopted son Lucius Aelius,Bury, p. 517 on the condition that Antoninus would in turn adopt Marcus Annius Verus, the son of his wife's brother, and Lucius, son of Lucius Aelius, who afterwards became the emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.


    (File:Roman Empire in 150 AD.png|thumb|The Roman Empire during the reign of Antoninus Pius.)On his accession, Antoninus' name and style became Imperator Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pontifex Maximus. One of his first acts as Emperor was to persuade the Senate to grant divine honours to Hadrian, which they had at first refused;Bowman, p. 151 his efforts to persuade the Senate to grant these honours is the most likely reason given for his title of Pius (dutiful in affection; compare pietas).Birley, p. 55 Two other reasons for this title are that he would support his aged father-in-law with his hand at Senate meetings, and that he had saved those men that Hadrian, during his period of ill-health, had condemned to death.Immediately after Hadrian's death, Antoninus approached Marcus and requested that his marriage arrangements be amended: Marcus' betrothal to Ceionia Fabia would be annulled, and he would be betrothed to Faustina, Antoninus' daughter, instead. Faustina's betrothal to Ceionia's brother Lucius Commodus would also have to be annulled. Marcus consented to Antoninus' proposal.HA Marcus 6.2; Verus 2.3–4; Birley, Marcus Aurelius, 53–54.Antoninus built temples, theaters, and mausoleums, promoted the arts and sciences, and bestowed honours and financial rewards upon the teachers of rhetoric and philosophy. Antoninus made few initial changes when he became emperor, leaving intact as far as possible the arrangements instituted by Hadrian.Bowman, p. 151 Epigraphical and prosopographical research has revealed that Antoninus' imperial ruling team centered around a group of closely knit senatorial families, most of them members of the priestly congregation for the cult of Hadrian, the sodales Hadrianales. According to the German historian H.G. Pflaum, prosopographical research of Antoninus' ruling team allows us to grasp the deeply conservative character of the ruling senatorial caste.H.G. Pflaum, "Les prêtres du culte impérial sous le règne d'Antonin le Pieux". In: Comptes rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 111ᵉ année, N. 2, 1967. pp. 194–209. Available at weblink. Accessed 27 January 2016

    A non-military reign

    File:RomaForoRomanoTempioAntoninoFaustina.JPG|thumb|The temple of Antoninus and Faustina in the Roman Forum (now the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda). The emperor and his Augusta were deified after their death by Marcus AureliusMarcus AureliusThere are no records of any military related acts in his time in which he participated. One modern scholar has written "It is almost certain not only that at no time in his life did he ever see, let alone command, a Roman army, but that, throughout the twenty-three years of his reign, he never went within five hundred miles of a legion".J. J. Wilkes, The Journal of Roman Studies, Volume LXXV 1985, {{ISSN|0075-4358}}, p. 242.His reign was the most peaceful in the entire history of the Principate,Bury, p. 525 notwithstanding the fact that there were several military disturbances throughout the Empire in his time. Such disturbances happened in Mauretania – where a senator was named as governor of Mauretania Tingitana in place of the usual equestrian procuratorRené Rebuffat, '"Enceintes urbaines et insécurité en Maurétanie Tingitane" In: Mélanges de l'École française de Rome, Antiquité, tome 86, n°1. 1974. pp. 501–522. Available at weblink. Accessed 26 December 2015 and cavalry reinforcements from Pannonia were brought in,Michel Christol, "L'armée des provinces pannoniennes et la pacification des révoltes maures sous Antonin le Pieux". In: Antiquités africaines, 17, 1981. pp. 133–141. towns such as Sala and Tipasa being fortified.Michael Grant, The Antonines: The Roman Empire in Transition. Abingdon: Routledge, 1996, {{ISBN|0-415-13814-0}}, page 17; Rebuffat "Enceintes urbaines" Similar disturbances took place in Judea, and amongst the Brigantes in Britannia, none of them being considered serious.Bury, p. 525 It was however in Britain that Antoninus decided to follow a new, more aggressive path, with the appointment of a new governor in 139, Quintus Lollius Urbicus,Bowman, p. 151 a native of Numidia and previously governor of Germania Inferior.Salway, A History of Roman Britain. Oxford University Press: 2001, {{ISBN|0-19-280138-4}}, page 149Under instructions from the emperor, Lollius undertook an invasion of southern Scotland, winning some significant victories, and constructing the Antonine WallBowman, p. 152 from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde. The wall, however, was soon gradually decommissioned during the mid-150s and eventually abandoned late during the reign (early 160s), for reasons that are still not quite clear.Bowman, p. 155David Colin Arthur Shotter, Roman Britain, Abingdon: Routledge, 2004, {{ISBN|0-415-31943-9}}, page 49 Antonine's Wall is mentioned in just one literary source, Antoninus' biography in the Historia Augusta. Pausanias makes a brief and confused mention of a war in Britain. In one inscription honoring Antoninus, erected by Legio II Augusta, which participated in the building of the Wall, a relief showing four naked prisoners, one of them beheaded, seems to stand for some actual warfare.Jean-Louis Voisin, "Les Romains, chasseurs de têtes". In: Du châtiment dans la cité. Supplices corporels et peine de mort dans le monde antique. Table ronde de Rome (9-11 novembre 1982) Rome : École Française de Rome, 1984. pp. 241–293. Available at weblink. Accessed 14 January 2016File:0 Antoninus Pius - Museo Chiaramonti (Vatican).JPG|thumb|left|Statue of Antonius Pius in military garb and muscle cuirass, from the Museo Chiaramonti (Vatican MuseumsVatican MuseumsAlthough Antonine's Wall was, in principle, much shorter and at first sight more defensible than Hadrian's Wall, the additional area that it enclosed within the Empire was barren, with the effect that supply lines to it were strained enough that the costs from maintaining the additional territory outweighed the benefits of doing so.Peter Spring, Great Walls and Linear Barriers. Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2015, {{ISBN|978-1-84884-377-6}}, page 75 It has been therefore speculated that the invasion of Lowland Scotland and the building of the wall had to do mostly with internal politics, that is, offering Antoninus an opportunity to gain some modicum of necessary military prestige at the start of his reign. Actually, the campaign in Britannia was followed by an Imperial salutation – that is, by Antoninus formally taking for the second (and last) time the title of Imperator – in 142.David J. Breeze, Roman Frontiers in Britain. London: Bloomsbury, 2013, {{ISBN|978-1-8539-9698-6}}, page 53 The fact that around the same time coins were struck announcing a victory in Britain points to Antoninus' need to publicize his achievements.Salway, 149 The orator Fronto was later to say that, although Antoninus bestowed the direction of the British campaign to others, he should be regarded as the helmsman who directed the voyage, whose glory, therefore, belonged to him.Anthony Birley, Marcus Aurelius, London: Routledge, 2012, {{ISBN|0-415-17125-3}}, page 61That this quest for some military achievement responded to an actual need is proved by the fact that, although generally peaceful, Antoninus' reign was not free from attempts at usurpation: Historia Augusta mentions two, made by the senators Cornelius Priscianus (by the way, Lollius Urbicus' successor as governor of Britain) and Atilius Rufius Titianus – both confirmed by the Fasti Ostienses as well as by the erasing of Priscianus' name from an inscription.Albino Garzetti, From Tiberius to the Antonines: A History of the Roman Empire AD 14-192. London: Routledge, 2014, {{ISBN|978-1-138-01920-1}}, page 447; Paul Veyne, L'Empire Gréco-Romain, Paris: Seuil, 2005, {{ISBN|2-02-057798-4}}, page 28, footnote 61; Salway, 149 In both cases, Antoninus was not in formal charge of the ensuing repression: Priscianus committed suicide and Titianus was found guilty by the Senate, with Antoninus abstaining from sequestering their families' properties.Marta García Morcillo, Las ventas por subasta en el mundo romano: la esfera privada. Edicions Universitat Barcelona, 2005, {{ISBN|84-475-3017-5}}, page 301There were also some troubles in Dacia Inferior which required the granting of additional powers to the procurator governor and the dispatch of additional soldiers to the province.Bowman, p. 155 On the Northern Black Sea coast, the Greek city of Olbia was held against the Scythians.Gocha R. Tsetskhladze, ed., North Pontic Archaeology: Recent Discoveries and Studies. Leiden: Brill, 2001, {{ISBN|90-04-12041-6}}, page 425 Also during his reign the governor of Upper Germany, probably Caius Popillius Carus Pedo, built new fortifications in the Agri Decumates, advancing the Limes Germanicus fifteen miles forward in his province and neighboring Raetia.Birley, p. 113 In the East, Roman suzerainty over Armenia was retained by the choice in AD 140 of Arsacid scion Sohaemus as client king.Rouben Paul Adalian, Historical Dictionary of Armenia, Lanham: Scarecrow, 2010, {{ISBN|978-0-8108-6096-4}}, entry "Arshakuni/Arsacid", page 174Nevertheless, Antoninus was virtually unique among emperors in that he dealt with these crises without leaving Italy once during his reign,Speidel, Michael P., Riding for Caesar: The Roman Emperors' Horse Guards, Harvard University Press, 1997, p. 50 but instead dealt with provincial matters of war and peace through their governors or through imperial letters to the cities such as Ephesus (of which some were publicly displayed). This style of government was highly praised by his contemporaries and by later generations.See Victor, 15:3Antoninus was the last Roman Emperor recognised by the Indian Kingdoms. Raoul McLaughlin quotes Aurelius Victor as saying "The Indians, the Bactrians and the Hyrcanians all sent ambassadors to Antoninus. They had all heard about the spirit of justice held by this great emperor, justice that was heightened by his handsome and grave countenance, and his slim and vigorous figure." Due to the outbreak of the Antonine epidemic and wars against northern Germanic tribes, the reign of Marcus Aurelius was forced to alter the focus of foreign policies, and matters relating to the Far East were increasingly abandoned in favour of those directly concerning the Empire's survival.BOOK, McLaughlin, Raoul, Books on Google Play. Rome and the Distant East: Trade Routes to the Ancient Lands of Arabia, India and China, 2010, A&C Black, 9781847252357, 131,weblink

    Economy and administration

    File:Aureus d'Antonin le Pieux.jpg|thumb|An (aureus]] of Antoninus Pius, 145 AD. Inscription: ANTONINVS AVG. PIVS P. P. / TRibunicia POTestas COnSul IIII)Antoninus was regarded as a skilled administrator and as a builder. In spite of an extensive building directive – the free access of the people of Rome to drinking water was expanded with the construction of aqueducts, not only in Rome but throughout the Empire, as well as bridges and roads – the emperor still managed to leave behind a sizable public treasury of around two and a half million sesterces (Rome would not witness another Emperor leaving his successor with a surplus for a long time). But this treasury was depleted almost immediately after Antoninus's reign due to the plague brought back by soldiers after the Parthian victory.BOOK, Allen, Timothy F. H., Hoekstra, Thomas W., Tainter, Joseph A., Supply-Side Sustainability, 2012, Columbia University Press, 9780231504072, 105–106,weblink The Emperor also famously suspended the collection of taxes from cities affected by natural disasters, such as when fires struck Rome and Narbona, and earthquakes affected Rhodes and the Province of Asia. He offered hefty financial grants for rebuilding and recovery of various Greek cities after two serious earthquakes: the first, circa 140, which affected mostly Rhodes and other islands; the second, in 152, which hit Cyzicus (where the huge and newly built Temple to Hadrian was destroyedBarbara Burrell. Neokoroi: Greek Cities and Roman Emperors. Leiden: Brill, 2004, {{ISBN|90-04-12578-7}}, page 87), Ephesus, and Smyrna. Antoninus' financial help earned him praise by Greek writers such as Aelius Aristides and Pausanias.E.E. Bryant, The Reign of Antoninus Pius. Cambridge University Press: 1895, pages 45/46 and 68. These cities received from Antoninus the usual honorific accolades, such as when he commanded that all governors of Asia should enter the province, when taking office, by way of Ephesus.Conrad Gempf, ed., The Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman Setting. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1994, {{ISBN|0-85364-564-7}}, page 305 Ephesus was specially favoured by Antoninus, who confirmed and upheld its first place in the list of imperial honor titles, as opposed to Smyrna and Pergamon.Emmanuelle Collas-Heddeland, "Le culte impérial dans la compétition des titres sous le Haut-Empire. Une lettre d'Antonin aux Éphésiens". In: Revue des Études Grecques, tome 108, Juillet-décembre 1995. pp. 410–429. Available at weblink. Retrieved 22 January 2016In his dealings with Greek-speaking cities, Antoninus followed the policy adopted by Hadrian of ingratiating himself with local elites, especially with local intellectuals: philosophers, teachers of literature, rhetoricians and physicians were explicitly exempted from any duties involving private spending for civic purposes – a privilege granted by Hadrian that Antoninus confirmed by means of an edict preserved in the Digest ( A. Harland, ed., Greco-Roman Associations: Texts, translations and commentaries. II: North Coast of the Black Sea, Asia Minor . Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2014, {{ISBN|978-3-11-034014-3}}, page 381 Antoninus also created a chair for the teaching of rhetoric in Athens.Paul Graindor, "Antonin le Pieux et Athènes". Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire, tome 6, fasc. 3–4, 1927. pp. 753–756. Available at weblink. Retrieved 22 January 2016Antoninus was known as an avid observer of rites of religion and of formal celebrations – both Roman and foreign. He is known for having increasingly formalized the official cult offered to the Great Mother, which from his reign onwards included a bull sacrifice, a taurobolium, formerly only a private ritual, now being also performed for the sake of the Emperor's welfare.Gary Forsythe, Time in Roman Religion: One Thousand Years of Religious History. London: Routledge, 2012, {{ISBN|978-0-415-52217-5}}, page 92 Antoninus also offered patronage to the worship of Mithras, to whom he erected a temple in Ostia.Samuel Dill, Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius. Library of Alexandria, s.d.g. In 148, he presided over the celebrations of the 900th anniversary of the founding of Rome.

    Legal reforms

    File:Copy inscribed in marble of a letter from Antoninus Pius to the Ephesians, from the Bouleuterion at Ephesus, 140-144 AD, British Museum (16965588461).jpg|thumb|Copy inscribed in marble of a letter from Antoninus Pius to the Ephesians, from the Bouleuterion at Ephesus, 140–144 AD, explaining how the emperor resolved a dispute between the Roman cities of Ephesus and Smyrna, British MuseumBritish MuseumAntoninus tried to portray himself as a magistrate of the res publica, no matter how extended and ill-defined his competencies were. He is credited with the splitting of the imperial treasury, the Fiscus. This splitting had to do with the division of imperial properties into two parts: firstly, the fiscus itself – or patrimonium, meaning the properties of the "Crown", the hereditary properties of each succeeding person that sat on the throne, transmitted to his successors in office,Oxford Classical Dictionary, London: 2012, {{ISBN|978-0-19-954556-8}}, entry "Patrimonium". regardless of their membership in the imperial family;After the death of Nero, the personal properties of the Julio-Claudian dynasty had been appropriated by the Flavians, and therefore turned into public properties: Carrié & Roussele, 586 secondly, the res privata, the "private" properties tied to the personal maintenance of the Emperor and his family.Carrié & Rousselle, 586 An anecdote in the Historia Augusta biography, where Antoninus replies to Faustina – who complained about his stinginess – that "we have gained an empire [and] lost even what we had before" possibly relates to Antoninus' actual concerns at the creation of the res privata.The Cambridge Ancient History Volume 11: The High Empire, AD 70–192. Cambridge U.P., 2009, {{ISBN|9780521263351}}, page 150 While still a private citizen, Antoninus had increased his personal fortune greatly by mean of various legacies, the consequence – we are told – of his caring scrupulously for his relatives.Edward Champlin, Final Judgments: Duty and Emotion in Roman Wills, 200 B.C. – A.D. 250. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991, {{ISBN|0-520-07103-4}}, page 98The res privata lands could be sold and/or given away, while the patrimonium properties were regarded as public.David S. Potter, The Roman Empire at Bay. London: Routledge, 2014, {{ISBN|978-0-415-84054-5}}, page 49 It was a way of pretending that the Imperial function – and most properties attached to it – was a public one, formally subject to the authority of the Senate and the Roman people.Heinz Bellen, "Die 'Verstaatlichung' des Privatvermögens der römische Kaiser". Hildegard Temporini, ed., Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, Berlin: De Gruyter, 1974, {{ISBN|3-11-004571-0}}, page 112 That the distinction played no part in subsequent political history – that the personal power of the princeps absorbed his role as office-holder – proves that the autocratic logic of the imperial order had already subsumed the old republican institutions.Aloys Winterling, Politics and Society in Imperial Rome. Malden, MA: John Wiley & sons, 2009, {{ISBN|978-1-4051-7969-0}}, pages 73/75Of the public transactions of this period there is only the scantiest of information, but, to judge by what is extant, those twenty-two years were not remarkably eventful in comparison to those before and after the reign.{{sfn|Chisholm|1911}} However, Antoninus did take a great interest in the revision and practice of the law throughout the empire.Bury, p. 526 One of his chief concerns was to having local communities conform their legal procedures to existing Roman norms: in a case concerning repression of banditry by local police officers ("irenarchs") in Asia Minor, Antoninus ordered that these officers should not treat suspects as already condemned, and also keep a detailed copy of their interrogations, to be used in the possibility of an appeal to the Roman governor.Clifford Ando, Imperial Rome AD 193 to 284: The Critical Century. Edinburgh University Press, 2012, {{ISBN|978-0-7486-2050-0}}, page 91 Also, although Antoninus was not an innovator, he would not always follow the absolute letter of the law; rather he was driven by concerns over humanity and equality, and introduced into Roman law many important new principles based upon this notion.Bury, p. 526In this, the emperor was assisted by five chief lawyers: L. Fulvius Aburnius Valens, an author of legal treatises;John Anthony Crook, Consilium Principis: Imperial Councils and Counsellors from Augustus to Diocletian. Cambridge U.P.: 1955, page 67 L. Ulpius Marcellus, a prolific writer; and three others.Bury, p. 526 These last three included L. Volusius Maecianus, a former military officer turned by Antoninus into a civil procurator, and who, in view of his subsequent career (discovered on the basis of epigraphical and prosopographical research), was the Emperor's most important legal adviser.A. Arthur Schiller, Roman Law: Mechanisms of Development. The Hague: Mouton, 1978, {{ISBN|90-279-7744-5}}, page 477 Maecianus would eventually be chosen to occupy various prefectures (see below) as well as to conduct the legal studies of Marcus Aurelius. He was also the author of a large work on Fidei Commissa (Testamentary Trusts). As a hallmark of the increased connection between jurists and the imperial government,George Mousourakis, Roman Law and the Origins of the Civil Law Tradition, Heidelberg: Springer, {{ISBN|978-3-319-12267-0}}, page 79 Antoninus' reign also saw the appearance of the Institutes of Gaius, an elementary legal manual for beginners (see Gaius (jurist)).Bury, p. 526Antoninus passed measures to facilitate the enfranchisement of slaves.Bury, p. 527 Mostly, he favoured the principle of favor libertatis, giving the putative freedman the benefit of the doubt when the claim to freedom was not clearcut.Keith Bradley, Slavery and Society at Rome. Cambridge University Press: 1994, {{ISBN|9780521263351}}, page 162 Also, he punished the killing of a slave by his/her master without previous trialAubert, Jean-Jacques. "L'esclave en droit romain ou l'impossible réification de l’homme". Esclavage et travail forcé, Cahiers de la Recherche sur les droits fondamentaux (CRDF). Vol. 10. 2012. and determined that slaves could be forcibly sold to another master by a proconsul in cases of consistent mistreatment.Anastasia Serghidou, ed. Fear of slaves, fear of enslavement in the ancient Mediterranean. Presses Univ. Franche-Comté, 2007 {{ISBN|978-2-84867-169-7}}, page 159 Antoninus upheld the enforcement of contracts for selling of female slaves forbidding their further employment in prostitution.Jean-Michel Carrié & Aline Rousselle, L'Empire Romain en Mutation, des Sévères à Constantin, 192–337. Paris: Seuil 1999, {{ISBN|2-02-025819-6}}, page 290 In criminal law, Antoninus introduced the important principle that accused persons are not to be treated as guilty before trialBury, p. 527 – as in the case of the irenarchs (see above). It was to Antonius that the Christian apologist Justin Martyr addressed his defense of the Christian faith, reminding him of his father's (Emperor Hadrian's) rule that accusations against Christians required proof.First Apology of Justin Martyr, Chapter LXVIII He also asserted the principle that the trial was to be held, and the punishment inflicted, in the place where the crime had been committed. He mitigated the use of torture in examining slaves by certain limitations. Thus he prohibited the application of torture to children under fourteen years, though this rule had exceptions.Bury, p. 527 However, it must be stressed that Antoninus extended, by means of a rescript, the use of torture as a means of obtaining evidence to pecuniary cases, when it had been applied up until then only in criminal cases.Digest, 48.18.9, as quoted by Edward Peters, Torture, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996, {{ISBN|0-8122-1599-0}}, page 29 Also, already at the time torture of free men of low status (humiliores) had become legal, as proved by the fact that Antoninus exempted town councillors expressly from it, and also free men of high rank (honestiores) in general.Grant, 154/155.One highlight during his reign occurred in 148, with the nine-hundredth anniversary of the foundation of Rome being celebrated by the hosting of magnificent games in Rome.Bowman, p. 154 It lasted a number of days, and a host of exotic animals were killed, including elephants, giraffes, tigers, rhinoceroses, crocodiles and hippopotami. While this increased Antoninus's popularity, the frugal emperor had to debase the Roman currency. He decreased the silver purity of the denarius from 89% to 83.5% – the actual silver weight dropping from 2.88 grams to 2.68 grams.Bowman, p. 155weblink" title="">Tulane University "Roman Currency of the Principate"Scholars name Antoninus Pius as the leading candidate for an individual identified as a friend of Rabbi Judah the Prince. According to the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 10a–b), Rabbi Judah was very wealthy and greatly revered in Rome. He had a close friendship with "Antoninus", possibly Antoninus Pius,A. Mischcon, Abodah Zara, p.10a Soncino, 1988. Mischcon cites various sources, "SJ Rappaport... is of opinion that our Antoninus is Antoninus Pius." Other opinions cited suggest "Antoninus" was Caracalla, Lucius Verus or Alexander Severus. who would consult Rabbi Judah on various worldly and spiritual matters.


    File:The ruins of the East Triumphal Arch built by Antoninus Pius outside the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, Eleusis (15552358684).jpg|thumb|Ruins of the triumphal arch of Antoninus Pius outside the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore in Eleusis, Greece, imitating Hadrian's Arch in Athens ]]In 156, Antoninus Pius turned 70. He found it difficult to keep himself upright without stays. He started nibbling on dry bread to give him the strength to stay awake through his morning receptions. Marcus Aurelius had already been created consul with Antoninus in 140, receiving the title of Caesar – i.e., heir apparent.Geoffrey William Adams, Marcus Aurelius in the Historia Augusta and Beyond. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013, {{ISBN|978-0-7391-7638-2}}, pages 74/75. As Antoninus aged, Marcus would take on more administrative duties, more still after the death{{mdash}}in 156 or 157{{mdash}}of one of Antoninus' most trusted advisers, Gavius Maximus, who had been praetorian prefect (an office that was as much secretarial as military) for twenty years.Birley, Marcus Aurelius, 112; Grant, The Antonines, 14 Gavius Maximus, who had been one of the most important members of Antoninus' "team" of long standing advisers, had been awarded with the consular insignia and the honors due a senator.Michael Petrus Josephus Van Den Hout, A Commentary on the Letters of M. Cornelius Fronto. Leiden: Bril, 199, {{ISBN|9004109579}}, page 389 He had developed a reputation as a most strict disciplinarian (vir severissimus, according to Historia Augusta) as well as some lasting grudges among fellow equestrian procurators – one of them, by predeceasing Gavius and vilifying him in his will, created a serious embarrassment to one of the heirs, the orator Fronto.Champlin, Final Judgments, 16 Gavius Maximus' death offered the opportunity to a welcome change in the ruling team, and it has been speculated that it was the legal adviser Volusius Maecianus who—after a brief spell as Praefect of Egypt, and a subsequent term as Praefectus annonae in Rome – assumed the role of grey eminence precisely in order to prepare the incoming – and altogether new – joint succession.Michel Christol, "Préfecture du prétoire et haute administration équestre à la fin du règne d’Antonin le Pieux et au début du règne de Marc Aurèle". In: Cahiers du Centre Gustave Glotz, 18, 2007. pp. 115–140. Available at weblink. Accessed 27 January 2016 In 160, Marcus and Lucius were designated joint consuls for the following year. Perhaps Antoninus was already ill; in any case, he died before the year was out.Birley, Marcus Aurelius, 114File:Antoninus Pius (Museo del Prado) 01.jpg|thumb|left|The bust of Antoninus Pius at the Museo del PradoMuseo del PradoTwo days before his death, the biographer reports, Antoninus was at his ancestral estate at Lorium, in Etruria,Bowman, p. 156; Victor, 15:7 about twelve miles (19 km) from Rome.Victor, 15:7 He ate Alpine Gruyere cheese at dinner quite greedily. In the night he vomited; he had a fever the next day. The day after that, 7 March 161,Dio 71.33.4–5; Birley, Marcus Aurelius, 114. he summoned the imperial council, and passed the state and his daughter to Marcus. The emperor gave the keynote to his life in the last word that he uttered: when the tribune of the night-watch came to ask the password, he responded, "aequanimitas" (equanimity).Bury, p. 532 He then turned over, as if going to sleep, and died.HA Antoninus Pius 12.4–8; Birley, Marcus Aurelius, 114. His death closed out the longest reign since Augustus (surpassing Tiberius by a couple of months).Bowman, p. 156 His record for the second-longest reign would be unbeaten for 168 years, until 329 when it was surpassed by Constantine the Great.Antoninus Pius' funeral ceremonies were, in the words of the biographer, "elaborate".HA Marcus 7.10, tr. David Magie, cited in Birley, Marcus Aurelius, 118, 278 n.6. If his funeral followed the pattern of past funerals, his body would have been incinerated on a pyre at the Campus Martius, while his spirit would rise to the gods' home in the heavens. However, it seems that this was not the case: according to his Historia Augusta biography (which seems to reproduce an earlier, detailed report) Antoninus' body (and not his ashes) was buried in Hadrian's mausoleum. After a seven-day interval (justitium), Marcus and Lucius nominated their father for deification.Robert Turcan, "Origines et sens de l'inhumation à l'époque impériale". In: Revue des Études Anciennes. Tome 60, 1958, n°3–4. pp. 323–347. Available at weblink. Accessed 14 January 2016 In contrast to their behavior during Antoninus' campaign to deify Hadrian, the senate did not oppose the emperors' wishes. A flamen, or cultic priest, was appointed to minister the cult of the deified Antoninus, now Divus Antoninus.A column was dedicated to Antoninus on the Campus Martius, and the temple he had built in the Forum in 141 to his deified wife Faustina was rededicated to the deified Faustina and the deified Antoninus.Bury, p. 532 It survives as the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda.Birley, Marcus Aurelius, 118.

    Diplomatic mission to China

    {{See also|Sino-Roman relations}}File:Green glass Roman cup unearthed at Eastern Han tomb, Guixian, China.jpg|thumb|Green Roman glass cup unearthed from an Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 AD) tomb, Guangxi, ChinaChinaThe first group of people claiming to be an ambassadorial mission of Romans to China was recorded in 166 AD by the Hou Hanshu. The embassy came to Emperor Huan of Han China from "Andun" ({{zh|安敦}}; Emperor Antoninus Pius), "king of Daqin" (Rome). As Antoninus Pius died in 161, leaving the empire to his adoptive son Marcus Aurelius (Antoninus), and the envoy arrived in 166, confusion remains about who sent the mission given that both Emperors were named 'Antoninus'.BOOK, Yü, Ying-shih, 1986, Han Foreign Relations, Denis, Twitchett, Michael, Loewe, The Cambridge History of China: Volume I: the Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 B.C. – A.D. 220, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-24327-8, BOOK, de Crespigny, Rafe, 2007, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23–220 AD), Leiden, Koninklijke Brill, 600, 978-90-04-15605-0, JOURNAL, Pulleyblank, Edwin G., Leslie, D. D., Gardiner, K. H. J., 1999, The Roman Empire as Known to Han China, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 119, 1, 71–79, 10.2307/605541, 605541, The Roman mission came from the south (therefore probably by sea), entering China by the frontier province of Jiaozhi at Rinan or Tonkin (present-day northern Vietnam). It brought presents of rhinoceros horns, ivory, and tortoise shell, probably acquired in Southern Asia.Hill (2009), p. 27 and nn. 12.18 and 12.20. The text specifically states that it was the first time there had been direct contact between the two countries.For a full translation of that passage, see: WEB, 1998, 2000, Paul Halsall, Jerome S. Arkenberg,weblink East Asian History Sourcebook: Chinese Accounts of Rome, Byzantium and the Middle East, c. 91 B.C.E. – 1643 C.E., Fordham University,, 17 September 2016, Hill (2009), p. 27.Furthermore, a piece of Republican-era Roman glassware has been found at a Western Han tomb in Guangzhou along the South China Sea, dated to the early 1st century BC.JOURNAL, An, Jiayao, 2002, When Glass Was Treasured in China, Annette L., Juliano, Judith A., Lerner, Silk Road Studies VII: Nomads, Traders, and Holy Men Along China's Silk Road, Turnhout, Brepols, 2503521789, 83, Roman golden medallions made during the reign of Antoninus Pius and perhaps even Marcus Aurelius have been found at Óc Eo in southern Vietnam, then part of the Kingdom of Funan near the Chinese province of Jiaozhi. This may have been the port city of Kattigara, described by Ptolemy (c. 150) as being visited by a Greek sailor named Alexander and lying beyond the Golden Chersonese (i.e., Malay Peninsula).BOOK, Gary K., Young, 2001, Rome's Eastern Trade: International Commerce and Imperial Policy, 31 BC – AD 305, London & New York, Routledge, 0-415-24219-3, 29–30, For further information on Oc Eo, see BOOK, Milton, Osborne, 2006, The Mekong: Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future, Crows Nest, Allen & Unwin, revised, first published 2000, 1-74114-893-6, 24–25, Roman coins from the reigns of Tiberius to Aurelian have been discovered in Xi'an, China (site of the Han capital Chang'an), although the significantly greater amount of Roman coins unearthed in India suggest the Roman maritime trade for purchasing Chinese silk was centered there, not in China or even the overland Silk Road running through ancient Iran.BOOK, Warwick Ball, Ball, Warwick, 2016, Rome in the East: Transformation of an Empire, 2nd, London & New York, Routledge, 978-0-415-72078-6, 154,


    File:Sbeitla 04.jpg|thumb|Arch of Antoninus Pius in Sbeïtla, TunisiaTunisiaFile:Antoninus Pius, Palazzo Altemps, Rome (11383990114).jpg|thumb|Statue of Antoninus Pius, Palazzo AltempsPalazzo AltempsThe only intact account of his life handed down to us is that of the Augustan History, an unreliable and mostly fabricated work. Nevertheless, it still contains information that is considered reasonably sound – for instance, it is the only source that mentions the erection of the Antonine Wall in Britain.Historia Augusta, Life of Antoninus Pius 5:4 Antoninus is unique among Roman emperors in that he has no other biographies.

    In later scholarship

    Antoninus in many ways was the ideal of the landed gentleman praised not only by ancient Romans, but also by later scholars of classical history, such as Edward GibbonBOOK, Gibbon, Edward, Delphi Complete Works of Edward Gibbon (Illustrated), 2015, Delphi Classics, 9781910630761, 125,weblink or the author of the article on Antoninus Pius in the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition.{{sfn|Chisholm|1911}}}}Some historians have a less positive view of his reign. According to the historian J. B. Bury, German historian Ernst Kornemann has had it in his Römische Geschichte [2 vols., ed. by H. Bengtson, Stuttgart 1954] that the reign of Antoninus comprised "a succession of grossly wasted opportunities", given the upheavals that were to come. There is more to this argument, given that the Parthians in the East were themselves soon to make no small amount of mischief after Antoninus' passing. Kornemann's brief is that Antoninus might have waged preventive wars to head off these outsiders. Michael Grant agrees that it is possible that had Antoninus acted decisively sooner (it appears that, on his death bed, he was preparing a large-scale action against the Parthians), the Parthians might have been unable to choose their own time, but current evidence is not conclusive. Grant opines that Antoninus and his officers did act in a resolute manner dealing with frontier disturbances of his time, although conditions for long-lasting peace were not created. On the whole, according to Grant, Marcus Aurelius' eulogistic picture of Antoninus seems deserved, and Antoninus appears to have been a conservative and nationalistic (although he respected and followed Hadrian's example of Philhellenism moderately) Emperor who was not tainted by the blood of either citizen or foe, combined and maintained Numa Pompilius' good fortune, pacific dutifulness and religious scrupulousness, and whose laws removed anomalies and softened harshnesses.BOOK, Grant, Michael, The Antonines: The Roman Empire in Transition, 2016, Routledge, 9781317972112, 14–23,weblink Krzysztof Ulanowski argues that the claims of military inability are exaggerated, considering that although the sources praise Antoninus' love for peace and his efforts "rather to defend, than enlarge the provinces", he could hardly be considered a pacifist, as shown by the conquest of the Lowlands, the building of the Antonine Wall and the expansion of Germania Superior. Ulianowski also praises Antoninus for being successful in deterrence by diplomatic means.BOOK, Ulanowski, Krzysztof, The Religious Aspects of War in the Ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome: Ancient Warfare Series, Volume 1, 2016, BRILL, 9789004324763, 360–361,weblink


    Although only one of his four children survived to adulthood, Antoninus came to be ancestor to four generations of prominent Romans, including the Emperor Commodus. Hans-Georg Pflaum has identified five direct descendants of Antoninus and Faustina who were consuls in the first half of the third century.Pflaum, "Les gendres de Marc-Aurèle", Journal des savants (1961), pp. 28–41
    1. Marcus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus (died before 138), died young without issue
    2. Marcus Galerius Aurelius Antoninus (died before 138), died young without issue
    3. Aurelia Fadilla (died in 135), who married Lucius Plautius Lamia Silvanus, suffect consul in 145;Ronald Syme, "Antonine Relatives: Ceionii and Vettuleni", Athenaeum, 35 (1957), p. 309 no children known for certain.
    4. Faustina the Younger (16 February between 125 and 130 – 175), had several children; those who had children were:Based on Table F, "The Children of Faustina II" in Birley, Marcus Aurelius (2000)
    Empress Annia Faustina, Elagabalus' third wife
    {{Nerva-Antonine family tree}}




    Primary sources

    Secondary sources
    • WEB,weblink Weigel, Richard D., Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138–161) De Imperatoribus Romanis,
    • BOOK, Bowman, Alan K., The Cambridge Ancient History: The High Empire, A.D. 70–192, Cambridge University Press, 2000,
    • BOOK, Birley, Anthony, Marcus Aurelius, Routledge, 2000,
    • BOOK, Bury, J. B., A History of the Roman Empire from its Foundation to the Death of Marcus Aurelius,weblink Harper, 1893,
    • BOOK, Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, First to Second Centuries CE, 2009, John E., Hill, BookSurge, 978-1-4392-2134-1,
    • BOOK, Hüttl, W., Antoninus Pius, I & II, Prag, 1933, 1936,
    • {{EB1911|wstitle=Antoninus Pius|volume=2|pages=148-149}} This source lists:
      • Bossart-Mueller, Zur Geschichte des Kaisers A. (1868)
      • Bryant, The Reign of Antonine (Cambridge Historical Essays, 1895)
      • Lacour-Gayet, A. le Pieux et son Temps (1888)
      • BOOK, Watson, P. B., Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, London, 1884, ii,

    External links

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