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Antoninus Pius: 138 - 161

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Antoninus Pius: 138 - 161. ca. 150 A.D. marble Roman Empire Glyptothek, Munich. March 13 th , 2012. http://www.vroma.org/images/scaife_images/087b.jpg. Sources. One of the least understood reigns. Sources problematic. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
  • March 13th, 2012http://www.vroma.org/images/scaife_images/087b.jpgca. 150 A.D. marble Roman Empire Glyptothek, Munich

  • One of the least understood reigns.

    Sources problematic.

    HA the main source; relies on Marius Maximus, Memoirs of Antoninus, numerous unnamed writers.

    Cassius Dio very fragmentary epitome.

    Coins and inscriptions vital.

  • The orations which have come down in his name, some say, are really the work of others, according to Marius Maximus, however, they were his own. (HA, 11.3. Trans. D. Magie, 1921).

    Dispute regarding the authenticity of Antoninus orations.

  • No familial relationship.

    Trusted amicus (One of four consular administrators of Italy).

    Adopted in 138; required to adopt Lucius Verus, son of Aelius Verus and Marcus Antoninus as his own sons.

    Confusion re: nomenclature: 1. Aelius Verus = L. Ceionius Commodus (name changed to Lucius Aelius Caesar upon adoption). 2. Antoninus adopts L. Ceionius Commodus II (i.e. son of L. Aelius) who would be renamed Lucius Aurelius Commodus, and Marcus Annius Verus who would be renamed Marcus Aurelius Verus.

  • B. to Titus Aurelius Fulvius Boionius Antoninus Pius and Arria Fadilla in Italy on Sept. 19, 86 CE.Paternal grandfather twice consul and urban prefect; father also consul.Maternal grandfather twice consul.Ca. 110-115 Married Annia Galeria Faustina (paternal aunt of M. Aurelius).112 Quaestor.117 Praetor.120 Consul.130-135 Proconsul of Asia.138 Adopted as heir and successor by Hadrian.

  • Presided over the longest period of peace and stability of the Roman empire.Accession marked by some initial (short-lived) tensions with the senate.Deferential to senate; Demanded magisterial accountability.Ended informers (?).Fiscally prudent.Generous to the common people.Continued infrastructure spending.Expanded the alimenta further still.Revived patriotism (Romes 900th anniversary in 147/8).

  • His father, as long as he lived, he obeyed most scrupulously, and when Hadrian passed away at Baiae he bore his remains to Rome with all piety and reverence, and buried him in the gardens of Domitia; moreover, though all opposed the measure, he had him placed among the deified. (HA, 5.1. Trans. D. Magie, 1921)

    It should be noted that the account of Antoninus Pius is not found in the copies of Dio, probably because the books have met with some accident, so that the history of his reign is almost wholly unknown; save that when Lucius Commodus, whom Hadrian had adopted, died before Hadrian, Antoninus was both adopted by him and became emperor, 2and that when the senate demurred to giving divine honours to Hadrian after his death on account of certain murders of eminent men, Antoninus addressed many words to them with tears and lamentations, and finally said: "Well, then, Iwill not govern you either, if he has become in your eyes base and hostile and a public foe. 3For in that case you will, of course, soon annul all his acts, of which my adoption was one." On hearing this the senate, both through respect for the man and through a certain fear of the soldiers, bestowed the honours upon Hadrian. (Cassius Dio, Epitome 70.1. Trans. E. Cary, 1927).

  • He gave a largess to the soldiers and the people from his own funds, and also the sums that his father had promisedand of the crown-gold that had been offered him on account of his adoption, he remitted the whole amount to the Italians and half to the provincials. (HA, 4.9. Trans. A. Birley, 1976).

  • He besought the senate to pardon those men whom Hadrian had condemned, saying that Hadrian himself had been about to do so. The imperial pomp he reduced to the utmost simplicity and thereby gained the greater esteem, though the palace-attendants opposed this course, for they found that since he made no use of go-betweens, they could in no wise terrorize men or take money for decisions about which there was no concealment.In his dealings with the senate, he rendered it, as emperor, the same respect that he had wished another emperor to render him when he was a private man. When the senate offered him the title of Father of his Country, he p115at first refused it, but later accepted it with an elaborate expression of thanks. (HA, 5.3-6. Trans. D. Magie, 1921).

  • With such care did he govern all peoples under him that he looked after all things and all men as if they were his own. As a result, the provinces all prospered in his reign, informers were abolished, the confiscation of goods was less frequent than ever before, and only one man was condemned as guilty of aspiring to the throne. This was Atilius Titianus, and it was the senate itself that conducted his prosecution, while the Emperor forbade any investigation about the fellow-conspirators of Atilius and always aided his son to attain all his desires. Priscianus did indeed die for aspiring to the throne, but by his own hand, and about his conspiracy also the Emperor forbade any investigation. (HA, 7.1-4. Trans. D. Magie, 1921).

  • The board of Antoninus Pius was rich yet never open to criticism, frugal yet not stingy; his table was furnished by his own slaves, his own fowlers and fishers and hunters. Abath, which he had previously used himself, he opened to the people without charge, nor did he himself depart in any way from the manner of life to which he had been accustomed when a private man. He took away salaries from a number of men who held obvious sinecures, saying there was nothing meaner, nay more unfeeling, than the man who nibbled at the revenues of the state without giving any service in return; for the same reason, also, he reduced the salary of Mesomedes, the lyric poet. The budgets of all the provinces and the sources of revenue he knew exceedingly well. He settled his private fortune on his daughter, but presented the income of it to the state. Indeed, the superfluous trappings of royal state and even the crown-lands he sold, living on his own private estates and varying his residence according to the season. Nor did he undertake any expedition other than the visiting of his lands in Campania, averring that the equipage of an emperor, even of one over frugal, was a burdensome thing to the provinces. And yet he was regarded with immense respect by all nations, for, making his residence in the city, as he did, for the purpose of being in a central location, he was able to receive messages from every quarter with equal speed. (HA, 7.5-12. Trans. D. Magie, 1921)

  • He gave largess to the people, and, in addition, a donation to the soldiers, and founded an order of destitute girls, called Faustinianae in honour of Faustina. Of the public works that were constructed by him the following remain today: the temple of Hadrian at Rome, so called in honour of his father, the Graecostadium, restored by him after its burning, the Amphitheatre, repaired by him, the tomb of Hadrian, the temple of Agrippa, and the Pons Sublicius, also the Pharus, the port at Caieta, and the port at Tarracina, all of which he restored, the bath at Ostia, the aqueduct at Antium, and the temples at Lanuvium. Besides all this, he helped many communities to erect new buildings and to restore the old; and he even gave pecuniary aid to Roman magistrates and senators to assist them in the performance of their duties. (HA 8.1-4. Trans. D. Magie, 1921)

  • http://www.vroma.org/images/mcmanus_images/apcoinaeneas.jpg

  • http://www.vroma.org/images/mcmanus_images/apcoinmarsrhea.jpg

  • Continuation of the policy of Hadrian.

    No imperial expansion; internal consolidation.

    Britain and the Antonine Wall (ca. 142).

    Britain (ca. 142); Mauretania Tingitana (145); Germany (ca. 140-45); Dacians (?); the Alani (?); little known about these wars; suppression of provincial rebellion rather than wars of conquest.

    Soft diplomacy.

    Sound and equitable provincial administration.

    Re-established Italian hegemony over the provinces.

  • He waged a number of wars, but all of them through his legates. For Lollius Urbicus, his legate, overcame the Britons and built a second wall, one of turf, after driving back the barbarians. Through other legates or governors, he forced the Moors to sue for peace, and crushed the Germans and the Dacians and many other tribes, and also the Jews, who were in revolt. In Achaea also and in Egypt he put down rebellions and many a time sharply checked the Alani in their raiding. (HA, 5.4-5. Trans. D. Magie, 1921)

    Lollius Urbicus; Lusius Quietus.

  • He also took away from the Brigantes in Britain the greater part of their territory, because they too had begun an unprovoked war on the province of Genunia, a Roman dependency. (Pausanias, 8.4. Trans.W.H.S. Jones, 1918).

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hadrians_Wall_map.png

  • http://www.vroma.org/images/mcmanus_images/antoninewall_inscrip.jpgEdinburgh, National Museum of Scotland. Credits: Barbara McManus, 2004for the emperor Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Pius, father of the fatherland, the second Augustan Legion built [this wall] for a distance of 4652 paces. (B. McManus, 2004)

  • Antoninus, the benefactor of PalIantium, never willingly involved the Romans in war; but when the Moors (who form the greatest part of the independent Libyans, being nomads, and more formidable enemies than even the Scythians in that they wandered, not on wagons, but on horseback with their womenfolk), when these, I say, began an unprovoked war, he drove them from all their country, forcing them to flee to the extreme parts of Libya, right up to Mount Atlas and to the people living on it. (Pausanias, 8.3. Trans.W.H.S. Jones, 1918).

  • After his accession to the throne he removed none of the men whom Hadrian had app

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