Antoninus Pius  

11 July 138 - 7 March 161



11 July 138 - 7 March 161

Antoninus Pius

Hadrien
Antoninus
Glyptothek, Munnich

Titus Antoninus, the successor of Adrian (Hadrian), was born in the city of Nismes, in Gaul. At his accession to the throne, he was about fifty years old, and had passed through many of the most important offices of the state, manifesting great integrity and application.
Antoninus was surnamed the Pious, both for his tenderness to his predecessor Adrian, when dying, and his particular attachment to the religion of his country.

Antoninus was an eminent rewarder of learned men. He sent for Apollonius, the famous stoic philosopher, to instruct his adopted son, Marcus Aurelius, whom he had previously married to his daughter. Apollonius having arrived at Rome, the emperor desired his attendance; but the other arrogantly answered, That it was the scholar's duty to wait upon the master, and not the master's to wait upon the scholar.

To this reply, Antoninus only returned with a smile, that it was surprising how Apollonius, who made no difficulty of coming from Greece to Rome, should think it so hard to walk from one part of Rome te another; and immediately sent Marcus Aurelius to him.

While the good emperor was thus employed in making mankind happy, he was seized with a violent fever, at Lorium, where, finding himself sensibly decaying, he ordered his friends and principal officers to attend him.

In their presence he confirmed the adoption of Marcus Aurelius, without naming Lucius Verus, who had been joined by Adrian with him in the succession; then commanding the golden statue of Fortune, which was always in the chambers of the emperor, to be removed to that of his successor, he expired, in the 75th year of his age, after a prosperous reign of above 22 years.

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