Antoninus Pius

Roman emperor from 138 to 161 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Pius (19 September 86 – 7 March 161) was Roman emperor from 138 to 161. He was the fourth of the Five Good Emperors from the Nerva–Antonine dynasty.[3]

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Antoninus Pius
White bust
Bust in the Glyptothek, Munich
Roman emperor
Reign11 July 138 – 7 March 161
SuccessorMarcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus
Born19 September 86
Lanuvium, Italy
Died7 March 161 (aged 74)
Lorium, Italy
SpouseAnnia Galeria Faustina
Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Antoninus[1]
Titus Aelius Caesar Antoninus (adoption)[2]
Regnal name
Imperator Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius[2]
ReligionAncient Roman religion
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.

Born into a senatorial family, Antoninus held various offices during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. He married Hadrian's niece Faustina, and Hadrian 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,[4] or because he had saved senators sentenced to death by Hadrian in his later years.[5] His reign is notable for the peaceful state of the Empire, with no major revolts or military incursions during this time. 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.