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Lecture 26 Antonines and Severans

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Glenn Wilkinson

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Lecture 26 (November 20) Antonius Pius to the Severans 1. Antonius Pius (138-161 A.D.) a. Diva Faustina 2. Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus (161-169 A.D.) 3. Marcus Aurelius (161-180 A.D.) 4. Commodus (180-192 A.D.) 5. 193 A.D. – the Year of the Five Emperors a. Helvius Pertinax b. Didius Julianus c. Pescinnius Niger d. Clodius Albinus e. Septimius Severus 6. Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.) a. Julia Domna 7. Caracalla (211-217 A.D.) a. “Constitutio Antoniniana” (212 A.D.) b. Macrinus (217-218 A.D.) 8. Severan Dynasty a. Julia Maesa b. Elegabalus (218-222 A.D.) c. Severus Alexander (222-235 A.D.) Death of Hadrian - 138 A.D. – left no sons - distant relationship with wife Sabina - adopted – Lucius Polyus, but died before Hadrian - then adopted Antoninus Pius Antoninus Pius - consul and proconsul - succeeded Hadrian after his death - achieved the deification of Hadrian – whose relationship with senate fell apart at the end, and was very difficult - called Pius likely because of his efforts to deify Hadrian - no significant events during reign – period of peace - wife died and Pius went on campaign for the deification of Faustina – honoured wife on a scale not seen before - spent entire duration of reign in Italy – but forced to wage wars also (done through legates) - revolt – sent legate to quell - wall – Antonine Wall was built during this time – “foreign” success of Antoninus - internal peace a key feature of Pius reign - settled disputes in Germanic tribe, revolt in Dacia, and plan of campaign to Parthia – unrest on frontiers and borders - in 161 A.D. – Pius died - received great praise from his successor – dutiful and pious - two men took over after him – Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus – adopted by Hadrian Double Emperors - Aurelius – father was consul, married Domanita Lucilla, well-educated - Aurelius often corresponded with Fronto – one of the foremost orators of his time - education of Aurelius as well-known – but mainly studied philosophy - named a priest by Hadrian - given tribunition power – set up by Hadrian - Lucius Verus – son of first man that Hadrian prepared for successor - Verus was considered to be the favoured successor by Hadrian – but did not receive all the honours that Aurelius did - Hadrian supposedly favoured Verus for his frank nature - Verus – given tribunition power, and held equal power to Aurelius, except was not pontifex maximus as was Aurelius - Aurelius set up double emperor succession – followed wishes of Hadrian, and was fond of Verus, and also one man could not possibly share the burden of imperial power and the massive amount of duty - Verus – physically attractive but not very intellectually gifted, considered to be gullible (main flaws were caused by this) - Parthians – in 162 A.D. the king placed son on throne of Armenia, and attempt to stop - Verus sent to eastern frontier – Antioch (took long time) - sources of the period – Augusta, Cassius Dio, etc. - belief that Verus took so long because of his “pleasure-seeking”, and when at Antioch his role is diminished (that he did not want to go to front lines but sent generals) - campaign a success - however – weakened Parthians so much that there was a power vacuum and allowed for later Persian empire - plague brought back to Rome – contribution to decline of the empire - crisis on Danube – German tribes began to push south, likely pushed south by another tribe – crossed Danube in 166 A.D. – devastation of several Roman frontier settlements, and even in northern Italy - crisis – plague and Germanic tribes, and lack of funding - coinage is debased by Aurelius – two new legions were created to meet Germanic invaders and not enough money - death of Verus – of stroke, but perhaps poison, etc. – set up as a means to compare to Aurelius’ greatness - from period of 169-176 A.D. Aurelius was sole emperor – assumed title of Germanicus - miracle – “rain miracle” in which Romans were dying of thirst and the gods allowed rain to fall to save them – commemorated Aurelius - continuation of war and ended it in 175 A.D., while writing Meditations (form of stoic philosophy) - dedicitii – men who were not Roman citizens, but used to generate agriculture and employed as soldiers in army
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