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Lecture 35

HIST 1061 Lecture 35: Last Imperial Dynasty

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University of Colorado - Boulder
HIST 1061
Travis Rupp

Last Imperial Dynasty Commodus, Marcus, Verus, and Pius are all part of the Antonine Dynasty. Pius is the lesser known emperor in the Era of Good Emperors because he hardly undertook military conquests. He takes the name Pius because his 20 year rule was one of piety. He had no desire to expand Romes boundaries, he solely wanted to maintain the current boundaries. Pius was very focused on continuing the dynasty. Pius was adopted by Hadrian. Pius then adopts two brothers: Marcus and Verus to be his successors. Pius built a second wall ahead of Hadrians wall after a British attack called the Antonine Wall. The Antonine Wall is 45 miles long and much more narrow due to the landscape. Pius does not show his military conquests but he also had none anyway. On Pius coinage, he has a picture of himself holding the orb of Zeus. Pius had a column built for himself called the Column of Pius. This column had nothing on it to symbolize his reign was an era of peace but eventually, the column fell apart. There is a little art on the base that remains. The Vatican preserved it because it appears to be an angel on it. However, we know it was not. Upon Pius death, he and his wife Faustina were deified and that is what is depicted on the base. Pius deified Faustina before his death and even built her a temple. Lucius Verus was Marcus Aurelius younger brother. At the time of Pius death, Marcus was Pontifex Maximus. Pius wanted Marcus and Verus to rule as coemperors and so they did. Marcus did not need all of the spotlight anyway. Marcus and Verus were sent to the frontier in Parthia. Marcus had 15 children with his wife who was also named Faustina. None of them make it into adulthood except Commodus. Some blame Verus for spreading the plague
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