Episode 33 – Antoninus Pius

The Doctors take a turn about the classical past to investigate the life and rule of the reputedly very nice emperor, Antoninus Pius.

Born in 86 CE, his birth name was Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus, although is better known by his adopted name and later imperial titles as Imperator Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Pius.

He was the son of T. Aurelius Fulvus, the consul ordinarius of 89, and Arria Fadilla. Although born in Lanuvium, a city in the Latin region near Rome, his family hailed from Nemausus (now the modern city of Nîmes).

His connection with Hadrian developed after he was appointed one of the governors of Italy (legatus Augusti pro praetore). He was formally adopted as Hadrian’s heir on the 25th of February 138. As part of a process to ensure stability, Antoninus adopted M. Annius Verus (later known as Marcus Aurelius) on the same day.

The character of his imperial rule is like a breath of fresh Italian air in Rome. With only a few sources to guide a reading of this emperor, a little mystery, and perhaps a little warm feeling, is preserved for this elder statesman.

Let the Doctors take you on  this journey:

Episode 33 – Antoninus Pius
Antoninus Pius
Portrait of Emperor Antoninus Pius. Marble, probably a replica of ca. 160 AD after a prototype created ca. 140 AD. From the house of Jason Magnus at Cyrene, North Africa. Currently held in the British Museum. Image © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons
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Drs R and G laugh and spar their way through the ancient Roman world!

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