|A ROMAN CHARIOT RACE|
Antoninus Pius served in public offices under Hadrian, with good repute, before being unexpectedly elevated to emperor in
. Although Antoninus had good relations with Hadrian, he was not the first
choice for successor, and it was only upon the
death of Aelius Verus, Hadrian's first choice for successor, that he was adopted and promoted to the imperial throne.
One condition was that he, himself, adopt Marcus Aurelius and L. Verus, son of Aelius Verus. This he willingly did. Antoninus
continued to reign with justice and integrity in the tradition of his predecessors. Unlike Trajan and Hadrian however, he did not
embark upon many great building and infrastructure projects, but only completed several important projects that were begun
under Hadrian's reign. He also spent much effort renovating existing roads and buildings, rather than planning new ones, and
was generous in repairing damage done in provinces throughout the empire by floods, earthquakes, fires and famine. He continued
Hadrian's policy of containment rather than expansion, and helped to relieve some of the provinces of their burden of debt and
high taxes. Unlike his predecessors, he stayed primarily in Rome, and rarely left it, even to put down
revolts and rebellions that were brewing in various parts of the empire. By the end of his reign Antoninus had become familiar
with, and sympathetic to the Christian religion, and allowed the new sect to practice their religion openly. This was but
a temporary respite however, since persecutions continued under his successor, Marcus Aurelius, who succeeded to the imperial
throne on the death of Antoninus Pius in 161 A
Key events during the life of Antoninus Pius:
||Consular administrator of Italy under Hadrian.
||Proconsul in Asia.
||Adopted by emperor Hadrian, and succeeded to imperial throne.
||Death of wife, Faustina the Elder.
||Wall of Antoninus built in Britain.
||Faustina the Younger, daughter of Antoninus, married Marcus Aurelius.
||Died. Succeeded by Marcus Aurelius.
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|Story Links||Book Links|
|Antoninus Pius in
||The Story of the Romans by H. A. Guerber|
||Wife of Antoninus Pius. Aunt of Marcus Aurelius.
||Third of "Five Good Emperors." Talented artist and architect, good administrator.
||Fifth of "Five Good Emperors." Stoic philosopher. Improved condition of poor.
||Christian saint whose writings influenced Antoninus.
||Son of Aelius Verus, adopted by Antoninus and made heir to imperial throne.