61 Facts About Antoninus Pius


Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Pius was Roman emperor from 138 to 161.


Antoninus Pius married Hadrian's niece Faustina, and Hadrian adopted him as his son and successor shortly before his death.


Antoninus Pius's reign is notable for the peaceful state of the Empire, with no major revolts or military incursions during this time.


Antoninus Pius 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.


Antoninus Pius died of illness in 161 and was succeeded by his adopted sons Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus as co-emperors.


Antoninus Pius was born Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Antoninus near Lanuvium in Italy to Titus Aurelius Fulvus, consul in 86, and wife Arria Fadilla The Aurelii Fulvi were an Aurelian family settled in Nemausus.


Antoninus Pius' father had no other children and died shortly after his 89 ordinary consulship.


Antoninus Pius was raised by his maternal grandfather Gnaeus Arrius Antoninus Pius, reputed by contemporaries to be a man of integrity and culture and a friend of Pliny the Younger.


Arria Fadilla, Antoninus Pius' mother, married afterwards Publius Julius Lupus, suffect consul in 98; from that marriage came two daughters, Arria Lupula and Julia Fadilla.


Some time between 110 and 115, Antoninus Pius married Annia Galeria Faustina the Elder.


Faustina was a beautiful woman, and despite rumours about her character, it is clear that Antoninus Pius cared for her deeply.


Antoninus Pius had various coins with her portrait struck in her honor.


Antoninus Pius further founded a charity, calling it Puellae Faustinianae or Girls of Faustina, which assisted destitute girls of good family.


Finally, Antoninus Pius created a new alimenta, a Roman welfare programme, as part of Cura Annonae.


Also, as one could not have a wife and an official concubine at the same time, Antoninus Pius avoided being pressed into a marriage with a noblewoman from another family.


Antoninus Pius was next appointed by the Emperor Hadrian as one of the four proconsuls to administer Italia, his district including Etruria, where he had estates.


Antoninus Pius adopted the name Imperator Titus Aelius Caesar Antoninus, in preparation for his rule.


Immediately after Hadrian's death, Antoninus Pius approached Marcus and requested that his marriage arrangements be amended: Marcus' betrothal to Ceionia Fabia would be annulled, and he would be betrothed to Faustina, Antoninus Pius' daughter, instead.


Antoninus Pius built temples, theaters, and mausoleums, promoted the arts and sciences, and bestowed honours and financial rewards upon the teachers of rhetoric and philosophy.


Antoninus Pius made few initial changes when he became emperor, leaving intact as far as possible the arrangements instituted by Hadrian.


Epigraphical and prosopographical research has revealed that Antoninus Pius' imperial ruling team centered around a group of closely knit senatorial families, most of them members of the priestly congregation for the cult of Hadrian, the sodales Hadrianales.


Pflaum, prosopographical research of Antoninus Pius' ruling team allows us to grasp the deeply conservative character of the ruling senatorial caste.


Antoninus Pius's reign was the most peaceful in the entire history of the Principate, notwithstanding the fact that there were several military disturbances in the Empire in his time.


The orator Fronto was later to say that, although Antoninus Pius bestowed the direction of the British campaign to others, he should be regarded as the helmsman who directed the voyage, whose glory, therefore, belonged to him.


In both cases, Antoninus Pius was not in formal charge of the ensuing repression: Priscianus committed suicide and Titianus was found guilty by the Senate, with Antoninus Pius abstaining from sequestering their families' properties.


Nevertheless, Antoninus Pius was virtually unique among emperors in that he dealt with these crises without leaving Italy once during his reign, but instead dealt with provincial matters of war and peace through their governors or through imperial letters to the cities such as Ephesus.


Antoninus Pius was the last Roman Emperor recognised by the Indian Kingdoms, especially the Kushan Empire.


Antoninus Pius was regarded as a skilled administrator and as a builder.


Antoninus Pius offered hefty financial grants for rebuilding and recovery of various Greek cities after two serious earthquakes: the first, circa 140, which affected mostly Rhodes and other islands; the second, in 152, which hit Cyzicus, Ephesus, and Smyrna.


Antoninus Pius' financial help earned him praise by Greek writers such as Aelius Aristides and Pausanias.


Ephesus was specially favoured by Antoninus Pius, who confirmed and upheld its distinction of having two temples for the imperial cult, therefore having first place in the list of imperial honor titles, surpassing both Smyrna and Pergamon.


Antoninus Pius created a chair for the teaching of rhetoric in Athens.


Antoninus Pius was known as an avid observer of rites of religion and of formal celebrations, both Roman and foreign.


Antoninus Pius is known for having increasingly formalized the official cult offered to the Great Mother, which from his reign onwards included a bull sacrifice, a taurobolium, formerly only a private ritual, now being performed for the sake of the Emperor's welfare.


Antoninus Pius offered patronage to the worship of Mithras, to whom he erected a temple in Ostia.


Antoninus Pius tried to portray himself as a magistrate of the res publica, no matter how extended and ill-defined his competencies were.


Antoninus Pius is credited with the splitting of the imperial treasury, the fiscus.


Also, Antoninus Pius left behind him a reputation for stinginess and was probably determined not to leave his personal property to be "swallowed up by the demands of the imperial throne".


However, Antoninus Pius did take a great interest in the revision and practice of the law throughout the empire.


One of his chief concerns was to having local communities conform their legal procedures to existing Roman norms: in a case concerning repression of banditry by local police officers in Asia Minor, Antoninus Pius ordered that these officers should not treat suspects as already condemned, and keep a detailed copy of their interrogations, to be used in the possibility of an appeal to the Roman governor.


Also, although Antoninus Pius was not an innovator, he would not always follow the absolute letter of the law; rather he was driven by concerns over humanity and equality, and introduced into Roman law many important new principles based upon this notion.


Antoninus Pius was the author of a large work on Fidei commissa.


Antoninus Pius upheld the enforcement of contracts for selling of female slaves forbidding their further employment in prostitution.


In criminal law, Antoninus Pius introduced the important principle that accused persons are not to be treated as guilty before trial, as in the case of the irenarchs.


Antoninus Pius asserted the principle that the trial was to be held, and the punishment inflicted, in the place where the crime had been committed.


Antoninus Pius mitigated the use of torture in examining slaves by certain limitations.


However, it must be stressed that Antoninus Pius extended, by means of a rescript, the use of torture as a means of obtaining evidence to pecuniary cases, when it had been applied up until then only in criminal cases.


Also, already at the time torture of free men of low status had become legal, as proved by the fact that Antoninus Pius exempted town councillors expressly from it, and free men of high rank in general.


Antoninus Pius had a close friendship with "Antoninus", possibly Antoninus Pius, who would consult Rabbi Judah on various worldly and spiritual matters.


Antoninus Pius found it difficult to keep himself upright without stays.


Antoninus Pius started nibbling on dry bread to give him the strength to stay awake through his morning receptions.


Marcus's administrative duties increased again after the death, in 156 or 157, of one of Antoninus Pius' most trusted advisers, Marcus Gavius Maximus.


Antoninus Pius had a reputation as a most strict disciplinarian and some fellow equestrian procurators held lasting grudges against him.


Two days before his death, the biographer reports, Antoninus Pius was at his ancestral estate at Lorium, in Etruria, about twelve miles from Rome.


Antoninus Pius ate Alpine Gruyere cheese at dinner quite greedily.


Antoninus Pius then turned over, as if going to sleep, and died.


Antoninus Pius is unique among Roman emperors in that he has no other biographies.


However estimable the man, Antoninus Pius was hardly a great statesman.


Kornemann's brief is that Antoninus Pius might have waged preventive wars to head off these outsiders.


Michael Grant agrees that it is possible that had Antoninus Pius acted decisively sooner, the Parthians might have been unable to choose their own time, but current evidence is not conclusive.


Ulanowski praises Antoninus Pius for being successful in deterrence by diplomatic means.