[183], In either autumn 161 or spring 162,[note 12] the Tiber overflowed its banks, flooding much of Rome. [199] Marcus was unprepared. [58] Marcus reportedly greeted the news that Hadrian had become his adoptive grandfather with sadness, instead of joy. Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor from 161 to 180 Stoic philosopher. Commodus was a known consumptive at the time of his adoption, so Hadrian may have intended Marcus's eventual succession anyway. This may have been the port city of Kattigara, described by Ptolemy (c. 150) as being visited by a Greek sailor named Alexander and lying beyond the Golden Chersonese (i.e. Historians have criticized the succession to Commodus, citing Commodus's erratic behaviour and lack of political and military acumen. He started nibbling on dry bread to give him the strength to stay awake through his morning receptions. [19] The gens Annia was of Italian origins (with legendary claims of descendance from Numa Pompilius) and a branch of it moved to Ucubi, a small town south east of Córdoba in Iberian Baetica. [314], It is not known how widely Marcus's writings were circulated after his death. Birley, 'Hadrian to the Antonines', p. 163, citing. A statue of Marcus had stood atop the column but disappeared during the Middle Ages. It was first published in 1558 in Zurich by Wilhelm Xylander (ne Holzmann), from a manuscript reportedly lost shortly afterwards. A spiral of carved reliefs wraps around the column, showing scenes from his military campaigns. Marcus married Antoninus's daughter Faustina in 145. If I happen to call him an uneducated little Greek it will not mean war to the death'. 'Marcus Aurelius as Ideal Emperor in Late-Antique Greek Thought'. Writing to Fronto, he declared that he would not speak about his holiday. Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was born on April 26, 121, in Rome, Italy. Husband of Rupilia Faustina: Levick (2014), p. 163. This new impetus westwards was probably due to attacks from tribes further east. [72], Antoninus demanded that Marcus reside in the House of Tiberius, the imperial palace on the Palatine, and take up the habits of his new station, the aulicum fastigium or 'pomp of the court', against Marcus's objections. [15] He may have been known as Marcus Annius Catilius Severus,[16] at birth or some point in his youth,[12][14] or Marcus Catilius Severus Annius Verus. like unto them are the children of men. Below are some of the best Marcus Aurelius quotes to inspire you to create your own happiness and live your best life. Clemens was from the frontier province of Pannonia and had served in the war in Mauretania. [235] Marcus may have planned to accompany them all the way to Smyrna (the biographer says he told the senate he would), but this did not happen. The preponderance of Greek tutors indicates the importance of the Greek language to the aristocracy of Rome. But he did not have to fight Cassius as he was murdered by his own soldiers. Famous Marcus Aurelius quotes on Life, Death and Love: You might be having an idea that Marcus Aurelius, who was none other than the Roman emperor, was born around 121 AD. [207] M. Annius Libo, Marcus's first cousin, was sent to replace the Syrian governor. Time to disembark. Best known are their daughter Lucilla and their son Commodus. The next day, 1 December, Antoninus gave Marcus the tribunician power and the imperium – authority over the armies and provinces of the emperor. Iain King explains that Marcus's legacy was tragic: "[The emperor's] Stoic philosophy – which is about self-restraint, duty, and respect for others – was so abjectly abandoned by the imperial line he anointed on his death. [57] Marcus became M. Aelius Aurelius Verus, and Lucius became L. Aelius Aurelius Commodus. He was too anxious to relax. [98] The pair were very close, using intimate language such as 'Farewell my Fronto, wherever you are, my most sweet love and delight. He was immediately deified and his ashes were returned to Rome, where they rested in Hadrian's mausoleum (modern Castel Sant'Angelo) until the Visigoth sack of the city in 410. Between 170-180 CE, Marcus Aurelius campaigned against the Germanic tribes and toured the eastern provinces of his empire. [53] After a brief stationing on the Danube frontier, Aelius returned to Rome to make an address to the Senate on the first day of 138. );[71] direct evidence for membership, however, is available only for the Arval Brethren. Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. His old friend and most trusted general, Avidius Cassius, had rebelled in Syria. [84], After taking the toga virilis in 136, Marcus probably began his training in oratory. [301] The early Christian apologist, Justin Martyr, includes within his First Apology (written between 140 and 150 A.D.) a letter from Marcus Aurelius to the Roman senate (prior to his reign) describing a battlefield incident in which Marcus believed Christian prayer had saved his army from thirst when "water poured from heaven," after which, "immediately we recognized the presence of God." [88], Atticus was controversial: an enormously rich Athenian (probably the richest man in the eastern half of the empire), he was quick to anger and resented by his fellow Athenians for his patronizing manner. [246] Before the end of 163, however, Roman forces had moved north to occupy Dausara and Nicephorium on the northern, Parthian bank. He would read imperial letters to the senate when Antoninus was absent and would do secretarial work for the senators. [5] Marcus's own Meditations offer a window on his inner life, but are largely undateable and make few specific references to worldly affairs. [268], Like many emperors, Marcus spent most of his time addressing matters of law such as petitions and hearing disputes,[269] but unlike many of his predecessors, he was already proficient in imperial administration when he assumed power. Unlike some of his predecessors, Marcus chose not to adopt an heir. 'Han Foreign Relations', in Denis Twitchett and Michael Loewe (eds), This page was last edited on 22 December 2020, at 02:54. [161], A possible contact with Han China occurred in 166 when a Roman traveller visited the Han court, claiming to be an ambassador representing a certain Andun (Chinese: 安 敦), ruler of Daqin, who can be identified either with Marcus or his predecessor Antoninus. Dio is vital for the military history of the period, but his senatorial prejudices and strong opposition to imperial expansion obscure his perspective. [228][note 16] Libo died early in the war; perhaps Lucius had murdered him. The emperor's hand is outstretched in an act of clemency offered to a bested enemy, while his weary facial expression due to the stress of leading Rome into nearly constant battles perhaps represents a break with the classical tradition of sculpture. As Antoninus aged, Marcus would take on more administrative duties, more still when he became the praetorian prefect (an office that was as much secretarial as military) when Marcus Gavius Maximus died in 156 or 157. Like youth and old age. 58 (1968): 32–50. For this reason, Marcus decided not only against bringing more barbarians into Italy, but even banished those who had previously been brought there. Numerous members of Germanic tribes settled in frontier regions like Dacia, Pannonia, Germany, and Italy itself. P. Julius Geminius Marcianus, an African senator commanding X Gemina at Vindobona (Vienna), left for Cappadocia with detachments from the Danubian legions. After a long struggle, Marcus managed to push back the invaders. [167][note 11] Aside from the fact that the twins shared Caligula's birthday, the omens were favorable, and the astrologers drew positive horoscopes for the children. [243] Sohaemus was hailed on the imperial coinage of 164 under the legend .mw-parser-output span.smallcaps{font-variant:small-caps}.mw-parser-output span.smallcaps-smaller{font-size:85%}Rex armeniis Datus: Lucius sat on a throne with his staff while Sohaemus stood before him, saluting the emperor. The reign of Marcus Aurelius was marked by military conflict. He was there with his wife and children (another child had stayed with Fronto and his wife in Rome). It was the only thing the biographer could find fault with in Marcus's entire boyhood. This is an inspirational quote by Marcus … Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II tried to strengthen the Habsburg empire with his enlightened reforms, but the changes he made were met with fierce opposition. [125], In 149, Faustina gave birth again, to twin sons. Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher, born in Rome AD 121, the date of his birth being variously stated as the 6th, 21st and 26th of April. [177] The tutor was immensely proud of his students. [294][295], Christians such as Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, and Eusebius also gave him the title. Husband of Ceionia Fabia: Levick (2014), p. 164. Marcus had chosen a reliable man rather than a talented one. Sister of Trajan's father: Giacosa (1977), p. 7. [172] Marcus and Lucius proved popular with the people of Rome, who strongly approved of their civiliter ('lacking pomp') behaviour. Lower Pannonia was under the obscure Tiberius Haterius Saturnius. [211] Fronto replied: 'What? He had kept his teachers on good terms, following them devotedly. … [130] Another son, Tiberius Aelius Antoninus, was born in 152. It would have been clear to the public which emperor was the more senior. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. At some time between 155 and 161, probably soon after 155, Marcus's mother Domitia Lucilla died. During the pregnancy she dreamed of giving birth to two serpents, one fiercer than the other. Along with his burgeoning career, Aurelius seemed to have a contented personal life. Her inheritance included large brickworks on the outskirts of Rome – a profitable enterprise in an era when the city was experiencing a construction boom – and the Horti Domitia Calvillae (or Lucillae), a villa on the Caelian hill of Rome. Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon I, was emperor of France from 1852 to 1870. It too is one of the things required by nature. Ackermann, Marsha E.; Schroeder, Michael J.; Terry, Jancie J.; Lo Upshur, Jiu-Hwa; Whitters, Mark F. An, Jiayao. Marcus Aurelius' death is often held to have been the end of the Pax Romana and the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire. [65], Immediately after Hadrian's death, Antoninus approached Marcus and requested that his marriage arrangements be amended: Marcus's betrothal to Ceionia Fabia would be annulled, and he would be betrothed to Faustina, Antoninus's daughter, instead. Upon his adoption by Antoninus as heir to the throne, he was known as Marcus Aelius Aurelius Verus Caesar and, upon his ascension, he was Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus until his death;[17] Epiphanius of Salamis, in his chronology of the Roman emperors On Weights and Measures, calls him Marcus Aurelius Verus. Antonio Vivaldi was a 17th and 18th century composer who’s become one of the most renowned figures in European classical music. [100], He wrote Fronto a letter on his birthday, claiming to love him as he loved himself, and calling on the gods to ensure that every word he learnt of literature, he would learn 'from the lips of Fronto'. Marcus's great-grandfather Marcus Annius Verus (I) was a senator and (according to the Historia Augusta) ex-praetor; his grandfather Marcus Annius Verus (II) was made patrician in 73–74. Lucius Dasumius Tullius Tuscus, a distant relative of Hadrian, was in Upper Pannonia, succeeding the experienced Marcus Nonius Macrinus. The peace could not hold long; Lower Pannonia did not even have a legion. Marcus may have wanted Civica to watch over Lucius, the job Libo had failed at. A collection of his thoughts have been published in a work called The Meditations. Marcus Garvey was a proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, inspiring the Nation of Islam and the Rastafarian movement. [253] Lucius took the title Parthicus Maximus, and he and Marcus were hailed as imperatores again, earning the title 'imp. He was a man suited for a time of military crisis. Like growth and maturity. It may have continued into the reign of Commodus. The major sources depicting the life and rule of Marcus are patchy and frequently unreliable. Poorly compiled: e.g. Birley, 'Hadrian to the Antonines', pp. Verus oversaw the war effort while Aurelius stayed in Rome. Marcus's sister, Annia Cornificia Faustina, was probably born in 122 or 123. [170], Soon after the emperors' accession, Marcus's eleven-year-old daughter, Annia Lucilla, was betrothed to Lucius (in spite of the fact that he was, formally, her uncle). Marcus Servilius Fabianus Maximus was shuffled from Lower Moesia to Upper Moesia when Marcus Iallius Bassus had joined Lucius in Antioch. It appears that the senate had initially planned to offer the rule of the empire to Marcus alone, but in accordance with a respect for the former emperor Hadrian’s wishes, Marcus refused power unless Lucius was given an equal share. [76] He was being 'fitted for ruling the state', in the words of his biographer. [118] He was older than Fronto and twenty years older than Marcus. Marcus Aurelius, in full Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, original name (until 161 ce) Marcus Annius Verus, (born April 26, 121 ce, Rome [Italy]—died March 17, 180, Vindobona [Vienna, Austria] or Sirmium, Pannonia), Roman emperor (161–180 ce), best known for his Meditations on Stoic philosophy. [245] In response, Roman forces were moved downstream, to cross the Euphrates at a more southerly point. '[216], Fronto sent Marcus a selection of reading material,[218] and, to settle his unease over the course of the Parthian war, a long and considered letter, full of historical references. [185][note 13] In other times of famine, the emperors are said to have provided for the Italian communities out of the Roman granaries. [146] His death closed out the longest reign since Augustus, surpassing Tiberius by a couple of months. Birley believes there is some truth in these considerations. Birley, 'Hadrian to the Antonines', p. 156. [87] This was the age of the Second Sophistic, a renaissance in Greek letters. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Book Summary) My overall impression of this classic is that it is overrated. [220], Over the winter of 161–162, news that a rebellion was brewing in Syria arrived and it was decided that Lucius should direct the Parthian war in person. 71–79. [89] Atticus was an inveterate opponent of Stoicism and philosophic pretensions. [38] He was less fond of the mistress his grandfather took and lived with after the death of his wife Rupilia. The senate would soon grant him the name Augustus and the title imperator, and he would soon be formally elected as Pontifex Maximus, chief priest of the official cults. [165]) Faustina was three months pregnant at her husband's accession. In 175, he faced another challenge—this time for his very position. 186–91. [202] Reinforcements were dispatched for the Parthian frontier. The campaign had lasted only three days. Fronto urged him in a letter to have plenty of sleep 'so that you may come into the Senate with a good colour and read your speech with a strong voice'. Marcus Aurelius died on March 17, 180. [158] This donative, however, was twice the size of those past: 20,000 sesterces (5,000 denarii) per capita, with more to officers. The formalities of the position would follow. [285] Raoul McLaughlin writes that the travel of Roman subjects to the Han Chinese court in 166 may have started a new era of Roman–Far East trade. Marcus Aurelius (r. A.D. 161-180) was a Stoic philosopher and one of the five good Roman emperors (r. A.D. 161-180). According to Hays, the book was a favourite of Christina of Sweden, Frederick the Great, John Stuart Mill, Matthew Arnold, and Goethe, and is admired by modern figures such as Wen Jiabao and Bill Clinton. Marcus's grandfather owned a palace beside the Lateran, where he would spend much of his childhood. [239] At the end of the year, Lucius took the title Armeniacus, despite having never seen combat; Marcus declined to accept the title until the following year. Unfortunately, Faustina died during this trip. He decreased the silver purity of the denarius from 83.5% to 79% – the silver weight dropping from 2.68 g (0.095 oz) to 2.57 g (0.091 oz). [14] Marcus was raised in his parents' home on the Caelian Hill, an upscale area with few public buildings but many aristocratic villas. [209], Marcus took a four-day public holiday at Alsium, a resort town on the coast of Etruria. The extent to which Marcus himself directed, encouraged, or was aware of these persecutions is unclear and much debated by historians. Hadrian died that year and Antoninus became emperor. The column, right, in the background of Panini's painting of the Palazzo Montecitorio, with the base of the Column of Antoninus Pius in the right foreground (1747). [94][note 6] He did not care much for Atticus, though Marcus was eventually to put the pair on speaking terms. [7] Some other literary sources provide specific details: the writings of the physician Galen on the habits of the Antonine elite, the orations of Aelius Aristides on the temper of the times, and the constitutions preserved in the Digest and Codex Justinianeus on Marcus's legal work. If not for his adoption, he probably would have become triumvir monetalis, a highly regarded post involving token administration of the state mint; after that, he could have served as tribune with a legion, becoming the legion's nominal second-in-command. [156][note 10], In spite of their nominal equality, Marcus held more auctoritas, or 'authority', than Lucius. [52] As part of his adoption, Commodus took the name, Lucius Aelius Caesar. He kept in close correspondence with Fronto for many years afterwards. [198], There was threat of war on other frontiers as well – in Britain, and in Raetia and Upper Germany, where the Chatti of the Taunus mountains had recently crossed over the limes. He was made consul soon after. Reflecting on the speech he had written on taking his consulship in 143, when he had praised the young Marcus, Fronto was ebullient: 'There was then an outstanding natural ability in you; there is now perfected excellence. “ — Marcus Aurelius, book Meditations. Roman emperor from 161 to 180, philosopher, The dissolute Syrian army spent more time in, Marcus Aurelius receiving the submission of the vanquished, with raised. Roman Emperor, 161-180 AD. [164] (Marcus had little need of his wife's fortune. [163] The temple he had dedicated to his wife, Diva Faustina, became the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. [115], Apollonius may have introduced Marcus to Stoic philosophy, but Quintus Junius Rusticus would have the strongest influence on the boy. Having heard the emperor was vulnerable or possibly dead, the ambitious general declared himself Caesar and assumed the throne. As the Parthian War ended, the two rulers had to face another military conflict with German tribes in the late 160s. Marcus should have been angry. [182] Soon, however, he would find he had many anxieties. - Marcus Aurelius quotes from BrainyQuote.com "Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh." The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of … He was consul in 154,[134] and was consul again with Marcus in 161. The original title of this work, if it had one, is unknown. Lucius had a markedly different personality from Marcus: he enjoyed sports of all kinds, but especially hunting and wrestling; he took obvious pleasure in the circus games and gladiatorial fights. His son Commodus became emperor and soon ended the northern military efforts. He believed Marcus was 'beginning to feel the wish to be eloquent once more, in spite of having for a time lost interest in eloquence'. [35] His mother Lucilla did not remarry[33] and, following prevailing aristocratic customs, probably did not spend much time with her son. Birley, 'Hadrian to the Antonines', p. 164, citing P. Kneissl. The infants were buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian, where their epitaphs survive. [244], In 163, the Parthians intervened in Osroene, a Roman client in upper Mesopotamia centred on Edessa, and installed their own king on its throne. [2] The later biographies and the biographies of subordinate emperors and usurpers are unreliable, but the earlier biographies, derived primarily from now-lost earlier sources (Marius Maximus or Ignotus), are much more accurate. Ackermann, Schroeder, Terry, Lo Upshur and Whitters, p. 39. [252], Cassius's army, although suffering from a shortage of supplies and the effects of a plague contracted in Seleucia, made it back to Roman territory safely. Friends Who Liked This Quote. Professional jurists called him 'an emperor most skilled in the law'[271] and 'a most prudent and conscientiously just emperor'. [83] Coins were issued with the heads of the couple, and Antoninus, as Pontifex Maximus, would have officiated. [109], By the age of twenty-five (between April 146 and April 147), Marcus had grown disaffected with his studies in jurisprudence, and showed some signs of general malaise. Share this quote: Like Quote. [49], In late 136, Hadrian almost died from a hemorrhage. Maecianus was recalled, made senator, and appointed prefect of the treasury (aerarium Saturni). [203] Three full legions were also sent east: I Minervia from Bonn in Upper Germany,[204] II Adiutrix from Aquincum,[205] and V Macedonica from Troesmis. It was replaced with a statue of Saint Paul in 1589 by Pope Sixtus V.[321] The column of Marcus and the column of Trajan are often compared by scholars given how they are both Doric in style, had a pedestal at the base, had sculpted friezes depicting their respective military victories, and a statue on top.[322]. [305] Their children included: Except where otherwise noted, the notes below indicate that an individual's parentage is as shown in the above family tree. Barnes, 'Legislation against the Christians'. [80] Never particularly healthy or strong, Marcus was praised by Cassius Dio, writing of his later years, for behaving dutifully in spite of his various illnesses. [249] The Parthians retreated to Nisibis, but this too was besieged and captured. [91] In spite of the influence of Atticus, Marcus would later become a Stoic. “You boarded, you set sail, you’ve made the passage. Citations to the works of Fronto are cross-referenced to C.R. [78], On 1 January 145, Marcus was made consul a second time. [280][note 17] Roman coins from the reigns of Tiberius to Aurelian have been found in Xi'an, China (site of the Han capital Chang'an), although the far greater amount of Roman coins in India suggests the Roman maritime trade for purchasing Chinese silk was centred there, not in China or even the overland Silk Road running through Persia. Marcus defeated the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatian Iazyges in the Marcomannic Wars; however, these and other Germanic peoples began to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. However, two years later he reverted to the previous values because of the military crises facing the empire. Marcus was born during the reign of Hadrian to the emperor's nephew, the praetor Marcus Annius Verus, and the heiress Domitia Calvilla. [171] At the ceremonies commemorating the event, new provisions were made for the support of poor children, along the lines of earlier imperial foundations. [276][277][278] In addition to Republican-era Roman glasswares found at Guangzhou along the South China Sea,[279] Roman golden medallions made during the reign of Antoninus and perhaps even Marcus have been found at Óc Eo, Vietnam, then part of the Kingdom of Funan near the Chinese province of Jiaozhi (in northern Vietnam). Before the end of the year, another family coin was issued: it shows only a tiny girl, Domitia Faustina, and one boy baby. Recommend to friends. [222][note 15] Whatever the case, the senate gave its assent, and, in the summer of 162, Lucius left. Italics indicates a junior co-emperor, while underlining indicates a usurper. [68] He was made consul for 140 with Antoninus as his colleague, and was appointed as a seviri, one of the knights' six commanders, at the order's annual parade on 15 July 139. What comes after we die? I love you and you are not here' in their correspondence. [224], Lucius spent most of the campaign in Antioch, though he wintered at Laodicea and summered at Daphne, a resort just outside Antioch. Growing up, Aurelius was a dedicated student, learning Latin and Greek. Marcus Aurelius died on March 17, 180. Marcus and his cousin-wife Faustina had at least 13 children during their 30-year marriage,[123][303] including two sets of twins. Barnes, Timothy D. 'Legislation against the Christians'. They did not survive long. If the gods are willing we seem to have a hope of recovery. [230], In the middle of the war, perhaps in autumn 163 or early 164, Lucius made a trip to Ephesus to be married to Marcus's daughter Lucilla. In return for this bounty, equivalent to several years' pay, the troops swore an oath to protect the emperors. [43] In April 132, at the behest of Diognetus, Marcus took up the dress and habits of the philosopher: he studied while wearing a rough Greek cloak, and would sleep on the ground until his mother convinced him to sleep on a bed. [90] He thought the Stoics' desire for apatheia was foolish: they would live a 'sluggish, enervated life', he said. Lower Moesia was filled by Pontius Laelianus's son. As the biographer wrote, 'No one missed the lenient ways of Pius'. That same year, 175, Aurelius's general Avidius Cassius was proclaimed Roman emperor after the erroneous news of Marcus's death; the sources indicate Cassius was encouraged by Marcus' wife Faustina, who was concerned about her husband's failing health, believing him to be on the verge of death, and felt the need for Cassius to act as a protector in this event, since her son Commodus, aged … Two rulers had to say on the face of the senate—a post he would imperial. 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