He was also born into an environment of some discrimination.
His reign was long and troubled, and in some ways showed the weaknesses of empire which ultimately led to the "Decline and Fall," yet his personal reputation, indeed his sanctity, have never failed of admirers. Contributing to his fame and reputation is a slender volume of Stoic philosophy which served as a kind of diary while he was involved in military campaigns, the Meditations, a book which can be described as an aureus libellus, a little golden book.
The sources for understanding Marcus and his reign are varied but generally disappointing. There is no major historian. The chief literary sources are the biography in the Historia Augusta, as well as those of HadrianAntoninusVerusand Avidius Cassius.
Debate about this collection of imperial biographies has been heated and contentious for more than a century.
In all likelihood, it is the work of a single author writing in the last years of the fourth-century.
The information offered ranges from the precisely accurate to the wildly imaginative. Cassius Dio, who wrote in the decade of the s, produced a long history of the empire which has survived, for our period, only in an abbreviated version.
Fourth century historians, such as Aurelius Victor and Eutropius, occasionally furnish bits of information. Marcus' teacher, Fronto, a distinguished orator and rhetorician, is extremely useful.
Papyri, inscriptions, coins, legal writings, and some of the church writers, such as Tertullian, Eusebius, and Orosius, are very important. Archaeology and art history, with their interpretation of monuments, make the history of Marcus' principate literally visible and offer important clues for understanding the context of his actions.
Early Life He was born M. His grandfather held his second consulate in that year and went on to reach a third ina rare distinction in the entire history of the principate, and also served Hadrian as city prefect. When Hadrian's first choice as successor, L. Ceionius Commodus, died before his adoptive father, the second choice proved more fruitful.
The distinguished senator T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus, from Cisalpine Gaul, did succeed Hadrianwhose arrangements for the succession planned for the next generation as well.
He required Antoninus to adopt the young Verus, now to be known as M. Aelius Aurelius Verus, as well as Commodus' son, henceforth known as L.
The former was a bit more than seventeen years old, the latter was eight. Career under Antoninus Pius The long tenure of Antoninus Pius proved one of the most peaceful and prosperous in Roman history. The emperor himself was disinclined to military undertakings and never left Italy during his reign.
Disturbances to the pax Romana occurred on the fringes of empire. Responses were decisive and successful, with legates in charge in the provinces.
As a consequence, neither Caesar gained military experience nor was shown to the armies, a failing which later could have proved decisive and disastrous.
Marcus rose steadily through the cursus honorum, holding consulates in andcombining magistracies with priesthoods. He received the tribunicia potestas inand perhaps also imperium proconsulare.
Yet he never neglected the artes liberales. His closest contacts were with Fronto c. He was leading a life which gave him as much honor and glory as he could have desired, probably much more than his private nature enjoyed, yet his life, and that of the empire, was soon to change.
The emperor died on March 7, but not before clearly indicating to magistrates and senate alike his desire that Marcus succeed him by having the statue of Fortuna, which had been in his bedroom, transferred to Marcus.The Kalam Cosmological Argument, Volume 1: Philosophical Arguments for the Finitude of the Past (Bloomsbury Studies in Philosophy of Religion) - Kindle edition by Paul Copan, William Lane Craig.
Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Kalam Cosmological Argument, Volume 1. Virtual Catalog of Roman Coins. An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors.
DIR Atlas Marcus Aurelius (A.D. ) Herbert W. Benario. Emory University. Introduction and Sources. To be clear, these are philosophical arguments.
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