Antonines

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This page is on the Roman imperial dynasty; for Catholic clergy of the same name, see Anthonians

The Antonines most often referred to were two successive Roman Emperors who ruled between 138 and 180: Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius, famous for their skilled leadership. Also included in those usually considered to be "Antonines" were Lucius Verus (161–169) for a time co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius, and the infamous Commodus, son of Marcus Aurelius.

In 138, Emperor Hadrian named Antoninus his son and heir, under the condition that he adopt both Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. Hadrian died that same year, and Antoninus began a peaceful, benevolent reign (in contrast to his immediate predecessors' expansionist wars), adhering strictly to Roman traditions and institutions and willingly sharing his power with the Roman Senate.

Marcus Aurelius succeeded Antoninus Pius upon that emperor's 161 death and continued his legacy as an unpretentious and gifted administrator and leader, a modern Numa Pompilius. Marcus Aurelius died in 180 and was followed by his biological son Commodus, who single-handedly ended the line of "Five Good Emperors" and the Pax Romana in general.

Edward Gibbon considers the reign of the Antonines, as well as those of their predecessors Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian, the height of the Roman Empire (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire).

For further information, see:

Preceded by:
Nervo-Trajanic Dynasty
Antonines
138 –192
Succeeded by:
Year of the Five Emperors,
then Severan dynasty

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Antonines

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