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Antoninus himself was born near Lannvium on the 19th. of September, a. D. 86, in the reign of Domi-tian; was brought up at Lorimn, a villa 011 the Aurelian way, about twelve miles from Rome; passed his boyhood under the superintendence of his two grandfathers, and from a very early age gave promise of his future worth. After having filled the offices of quaestor and praetor with great distinction, he was elevated to the consulship in 120, was afterwards selected by Hadrian as one of the four consulars to whom the administration of Italy was entrusted, was next appointed proconsul of the province of Asia, which he ruled so wisely that he surpassed in fame all former governors, not excepting his grandfather Arrius, and on his return home was admitted to share the secret counsels of the prince. In consequence, it would appear, of his merit alone, after the death of Aelius Caesar, he was adopted by Hadrian on the 25th of February 138, in the 52nd year of his age. He was immediately assumed by his new father as colleague in the tribunate and proconsular imperi-um, and thenceforward bore the name of T. Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Caesar. Being at this period without male issue, he was required to adopt M. Annius Verus, the son of his wife's brother, and also L. Ceionius Commodus, the son of Aelius Caesar, who had been previously adopted by Hadrian but was now dead. These two individuals were afterwards the emperors M. Aurelius Antoninus and L. Aurelius Verus,
Hadrian died at Baiae on the 2nd of July, 138, but a few months after these arrangements had been concluded, and Antoninus without opposition ascended the throne. Several years before this event, he had married Annia Galeria Faustina, whose descent will be understood by referring to the account given of the family of her nephew, M. aurelius. By her he had two daughters, Aurelia Fadilla and Annia Faustina, and two sons, M. Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus and M. Galerius Antoninus. Aurelia married Lamia Syllanus, and died at the time when her father was setting out for Asia. Faustina became the wife of her first cousin Marcus Aurelius, the future emperor. Of the male progeny we know nothing. The name of the first mentioned was discovered by Pagi in an inscription, the portrait of the second appears on a
-are Greek coin, with the legend, M. FALEPIOC. \NTHNEINOC. ATTOKPATOPOC. ANTHNEINOT TIOC. On the reverse of the medal is the head >f his mother, with the words, ©EA «f>ATCTEINA, vhich prove that it was struck subsequently to her leath, which happened in the third year after her msband's accession. It will be observed, that v\ii\Q Galerius is styled " son of the emperor Anto-dnus," he is not termed KAISAP, a title which rould scarcely have been omitted had he been
•orn or been alive after his father's elevation, "rom this circumstance, therefore, from the abso-ite silence of history with regard to these youths, nd from the positive assertion of Dion Cassius Ixix. 21), that Antoninus had no male issue when
emperor M. aurelius.
adopted by Hadrian, we may conclude that both his sons died before this epoch; and hence the magnanimity ascribed to him by Gibbon (c. 3) in preferring the welfare of Rome to the interests of his family, and sacrificing the claims of his own children to the talents and virtues of young Marcus, is probably altogether visionary.
The whole period of the reign of Antoninus, which lasted for upwards of twenty-two years, is almost a blank in history—a blank caused by the suspension for a time of war, and violence, and crime. Never before and never after did the Roman world enjoy for an equal space so large a measure of prosperous tranquillity. All the thoughts and energies of a most sagacious and able prince were steadfastly dedicated to the attainment of one object—the happiness of his people. And assuredly never were noble exertions crowned with more ample success.
At home the affections of all classes were won by his simple habits, by the courtesy of his manners, by the ready access granted to his presence, by the patient attention with which he listened to representations upon all manner of subjects, by his impartial distribution of favours, and his prompt administration of justice. Common informers were discouraged, and almost disappeared; never had confiscations been so rare; during a long succession of years no senator was punished with death; one man only was impeached of treason, and he, when convicted, was forbidden to betray his accomplices.
Abroad, the subject states participated largely in the blessings diffused by such an example. The best governors were permitted to retain their power for a series of years, and the collectors of the revenue were compelled to abandon their extortions. Moreover, the general condition of the provincials was improved, their fidelity secured, and the resources and stability of the whole empire increased by the communication, on a large scale, of the full rights and privileges of Roman citizens to the inhabitants of distant countries. In cases of national calamity and distress, such as the earthquakes which devastated Rhodes and Asia, and the great fires at Narbonne, Antioch, and Carthage, the sufferers were relieved, and compensation granted for their losses with the most unsparing liberality.
In foreign policy, the judicious system of his predecessor was steadily followed out. No attempt was made to achieve new conquests, -but all rebellions from within and all aggressions from without were promptly crushed. Various movements among the Germans, the Dacians, the Jews, the Moors, the Greeks, and the Egyptians, were quelled by persuasion or by a mere demonstration of force j while a more formidable insurrection in northern Britain was speedily repressed by the imperial legate Lollius Urbicus, who advancing beyond the wall of Hadrian, connected the friths of the Clyde and the Forth by a rampart of turf, in order that the more peaceful districts might be better protected from the inroads of the Caledonians. The British war was concluded, as we learn from me-