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212

ANTONINUS.

dais, between the years 140-145, and on this occa­sion Antoninus received for a second time the title of imperator—a distinction which he did not again accept, and he never deigned to celebrate a triumph. (Eckhel, vol. vii. p. 14.)

Even the nations which were not subject to Rome paid the utmost respect to the power oi Antoninus. The Parthians, yielding to his re­monstrances, abandoned an attempt upon Armenia. The Scythians submitted disputes with their neighbours to his arbitration ; the barbarians of the Upper Danube received a king from his hands ; a great chief of the clans of Caucasus repaired to Rome to tender his homage in person, and embas­sies flocked in from Hyrcania and Bactria, from the banks of the Indus and of the Ganges, to seek ' the alliance of the emperor.

In his reign various improvements were intro­duced in the law, by the advice of the most emi­nent jurists of the day; the health of the popula­tion was protected by salutary regulations with regard to the interment of the dead, and by the es­tablishment of a certain number of licensed medical practitioners in the metropolis and all large towns. The interests of education and literature were promoted by honours and pensions bestowed on the most distinguished professors of philosophy and rhetoric throughout the world. Commercial intercourse was facilitated by the construction or repair of bridges, harbours, and lighthouses ; and architecture and the fine arts were encouraged by the erection and decoration of numerous public buildings. Of these the temple of Faustina in the forum, and the mausoleum of Hadrian on the right bank of the Tiber, may still be seen, and many antiquarians are of opinion, that the magnificent amphitheatre at Nismes, and the stupendous aque­duct now termed the Pont du Gard, between that town .and Avignon, are monuments of the interest felt by the descendant of the Aurelii Fulvi for the country of his fathers. It is certain that the for­mer of these structures was completed under his immediate successors and dedicated to them.

In all the relations of private life Antoninus was equally distinguished. Even his wife's irre­gularities, which must to a certain extent have been known to him, he passed over, and after her death loaded her memory with honours. Among the most remarkable of these was the establish­ment of an hospital, after the plan of a similar in­stitution by Trajan, for the reception and mainten­ance of boys and girls, the young females who enjoyed the advantages of the charity being termed puellae alimentariae Faustinianae. By fervent piety and scrupulous observance of sacred rites, he gained the reputation of being a second Numa; but he was a foe to intolerant fanaticism, as is proved by the protection and favour extended to the Christians. His natural taste seems to have had a strong bias towards the pleasures of a country life, and accordingly we find him spend­ing all his leisure hours upon his estate in the country. In person he was of commanding aspect 'and dignified countenance, and a deep toned melo­dious voice rendered his native eloquence more striking and impressive.

His ,-death took place at Lorium on the 7th of March, 161, in his 75th year. He was succeeded by M. Aurelius.

JSome doubts existed amongst the ancients them­selves with regard to the origin of the title Pius, \

ANTONINUS.

and several different explanations, many of them very silly, are proposed by his biographer Capito-linus. The most probable account of the matter is this. Upon the death of Hadrian, the senate, in­censed by his severity towards several members of their body, had resolved to withhold the honours usually conferred upon deceased emperors, but were induced to forego their purpose in consequence of the deep grief of Antoninus, and his earnest en­treaties. Being, perhaps, after the first burst of indignation had passed away, somewhat alarmed by their own rashness, they determined to render the concession more gracious by paying a compli­ment to their new ruler which should mark their admiration of the feeling by which he had been influenced, and accordingly they hailed him by the name of Pius, or the dutifully affectionate. This view of the question receives support from medals, since the epithet appears for the first time upon those which were struck immediately after the death of Hadrian; while several belonging to the same year, but coined before that date, bear no such addition. Had it been, as is commonly supposed, conferred in consequence of the general holiness of his life, it would in all probability have been introduced either when he first became Cae­sar, or after he had been seated for some time on the throne, and not exactly at the moment of his accession. Be that as it may, it found such favour in the eyes of his successors, that it was almost universally adopted, and is usually found united with the appellation of Augustus.

Our chief and almost only authority for the life of Antoninus Pius is the biography of Capitolinus, which, as may be gathered from what has been said above, is from beginning to end an uninter­ rupted panegyric. But the few facts which we can collect from medals, from the scanty fragments of Dion Cassius, and from incidental notices in later writers, all corroborate, as far as they go, the representations of Capitolinus; and therefore we cannot fairly refuse to receive his narrative merely because he paints a character of singular and al­ most unparalleled excellence. [W. R.]

COIN OF ANTONINUS PIUS.

ANTONI'NUS LIBERA'LIS

igepaTus), a Greek grammarian, concerning whosi ife nothing is known, but who is generally believet to have lived in the reign of the Antonines, abou a. d. 147. We possess a work under his name entitled /ueTa/u,o(00wcTecoz> ffvvaytajr)^ and consistin of forty-one tales about mythical metamorphoses With the exception of nine tales, he always mer tions the sources from which he took his account! Since most of the works referred to bv him are no1

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[ost, his book is of some importance for the stud of Greek mythology, but in regard to compos tion and style it is of no value. There are bi

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