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Marcus Aurelius

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Introduction

MARCUS AURELIUS Early life and Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus was born on 26th April 121A.D in Rome. He was born Marcus Annius Verus to a rich Spanish family. His father was Annius Verus, his mother Domitia Lucilla and his only sibling was his sister, Annia Cornificia Faustina. However when Marcus was three years of age his father tragically died and he had to go and live with his grandfather, who was a consulate for three years and his mother. In memory of his father Aurelius described him as someone who taught him 'manliness without ostentation' Aurelius went on to become very interested in Stoicism (philosophy) at a young age and because of his intellectual standard the Emperor Hadrian took a great interest in him and referred to Aurelius as 'Verisimmus' (the most truthful) rather than by his name Verus. At the age of six Marcus was advanced to an equestrian rank and then, two years later, at the age of eight he was made a member of the ancient Salin priesthood. ...read more.

Middle

He was particularly interested in Diatribai ("Discourses") of Epictetus who was a very influential philosopher at the Stoic school. As Marcus grew older he became more and more involved with his father's work appearing by his side as consul in 140, 145 and 161. Then in 145 Marcus married the daughter of Antonius and his cousin, Annia Galeria Faustina, who gave him a daughter. A short time before Marcus received his first daughter he had the proconsular imperium and the tribunicia potestas bestowed on him, the main imperial honours. When Antoninus died in 161 Marcus received the title of Emperor of Rome however he accepted only on the condition that his brother Lucius ruled alongside him. For the first time in Roman history, Rome had two Emperors- Augusti. Marcus changed his name to Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus and Lucius changed his to Lucius Aurelius Verus. The Wars War in Parthia In Asia, near what is now Iraq and Iran the Parthia Empire began a military campaign and successfully captured Armenia and Syria in 161 and 162 defeating the Romans in Cappadocia. ...read more.

Conclusion

Avidius had heard that Marcus had been killed and so planned to become Emperor himself. Only Cappadocia and Bithynia did not follow Avidius's claims. When news broke out that Marcus was very much alive, Avidius's own followers' killed him and offered his severed head to Marcus who had now reached Parthia. Marcus declined, and once he had settled the situation set off again. From 173 Marcus toured the eastern provinces with his wife, Faustina and declared himself the protector of philosophy in Athens. However upon returning back to Rome his beloved wife died after giving him 13 children. War still beckoned and in 177 Marcus returned to his campaign in Germania defeating the rebels in 178. While he was there he wrote his acclaimed work, the Mediations. He did so in order for his self improvement and guidance. However his planes to annex Bohemia were halted as he fell ill with chickenpox in 180 and died in Vienna. He left his son Commodus as heir to become emperor. Commodus's succession was described as the end of the pax romana. His achievements in Germania were marked by a column dedicated to him in Rome ...read more.

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