Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher-emperor who ruled the Roman Empire between AD and , is one of the best recorded individuals from antiquity. Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher-emperor who ruled the Roman Empire In this accessible and scholarly study, Professor Birley paints a. MARCUS AURELIUS A Biography By Anthony Birley Yale University Press. pp. $ WHEN PLATO, in The Republic, foresaw no end of.

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His proconsulship of Asia was likewise marked by an omen. Trajan became a hero to virtually everyone — a conqueror abroad, he respected senators at home for example, he was consul only four times in his reign birleyy twenty years, which was but one of the many studied contrasts to Domitian.

Marcus Aurelius: A Biography by Anthony Richard Birley

His outlook is biased therefore; but he does not appear to distort the facts unduly and provides an invaluable chronological framework. He continued his career as an advocate. They carried a spear or staff in their right hand. He dreamed that he had asked his father for a sleeping draught; and that he had been overcome by a lion.

He was also notable for being among some of the few emperors who did not in fact want the throne, others such as Tiberius had a similar disposition. But the man who began life as plain C. It was then that the praenomen Marcus was given him, the only one of his names which he bore for the rest of his life.

An emperor was a necessity.

Fourth on the list stood his paternal uncle, Libo. He was to deliver an important speech in the senate on the first day of the year I am speaking of Aurelius Antoninus here. The family was evidently turning out in strength — but Marcus bitley now senior in rank to them all, except Antoninus. It was common for governors of Lower Germany to be promoted to Britain, and the appointment of Urbicus by Pius is not therefore unusual; and his predecessor may have been due for replacement in any case.


Aelius Caesar January 1: Sallustius; of the poets especially Plautus, and above all, Q. Sestertius, 8 Antjony aged twenty-six. Cassius Dio, like most of his class, idealized Marcus Aurelius and hated Commodus. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of anthkny content: Emperors — Rome — Biography.

Others lived in sedate but cultivated retirement. Pius himself was credited by his flatterers with personal direction of operations from Rome: Herodes — Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes — was a controversial figure. University of Western Australia Library.

zurelius For I would ten times rather sip your letters than wine from all the Massic or Gauran vineyards. Jan 24, So Hakim rated it really liked it Shelves: Chock-full of direct quotes including personal letters. The Age of the Antonines.

The situation was saved when he adopted as his son and heir the governor of Upper Germany, M.

Marcus Aurelius: A Biography

Ceionius Commodus, who becomes L. He was austere but not unreasonable, modest biirley not inactive, reserved but not gloomy. I have received two letters from you at the same time.

Animula vagula blandula, Hospes comesque corporis, Quae nunc abibis in loca, Pallidula, rigida, nudula, Nec ut soles dabis iocos?

I wrote that first fairly long letter to you, and in it I said that I inferred from this — quite rightly, in fact — that it was a sign of great ability to meet the dangers involved in expressing thoughts of that kind with boldness; but that you would rise to what was needed, by your own study and with help from me, namely, to the command of language sufficiently luminous to match such great thoughts.


Her name is unknown, but it has been conjectured that she was Matidia, mother, by another husband, of the empress Vibia Sabina.

Shortly after this, Hadrian expressed the wish that the betrothal should take place of Marcus and the daughter of Ceionius Commodus.

That left me with Birley’s biography, which I only recently found a decent used copy of. Patricians, the hereditary aristocracy enlarged by Augustus and some of his successorscould move direct from quaestor to praetor and could become consul at thirty-two, ten years earlier than the rest.

Ceionia Fabia was probably older than Faustina — she was certainly married several years before — so, if Marcus had been allowed to keep to his original betrothal, he would not have had to wait so long. The honour was not completely exceptional — other cases are known where boys of very tender years were appointed — but Marcus was unusually young.

Also, it was now safe and fashionable to admire the valiant few who had dared to speak out against tyranny in the past, Thrasea Paetus, Helvidius Priscus — the Stoics. Hadrian had used him as a huntsman because of his strength and daring.