Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus
AD121 ~ AD180
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus born in 121. His reign came about because Hadrian adopted Antoninus on the proviso that Marcus and Lucius Ceionius Commodus (later to be named Lucius Aurelius Verus) would be adopted to be next in line as rulers. In his youth, Marcus was portrayed through letters as an intelligent, hardworking and serious minded student.
Upon the death of Antoninus, Marcus and Verus were made joint emperors and while equal in the constitutional view, Verus was younger and seems to have been less popular.
His reign as emperor, beginning in 161, was complicated by wars in Asia and also a revolt in the East that consequently failed. He was known as a philosopher and published a “literary monument” named Meditations and was fond of Epictetus who was an important moral philosopher of his time.
He fell ill and died in 180 in the city that is now known as Vienna. His succession was secured before his death allowing Commodus to rule and unknowingly ending the era of adoptive emperors.