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The Column of Marcus AureliusThe Genesis and Meaning of a Roman Imperial Monument$
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Martin Beckmann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834619

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877777_beckmann

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(p.1) Introduction
The Column of Marcus Aurelius

Martin Beckmann

University of North Carolina Press

This book focuses on Marcus Aurelius. Born in a villa on the Caelian Hill in Rome in April of ad 121, Marcus was raised by his grandfather, a holder of three consulships and a relative of Hadrian. Hadrian took Marcus under his wing and eventually ordered his own chosen successor, Antoninus Pius, to adopt him. On Pius's death in 161, Marcus became emperor; he promptly raised his adoptive brother Lucius Verus to the position of coemperor and took his adoptive father's name. Thereafter he was known as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. All was not smooth, however: various peoples beyond the Roman frontiers seized the opportunity offered by the imperial transition to stir up trouble. Marcus and Verus were ill prepared to deal with these developing crises: neither had gained any practical military experience in their youth, and one of them—Marcus—had never even been outside of Italy.

Keywords:   Marcus Aurelius, Caelian Hill, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Lucius Verus, imperial transition

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