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Antoninus Pius

Emperor A.D 138 - 161

Not much is known about the reign of Antoninus Pius except that it was a time of great peace and prosperity for the Roman Empire. It is an interesting fact of history that the historians donít feel there is much to write about when times are prosperous and the ruler governs wisely. One written chronicle of the period that does exist, at least in part, is the HISTORIA AVGVSTA, translated into English as The Lives of the Later Caesars. This work was written by one or more authors whose identities are still in question. Much of the information we have about Antoninus Pius comes from inscriptions on coins. He devoutly worshipped the Roman gods, and by the great quantity of coins commemorating his wife Faustina the Elder, it is obvious that he loved her very much. It is seldom in history that any ruler has gone to such great lengths to publicize his love for his wife and his deep sense of grief at her loss. The inscriptions on her coins and monuments testify to her good works and the fact that Antoninus Pius had her declared a goddess after her death. Because so many were struck, these coins are amongst the most common and popular Roman coins today.

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