The art commemorating the reign of the Antonine queens depicts both the stability and also the military achievements of the empire.

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Learning Objective

Identify the 4 emperors of the Antonine dynasty, and also the works of art specialized to them.

Key clues Antoninus Pius was called so for convincing the Senate come deify his adopted father and emperor, Hadrian. Marcus Aurelius, a thoughtful emperor, is considered the last of the an excellent emperors. He started his power (161-180) ruling jointly with co-emperor Lucius Verus (r. 161-169). The Equestrian Statue that Marcus Aurelius and the victory obelisk of Marcus Aurelius depict 2 personas the the emperor: the of a benevolent ruler and that that a victorious general.

Antoninus Pius

Antoninus Pius to be the first of the Antonine emperors. The was embraced by Hadrian as his son and heir under the condition that he, in turn, adopt Lucius Veras and also Marcus Aurelius together his sons and heirs. Antoninus accepted and also established a relaxed reign, judgment from 138 come 161 CE.

Upon Hadrian"s death, Antoninus persuaded the Senate come deify Hadrian, and also so received the name Pius. He likewise deified his wife, Faustina, after she death and also built a temple to her in the Republican Forum. Upon his death, Antoninus was also deified and also this holy place was rededicated to the both that them.

Antoninus Pius" heirs, Lucius Verus and also Marcus Aurelius, had a column set up to the on the Campus Martius, the base of i beg your pardon survives today. On two of its sides is an identical scene that a army decursio (), depicting mounties men parading about soldiers, two of whom hold standards. The relief carvings are noticeably deep; the figures protrude from the sides and are visible once viewing the non-decursio next of the pedestal. All naturalism has been gotten rid of from the scene. That depicts each figure from a ground-level perspective while reflecting the circular parade native a bird"s eye view.


On among the various other two political parties is a dedicatory inscription and on the panel across from that is a step of the apotheosis of Antoninus Pius and also Faustina . The step depicts a large winged figure, Aion (Eternity), moving them, surrounded by two eagles, come heaven. Two figures look on native the ground. One is a personification that the Campus Martius, lounging on the ground v an arm around Augustus" sun-dial obelisk, the location where the routine of deification occurred. The other is an armed female, Roma. She wears and sits amongst armor, saluting the emperor and empress during their apotheosis,while leaning ~ above a shield showing the she-wolf suckling Romulus and also Remus.


Apotheosis the Antoninus Pius and also Faustina

Scene the Antoninus Pius and his mam Faustina ~ above the pedestal of the pillar of Antoninus Pius.

The format of this relief is noticeably different. While quiet detailed, the apotheosis step is less deeply carved. Furthermore, the numbers are much more classical in form; they monitor the an ext traditional artistic style created by Augustus. The figures on the decursio relief room stockier and also in a style an ext commonly seen in the plebeian arts of this time. This two different scenes and also styles demonstrate the classical conventions of royal art and also the emerging style developed to represent the common man.

Marcus Aurelius

Lucius Verus and also his co-emperor, Marcus Aurelius, succeeded Antoninus Pius and also successfully co-ruled until Lucius"s fatality in 169. Top top the fatality of his adopted brother, Marcus Aurelius became the single emperor the Rome, and his reign ongoing the long period of security throughout the empire.

The Equestrian statue that Marcus Aurelius is a bronze cast that endured being melted down in the medieval duration as it was happily mistaken come be the of Constantine, the an initial Christian emperor that Rome. The depicts Marcus Aurelius, big in stature, top top horseback through an eight outstretched in a gesture that clemency. That wears not armed forces garb, but is clothed simply in a toga, casting him together an emperor that peace, rather than as a armed forces conqueror.


Equestrian Statue that Marcus Aurelius

Fortunately endured the medieval duration as it was mistaken to be the of Constantine, the very first Christian emperor that Rome.

A victory column was likewise erected for Marcus Aurelius . This is modeled ~ above Trajan"s column and was originally set up on the Campus Martius in between the holy place of divine Hadrian and also the temple of divine Marcus Aurelius. A relief frieze encircles the column and depicts his military campaigns at the end of his life in Germania.


Despite the comparable military scenes, the creative style of the obelisk of Marcus Aurelius differs considerably from the column of Trajan. The numbers in this column are stockier and their proportions space distorted. The extra-large heads and deep relief carving were utilized so that the numbers were simpler to see from the ground than those on Trajan"s column. The army strength the the empire is emphasized much more so than on the pillar of Trajan where the bulk of the scenes depict the preparation for battle, rather of the war themselves. The brand-new style, high relief, and military emphasis demonstrates the changing priorities and social-political mindsets of the period.


Unlike the previous 4 emperors, Marcus Aurelius had, and also so selected, his own biological son together his heir. Unlike his 5 predecessors, Commodus was not considered to it is in a good emperor and his reign generally marks the start of Rome"s decline. Commodus to be disliked by the Senate, had small interest in the administrative aspects of running a big empire, and also he preferred to demonstrate physical prowess by completing in gladiatorial games.

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Like Nero"s public performances, Commodus" performances in the arena were taken into consideration scandalous and disgraceful. After countless failed attempts, that was eventually assassinated in 192 CE.