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Hadrian and Lucius Verus

  • T. D. Barnes (a1)


At the age of sixty the emperor Hadrian cast about for a successor. His first choice was L. Ceionius Commodus, his second T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus. Both being adopted in turn by the ailing emperor, the former died before Hadrian while the latter survived to succeed him. Modern scholarship has indulged in long speculations about the motives of Hadrian and the political intrigues of his final years. This paper will not attempt to add to such speculations but will examine the precise details of the dynastic settlements of 136 and 138 upon which they are based. For due weight has not been given to certain relevant and important statements in the Historia Augusta, and as a result the facts have been misrepresented. Moreover, since some of these statements occur in the Vita Veri, the excellent worth of which has too often been denigrated, an analysis of that will be necessary. The partial interdependence of the historical and the literary problems dictates the separate yet combined treatment adopted here. The first part of this paper will discuss the biography of Lucius Verus in the Historia Augusta, the second the dynastic plans of Hadrian. The evidence and arguments employed in each part will, it is hoped, both confirm and be confirmed by the thesis advanced in the other.



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1 To cite only two fairly recent articles, Carcopino, J., ‘L'héredité dynastique chez les Antonins’, RÉA LI (1949), 262 ff., esp. 285–321 = Passion et politique chez les Césars (1958), 143 ff., esp. 173–222; and H.-G. Pflaum, ‘Le Réglement successoral d'Hadrien’, Historia-Augusta-Colloquium Bonn 1963 (1964), 95 ff.

2 And still is : e.g. Birley 312 ‘the so-called “minor lives”—those of “Helius Verus”, L. Verus … are virtually worthless as independent sources’.

3 Mommsen, Th., Hermes xxv (1890), 246 = Ges. Schr. VII, 319.

4 O. Th. Schulz, Das Kaiserhaus der Antonine und der letzte Historiker Roms (1907), 3 (the passage quoted), 56 ff. (on the Vita Veri).

5 Op. cit. 215 ff.

6 This, the standard objection to Schulz, was first formulated by K. Hönn, Deutsche Literaturzeitung 1908, 1002 ff. and by W. Weber, Gött. Gel. Anz. 170. Jhrg. (1908), 945 ff.

7 Op. cit. 57, 224; Leben des Kaisers Hadrian (1904), 125 ff., 142. That one did not exist is a certain deduction from Aelius 2, 9 f. and the Historia Augusta's ignorance of Aelius' birthday (known to Philocalus (CIL 12, p. 255) and perhaps appearing in the Feriale Duranum (col. i, 11/12); see The Excavations at Dura-Europus, Final Report V. 1, The Parchments and Papyri (1959), 205 f.).

8 Weber, op. cit. 957 ff., esp. 971.

9 Ibid. 959 ff.

10 Lambrechts, P., ‘L'Empereur Lucius Verus : Essai de réhabilitation’, Ant. Cl. III (1934), 173 ff. The theory of an annalistic source, held by Weber, loc. cit., by Hohl, E., Bursians Jahresber. CLXXI (1915), 101 f. and by N. H. Baynes, The Historia Augusta; its date and purpose (1926), 67 ff., was propounded at length by Heer, J. M., ‘Der historische Wert der Vita Commodi in der Sammlung der Scriptores Historiae Augustae’, Philol. Suppl. IX (1901), 1 ff., and by Schwendemann, and seemed to acquire implicit confirmation from the purely historical investigation of J. Hasebroek, Untersuchungen zuR Geschichte des Kaisers Septimius Severus (1921). The critique of Barbieri, G., Ann. della R. Sc. Norm. Sup. di Pisa2 III (1934), 525 ff. fails to distinguish this theory from the view that the main source for the second century was biographical (as postulated here and argued by Lécrivain 103 ff., esp. 191 f.).

11 Marius certainly wrote a life of Elagabalus (Elagabalus 11, 6), but not a life of Alexander: Alexander 5, 4; 21, 4; 30, 6; 65, 4 all refer to Marius on earlier emperors, while from 48, 6 f. it follows that the author of the Historia Augusta knew of no biography of Alexander by him. It is tempting to suppose that he wrote precisely of those twelve Caesars listed by Ausonius, Caesares XIII–XXIV (compare also Quadrigae Tyrannorum 1, 2). If so, he wrote no life of Verus.

12 Lambrechts, loc. cit. 178.

13 Ibid. 180 : ‘Mais la vita Veri est un œuvre de maigre valeur historique. Elle ne présent quelque intérêt documentaire que jusqu'en 4, 4, et encore !’.

14 See Cameron, A. D. E., Hermes XCII (1964), 373 (‘clearly his (sc. Marius') work formed the basis of the Historia Augusta up to Elagabalus and perhaps Alexander’), Birley, A. R., Historia xv (1966), 249 (‘I must confess to a predilection for the view that the major source for the lives of the emperors from Hadrian to Elagabalus was L. Marius Maximus ’), H.-G. Pflaum, Bonner Historia-Augusta-Colloquium 1964/1965 (1966), 152 (‘La source (sc. of the Pius), sans doute Marius Maximus ’), and W. Seston, ibid. 218 (‘Rien ne nous garantit formellement qu'elle (sc. the main source of the Pertinax) soit la Vita Pertinacis qu'écrivit Marius Maximus; mais rien ne s'y oppose’). Cf. also Hohl, E., Miscellanea Academica Berolinensia (1950), 287 ff.; ‘Kaiser Commodus und Herodian’, SDAW, Kl.f.Ges., 1954, 1, 3 f.

15 Barbieri, G., RFIC XXXII (1954), 36 ff., 262 ff.; the point had already been made by Lécrivain 193 ff.

16 It was already admitted by Hohl, loc. cit., Lambrechts, op. cit. 177, and Baynes, loc. cit., that the two strands could no longer be disentangled.

17 Cf. Syme, R., Ammianus and the Historia Augusta (forthcoming).

18 The style of treatment adopted here differs from that of W. H. Fisher in his analysis of the Vita Aureliani (JRS XIX (1929), 125 ff.). This is partly for the reason stated in the text, partly because the is a comparative wealth of widely scattered evidence which bears upon the Vita Veri.

19 D. van Berchem, Les Distributions de blé et d'argent à la plèbe romaine sous l'Empire (1939), 154 does, it is true, assign Pius' liberalitas III to the tirocinium of Lucius, citing the passage under discussion and RIC III (1930), 21, 35, 109. But he assumes that the date can be 144 : against which there are purely numismatic arguments, viz. that the coins of liberalitas III ought to belong to 142 (BMCxlvi).

20 Lécrivain 241 branded the passage as ‘pleine de contradictions’.

21 Praesepe occurs elsewhere in the Historia Augusta only at Elagabalus 21, 2 ‘misit et uvas Apamenas in praesepia equis suis’, which is modelled on Verus 6, 4.

22 Elsewhere the Historia Augusta uses mulio in its correct sense five times (Lessing, s.v.).

23 There are other possible echoes of Ausonius in the Historia Augusta. The story at Hadrian 20, 8 is patently modelled on Ausonius, Epigrammata XXXVII (XVII)—unless both are translating independently from a lost Greek original. For the ioca and the anecdote interrupt the description of Hadrian's feats of memory (20, 6/7; 20, 9–12), while ‘patri negavi iam tuo’ said by Lais has far more point than ‘iam hoc patri tuo negavi’ in the mouth of Hadrian. Macrinus 11, 6 (‘gabalus iste fuit’) may be inspired by the lost second distich of Caesares XXIV (if Fragmenta Poetarum Latinorum (ed. W. Morel), Incerti fr. 58 really is from Ausonius), and Macrinus 14, 2 by the first pentameter of the same poem : for Macrinus 7, 7 (‘versus extant cuiusdam poetae, quibus ostenditur Antonini nomen coepisse a Pio et paulatim per Antoninos usque ad sordes ultimas pervenisse’) seems to be an explicit allusion to Ausonius' Caesares. It is also possible that Hadrian 25, 9 imitates Parentalia XXVII, though both may derive separately from Septimius Serenus. I have made only a very cursory search : others may well be able to add far more convincing examples than those collected here.

24 IGRR 1, 1046 shows the presence of δ]εκανῶν τῶν ἐν στόλῳ πραιτορίῳ in Alexandria between 161 and 163 : perhaps part of the fleet sent to commandeer supplies.

25 To the suspicious mind ‘inter symphonias et cantica’ may recall Suetonius, Cal. 37, 2 ‘inter choros ac symphonias’.

26 CW = Catalogue sommaire de la Collection Waddington, by Babelon, E., Rev. Num. 4, 1/11(1897/1898). The coins cited here all bear the name of Lucius, and the description is always of the reverse.

27 Babylonem refers to the area, not the town (P–W II, 2700 ff.): it corresponds to Μεσοποταμία in the title of Antiochianus' work on the Parthian war (Lucian, Quomodo Historia 30).

28 For an earlier illness of the same type see Fronto, Ad Verum Imp. II, 6 = 126 Hout and for its date see above on 6, 7.

29 Cf. Leo, F., Die griechisch-römische Biographie (1901), 272 ff.

30 For all the vitae mentioned see the extremely brief analyses by Lécrivain 103 ff.

31 Cf. Pflaum, H.-G., Banner Historia-Augusta-Colloquium 1964/1965 (1966), 143 ff.

32 Cf. Werner, R., ‘Der historische Wert der Pertinaxvita in den Scriptores Historiae Augustae’, Klio XXVI (1933), 283 ff.; Kolbe, H., Bonn. Jhrb. CLXII (1962), 407 ff.

33 Cf. PIR 2D 77; O. Th. Schulz, Beiträge zur Kritik unserer litterarischen Überlieferung für die Zeit von Commodus' Sturze bis auf den Tod des M. Aurelius Antoninus (1903), 26 ff.

34 Schwendemann obfuscates a simple matter by his assumption about the sources (n. 10) : 1–14, 20, 1 b—27,9(?) with some subtractions form a Suetonian biography.

35 Heer, op. cit., had produced the same obfuscation as Schwendemann : there is no reason why one main (biographical) source should not be the basis of 1–17.

36 Cf. Hasebroek, op. cit.; Barnes, T. D., Historia XVI (1967), 87 ff. The greater part of 1–17, 4 and 19, 1–5 is factually accurate.

37 Cf. Reusch, W., ‘Der historische Wert der Caracallavita in den Scriptores Historiae Augustae’, Klio, Beiheft XXIV (1931).

38 Especially in 1–14.

39 Where did the series end ? None will question that it included Caracalla (cf. Reusch, op. cit.; E. Hohl, Miscellanea Academica Berolinensia (1950), 287 ff.). Lécrivain 182 ff. thought that it included a life of Macrinus. But that is explicitly denied by the preface to the Macrinus (1, 1) : ‘vitae illorum … qui non diu imperarunt in obscuro latent … : nos tamen ex diversis historicis eruta in lucem proferemus’. The problem concentrates, therefore, on the Geta. The only possible trace of the postulated biographer is at 3, 1 (for the rest see Schulz, op. cit. 114 ff.; Lécrivain 260 ff.). The consular date has recently been argued to be correct, except that Vitellio is a perversion of Vettuleno (Birley, A. R., Historia xv (1966), 251 ff.); but the day and the place of Geta's birth both seem to be wrong (cf. Passio Perpetuae 7; HA, Severus 4, 2; and the examples of variatio of facts in the Historia Augusta collected by Lécrivain 396). A. von Domaszewski, ‘Die Personennamen bei den Scriptores Historiae Augustae’, Heidelberger SB, Phil.-hist. Kl., 1918, 13, 62 pointed out a possible resemblance to Suetonius, Cal. 8, 1 ‘C. Caesar natus est patre suo et C. Fonteio Capitone coss. ubi natus sit incertum diversitas tradentium facit’—and a page later a letter contains the date ‘XV Kal. Iun’ (ibid. 8, 4). See further R. Syme, Ammianus and the Historia Augusta, ch. XXI.

40 Eutropius VIII, 11; HA, Marcus 16, 6 f.

41 For example, A. Stein, P–W III (1898), 1833 f.; von Domaszewski, A., Geschichte der römischen Kaiser 11 (1909), 211; Saekel, H., Klio XII (1912), 123 ff.; Hüttl, W., Antoninus Pius 1 (1936), 41 f.; Weber, W., CAH XI (1936), 322 f.; E. Homo, Le Haut-Empire (1931), 530 f.; Solari, A., L'Impero Romano III (1945), 155; A. S. L. Farquharson, Marcus Aurelius (1951), 24 ff.; A. Piganiol, Histoire de Rome 5 (1962), 293; Pflaum, op. cit. (n. 1); Birley 45 ff. There has also been explicit dissent : e.g. B. W. Henderson, The Life and Principate of the Emperor Hadrian (1923), 261; A. Garzetti, L'Impero da Tiberio agli Antonini (1960), 689.

42 In general see PIR 2C 605.

43 HA, Marcus 4, 5.

44 The evidence is collected at PIR 2C 605.

45 PIR 2C 1464, A 886.

46 Sulla is not mentioned by Tacitus in his narrative of the year 54. In 55, however, it was plausible to accuse Pallas and Burrus of plotting to elevate him to be emperor, and it was Nero's fear which led to his exile in 58 and death in 62 (Tacitus, , Ann. XIII, 23, 47; XIV, 57).

47 So most of the scholars cited in note 41.

48 The case is put most clearly and effectively by Pflaum, op. cit. (n. 1), 103 ff.

49 Cf. Kaser, M., Das römische Privatrecht 1 (1955), 290 ff.

50 For the order of events see Instinsky, H. U., Hermes XCIV (1966), 324 ff. The original name of Germanicus must be inferred from that of his father (see PIR 2I 221) : it is nowhere on epigraphic record.

51 ILS 107; PIR 2C 941.

52 ILS 107, 166 etc.; PIR 2I 219.

53 ILS 107, 173 etc.; PIR 2I 221.

54 Trajan was ‘absens et ignarus’ (Pliny, , Pan. 9, 3): Nerva's calling of a ‘contio hominum deorumque’ (ibid. 8, 3) is a dubious appeal to a ‘higher legality’ (cf. Kaser, op. cit. 292 f.).

55 Brassloff, S., Hermes XLIX (1914), 590 ff. argued that Hadrian's adoption was testamentary. Prévost, M.-H., ‘Les Adoptions politiques à Rome’, Publications de l'Institut de Droit Romain de l'Université de Paris v (1949), 51 f. develops this theory by claiming that the adoption derived its validity from that of Trajan's will, which was itself valid as being a ‘testament militaire que Trajan lui-même, précisement, avait réglementé’. But Hadrian received litterae adoptionis on the ninth day of August 117 and ordered that day to be celebrated as the natalis adoptionis (HA, Hadrian 4, 6), while his natalis imperii was the eleventh, on which he heard of Trajan's death (ibid. 4, 7; Snyder, W. F., YCS VII (1940), 243 f.).

56 The principle ‘quod principi placuit, legis habet vigorem’ (Ulpian, , Digest 1, 4, 1; cf. Gaius, , Inst. 1, 5) is no harsh imposition from above : the initiative to enhance the emperor's powers almost invariably comes from below (cf. Alföldi, A., Röm. Mitt. XLIX (1934), 1 ff.; L (1935). 1 ff.).

57 Aelius 7, 2; Verus 1, 3; 2, 1. On the last two see above : the Aelius consists entirely of fiction and of material drawn from other parts of the Historia Augusta (E. Hohl, ‘Über die Glaubwürdigkeit der Historia Augusta’, SDAW, Kl. f. Ges., 1953, 2, 23 ff.).

58 CIL xv, 732.

59 The argument was first stated by Th. Mommsen, Römisches Staatsrecht II3 (1889), 1139, Anm. 1 : ‘übrigens muss er (sc. Lucius) vor der Adoption des Vaters emancipirt worden sein, da er auf einem vor seiner Adoption durch Pius geschriebenen Ziegel sich L. Ceio(nius) Com(modus) C(aesaris) f(ilius) nennt’.

60 Hadrian died on the tenth day of July 138 (HA, Hadrian 25, 6).

61 CIL xv, 733.

62 CIL xv, 734. Note also CIL xv, 735 : ‘L. Aeli Aug(usti) Pii f(ili)’. H. Dressel, ad loc, punctuates after ‘Aeli’. But it is easier to take ‘Augusti’ with what precedes. If so, that gives another example of an error.

63 See above, on Verus 2, 11 ff.

64 CIL xv, 3695 ff. passim, esp. 4294–4338. Discounting those where the form of Lucius' name is not certain, two (4302, 4308) unmistakably have ‘Commodi filio’, four (3807, 4294, 4330, 4337) ‘Commodo Augusti filio’, the rest plain ‘Commodo’.

65 Dio LXIX, 17, 1; HA, Hadrian 23, 7.

66 So Pflaum, op. cit. 104. Cf. MAMA VI, 3 (Laodicea in Phrygia): πεπρεσβευκὼς … προῖκα πρός τε Λούκιον Καίσαρα εἰς Παννονίαν…

67 Cf. P–W Suppl. IX, 554; Hüttl, op. cit. 271 ff. The best evidence is ILS 1058, with CIL XVI, 78, 84 : see PIR 2H 30.

68 Cf. Birley, E., PBA XXXIX (1953), 197 ff.

69 Dio LXIX, 17, 1 : ἀρξάμενος δὲ νοσεῖν … ἀπεγνώσθη μὲν βιώσεσθαι, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο Κόμμοδον μὲν Λούκιον, καίτοι αἷμα ἐμοῦντα, Καίσαρα Ῥωμαίοις ἀπέδειξεν.

70 Dio LXIX, 20, 1 :ἐπεὶ δὲ συνέβη τὸν Λούκιον τὸν Κόμμοδον ἐξαίφνης ἐγκαταλειφθῆναι ὑπὸ τοῦ αἵματος πολλοῦ τε καὶ ἀθρόου ἐκπεσόντος…

71 Dio LXIX, 20, 2 ff.; cf. Millar, F., A Study of Cassius Dio (1964), 71.

72 Millar, op. cit. 78 ff. On the other side it may be urged that Dio did not always harmonize his speeches with their context.

73 Hadrian 23, 10 ff., partly developed at Aelius 6, 1 ff. with a typical variatio of the amount of the donative (compare Hadrian 21,4 with Aelius 5, 4 f.; Maximini 12, 1, with 12, 6).

74 Aelius 3, 7 ff.

75 The bogus ‘careful writers’ and the use of Aeneid VI are both stigmata of the author (as was pointed out by Dessau, H., Hermes XXIV (1889), 382 ff.; Hermes XXVII (1892), 582 ff.).

76 Marcus' name is wrongly given prior place at Aelius 6, 9; Pius 4, 5. The error is natural: cf. Linderski, J., Historia XIV (1965), 423 ff., for a similar distortion of the order of the consuls of 59 B.C. The inversion is reproduced by the scholars cited in note 41, and by H. Schiller, Geschichte der römischen Kaiserzeit (1883), 628; P. von Rohden, P–W I (1894), 2283; P–W 11 (1896), 2497; H. M. D. Parker, A History of the Roman World, 138–337 (1935), 4; E. Albertini, L'Empire Romain (1938), 194; B. Orgeval, L'Empereur Hadrien (1950), 33. Not however by R. Syme, Tacitus (1958), 601.

77 Dio LXIX, 21,1 : ἐπεὶ δὲ ἦν ἄπαις ἀρρένων παίδων, τόν τε Κομμόδου υἱὸν Κόμμοδον ἐσεποίησεν αὐτῷ καὶ ἔτι πρὸς τούτῳ Μᾶρκον Ἄννιον Οὐῆρον

78 Hadrian 24, 1.

79 Eutropius VIII, 9, 1 calls him Lucius Annius Antoninus Verus; the Epitome 16, 5, L. Annius Verus; at HA, Pius 6, 10 he is Annius Verus, while his brother is M. Antoninus in 6, 9.

80 See respectively Schwendemann 118 ff., and above, pp. 67–9.

81 Marcus 6, 2; Verus 2, 3. (Aelius 6, 9 clearly depends upon one or both of these passages : cf. note 19.) Marcus 6, 2 is now disfigured by a lacuna : almost certainly there originally stood there a reference to Lucius' betrothal to Faustina (cf. Verus 2, 3).

82 First published by Heberdey, R., JÖAI VII (1904), Beiblatt, 49 ff. (with photographs). Reproducions are to be found also at Röm. Mitt. XLVIII (1933), Tfl. 50; J. M. C. Toynbee, Art of the Romans (1965), pl. 42; R. Brilliant, Gesture and Rank in Roman Art (1963), fig. 3.83.

83 E.g. by E. Strong, Roman Sculpture (1907), 295; La Scultura Romana ii (1926), 258. That interpretation is impossible : with Lucius Verus still alive, Commodus and Annius Caesar must appear in the family group either together or not at all (cf. PIR 2A 698).

84 The correct date was first perceived by von Lorentz, F., Röm. Mitt. XLVIII (1933), 308 ff. For a select bibliography see Inan, J. and Rosenbaum, E., Roman and Early Byzantine Portrait Sculpture in Asia Minor (1966), 71. Inan and Rosenbaum follow Eichler, F., Bericht über den VI. Internationalen Kongress für Archäologie, Berlin 21.–26. August 1939 (1940), 488 ff., in assigning the series of reliefs to which this belongs to a monument commemorating the Parthian War of 162–6, though they do not deny that the relief's ‘dramatic date’ is 138. But is there really anything which compels the late dating ? Toynbee, op. cit. 65 f., evidently does not think so.

85 Cf. Alföldi, A., Röm. Mitt. L (1935), 124 f.; Lewi s an d Short, s.v. sceptrum.

86 See the works cited in note 41.

87 Cf. Hadrian 24, 6 f. For Marcus' relatives see the stemmata facing PIR 2I, p. 118; Pflaum, op. cit. 122; and Birley 318 ff.

88 Eutropius VIII, 11; HA, Marcus 16, 7. The Historia Augusta refines the reasoning behind Eutropius' statement, which perhaps indicates the use of him as a source (Dessau, H., Hermes XXIV (1889), 367 ff.). But Marcus 15, 5 contains a story not in Eutropius, but found in Aurelius Victor (16, 7). Use of a common source is, therefore, at least an equal possibility.

89 Dio LXIX 21, 2 : .

90 Syme, op. cit. 794; PIR 2H 5.

91 HA, Marcus 1, 6.

82 See above on Verus 2, 11 ff.

93 Hadrian declared Antoninus as his heir on 23 January (HA, Hadrian 1, 3; 26, 6; cf. PIR 2 1, p. 28), a full month before the actual adoption (Pius 4, 6).

94 Dio LXXII (LXXI ) 35, 2/3 :

95 HA, Marcus 4, 1. Cf. ILS 6305 : ‘honorato equo publ. ab imp. Antonino Aug. cum ageret aetatis an. V’; also ILS 1316–7.

96 Marcus 4, 2. The case of Marcus is unique according to R. Cirilli, Les prêtres danseurs de Rome (1913), 59 f., followed by P–W I A, 1882 f. But M. Annius Flavius Libo (PIR 2A 648) was a salius Palatinus twenty-six years before his consulship in 204; as an imperial relative he may have been consul at about thirty-three (cf. Syme, op. cit. 653 f.; Morris, J., Listy Filologické 87 (1964), 316 ff.). Others too may have been salii in their boyhood : perhaps C. Bruttius Praesens, salius in 199, if he is indeed the consul of 217 (PIR 2B 166). There is little enough evidence for the membership of the collegium—only the fragmentary CIL VI, 1978–84.

97 Cf. Hohl, op. cit. (n. 57) 37 : ‘Da dieser Superlativ im Munde eines Hadrian ein von Ironie nicht ganz freies Lob dargestellt haben dürfte, könnte man den Necknamen mit “Wahrheitsfanatiker” zu verdeutschen suchen’. Verissimus appears in all seriousness, however, on an Ostian inscription of 143 ( 1940, 62) and in the Apology of Justin.

98 HA, Marcus 2, 6.

99 Marcus, 4, 1.

100 Marcus 1, 7; 1, 10; 2, 1 ff.; Marcus, Med. 1, 4.

101 See Weber, W., Untersuchungen zur Geschichte des Kaisers Hadrianus (1907), 197 ff. In 125 Hadrian had returned to Rome some time before mid-September (Bourguet, E., De Rebus Delphicis Imperatoriae Aetatis (1905), 82 f.); in 128 he was at Lambaesis on the first day of July (ILS 9133).

102 HA, Hadrian 3, 3; 3, 5; 3, 10 f.; Weber, op. cit. 20 ff. F. J. Hassel, Der Trajansbogen in Benevent (1966), contends that the arch was completed in 114 (not early in the reign of Hadrian), but he brings no real argument apart from the date on the dedicatory inscription which it bears.

103 Marcus was, it is true, designated quaestor on the proposal of Hadrian (Marcus 5, 6). Again, that need not denote especial favour : the consulate, though easy to give (cf. Res Gestae 14), was withheld.

* I am grateful to Professor Syme and Dr. F. G. B. Millar for their help and criticisms throughout and to Professor Bowersock for reading the first part of this paper. The following abbreviations will be used : Birley = A. R. Birley, Marcus Aurelius (1966); Lécrivain = Ch. Lécrivain, Études sur l'Histoire Auguste (1904); Lessing = K. Lessing, Scriptorum Historiae Augustae Lexicon (1901–6); Schwendemann = J. Schwendemann, Der historische Wert der Vita Marci bei den Scriptores Historiae Augustae (1923); BMC (simp.) = H. Mattingly, BMC Roman Empire IV (1940).


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