One of the ‘Five Good Emperors’, the last emperor of the Pax Romana (‘Roman Peace’) and also a really influential philosopher. When you visit Rome, you will come across his name really often: Marcus Aurelius.
In 138, Emperor Hadrian’s adopted son an heir, Lucius Aelius, died. Hadrian made Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius’ uncle, his new heir and when Pius became emperor, Marcus Aurelius became the heir to the throne. In 161, Antoninus Pius died and Marcus Aurelius became emperor. However, Aurelius co-ruled with his adoptive brother Lucius Verus until Verus’ death in 169. Marcus Aurelius reign was marked by military conflict. He led the Roman Empire against the Marcomanni, Quadi and Sarmatians in the Marcomannic Wars, which are perpetuated in the Column of Marcus Aurelius. He was also part of the Five Good Emperors alongside Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian and Antoninus Pius and was the last emperor of the Pax Romana. The Pax Romana was a long period of peace and stability in the Roman Empire, commencing in 27 BC and concluding in 180 AD with the death of Marcus Aurelius.