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The Reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius, AD 138–161 (Hardback)

Ancient History > Rome & the Roman Provinces Military > Biographies P&S History

By John S McHugh
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781526773982
Published: 16th September 2022


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The reign of Antoninus Pius is widely seen as the apogee of the Roman Empire yet, due to gaps in the historical sources, his reign has been overlooked by modern historians. He is considered one of the five good emperors of the Antonine dynasty under whom the pax Romana enabled the empire to prosper, trade to flourish and culture to thrive. His reign is considered a Golden Age but this was partly an image created by imperial propaganda. There were serious conflicts in North Africa and Dacia, as well as a major revolt in Britain. On his death the empire stood on the cusp of the catastrophic invasions and rebellions that marked the reign of his successor Marcus Aurelius.

Antoninus Pius became emperor through the hand of fate, being adopted by Hadrian only after the death of his intended heir, Lucius Aelius Caesar. His rule was a balancing act between securing his own safety, securing the succession of his adopted heir and denying opportunities for conspiracy and rebellion. ‘Equanimity’ was the last password he issued to his guards as he lay on his death bed. In the face of the threats and challenges he remained calm and composed, providing twenty-three years of stability; a calm before the storms that gathered both within and beyond Rome’s borders.

A fascinating, informative, and detailed biography that is also available in a digital book format, "The Reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius, AD 138 - 161" by John S. McHugh is an extraordinary and welcome contribution to the growing library of Ancient Roman Histories & Biographies. Informatively enhanced with the inclusion of a section of b/w plates, maps, a timeline, an Appendix (Thye Ancient Sources Historical and Biographical Works), twenty-eight pages of Notes, a nine page Bibliography, and a five page Index, "The Reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius, AD 138 - 161" must be considered a core addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library second century A.D. Roman Empire History & Biography collections.

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Midwest Book Review
 John S McHugh

About John S McHugh

JOHN S MCHUGH has a BA and MA in Ancient History. His love of the ancient world has led him to travel to many classical sites. Before his recent (early) retirement he was Assistant Headmaster at a secondary school in Bolton. He is the co-author of a text book on Bolton’s connections with the slave trade and assisted Bolton Museum with a project to record the oral history of the local populace with the aim of promoting understanding between people of different generations or ethnic and social backgrounds. He is the author of The Emperor Commodus: God and GladiatorEmperor Alexander Severus: Rome's Age of Insurrection, AD 222-235; and Sejanus, Regent of Rome, which were also published by Pen & Sword Books.

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