ANTONINUS PI'US, TITUS AURE'LIUS FUL y es BOIONI S ARBIL'S (86-161 A.D.). A Roman emperor (138-161 A.D.), who was born at Lanu vium in the reign of Domitian. The family of Antoninus Pius was originally from Nemausus, now Nimes, in Gaul. Antoninus Pins inherited great wealth, and early gave proof of excellent qualities. In 120 he was made consul; after ward he was sent by Hadrian as pro-consul into Asia, where the wisdom and gentleness of his rule won for him a higher reputation than had been enjoyed by any of his predecessors. By his wife, Faustina, he had four children, of whom three died, leaving a daughter, Faustina, after ward wife of Marcus Aurelius. In 138 he was adopted by the Emperor Hadrian, in consequence of merit alone, and came to the throne in the same year. The reign of .Antoninus Pius was peaceful and happy. In his private character he was simple, temperate, and benevolent, while in public affairs he acted as the father of his people. The persecution of the Christians, which was continued during his reign, was partly stayed by his mild measures. Ile was little en gaged in war, excepting in Britain, where he extended the power of Rome and built a wall between the Forth and the Clyde, as a defense against invasions by the predatory inhabitants of the north. The reign of Antoninus Pins illus trates the saying, "Happy the nation which has no history," for by the justice, wisdom, kindli ness, and courtesy of the Emperor his vast empire was preserved from the crimes, eonspira cies, insurrections, and bloodshed, the recording of which formed the largest part of the his torian's work in the dark centuries of the Roman Empire. It is said that only one senator was
impeached during the life-time of Antoninus Pius. Literature received great encouragement; the laws were improved, commerce extended; the means of communication were facilitated by the repair of roads, bridges, etc.; new sanitary reg ulations were introduced, and a taste for archi tecture fostered in the citizens. The epithet Pins, "dutiful,' was conferred on him on account of his conduct in defending the memory of'his predecessor, Hadrian, against certain dishonor ing charges brought forward by the Senate. The column raised to his memory by his odopted son and successor, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (q.v.), was discovered in 1709, but exists only in frag ments. The so-called Column of Antoninus, now in the Piazza Colonna, at Rome, is that raised by the Senate in honor of Marcus Aurelius after his victory over the Marcomanni.