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When Antoninus Pius died in 161, the Senate was willing to declare Marcus Aurelius alone as Emperor. However, the pius Marcus Aurelius was not willing to disinherit his adoptive brother, and insisted that the will of his predecessor be respected, and that Lucius Verus be declared Emperor as an equal to himself. the Senate reluctantly agreed. However, although Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus where both Augustii and where therefore nominally equal, Lucius Verus was very much the junior emperor. Lucius Verus himself, perhaps recognising and respecting Marcus Aurelius' superior talent and ability, as well as the hard work entailed by being responsible for the running of a huge empire, did not seem to mind playing second fiddle to Marcus Aurelius.
Campaigning in the East
Later in the year, the Parthian King Volgases IV declared war on Rome by invading Armenia and displacing their Roman puppet king in favour of a fellow member of the Parthian Arascid dynasty, Pacorus. Marcus Aurelius decided that the Roman Army sent to confront the Parthians would be best led by an Emperor. More specifically, he decided it should be led by Lucius Verus.
Marcus Aurelius considered Lucius Verus to be a lazy man far too given to self-gratification, and thought that the responsibility of leading an army into the east would temper his idle and gluttonous tendencies.
Lucius Verrus arrived in Antioch in 162. He apparently spent much of his time hunting, partying and gambling, as well as enjoying the company of his beautiful mistress Panthea. He did however, ensure that the troops where well trained and personally inspected them to ensure that they where combat ready. In 163 A.D. he despatched two legions to Armenia, who retook the Kingdom and installed a new puppet King.
In 163 or 164, Marcus Aurelius despatched his 14 year old daughter Lucilla to marry Lucius. Formally speaking, this was incest as Marcus and Lucius were both the adopted sons of Antononinus Pius. The marriage nevertheless took place and several children where born, all of whom died young.
After initial setbacks, the Roman Army finally emerged triumphant over the Parthians and in the resultant peace treaty, Volgases IV was forced to cede Mesopotamia to the Romans. After touring the east for a while, Lucius finally returned to Rome in 166.
Later Reign and Death
Unfortunately, Lucius' returning army brought the plague with it. Periodic outbreaks of the plague continued for several years afterwards, and in 169, Lucius succumbed to one of these outbreaks. He was subsequently deified by his brother-emperor Marcus Aurelius, and his ashes entombed in the Mausoleum of Hadrian.
Price & Availability:-
|Description||Grade||Price £||Price $||Availability|
|Lucius Verus Denarius (Aequitas) 3.24g||gVF||£125||$Ask||Yes|
Roman Historical Notes
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