Marcus Aurelius


replica: from the Ephesus Archaeological Museum, Turkey

date of the original: AD 2nd century

provenance of the original: Turkey; now in the Ephesus Archaeological Museum, Turkey.

description: Bust to mid-chest including shoulders, draped; mounted on a pedestal. Unfinished resin replica. On base: height 81 cm, width 49 cm, depth 53cm.

The emperor Marcus Aurelius (see: Coins of Marcus Aurelius)

Born in Rome in 121, Maucus Aurelius knew from an early age that he was destined for high public office. The Emperor Hadrian took note early of his promise and encouraged his development through distinctions and the tutelage of the Empire's best scholars and teachers. He studied a variety of subjects such as rhetoric, essential for a high career, and philosophy.

When Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius as his heir, he subsequently had Antoninus Pius adopt sons both Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, putting in place a second generation of successors. Thus upon Antoninus's death in 161, the Senate inaugurated Marcus Aurelius, the superior of the two, as emperor. He in turn invested Lucius Verus with powers nearly equal to his own, thereby entrusting Rome to a dual regime.

(See also: Trajan; Hadrian.)