Antoninus Titus Aurelius Fulvius Bojonius Pius
Antoninus Titus Aurelius Fulvius Bojonius Pius, a Roman emperor, Born Sept. 19, A.D. 86, at a villa near Lanuvium (now Civita-Lavinia), and died at Lorium (now Castel di-Guido), March 7, 161. He was first one of the four administrators of Italy, afterward proconsul of Asia. Adrian having adopted him, he became his successor as Roman emperor, and governor from 138 to 161. He showed himself in every respect one of the greatest and noblest emperors pagan Rome ever had. He was just, mild, liberal, a supporter of science and art, and averse to carrying on war. Under Adrian he saved the lives of many senators whose execution had been ordered, and he prevailed on Adrian himself to desist from committing suicide. The Roman empire greatly prospered under his administration, and neighboring nations frequently chose him as an umpire of their feuds. From him are the celebrated sayings: "I prefer saving one citizen to slaying a thousand enemies," and "A prince must have no property of his own, but devote every thing to the common weal." He protected the Christians when the pagans ascribed several public calamities, as the inundation of the Tiber, the earthquake in Greece, conflagrations, etc., to the wrath of the gods, in consequence of the Christians being tolerated. Antoninus forbade all towns in Greece, and especially Larissa, Thessalonica, and Athens, to persecute the Christians. Eusebius (Hist. Eccles. 4, 13) gives a rescript of this emperor to the assembly of deputies of Asia Minor, ordering even the punishment of such as would accuse Christians; but it is doubtful whether this decree is genuine. — Capitolinus, Vita Antonini; Wenck, Divus Pius, sive ad leges imp. Tit. AEl. Anton. Pii Commentarii (Lips. 1804-1805); Gautier de Sibert, Vie d'Antonin; Eichstadt, Exercitationes Antoninianes (Jen. 1821 sq.); Hofner, De edicto Ant. pro Chris. (Argent. 1781); Hegelmaier, In edictum Ant. (Tub. 1776); Wolle, De δεισιδαιμονίᾷ Antionini (Lips. 1730); Keuchen, Anton. P. (Arrst. 1667); Meermann, id. (Haag, 1807); Beykert, De edicto Ant. P. (Argent. 1781); Smith's Dict. of Class. Biog. s.v.