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Headword: Ἀντωνῖνος
Adler number: alpha,2762
Translated headword: Antoninus, Antoninos
Vetting Status: high
Emperor of [the] Romans,[1] the son of Severus,[2] in addition to other evils and murders his soldiers also took up using violence and plundering and still did not waver in their arrogance at all. Doing such things and carried away by the deeds and being hostile to the way of life in the city he left Rome so as to manage the army and keep an eye on the provincials. Then he took the Danube and made peace with the Germans there, and also took allies from among them and bodyguards and used their porters. Thus he was loved both by the barbarians and by the soldiers, being a common man for all of them, since he was called "soldier" rather than "emperor" by them. And when he came into Macedonia, he called himself "Alexander". Thence he went into Pergamum and and to the tomb of Achilles, and he adorned himself with garlands and flowers and mimicked Achilles. And he went through Asia and through the other provinces into Antioch and spent some time making ready for Alexandria, making the excuse that he longed for the city of Alexander. As he drove in that city with his whole army, he was received by the Alexandrians as no one of the emperors ever was previously. And he came to the tomb of Alexander and he stripped off the tunic which he wore, and his ring, and his belt, and even if it was expensive he placed it upon the bier of that man. The people rejoiced, not knowing his hidden idea. For he knew that they jeered a lot at both him and his mother.[3] Through a proclamation he ordered the youth to gather into a certain plain, saying that he would compose a phalanx in honor of Alexander. They gathered with good hopes. And when he saw them standing in rows, he himself came out and let loose his soldiers -- and they slaughtered them all. There was so much bloodshed that the entire Nile was turned red.[4]
Severus trained Antoninus completely in all things tending towards virtue both of the body and of the soul so that although he was already an adult, he met with teachers and philosophized for much of the day. He rubbed himself with oil and rode horseback up to fifty or even seven hundred stades; and moreover he trained to swim in rough water. From these things he was made strong in a way, but he forgot this education as if he had never heard its name. He was not, however, a poor speaker or lacking in judgement; but he understood many of the subtlest things and he spoke most preparedly. For he often fell into such fortune that he thoughtlessly disclosed with arrogance and rashness or with something completely similar what things lay before him and he was ashamed to reveal them in no way.[5]
Antoninus[6] was the best emperor, especially worthy considering the similar manner of their leadership to be compared with Numa, just like Trajan seemed to resemble Romulus. For Antoninus ended his life as the best and most honored private citizen and was considered to be better and more sensible concerning his leadership, in no way harsh nor burdensome, but he was beneficial and gentle to all. In affairs of war he sought to preserve the reputation of justice rather than of craftiness, to bring out safe into greatness the men of the empire he knew, so in this he took the greatest care about justice. Establishing officials of public offices he requited good men with honors from him, but he drove away base men without any harshness from public works. Therefore he was admired not by the natives alone, but already also by foreigners, since some of the neighboring barbarians lay aside their arms, turned towards the emperor and reconciled their cases by his votes. He himself, from his life as a private citizen, acquired some large sum of money, but when he passed into leadership he spent his own wealth in gifts for his soldiers and his friends. He left the mass of money of the various public treasuries alone, and he was the first to assume the surname "Pious" because of his character.
Antonius Saturninus,[7] infamous and despicable, was enrolled into the Senate under Vespasian, Vespasian having contrived this as the best of jokes. For by giving him this prize which, while profitless, was nevertheless something to be revered, he enveloped him in evil dignity.
Greek Original:
Ἀντωνῖνος, βασιλεὺς Ῥωμαίων, ὁ Σεβήρου, πρὸς τοῖς ἄλλοις κακοῖς καὶ ταῖς μιαιφονίαις καὶ οἱ στρατιῶται τοῦ βιάζεσθαι καὶ ἁρπάζειν λαβόντες ἐξουσίαν οὐκέτι κατ' οὐδὲν διεκρίνοντο. τοιαῦτα δὲ πράττων ὑπό τε τῶν ἔργων ἐλαυνόμενος καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἐν πόλει διατριβὴν ἀπεχθῶς ἔχων ἀπεδήμει τῆς Ῥώμης, ὡς δὴ καὶ τὰ στρατόπεδα διοικήσων καὶ τὰ ἔθνη ἐποψόμενος. ἐπεὶ δὲ τὸν Ἴστρον κατέλαβε καὶ τοὺς ἐκεῖσε Γερμανοὺς ἐφιλοποιήσατο, ὡς καὶ συμμάχους παρ' αὐτῶν λαβεῖν καὶ τοῦ σώματος φρουροὺς καὶ ταῖς φορεσίαις αὐτῶν χρῆσθαι. οὕτω τε καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν βαρβάρων καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν στρατιωτῶν ἠγαπᾶτο, κοινὸς ὢν πρὸς ἅπαντας, ὡς συστρατιώτης μᾶλλον ἢ βασιλεὺς παρ' αὐτῶν λεγόμενος. ἐπειδὴ δὲ καὶ ἐς τὴν Μακεδονίαν ἀφίκετο, Ἀλέξανδρον ἑαυτὸν ὠνόμασεν. ἐκεῖθέν τε ἐς Πέργαμον παραγέγονε καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν Ἀχιλλέως τάφον, καὶ στεφάνοις κοσμήσας καὶ ἄνθεσι τὸν Ἀχιλλέα ἐμιμεῖτο. καὶ διὰ τῆς Ἀσίας καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἐθνῶν εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν ἀφίκετο καὶ διατρίψας χρόνον τινὰ ἐπὶ τὴν Ἀλεξάνδρειαν ἐστέλλετο, πρόφασιν ποιούμενος ποθεῖν τὴν Ἀλεξάνδρου πόλιν. ὡς δὲ ἐσήλασεν ἐν αὐτῇ σὺν παντὶ τῷ στρατῷ, ὑπεδέχθη παρὰ τῶν Ἀλεξανδρέων ὡς οὔπω τις βασιλέων πρότερον. καὶ ἐλθὼν ἐς τὸ Ἀλεξάνδρου μνῆμα τήν τε χλαμύδα, ἣν ἐφόρει, καὶ τὸν δακτύλιον καὶ τὴν ζώνην καὶ εἴ τι πολυτελὲς περιελόμενος ἐπέθηκε τῇ ἐκείνου σορῷ. ὁ δὲ δῆμος ἔχαιρεν, οὐκ εἰδὼς τὴν τούτου λανθάνουσαν γνώμην. ἔγνω γὰρ, ὅτι πολλὰ ἐς αὐτόν τε καὶ τὴν μητέρα ἀπέσκωψαν. διὰ δὲ προγράμματος τὴν νεολαίαν εἴς τι πεδίον κελεύει συνελθεῖν, φήσας εἰς τὴν Ἀλεξάνδρου τιμὴν φάλαγγα συστήσασθαι. οἱ δὲ συνῆλθον ἀγαθαῖς ἐλπίσι. στιχηδὸν δὲ ἑστῶτας ἰδὼν αὐτὸς μὲν ἐξῆλθεν, ἐπαφῆκε δὲ τοὺς στρατιώτας: καὶ πάντας συνέκοψαν. τοσοῦτος δὲ ἐγένετο φόνος, ὥστε τὸν Νεῖλον φοινιχθῆναι ἅπαντα. ὅτι Σεβῆρος καὶ πάνυ πᾶσι τοῖς ἐς ἀρετὴν τείνουσι καὶ κατὰ τὸ σῶμα καὶ κατὰ ψυχὴν ἤσκησε τὸν Ἀντωνῖνον, ὥστε καὶ αὐτοκράτορα ἤδη ὄντα, καὶ διδασκάλοις συνεῖναι καὶ τὸ πολὺ τῆς ἡμέρας φιλοσοφεῖν. ἐξηραλοίφει τε καὶ ἵππευε καὶ ἐς ν# καὶ ψ# σταδίους: καὶ προσέτι καὶ νήχεσθαι καὶ ἐν κλύδωνι ἠσκεῖτο. ὁ δὲ ἐκ μὲν τούτων τρόπον τινὰ ἐρρώσθη: τῆς δὲ δὴ παιδεύσεως, ὡς οὐδὲ τοὔνομα αὐτῆς πώποτε ἀκηκοὼς ἐπελάθετο. οὐ μέντοι καὶ κακορρήμων ἢ κακογνώμων ἦν: ἀλλὰ καὶ συνίει πολλὰ ὀξύτατα καὶ ἔφραζεν ἑτοιμότατα. τῇ τε γὰρ ἐξουσίᾳ καὶ τῇ προπετείᾳ τῷ πάνθ' ὁμοίως τὰ προϊστάμενά οἱ ἀπερισκέπτως ἐκλαλεῖν, καὶ τῷ μηδενὶ αὐτῶν ἐκφαίνειν αἰσχύνεσθαι, ἐπιτυχίᾳ τινὶ πολλάκις περιέπιπτεν. ὅτι Ἀντωνῖνος ὁ βασιλεὺς ἄριστος ἦν καὶ μάλιστα Νουμᾷ κατὰ τὸ τῆς ἡγεμονίας ὁμοιότροπον ἄξιος παραβάλλεσθαι, καθάπερ δὴ Ῥωμύλῳ Τραϊανὸς ὤφθη παραπλήσιος. τόν τε γὰρ ἰδιώτην ὁ Ἀντωνῖνος ἄριστα καὶ ἐντιμότατα διετέλεσε βίον καὶ κατὰ τὴν ἡγεμονίαν ἀμείνων ἔδοξεν εἶναι καὶ σωφρονέστερος, οὐδενὶ τραχὺς οὐδὲ φορτικὸς, ἀλλὰ πρὸς ἅπαντας χρηστός τε καὶ ἤπιος ὤν. ἔν γε μὴν τοῖς πολεμικοῖς ἀπὸ τοῦ δικαίου μᾶλλον ἢ τοῦ κερδαλέου δόξαν θηρώμενος φυλάττειν σῴους εἴπερ εἰς μέγεθος ἐκφέρειν τοὺς τῆς ἀρχῆς ἐγίνωσκεν ἄνδρας, ὡς ἔνι μάλιστα πλείστην τοῦ δικαίου ποιούμενος ἐπιμέλειαν. ταῖς τῶν δημοσίων ἐφιστὰς διοικήσεσι, τοὺς μὲν ἀγαθοὺς τὴν ἡγεμονίαν ταῖς παρ' αὐτοῦ τιμαῖς ἀμειβόμενος, τούς γε μὴν φαύλους δίχα τινὸς τραχύτητος τῶν κοινῶν ἀπελαύνων πραγμάτων. οὐκ οὖν ὑπὸ τῶν οἰκείων μόνων, ἀλλ' ἤδη καὶ πρὸς τῶν ἀλλοφύλων ἐθαυμάζετο, ὡς τῶν προσοίκων τινὰς βαρβάρων τὰ ὅπλα κατατιθεμένους ἐπιτρέποντας τῷ βασιλεῖ τὰς δίκας διαλύεσθαι ταῖς ἐκείνου ψήφοις. αὐτὸς δὲ παρὰ τὸν ἰδιώτην βίον πολύ τι πλῆθος χρημάτων κεκτημένος, ἐπειδὴ παρῆλθεν εἰς τὴν ἡγεμονίαν, τὴν μὲν ἑαυτοῦ περιουσίαν εἰς τε τῶν στρατιωτῶν καὶ τῶν φίλων ἀπανάλωσε δωρεὰς, τῶν δὲ δημοσίων θησαυρῶν πλῆθος παντοδαπῶν ἀπέλιπε χρημάτων, τήν τε τοῦ Εὐσεβοῦς ἐπίκλησιν ἐκ τοῦ ἤθους πρῶτος ἀπηνέγκατο. ὅτι Ἀντώνιος Σατορνῖνος, ἐπίρρητος καὶ βδελυρὸς, παρὰ Οὐεσπασιανοῦ ἐς τὴν βουλὴν ἐνεγράφη, Οὐεσπασιανοῦ σοφισαμένου γελοιότατα τοῦτο. ἀξιώσει γὰρ αὐτὸν περιέβαλε κακίᾳ δοὺς ἀκερδὲς μὲν, σεμνὸν δὲ ὅμως τόδε ἆθλον.
[1] M. Aurelius Antoninus, a.k.a. Caracalla; ruled 198-217. (But see notes 5 and 6 below.) De Imperatoribus Romanis entry (Michael Meckler) at web address 1.
[2] L. Septimius Severus, ruled 193-211. De Imperatoribus Romanis entry (also Michael Meckler) at web address 2.
[3] Julia Domna.
[4] John of Antioch fr.132 FHG (4.589-90), now 214 Roberto.
[5] Cassius Dio 77.11.
[6] The subject switches to the emperor Antoninus Pius, who ruled 138-161 (De Imperatoribus Romanis entry, by Richard Weigel, at web address 3); and the source becomes John of Antioch fr. 115 FHG (4.581), now 198 Roberto; cf. nu 515.
[7] Aelian fr. 115a Domingo-Forasté (112 Hercher); cf. alpha 2830, beta 433. For L. Antonius Saturninus and this episode see R. Syme, 'Antonius Saturninus', Journal of Roman Studies 68 (1978) 12-21; R.J.A. Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (Princeton 1984) 86 n. 44. Favuzzi (below) connects three other Suda entries with him: see epsilon 2548, eta 174, upsilon 18.
Andrea Favuzzi, 'L. Antonio Saturnino in due frammenti adespoti della Suda', Epigrafia e territorio -- Politica et societa 10 (2016) 453-459
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: biography; economics; ethics; geography; historiography; history; military affairs; mythology; religion; rhetoric; women; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 16 February 2002@17:33:21.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified and augmented notes; added keywords; cosmetics) on 17 February 2002@06:36:35.
Catharine Roth (added links) on 17 February 2002@20:37:38.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 15 August 2002@07:02:06.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 4 December 2005@08:40:30.
Catharine Roth (updated reference in note 6) on 13 June 2011@12:25:56.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 14 June 2011@03:23:49.
David Whitehead (expanded n.5) on 23 January 2014@08:49:52.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 28 November 2014@01:20:23.
David Whitehead (another note; updated refs) on 29 January 2015@03:44:43.
David Whitehead on 28 July 2015@05:36:16.
Catharine Roth (expanded references) on 29 August 2015@18:04:40.
David Whitehead (expanded a note, with bibliography) on 14 February 2017@12:41:48.


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