Empire of Nicaea
The Empire of Nicaea or the Nicene Empire was the largest of the three Byzantine Greek rump states founded by the aristocracy of the Byzantine Empire that fled after Constantinople was occupied by Western European and Venetian forces during the Fourth Crusade. Founded by the Laskaris family, it lasted from 1204 to 1261, when the Nicaeans restored the Byzantine Empire in Constantinople. In 1204, Byzantine emperor Alexios V Ducas Murtzouphlos fled Constantinople after crusaders invaded the city. Soon after, Theodore I Lascaris, the son-in-law of Emperor Alexios III Angelos, was proclaimed emperor but he too, realizing the situation in Constantinople was hopeless, fled to the city of Nicaea in Bithynia; the Latin Empire, established by the Crusaders in Constantinople, had poor control over former Byzantine territory, Greek successor states of the Byzantine Empire sprang up in Epirus and Nicaea. Trebizond had broken away as an independent state a few weeks before the fall of Constantinople. Nicaea, was the closest to the Latin Empire and was in the best position to attempt to re-establish the Byzantine Empire.
Theodore Lascaris was not successful, as Henry of Flanders defeated him at Poimanenon and Prusa in 1204, but Theodore was able to capture much of northwestern Anatolia after the defeat of Latin Emperor Baldwin I in the Battle of Adrianople, Henry was recalled to Europe to defend against invasions from Kaloyan of Bulgaria. Theodore defeated an army from Trebizond, as well as other minor rivals, leaving him in charge of the most powerful of the successor states. In 1206, Theodore proclaimed. Numerous truces and alliances were formed and broken over the next few years, as the Byzantine successor states, the Latin Empire, the Bulgarians, the Seljuks of Iconium fought each other. In 1211, at Antioch on the Meander, Theodore defeated a major invasion by the Seljuks, who were backing a bid by Alexios III Angelos to return to power; the losses suffered at Antioch, led to a defeat at the hands of the Latin Empire at the Rhyndacus River and the loss of most of Mysia and the Marmara Sea coast in the subsequent Treaty of Nymphaeum.
The Nicaeans were compensated for this territorial loss when, in 1212, the death of David Komnenos allowed their annexation of his lands in Paphlagonia. Theodore consolidated his claim to the imperial throne by naming a new Patriarch of Constantinople in Nicaea. In 1219, he married the daughter of Latin Empress Yolanda of Flanders, but he died in 1222 and was succeeded by his son-in-law John III Ducas Vatatzes; the accession of Vatatzes was challenged by the Laskarids, with the sebastokratores Isaac and Alexios, brothers of Theodore I, seeking the aid of the Latin Empire. Vatatzes prevailed over their combined forces, however, in the Battle of Poimanenon, securing his throne and regaining all of the Asian territories held by the Latin Empire in the process. In 1224, the Latin Kingdom of Thessalonica was captured by the Despot of Epirus Theodore Komnenos Doukas, who crowned himself emperor in rivalry to Vatatzes and established the Empire of Thessalonica, it proved short-lived, as it came under Bulgarian control after the Battle of Klokotnitsa in 1230.
With Trebizond lacking any real power, Nicaea was the only Byzantine state left, John III expanded his territory across the Aegean Sea. In 1235, he allied with Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria, allowing him to extend his influence over Thessalonica and Epirus. In 1242, the Mongols invaded Seljuk territory to the east of Nicaea, although John III was worried they might attack him next, they ended up eliminating the Seljuk threat to Nicaea. In 1245, John allied with the Holy Roman Empire by marrying Constance II of Hohenstaufen, daughter of Frederick II. In 1246, John attacked Bulgaria and recovered most of Thrace and Macedonia, proceeded to incorporate Thessalonica into his realm. By 1248, John had surrounded the Latin Empire, he continued to take land from the Latins until his death in 1254. Theodore II Lascaris, John III's son, faced invasions from the Bulgarians in Thrace, but defended the territory. A conflict between Nicaea and Epirus broke out in 1257. Epirus allied with Manfred of Sicily when Theodore II died in 1258.
John IV Lascaris succeeded him, but as he was still a child he was under the regency of the general Michael Palaeologus. Michael proclaimed himself co-emperor in 1259, soon defeated a combined invasion by Manfred, the Despot of Epirus, the Latin Prince of Achaea at the Battle of Pelagonia. In 1260, Michael began the assault on Constantinople itself, which his predecessors had been unable to do, he allied with Genoa, his general Alexios Strategopoulos spent months observing Constantinople in order to plan his attack. In July 1261, as most of the Latin army was fighting elsewhere, Alexius was able to convince the guards to open the gates of the city. Once inside he burned the Venetian quarter. Michael was recognized as emperor a few weeks restoring the Byzantine Empire. Achaea was soon recaptured; the restored empire faced a new threat from the Ottomans, when they arose to replace the Seljuks. After 1261, Constantinople once more became the capital of the Byzantine Empire; the territories of the former Empire of Nicaea were stripped of their wealth, used to rebuild Constantinople and to fund numerous wars in Europe against the Latin states and Epirus.
Soldiers were transferred from Asia Minor to Europe, leaving the old frontier undefended. Raids by Turkish ghazis were
The Goths were an East Germanic people, two of whose branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire through the long series of Gothic Wars and in the emergence of Medieval Europe. The Goths dominated a vast area, which at its peak under the Germanic king Ermanaric and his sub-king Athanaric extended all the way from the Danube to the Don, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea; the Goths spoke one of the extinct East Germanic languages. In the Gothic language of Ostrogothic Italy they were called the Gut-þiuda, most translated as "Gothic people", but only attested as dative singular Gut-þiudai. In Old Norse they were known as the Gutar or Gotar, in Latin as the Gothi, in Greek as the Γότθοι, Gótthoi; the Goths have been referred to by many names at least in part because they comprised many separate ethnic groups, but because in early accounts of Indo-European and Germanic migrations in the Migration Period in general it was common practice to use various names to refer to the same group.
The Goths believed that the various names all derived from a single prehistoric ethnonym that referred to a uniform culture that flourished around the middle of the first millennium BC, i.e. the original Goths. The exact origin of the ancient Goths remains unknown. Evidence of them before they interacted with the Romans is limited; the traditional account of the Goths' early history depends on the Ostrogoth Jordanes' Getica written c. 551 AD. Jordanes states that the earliest migrating Goths sailed from what is now Sweden to what is now Poland. If this is accurate they may have been the people responsible for the Wielbark archaeological complex. Modern academics have abandoned this theory. Today, the Wielbark culture is thought to have developed from earlier cultures in the same area. Archaeological finds show close contacts between southern Sweden and the Baltic coastal area on the continent, further towards the south-east, evidenced by pottery, house types and graves. Rather than a massive migration, similarities in the material cultures may be products of long-term regular contacts.
However, the archaeological record could indicate that while his work is thought to be unreliable, Jordanes' story was based on an oral tradition with some basis in fact. Sometime around the 1st century AD, Germanic peoples may have migrated from Scandinavia to Gothiscandza, in present-day Poland. Early archaeological evidence in the traditional Swedish province of Östergötland suggests a general depopulation during this period. However, there is no archaeological evidence for a substantial emigration from Scandinavia and they may have originated in continental Europe. Upon their arrival on the Pontic Steppe, the Germanic tribes adopted the ways of the Eurasian nomads; the first Greek references to the Goths call them Scythians, since this area along the Black Sea had been occupied by an unrelated people of that name. The application of that designation to the Goths appears to be not ethnological but rather geographical and cultural - Greeks regarded both the ethnic Scythians and the Goths as barbarians.
The earliest known material culture associated with the Goths on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea is the Wielbark culture, centered on the modern region of Pomerania in northern Poland. This culture replaced the local Oxhöft or Oksywie culture in the 1st century AD, when a Scandinavian settlement developed in a buffer zone between the Oksywie culture and the Przeworsk culture; the culture of this area was influenced by southern Scandinavian culture beginning as early as the late Nordic Bronze Age and early Pre-Roman Iron Age. In fact, the Scandinavian influence on Pomerania and today's northern Poland from c. 1300 BC and onwards was so considerable that some see the culture of the region as part of the Nordic Bronze Age culture. In Eastern Europe the Goths formed part of the Chernyakhov culture of the 2nd to 5th centuries AD. Around 160 AD, in Central Europe, the first movements of the Migration Period were occurring, as Germanic tribes began moving south-east from their ancestral lands at the mouth of River Vistula, putting pressure on the Germanic tribes from the north and east.
As a result, in episodes of Gothic and Vandal warfare Germanic tribes crossed either the lower Danube or the Black Sea, led to the Marcomannic Wars, which resulted in widespread destruction and the first invasion of what is now Italy in the Roman Empire period. It has been suggested. Goths served in the Roman military and played a limited role, e.g. Gainas. In the first attested incursion in Thrace, the Goths were mentioned as Boranoi by Zosimus, as Boradoi by Gregory Thaumaturgus; the first incursion of the Roman Empire that can be attributed to Goths is the sack of Histria in 238. Several such raids followed in subsequent decades, in particular the Battle of Abrittus in 251, led by Cniva, in which the Roman Emperor Decius was killed. At the time, there were at least two groups of Goths: the Greuthungs. Goths were subsequently recruited into the Roman Army to fight in the Roman-Persian Wars, notably participating at the Battle of Misiche in 242; the Moesogoths settled in Moesia. The first seaborne raids took place in three subsequent years 255-257.
An unsuccessful attack on Pityus was followed in the second year by another, which sacked Pityus and Trabzon and ravaged large areas in th
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis. The term referred to the bishop of the chief city of a historical Roman province, whose authority in relation to the other bishops of the province was recognized by the First Council of Nicaea; the bishop of the provincial capital, the metropolitan, enjoyed certain rights over other bishops in the province called suffragan bishops. The term is applied in a similar sense to the bishop of the chief episcopal see of an ecclesiastical province; the head of such a metropolitan see has the rank of archbishop and is therefore called the metropolitan archbishop of the ecclesiastical province. Metropolitan bishops preside over synods of the bishops of their ecclesiastical province, are granted special privileges by canon law and tradition. In some churches, such as the Church of Greece, a metropolis is a rank granted to all episcopal sees, their bishops are all called the title of archbishop being reserved for the primate.
See also: Catholic Church hierarchy and Diocesan bishop In the Latin Church, an ecclesiastical province, composed of several neighbouring dioceses, is headed by a metropolitan, the archbishop of the diocese designated by the Pope. The other bishops are known as suffragan bishops; the metropolitan's powers over dioceses other than his own are limited to supervising observance of faith and ecclesiastical discipline and notifying the Supreme Pontiff of any abuses. The metropolitan has the liturgical privilege of celebrating sacred functions throughout the province, as if he were a bishop in his own diocese, provided only that, if he celebrates in a cathedral church, the diocesan bishop has been informed beforehand; the metropolitan is obliged to request the pallium, a symbol of the power that, in communion with the Church of Rome, he possesses over his ecclesiastical province. This holds if he had the pallium in another metropolitan see, it is the responsibility of the metropolitan, with the consent of the majority of the suffragan bishops, to call a provincial council, decide where to convene it, determine the agenda.
It is his prerogative to preside over the provincial council. No provincial council can be called. All Latin Rite metropolitans are archbishops. Titular archbishops are never metropolitans; as of April 2006, 508 archdioceses were headed by metropolitan archbishops, 27 archbishops lead an extant archdiocese, but were not metropolitans, there were 89 titular archbishops. See Catholic Church hierarchy for the distinctions. In those Eastern Catholic Churches that are headed by a patriarch, metropolitans in charge of ecclesiastical provinces hold a position similar to that of metropolitans in the Latin Church. Among the differences is that Eastern Catholic metropolitans within the territory of the patriarchate are to be ordained and enthroned by the patriarch, who may ordain and enthrone metropolitans of sees outside that territory that are part of his Church. A metropolitan has the right to ordain and enthrone the bishops of his province; the metropolitan is to be commemorated in the liturgies celebrated within his province.
A major archbishop is defined as the metropolitan of a certain see who heads an autonomous Eastern Church not of patriarchal rank. The canon law of such a Church differs only from that regarding a patriarchal Church. Within major archiepiscopal churches, there may be ecclesiastical provinces headed by metropolitan bishops. There are autonomous Eastern Catholic Churches consisting of a single province and headed by a metropolitan. Metropolitans of this kind are to obtain the pallium from the Pope as a sign of his metropolitan authority and of his Church's full communion with the Pope, only after his investment with it can he convoke the Council of Hierarchs and ordain the bishops of his autonomous Church. In his autonomous Church it is for him to ordain and enthrone bishops and his name is to be mentioned after that of the Pope in the liturgy. In the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the title of metropolitan is used variously, in terms of rank and jurisdiction. In terms of rank, in some Eastern Orthodox Churches metropolitans are ranked above archbishops in precedence, while in others that order is reversed.
Primates of autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches below patriarchal rank are designated as archbishops. In the Greek Orthodox Churches, archbishops are ranked above metropolitans in precedence; the reverse is true for some Slavic Orthodox Churches and for Romanian Orthodox Church, where metropolitans rank above archbishops and the title can be used for important regional or historical sees. In terms of jurisdiction, there are two basic types of metropolitans in Eastern Orthodox Church: real metropolitans, with actual jurisdiction over their ecclesiastical provinces, honorary metropolitans who
İznik is a town and an administrative district in the Province of Bursa, Turkey. It was known as Nicaea, from which its modern name derives; the town lies in a fertile basin at the eastern end of Lake İznik, bounded by ranges of hills to the north and south. As the crow flies, the town is only 90 kilometres southeast of Istanbul but by road it is 200 km around the Gulf of Izmit, it is 80 km by road from Bursa. The town is situated with its west wall rising from the lake itself, providing both protection from siege from that direction, as well as a source of supplies which would be difficult to cut off; the lake is large enough that it cannot be blockaded from the land and the city was large enough to make any attempt to reach the harbour from shore-based siege weapons difficult. The city was surrounded on all sides by 5 km of walls about 10 m high; these were in turn surrounded by a double ditch on the land portions, included over 100 towers in various locations. Large gates on the three landbound sides of the walls provided the only entrance to the city.
Today the walls are pierced in many places for roads, but much of the early work survives and as a result it is a tourist destination. The town has a population of about 15,000, it has been a district center of Bursa Province since 1930. It was in the district of Kocaeli between 1923 and 1927 and was a township of Yenişehir district between 1927 and 1930; the town was an important producer of decorated fritware vessels and tiles in the 16th and 17th centuries. For the history before the Ottoman conquest, see the article on Nicaea. In 1331, Orhan I captured the city from the Byzantines and for a short period the town became the capital of the expanding Ottoman emirate; the large church of Hagia Sophia in the centre of the town was converted into a mosque and became known as the Orhan Mosque. A madrasa and baths were built nearby. In 1334 Orhan built a mosque and an imaret just outside the Yenisehir gate on the south side of the town; the Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta stayed in Iznik at the end of 1331 soon after the capture of the town by Orhan.
According to Ibn Battuta, the town was in ruins and only inhabited by a small number of people who were in the service of the sultan. Within the city walls were cultivated plots with each house surrounded by an orchard; the town produced fruit, walnuts and large sweet grapes. A census in 1520 recorded 379 Muslim and 23 Christian households while a census taken a century in 1624 recorded 351 Muslim and 10 Christian households. Assuming five members for each household, these figures suggest that the population was around 2,000. Various estimates in the 18th and 19th centuries give similar numbers; the town was poor and the population small when the ceramic production was at its peak during the second half of the 16th century. The Byzantine city is estimated to have had a population of 20,000–30,000 but in the Ottoman period the town was never prosperous and occupied only a small fraction of the walled area; the English clergyman John Covel visited Iznik in 1677 and found that only a third of the town was occupied.
In 1745 the English traveller Richard Pococke reported. A succession of visitors described the town in unflattering terms. After his visit in 1779, the Italian archaeologist Domenico Sestini wrote that Iznik was nothing but an abandoned town with no life, no noise and no movement. In 1797 James Dallaway described Iznik as "a wretched village of long lanes and mud walls...". The town was damaged in 1921 during the Greco-Turkish War; the town became more important with the development a pottery and tile making industry during the Ottoman period in the 16th century, known as the İznik Çini. Iznik ceramic tiles were used to decorate many of the mosques in Istanbul designed by Mimar Sinan. However, this industry declined in the 17th century and İznik became a agricultural minor town in the area when a major railway bypassed it in the 19th century. A number of monuments were erected by the Ottomans in the period between the conquest in 1331 and 1402 when the town was sacked by Timur. Among those that have survived are: Hacı Özbek Mosque.
This mosque was built only three years after the conquest. The portico on the west side of the building was demolished in 1940 to widen the road. Yeşil Mosque of Iznik Green Mosque; the mosque was built for Çandarlı Kara Halil Hayreddin Pasha, the first Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire. It is located near the Lefke Gate on the east side of the town, it was damaged in 1922 during the Greco-Turkish War and restored between 1956 and 1969. Hagia Sophia known as Aya Sofya is a Byzantine-era former church building, built by Justinian I in the middle of the city in the 6th century. Nilüfer Hatun Soup Kitchen; the building was restored in 1955 and is now a museum. Süleyman Pasa Madrasa; this is one of the two surviving madrasas in the town. It was restored in the 19th century and again in 1968. Mausoleum of Çandarli Hayreddin Pasa; the main room contains fifteen sarcophagi. A lower room contains three more sarcophagi including that of Hayreddin Pasha; the mausoleum is located in a cemetery outside the Lefke gate to the east of the town.
Several monuments were destroyed during the Greco-Turkish War. These include: Church of the Koimesis/Dormition (6th–8th century but rebuilt after the 1065 earthq
Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire, of the Byzantine Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire, until falling to the Ottoman Empire. It was reinaugurated in 324 from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, dedicated on 11 May 330; the city was located in what is now the core of modern Istanbul. From the mid-5th century to the early 13th century, Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe; the city was famed for its architectural masterpieces, such as the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Hagia Sophia, which served as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the sacred Imperial Palace where the Emperors lived, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome, the Golden Gate of the Land Walls, the opulent aristocratic palaces lining the arcaded avenues and squares. The University of Constantinople was founded in the fifth century and contained numerous artistic and literary treasures before it was sacked in 1204 and 1453, including its vast Imperial Library which contained the remnants of the Library of Alexandria and had over 100,000 volumes of ancient texts.
It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times as the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and as the guardian of Christendom's holiest relics such as the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross. Constantinople was famed for its complex defences; the first wall of the city was erected by Constantine I, surrounded the city on both land and sea fronts. In the 5th century, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius under the child emperor Theodosius II undertook the construction of the Theodosian Walls, which consisted of a double wall lying about 2 kilometres to the west of the first wall and a moat with palisades in front; this formidable complex of defences was one of the most sophisticated of Antiquity. The city was built intentionally to rival Rome, it was claimed that several elevations within its walls matched the'seven hills' of Rome; because it was located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara the land area that needed defensive walls was reduced, this helped it to present an impregnable fortress enclosing magnificent palaces and towers, the result of the prosperity it achieved from being the gateway between two continents and two seas.
Although besieged on numerous occasions by various armies, the defences of Constantinople proved impregnable for nearly nine hundred years. In 1204, the armies of the Fourth Crusade took and devastated the city, its inhabitants lived several decades under Latin misrule. In 1261 the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos liberated the city, after the restoration under the Palaiologos dynasty, enjoyed a partial recovery. With the advent of the Ottoman Empire in 1299, the Byzantine Empire began to lose territories and the city began to lose population. By the early 15th century, the Byzantine Empire was reduced to just Constantinople and its environs, along with Morea in Greece, making it an enclave inside the Ottoman Empire. According to Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, the first known name of a settlement on the site of Constantinople was Lygos, a settlement of Thracian origin founded between the 13th and 11th centuries BC; the site, according to the founding myth of the city, was abandoned by the time Greek settlers from the city-state of Megara founded Byzantium in around 657 BC, across from the town of Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus.
The origins of the name of Byzantion, more known by the Latin Byzantium, are not clear, though some suggest it is of Thraco-Illyrian origin. The founding myth of the city has it told that the settlement was named after the leader of the Megarian colonists, Byzas; the Byzantines of Constantinople themselves would maintain that the city was named in honour of two men and Antes, though this was more just a play on the word Byzantion. The city was renamed Augusta Antonina in the early 3rd century AD by the Emperor Septimius Severus, who razed the city to the ground in 196 for supporting a rival contender in the civil war and had it rebuilt in honour of his son Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, popularly known as Caracalla; the name appears to have been forgotten and abandoned, the city reverted to Byzantium/Byzantion after either the assassination of Caracalla in 217 or, at the latest, the fall of the Severan dynasty in 235. Byzantium took on the name of Kōnstantinoupolis after its refoundation under Roman emperor Constantine I, who transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium in 330 and designated his new capital as Nova Roma'New Rome'.
During this time, the city was called'Second Rome','Eastern Rome', Roma Constantinopolitana. As the city became the sole remaining capital of the Roman Empire after the fall of the West, its wealth and influence grew, the city came to have a multitude of nicknames; as the largest and wealthiest city in Europe during the 4th–13th centuries and a centre of culture and education of the Mediterranean basin, Constantinople came to be known by prestigious titles such as Basileuousa and Megalopol
Commodus, born Lucius Aurelius Commodus and died Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus, was Roman emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 to his father's death in 180, until 192. During his father's reign, he accompanied Marcus Aurelius during the Marcomannic Wars in 172 and on a tour of the Eastern provinces in 176, he was made the youngest consul in Roman history in 177 and that year elevated to co-emperor with his father. His accession was the first time a son had succeeded his biological father since Titus succeeded Vespasian in 79, he was the first emperor to have both a father and grandfather as the two preceding emperors. Commodus was the first emperor "born in the purple", i.e. during his father's reign. During his solo reign, the Empire enjoyed a period of reduced military conflict compared with the reign of Marcus Aurelius, but intrigues and conspiracies abounded, leading Commodus to an dictatorial style of leadership that culminated in a God-like personality cult, his assassination in 192 marked the end of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty.
He was succeeded by the first emperor in the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors. Commodus was born on 31 August AD 161 near Rome, he was the son of the reigning emperor, Marcus Aurelius, Aurelius's first cousin, Faustina the Younger, the youngest daughter of Emperor Antoninus Pius, who had died only a few months before. Commodus had an elder twin brother, Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus, who died in 165. On 12 October 166, Commodus was made Caesar together with Marcus Annius Verus; the latter died in 169 having failed to recover from an operation, which left Commodus as Marcus Aurelius's sole surviving son. He was looked after by his father's physician, who treated many of Commodus' common illnesses. Commodus received extensive tutoring by a multitude of teachers with a focus on intellectual education. Among his teachers, Antistius Capella, Titus Aius Sanctus, Pitholaus are mentioned. Commodus is known to have been at Carnuntum, the headquarters of Marcus Aurelius during the Marcomannic Wars, in 172.
It was there that, on 15 October 172, he was given the victory title Germanicus, in the presence of the army. The title suggests. On 20 January 175, Commodus entered the College of Pontiffs, the starting point of a career in public life. In April 175, Avidius Cassius, Governor of Syria, declared himself Emperor following rumours that Marcus Aurelius had died. Having been accepted as Emperor by Syria and Egypt, Cassius carried on his rebellion after it had become obvious that Marcus was still alive. During the preparations for the campaign against Cassius, Commodus assumed his toga virilis on the Danubian front on 7 July 175, thus formally entering adulthood. Cassius, was killed by one of his centurions before the campaign against him could begin. Commodus subsequently accompanied his father on a lengthy trip to the Eastern provinces, during which he visited Antioch; the Emperor and his son traveled to Athens, where they were initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries. They returned to Rome in the autumn of 176.
Marcus Aurelius was the first emperor since Vespasian to have a legitimate biological son and, though he himself was the fifth in the line of the so-called Five Good Emperors, each of whom had adopted his successor, it seems to have been his firm intention that Commodus should be his heir. On 27 November 176, Marcus Aurelius granted Commodus the rank of Imperator and, in the middle of 177, the title Augustus, giving his son the same status as his own and formally sharing power. On 23 December of the same year, the two Augusti celebrated a joint triumph, Commodus was given tribunician power. On 1 January 177, Commodus became consul for the first time, which made him, aged 15, the youngest consul in Roman history up to that time, he subsequently married Bruttia Crispina before accompanying his father to the Danubian front once more in 178. Marcus Aurelius died there on 17 March 180. Upon his ascension, Commodus devalued the Roman currency, he reduced the weight of the denarius from 96 per Roman pound to 105 per Roman pound.
He reduced the silver purity from 79 percent to 76 percent – the silver weight dropping from 2.57 grams to 2.34 grams. In 186 he further reduced the purity and silver weight to 74 percent and 2.22 grams being 108 to the Roman pound. His reduction of the denarius during his rule was the largest since the empire's first devaluation during Nero's reign. Whereas the reign of Marcus Aurelius had been marked by continuous warfare, Commodus' rule was comparatively peaceful in the military sense, but was characterised by political strife and the arbitrary and capricious behaviour of the emperor himself. In the view of Dio Cassius, a contemporary observer of the period, his accession marked the descent "from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust". Despite his notoriety, considering the importance of his reign, Commodus' years in power are not well chronicled; the principal surviving literary sources are Herodian, Dio Cassius, the Historia Augusta. Commodus remained with the Danube armies for only a short time before negotiating a
Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus near Santiponce, Spain into a Hispano-Roman family, his father was a first cousin of Emperor Trajan. He married Trajan's grand-niece Vibia Sabina early in his career, before Trajan became emperor and at the behest of Trajan's wife Pompeia Plotina. Plotina and Trajan's close friend and adviser Lucius Licinius Sura were well disposed towards Hadrian; when Trajan died, his widow claimed that he had nominated Hadrian as emperor before his death. Rome's military and Senate approved Hadrian's succession, but four leading senators were unlawfully put to death soon after, they had opposed Hadrian or seemed to threaten his succession, the senate held him responsible for it and never forgave him. He earned further disapproval among the elite by abandoning Trajan's expansionist policies and territorial gains in Mesopotamia, Assyria and parts of Dacia. Hadrian preferred to invest in the development of stable, defensible borders and the unification of the empire's disparate peoples.
He is known for building Hadrian's Wall. Hadrian energetically pursued personal interests, he visited every province of the Empire, accompanied by an Imperial retinue of specialists and administrators. He encouraged military preparedness and discipline, he fostered, designed, or subsidised various civil and religious institutions and building projects. In Rome itself, he constructed the vast Temple of Venus and Roma. In Egypt, he may have rebuilt the Serapeum of Alexandria, he was an ardent admirer of Greece and sought to make Athens the cultural capital of the Empire, so he ordered the construction of many opulent temples there. His intense relationship with Greek youth Antinous and Antinous' untimely death led Hadrian to establish a widespread cult late in his reign, he suppressed the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judaea. Hadrian's last years were marred by chronic illness, he saw the Bar Kokhba revolt as the failure of his panhellenic ideal. He executed two more senators for their alleged plots against him, this provoked further resentment.
His marriage to Vibia Sabina had been childless. Hadrian died the same year at Baiae, Antoninus had him deified, despite opposition from the Senate. Edward Gibbon includes him among the Empire's "Five good emperors", a "benevolent dictator", he has been described as enigmatic and contradictory, with a capacity for both great personal generosity and extreme cruelty and driven by insatiable curiosity, self-conceit, ambition. Modern interest was revived thanks to Marguerite Yourcenar's novel Mémoires d'Hadrien. Hadrian was born on 24 January 76 in Italica in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica, he was named Publius Aelius Hadrianus. His father was Publius Aelius Hadrianus Afer, a senator of praetorian rank and raised in Italica but paternally linked, through many generations over several centuries, to a family from Hadria, an ancient town in Picenum; the family had settled in Italica soon after its founding by Scipio Africanus. Hadrian's mother was Domitia Paulina, daughter of a distinguished Hispano-Roman senatorial family from Gades.
His only sibling was Aelia Domitia Paulina. Hadrian's great-nephew, Gnaeus Pedanius Fuscus Salinator, from Barcino would become Hadrian's colleague as co-consul in 118; as a senator, Hadrian's father would have spent much of his time in Rome. In terms of his career, Hadrian's most significant family connection was to Trajan, his father's first cousin, of senatorial stock, had been born and raised in Italica. Hadrian and Trajan were both considered to be – in the words of Aurelius Victor – "aliens", people "from the outside". Hadrian's parents died in 86, he and his sister became wards of Publius Acilius Attianus. Hadrian was physically active, enjoyed hunting. Hadrian's enthusiasm for Greek literature and culture earned him the nickname Graeculus. Trajan married Paulina off to the three-times consul Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus. Hadrian's first official post in Rome was as a judge at the Inheritance court, one among many vigintivirate offices at the lowest level of the cursus honorum that could lead to higher office and a senatorial career.
He served as a military tribune, first with the Legio II Adiutrix in 95 with the Legio V Macedonica. During Hadrian's second stint as tribune, the frail and aged reigning emperor Nerva adopted Trajan as his heir, he was transferred to Legio XXII Primigenia and a third tribunate. Hadrian's three tribunates gave him some career advantage. Most scions of the older senatorial families might serve one, or at most two military tribunates as a prerequisite to higher office; when Nerva died in 98, Hadrian is said to have hastened to Trajan, to inform him ahead of the official envoy sent by the go