15. Antonius Pius (Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antonius) 138 - 161 was born on Sept. 19, 86 in Nîmes in southern Gaul, presently southern France - he was adopted by Hadrian to succeed as emperor on the condition that he adopt the nephew of Hadrian's wife, Marcus Annius Verus (Marcus Aurelius) and Lucius Verus, son of Aelius Verus - Antonius was not a military man but a scholar - his reign was one of relative peace, except a few minor disturbances in Mauritania, Judea and Britain - he died of fever at Lorium of Etruria, about 19 km from Rome, on March 7, 161.
16 a. Marcus Aurelius (Marcus Aurelius Antonius Augustus) 161 - 180 was born on April 26, 121 - his family originally was from Ucubi, a small town southeast of Cordoba in Andalusia in southern Spain - however, Marcus was probably born in Rome where he was raised - he was trained in oratory, and was fluent in Greek - known as a Stoic philosher, he became co-emperor with Lucius, but was effectively sole ruler - Lucius was the military ruler and led campaigns in Parthia, Antioch and Armenia - starting in the 160's, the Germanic tribes started crossing the Danube and moving into Roman territory - when Lucius returned from the frontier wars the army brought with them the Antonine plague - possibly small pox or the measles - which spread through the empire from 160 to 185 - both emperors succumbed to this plague, first Lucius in 169, and subsequently Marcus, who died in the city of Vindobona (now Vienna, Austria) on March 17, 180.
16 b. Lucius Verus (Lucius Aurelius Verus) 161 - 169 was born on Dec 15, 130 - he was the son of Lucius Aelius Caesar, the adopted son and intended successor of Hadrian - upon Lucius' untimely death, Hadrian adopted Antonius Pius on the condition that Antonius in turn adopted both Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus - he fell victim to the Antonine Plague and died in early 169.
17. Commodus (Lucius Aurelius Commodus Antonius) 180 - 192 was born on Aug 31, 161, the natural son of Marcus Aurelius and the last of the ruling Antonines - he was made co-emperor since 177, making it clear that he was to be the successor - at 19 he became the sole emperor - early in his reign there was a conspiracy engineered by his sister Lucilla, who was exiled to Capri - war broke out in Dacia and Britain, but the Roman armies prevailed - Commodus became a vain and cruel emperor, executing a number of senators, and finally taking to the arena himself - as gladiator, he enjoyed killing both human and animal - his excesses are said to have contributed to his final demise at the hands of the Praetorian guard - he was assassinated on Dec 31, 192.