Antonines: name of a family of Roman emperors (c.138-161).
The years of the Antonine dynasty are often considered the golden age of the Roman Empire. Except for the northern wars of Marcus Aurelius, the frontiers were stable, there was prosperity at home, the succession was uncontested, the arts flourished. The emperors were:
- Antoninus Pius (138-161)
- Marcus Aurelius (161-180)
- Lucius Verus (161-169, co-ruler of Marcus Aurelius)
- Commodus (180-192)
The end of the dynasty came when Commodus, who had become increasingly tyrannical, was assassinated.
Marcus Aurelius called his first son Antoninus, indicating he was the crown prince. Although the boy died, the custom remained during the next dynasty, the Severans. The emperor Caracalla, for example, was in fact known as Antoninus, as if he belonged to the family of Romes most beloved rulers.