Lucius Verus

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Lucius Aurelius Verus (15 December 130 – 169), born as Lucius Ceionius Commodus, known simply as Lucius Verus, was Roman co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius (121–180), from 161 until his death.


Early life and career

Lucius Verus was the first born son to Avidia Plautia and Lucius Aelius Verus Caesar, the first adopted son and heir of Roman Emperor Hadrian (76–138). He was born and raised in Rome. Verus had another brother Gaius Avidius Ceionius Commodus and two sisters Ceionia Fabia and Ceionia Plautia. His maternal grandparents were the Roman Senator Gaius Avidius Nigrinus and the unattested noblewoman Ignota Plautia. Although his adoptive paternal grandparents were the Roman Emperor Hadrian and Roman Empress Vibia Sabina, his biological paternal grandparents were the consul Lucius Ceionius Commodus and noblewoman Aelia or Fundania Plautia.

When his father died in early 138, Hadrian chose Antoninus Pius (86–161) as his successor. Antoninus was adopted by Hadrian on the condition that Verus and Hadrian’s great-nephew Marcus Aurelius was to be adopted by Antoninus as his sons and heirs.

As a prince and future emperor Verus, received careful education from the famous “grammaticus” Marcus Cornelius Fronto. He was reported to have been an excellent student, fond of writing poetry and delivering speeches. Verus started his political career as a quaestor in 153, became consul in 154, and in 161 was consul again with Marcus Aurelius as his senior partner.

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