Marcus Aurelius
Emperor 'Marcus Aurelius'
Marcus Annius Veras
Born: April 26, 121 AD
Died: March 17, 180 AD
Became Co-Emperor: 161 AD
Became Emperor: 169 AD

Father of Lucius Aurelius Commodus
Father of Annia Lucilla

Character in Gladiator Portrayed by:
Richard Harris
Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Annius Veras was born in 121 AD in Rome. In 161 AD, the Senate tried to make Marcus Aurelius the sole emperor, but he reminded them of Hadrian and Antonius' wishes and his adoptive brother Lucius Veras was made co-emperor. He did have a son named Lucius Aurelius Commodus in honor of Marcus' co-emperor, Lucius Veras. One of his dauthers was Annia Lucilla. Veras died in 169 AD and Marcus Aurelius was now sole emperor.

Like in the film, the Germanic barbarians had threatened Rome's northern frontier for years and Marcus Aurelius did oversee years of campaigns against the barbarians until nearly the end of his reign. Marcus Aurelius was said to be a student of stoic Greek philosophy in spite of the constant warfare in the north. Unlike in the film, he intended for Commodus to become emperor. In fact, he had his son named joint emperor in 177 AD. Like in the film, he was in ill health in his later years and on March 17, 180 AD, Marcus Aurelius finally died of illness that had plagued him for years.

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