Authentic Roman coins Silver Bracelet depicting the Five Good Emperors
- • Handmade 100% Made in Italy • 5 Authentic Roman Coins (2nd Cent. AD) • Band material: Sterling Silver 925
Amid the periods of turmoil in the history of the Roman Empire came the era of the Five Good Emperors. Instead of selection by dynastic succession, these five rulers were chosen and trained by their predecessors to ensure smooth, peaceful transitions of power. Among the five, Emperor Trajan (reigned 98–117 AD) acquired the title Optimus, or “best.” It was Trajan who not only expanded the borders of the Roman Empire to their greatest extent but also governed with singular benevolence and generosity toward his subjects.
Trajan’s selection as emperor by Nerva set an important precedent for Rome’s rulers. A military commander with Spanish roots, Trajan was the first emperor born outside Italy. The message of his elevation was clear: Qualified, educated men from throughout the empire could aspire to the highest office of the land.
Hadrian is remembered for his travels, his building projects, and his efforts to tie together the far-flung outposts of the Roman empire. He was aesthetic and educated and left behind several poems. Signs of his reign remain in several buildings, including the Temple of Rome and Venus, and he rebuilt the Pantheon, which had been destroyed by fire during the reign of his predecessor.
His country residence, Villa Adriana, outside Rome is considered the architectural epitome of the opulence and elegance of the Roman world. Covering seven square miles, it was more a garden city than a villa, including baths, libraries, sculpture gardens, theaters, alfresco dining halls, pavilions, and private suites, portions of which survived to modern times. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. Hadrian's tomb, now called the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome, became a burial place for succeeding emperors and was converted into a fortress in the 5th century.
Born into a senatorial family, Antoninus held various offices during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, who adopted him as his son and successor shortly before his death. Antoninus acquired the cognomen Pius after he acceded to the throne, either because he compelled the Senate to deify his adoptive father, or because he had saved senators sentenced to death by Hadrian in his later years. His reign is notable for the peaceful state of the Empire, with no major revolts or military incursions during this time, and for his governing without ever leaving Italy. A successful military campaign in southern Scotland early in his reign resulted in the construction of the Antonine Wall. Antoninus was an effective administrator, leaving his successors a large surplus in the treasury, expanding free access to drinking water throughout the Empire, encouraging legal conformity, and facilitating the enfranchisement of freed slaves. He died of illness in 161 and was succeeded by his adopted sons Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus as co-emperors.
Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor from 161 to 180 AD and a stoic philosopher. He was the last of the rulers known as the Five Good Emperors, and the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an age of relative peace and stability for the Roman Empire. He served as Roman consul in 140, 145, and 161.
Marcus was born during the reign of Hadrian to the emperor's nephew, the praetor Marcus Annius Verus (III), and his wife, the heiress Domitia Lucilla. Following the death of his father, Marcus was raised by his mother and grandfather, Marcus Annius Verus. After Hadrian's adoptive son, Aelius Caesar, died in 138, the emperor adopted Marcus' uncle Antoninus Pius as his new heir. In turn, Antoninus adopted Marcus and the son of Aelius, Lucius (later to rule as Emperor Lucius Verus alongside Marcus). Hadrian died that year and Antoninus became Emperor.