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Marcus Aurelius Antoninus is recognized as one of the greatest emperors in Roman history also being a part among the Five Good Emperors Marcus ruled the empire from 161 to 180 AD Parks As a highly intelligent man he stands out as one of the greatest intellectual rulers in Western Civilization Marcus was impressed with a firm desire for peace that manifested itself in his philosophical writings but he was also a great military leader In Rome on April 26 121 Marcus was born and raised in a wealthy and politically important family Emperor Hadrian noticed him while he was still a child and was therefore given special educational privileges At the age of six Marcus was enrolled in the Equestrians and the next year he was given special permission to attend the priestly college of the Salii in Rome At Salii Marcus was taught by the greatest thinkers of his time representing a vast selection of cultures At first Marcus still continued to receive help from emperors but later assistance would come in the form of his development in political power Marcus was then adopted by Antoninus Pius the chosen successor of the throne and was given the political positions under him Marcus married the daughter of Pius Annia Galaria Faustinaz to further strengthen his appointment as the successor Until Pius died Marcus would go on to play a major role in government under his father-in-law On March 7 161 Marcus was crowned emperor and so began a reign characterized by war disaster and intellectual thought There were three great external conflicts which marked his rule and Marcus dealt with all of them efficiently He dealt with a great plague that swept the whole empire won a victory for the empire in 163 against the Parthians when they had invaded Armenia and he successfully pushed barbarians off Roman soil in the Marcomannic Wars Due to the extensive military campaigning being forced upon the
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