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Bust of Emperor Lucius Verus

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Lucius Verus
Lucius Verus

Roman bust Emperor Lucius Verus. The object was found in Thugga (Tunisia) and dates back to the 2nd century CE.

Lucius Verus came from a wealthy aristocratic family with estates mainly in Etruria. Verus and Marcus Aurelius were adopted by Emperor Antoninus Pius. On the day of their adoption, they were 8 and 17, respectively. Despite the large age difference, they were brought up for some time together under the care of a newly elected emperor and their stepfather.

On March 7, 161 C.E. Emperor Antoninus Pius died. Following the will of the deceased, the Senate transferred all titles and rights to Marcus Aurelius only. To everyone’s surprise, however, he asked that his brother be appointed co-regent. The election of Verus as co-emperor may have resulted from the generosity of Marcus Aurelius. It seems most likely, however, that he did so out of reason. Simply, Verus liked banquets, parties, and Aurelius himself liked peace. Verus performed honours in welcoming distinguished guests, as the emperor also during the games. This situation suited both of them because after his death Marcus had to take over these duties on himself, which bored him and considered it a waste of time. You could say that they both complemented each other well.

Unexpectedly, Verus died young, at the age of 39 (169 CE). The cause of death was a sudden attack of apoplexy (stroke) which resulted in him becoming speechless.

Biography of Lucius Verus

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