Within the history of Imperial Rome, the time period dating from 96 C.E. to 180 C.E. is known as the age of the “Five Good Emperors” in honor of those that presided over the empire in that time: Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. It was a time of distinction where trade flourished and the previous held prejudices between Italian born Romans and Romans originating from the outer provinces of the empire lessened as provincials took more positions of power. People were no longer constricted to positions based on lineage but on ability and experience, even the emperors themselves. In 138 C.E. Antoninus Pius, a tried and true politician, was adopted by Emperor Hadrian at the age of 51. Furthermore Antoninus went out and adopted Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Veras assuring a clean succession. During his reign, Antonius Prius restored the Senate without weakening his own imperial power and generally ruled with merit. Upon his death in 161 C.E his two successors rose to power as the first co-emperors, and one of their first acts was to memorialize their adopted father with the Column of Antoninus Pius.
Crystal has a MA in the History of Art from Courtauld Institute of Art as well as a BFA in Art History from the Academy of Art University.