The future emperor Antonius Pius was born T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus on September 19 ,86 AD. Antonius came from a wealthy family which had seen many of it's members hold high offices. His grandfather held two consulships and was also a city prefect in an Asian city and his father had served a term as consul.
Upon marrying his wife, Annia Galeria Faustina, Antonius became consul in 120 AD. Also, he served as Quaestor in 112 AD and as Praetor in 117 AD. Upon his adoption by Hadrian, Antonius served as one of Hadrian's administrators in Italy between 130 and 135 AD as well he served as Proconsul of Africa. Upon the death of his intended successor, Aelius Verus, in 138 AD, Hadrian looked to Antonius as his heir and successor on the conditions that he adopt Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus as his heirs.
Hadrian died in 138 AD after a long and painful illness and Antonius became the next emperor of Rome. Hadrian had died an unpopular man due to his reclusive and tyrannical attitude in his final years and the senate was about to refuse him deification, but Antonius intervened and swayed the senate into deifying the dead emperor. The senate liked Antonius's qualities of loyalty to Hadrian and so gave him the title, Pius.
In the area of public works ,Antonius did not do as much as his predecessors. Antonius spent most of his building time finishing projects that were either started or planned by Hadrian. Among his works, he completed Hadrian's Mausoleum as well as building temples to the divine Hadrian and to his dead wife, Faustina. Antonius also restored the Pons Sublicius, the oldest bridge in Rome. Also, Antonius restored the Coliseum and the Graecostadium. Outside of Rome, Antinous repaired many roads and renovated many ports throughout the empire, most notable of these ports are at Alexandria, Caieta and Terracina. Antonius also built a public bath in Ostia an aqueduct in Antium and many temples in his home town of Lanuvium.
In financial matters, Antonius ruled wisely but fairly and ,upon his ascension, he returned all the money that Italians had raised for him and half of what the provinces raised as it was custom for every new emperor to get a huge cash gift from the people. Also, Antonius continued the process of alimentary that was begun by his successors by setting money aside for the care of orphaned girls. Antonius also used his own funds to distribute oil wine and bread free to the populace of Rome during a famine and to help the people of Rome during a fire and a flood. Antonius also made sure he saw to the happiness of the people and routinely gave out gifts of cash and held grand games.
Antonius believed that he should remain in Rome for the duration of his reign so as to receive news and messages from the provinces quickly and easily. It is known that he never took extended trips to the provinces as he did not want to burden them with housing an emperor. Antonius would be one of the last emperors to be in Rome for the duration of his reign due to the fact that his time is considered the "calm before the storm" within the Roman Empire. After his death, the danger of barbarian invasions swelled and required the emperors presence elsewhere in the empire.
Though his reign was generally a peaceful one, a few wars were fought during the reign of Antonius. In 142 AD a war was fought in Britain against the brigantes which resulted in the construction of the Antonine Wall as an added source of protection along with Hadrian's Wall. Also, he put down a number of revolts which had begun in Achaea , Egypt and and among the Jews. He was respected by his neighbors and generally kept the peace with the border territories.
Antonius fulfilled his obligations to Hadrian and groomed Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus well as his successors. In preparation for their succession, both men held the consulship many times. Antonius died peacefully in 169 AD and was immediately deified by the senate.