WI: Lucius Verus lived

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by StevenIronside, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. StevenIronside Well-Known Member

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    So basically Lucius Verus and Marcus Aurelius were co emperors. However Verus died younger due to the plague, what if Verus had like Aurelius survived the plague.

    Could this possibly be a derailment of Commodus becoming Emperor or cause civil war?
     
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  2. UCB79 Bookworm, 1st class

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    I think it would depend on whether Verus disliked Commodus or not(of course just about anything, short
    of civil war, which would have kept Commodus off the throne sounds like a good idea to me!)
     
  3. darthfanta Offline

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    Considering the accounts of Lucius Verus,weren’t they actually the same type of emperor(both party animals who enjoyed luxury more than the responsibilities of the office)?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  4. Tyler96 Well-Known Member

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    Is Verus having more kids by Lucilla in this scenario?
     
  5. Sertorius126 Badass guerrilla fighter

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    This judgment is actually unfair to both of them. Verus didn’t have the same philosophical inclinations as Aurelius, true, but in the short time he co-ruled he proved to be a competent general and an average administrator. Commodus also didn’t neglect state affairs, even the Historia Augusta says that he signed every paper himself, he strengthened the border, assigned competent generals to military tasks and did his best to provide for the population in times of famine.
     
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  6. StevenIronside Well-Known Member

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    At first he was yes from wjat i understood. After parthia he became more involved in the running of the empire. Though it isnt the worst thing to let the trusted generals run the campaign for you either.
     
  7. darthfanta Offline

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    Point is, the two blokes might actually like each other more than they did for Marcus Aurelius, considering they have similar interests.

    At any rate, I think a major butterfly would be the absence of Avidius Cassius’ rebellion if Lucius Verus is still around. There would be a clear line of succession even if there’s rumour of Marcus Aurelius dying.
     
  8. Sertorius126 Badass guerrilla fighter

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    It doesn’t really matter if they like each other though, the core of the matter is, would one recognize the other as the senior Augustus? The co-rule between Aurelius and Verus worked because the latter always recognized the prominence of the former, but would that still happen with Commuds. Lucilia would certainly try to undermine Commodus in favor of her husband and any eventual children she might have by him, so Commodus would be necessarily forced to stay on the defensive, and as a consequence, so would Verus. Conflict could possibly be averted only if one were to support the other as the senior partner, and if they both get rid of Lucilia and her schemes, whether that would happen goes in the realm of speculation.
     
  9. StevenIronside Well-Known Member

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    If the two did become co emperors it could certainly be an improvement as with someone else there Commodus would not have the ability to go mad with power, otherwise Verus would easily be able to put him down for good.
     
  10. Sertorius126 Badass guerrilla fighter

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    Commodus didn’t go mad with power, he simply aimed to exclude most senators from power and influence, favoring selected people of all classes to be within his inner circle, which brought about the many attempts on his life and the equally numerous subsequent purges. Commodus saw the role as emperor as that of an undisputed autocrat, without all the pretenses. That doesn’t mean he went mad with power.
     
  11. SlyDessertFox Warren/Castro 2020

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    Assuming Marcus Aurelius dies on schedule as per OTL, I'm not sure why Commodus would immediately rise to the purple. Instead it seems pretty likely that Aurelius would treat Verus as his successor, perhaps including provisions for him to adopt Commodus (or designate him as his heir in some form) upon Aurelius' death to signal Commodus as Verus's heir. Though a surviving Verus could spell a longer lifespan for Aurelius too-it stands to reason that Aurelius would not necessarily need to spend the entirety of his later years along the Danubian frontier, fighting the Marcomannic Wars personally if Verus is still around-Verus was present along the Danube at the start of the Marcomannic Wars, and his being dispatched to deal with the Parthians instead of Aurelius earlier in their reigns was ostensibly justified by Verus being more physically fit and healthier than Aurelius (ironically, given how much longer Aurelius would live). A similar consideration might be made as the Marcomannic Wars drag on, or at the very least the load might be split between them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 5:43 PM
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  12. isabella Well-Known Member

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    I think who an eventual succession of Commodus in this scenario would highly unlikely as Lucius Verus’ own children would take precedence over him being both sons of Lucius Verus and grandsons of Marcus Aurelius trough this daughter Lucilla)
     
  13. SlyDessertFox Warren/Castro 2020

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    This is assuming he has more male children. All three of his children IOTL died young.
     
  14. isabella Well-Known Member

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    Well Lucilla had another child with her second husband
     
  15. Sertorius126 Badass guerrilla fighter

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    Well, Commodus was both son of Marcus Aurelius and grandson of Antoninus Pius, and his father had a lot of supporters in the Senate, Lucilia could not prevent Commodus from succeeding Aurelius unless she killed him first.
     
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  16. isabella Well-Known Member

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    Well in OTL, but Lucius Verus was Marcus Aurelius's adoptive brother, co-regent and son-in-law. If he survived and had sons by Lucilla is pretty unlikely who Commodus' possible succession would be much supported...
    In OTL Lucilla was remarried to a man who had no desire to rule the Empire, so she was quite powerless...
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019 at 6:02 AM
  17. Sertorius126 Badass guerrilla fighter

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    But you can’t just ignore the eldest surviving son and grandson of two beloved emperors, why wouldn’t Commodus’ succession be much supported? Especially considering that by 177 Commodus had already been made Caesar while Aurelius was still alive, which would likely still happen with a living Verus. Why would senators, or even the army, prefer the sons of Lucius Verus, a guy they saw as a debouched dandy, over the promising son of Marcus Aurelius, great warrior and respectful of senators?
     
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  18. isabella Well-Known Member

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    I do not think who Marcus Aurelius would ever be able or willing to name his son as Caesar if Lucius Verus was still alive (and had heirs by Lucilla).
    A son of Lucius Verus and Lucilla would be grandson of Marcus Aurelius, great-grandson of Antoninus Pius and also grandson of Lucius Aelius Caesar, the first adoptive son of Hadrianus (and Hadrianus' wishes was for that line to inherit the power as he had arranged for Lucius Verus to marry Antoninus Pius' daughter Faustian and for Marcus Aurelius to marry Lucius' own sister). Antoninus Pius had gone against that wished marrying his daughter to Marcus Aurelius but neither had ever thought to exclude Lucius Verus plus is pretty evident who Marcus Aurelius looked to the continuity of the imperial line passing through Lucilla not Commdus and named the latter heir only well after Lucilla's second husband refuted to be his Caesar and heir
     
  19. Sertorius126 Badass guerrilla fighter

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    But succession in Rome is not so rigid, and nothing would technically prevent two emperors from ruling together, I’m not saying Commodus would rule alone, but he’d certainly co-rule with Verus, if Aurelius predeceased both of them. Aurelius in OTL probably meant to name both Pompeianus and Commodus as co-heirs, so that the former could serve as guidance to the latter, but since Pompeianus refused he opted to let Commodus rule alone while surrounded with all his advisors and friends. There’s no Roman emperor who ever willingly ignored his own son for the succession, why would Marcus Aurelius of all people, especially since the relationship between father and son seems to have been amiable?

    Of course, if Verus and Commodus end up co-ruling, Lucilla will surely try to murder Commodus. Wheter the two men will still be in agreement, or wheter one would murder the other is not for us to know.
     
  20. isabella Well-Known Member

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    Well if Lucilla is already the wife of the main Emperor she would not need to remove Commodus who was uninterested to rule... And you can tell what you wish of Lucius Verus but, glamorous lifestyle or not, he was always efficient in his official duties...