Born Marcus Annius Verus on 26 April A.D. 121 in Rome in the fifth year of Hadrian's reign, and of Spanish extraction, Marcus was the son of the consular M. Annius Verus, brother-in-law of the future emperor Antoninus Pius. Both of Marcus' parents died young and he was adopted by his grandfather, also named M. Annius Verus, former prefect of Rome and three times Consul.

Marcus was favoured by the patronage of Hadrian and in 136 was betrothed by him to the daughter of L. Ceionius Commodus, consul for that year and Hadrian's chosen successor. Upon Ceionius' death in 138, Hadrian adopted Marcus' uncle Antoninus Pius, in turn requiring Antoninus to adopt as his own sons both Marcus and Ceionius' son, Lucius Verus. Marcus' name was …

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White, Karl. "Marcus Aurelius". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 February 2006
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]

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