Day in History 17 March – Marcus Aurelius – Capucine

marcusaureliusL'Image_et_le_Pouvoir_-_Buste_cuirassé_de_Marc_Aurèle_agé_-_3On this day in 180 AD, Joint 16th Emperor of the Roman Empire, Philosopher King, Marcus Aurelius died in the city of Vindobona (modern Vienna) at the age of 58.  Born Marcus Annius Catilius Severus on 26 April 121 in Rome.  He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161 until Verus’ death in 169.  Aurelius was the last of the Five Good Emperors, and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.  During his reign, the Empire defeated a revitalized Parthian Empire in the East; Aurelius’ general Avidius Cassius sacked the capital Ctesiphon in 164.  In central Europe, Aurelius fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians with success during the Marcomannic Wars, with the threat of the Germanic tribes beginning to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. A revolt in the East led by Cassius failed to gain momentum and was suppressed immediately.  Aurelius’ Stoic tome Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration.  Aurelius married his first cousin Faustina the Younger in 145.  During their 30-year marriage Faustina bore 13 children.  The Final Footprint – Aurelius was cremated and immediately deified and his ashes were returned to Rome, and rested in Hadrian’s mausoleum (modern Castel Sant’Angelo) until the Visigoth sack of the city in 410.  His campaigns against Germans and Sarmatians were also commemorated by a column and a temple built in Rome.  In the 1964 movie The Fall of the Roman Empire he was portrayed by Alec Guinness and in the 2000 movie Gladiator he was portrayed by Richard Harris.  Both movie plots posited that Aurelius was assassinated because he intended to pass down power to Aurelius’s adopted son, a Roman general, instead of his biological son Commodus.

 

On this day in 1990, French actress and fashion model, Capucine died as a result of suicide in Lausanne, Switzerland at the age of 57.  Born Germaine Lefebvre on 6 January 1933 in Toulon, France.  Capucine is best known for her comedic roles in North to Alaska (1960) starring John Wayne, Stewart Granger and FabianThe Pink Panther (1963) starring David Niven and Peter Sellers; What’s New Pussycat? (1965) starring Sellers and Peter O’Toole.  Capucine reportedly had an affair with actor William HoldenNorth to Alaska is one of my very favorite movies.  Capucine is one of my favorite actresses and has to be one of the most beautiful women in the world.  The Final Footprint – Capucine was cremated and the cremains were scattered.  Reposer en paix, Capucine.

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