For many years, the ruins of this ancient Roman villa retreat for the family and guests of four Roman emperors remained unnoticeable, far from the limelight of scholarly research and exploration. Now, it is the focus of new excavations and research by a team of archaeologists and other specialists who aim to resurrect what lies beneath the surface near a picturesque Italian town 18 miles from present-day Rome, Italy. What remains may say something about emperors Antoninus Pius, Lucius Verus, Marcus Aurelius, and Commodus, all major players, for better or worse, in ancient Rome's illustrious 138-192 A.D. Antonine Dynasty.
The Antonine Dynasty consisted of (with the exception of one), adopted emperors who ruled over a Roman Empire at the zenith of its power. It was a time period of great prosperity and stability, and it has been said that they (especially Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius) ably administered the affairs of the empire without the brutal tyranny and deep corruption so often attributed to other emperors.