(Note: we haven't quite finished this chapter yet, we still have a long emperor biography to finish going through if/when we are able to.)
"Pope Soter" is a fake, he really matches Marcus Aurelius?
There is no doubt from the evidence that the first 46+ "popes/bishops" match the Roman emperors. However for some popes/emperors the exact correct candidate match is not necessarily overly certain unless/until much more intense research/study is able to be conducted.
At present it seems that the most likely best match for pope Soter is Marcus Aurelius. (Marcus Aurelius may be Anicetus &/or Soter.)
(Most of the "popes/bishops" only match one emperor, and most of the emperors only match one "pope/bishop", but a few emperors match two or more "popes", and a few "popes" might match 2/more emperors. This does not mean our discovery/thesis is wrong, because there is no doubt that the first 46+ popes match the emperors (some starkly/definitely/indisputibly), and because it should not be surprising that the fake "popes" list will have a few differences since otherwise it would be too obvious if it were exactly the same.)
-- Soter: name Soter((i)us). -- Marcus Aurelius: Was a Stoic. (commendable in study of philosophy?) Was called 'The Philosopher'. (sopher ~ soter??) -- Antoninus Pius: Sothaic/Siriadic calendar event in his reign.
-- Soter: Pope Soter biography says that Soter((i)us) is "from a Greek word/name". -- Marcus Aurelius: "ideal emperor in late Greek thought". MA's 'Meditations' was written in Greek.
-- Soter: "at Rome". "pope of the city". -- Marcus Aurelius: "Marcus remained in Rome; the city "demanded the presence of an emperor"." "He shows marked interest in three areas of the law: the manumission of slaves, the guardianship of orphans and minors, and the choice of city councillors (decuriones)" -- Commodus: adviser "(Gaius) Aufidius Victorinus prefect of city of Rome" 183.
-- Soter: wrote a book. -- Marcus Aurelius: wrote book 'Meditations'.
-- Soter: "martyr" (though it is otherwise said by them that he is not given title martyr in Roman Martyrology, and no grounds for that he was a martyr). "Violent persecution Lyon 177". -- Marcus Aurelius: By inversion: martyr Cecilia. violent persecution Lyon 177? "The number and severity of persecutions of Christians in various locations of the empire seemingly increased during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. The extent to which Marcus Aurelius himself directed, encouraged, or was aware of these persecutions is unclear and much debated by historians. According to Gibbon with the onset of the Germanic war, his treatment of the Christians degraded with increased persecutions uncharacteristic of the previous years of his reign, and those of his predecessors." [Marcus Aurelius persecution 162 ad, 4th persecution of 10 persecutions Nero to Diocletian. "sharp and fierce towards Christians.] -- Commodus: violent persecution Lyon 177?
-- Soter: called/born "Campanus". -- Marcus Aurelius: "while on campaign" (campaign against Germans).
-- Soter: "papa/pp" -- Marcus Aurelius: "...he alone was Pontifex Maximus."
-- Soter: "saint". Depicted with a halo/aura. -- Marcus Aurelius: was deified.
-- Soter: charity toward needy christians, do good, alms, poverty. -- Marcus Aurelius: Famine 162? Was "more philanthropic and philosophic" than Hadrian & Antoninus Pius. "He shows marked interest in three areas of the law: the manumission of slaves, the guardianship of orphans and minors, and the choice of city councillors (decuriones)". "new provisions were made for the support of poor children". "a most prudent and conscientiously just emperor".
Not sure if these ones are right matches or not:
-- Soter: "known for declaring that marriage was valid only as a sacrament blessed by a priest". -- Marcus Aurelius: "Antoninus approached Marcus and requested that his marriage arrangements be amended: Marcus' betrothal to Ceionia Fabia would be annulled, and he would be betrothed to Faustina, Antoninus' daughter, instead. Faustina's betrothal to Ceionia's brother Lucius Commodus would also have to be annulled. Marcus consented to Antoninus' proposal."
-- Soter: letter to him from Dionysius. -- Marcus Aurelius: Diognetus introduced MA to philosophy. -- Commodus: praefectus annonae Papirius Dionysius 190.
-- Soter: Soter & Caius share same Saint's day date. ['2(nd) Clement' / 'Clement 2'?] -- Lucius Verus (co-emperor of Marcus Aurelius): shared Nero's Birthday. [10 Persecutions from Nero to Diocletian (who matches "pope Caius").]
-- Soter: Soter((i)us) means "saviour/deliverer" [or "sower"?] -- Marcus Aurelius: was a "warrior". "commanded countless legions" -- Commodus: Thought he was Hercules.