The subject of this study is the Antonine plague which took place in the years 165–180. It was one of the biggest epidemics in ancient Rome. The plague severely violated the economic and political foundations of the powerful Empire. The aim of the study is to show the causes of this epidemic, its prevalence and effects. The most important, however, is to show the reaction of the public authorities to the phenomenon of global epidemics. As a consequence, the legal regulations were introduced regarding the burial of the deceased and providing assistance to the poorest. In the work, the author limited the analysis of literary and typically legal sources, excluding papyrus inscriptions. The result of this work is the claim that the public authorities responded in a manner appropriate for them and consistent with the medical knowledge.