Hadrian

Hadrian

Overview
Hadrian was Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain. Begun in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian, it was the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain, the second being the Antonine Wall, lesser known of the two because its physical remains are less evident today.The...

, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon
Pantheon, Rome
The Pantheon ,Rarely Pantheum. This appears in Pliny's Natural History in describing this edifice: Agrippae Pantheum decoravit Diogenes Atheniensis; in columnis templi eius Caryatides probantur inter pauca operum, sicut in fastigio posita signa, sed propter altitudinem loci minus celebrata.from ,...

 and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma
Temple of Venus and Roma
The Temple of Venus and of Rome — in Latin, Templum Veneris et Romae — is thought to have been the largest temple in Ancient Rome. Located on the Velian Hill, between the eastern edge of the Forum Romanum and the Colosseum, it was dedicated to the goddesses Venus Felix and Roma Aeterna...

. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 and was philhellene in all his tastes. He was the third of the so-called Five Good Emperors.

Hadrian was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus. His predecessor Trajan
Trajan
Trajan , was Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica, in Spain Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in Spain, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against...

 was a maternal cousin of Hadrian's father.
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Encyclopedia
Hadrian was Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain. Begun in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian, it was the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain, the second being the Antonine Wall, lesser known of the two because its physical remains are less evident today.The...

, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon
Pantheon, Rome
The Pantheon ,Rarely Pantheum. This appears in Pliny's Natural History in describing this edifice: Agrippae Pantheum decoravit Diogenes Atheniensis; in columnis templi eius Caryatides probantur inter pauca operum, sicut in fastigio posita signa, sed propter altitudinem loci minus celebrata.from ,...

 and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma
Temple of Venus and Roma
The Temple of Venus and of Rome — in Latin, Templum Veneris et Romae — is thought to have been the largest temple in Ancient Rome. Located on the Velian Hill, between the eastern edge of the Forum Romanum and the Colosseum, it was dedicated to the goddesses Venus Felix and Roma Aeterna...

. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 and was philhellene in all his tastes. He was the third of the so-called Five Good Emperors.

Hadrian was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus. His predecessor Trajan
Trajan
Trajan , was Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica, in Spain Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in Spain, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against...

 was a maternal cousin of Hadrian's father. Trajan never officially designated an heir, but according to his wife Pompeia Plotina
Pompeia Plotina
Pompeia Plotina Claudia Phoebe Piso or Pompeia Plotina was a Roman Empress and wife of Roman Emperor Trajan. She was renowned for her interest in philosophy, and her virtue, dignity and simplicity. She was particularly devoted to the Epicurean philosophical school in Athens, Greece...

, Trajan named Hadrian emperor immediately before his death. Trajan's wife and his friend Licinius Sura
Lucius Licinius Sura
Lucius Licinius Sura was an influential Roman Senator from Tarraco, a close friend of the Emperor Trajan and three times consul - in a period when three consulates were very rare for non-members of the Imperial family - in AD 93 , 102 and 107....

 were well-disposed towards Hadrian, and he may well have owed his succession to them.

During his reign, Hadrian traveled to nearly every province of the Empire. An ardent admirer of Greece, he sought to make Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 the cultural capital of the Empire and ordered the construction of many opulent temples in the city. He used his relationship with his Greek favorite Antinous
Antinous
Antinoüs or Antinoös was a beautiful Bithynian youth and the favourite of the Roman emperor Hadrian...

 to underline his philhellenism and led to the creation of one of the most popular cults of ancient times. He spent extensive amounts of his time with the military; he usually wore military attire and even dined and slept amongst the soldiers. He ordered military training and drilling to be more rigorous and even made use of false reports of attack to keep the army alert. Upon his ascension to the throne, Hadrian withdrew from Trajan's conquests in Mesopotamia and Armenia
Roman Armenia
From the end of the 1st century BC onwards, Armenia was, in part or whole, subject to the Roman Empire and its successor, the East Roman or Byzantine Empire...

, and even considered abandoning Dacia
Roman Dacia
The Roman province of Dacia on the Balkans included the modern Romanian regions of Transylvania, Banat and Oltenia, and temporarily Muntenia and southern Moldova, but not the nearby regions of Moesia...

. Late in his reign he suppressed the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judaea, renaming the province Syria Palaestina
Syria Palaestina
Syria Palæstina was a Roman province between 135CE and 390CE. It had been established by the merge of Roman Syria and Roman Judaea, following the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135 CE. In 193 Syria-Coele was split to form a separate provincial locality...

. In 136 an ailing Hadrian adopted Lucius Aelius
Lucius Aelius
Lucius Aelius Caesar became the adopted son and intended successor, of Roman Emperor Hadrian , but never attained the throne....

 as his heir, but the latter died suddenly two years later. In 138, Hadrian resolved to adopt Antoninus Pius
Antoninus Pius
Antoninus Pius , also known as Antoninus, was Roman Emperor from 138 to 161. He was a member of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty and the Aurelii. He did not possess the sobriquet "Pius" until after his accession to the throne...

 if he would in turn adopt Marcus Aurelius and Aelius' son Lucius Verus
Lucius Verus
Lucius Verus , was Roman co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius, from 161 until his death.-Early life and career:Lucius Verus was the first born son to Avidia Plautia and Lucius Aelius Verus Caesar, the first adopted son and heir of Roman Emperor Hadrian . He was born and raised in Rome...

 as his own eventual successors. Antoninus agreed, and soon afterward Hadrian died at Baiae
Baiae
Baiae , a frazione of the comune of Bacoli) in the Campania region of Italy was a Roman seaside resort on the Bay of Naples. It was said to have been named after Baius, who was supposedly buried there. Baiae was for several hundred years a fashionable resort, especially towards the end of the Roman...

.

Early life


Hadrian was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus in Italica
Italica
The city of Italica was founded in 206 BC by the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus in order to settle Roman soldiers wounded in the Battle of Ilipa, where the Carthaginian army was defeated during the Second Punic War...

, or, less probably, in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, from a well-established family which had originated in Picenum
Picenum
Picenum was a region of ancient Italy. The name is an exonym assigned by the Romans, who conquered and incorporated it into the Roman Republic. Picenum was the birthplace of such notables as Pompey the Great and his father Pompeius Strabo. It was situated in what is now Marche...

 in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and had subsequently settled in Italica
Italica
The city of Italica was founded in 206 BC by the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus in order to settle Roman soldiers wounded in the Battle of Ilipa, where the Carthaginian army was defeated during the Second Punic War...

, Hispania Baetica
Hispania Baetica
Hispania Baetica was one of three Imperial Roman provinces in Hispania, . Hispania Baetica was bordered to the west by Lusitania, and to the northeast by Hispania Tarraconensis. Baetica was part of Al-Andalus under the Moors in the 8th century and approximately corresponds to modern Andalucia...

 (the republican Hispania
Hispania
Another theory holds that the name derives from Ezpanna, the Basque word for "border" or "edge", thus meaning the farthest area or place. Isidore of Sevilla considered Hispania derived from Hispalis....

 Ulterior), near the present-day location of Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

, Spain.

Although it was an accepted part of Hadrian's personal history that he was born in Spain, his biography in Augustan History
Augustan History
The Augustan History is a late Roman collection of biographies, in Latin, of the Roman Emperors, their junior colleagues and usurpers of the period 117 to 284...

 states that he was born in Rome on 24 January AD 76, of a family originally Italian, but which had lived in Spain for many generations. However, this may be a ruse to make Hadrian look like a person from Rome instead of a person hailing from the provinces. His father was Publius Aelius Hadrianus Afer
Publius Aelius Hadrianus Afer
Publius Aelius Hadrianus Afer was a distinct and wealthy Roman Senator and Soldier who lived in the Roman Empire during the 1st century. Afer was originally from Spain; however, he was of Roman descent. Afer was born and raised in the grandeur city of Italica in the Roman Province of Hispania...

, who as a senator
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

 of praetor
Praetor
Praetor was a title granted by the government of Ancient Rome to men acting in one of two official capacities: the commander of an army, usually in the field, or the named commander before mustering the army; and an elected magistratus assigned varied duties...

ian rank would spend much of his time in Rome.

Hadrian's forefathers came from Hadria, modern Atri
Atri, Italy
Atri is a comune in the Province of Teramo in the Abruzzo region of Italy. It has a population of over 11,500...

, an ancient town of Picenum in Italy, but the family had settled in Italica
Italica
The city of Italica was founded in 206 BC by the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus in order to settle Roman soldiers wounded in the Battle of Ilipa, where the Carthaginian army was defeated during the Second Punic War...

 in Hispania Baetica soon after its founding by Scipio Africanus
Scipio Africanus
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus , also known as Scipio Africanus and Scipio the Elder, was a general in the Second Punic War and statesman of the Roman Republic...

. Afer was a paternal cousin of the future Emperor Trajan
Trajan
Trajan , was Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica, in Spain Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in Spain, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against...

. His mother was Domitia Paulina
Paulina
Paulina or Paullina was the name shared by three relatives of the Roman Emperor Hadrian: his mother, his elder sister and his niece. She was also know to love Talon.-Mother of Hadrian:...

 who came from Gades (Cádiz
Cádiz
Cadiz is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the homonymous province, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia....

). Paulina was a daughter of a distinguished Spanish-Roman Senatorial family. Hadrian’s elder sister and only sibling was Aelia Domitia Paulina
Paulina
Paulina or Paullina was the name shared by three relatives of the Roman Emperor Hadrian: his mother, his elder sister and his niece. She was also know to love Talon.-Mother of Hadrian:...

, married with the triple consul Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus
Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus
Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus was a Spanish Roman politician. According to an inscription found, his full name is Gaius Julius Servilius Ursus Servianus, however in Augustan History, he is known as Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus. Little is known on his origins.Servianus was a prominent public...

, his niece was Julia Serviana Paulina
Paulina
Paulina or Paullina was the name shared by three relatives of the Roman Emperor Hadrian: his mother, his elder sister and his niece. She was also know to love Talon.-Mother of Hadrian:...

 and his great-nephew was Gnaeus Pedanius Fuscus Salinator, from Barcino
Barcino
Barcino may refer to:*Barcelona, Spain - Barcino in Latin*Barcino, Poland**Barcino...

. His parents died in 86 when Hadrian was ten, and the boy then became a ward of both Trajan and Publius Acilius Attianus
Publius Acilius Attianus
Publius Acilius Attianus was a powerful Roman official who played a significant though obscure role in the transfer of the imperial power from Trajan to Hadrian. He was born in Italica, Hispania Baetica, which was also the birthplace of Publius Aelius Hadrianus Afer, the emperor Hadrian’s father...

 (who was later Trajan’s Praetorian Prefect). Hadrian was schooled in various subjects particular to young aristocrat
Aristocracy (class)
The aristocracy are people considered to be in the highest social class in a society which has or once had a political system of Aristocracy. Aristocrats possess hereditary titles granted by a monarch, which once granted them feudal or legal privileges, or deriving, as in Ancient Greece and India,...

s of the day, and was so fond of learning Greek
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 literature that he was nicknamed Graeculus ("Greekling").

Hadrian visited Italica
Italica
The city of Italica was founded in 206 BC by the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus in order to settle Roman soldiers wounded in the Battle of Ilipa, where the Carthaginian army was defeated during the Second Punic War...

 when (or never left it until) he was 14 years old, when he was recalled by Trajan, who thereafter looked after his development. He never returned to Italica although it was later made a colonia
Colonia (Roman)
A Roman colonia was originally a Roman outpost established in conquered territory to secure it. Eventually, however, the term came to denote the highest status of Roman city.-History:...

 in his honour. His first military service was as a tribune
Tribune
Tribune was a title shared by elected officials in the Roman Republic. Tribunes had the power to convene the Plebeian Council and to act as its president, which also gave them the right to propose legislation before it. They were sacrosanct, in the sense that any assault on their person was...

 of the Legio II Adiutrix
Legio II Adiutrix
Legio secunda Adiutrix , was a Roman legion levied by emperor Vespasian in 70, from Roman navy marines of the classis Ravennatis. There are still records of II Adiutrix in the Rhine border in the beginning of the 4th century...

. Later, he was to be transferred to the Legio I Minervia
Legio I Minervia
Legio I Minervia was a Roman legion levied by emperor Domitian in 82, for the campaign against the Germanic tribe of the Chatti. Its cognomen is related to the goddess Minerva, the legion's protector. There are still records of the I Minervia in the Rhine border in the middle of the 4th century...

 in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. When Nerva
Nerva
Nerva , was Roman Emperor from 96 to 98. Nerva became Emperor at the age of sixty-five, after a lifetime of imperial service under Nero and the rulers of the Flavian dynasty. Under Nero, he was a member of the imperial entourage and played a vital part in exposing the Pisonian conspiracy of 65...

 died in 98, Hadrian rushed to inform Trajan personally. He later became legate
Legatus
A legatus was a general in the Roman army, equivalent to a modern general officer. Being of senatorial rank, his immediate superior was the dux, and he outranked all military tribunes...

 of a legion
Roman legion
A Roman legion normally indicates the basic ancient Roman army unit recruited specifically from Roman citizens. The organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of perhaps 5,000 soldiers, divided into maniples and later into "cohorts"...

 in Upper Pannonia
Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

 and eventually governor of said province. He was also archon
Archon
Archon is a Greek word that means "ruler" or "lord", frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculine present participle of the verb stem ἀρχ-, meaning "to rule", derived from the same root as monarch, hierarchy, and anarchy.- Ancient Greece :In ancient Greece the...

 in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 for a brief time, and was elected an Athenian citizen.

His career before becoming emperor follows:
  • decemvir stlitibus iudicandis
    Decemviri
    Decemviri is a Latin term meaning "Ten Men" which designates any such commission in the Roman Republic...

  • sevir turma
    Turma
    A turma was a cavalry squadron in the Roman army of the Republic and Empire. In the Byzantine Empire, it became applied to the larger, regiment-sized military-cum-administrative divisions of a thema....

    e equitum Romanorum
  • praefectus Urbi
    Praefectus urbi
    The praefectus urbanus or praefectus urbi, in English the urban prefect, was prefect of the city of Rome, and later also of Constantinople. The office originated under the Roman kings, continued during the Republic and Empire, and held high importance in late Antiquity...

     feriarum Latinarum
  • tribunus militum
    Military tribune
    A military tribune was an officer of the Roman army who ranked below the legate and above the centurion...

     legionis II Adiutricis Piae Fidelis
    (95, in Pannonia Inferior)
  • tribunus militum legionis V Macedonicae (96, in Moesia Inferior)
  • tribunus militum legionis XXII Primigeniae Piae Fidelis (97, in Germania Superior)
  • quaestor
    Quaestor
    A Quaestor was a type of public official in the "Cursus honorum" system who supervised financial affairs. In the Roman Republic a quaestor was an elected official whereas, with the autocratic government of the Roman Empire, quaestors were simply appointed....

    (101)
  • ab actis senatus
  • tribunus plebis
    Tribune
    Tribune was a title shared by elected officials in the Roman Republic. Tribunes had the power to convene the Plebeian Council and to act as its president, which also gave them the right to propose legislation before it. They were sacrosanct, in the sense that any assault on their person was...

    (105)
  • praetor
    Praetor
    Praetor was a title granted by the government of Ancient Rome to men acting in one of two official capacities: the commander of an army, usually in the field, or the named commander before mustering the army; and an elected magistratus assigned varied duties...

    (106)
  • legatus legionis
    Legatus legionis
    Legatus legionis was a title awarded to legion commanders in Ancient Rome.-History:By the time of the Roman Republic, the term legatus delegated authority...

     I Minerviae Piae Fidelis
    (106, in Germania Inferior)
  • legatus
    Legatus
    A legatus was a general in the Roman army, equivalent to a modern general officer. Being of senatorial rank, his immediate superior was the dux, and he outranked all military tribunes...

     Augusti pro praetore Pannoniae Inferioris
    (107)
  • consul suffectus (108)
  • septemvir epulonum
    Epulones
    The epulones formed one of the four great religious corporations of ancient Roman priests. The two most important colleges were the College of Pontiffs and the augurs; the fourth was the quindecimviri sacris faciundis...

    (before 112)
  • sodalis Augustalis (before 112)
  • archon Athenis (112/13)
  • legatus Syriae
    Syria (Roman province)
    Syria was a Roman province, annexed in 64 BC by Pompey, as a consequence of his military presence after pursuing victory in the Third Mithridatic War. It remained under Roman, and subsequently Byzantine, rule for seven centuries, until 637 when it fell to the Islamic conquests.- Principate :The...

    (117).


Hadrian was involved in the wars against the Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

ns (as legate of the V Macedonica
Legio V Macedonica
Legio quinta Macedonica was a Roman legion. It was probably originally levied by consul Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus and Octavian in 43 BC, and it was stationed in Moesia at least until 5th century. Its symbol was the bull, but the eagle was used as well...

) and reputedly won awards from Trajan for his successes. Hadrian's military skill is not well attested due to a lack of military action during his reign; however, his keen interest and knowledge of the army and his demonstrated skill of leadership show possible strategic talent.

Hadrian joined Trajan's expedition against Parthia as a legate on Trajan’s staff. Neither during the first victorious phase, nor during the second phase of the war when rebellion swept Mesopotamia did Hadrian do anything of note. However when the governor of Syria
Syria (Roman province)
Syria was a Roman province, annexed in 64 BC by Pompey, as a consequence of his military presence after pursuing victory in the Third Mithridatic War. It remained under Roman, and subsequently Byzantine, rule for seven centuries, until 637 when it fell to the Islamic conquests.- Principate :The...

 had to be sent to sort out renewed troubles in Dacia, Hadrian was appointed as a replacement, giving him an independent command. Trajan, seriously ill by that time, decided to return to Rome while Hadrian remained in Syria
Syria (Roman province)
Syria was a Roman province, annexed in 64 BC by Pompey, as a consequence of his military presence after pursuing victory in the Third Mithridatic War. It remained under Roman, and subsequently Byzantine, rule for seven centuries, until 637 when it fell to the Islamic conquests.- Principate :The...

 to guard the Roman rear. Trajan only got as far as Selinus before he became too ill to go further. While Hadrian may have been the obvious choice as successor, he had never been adopted as Trajan's heir. As Trajan lay dying, nursed by his wife, Plotina (a supporter of Hadrian), he at last adopted Hadrian as heir. Since the document was signed by Plotina, it has been suggested that Trajan may have already been dead.

Securing power



Hadrian quickly secured the support of the legions — one potential opponent, Lusius Quietus
Lusius Quietus
thumb|300px|Stylised Moorish Cavalry under Lusius Quietus, fighting against the Dacians. From the Column of Trajan.Lusius Quietus was a Roman general and governor of Iudaea in 117.- Life :...

, was promptly dismissed. The Senate's endorsement followed when possibly falsified papers of adoption from Trajan were presented (although he had been the ward of Trajan
Trajan
Trajan , was Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica, in Spain Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in Spain, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against...

). The rumour of a falsified document of adoption carried little weight — Hadrian's legitimacy arose from the endorsement of the Senate and the Syrian armies.

Hadrian did not at first go to Rome — he was busy sorting out the East and suppressing the Jewish revolt that had broken out under Trajan, then moving on to sort out the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 frontier. Instead, Attianus, Hadrian's former guardian, was put in charge in Rome. There he "discovered" a conspiracy involving four leading Senators including Lusius Quietus and demanded of the Senate their deaths. There was no question of a trial—they were hunted down and killed out of hand. Because Hadrian was not in Rome at the time, he was able to claim that Attianus had acted on his own initiative. According to Elizabeth Speller, the real reason for their deaths was that they were Trajan's men.

Hadrian and the military


Despite his own great reputation as a military administrator, Hadrian's reign was marked by a general lack of major military conflicts, apart from the Second Roman-Jewish War. He surrendered Trajan's conquests in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

, considering them to be indefensible. There was almost a war with Parthia
Parthia
Parthia is a region of north-eastern Iran, best known for having been the political and cultural base of the Arsacid dynasty, rulers of the Parthian Empire....

 around 121, but the threat was averted when Hadrian succeeded in negotiating a peace.

The peace policy was strengthened by the erection of permanent fortifications along the empire's borders (limites, sl.
Grammatical number
In linguistics, grammatical number is a grammatical category of nouns, pronouns, and adjective and verb agreement that expresses count distinctions ....

 limes). The most famous of these is the massive Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain. Begun in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian, it was the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain, the second being the Antonine Wall, lesser known of the two because its physical remains are less evident today.The...

 in Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, and the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 and Rhine borders were strengthened with a series of mostly wooden fortification
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

s, forts, outpost
Outpost (military)
An Outpost in military terminology essentially means a detachment of troops stationed at a distance from the main force or formation, usually at a station in a remote or sparsely populated location, positioned to stand guard against unauthorized intrusions and surprise attacks; and the station...

s and watchtowers, the latter specifically improving communications and local area security. To maintain morale and prevent the troops from becoming restive, Hadrian established intensive drill routines, and personally inspected the armies. Although his coins showed military images almost as often as peaceful ones, Hadrian's policy was peace through strength
Peace through strength
"Peace through strength" is a conservative slogan supporting military strength for the purpose of creating peaceful international relations.For supporters of the MX missile in the 1970s, the missile symbolized "peace through strength." The phrase was popular in political rallies during 1988...

, even threat.

Antinous


Hadrian had a close relationship with a Bithynia
Bithynia
Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine .-Description:...

n Greek youth, Antinous
Antinous
Antinoüs or Antinoös was a beautiful Bithynian youth and the favourite of the Roman emperor Hadrian...

, which was most likely sexual. Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

 remarks, "[O]f the first fifteen emperors, Claudius
Claudius
Claudius , was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy...

 was the only one whose taste in love was entirely correct." According to Historia Augusta:

Antinous drowned in 130 AD. Deeply saddened, Hadrian founded the Egyptian city of Antinopolis
Antinopolis
Antinopolis was a city founded at an older Egyptian village by the Roman emperor Hadrian to commemorate his deified young beloved, Antinous, on the east bank of the Nile, not far from the site in Upper Egypt where Antinous drowned in 130 AD...

 in his memory, and had Antinous deified – an unprecedented honour for one not of the ruling family. The cult of Antinous became very popular in the Greek-speaking world.Dyson, Stephen L., Rome: A Living Portrait of an Ancient City, p. 195. It has been suggested that Hadrian created the cult as a political move to reconcile the Greek-speaking East to Roman rule.

Cultural pursuits and patronage


Hadrian has been described, by Ronald Syme among others, as the most versatile of all the Roman Emperors. He also liked to demonstrate knowledge of all intellectual and artistic fields. Above all, Hadrian patronized the arts: Hadrian's Villa
Hadrian's Villa
The Hadrian's Villa is a large Roman archaeological complex at Tivoli, Italy.- History :The villa was constructed at Tibur as a retreat from Rome for Roman Emperor Hadrian during the second and third decades of the 2nd century AD...

 at Tibur (Tivoli
Tivoli, Italy
Tivoli , the classical Tibur, is an ancient Italian town in Lazio, about 30 km east-north-east of Rome, at the falls of the Aniene river where it issues from the Sabine hills...

) was the greatest Roman example of an Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

n garden, recreating a sacred landscape, lost in large part to the despoliation of the ruins by the Cardinal d'Este
Ippolito II d'Este
Ippolito d'Este was an Italian cardinal and statesman. He was a member of the House of Este, and nephew of the other Ippolito d'Este, also a cardinal.-Biography:...

 who had much of the marble removed to build Villa d'Este
Villa d'Este
The Villa d'Este is a villa situated at Tivoli, near Rome, Italy. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, it is a fine example of Renaissance architecture and the Italian Renaissance garden.-History:...

. In Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, the Pantheon
Pantheon, Rome
The Pantheon ,Rarely Pantheum. This appears in Pliny's Natural History in describing this edifice: Agrippae Pantheum decoravit Diogenes Atheniensis; in columnis templi eius Caryatides probantur inter pauca operum, sicut in fastigio posita signa, sed propter altitudinem loci minus celebrata.from ,...

, originally built by Agrippa
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa was a Roman statesman and general. He was a close friend, son-in-law, lieutenant and defense minister to Octavian, the future Emperor Caesar Augustus...

 but destroyed by fire in 80, was rebuilt under Hadrian in the domed form it retains to this day. It is among the best preserved of Rome's ancient buildings and was highly influential to many of the great architects of the Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

 and Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 periods.

From well before his reign, Hadrian displayed a keen interest in architecture, but it seems that his eagerness was not always well received. For example, Apollodorus of Damascus
Apollodorus of Damascus
Apollodorus of Damascus was a Greek engineer, architect, designer and sculptor who flourished during the 2nd century AD, from Damascus, Roman Syria. He was a favourite of Trajan, for whom he constructed Trajan's Bridge over the Danube for the 105-106 campaign in Dacia. He also designed the Forum...

, famed architect of the Forum of Trajan, dismissed his designs. When Trajan
Trajan
Trajan , was Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica, in Spain Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in Spain, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against...

, predecessor to Hadrian, consulted Apollodorus about an architectural problem, Hadrian interrupted to give advice, to which Apollodorus replied, "Go away and draw your pumpkins. You know nothing about these problems." "Pumpkins" refers to Hadrian's drawings of domes like the Serapeum in his villa. It is rumoured that once Hadrian succeeded Trajan to become emperor, he had Apollodorus exiled and later put to death. It is very possible that this later story was a later attempt to defame his character, as Hadrian, though popular among a great many across the Empire, was not universally admired, either in his lifetime or afterwards.

Hadrian wrote poetry in both Latin and Greek; one of the few surviving examples is a Latin poem he reportedly composed on his deathbed (see below). He also wrote an autobiography – not, apparently, a work of great length or revelation, but designed to scotch various rumours or explain his various actions. Hadrian was a passionate hunter from the time of his youth according to one source. In northwest Asia, he founded and dedicated a city to commemorate a she-bear he killed. It is documented that in Egypt he and his beloved Antinous
Antinous
Antinoüs or Antinoös was a beautiful Bithynian youth and the favourite of the Roman emperor Hadrian...

 killed a lion. In Rome, eight reliefs featuring Hadrian in different stages of hunting decorate a building that began as a monument celebrating a kill.

Another of Hadrian's contributions to "popular" culture was the beard
Beard
A beard is the collection of hair that grows on the chin, cheeks and neck of human beings. Usually, only pubescent or adult males are able to grow beards. However, women with hirsutism may develop a beard...

, which symbolised his philhellenism
Philhellenism
Philhellenism was an intellectual fashion prominent at the turn of the 19th century, that led Europeans like Lord Byron or Charles Nicolas Fabvier to advocate for Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire...

. Since the time of Scipio Africanus
Scipio Africanus
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus , also known as Scipio Africanus and Scipio the Elder, was a general in the Second Punic War and statesman of the Roman Republic...

 it had been fashionable among the Romans to be clean-shaven. Also all Roman Emperors before Hadrian, except for Nero
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

 (also a great admirer of Greek culture), were clean shaven. Most of the emperors after Hadrian would be portrayed with beards. Their beards, however, were not worn out of an appreciation for Greek culture but because the beard had, thanks to Hadrian, become fashionable. This new fashion lasted until the reign of Constantine the Great and was revived again by
Phocas
Phocas
Phocas was Byzantine Emperor from 602 to 610. He usurped the throne from the Emperor Maurice, and was himself overthrown by Heraclius after losing a civil war.-Origins:...

 at the start of the 7th century.

As a cultural Hellenophile
Hellenistic civilization
Hellenistic civilization represents the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BCE to about 146 BCE...

 Hadrian was familiar with the work of the philosophers Epictetus
Epictetus
Epictetus was a Greek sage and Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia , and lived in Rome until banishment when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece where he lived the rest of his life. His teachings were noted down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses...

, Heliodorus and Favorinus
Favorinus
Favorinus of Arelata was a Roman sophist and philosopher who flourished during the reign of Hadrian.He was of Gaulish ancestry, born in Arelate . He is described as a hermaphrodite by birth...

. At home he attended to social needs. Hadrian mitigated but did not abolish slavery, had the legal code humanized and forbade torture. He built libraries, aqueducts
Roman aqueduct
The Romans constructed numerous aqueducts to serve any large city in their empire, as well as many small towns and industrial sites. The city of Rome had the largest concentration of aqueducts, with water being supplied by eleven aqueducts constructed over a period of about 500 years...

, baths and theaters. Hadrian is considered by many historians to have been wise and just: Schiller called him "the Empire's first servant", and British historian Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

 admired his "vast and active genius", as well as his "equity and moderation". In 1776, he stated that Hadrian's era was part of the "happiest era of human history".

While visiting Greece in 126, Hadrian attempted to create a kind of provincial parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

 to bind all the semi-autonomous former city states across all Greece and Ionia
Ionia
Ionia is an ancient region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey, the region nearest İzmir, which was historically Smyrna. It consisted of the northernmost territories of the Ionian League of Greek settlements...

 (in Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

). This parliament, known as the Panhellenion
Panhellenion
The Panhellenion or Panhellenium was an institution of cities established in the year 131-132 AD by the Roman Emperor Hadrian while he was touring the Roman provinces of Greece.Hadrian was philhellenic, and idealized the Classical past of Greece...

, failed despite spirited efforts to foster cooperation among the Hellenes. Hadrian died at his villa in Baiae
Baiae
Baiae , a frazione of the comune of Bacoli) in the Campania region of Italy was a Roman seaside resort on the Bay of Naples. It was said to have been named after Baius, who was supposedly buried there. Baiae was for several hundred years a fashionable resort, especially towards the end of the Roman...

. He was buried in a mausoleum
Mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

 on the western bank of the Tiber
Tiber
The Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing through Umbria and Lazio to the Tyrrhenian Sea. It drains a basin estimated at...

, in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, a building later transformed into a papal fortress, Castel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant'Angelo
The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as the Castel Sant'Angelo, is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family...

. The dimensions of his mausoleum, in its original form, were deliberately designed to be slightly larger than the earlier Mausoleum of Augustus
Mausoleum of Augustus
The Mausoleum of Augustus is a large tomb built by the Roman Emperor Augustus in 28 BC on the Campus Martius in Rome, Italy. The Mausoleum, now located on the Piazza Augusto Imperatore, is no longer open to tourists, and the ravages of time and carelessness have stripped the ruins bare...

.

According to Cassius Dio a gigantic equestrian statue was erected to Hadrian after his death. "It was so large that the bulkiest man could walk through the eye of each horse, yet because of the extreme height of the foundation persons passing along on the ground below believe that the horses themselves as well as Hadrian are very very small."

Purpose


The Emperor travelled broadly, inspecting and correcting the legions in the field. Even prior to becoming emperor, he had travelled abroad with the Roman military, giving him much experience in the matter. More than half his reign was spent outside of Italy. Other emperors often left Rome simply to go to war, returning soon after conflicts concluded. A previous emperor, Nero
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

, once travelled through Greece and was condemned for his self indulgence. Hadrian, by contrast, travelled as a fundamental part of his governing, and made this clear to the Roman Senate and the people. He was able to do this because at Rome he possessed a staunch supporter within the upper echelons of Roman society, a military veteran by the name of Marcius Turbo
Marcius Turbo
Quintus Marcius Turbo was prefect of the Praetorian Guard and a close friend and military advisor to both emperor Trajan and Hadrian during the early 2nd century.- Early life :...

. Also, there are hints within certain sources that he also employed a secret police
Secret police
Secret police are a police agency which operates in secrecy and beyond the law to protect the political power of an individual dictator or an authoritarian political regime....

 force, the frumentarii
Frumentarii
Frumentarii acted as the secret service of the Roman Empire. There are two main sources of information about the frumentarii, inscriptions on gravestones and anecdotes where the actions of individual frumentarii are mentioned by historians. From what is known of the Frumentarii, they always worked...

, to exert control and influence in case anything should go wrong while he journeyed abroad.

His visits were marked by handouts which often contained instructions for the construction of new public buildings. His intention was to strengthen the Empire from within through improved infrastructure, as opposed to conquering or annexing perceived enemies. This was often the purpose of his journeys; commissioning new structures, projects and settlements. His almost evangelical belief in Greek culture strengthened his views: like many emperors before him, Hadrian's will was almost always obeyed. His travelling court was large, including administrators and likely architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

s and builder
Construction worker
A construction worker or builder is a professional, tradesman, or labourer who directly participates in the physical construction of infrastructure.-Construction trades:...

s. The burden on the areas he passed through were sometimes great. While his arrival usually brought some benefits it is possible that those who had to bear the burden were of different class to those who reaped the benefits. For example, huge amounts of provisions were requisitioned during his visit to Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, this suggests that the burden on the mainly subsistence farmers
Subsistence agriculture
Subsistence agriculture is self-sufficiency farming in which the farmers focus on growing enough food to feed their families. The typical subsistence farm has a range of crops and animals needed by the family to eat and clothe themselves during the year. Planting decisions are made with an eye...

 must have been intolerable, causing some measure of starvation
Starvation
Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy, nutrient and vitamin intake. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition. In humans, prolonged starvation can cause permanent organ damage and eventually, death...

 and hardship.

At the same time, as in later times all the way through the European Renaissance, kings were welcomed into their cities or lands, and the financial burden was completely on them, and only indirectly on the poorer class. Hadrian's first tour came in 121 and was initially aimed at covering his back to allow himself the freedom to concern himself with his general cultural aims. He travelled north, towards Germania
Germania
Germania was the Greek and Roman geographical term for the geographical regions inhabited by mainly by peoples considered to be Germani. It was most often used to refer especially to the east of the Rhine and north of the Danube...

 and inspected the Rhine-Danube frontier, allocating funds to improve the defences. However it was a voyage to the Empire's very frontiers that represented his perhaps most significant visit; upon hearing of a recent revolt, he journeyed to Britannia.

Britannia




Prior to Hadrian's arrival on Great Britain there had been a major rebellion in Britannia
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

 from 119 to 121. In 122 he initiated the construction of Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain. Begun in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian, it was the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain, the second being the Antonine Wall, lesser known of the two because its physical remains are less evident today.The...

. The wall was built, "to separate Romans from barbarians," according to the Historia Augusta. It deterred attacks on Roman territory and controlled cross border trade and immigration. Unlike the Germanic limes
Limes Germanicus
The Limes Germanicus was a line of frontier fortifications that bounded the ancient Roman provinces of Germania Inferior, Germania Superior and Raetia, dividing the Roman Empire and the unsubdued Germanic tribes from the years 83 to about 260 AD...

, built of wood palisades, the lack of suitable wood in the area required a stone construction. The western third of the wall, from modern-day Carlisle to the River Irthing
River Irthing
The River Irthing is a river in Cumbria, England and a major tributary of the River Eden.Rising in the hills around Paddaburn Moor in Border Forest Park, for the first 15 miles of its journey south it defines the border between Northumberland and Cumbria. After passing Butterburn Flow raised bog,...

, was built of turf because of the lack of suitable building stone. This problem also led to the narrowing of the width of the wall, from the original 12 feet to 7.

Under him, a shrine was erected in York
York
York is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence...

 to Britain as a Goddess, and coins that introduced a female figure as the personification of Britain
National personification
A national personification is an anthropomorphization of a nation or its people; it can appear in both editorial cartoons and propaganda.Some early personifications in the Western world tended to be national manifestations of the majestic wisdom and war goddess Minerva/Athena, and often took the...

, labeled BRITANNIA
Britannia
Britannia is an ancient term for Great Britain, and also a female personification of the island. The name is Latin, and derives from the Greek form Prettanike or Brettaniai, which originally designated a collection of islands with individual names, including Albion or Great Britain. However, by the...

, were struck. By the end of 122 he had concluded his visit to Britannia, and from there headed south by sea to Mauretania
Mauretania
Mauretania is a part of the historical Ancient Libyan land in North Africa. It corresponds to present day Morocco and a part of western Algeria...

.

Parthia and Anatolia


In 123, he arrived in Mauretania
Mauretania
Mauretania is a part of the historical Ancient Libyan land in North Africa. It corresponds to present day Morocco and a part of western Algeria...

 where he personally led a campaign against local rebels. However this visit was to be short, as reports came through that the Eastern nation of Parthia
Parthia
Parthia is a region of north-eastern Iran, best known for having been the political and cultural base of the Arsacid dynasty, rulers of the Parthian Empire....

 was again preparing for war; as a result, Hadrian quickly headed eastwards. On his journey east it is known that at some point he visited Cyrene
Cyrene, Libya
Cyrene was an ancient Greek colony and then a Roman city in present-day Shahhat, Libya, the oldest and most important of the five Greek cities in the region. It gave eastern Libya the classical name Cyrenaica that it has retained to modern times.Cyrene lies in a lush valley in the Jebel Akhdar...

 during which he personally made available funds for the training of the young men of well bred families for the Roman military. This might well have been a stop off during his journey East. Cyrene had already benefited from his generosity when he in 119 had provided funds for the rebuilding of public buildings destroyed in the recent Jewish revolt.

When Hadrian arrived on the Euphrates
Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

, he characteristically solved the problem through a negotiated settlement with the Parthian king Osroes I. He then proceeded to check the Roman defences before setting off West along the coast of the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

. He probably spent the winter in Nicomedia
Nicomedia
Nicomedia was an ancient city in what is now Turkey, founded in 712/11 BC as a Megarian colony and was originally known as Astacus . After being destroyed by Lysimachus, it was rebuilt by Nicomedes I of Bithynia in 264 BC under the name of Nicomedia, and has ever since been one of the most...

, the main city of Bithynia
Bithynia
Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine .-Description:...

. As Nicomedia had been hit by an earthquake only shortly prior to his stay, Hadrian was generous in providing funds for rebuilding. Thanks to his generosity he was acclaimed as the chief restorer of the province as a whole. It is more than possible that Hadrian visited Claudiopolis
Claudiopolis
Claudiopolis is the name of a number of ancient cities named after Roman emperor Claudius, or another person bearing that name , notably:...

 and there espied the beautiful Antinous
Antinous
Antinoüs or Antinoös was a beautiful Bithynian youth and the favourite of the Roman emperor Hadrian...

, a young boy who was destined to become the emperor's beloved
Intimate relationship
An intimate relationship is a particularly close interpersonal relationship that involves physical or emotional intimacy. Physical intimacy is characterized by romantic or passionate love and attachment, or sexual activity. The term is also sometimes used euphemistically for a sexual...

. Sources say nothing about when Hadrian met Antinous; however, there are depictions of Antinous that shows him as a young man of 20 or so. As this was shortly before Antinous's drowning in 130, Antinous would most likely have been a youth of 13 or 14. It is possible that Antinous may have been sent to Rome to be trained as a page
Page (servant)
A page or page boy is a traditionally young male servant, a messenger at the service of a nobleman or royal.-The medieval page:In medieval times, a page was an attendant to a knight; an apprentice squire...

 to serve the emperor, and only gradually did he rise to the status of imperial favourite.

After meeting Antinous, Hadrian travelled through Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

. The route he took is uncertain. Various incidents are described, such as his founding of a city within Mysia, Hadrianutherae, after a successful boar hunt. (The building of the city was probably more than a mere whim — low-populated wooded areas such as the location of the new city were already ripe for development). Some historians dispute whether Hadrian did in fact commission the city's construction at all. At about this time, plans to build a temple in Asia Minor were written up. The new temple would be dedicated to Trajan and Hadrian, built with dazzling white marble.

Greece



The climax of this tour was the destination that the hellenophile Hadrian must all along have had in mind, Greece. He arrived in the autumn of 124 in time to participate in the Eleusinian Mysteries
Eleusinian Mysteries
The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. Of all the mysteries celebrated in ancient times, these were held to be the ones of greatest importance...

. By tradition, at one stage in the ceremony the initiates were supposed to carry arms; but, this was waived to avoid any risk to the emperor. At the Athenians' request, he conducted a revision of their constitution — among other things a new phyle
Phyle
Phyle is an ancient Greek term for clan or tribe. They were usually ruled by a basileus...

 (tribe) was added bearing his name.

During the winter he toured the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
The Peloponnese, Peloponnesos or Peloponnesus , is a large peninsula , located in a region of southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth...

. His exact route is uncertain; however, Pausanias
Pausanias (geographer)
Pausanias was a Greek traveler and geographer of the 2nd century AD, who lived in the times of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. He is famous for his Description of Greece , a lengthy work that describes ancient Greece from firsthand observations, and is a crucial link between classical...

 reports of tell-tale signs, such as temples built by Hadrian and the statue of the emperor built by the grateful citizens of Epidaurus
Epidaurus
Epidaurus was a small city in ancient Greece, at the Saronic Gulf. Two modern towns bear the name Epidavros : Palaia Epidavros and Nea Epidavros. Since 2010 they belong to the new municipality of Epidavros, part of the peripheral unit of Argolis...

 in thanks to their "restorer". He was especially generous to Mantinea; this supports the theory that Antinous was in fact already Hadrian's lover because of the strong link between Mantinea and Antinous's home in Bithynia
Bithynia
Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine .-Description:...

.

By March 125, Hadrian had reached Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

. presiding over the festival of Dionysia
Dionysia
The Dionysia[p] was a large festival in ancient Athens in honor of the god Dionysus, the central events of which were the theatrical performances of dramatic tragedies and, from 487 BC, comedies. It was the second-most important festival after the Panathenaia...

. The building program that Hadrian initiated was substantial. Various rulers had done work on building the Temple of Olympian Zeus
Temple of Olympian Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus , also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a colossal ruined temple in the centre of the Greek capital Athens that was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods...

 over a timespan of more than five centuries — it was Hadrian and the vast resources he could command that ensured that the job would be finished. He also initiated the construction of several public buildings on his own whim and even organized the building of an aqueduct.

Return to Italy


On his return to Italy, Hadrian made a detour to Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

. Coins celebrate him as the restorer of the island, though there is no record of what he did to earn this accolade.

Back in Rome, he was able to see for himself the completed work of rebuilding the Pantheon
Pantheon, Rome
The Pantheon ,Rarely Pantheum. This appears in Pliny's Natural History in describing this edifice: Agrippae Pantheum decoravit Diogenes Atheniensis; in columnis templi eius Caryatides probantur inter pauca operum, sicut in fastigio posita signa, sed propter altitudinem loci minus celebrata.from ,...

. Also completed by then was Hadrian's villa nearby at Tibur, a pleasant retreat by the Sabine Hills for whenever Rome became too much for him. At the beginning of March 127. Hadrian set off for a tour of Italy. Once again, historians are able to reconstruct his route by evidence of his hand-outs rather than the historical records. For instance, in that year he restored the Picentine earth goddess Cupra
Cupra
Cupra was a chthonic fertility goddess of the ancient pre-Roman population of the Piceni and the Umbri, and may have been associated with Etruscan Uni....

 in the town of Cupra Maritima. At some unspecified time he improved the drainage of the Fucine lake
Fucine Lake
The Fucine Lake was a large lake in central Italy, stretching from Avezzano in the northwest to Ortuccio in the southeast, and touching Trasacco in the southwest. It was drained in 1875.-Roman drainage:...

. Less welcome than such largesse was his decision to divide Italy into 4 regions under imperial legates with consular rank. Being effectively reduced to the status of mere provinces did not go down well and this innovation did not long outlive Hadrian.

Hadrian fell ill around this time, though the nature of his sickness is not known. Whatever the illness was, it did not stop him from setting off in the spring of 128 to visit Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

. His arrival began with the good omen of rain ending a drought
Drought
A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region...

. Along with his usual role as benefactor and restorer, he found time to inspect the troops; his speech to the troops survives to this day. Hadrian returned to Italy in the summer of 128 but his stay was brief, as he set off on another tour that would last three years.

Greece, Asia, and Egypt


In September 128, Hadrian again attended the Eleusinian mysteries. This time his visit to Greece seems to have concentrated on Athens and Sparta — the two ancient rivals for dominance of Greece. Hadrian had played with the idea of focusing his Greek revival round Amphictyonic League
Amphictyonic League
In the Archaic period of ancient Greece, an amphictyony , a "league of neighbors", or Amphictyonic League was an ancient association of Greek tribes formed in the dim past, before the rise of the Greek polis...

 based in Delphi, but he by now had decided on something far grander. His new Panhellenion was going to be a council that would bring Greek cities together wherever they might be found. The meeting place was to be the new temple to Zeus in Athens. Having set in motion the preparations — deciding whose claim to be a Greek city was genuine would in itself take time — Hadrian set off for Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor, near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era...

.

In October 130, while Hadrian and his entourage were sailing on the Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

, Antinous
Antinous
Antinoüs or Antinoös was a beautiful Bithynian youth and the favourite of the Roman emperor Hadrian...

 drowned for unknown reasons; accident, suicide, murder or religious sacrifice have all been postulated. The emperor was grief stricken. He ordered Antinous
Antinous
Antinoüs or Antinoös was a beautiful Bithynian youth and the favourite of the Roman emperor Hadrian...

 deified, and cities were named after the boy, medals struck with his effigy, and statues erected to him in all parts of the empire. Temples were built for his worship in Bithynia, Mantineia in Arcadia. In Athens, festivals were celebrated in his honour and oracles delivered in his name. The city of Antinopolis
Antinopolis
Antinopolis was a city founded at an older Egyptian village by the Roman emperor Hadrian to commemorate his deified young beloved, Antinous, on the east bank of the Nile, not far from the site in Upper Egypt where Antinous drowned in 130 AD...

 or Antinoe was founded on the ruins of Besa, where he died.

Greece, Judaea, and Illyricum


Hadrian’s movements subsequent to the founding of Antinopolis
Antinopolis
Antinopolis was a city founded at an older Egyptian village by the Roman emperor Hadrian to commemorate his deified young beloved, Antinous, on the east bank of the Nile, not far from the site in Upper Egypt where Antinous drowned in 130 AD...

 on October 30, 130 are obscure. Whether or not he returned to Rome, he spent the winter of 131–32 in Athens and probably remained in Greece or further East because of the Jewish rebellion which broke out in Judaea in 132 (see below). Inscriptions make it clear that he took the field in person against the rebels with his army in 133; he then returned to Rome, probably in that year and almost certainly (judging again from inscriptions) via Illyricum
Illyria
In classical antiquity, Illyria was a region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula inhabited by the Illyrians....

.

Second Roman-Jewish War



In 130, Hadrian visited the ruins of Jerusalem, in Judaea
Iudaea Province
Judaea or Iudaea are terms used by historians to refer to the Roman province that extended over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Israel...

, left after the First Roman-Jewish War of 66–73. He rebuilt the city, renaming it Aelia Capitolina
Aelia Capitolina
Aelia Capitolina was a city built by the emperor Hadrian, and occupied by a Roman colony, on the site of Jerusalem, which was in ruins since 70 AD, leading in part to the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132–136.-Politics:...

 after himself and Jupiter Capitolinus, the chief Roman deity. Hadrian placed the city's main Forum
Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum...

 at the junction of the main Cardo
Cardo
The cardo was a north-south oriented street in Roman cities, military camps, and coloniae. The cardo, an integral component of city planning, was lined with shops and vendors, and served as a hub of economic life. The main cardo was called cardo maximus.Most Roman cities also had a Decumanus...

 and Decumanus Maximus
Decumanus Maximus
In Roman city planning, a decumanus was an east-west-oriented road in a Roman city, castra , or colonia. The main decumanus was the Decumanus Maximus, which normally connected the Porta Praetoria to the Porta Decumana .This name comes from the fact that the via decumana or decimana In Roman city...

, now the location for the (smaller) Muristan
Muristan
The Muristan is a complex of streets and shops in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem...

. Hadrian built a large temple to the goddess
Goddess
A goddess is a female deity. In some cultures goddesses are associated with Earth, motherhood, love, and the household. In other cultures, goddesses also rule over war, death, and destruction as well as healing....

 Venus
Venus (mythology)
Venus is a Roman goddess principally associated with love, beauty, sex,sexual seduction and fertility, who played a key role in many Roman religious festivals and myths...

 on top of what early Christians venerated as the tomb of Christ in order to suppress Christian worship there; later this site was rebuilt as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a church within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. It is a few steps away from the Muristan....

 after the Christian Empress Helena ordered the temple of Venus to be demolished. A new temple dedicated to the worship of Jupiter was built on the ruins of the old Jewish Second Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

, which had been destroyed in 70. In addition, Hadrian abolished circumcision, which was considered by Romans and Greeks as a form of bodily mutilation
Mutilation
Mutilation or maiming is an act of physical injury that degrades the appearance or function of any living body, usually without causing death.- Usage :...

 and hence barbaric.

These anti-Jewish policies of Hadrian triggered in Judaea a massive Jewish uprising, led by Simon bar Kokhba
Simon bar Kokhba
Simon bar Kokhba was the Jewish leader of what is known as the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 CE, establishing an independent Jewish state of Israel which he ruled for three years as Nasi...

 and Akiba ben Joseph. Following the outbreak of the revolt, Hadrian called his general Sextus Julius Severus
Sextus Julius Severus
Sextus Julius Severus was an accomplished Roman General of the 2nd century.Julius Severus served as Governor of Moesia; he was appointed Governor of Britain around 131.In 133 he was transferred to Judea, to help suppress the Bar Kochba rebellion there...

 from Britain
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

, and troops were brought from as far as the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

. Roman losses were very heavy, and it is believed that an entire legion, the XXII Deiotariana
Legio XXII Deiotariana
Legio vigesima secunda Deiotariana was a Roman legion, levied approximately in 48 BC and disbanded during the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132–135...

 was destroyed. Indeed, Roman losses were so heavy that Hadrian's report to the Roman Senate
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

 omitted the customary salutation "I and the legions are well". However, Hadrian's army eventually put down the rebellion in 135, after three years of fighting. According to Cassius Dio, during the war 580,000 Jews were killed, 50 fortified towns and 985 villages razed. The final battle took place in Beitar
Betar (fortress)
The Betar Fortress was the last standing Jewish fortress in the Bar Kochba revolt of the 2nd century CE, destroyed by the Roman army of Emperor Hadrian in the year 135...

, a fortified city 10 km. southwest of Jerusalem. The city only fell after a lengthy siege, and Hadrian only allowed the Jews to bury their dead after a period of six days. According to the Babylonian Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

, after the war Hadrian continued the persecution of Jews.

He attempted to root out Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, which he saw as the cause of continuous rebellions, prohibited the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 law, the Hebrew calendar
Hebrew calendar
The Hebrew calendar , or Jewish calendar, is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits , and daily Psalm reading, among many ceremonial uses...

 and executed Judaic scholars (see Ten Martyrs
Ten Martyrs
The Ten Martyrs refers to a group of ten rabbis living during the era of the Mishnah who were martyred by the Romans in the period after the destruction of the second Temple...

). The sacred scroll was ceremonially burned on the Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

. In an attempt to erase the memory of Judaea, he renamed the province Syria Palaestina
Syria Palaestina
Syria Palæstina was a Roman province between 135CE and 390CE. It had been established by the merge of Roman Syria and Roman Judaea, following the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135 CE. In 193 Syria-Coele was split to form a separate provincial locality...

 (after the Philistines
Philistines
Philistines , Pleshet or Peleset, were a people who occupied the southern coast of Canaan at the beginning of the Iron Age . According to the Bible, they ruled the five city-states of Gaza, Askelon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gath, from the Wadi Gaza in the south to the Yarqon River in the north, but with...

), and Jews were forbidden from entering its rededicated capital. When Jewish sources mention Hadrian it is always with the epitaph "may his bones be crushed" (שחיק עצמות or שחיק טמיא, the Aramaic equivalent), an expression never used even with respect to Vespasian
Vespasian
Vespasian , was Roman Emperor from 69 AD to 79 AD. Vespasian was the founder of the Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Empire for a quarter century. Vespasian was descended from a family of equestrians, who rose into the senatorial rank under the Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

 or Titus
Titus
Titus , was Roman Emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, thus becoming the first Roman Emperor to come to the throne after his own father....

 who destroyed the Second Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

.

Succession



Hadrian spent the final years of his life at Rome. In 134, he took an Imperial salutation
Salutation
A salutation is a greeting used in a letter or other written communication, such as an email. Salutations can be formal or informal. The most common form of salutation in a letter is Dear followed by the recipient's given name or title...

 or the end of the Second Jewish War (which was not actually concluded until the following year). In 136, he dedicated a new Temple of Venus and Roma
Temple of Venus and Roma
The Temple of Venus and of Rome — in Latin, Templum Veneris et Romae — is thought to have been the largest temple in Ancient Rome. Located on the Velian Hill, between the eastern edge of the Forum Romanum and the Colosseum, it was dedicated to the goddesses Venus Felix and Roma Aeterna...

 on the former site of Nero
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

's Golden House
Domus Aurea
The Domus Aurea was a large landscaped portico villa, designed to take advantage of artificially created landscapes built in the heart of Ancient Rome by the Emperor Nero after the Great Fire of Rome had cleared away the aristocratic dwellings on the slopes of the Palatine...

.

About this time, suffering from poor health, he turned to the problem of the succession. In 136 he adopted one of the ordinary consuls
Roman consul
A consul served in the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic.Each year, two consuls were elected together, to serve for a one-year term. Each consul was given veto power over his colleague and the officials would alternate each month...

 of that year, Lucius Ceionius Commodus, who took the name Lucius Aelius Caesar
Lucius Aelius
Lucius Aelius Caesar became the adopted son and intended successor, of Roman Emperor Hadrian , but never attained the throne....

. He was the son-in-law of Gaius Avidius Nigrinus
Gaius Avidius Nigrinus
Gaius Avidius Nigrinus was a Roman that lived between the 1st and 2nd centuries.Nigrinus’ paternal and maternal ancestors were Romans of the highest political rank. He was the son of an elder Gaius Avidius Nigrinus by an unnamed mother, his brother was the consul Titus Avidius Quietus and his...

, one of the "four consulars" executed in 118, but was himself in delicate health. Granted tribunician power and the governorship of Pannonia
Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

, Aelius Caesar held a further consulship in 137, but died on January 1, 138.

Following the death of Aelius Caesar, Hadrian next adopted Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus (the future emperor Antoninus Pius
Antoninus Pius
Antoninus Pius , also known as Antoninus, was Roman Emperor from 138 to 161. He was a member of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty and the Aurelii. He did not possess the sobriquet "Pius" until after his accession to the throne...

), who had served as one of the four imperial legates of Italy (a post created by Hadrian) and as proconsul
Proconsul
A proconsul was a governor of a province in the Roman Republic appointed for one year by the senate. In modern usage, the title has been used for a person from one country ruling another country or bluntly interfering in another country's internal affairs.-Ancient Rome:In the Roman Republic, a...

 of Asia. On 25 February 138 Antoninus received tribunician power and imperium
Imperium
Imperium is a Latin word which, in a broad sense, translates roughly as 'power to command'. In ancient Rome, different kinds of power or authority were distinguished by different terms. Imperium, referred to the sovereignty of the state over the individual...

. Moreover, to ensure the future of the dynasty, Hadrian required Antoninus to adopt both Lucius Ceionius Commodus (son of the deceased Aelius Caesar) and Marcus Annius Verus (who was the grandson of an influential senator of the same name
Marcus Annius Verus
Marcus Annius Verus was a Roman man who lived in the 1st and 2nd century. He was the son of an elder Marcus Annius Verus, who gained the rank of senator and praetor. His family originated from Uccibi near Corduba in Spain...

 who had been Hadrian’s close friend; Annius was already betrothed to Aelius Caesar’s daughter Ceionia Fabia
Ceionia Fabia
Ceionia Fabia was a noble Roman woman and a member of the ruling Nerva–Antonine dynasty of the Roman Empire.Fabia was the first born daughter to the Roman Senator Lucius Aelius Verus Caesar and Avidia Plautia. Her father from 136-138, was the first adopted heir and successor of the Roman Emperor...

). Hadrian’s precise intentions in this arrangement are debatable.

Though the consensus is that he wanted Annius Verus (who would later become the Emperor Marcus Aurelius) to succeed Antoninus, it has also been argued that he actually intended Ceionius Commodus, the son of his own adopted son, to succeed, but was constrained to show favour simultaneously to Annius Verus because of his strong connections to the Hispano-Narbonensian nexus of senatorial families of which Hadrian himself was a part. It may well not have been Hadrian, but rather Antoninus Pius — who was Annius Verus’s uncle – who advanced the latter to the principal position. The fact that Annius would divorce Ceionia Fabia and re-marry to Antoninus' daughter Annia Faustina points in the same direction. When he eventually became Emperor, Marcus Aurelius would co-opt Ceionius Commodus as his co-Emperor (under the name of Lucius Verus
Lucius Verus
Lucius Verus , was Roman co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius, from 161 until his death.-Early life and career:Lucius Verus was the first born son to Avidia Plautia and Lucius Aelius Verus Caesar, the first adopted son and heir of Roman Emperor Hadrian . He was born and raised in Rome...

) on his own initiative.

The ancient sources present Hadrian's last few years as marked by conflict and unhappiness. The adoption of Aelius Caesar proved unpopular, not least with Hadrian's brother-in-law Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus
Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus
Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus was a Spanish Roman politician. According to an inscription found, his full name is Gaius Julius Servilius Ursus Servianus, however in Augustan History, he is known as Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus. Little is known on his origins.Servianus was a prominent public...

 and Servianus' grandson Gnaeus Pedanius Fuscus Salinator. Servianus, though now far too old, had stood in line of succession at the beginning of the reign; Fuscus is said to have had designs on the imperial power for himself, and in 137 he may have attempted a coup
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 in which his grandfather was implicated. Whatever the truth, Hadrian ordered that both be put to death. Servianus is reported to have prayed before his execution that Hadrian would "long for death but be unable to die". The prayer was fulfilled; as Hadrian suffered from his final, protracted illness, he had to be prevented from suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 on several occasions.

Death


Hadrian died in 138 on the 10th of July, in his villa
Roman villa
A Roman villa is a villa that was built or lived in during the Roman republic and the Roman Empire. A villa was originally a Roman country house built for the upper class...

 at Baiae
Baiae
Baiae , a frazione of the comune of Bacoli) in the Campania region of Italy was a Roman seaside resort on the Bay of Naples. It was said to have been named after Baius, who was supposedly buried there. Baiae was for several hundred years a fashionable resort, especially towards the end of the Roman...

 at the age of 62. The cause of death is believed to have been heart failure. Dio Cassius
Dio Cassius
Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus , known in English as Cassius Dio, Dio Cassius, or Dio was a Roman consul and a noted historian writing in Greek...

 and the Historia Augusta record details of his failing health.

He was buried first at Puteoli, near Baiae, on an estate which had once belonged to Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

. Soon after, his remains were transferred to Rome and buried in the Gardens of Domitia, close by the almost-complete mausoleum. Upon completion of the Tomb of Hadrian in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 in 139 by his successor Antoninus Pius
Antoninus Pius
Antoninus Pius , also known as Antoninus, was Roman Emperor from 138 to 161. He was a member of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty and the Aurelii. He did not possess the sobriquet "Pius" until after his accession to the throne...

, his body was cremated, and his ashes were placed there together with those of his wife Vibia Sabina
Vibia Sabina
Vibia Sabina was a Roman Empress, wife and second cousin, once removed, to Roman Emperor Hadrian. She was the daughter to Salonina Matidia , and suffect consul Lucius Vibius Sabinus...

 and his first adopted son, Lucius Aelius
Lucius Aelius
Lucius Aelius Caesar became the adopted son and intended successor, of Roman Emperor Hadrian , but never attained the throne....

, who also died in 138. Antoninus also had him deified in 139 and given a temple
Temple of Hadrian
The Temple of Hadrian is a temple to the deified Hadrian on the Campus Martius in Rome, Italy, built by his adoptive son and successor Antoninus Pius in 145 and now incorporated into a later building in the Piazza di Pietra...

 on the Campus Martius
Campus Martius
The Campus Martius , was a publicly owned area of ancient Rome about in extent. In the Middle Ages, it was the most populous area of Rome...

.

Poem by Hadrian


According to the Historia Augusta Hadrian composed shortly before his death the following poem:
Animula, vagula, blandula
Hospes comesque corporis
Quae nunc abibis in loca
Pallidula, rigida, nudula,
Nec, ut soles, dabis iocos...

P. Aelius Hadrianus Imp.

Roving amiable little soul,
Body's companion and guest,
Now descending for parts
Colourless, unbending, and bare
Your usual distractions no more shall be there...

Primary sources

  • Cassius Dio or Dio Cassius Roman History. Greek Text and Translation by Earnest Cary at internet archive
  • Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Augustan History
    Augustan History
    The Augustan History is a late Roman collection of biographies, in Latin, of the Roman Emperors, their junior colleagues and usurpers of the period 117 to 284...

    . Latin Text Translated by David Magie
  • Aurelius Victor
    Aurelius Victor
    Sextus Aurelius Victor was a historian and politician of the Roman Empire.Aurelius Victor was the author of a History of Rome from Augustus to Julian , published ca. 361. Julian honoured him and appointed him prefect of Pannonia Secunda...

    , Caesares, XIV. Latin
  • Anon, Excerpta of Aurelius Victor
    Aurelius Victor
    Sextus Aurelius Victor was a historian and politician of the Roman Empire.Aurelius Victor was the author of a History of Rome from Augustus to Julian , published ca. 361. Julian honoured him and appointed him prefect of Pannonia Secunda...

    : Epitome de Caesaribus
    Epitome de Caesaribus
    The Epitome de Caesaribus is the name for a Latin historical work, written at the end of the 4th century.It is a brief account of the reigns of the emperors from Augustus to Theodosius the Great. It is attributed to Aurelius Victor, but was written by an anonymous author who was very likely a pagan...

    , XIII. Latin

Inscriptions:
  • Smallwood, E.M, Documents Illustrating the Principates of Nerva Trajan and Hadrian, Cambridge, 1966.

Secondary sources

  • Gibbon, Edward
    Edward Gibbon
    Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

    , The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. I, 1776. The Online Library of Liberty Reprinted in

External links