Hadrian in Roman Biography

Ha'diri an or A'drl-an, [Lat. Haokia'nus; Fr. Adrien, S (lRe-aN' ; It. Adriano, a-dRe-a'no,] or, more fully, Hadria'nus Fub'lius JE'liuB, a Roman emperor, born at Rome in January, 76 A.D., was a son of *E!ius Hadrianus Afer, and a cousin of Trajan. His favourite study was the Greek language and literature. He won the favour of Trajan, and accompanied him in his campaign against the Dacians. He was chosen tribune of the people in 105 A.D., and praetor in 107. When Trajan was forced by illness to retire from the army which he had conducted against the Parthians, he gave the chief command to Hadrian. On the death of Trajan, Hadrian was proclaimed emperor (at Antioch) by the army in August, 117 a.d. ; and their choice was confirmed by the senate. The question whether Trajan had adopted Hadrian as his heir appears to remain undetermined. The new emperor hastened to make peace with the Parthians by abandoning all the provinces which Trajan had conquered beyond the Euphrates, and rendered himself popular by the remission of taxes and other acts of liberality. The greater portion of his reign was spent in journeys through the provinces of his vast empire, in which he displayed durable evidences of his liberality, political wisdom, and love of the fine arts. He commenced these journeys in 119 A.p. He built a famous wall across the island of Britain from Solway Frith to the German Ocean, to protect the Roman province from the incursions of the Picts and Scots. He founded cities in other provinces, completed the temple of Jupiter Olympius at Athens, and erected many great architectural works, among which were a magnificent villa at Tibur, and his mausoleum at Rome, now called the Castle of Saint Angelo. In 131 A.D. he promulgated the " Edictum Perpetuum," a fixed code of laws drawn up by Sal vi us Julianus. This event forms an important epoch in the history of Roman law. His reign was peaceful, and tended to consolidate the empire as well as to civilize the people. He patronized literary men, artists, and philosophers, and composed a number of works, in prose and verse, which are not extant. He aspired to distinction as an architect and painter, and indulged a petty vanity and jealousy towards artists, which sometimes prompted him to acts of cruelty. A short time before his death, he adopted as his successor Arrius Antoninus, surnamed "the Pious," and composed the following verses addressed to his own soul : "Animula, vagula, blandula, H ospes comesque corporis, Quae nunc abibis in loca, Pallidula, rigida, nudula, Nee, ut soles, dabis jocos?"* Died in July, 138 A.D. Many statues and medals of Hadrian are extant. See Spartianus, "Vita Hadriani ;" Niepuhr, "Lectures on Roman History ;"Tili.emont, "Histoiredes Empereurs ;" Gibbon, " History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."

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Hadrian in Wikipedia

Publius Aelius Hadrianus[1][2] (24 January 76 – 10 July 138), commonly known as Hadrian and after his apotheosis Divus Hadrianus, was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best-known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman territory in Britain. In Rome, he built the Pantheon and the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian is also a notable Stoic and Epicurean philosopher. A member of the gens Aelia, Hadrian was the third of the so-called Five Good Emperors. Hadrian was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus to a Hispano-Roman family, probably in Italica (near Seville). His predecessor Trajan was a maternal cousin of Hadrian's father.[3] Trajan never officially designated an heir, but according to his wife Pompeia Plotina, Trajan named Hadrian emperor immediately before his death. Trajan's wife and his friend Licinius Sura were well-disposed towards Hadrian, and he may well have owed his succession to them.[4] During his reign, Hadrian traveled to nearly every province of the empire. An ardent Philhellene, Hadrian sought to make Athens the cultural capital of the empire - ordering the construction of many opulent temples in the city. Hadrian 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. Despite his fondness for the army, Hadrian's reign is marked by a lack of military activity throughout the empire. Upon his ascension to the throne, Hadrian withdrew from Trajan's conquests in Mesopotamia and Armenia, and even considered abandoning Dacia. Late in his reign he suppressed the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judaea, renaming the province Syria Palaestina. In 136 an ailing Hadrian adopted Lucius Aelius as his heir, but he died suddenly two years later. In 138, Hadrian resolved to adopt Antoninus Pius if he would in turn adopt Marcus Aurelius and Aelius' son Lucius Verus as his own eventual successors. Antoninus agreed, and soon afterward Hadrian died at his villa near Tibur...

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Hadriānus, Publius Aelius in Harpers Dictionary

A Roman emperor, born at Rome A.D. 76. He lost his father when ten years of age, and had for his guardians Trajan, who was his relation, and Cornelius Tatianus, a Roman knight. His father's name was Aelius Hadrianus Afer. It is conjectured that the surname of Afer was given the latter because he had been governor of Africa, and that he is the same Hadrianus who put the martyr Leontius to death at Tripolis in the reign of Vespasian. Hadrian's father was Trajan's first cousin; for he was the son of Ulpia, the sister of Marcus Ulpius Trajanus, the emperor Trajan's father. Hadrian began very early to serve in the army, and was tribune of a legion before Domitian's death. The forces in Lower Moesia chose him to congratulate Trajan upon his being adopted by Nerva , and it was he that acquainted Trajan with the first news of Nerva 's death. He regained the emperor's favour, which he had almost entirely lost by his extravagant expenses and the debts which he had in consequence incurred, and finally married Trajan's grandniece, Sabina, chiefly through the aid of Plotina the empress. His subsequent rise was rapid, and he was the companion of Trajan in most of his expeditions. He particularly distinguished himself in the war against the Dacians, and was successively appointed praetor, governor of Pannonia, and consul. The orations he composed for Trajan increased his fame ( Spart. Hadr.). After the siege of Atra, in Arabia, Trajan left him in command of his army, and when he found his death approaching, adopted him, although the reality of this adoption is disputed by some authorities, who attribute his elevation to the intrigues of Plotina. On the death of Trajan he assumed the reins of government (A.D. 117), with the concurrence of the Syrian army. The Senate readily ratified the act. The first care of Hadrian was to make a peace with the Persians, and to restore all the provinces just taken from them, making the Euphrates the boundary of the Roman Empire. He had then to turn his attention to certain revolts and insurrections in Egypt, Libya, and Palestine; and, after quickly concluding a peace with the Parthians, returned to Rome, A.D. 118. The Senate decreed him a triumph, and honoured him with the title of Pater Patriae; but he refused both, and required that Trajan's image should triumph. He sought popularity by a repeal of fifteen years accumulation of arrears of public debt, by a vast reduction of taxation generally and by immense largesses to the people. He was less generous to certain senators accused of a plot against him, four of whom, although of consular rank and intimates of Trajan, he caused to be put to death. A year after his return to Rome, Hadrian marched against the Alani, the Sarmatians, and the Dacians, but showed a greater desire to make peace with the barbarians than to extend the prowess of the Roman arms. This policy has been attributed to envy of the fame of his warlike predecessor; but a due consideration of the subsequent history of the Empire will amply justify him against the imputation; for it had reached an extent which rendered all increase to its limits a source of weakness rather than of strength. Hadrian was an active and incessant traveller, visiting every province in the Empire, not simply to indulge his curiosity, but to inspect the administration of government, repress abuses, erect and repair public edifices, and exercise all the vigilance of personal examination. (See Dürr, Die Reisen des Kaisers Hadrian [Vienna, 1881]). In A.D. 120, he passed over from Gaul to Britain, where he caused a wall to be built from the mouth of the Tyne to Solway Frith, in order to secure the Roman provinces from the incursions of the Caledonians. Like Trajan, he lived familiarly with his friends, but was much more suspicious, and would not repose in them the same confidence. When at Rome he cultivated all kinds of literature, conversing with learned men, and giving and receiving information in their society. Hadrian had once again to visit the East to repress the Parthians, who paid little regard to treaties. On his return he passed the winter at Athens, and was initiated in the Eleusinian Mysteries. He published no edict against the Christians, yet they nevertheless suffered considerable persecution, until, upon the remonstrance of Quadratus, bishop of Athens, and Aristides, an eminent Christian, he ordered the persecution to cease; but no credit is due to the unauthorized assertion of Lampridius that he thought of building a temple to the Saviour. His treatment of the Jews, on the other hand, was extremely severe, though ample provocation had been given by that turbulent people, for they had raised disturbances towards the end of Trajan's reign, which were not completely quelled until the second year of Hadrian. But now a more formidable insurrection broke out under Barcochebas ("Son of a Star"), who, though a robber by profession, had given himself out as the Messiah. It required a war of three years to reduce the revolted Jews to complete subjection, and after this was accomplished, there was scarcely any indignity that was not inflicted on the conquered nation. Jerusalem was rebuilt under the new title of Aelia Capitolina, uniting the family name of the emperor with the Roman surname of Iupiter; and in the execution of his plan Hadrian studiously profaned all the places which had been most revered by both Jews and Christians, whom he seems to have confounded together. He built a temple in honour of Iupiter Capitolinus upon the mountain where had stood that of the true God; placed a marble hog upon that gate of the city which looked towards Bethlehem; erected in the place where Jesus was crucified a statue of Venus; and in that where he rose from the dead, an image of Iupiter. In the grotto of Bethlehem, where the Saviour was born, he established the worship of Adonis. The Jews were also forbidden the very sight of Jerusalem, which they were not permitted to enter save on one day in the year-the anniversary of the destruction of the city. After the conclusion of the Jewish War Hadrian returned to Italy, where a lingering illness put a stop to his unsettled mode of life, and eventually terminated his existence. Having no children of his own, Hadrian first adopted for his successor L. Ceionius Commodus, more generally known by the name of Verus, to which last he prefixed that of Aelius after his adoption by the emperor. Verus, however, who was remarkable for nothing but his excessive effeminacy and debauched mode of life, died soon after, and Hadrian made a very excellent selection in the person of Antoninus. (See Antoninus Pius.) Hadrian died not long after at Baiae, A.D. 138, in the sixtythird year of his age and the twenty-second of his reign. His disorder was the dropsy, from which disease his sufferings were so great as apparently to affect his reason. Hadrian was, in general, a just and able ruler, yet there were times when he showed himself revengeful, suspicious, and cruel. His treatment of his wife Sabina does no honour to his memory, his passion for Antinoüs (q.v.) taints it; while his excessive superstition, to which even that favourite fell a victim, entitles him to a large measure of contempt. He was, in fact, a peculiar character, full of paradoxes-witty, pedantic, droll, dull, impulsive, sociable, suspicious, morbidly self-conscious, and persevering in nothing. The greater portion of the Romans appear to have formed a just estimate of his character long before his death, and it was with difficulty that Antoninus could obtain from the Senate the usual compliment of having him ranked among the gods. Their dread of the soldiery, by whom Hadrian was greatly beloved, appears to have conquered their reluctance. Hadrian did much towards restoring and improving the city of Rome. He also erected a splendid temple to Trajan, a temple to Venus and Roma, and the great Mausoleum in the district beyond the Tiber, now known as the Castle of St. Angelo. In this, he and a number of his successors were buried. For an illustration of it see the article Mausoleum. Hadrian wrote several works. He was fond of entering the lists against the poets, philosophers, and orators of the day, and Photius mentions several declamations of the emperor's, written for such occasions, as still existing in his time, and not devoid of elegance. Hadrian composed a history of his own times, which he published under the name of his freedman Phlegon; and Doritheus the grammarian made at a subsequent period a collection of his decisions and rescripts. All that we have of his productions at the present day are some speeches, decrees, and (Greek) epigrams, and an epigrammatic address to his soul, written a short time before his death, and remarkable for its beauty. It suggested to Pope his "Vital spark of heavenly flame," and runs as follows: "Animula, vagula, blandula, Hospes comesque corporis, Quae nunc abibis in loca. Pallidula, rigida, nudula, Nec, ut soles, dabis jocos?"

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