Emperor Hadrian

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Emperor Hadrian

The original home of the family of the Emperor Hadrian was Picenum, in Spain. Hadrian himself records that his immediate family came from Hadria, but settled in Italica in the reign of the Scipios. The Hadrian’s father was Aelius Hadrianus, a cousin of the Emperor Trajan; his mother was Domitia Paulina, a resident of Cadiz; his sister was Paulina, and his wife was Sabina. Hadrian was apparently born on the ninth day before the Kalends in February. At the age of ten, he became the ward of Ulpius Trajanus, his cousin, who had attained the rank of praetorian. Afterwards, he became so engrossed in the art of Greek study, that some dared to call him “Greekling”.

At fifteen he returned to his native city, and immediately joined the military. It seemed apparent that his love for hunting was so strong, that he was criticized for it even while in military service, and for this reason Trajan recalled him back to Italica. When he returned, he was treated as Trajan’s son, and was later appointed to be one of the ten judges of the inheritance court, and later, one of the tribune of the Second Legion, the Adjutrix. As young Hadrian grew, he became more and more of a favorite to his ‘father’, Trajan. This caused some friction between Hadrian and some of his family members, namely Servanius; although there was no actual confrontational effects of this struggle to become Trajan’s favorite. On the fifth day before the Ides of August, Hadrian learned that his adoption by Trajan had become official, and later celebrated this while governor of Syria. Later, on the third day before the Ides of August, Hadrian learned of Trajan’s death. Three days later, Hadrian ascended to the throne of the Roman Empire.

As soon as he took possession of the empire’s power, Hadrian at once resumed the policy of devoting his attention to maintaining peace throughout the world. Although his foreign policy seemed peaceful, his interior suspicions remained with a wary eye, and he later imprisoned some of his political enemies, namely Laberius Maximus and Crassus Frugi. Hadrian even had an assassination that failed to kill him, planned by Nigrinus, of whom Hadrian had planned to succeed him.

As the years passed, he showed to the people of the Roman Empire that he was a skilled architect, and that he was. He helped make it possible for there to be games in nearly every Roman city, with vast facets of entertainment of every kind just around the corner in a Roman city.
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