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Post  Admin on Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:53 pm

Hadrian - hāˈdrēən, a.d. 76–138, Roman emperor (117–138), b. Spain. His name in full was Publius Aelius Hadrianus. An orphan, he became the ward of Trajan. Hadrian distinguished himself as a commander (especially in Dacia) and as an administrator. Nevertheless, Trajan's choice, announced after his death, of Hadrian as his successor, caused some discontent in Rome. Hadrian's reign was vigorous and judicious. He proved his military skill in pacifying (118) Moesia. Abandoning the aggressive policy of Trajan in Asia, he withdrew to the boundary of the Euphrates. In Palestine, however, he proved himself ruthless. His Romanizing policy aroused opposition, especially when he excluded the Jews from Jerusalem. He put down (a.d. 132) the insurrection of Bar Kokba with great severity; the ensuing war (132–135) was the most difficult of his reign. In Rome he was generous in offering circuses and in giving alms to the poor, and he enlarged and reformed the civil service. He traveled extensively in the empire, interesting himself in all the local affairs of state and adorning the provincial cities. In Germany he built great protective walls, and in Britain (where he had visited c.121) he had Hadrian's Wall built. He carried out his plan of building a temple of Jupiter Capitolinus on the site of the ruined Temple at Jerusalem and renamed Jerusalem Colonia Aelia Capitolina. He built the Arch of Hadrian in Athens, and in Rome he rebuilt the Pantheon, added to the Roman Forum, and erected a mausoleum (now Castel Sant'Angelo). His last years were spent more or less quietly in Rome and in his villa at Tibur (which has been excavated), cultivating the arts. He was learned in Greek and was accomplished in poetry and music. He patronized artists, and his regard for the young Antinoüs was imperishably recorded by sculptors and architects. As his successor he chose Antoninus Pius.
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