Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus

AD76 ~ AD138

Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus born in 76 and ruled as emperor from 117 to 138.


He was a distant relative to Trajan, and according to Trajan’s wife, was named emperor immediately before Trajan’s death though historians have never been able to confirm this series of events.

Even though he was born in Spain, he was so interested in Greek literature during his schooling he was nicknamed Graeculus, meaning “Little Greek”. During the reign of Domitian, he enlisted in the army serving the Roman legion Legio II Adiutrix and was then transferred to the Legio I Minervia in Germany. He personally informed Trajan of Nerva’s death in 98 and later won awards from Trajan for his many strategic successes on the battlefield.

After the death of Trajan, Hadrian almost instantaneously had the support of the legions. During his reign he was left to suppress the Jewish revolt that began during the reign of Trajan and also sort out the Danube frontier.

The Pantheon in Rome owes its grandeur to Hadrian who enriched the building and created what stands for the public to view today. He spent much of his life traveling before and during his reign, and most of his architectural designs would have been influenced by ideas he had picked up during these travels.

In 138 Hadrian died of natural causes leaving his rule to Antoninus Pius who he had adopted in the months prior to his death.

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