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Hadrian

Publius Aelius Hadrianus
Augustus (AD 117-138)  |  De Imperatoribus Romanis entry

Hadrian was the cousin of his predecessor Trajan and married to Trajan's grand niece, Sabina. His succession, in 117 AD, however, was rumoured to be the result of plotting by Plotina (Trajan's wife). It is possible that she hid the fact that Trajan had died until Hadrian was formally adopted. Hadrian certainly was of a different calibre than Trajan, and quickly relinquished Trajan's new conquests in Armenia and Parthia. Having secured the borders peacefully, Hadrian twice toured the provinces and was responsible for many improvements throughout the Empire, including Hadrian's Wall in northern Britannia. Towards the end of his reign he was faced with a serious revolt by the Jews in Palestina, which was successfully repressed. He forbade the Jews from entering Jerusalem and planted a new colony called Aelia Capitolina there instead. Hadrian initially groomed a successor in Lucius Aelius, despite his dubious character, but he died early in 138 AD. In his place, a month later, Hadrian appointed Antoninus, soon to be called 'Pius', a wealthy Senator of good reputation. Hadrian died after a long illness on July 10th 138 AD


Obverse Legends on coins depicting Hadrian

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Coins of Hadrian currently available