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Hadrian

Hadrian. Publius AElius Hadrianus (76-138), fourteenth Emperor of Rome, was born in the imperial city. He was the son of a cousin of the Emperor Trajan, and was in great favour with Plotina, his wife. He had held several offices and was in command of the army in Palestine when he was summoned to receive the purple in 118. He spent the next sixteen years in visiting every part of his dominions. Having repelled the attacks of the barbarians beyond the Danube and put down a conspiracy at Rome, he crossed over to Britain and provided for its protection from the Caledonian tribes by fortifications and stations. After passing through Gaul and Spain he hurried to Parthia and intimidated Chosroes into submission. He paid several lengthy visits to Athens, and also stayed some time at Alexandria and Antioch. He discouraged persecution of the Christians; but he put down a revolt of the Jews with great severity, and in 133 Jerusalem was occupied as a Roman colony, and named AElia Capitolina. Hadrian's last four years were spent at Rome, where he built a mausoleum for himself, the ruins of which remain, and restored the baths of Agrippa, the Temple of Augustus, and other buildings. He selected as his successor Ceionius Commodus Verus, and when the latter died adopted T. Aurelius Antoninus (q v.). Hadrian was one of the greatest of the emperors. He showed generally a forbearing temper, but the sufferings of his later years may have irritated him into some of those acts of cruelty of which he has been accused. Hadrian's address to his departing spirit has in itself made his name famous.

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