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|Hadrian, one of the “Five Good Emperors,” abandoned the expansionist policy of Trajan and established a policy of defense and consolidation during which Hadrian's Wall in Britain was constructed. He traveled to nearly every province of the Empire, more than any other emperor, often ordering grandiose building programs to improve infrastructure and the quality of life in those regions. An ardent admirer of Greece, he sought to make Athens the cultural capital of the Empire and ordered the construction of many opulent temples in the city. He spent much of his time with the military; usually wore military attire and even dined and slept amongst the soldiers. He ordered military training and drilling to be more rigorous and made use of false reports of attack to keep the army alert. He suppressed the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judaea, renaming the province Syria Palaestina.|
Average well preserved denarius weight 3.34 grams.
Also see ERIC - Hadrian.
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Blum, G. "Numismatique D'Antinoos" in JIAN 16. (Athens, 1914). pp. 33 - 70.
Calicó, E.X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 2: Nerva to Antoninus Pius. (Paris, 1883).
Hill, P.V. The Dating and Arrangement of the Undated Coins of Rome, A.D. 98-148. (London, 1970).
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Mattingly, H. & R.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 3: Nerva to Hadrian. (London, 1936).
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Strack, P.L. Untersuchungen zur römischen Reichsprägung des zweiten Jahrhunderts, Teil II: Die Reichsprägung zur Zeit des Hadrian. (Stuttgart, 1933).
Toynbee, J.M.C. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
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The subjoined character of this celebrated prince is by a master-hand for fidelity, discrimination, and judgement in the province of biographical writing:
"Hadrian's name deserves to be handed down to posterity among those of the greatest benefactors of the Roman empire; though his merits were tarnished by crimes of great magnitude, and by vices of the worst description. If we credit the accounts of his life, furnished by his biographer Spartianus, and Dion Cassius, we shall find that there was no emperor who entered more into the most minute details, as well as into the highest concerns of government. How indefatigable he was in visiting all the provinces of the empire, and investigating in person their respective grievances; how severe an exactor of military discipline, and how ready to share the duties, not only of a general, but a private soldier, a reference to his coins affords frequent opportunities of proving,[as has already been shewn, and will continue to be shewn, in this dictionary.] Courteous in his demeanour to all persons he was is the constant habit of joining the social meetings of his friends; the sick, though of much lower rank, he used to visit two or three times a day, and cheer them with much encouragement; in short, conducted himself in all respects as private individual. As in social life, so in public, his liberrality was displayed is his remitting to the nation, a.u.c. 871 (A.D. 118), an enormous debt to the treasury, and relieving the provinces which had suffered loss, by money supplied from his private resources; also in the erection of temples of the greatest splendor, especially at Athens, of which city he was very fond, and in the construction of aqueducts and ports, by which he consulted both the ornament and the utility of the different cities. There is still to be seen at Rome a mausoleum of vast proportions, built by him near the Tiber, accurately described by Procopius (now well-known under the name of the castle of St. Angelo); also the remains of the town of Tibur, a lasting monument of his magnificence, where, as Spartian relates, he built himself a villa, and introduced the novelty of inscribing on its several parts the names of the most celebrated provinces and localities, such as the Lyceum, the Academia, the Prytaneum, Canopus, Paecile, and Tempe. Although, from the moment of his accession to empire, he devoted his whole attention to the preservation of peace throughout the world, in pursuance of which policy he voluntarily ceded Armenia and the other regions beyond the Euphrates, as being a perpetual hot-bed of war, yet he did not permit the soldiers te become enervated by inaction, but kept them ever on the alert and in the practice of arms; a circumstance which rendered him constantly formidable to foreign powers, and the more ready to suppress aggression, that he never himself took the initiative. "Amidst these weighty cares of state, he still found time to bestow on his bodily exercise and intellectual pursuits. His coins bear witness to his untiring love of the chace. To Grecian literature he was, from his boyhood, so devoted that he was called by many Graeculus. He was a proficient not only in a arithmetic, geometry, painting, and music, but even in the arts of moulding in brass and chiseling in marble; whether, indeed, in such a manner as to rival the Polyeleti and Euphranors, we have only the testimony of victor to assure us. He was so fond of traveling, that he wished to verify, by personal inspection, all the accounts which he had read of different parts of the world. His extreme addiction to sensual pleasures to the extent of indulgence in propensities not to be named, nor, even to be alluded to, was a foul and detestable blot upon his character. The infatuated attachment which he manifested for Antinous, and his ill-treatment of an amiable wife, cannot be too severely reprobated. It is a matter of history, that his love of peace carried him beyond bounds at all consistent with the honour of the empire. For, that he was in the habit of bribing foreign powers to forego their offensive designs, is stated not only by Dion, but Victor also more openly charges him with boasting, after purchasing pacific relations from many kings, that he had gained more without stirring foot, than others had by their campaigns. But, much more fatal in its effects was the spirit