Numismatic and History Discussions > History and Archeology

Hadrian's Road Trips

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The whole concept in those times of the Emperor and his ah...entourage traveling.  Wonder what the lead time was for the provinces on the fact that he was coming and when he would arrive?  Bet many a provincial governer leapt up spilling his wine cup and exclaming:
"By the gods!  The emperor here in 5 months?  Why? Is he going to execute me?  We must prepare!
Raise taxes immediately! Ohhh...what will it cost to support the traveling court for who knows how many months? Why me?
All conjecture of course but...
And from what I've read Hadrian left a sort of "to do" list to put it mildly. He didn't stay to see his commands/projects  to completion.   
Build a wall.  Build a temple. Improve sanitation.  Prepare a "donative" to the people.  About ______ sesterci will be about right for the common folk, more for the soldiers.
The logistics of the whole thing must have been fascinating.
And it was mostly done.  The power of the emperor of Rome's commands.

Hadrian remains one of my favorite emperors.  He certainly seemed ambitious and rather popular.  He seems to have had a profound impact on the infrastructure of the empire.  He chose to build up and fortify the empire, instead of "spreading it thin" like many emperors chose to do.

It seems he had the right management approach to getting things done.

Basemetal, I assume he is your favorite imperator as well??

If I was Hadrian, I would have left a number of "observers" in each province I visited to surreptitiously make sure that things were being done, and report back if they were not. Given the Roman mastery of the logistics required to move around forces ranging from one legion to half a dozen or more legions, I'm not sure moving an emperor with court, plus bodyguard would be necessarily all that difficult.
                                                                   LordBest. 8)

David Atherton:

You should check out Following Hadrian by Elizabeth Speller, a wonderful book about Hadrian's travels.

Part historical fiction and part historical narrative, it offers a unique look at the emperor and his entourage.

A wonderful Hadrian aureus is shown on the cover as well.

Potator II:
Hi all
Another very good book about Hadrian is Marguerite Yourcenar's "memoirs of Hadrian" : ISBN 9780141184968 | 07 Dec 2000 | Penguin Classic
In her magnificent novel, Marguerite Yourcenor recreates the life and death of one of the great rulers of the ancient world. The Emperor Hadrian, aware his demise is imminent, writes a long valedictory letter to Marcus Aurelius, his future successor. The Emperor meditates on his past, describing his accession, military triumphs, love of poetry and music, and the philosophy that informed his powerful and far-flung rule. A work of superbly detailed research and sustained empathy, Memoirs of Hadrian captures the living spirit of the Emperor and of Ancient Rome.

The novel is actually written from Hadrian's point of view, then many details are obviously invented by the author for the interest of the story, nevertheless it's a wonderful book



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