Hadrian

Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138 AD, following Trajan. With a difficult relationship with the senate after unlawfully putting four leading senators to death shortly after becoming emperor, Hadrian was largely politically distant from Rome itself. Whereas previous Emperors had relied on reports from around the empire and left Rome mostly only to conduct expansion, Hadrian travelled across the empire extensively, possibly to every province. Hadrian’s extensive travelling seemed to be in part due to his fortifying and defensive policies, as well as a cultural change from a Roman homogeny to a more cosmopolitan commonwealth, which was likely largely inspired by Hadrian’s pronounced admiration for Hellenistic culture. These factors of Hadrian’s rule were not popular with some elite classes in contrast to Trajan’s expansionist policies. Hadrian’s ideals of a cultural commonwealth is evidenced by the coins of the period which show a greater representation of local culture. Hadrian was a cultured ruler and his relationship to visual arts is often the result of his deification of friends and family, particularly, Hadrian’s relationship with the Greek youth Antinous and Antinous’s early death led to Hadrian establishing a cult in his honour which was cause for Antinous to be one of the most widely represented Romans ever depicted in Roman art.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close