Born in A.D. 76, Hadrian lived through and ruled during a tempestuous era, a time when the Colosseum was opened to the public and Pompeii was buried under a mountain of lava and ash. Acclaimed author Anthony Everitt vividly recounts Hadrian’s thrilling life, in which the emperor brings a century of disorder and costly warfare to a peaceful conclusion while demonstrating how a monarchy can be compatible with good governance.
What distinguished Hadrian’s rule, according to Everitt, were two insights that inevitably ensured the empire’s long and prosperous future: He ended Rome’s territorial expansion, which had become strategically and economically untenable, by fortifying her boundaries (the many famed Walls of Hadrian), and he effectively “Hellenized” Rome by anointing Athens the empire’s cultural center, thereby making Greek learning and art vastly more prominent in Roman life.
By making splendid use of recently discovered archaeological materials and his own exhaustive research, Everitt sheds new light on one of the most important figures of the ancient world.
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|Title of eBook: Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome|
|Release Date: 09-01-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome
Invaders from the West
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This is a tale of two families and an orphaned boy.
The Aelii and the Ulpii had the usual share of irritations and friendships, marriages and estrangements, and their influence on the child lasted for his entire life. He was called Publius Aelius Hadrianus Afer, and he was born on the ninth day before the Kalends of February in the year when the consuls were the emperor Vespasian and his son Titus—that is to say, January 24, a.d. 76. Hadrian (for this is the English version of his name) first saw the light of day in Rome, but his hometown was far away, on the extreme edge of the Roman empire.
Andalusia, in southern Spain, is well sited, for it is the bridge between Europe and Africa and its coastline joins the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. For many centuries it has been among the poorest regions of Europe. Farm laborers there are still among the worst paid in the Continent.
Barren lands and snowcapped mountains alternate with fertile fields watered by the Guadalquivir River, which rolls down the wide valley it wore away from rock through prehistoric millennia and pours itself into the main. A few miles upstream of the fine city of Seville is the undistinguished little settlement of Santiponce. Here, way below tarmac, apartment buildings, and roadside cafes, below the feet of its more than seven thousand inhabitants, lie hidden from view the unexcavated remains of Roman Italica. The population then was about the same as that of today, and the Aelii were among the leading families of this provincial backwater. This was little Hadrian’s patria, his place of origin.
On an eminence overlooking Santiponce, the...