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date: 24 September 2022


, Roman emperor, 117–138 ce


, Roman emperor, 117–138 ce
  • Anthony R. Birley


Hadrian (Publius Aelius Hadrianus), emperor 117-38 ce. The Aelii of *Italica were among the earliest provincial senators; his mother Domitia Paullina was from *Gades (mod. Cádiz). When his father died, Hadrian became the ward of *Trajan, his father's cousin, and of P. *Acilius Attianus (85). Early devotion to Greek studies earned the nickname, Graeculus (‘little Greek’); a passion for hunting was apparent when he visited Italica (90). After the vigintivirate (see vigintisexviri, vigintiviri), he was tribune in Legio II Adiutrix (95) and V Macedonica (96). Sent to congratulate Trajan on his adoption in 97, he remained in Upper Germany as tribune of XXII Primigenia, under L. *Iulius Ursus Servianus, husband of his sister Paulina. In 100 he married Trajan's great-niece *Sabina Augusta, a match arranged by *Pompeia Plotina, a devoted supporter. As Trajan's quaestor (101) he had to polish his Latin (his ‘rustic accent’ was mocked). He joined Trajan for the First Dacian War (101–2); was tribune of the plebs; then legate of I Minervia in the Second Dacian War (105–6), perhaps being praetor in absentia.


  • Roman History and Historiography

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