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This webpage reproduces part of the
Historia Augusta

published in the Loeb Classical Library,

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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Part 2

(Vol. I) Historia Augusta

 p3  The Life of Hadrian​a
Part 1

1 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The original home of the family of the Emperor Hadrian was Picenum, the later, Spain; for Hadrian himself relates in his autobiography​1 that his forefathers came from Hadria,​2 but settled at Italica​3 in the time of the Scipios. 2 The father of Hadrian was Aelius Hadrianus, surnamed Afer, a cousin of the Emperor Trajan; his mother was Domitia Paulina, a native of Cadiz; his sister was Paulina, the wife of Servianus,​4 his wife was Sabina,​5 and his great-grandfather's grandfather was Marullinus, the first of his family to be a Roman senator.

3 Hadrian was born in Rome​6 on the ninth day before the Kalends of February in the seventh consul­ship  p5 of Vespasian and the fifth of Titus. 4 Bereft of his father at the age of ten, he became the ward of Ulpius Trajanus, his cousin, then of praetorian rank,​7 but afterwards emperor, and of Caelius Attianus,​8 a knight. 5 He then grew rather deeply devoted to Greek studies, to which his natural tastes inclined so much that some called him "Greekling." [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 2 1 He returned to his native city in his fifteenth year and at once entered military service, but was so fond of hunting that he incurred criticism for it, and for this reason Trajan recalled him from Italica. 2 Thenceforth he was treated by Trajan as his own son, and not long afterwards he was made one of the ten judges of the inheritance-court,​9 and, later, tribune of the Second Legion, the Adjutrix.​10 3 After this, when Domitian's principate was drawing to a close, he was transferred to the province of Lower Moesia.​11 4 There, it is said, he heard from an astrologer the same prediction of his future power which had been made, as he already knew, by his great-uncle, Aelius Hadrianus, a master of astrology. 5 When Trajan was adopted​12 by Nerva, Hadrian was sent to convey to him the army's congratulations and was at once  p7 transferred to Upper Germany.​13 6 When Nerva died, he wished to be the first to bring the news to Trajan, but as he was hastening to meet him he was detained by his brother-in‑law, Servianus, the same man who had revealed Hadrian's extravagance and indebtedness and thus stirred Trajan's anger against him. He was further delayed by the fact that his travelling-carriage had been designedly broken, but he nevertheless proceeded on foot and anticipatedº Servianus' personal messenger.​14 7 And now he became a favourite of Trajan's, and yet, owing to the activity of the guardians of certain boys whom Trajan loved ardently, he was not free from . . . which Gallus fostered. 8 Indeed, at this time he was even anxious about the Emperor's attitude towards him, and consulted the Vergilian oracle.​15 This was the lot given out:16

But who is yonder man, by olive wreath

Distinguished, who the sacred vessel bears?

I see a hoary head and beard. Behold

The Roman King whose laws shall stablish Rome

Anew, from tiny Cures' humble land

Called to a mighty realm. Then shall arise . . .​b

Others, however, declare that this prophecy came to him from the Sibylline Verses. 9 Moreover, he received a further intimation of his subsequent power, in a response which issued from the temple of Jupiter at Nicephorium​17 and has been quoted by Apollonius of Syria,​18 the Platonist. 10 Finally, through the good offices of Sura,​19 he was instantly restored to a friendship with Trajan that was closer than ever, and  p9 he took to wife the daughter of the Emperor's sister​20 — a marriage advocated by Plotina, but, according to Marius Maximus,​21 little desired by Trajan himself.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 3 1 He held the quaestor­ship​22 in the fourth consul­ship of Trajan and the first of Articuleius, and while holding this office he read a speech of the Emperor's to the senate and provoked a laugh by his somewhat provincial accent. He thereupon gave attention to the study of Latin until he attained the utmost proficiency and fluency. 2 After his quaestor­ship he served as curator of the acts of the senate,​23 and later accompanied Trajan in the Dacian war​24 on terms of considerable intimacy, 3 seeing, indeed, that falling in with Trajan's habits, as he says himself, he partook freely of wine, and for this was very richly rewarded by the Emperor. 4 He was made tribune of the plebs in the second consul­ship of Candidus and Quadratus, 5 and he claimed that he received an omen of continuous tribunician​25 power during this magistracy, because he lost the heavy cloak which is worn by the tribunes of the plebs in rainy weather, but never by the emperors. And down to this day the emperors do not wear cloaks when they appear in public before civilians. 6 In the second Dacian war, Trajan appointed him to the command of the First Legion, the Minervia, and took him with him to the war; and in this campaign his many remarkable deeds won great renown. 7 Because of this he was presented with a diamond which  p11 Trajan himself had received from Nerva, and by this gift he was encouraged in his hopes of succeeding to the throne.​26 8 He held the praetor­ship in the second consul­ship of Suburanus and Servianus,​27 and again received from Trajan two million sesterces with which to give games. 9 Next he was sent as praetorian legate to Lower Pannonia,​28 where he held the Sarmatians in check, maintained discipline among the soldiers, and restrained the procurators,​29 who were overstepping too freely the bounds of their power. 10 In return for these services he was made consul. While he was holding this office he learned from Sura that he was to be adopted by Trajan, and thereupon he ceased to be an object of contempt and neglect to Trajan's friends. 11 Indeed, after Sura's death Trajan's friendship for him increased, principally on account of the speeches which he composed for the Emperor. [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 4 1 He enjoyed, too, the favour of Plotina,​30 and it was due to her interest in him that later, at the time of the campaign against Parthia, he was appointed the legate of the Emperor.​31 2 At this same time he enjoyed, besides, the friendship of Sosius Papus and Platorius Nepos,​32 both of the  p13 senatorial order, and also of Attianus, his former guardian, of Livianus,​33 and of Turbo,​34 all of equestrian rank. 3 And when Palma and Celsus,​35 always his enemies, on whom he later took vengeance, fell under suspicion of aspiring to the throne, his adoption seemed assured; 4 and it was taken wholly for granted when, through Plotina's favour, he was appointed consul for the second time. 5 That he was bribing Trajan's freedmen and courting and corrupting his favourites all the while that he was in close attendance at court, was told and generally believed.

6 On the fifth day before the Ides of August, while he was governor of Syria, he learned of his adoption by Trajan, and he later gave orders to celebrate this day as the anniversary of his adoption. 7 On the third day before the Ides of August he received the news of Trajan's death, and this day he appointed as the anniversary of his accession.

8 There was, to be sure, a widely prevailing belief that Trajan, with the approval of many of his friends, had planned to appoint as his successor not Hadrian but Neratius Priscus,​36 even to the extent of saying to Priscus: "I entrust the provinces to your care in case anything happens to me". 9 And, indeed, many aver that Trajan had purposed to follow the example of Alexander of Macedonia and die without naming a successor. Again, many others declare that  p15 he had meant to send an address to the senate, requesting this body, in case aught befell him, to appoint a ruler for the Roman empire, and merely appending the names of some from among whom the senate might choose the best. 10 And the statement has even been made that it was not until after Trajan's death that Hadrian was declared adopted, and then only by means of a trick of Plotina's; for she smuggled in someone who impersonated the Emperor and spoke in a feeble voice.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 5 1 On taking possession of the imperial power Hadrian at once resumed the policy of the early emperors,​37 and devoted his attention to maintaining peace throughout the world. 2 For the nations which Trajan had conquered began to revolt; the Moors, moreover, began to make attacks,​38 and the Sarmatians to wage war,​39 the Britons could not be kept under Roman sway, Egypt​40 was thrown into disorder by riots, and finally Libya​41 and Palestine​42 showed the spirit of rebellion. 3 Whereupon he relinquished all the conquests east of the Euphrates and the Tigris, following, as he used to say, the example of Cato, who urged that the Macedonians, because they could not be held as subjects, should be declared free and independent.​43 4 And Parthamasiris,​44 appointed king  p17 of the Parthians by Trajan, he assigned as ruler to the neighbouring tribes, because he saw that the man was held in little esteem by the Parthians.

5 Moreover, he showed at the outset such a wish to be lenient, that although Attianus advised him by letter in the first few days of his rule​45 to put to death Baebius Macer,​46 the prefect of the city, in case he opposed his elevation to power, also Laberius Maximus,​47 then in exile on an island under suspicion of designs on the throne, and likewise Crassus Frugi,​48 he nevertheless refused to harm them. 6 Later on, however, his procurator, though without an order from Hadrian, had Crassus killed when he tried to leave the island, on the ground that he was planning a revolt. 7 He gave a double donative to the soldiers in order to ensure a favourable beginning to his principate. 8 He deprived Lusius Quietus​49 of the command of the Moorish tribesmen, who were serving under him, and then dismissed him from the army, because he had fallen under the suspicion of having designs on the throne; and he appointed Marcius Turbo, after his reduction of Judaea, to quell the insurrection in Mauretania.

9 After taking these measures he set out from Antioch to view the remains of Trajan,​50 which were  p19 being escorted by Attianus, Plotina, and Matidia.​51 10 He received them formally and sent them on to Rome by ship and at once returned to Antioch; he then appointed Catilius Severus​52 governor of Syria, and proceeded to Rome by way of Illyricum.53

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 6 1 Despatching to the senate a carefully worded letter, he asked for divine honours for Trajan. This request he obtained by a unanimous vote; indeed, the senate voluntarily voted Trajan many more honours than Hadrian had requested. 2 In this letter to the senate he apologized because he had not left it the right to decide regarding his accession,​54 explaining that the unseemly haste of the troops in acclaiming him emperor was due to the belief that the state could not be without an emperor. 3 Later, when the senate offered him the triumph which was to have been Trajan's, he refused it for himself, and caused the effigy of the dead Emperor to be carried in a triumphal chariot, in order that the best of emperors might not lose even after death the honour of a triumph.​55 4 Also he refused for the present the title of Father of his Country, offered to him at the time of his accession and again later on, giving as his reason the fact that Augustus had not won it until late in life.​56 5 Of the crown-money57  p21 for his triumph he remitted Italy's contribution, and lessened that of the provinces, all the while setting forth grandiloquently and in great detail the straits of the public treasury.

6 Then, on hearing of the incursions of the Sarmatians and Roxolani,​58 he sent the troops ahead and set out for Moesia. 7 He conferred the insignia of a prefect on Marcius Turbo after his Mauretanian campaign and appointed him to the temporary command of Pannonia and Dacia.​59 8 When the king of the Roxolani complained of the diminution of his subsidy, he investigated his case and made peace with him.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 7 1 A plot to murder him while sacrificing was made by Nigrinus, with Lusius and a number of others as accomplices, even though Hadrian had destined Nigrinus​60 for the succession; but Hadrian successfully evaded this plot. 2 Because of this conspiracy Palma was put to death at Tarracina, Celsus at Baiae, Nigrinus at Faventia,​61 and Lusius on his journey homeward, all by order of the senate, but contrary to the wish of Hadrian, as he says himself in his autobiography. 3 Whereupon Hadrian entrusted  p23 the command in Dacia to Turbo, whom he dignified, in order to increase his authority, with a rank analogous to that of the prefect of Egypt. He then hastened to Rome in order to win over public opinion, which was hostile to him because of the belief that on one single occasion he had suffered four men of consular rank to be put to death. In order to check the rumours about himself, he gave in person a double largess to the people,​62 although in his absence three aurei​63 had already been given to each of the citizens. 4 In the senate, too, he cleared himself of blame for what had happened, and pledged himself never to inflict punishment on a senator until after a vote of the senate.​64 5 He established a regular imperial post,​65 in order to relieve the local officials of such a burden. 6 Moreover, he used every means of gaining popularity. He remitted to private debtors in Rome and in Italy immense sums of money owed to the privy-purse,​66 and in the provinces he remitted large amounts of arrears; and he ordered the promissory notes to be burned in the Forum of the Deified Trajan,​67 in order that the general sense of security might thereby be increased. 7 He gave orders that the property of condemned persons should not accrue to the privy-purse,  p25 and in each case deposited the whole amount in the public treasury. 8 He made additional appropriations for the children to whom Trajan had allotted grants of money.​68 9 He supplemented the property of senators impoverished through no fault of their own, making the allowance in each case proportionate to the number of children, so that it might be enough for a senatorial career;​69 to many, indeed, he paid punctually on the date the amount allotted for their living. 10 Sums of money sufficient to enable men to hold office he bestowed, not on his friends alone, but also on many far and wide, 11 and by his donations he helped a number of women to sustain life. 12 He gave gladiatorial combats for six days in succession, and on his birthday he put into the arena a thousand wild beasts.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 8 1 The foremost members of the senate he admitted to close intimacy with the emperor's majesty. 2 All circus-games decreed in his honour he refused, except those held to celebrate his birthday.​70 3 Both in meetings of the people and in the senate he used to say that he would so administer the commonwealth that men would know that it was not his own but the people's. 4 Having himself been consul three times, he reappointed many to the consul­ship for the third time and men without number to a second term; 5 his own third consul­ship he held for only four months, and during his term he often administered justice.  p27 6 He always attended regular meetings of the senate if he was present in Rome or even in the neighbourhood. 7 In the appointment of senators he showed the utmost caution and thereby greatly increased the dignity of the senate, and when he removed Attianus from the post of prefect of the guard and created him a senator with consular honours,​71 he made it clear that he had no greater honour which he could bestow upon him. 8 Nor did he allow knights to try cases involving senators​72 whether he was present at the trial or not. 9 For at that time it was customary for the emperor, when he tried cases, to call to his council​73 both senators and knights and give a verdict based on their joint decision. 10 Finally, he denounced those emperors who had not shown this deference to the senators. 11 On his brother-in‑law Servianus, to whom he showed such respect that he would advance to meet him as he came from his chamber, he bestowed a third consul­ship, and that without any request or entreaty on Servianus' part; but nevertheless he did not appoint him as his own colleague, since Servianus had been consul twice before Hadrian, and the Emperor did not wish to have second place.74

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 9 1 And yet, at the same time, Hadrian abandoned many provinces won by Trajan,​75 and also destroyed,  p29 contrary to the entreaties of all, the theatre which Trajan had built in the Campus Martius. 2 These measures, unpopular enough in themselves, were still more displeasing to the public because of his pretence that all acts which he thought would be offensive had been secretly enjoined upon him by Trajan. 3 Unable to endure the power of Attianus and formerly his guardian, he was eager to murder him. He was restrained, however, by the knowledge that he already laboured under the odium of murdering four men of consular rank,​76 although, as a matter of fact, he always attributed their execution to the designs of Attianus. 4 And as he could not appoint a successor for Attianus except at the latter's request, he contrived to make him request it,​77 and at once transferred the power to Turbo; 5 ºat the same time Similis​78 also, the other prefect,​79 received a successor, namely Septicius Clarus.80

6 After Hadrian had removed from the prefecture the very men to whom he owed the imperial power, he departed for Campania, where he aided all the towns of the region by gifts and benefactions​81 and attached all the foremost men to his train of friends. 7 But when at Rome, he frequently attended the official functions of the praetors and consuls, appeared at the  p31 banquets of his friends, visited them twice or thrice a day when they were sick, even those who were merely knights and freedmen, cheered them by words of comfort, encouraged them by words of advice, and very often invited them to his own banquets. 8 In short, everything that he did was in the manner of a private citizen. 9 On his mother-in‑law he bestowed especial honour by means of gladiatorial games and other ceremonies.82

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 10 1 After this he travelled​83 to the provinces of Gaul,​84 and came to the relief of all the communities with various acts of generosity; 2 and from there he went over into Germany.​85 Though more desirous of peace than of war, he kept the soldiers in training just as if war were imminent, inspired them by proofs of his own powers of endurance, actually led a soldier's life among the maniples,​86 and, after the example of Scipio Aemilianus,​87 Metellus, and his own adoptive father Trajan, cheerfully ate out of doors such camp-fare as bacon, cheese and vinegar. And that the troops might submit more willingly to the increased harshness of his orders, he bestowed gifts on many and honours on a few. 3 For he reestablished the discipline of the camp,​88 which since  p33 the time of Octavian had been growing slack through the laxity of his predecessors. He regulated, too, both the duties and the expenses of the soldiers, and now no one could get a leave of absence from camp by unfair means, for it was not popularity with the troops but just deserts that recommended a man for appointment as tribune. 4 He incited others by the example of his own soldierlyº spirit; he would walk as much as twenty miles fully armed; he cleared the camp of banqueting-rooms, porticoes, grottos, and bowers, 5 generally wore the commonest clothing, would have no gold ornaments on his sword-belt or jewels on the clasp, would scarcely consent to have his sword furnished with an ivory hilt, 6 visited the sick soldiers in their quarters, selected the sites for camps, conferred the centurion's wand on those only who were hardy and of good repute, appointed as tribunes only men with full beards or of an age to give to the authority of the tribune­ship the full measure of prudence and maturity, 7 permitted no tribune to accept a present from a soldier, banished luxuries on every hand, and, lastly, improved the soldiers' arms and equipment. 8 Furthermore, with regard to length of military service he issued an order that no one should violate ancient usage by being in the service at an earlier age than his strength warranted, or at a more advanced one than common humanity permitted. He made it a point to be acquainted with the soldiers and to know their numbers. [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 11 1 Besides this, he strove to have an accurate knowledge of the military stores, and the receipts from the provinces he examined with care in order to make good any deficit that might occur in any particular instance. But more than any other emperor he made it a point not to purchase or maintain anything that was not serviceable.

 p35  2 And so, having reformed the army quite in the manner of a monarch, he set out for Britain,​89 and there he corrected many abuses and was the first to construct a wall,​90 eighty miles in length, which was to separate the barbarians from the Romans.

3 He removed from office Septicius Clarus,​91 the prefect of the guard, and Suetonius Tranquillus,​92 the imperial secretary, and many others besides, because without his consent they had been conducting themselves toward his wife, Sabina, in a more informal fashion than the etiquette of the court demanded. And, as he was himself wont to say, he would have sent away his wife too, on the ground of ill-temper and irritability, had he been merely a private citizen. 4 Moreover, his vigilance was not confined to his own household but extended to those of his friends, and by means of his private agents​93 he even pried into all their secrets, and so skilfully that they were never aware that the Emperor was acquainted with their private lives until he revealed it himself. 5 In this connection, the insertion of an incident will not be unwelcome, showing that he found out much about his friends. 6 The wife of a certain man wrote to her husband, complaining that he was so preoccupied by  p37 pleasures and baths that he would not return home to her, and Hadrian found this out through his private agents. And so, when the husband asked for a furlough, Hadrian reproached him with his fondness for his baths and his pleasures. Whereupon the man exclaimed: "What, did my wife write you just what she wrote to me?" 7 And, indeed, as for this habit of Hadrian's, men regard it as a most grievous fault, and add to their criticism the statements which are current regarding the passion for males​c and the adulteries with married women to which he is said to have been addicted, adding also the charge that he did not even keep faith with his friends.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 12 1 After arranging matters in Britain he crossed over to Gaul, for he was rendered anxious by the news of a riot in Alexandria, which arose on account of Apis;​94 for Apis had been discovered again after an interval of many years, and was causing great dissension among the communities, each one earnestly asserting its claim as the place best fitted to be the seat of his worship. 2 During this same time he reared a basilica of marvellous workman­ship at Nîmes in honour of Plotina.​95 3 After this he travelled to Spain​96 and spent the winter at Tarragona,​97 and here he restored at his own expense the temple of Augustus. 4 To this place, too, he called all the inhabitants of Spain for a general meeting, and when  p39 they refused to submit to a levy, the Italian settlers​98 jestingly, to use the very words of Marius Maximus, and the others very vigorously, he took measures characterized by skill and discretion. 5 At this same time he incurred grave danger and won great glory; for while he was walking about in a garden at Tarragona one of the slaves of the household rushed at him madly with a sword. But he merely laid hold on the man, and when the servants ran to the rescue handed him over to them. Afterwards, when it was found that the man was mad, he turned him over to the physicians for treatment, and all this time showed not the slightest sign of alarm.

6 During this period and on many other occasions also, in many regions where the barbarians are held back not by rivers but by artificial barriers, Hadrian shut them off by means of high stakes planted deep in the ground and fastened together in the manner of a palisade.​99 7 He appointed a king for the Germans, suppressed revolts among the Moors,​100 and won from the senate the usual ceremonies of thanksgiving. 8 The war with the Parthians had not at that time advanced beyond the preparatory stage, and Hadrian checked it by a personal conference.101

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 13 1 After this Hadrian travelled by way of Asia and the islands to Greece,​102 and, following the  p41 example of Hercules and Philip,​103 had himself initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries.​104 He bestowed many favours on the Athenians and sat as president of the public games.​105 2 And during this stay in Greece care was taken, they say, that when Hadrian was present, none should come to a sacrifice armed, whereas, as a rule, many carried knives. 3 Afterwards he sailed to Sicily,​106 and there he climbed Mount Aetna to see the sunrise, which is many-hued, they say, like the rainbow. 4 Thence he returned to Rome,​107 and​108 from there he crossed over to Africa,​109 where he showed many acts of kindness to the provinces. 5 Hardly any emperor ever travelled with such speed over so much territory.

6 Finally, after his return to Rome from Africa, he immediately set out for the East, journeying by  p43 way of Athens.​110 Here he dedicated the public works which he had begun in the city of the Athenians, such as the temple to Olympian Jupiter​111 and an altar to himself; and in the same way, while travelling through Asia, he consecrated the temples called by his name.​112 7 Next, he received slaves from the Cappadocians for service in the camps.​113 8 To petty rulers and kings he made offers of friendship, and even to Osdroes,​114 king of the Parthians. To him he also restored his daughter, who had been captured by Trajan, and promised to return the throne captured at the same time.​115 9 And when some of the kings came to him, he treated them in such a way that those who had refused to come regretted it. He took this course especially on account of Pharasmanes,​116 who had haughtily scorned his invitation. 10 Furthermore, as he went about the provinces he punished procurators and governors as their actions demanded, and indeed with such severity that it was believed that he incited those who brought the accusations. [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 14 1 In the course of these travels he conceived such a hatred for the people of Antioch that he wished to separate Syria from Phoenicia, in order that Antioch might not be called the chief city of so many communities.​117 2 At this time also the  p45 Jews began war, because they were forbidden to practice circumcision.​118 3 As he was sacrificing on Mount Casius,​119 which he had ascended by night in order to see the sunrise, a storm arose, and a flash of lightning descended and struck both the victim and the attendant. 4 He then travelled through Arabia​120 and finally came to Pelusium,​121 where he rebuilt Pompey's tomb on a more magnificent scale.​122 5 During a journey on the Nile he lost Antinous,​123 his favourite, and for this youth he wept like a woman. 6 Concerning this incident there are varying rumours;​124 for some claim that he had devoted himself to death for Hadrian, and others — what both his beauty and Hadrian's sensuality suggest. 7 But however this may be, the Greeks deified him at Hadrian's request, and declared that oracles were given through his agency, but these, it is commonly asserted, were composed by Hadrian himself.125

(For the end of chapter 14, see Part 2.)

The Editor's Notes:

1 For the Autobiography of Hadrian, now lost, cf. c. xvi. It seems to have been written toward the close of his life, and, to judge from scanty citations from it, its purpose was to contradict current statements about himself which he considered derogatory to his reputation and to present him in a favourable light to posterity.

2 An ancient town of Picenum, which became a Roman colony, probably about the time of Sulla.

3 In Hispania Baetica, on the Baetis (Guadalquivir),º (p3)founded by Scipio Africanus about 205 B.C., received the rights of a municipality under Julius or Augustus, and was made a colony by Hadrian.

4 L. Julius Ursus Servianus frequently mentioned in this biography. He governed several provinces under Trajan, and was made consul for a third time by Hadrian in 134. On his death in 136, see c. xxiii.2, 8; xxv.8; Dio, LXIX.17.

5 See c. ii.10 and note.

6 This is, of course, a fiction, and the biography contradicts itself, for Italica is clearly the patria referred to in c. ii.1 and 2, and c. xix.1.

7 Trajan was praetor about 85, and so, until he became consul, in 91, was a vir praetorius.

8 The name Caelius is an error. His name was Acilius Attianus, as it appears on an inscription from Elba; see Röm. Mitt., XVIII.63‑67. He became prefect of the guard under Trajan and seems to have been instrumental in securing the throne for Hadrian. On his retirement from the prefecture, see c. viii.7; ix.3‑5.

9 The decemviri stlitibus iudicandis had originally, in the republican period, the duty of determining disputed claims to freedom. Augustus removed suits for freedom from their jurisdiction, and gave them the conduct of the court of the Centumviri, which dealt with suits for inheritances. Appointment to this, or to one of five other minor magisterial (p5)boards constituting the vigintiviri, was the first step in a career of public office.

Thayer's Note: For comprehensive details and sources, see the articles Decemviri, Vigintisexviri, and Centumviri in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

10 So called because it had been recruited (by Vespasian) from an auxiliary force of marines. At this time it was serving probably in the province of Pannonia Inferior.

11 As tribune of the Fifth Legion, the Macedonica. This command is listed among his other offices in an inscription set up in his honour at Athens in 112 (CIL III.550 = Dessau, Inscr. Sel. 308), and it is known that this legion was quartered in Moesia Inferior at this time.

12 Trajan was governor of the province of Germania Superior; he seems to have been appointed by Nerva in 96.

13 As tribune of the Twenty-second Legion, the Primigenia Pia Fidelis, according to the Athenian inscription (see p5, n5).

14beneficiarius was a soldier who had been relieved of active service by some commandant and was attached to the suite of this official.

Thayer's Note: It's not quite as clear-cut as that. For details and sources, see the article Beneficium in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

15 For similar consultations, cf. Cl. Alb. v.4; Alex. iv.6; xiv.5; Claud. x.4 f.

16 Aen. VI.808‑812. The passage refers to Numa Pompilius.

17 Perhaps the place of this name near Pergamon.

18 Unknown.

19 L. Licinius Sura was consul for the third time in 107. He commanded the army in the wars in Dacia and received the triumphal insignia and other high honours.

20 Vibia Sabina, the daughter of L. Vibius and Matidia, who was the daughter of Marciana, Trajan's sister. Plotina was Trajan's wife.

21 L. Marius Maximus was the author of biographies of the emperors from Nerva to Elagabalus, frequently cited in these Vitae; see Intro., p. xvii f. He is probably the senator of the same name who held many important administrative posts under Septimius Severus and his successors.

22 He is called in the Athenian inscription quaestor imperatoris Traiani, i.e. he was one of the quaestors detailed to transact business for the emperor, and particularly to convey his messages to the senate and read them before the house.

23 The official known as curator actorum senatus or ab actis senatus drafted the record of the senate's transactions.

Thayer's Note: For comprehensive details and sources — and somewhat more accurate, since curator does not appear to have been part of the title — see the article Acta in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

24 The first Dacian war (101‑102). The inscription cited above reads: Comes expeditionis Dacicae, donis militaribus ab eo (Traiano) donatus bis.

25 An allusion to the tribunician power held by the emperors, which was regarded as the basis of their civil powers; see note to Marc. vi.6.

26 Due to a precedent established by Augustus, who, when ill in 23 B.C., gave his ring to Agrippa, apparently intending him to be his successor; see Dio, LIII.30.

27 The reading of P is impossible, for no such person as Suranus is known, but it is difficult to emend the text satisfactorily, since Suburanus was consul for the second time in 104, and Servianus was consul for the second time in 102. The consuls of 107, in which year Hadrian was probably praetor, were Sura, for the third time, and Senecio, for the second time.

28 This province was one of the "imperial provinces," which were governed in theory by the emperor but in practice by a deputy appointed by him with the title legatus Augusti pro praetore. The governor of the province under the control of the senate, on the other hand, had the title of proconsul. (p11)Hadrian is called here legatus praetorius because he held this position as a vir praetorius, i.e. one who had been praetor but not yet consul.

29 The procurator was charged with the collection of taxes and other sources of revenue in an imperial province and their transmission to the fiscus, or privy purse.

30 Cf. c. ii.10.

31 The appointment as legate refers to his governor­ship of Syria; see §6.

32 A. Platorius Nepos was prominent under Trajan as a magistrate at Rome and the governor of several important provinces and was consul with Hadrian in 119. He afterward incurred Hadrian's enmity; see c. xv.2; xxiii.4.

33 T. Claudius Livianus was prefect of the guard under Trajan and held a command in the first Dacian war; see Dio, LXIX.9.

34 For the career of Q. Marcius Turbo under Trajan and Hadrian see c. v‑vii. He was finally appointed prefect of the guard; see c. ix.4.

35 A. Cornelius Palma and L. Publilius Celsus held important offices under Trajan and statues were erected in their (p13)honour. Nothing is known of the suspicion alluded to here, but the two men, together with Nigrinus and Lusius Quietus, were later accused of a conspiracy against Hadrian and put to death; see c. vii.1‑3.

36 L. Neratius Priscus was a famous jurist and his works were used in the compilation of Justinian's Digest. He was a member of Trajan's imperial council, and later was one of Hadrian's advisers in legal questions; see c. xviii.1.

37 Augustus had bequeathed as a policy the consilium coercendi intra terminos imperii (Tacitus, AnnalsI.11), these natural boundaries being the Rhine, Danube, and Euphrates. This policy had been abandoned by Trajan in his conquests of Dacia, Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Assyria. Hadrian's new policy is proclaimed in the legends on his coins, Iustitia (Cohen, II2 p179, No. 874 f.) and Pax (Cohen, II2 p190, No. 1011 f.).

38 Cf. §8 and c. vi.7.

39 Cf. c. vi.6.

40 i.e. Alexandria, where the Jews were rioting, incited perhaps by the example of their fellow-countrymen in Palestine.

41 i.e. the Cyrenaica, where at the end of Trajan's reign the Jews had risen and massacred many Greeks and Romans; see Dio, LXVIII.32.

42 Cf. §8.

43 This measure was apparently advocated in a speech made before the senate in 167 B.C. after the defeat of Perseus, the last king of Macedonia, at Pydna (see Livy, XLV.17‑18). Macedonia was divided into four independent districts, an arrangement which proved untenable.

44 An error for Parthamaspates. This prince had deserted his cousin, the Parthian king, and sided with Trajan in the (p16)Parthian war; he was rewarded by being made king after Trajan's victory in 116‑117. The Parthians deposed him, and Hadrian accordingly assigned to him, at least for a time, the district of Osrhoene in north-western Mesopotamia. Cf. c. xxi.10, and Dio, LXVIII.30 and 33.

45 The biography is anticipating here. This letter was doubtless written after Attianus had returned to Rome with Trajan's ashes; see §10.

46 Baebius Macer was one of the friends and correspondents of the younger Pliny; see Pliny, Epist. III.5. The prefect of the city was in command of the three cohorts which were responsible for the maintenance of order in Rome.

47 M'. Laberius Maximus seems to have held a command in the first Dacian war, and was consul for the second time in 103. Nothing further is known of these "designs".

48 C. Calpurnius Crassus Frugi conspired against Nerva and was banished to Tarentum. He was later brought to trial on the charge of conspiring against Trajan and was condemned (Dio, LXVIII.3 and 16).

49 Lusius Quietus, a Moor by birth and a captain of a squadron (p17)of Moorish horse, had been a commander in Trajan's Parthian war. He had subsequently been appointed governor of Judaea by Trajan. The dismissal of the Moorish troops was a preliminary to the enforced retirement of Quietus, since he was now unable to offer any resistance to Hadrian. He was afterwards accused of conspiring against Hadrian and was put to death; see c. vii.1‑3.

50 Probably to Seleucia, whither Trajan's body was brought from Selinus in Cilicia, the place of his death. Here the body was burned and the ashes sent to Rome; cf. Victor, Epit. XIV.12.

51 See note to c. ii.10.

52 L. Catilius Severus was a friend and correspondent of Pliny; see Pliny, Epist. I.22; III.12. He became consul for the second time in 120, was proconsul of Asia, and in 138 prefect of the city; see c. xxiv.6‑8. He was the great-grandfather of Marcus Aurelius; see Marc. i.4.

53 Used here to denote the provinces along the southern bank of the Danube. His route lay across Asia Minor, and it was probably in this region that he received the news of the war threatened by the tribes north of the river; cf. c. vi.6. He arrived in Moesia in the spring of 118, and finally reached Rome in July, 118; cf. c. vii.3.

54 Acclamation by the army constituted a strong de facto claim to the imperial power, but it is now generally recognized (in spite of Mommsen's theory to the contrary) that only the senate could legally confer the imperium.

Thayer's Note: Mommsen is not online, but an equally great scholar, writing two years after the Loeb editor's note, viewed acclamation by the army as necessary to legitimize the imperial succession; see J. B. Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire, ch. 1, p5.

55 This triumph was commemorated by coins bearing on the obverse the head of Trajan with the legend Divo Traiano Parth(ico) Aug(usto) Patri and on the reverse a four-horse chariot driven by the Emperor who holds a laurel-branch and a sceptre, with the legend triumphus Parthicus; see Cohen, II2 p78, No. 585.

56 This title was conferred on Augustus in 2 B.C., twenty-five years after he received the imperium and the name of Augustus. In the case of the Julio-Claudian emperors after Tiberius (who never held this title) about a year was allowed to elapse before the honour was conferred. Hadrian finally accepted it in 128; see note to c. xiii.4. The precedent of a postponement was also followed by Pius (Pius vi.6), and Marcus (Marc. ix.3).

57 A contribution for the purpose of providing gold wreaths (in imitation of laurel) which were held over the head of the general in his triumph. Such contributions were originally voluntary, but soon became obligatory. Augustus had remitted them (Mon. Anc. c. 21), but his example does not seem to have been followed by his immediate successors. Partial remission is recorded in the cases of Pius (Pius iv.10) and Alexander (Alex. xxxi.5), and proclamations of remission by Trajan and Marcus are preserved in a papyrus (Fayoum Towns and their Papyri, No. 116).

Thayer's Note: also remitted by Julian, according to Ammian (XXV.4.15). For further details and sources, see the article Aurum Coronarium in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

58 The compressed style of the narrative combines those two tribes here, but they must be carefully distinguished. The Roxolani lived at the mouth of the Danube; they had been constituted a vassal-state by Trajan. On the other hand, the term Sarmatae is used to denote the independent Iazyges (p21)who lived in the great plain between the Theiss and the Danube.

59 This was an extraordinary command, for Pannonia and Dacia, like other imperial provinces, were always assigned to senatorial legates, and Turbo was a knight. The only instance of an equestrian governor was the prefect of Egypt, the viceroy of the emperor (who in theory was king of Egypt), and this appointment of a knight to govern the provinces on the Danube seemed to have a precedent in the prefecture of Egypt (cf. c. vii.3).

60 Probably C. Avidius Nigrinus, mentioned by Pliny in Epist. ad Traian. lxv and lxvi. On the other conspirators see notes to c. iv.3, and v.8.

61 Now Faenza; in the Po Valley, about thirty miles SE of Bologna.

62 As he had already done for the soldiers; see c. v.7.

63 A gold coin of the value of 100 sesterces or 25 denarii, or (very approximately) five dollars.

Thayer's Note: About $45 in 2004; and for comprehensive details and sources on the aureus, see the article Aurum in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

64 It had long been a moot question whether the emperor had the right to put senators to death without formal trial and condemnation by the senate. Neither the later Julio-Claudian nor the Flavian emperors had recognized the right of a senator to trial by his fellow-senators only. Nerva, on the other hand, took an oath that he would not put a senator to death (Dio, LXVII.2), and Trajan seems to have followed his example (Dio, LXVIII.5). For the practice of later emperors see Marc. x.6; xxv.6; xxvi.13; xxix.4.

65 Also called cursus vehicularius (Pius xii.3), and munus vehicularium (Sev. xiv.2). Previous to Hadrian's reform the cost of the maintenance of the post had fallen on the provincial towns, but henceforth it was borne by the fiscus. The department was under the direction of an official of equestrian rank, known as the praefectus vehiculorum.

66 The sum remitted was 900,000,000 sesterces; see coins (p23)of 118, Cohen, II2 p208 f., Nos. 1210‑1213, and an inscription found at Rome, CIL VI.967. He also issued an order providing for a similar cancelling every fifteen years; see Dio, LXIX.8.1; cf also Marc. xxiii.3, and note.

67 Situated at the south-western corner of the Esquiline Hill, a part of which was cut away in order to provide sufficient space. It was surrounded by colonnades, portions of which are extant, and on its north-western side was the Basilica Ulpia; north-west of this was the column of Trajan, flanked by two buildings containing the Bibliotheca Ulpia. Just beyond was the Templum Divi Traiani et Plotinae, erected by Hadrian (c. xix.9).

Thayer's Note: For comprehensive details and sources, see the article Forum Trajani in Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, and the further sites linked there for photographs, plans, etc.

68 The alimenta were grants of money paid by the imperial government to the children of the poor of Italy. The plan was made by Nerva but actually carried out by Trajan. For this purpose of the distribution of these grants Italy was divided into districts, often known by the name of the great roads which traversed them (see Pert. ii.2).

Thayer's Note: For details and sources, including something of the history of the program with further citations from the Historia Augusta itself, see the article Alimentarii in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

69 The sum necessary for the position of senator was 1,000,000 sesterces.

70 The custom had arisen that on important occasions in (p25)the reign of an emperor races in the Circus should be voted by the senate as a mark of honour. From the time of Augustus the birthday of the emperor was similarly celebrated, and in the case of some emperors, e.g. Pertinax and Severus, also the natalis imperii or day of accession to the throne; see Pert. xv.5 and Dio, LXXVIII.8. Pius followed Hadrian's example in accepting birthday-games only; see Pius v.2.

71 This did not include a seat in the senate, but consisted of the privilege of sitting with the senators of consular rank at the public festivals and at sacred banquets and of wearing the toga praetexta on such occasions. Since the time of Nero this honorary rank had often been bestowed on prefects of the guard on their retirement from office; see also Pius x.6.

72 See note to c. vii.4.

73 The consilium of the emperor was a development from the old principle that a magistrate, before rendering an important decision, should ask advice from trusted friends. So Augustus (p27)and his successors had their boards of advisers. Until the time of Hadrian this board was not official or permanent, but from his reign on its members, the consiliarii Augusti, had a definite position and received a salary. Jurists of distinction were included in it; see c. xviii.1.

74 If Servianus, who was consul for the second time in 102, were associated with Hadrian in the Emperor's second consul­ship in 118 or third in 119, he would by reason of his seniority outrank his imperial colleague; see Mommsen, Röm. Staatsrecht, iii p976, n4.

75 Cf. c. v.3.

76 Cf. c. vii.2‑3.

77 The term of office of the prefect of the guard was unlimited, and often was for life. This passage seems to show that at least a form of voluntary resignation from the office was customary. Attianus, according to precedent, was advanced to senatorial rank with the ornamenta consularia; see c. viii.7.

78 C. Sulpicius Similis was prefect of the grain-supply, of Egypt, and, finally, of the praetorian guard. According to Dio (LXIX.20), it was only with difficulty that he secured Hadrian's permission to retire.

79 From the time of Augustus the old republican principle of colleague­ship had been applied to the command of the praetorian guard and there were ordinarily two prefects with (p29)equal powers. The principle, however, had been disregarded at times, e.g. in the case of Sejanus under Tiberius (Dio, LVII.19). Under the later emperors there were sometimes three prefects; cf. Com. vi.12; Did. Jul. vii.5; Zosimus, I.11.

80 C. Septicius Clarus was the friend of Suetonius, who dedicated to him his Lives of the Caesars. He also encouraged Pliny to publish his letters; see Plin., Epist. I.1. On his retirement from the prefecture see c. xi.3.

81 The following are attested by inscriptions of the years 121‑122: Antium, Caiatia, Surrentum, and the road from Naples to Nuceria; see CIL X.6652, 4574, 676, 6939, 6940.

82 By a largess of spices (see c. xix.5), and by issuing coins bearing the legend Divae Matidiae Socrui with a representation of a temple-like building in which Matidia is seated between niches holding statuettes of Victory; see Cohen, II2 p152, No. 550.

83 His first journey is described in c. x.1‑xi.2 and xii.1‑xiii.3. It covered the years 121‑125. Then followed a journey to Africa and back in 128. This was followed by his second journey, which included the eastern part of the empire only, in 128‑134; see c. xiii.6‑xiv.6 (the portion of the journey which fell after 130 is not included).

84 His visit was commemorated by coins with the legends Adventui Galliae (Cohen, II2 p109 f., Nos. 31‑35) and Restitutor Galliae (Cohen, II2 p211, Nos. 1247‑1257).

85 His journey probably lay along the road from Lugdunum (p31)(Lyon) to Augusta Treverorum (Trier), which was repaired in 121; see Brambach, Corp. Inscr. Rhen., 1936. His visit to the German armies was commemorated on coins with the legend Exercitus Germanicus; see Cohen, II2 p156, Nos. 573 and 574.

86 Used here merely to denote the common soldiers; the "maniple" consisted of two centuriae.

87 i.e. Scipio Africanus the younger, conqueror of Carthage. Q. Caecilius Metellus Numidicus commanded in the war against Jugurtha in 109‑107 B.C. (cf. Sall. Jug. 43‑80).

88 Hadrian's reforms are also described in Dio, LXIX.9. They are commemorated by coins with the legend Disciplina Aug(usti); see Cohen, II2 p151 f., Nos. 540‑549.

89 From Germany he visited the provinces of Raetia and Noricum, and then returned to the lower Rhine, where his presence is commemorated in the name Forum Hadriani (near Leyden). From Holland he crossed to Britain. The legend Adventui Aug. Britanniae appears on coins; see Cohen, II2 p109, No. 28.

90 This fortification extended from Wallsend at the mouth of the Tyne to Bowness on the Firth of Solway, a distance of 73½ English miles. Its remains show that it consisted of two lines of embankment with a moat between them, and a stone wall running parallel on the north. In the space between the embankment and the wall were small strongholds about a mile apart with an occasional larger stronghold, all (p35)connected by a military road; see inscriptions dating from Hadrian's time, CIL VII.660 f., 835.

Thayer's Note: For good details on Hadrian's Wall, including a map, a typical cross-section, then a further link to a very thorough, comprehensive site, see Chapter 3 of John Ward's Roman Military Remains in Britain.

91 See c. ix.5.

92 The author of the de Vita Caesarum and the de Viris Illustribus.

93 The frumentarii, at first petty-officers connected with the commissary of the army, became, probably under Trajan, couriers charged with the conveyance of military dispatches; see Max.‑Balb. x.3; Victor, Caes. xiii.5, 6. Many of them were then attached to the imperial service as a sort of secret police; see also Macr. xii.4 and Claud. xvii.1.

Thayer's Note: For some further details and sources see the article Frumentarii in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

94 The sacred bullock of the Egyptians, begotten, according to their belief, by a ray of light from heaven (Herodotus, III.28). He was recognized by certain markings, including representations of the sun and the moon, and his appearance was the occasion of great rejoicing. It was apparently customary at this period to keep the young Apis, for a time at least, in the locality in which he appeared (Aelian, Nat. An. XI.10). The riot was checked by a severe letter from Hadrian (Dio, LXIX.8.1, frag. from Petr. Patr. exc. Vat. 108).

95 According to Dio, LXIX.10.3, the building was erected in (p37)honour of Plotina after her death, which occurred about this time.

96 See the coins with the legend Adventui Aug(usti) Hispaniae, Cohen, II2 p110, Nos. 36‑41. His benefactions and public works were commemorated by coins inscribed Restitutor Hispaniae, Cohen, II2 p211 f., Nos. 1258‑1272.

97 Made a Roman colony in 45 B.C. and the chief city of Hispania Tarraconensis.

98 Levies from these Italian settlers seem to have been forbidden by Trajan; see Marc. xi.7.

99 Just such a palissade has been found on the German frontier where the rivers Main and Neckar do not constitute a natural boundary; see the Limesblatt of the Imperial German Limeskommission for 1894, pp302, 483 f., and Pelham, Essays on Roman History, p200 f.

100 Although not necessarily in person; see CIL VIII praef. p. xxi.

101 The process of abbreviation has obscured the narrative by omitting the description of Hadrian's journey from Spain to Syria in the spring of 123. This journey was almost certainly made by sea from Spain to Antioch. The danger of the Parthian war seems to have been connected with the overthrow of the Romanized pretender, Parthamaspates (see note to c. v.4), and the restoration of the legitimate dynasty in the person of Osrhoes (cf. c. xiii.8).

102 His route lay from the Euphrates across Asia Minor to Ancyra in Galatia (cf. I.G.R., III.209) and thence to Bithynia, (p40)where his arrival is commemorated on coins inscribed Adventui Aug(usti) Bithyniae (Cohen, II2 p109, Nos. 26 and 27) and Restitutori Bithyniae (id. p210 f., Nos. 1238‑1246). He then travelled through Mysia, founding the town of Hadrianotherae (see c. xx.13), to Ilion and thence southward to Ephesus. From here he sailed to Rhodes (see an inscription from Ephesus, Dittenberger, Sylloge2, No. 388), northwest through the Aegean to Samothrace and Thrace (see an inscription from Callipolis of 123‑124, CIG 2013). Thence he visited the provinces of Moesia and Dacia (see Weber, p150 f.), and travelled southward through Macedonia and Thessaly to Athens, where he arrived probably in September, 124.

103 Father of Alexander the Great.

104 Admitted to the lower grade of μύστης. On his second visit to Athens in 128‑129 he was initiated into the higher grade, of ἐπόπτης; see Dio, LXIX.11. An epigram inscribed on the base of a statue erected in honour of the priestess who initiated him is extant (I.G. III.900 = Kaibel, Epigr. Gr. 864).

105 The Dionysia, in March, 125. Previous to this he had made a journey through the Peloponnesus, visiting the principal cities; dedications to him are recorded in extant inscriptions, and various benefactions of his are mentioned by Pausanias.

106 Travelling by way of the Corinthian Gulf, he visited Delphi (cf. CIG 1713), Actium, and Dyrrhachium, and sailed thence to Sicily. His arrival was commemorated by coins inscribed Adventui Aug(usti) Siciliae (Cohen, II2 p112, No. 75), and Restitutori Siciliae (id. ii2 p214, Nos. 1292‑1295).

107 In the summer of 125. Coins commemorating his return bear the legend Adventui Aug(usti) Italiae (Cohen, II2 p110, Nos. 42‑50).

108 Here a period of over three years is omitted, in which Hadrian built many public buildings in the towns of Italy. Early in 128 he finally accepted the title of Pater Patriae (cf. note to c. vi.4); see Eckhel, D. N. VI.515 f.

109 See the coins inscribed Adventui Aug(usti) Africae and Restitutori Africae (Cohen, II2 p107 f., Nos. 8‑15, and p209 f., Nos. 1221‑1232), and Adventui Aug(usti) Mauretaniae (Cohen, II2 p111, Nos. 63‑71). His stay in Africa lasted about four months in the spring and early summer of 128. On the Kalends of July was delivered his famous allocutio or address to the troops at Lambaesis, fragments of which are now in the Louvre.

110 His stay in Athens was from September 128 to March 129.

111 The Olympieion, on the southern edge of the city near the Ilissos. After the dedication of this building in 131‑132, Hadrian accepted the title Ὀλύμπιος and received divine honours in the temple (Dio, LXIX.16.1); hence the ara mentioned here.

112 They were later called simply "Hadrian's temples," and it was asserted that he had intended to consecrate them to Christ; see Alex. xliii.6. They were, in fact, temples dedicated to the cult of the emperors, including Hadrian himself, who was worshipped in the cities of Asia Minor as well as in the Olympieion at Athens. In inscriptions he has the cult-name Olympios or Zeus Olympios.

113 The camp of a Cappadocian legion (12th., Fulminata) was at Melitene, near the upper Euphrates. Hadrian probably travelled thither from Antioch. His visit to the camp was commemorated by coins inscribed Exercitus Cappadocicus (Cohen, II2 p153, No. 553).

114 More correctly Osrhoes; see also note to c. xii.8.

115 Antoninus Pius refused to keep this promise; see Pius ix.7.

116 King of the Hiberi, who inhabited part of the district which is now Trans-Caucasia. On the gifts exchanged by him and Hadrian see c. xvii.11‑12 and xxi.13.

117 The statement that Hadrian hated Antioch seems to be contradicted by the fact that he built many public buildings there; see Malalas, p278B. It may be a deduction from the fact that he did raise three other cities of Syria, Tyre, Damascus, and Samosata, to the rank of μητρόπολις. The actual division of Syria into two provinces, Syria Coele and Syria Phoenice, took place under Severus in 194. The object of the division was to lessen the power of the governor of so important a province.

118 According to Dio, LXIX.12‑14, probably a more correct account, the outbreak of the war was due to the anger of the Jews at the dedication of a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus on the site of the Temple of Jehovah. This was done in connection with the "founding" of the new colony in 130; accordingly, this sentence is not in chronological order. The war was actually begun after Hadrian's departure from Egypt, and finally necessitated his return. The outbreak was quelled, after much bloodshed, in 134.

119 Probably the mountain of this name at the mouth of the river Orontes. This incident is also narrated as having happened to Hadrian at Antioch immediately after he became emperor; see Dio, LXIX.2.1.

120 See the coins inscribed Adventui Aug(usti) Arabiae (Cohen, II2 p108 f., Nos. 20‑23). He seems to have travelled thither by way of Palmyra and Damascus. His visit to Gerasa (mod. Djerash), in the north-western part of the province of Arabia, is attested by an inscription of 130 (I.G.R. III.1347). From here he went probably by way of Philadelphia (mod., 'Ammân) to Jerusalem, which he "founded" as the Colonia Aelia Capitolina.

121 According to Dio, LXIX.11.1, Hadrian offered a sacrifice to the manes of Pompey and in a line of poetry expressed his sorrow at the meanness of the tomb.

122 He also visited Alexandria, and his arrival was commemorated by coins of the city struck in 130; see also the (p45)Roman coins with the legend Adventui Aug(usti) Alexandriae (Cohen, II2 p108, Nos. 105‑108).

123 This beautiful youth was a native of Bithynium in Bithynia; see Dio, LXIX.11. He died near Besa, near the southern end of the Heptanomis. Here Hadrian founded a new city, called Antinoe or Antinoopolis, and consecrated a shrine to him.

124 According to Dio, LXIX.11, Hadrian claimed in his autobiography (see note to c. i.1) that Antinous was drowned in the Nile; he then adds that the true cause of his death was his voluntary sacrifice of himself, apparently in consequence of some prophecy, in order to save the Emperor's life.

125 Here the narrative of Hadrian's journey breaks off abruptly. After a visit to Thebes, where he and Sabina heard "the singing Memnon" (I.G.R., I.1186 and 1187), he returned to Alexandria, and thence travelled, apparently by ship (Cat. of Coins in the Brit. Mus., Alex., p101, No. 871), to Syria and Asia Minor. During a stay at Athens he dedicated the Olympieion (cf. note to c. xiii.6) in 131‑132; see Dio, LXIX.16.1. He was then called to Judaea on account of the long duration of the Jewish revolt (see note to c. xiv.2). He finally returned to Rome early in 134.

Thayer's Notes:

a An older English translation of the Life (by William Maude, 1900) is also online at Elfinspell.

b Aen. VIII.808‑812, referring to Numa, the traditional second king of Rome.

c Presumably carried away by the mores of his own time, the Loeb edition translator puts both feet in it. The Latin (q.v.), rather than "males", has adultorum: grown-up men. What disturbed the Roman critics was that Hadrian didn't leave it at young boys.

It should also be noticed that the context here is security, which is still a concern today with philandering heads of government, e.g. U. S. president John Kennedy.

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