Hadrian: The Restless Emperor

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Routledge, Apr 15, 2013 - History - 424 pages
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Hadrian's reign (AD 117-138) was a watershed in the history of the Roman Empire. Hadrian abandoned his predecessor Trajan's eastern conquests - Mesopotamia and Armenia - trimmed down the lands beyond the lower Danube, and constructed new demarcation lines in Germany, North Africa, and most famously Hadrian's Wall in Britain, to delimit the empire.
The emperor Hadrian, a strange and baffling figure to his contemporaries, had a many-sided personality. Insatiably ambitious, and a passionate Philhellene, he promoted the 'Greek Renaissance' extravagantly. But his attempt to Hellenize the Jews, including the outlawing of circumcision, had disastrous consequences, and his 'Greek' love of the beautiful Bithynian boy Antinous ended in tragedy.
No comprehensive account of Hadrian's life and reign has been attempted for over seventy years. In Hadrian: The Restless Emperor, Anthony Birley brings together the new evidence from inscriptions and papyri, and up-to-date and in-depth examination of the work of other scholars on aspects of Hadrian's reign and policies such as the Jewish war, the coinage, Hadrian's building programme in Rome, Athens and Tivoli, and his relationship with his favourite, Antinous, to provide a thorough and fascinating account of the private and public life of a man who, though hated when he died, left an indelible mark on the Roman Empire.
 

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HADRIAN: The Restless Emperor

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In the first scholarly biography of Hadrian (76138 a.d.) since Bernard Henderson's 1923 work, German historian Birley examines the personal life and cultural and state achievements of the emperor who ... Read full review

Contents

The Emperor Hadrian
1
1 A Childhood in Flavian Rome
10
2 The Old dominion
21
3 Military tribune
27
4 Principatus et libertas
35
5 The young general
50
6 Archon at Athens
58
7 The Parthian war
66
14 A summer in Asia
162
15 A year in Greece
175
16 Pater patriae
189
17 Africa
203
18 Hadrianus Olympius
215
19 Death in the Nile
235
20 Athens and Jerusalem
259
21 The Bitter end
279

8 The new ruler
77
9 Return to Rome
93
10 To the German frontier
113
11 Hadrians Wall
123
12 A New Augustus
142
13 Return to the east
151
Animula vagula blandula
301
Stemma
308
Notes
311
Bibliography
360
Index
373
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About the author (2013)

Anthony R. Birley is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Dusseldorf. He was previously Professor of Ancient History at Manchester University. His previous books include three on Roman Britain as well as biographies of Marcus Aurelius and Septimius Severus.

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