Hadrian: The most versatile of all the Roman Emperors.

British historian Edward Gibbon once stated; that the period of Hadrian was part of the “happiest era of human history”.  

Hadrian’s reign (76 ADE to 138 ADE) was one of peace and consolidation. His intention was to strengthen the Empire from within through improved infrastructure, as opposed to conquering or annexing perceived enemies. But above all, Hadrian patronized the arts showing strong interest in architecture. The staple of Hadrian’s Architecture was the enticing element of surprise.

A refined intellectual, hugely fond of Greek culture, Hadrian travelled all over the empire. He was attentive to the army and the general public.  The Emperor re-built the Pantheon and constructed such spectacular buildings as the Temple of Venus and Roma and his highly sophisticated Villa at Tivoli.  Hadrian was a humanist  and philhellene in most of his tastes.

Bust_Hadrian_Musei_Capitolini_MC817 copy

Image of Hadrian’s Bust in white marble at the Capitoline Museum in Rome, Italy.

 Shortly before his death, Hadrian composed this truly beautiful poem:

“Roving amiable little soul; Body’s companion and guest,

Now descending for parts.  Colourless, unbending, and bare

Your usual distractions no more shall be there…”

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