May 9, 2017

Hadrian, the Roman Emperor (Part I)

The character of Hadrian and the beginning of his reign

The new emperor (117-138 AD on) did not seek his fame as Trajan, in expanding the limits of the state, but rather wanted to return to Rome, who has not seen the emperor three years; because he wanted to establish a lasting peace in the East. In the areas conquered by Trajan, there were still enemy units and there were riots; Rome hold for these regions could only prolonged the war. Because Adrian chose to come to terms with the Parthians, making them concessions. He returned them to Assyria and Mesopotamia, the king acknowledged Khosroev, which Trajan declared deposed, and his opponent Partamaspata rewarded kingdom in the neighboring area. Armenia also received a special king, obliged only to accept the patronage of Rome. Thus, in the east of the old order was restored, and the border of the empire was again Euphrates. Adrian tried to restore friendly relations with other neighbors by making concessions to their desires. This policy was probably sensible, but it is contrary to the rules of ancient Rome.

In his letter to the Senate Adrian, asking for its approval in the imperial dignity, he said that the basis of their rights to power, he will always recognize the decision of the Senate; exposing himself as a supporter of law and order, Adrian wanted to buy a fervent support of the Senate in the event that if were any other candidates. The same cunning prudence he showed in the appointment of the praetorian prefects. Adrian made prefects his zealous follower Attia and one of the noblest men of the time Similisa who enjoyed universal respect; he wanted people thought Attia guilty in the killings and other atrocities, which he will suggest to do a noble and good deeds Similisa must have seemed to the people to do on the emperor’s orders. Adrian was no stranger to the noble feelings and generosity, but the nature of irritability, conceit, for his touchiness of pride, it is easy to get involved in fierce actions and was very vindictive. At the beginning and at the end of his reign, he made such cruelty, which resembled the days of Tiberius and Domitian.

Adrian was insatiable ambition, says Dion Cassius, and prompted him to grasp at all. He made the statue, painted, wrote books in Greek and Latin, poetry and prose, wanted to be a master of all military and civilian activities, in all classes and the kings and ordinary citizens. This ambition would be innocent, if he were not extremely jealous; he envied every outstanding talent; many of his envy of cost resignation, others even life. Adrian wanted to surpass overall and hated people who enjoyed celebrity. He was angry even famous people old antiquity. For example, he tried to destroy the love of Homer and wanted to put in place Antimahia Homer, of which many are not unheard of until then.

Attia advised Adrian Bebiya kill Mark, the former prefect of the city of Rome and two other influential people, too dangerous, according to Attia. On this Adrian, I did not agree, but envy immediately gave his resignation to the brave commander Luziyu Quieto which Traian as a reward for his services in the Dacian and Parthian wars appointed head of the army in Palestine. Adrian sent him to his home in Mauritania, and several times ordered to kill. In the following (118), the Adrian returned to Rome; the Senate passed it with all sorts of honors, gave him the title “father of the fatherland”; he sacrificed his suspicion and jealousy has three famous people who have had consular rank, and seemed to him dangerous rivals, Palm, Celsus and Nigrina.

All three of them enjoyed great confidence of Trajan. Cornelius Palma made a successful campaign in Petreyan Arabia, which did not happen since the Roman troops in August, and was appointed governor of Syria. In honor of him, and Publius Celsus, has already been subjected to persecution under Domitian, Trajan set statues; it is more irritated against them, Adrian. Domitius Nigrin was under Trajan tribune of the people, and on his advice, the emperor issued many good laws, so that he enjoyed great respect and love of the senate and the people; many want to Trajan appointed him as his successor, and some even hoped. The fictional plot against the life of Adrian served as a pretext to obtain from the Senate sentences condemning to death of all three of these famous people; They were killed in different places in Palma in Terracina, Celsus in Bayyah, Nigrin in Faventsii. Their fate shared by many other honest and gifted people, including the famous architect Apollodorus of Damascus, which is very respected Trajan. Adrian could not forgive him for that one day when they talked under Trajan an important artistic project, Apollodorus said to him: “Leave it, draw a pumpkin”, and then subjected to strict censure drafted Adrian plan of the temple in honor of the Roma (the goddess personified the city Rome, Roma) and Venus. Adrian exiled him and then ordered to kill in exile.

Public opinion attributed the envy Adrian to Trajan that he lost gains made in the East. Still louder and more just explained hostility to Trajan penalty those respected people who enjoyed its location. Adrian found the need to appease popular discontent orders instituted in Rome by these measures it. He then engaged in suppressing rebellions in Dacia and Pannonia; he called to Marcia Turbona, which before the appointed ruler of Mauritania in place Luzia Quieto; instructing him command of the troops on the Danube, he hastened to Rome. Adrian wanted to abandon Trajan conquered Dacia, thought to make on – the Danube is still the northern boundary of the state, but to listen to objections to his friends, he gave up the idea. Upon his arrival in Rome, he reconciled the people to them a generous distribution of bread, calmed the minds of assurance that the murder of nobles made without his knowledge, gave the Senate a solemn oath that he would not punish by death anyone of the senators, except by trial and verdict of the Senate and resigned with all subjects of arrears in the payment of taxes and Fisk aerarium for sixteen years. To refute the rumor about his envy to the memory of Trajan, Adrian ordered to burn the registers of arrears at the Forum of Trajan, so that relief made by the people, it turns out the order to the glory of Trajan’s memory. We have heard the inscriptions and coins, talking about this famous case generosity Adrian. He gave his resignation from the post of praetorian prefect Attianu, his former agent in the executions to people found guilty in them only the Attia.

Start of the reign of Adrian could not initiate good expectations; but he soon began to worry about how to dispel this bad impression good orders. He brought on themselves many fair censure his vanity and tyranny, says Dion, but the reward for these bad qualities were his hard work, generosity and administrative talent. Adrian never started the war itself, and tried to stop the war begins, regardless of his will. He was not robbed nobody property unlawfully, on the contrary, he made great gifts to senators, equestrians, others, give large amounts of whole areas. Adrian strictly watched to ensure that soldiers engaged in military exercises, did not allow them to act boldly and maintained discipline in the armed forces. It is a noble generosity of benefits provided and the provincial cities of the allies, and taking care of their use, digging aqueducts, harbors, public buildings, residents gave the bread, gave money to the cities, giving them privileges. Adrian expanded charitable institutions, Traian arranged for the education of poor orphans. In all important matters he consulted with the Senate and often together with the best senators judged processes, or in the palace or in the forum, or in the Pantheon; Adrian came often in the tribunals, the chairmen of which were consuls, and ranked among the judges.

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