Hadrian (Latin: Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus Augustus, 24 January 76 – 10 July 138), was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. Like his cousin and adoptive father Trajan, he was born in Spain. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britannia. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene (lover of Greek culture) in most of his tastes, and was the first Roman Emperor to wear a beard in his official portraits. He was the third of the emperors which Edward Gibbon deemed the "Five Good Emperors".
Hadrian in "Death in Vesunna"
When Clodius Eprius entertained two itinerant booksellers named Lucius and Marcus, he served them a fine vintage of wine laid down nine years earlier, the year Emperor Hadrian had died. The two offered 75 aurei for Eprius' copy of Sophokles' Aleadai. Eprius refused to sell it and was murdered. The two fled leaving behind the leather purse of gold. When the death was investigated the purse was found by the tesserarius Gaius Tero. He and the local physician, Kleandros, were puzzled by all of the coins being fresh-minted but some having the likeness of Hadrian who had been dead for almost a decade. Also, each of those coins looked identical to the other, quite impossible since each would have been stamped by hand.
- See, e.g.,Departures, pg. 29, pb.
- Ibid, pgs. 32-33.
- Ibid, pgs. 39-40.