Hadrian

Hadrian 117 – 138 A.D.

Hadrian was the cousin of Trajan with whom he had a rocky love-hate relationship. However, his relationship with Trajan turned out to be less consequential to his own rise to becoming emperor. It is widely thought that Trajan himself never actually selected Hadrian as his successor but his powerful aunt, who was very fond of Hadrian and took the role of surrogate mother, forged documents to the effect when Trajan was on his deathbed. Hadrian is remembered chiefly by his active role in the military, by the prolific building of all sorts of city and military improvements, by being a shrewd economic...

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Marcus Aurelius 161 – 180 A.D.

Marcus Aurelius owes much of him becoming Augustus to Hadrian who groomed him from childhood for the post. He became Caesar shortly after Hadrian died and the political grooming continued under Antoninus Pius. He had to wait another twenty years or so to become Augustus himself in the year 161. No sooner did this happen than he was thrust in a series of wars that would eat up the rest of his time in office. He died while fighting the ever-harassing tribes of the Germanic region and power then passed to his son Commodus. During his lengthy reign he is remembered as being among the noblest and most...

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Antoninus Pius 138 – 161 A.D

Antoninus succeeded Hadrian once the latter's death and gained the "Pius" suffix after his goodwill in securing a Senate proclamation consecrating Hadrian. Through a combination of good luck and an even-keeled, frugal personality, he was able to pull off the most exemplary and peaceful reign of any emperor before or since. He was more interested in modernizing Roman law and its infrastructure than on waging wars of conquest. After his death he was consecrated himself and the empire started another slide into troubled times. AU Aureus RIC 14b, BMC 31 Aureus Obv: IMPTAELCAESHADRANTONINVS - Bare...

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Aelius 136 – 137 A.D

Hadrian appointed Aelius as his Caesar to succeed him but died of illness shortly before his own death. Aelius would probably have made a fine emperor as he was well liked by Roman citizens and was a capable military leader. AR Aureus RIC 443 (Hadrian), BMC 999 (Hadrian), C 12 Aureus Obv: LAELIVSCAESAR - Bare head left. Rev: TRIBPOTCOSII Exe: CONCORD - Concordia seated left, holding patera. 137 (Rome). $15,500 1/13/03. RIC 444c (Hadrian), BMC 1004 (Hadrian), C 42 Aureus Obv: LAELIVSCAESAR - Bare head left. Rev: TRIBPOTCOSII - Pietas standing right, sacrificing over altar; PIE TAS across...

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