Acts of the Apostles

Ael Arist Rom

Aelius Aristides, Ad Romam (To Rome)


P. J. Alexander, “Letters and Speeches of the Emperor Hadrian”

Amm Marc

Ammianus Marcellinus, Res Gestae (History of Rome)

Anth Pal

Palatine Anthology

App Civ War

Appian, Civil Wars

App Iberica

Appian, Wars in Spain

App Pun

Appian, Wars with Carthage

Apul Apol

Apuleius, Apologia

Apul Met

Apuleius, Metamorphoses


K. W. Arafat, Pausanias’s Greece

Arr Alan

Arrian, Order of Battle with Array

Arrian Alex

Arrian, Campaigns of Alexander

Arrian Parth

Arrian, Parthica

Arrian Peri

Arrian, Periplus Ponti Euxini

Arrian Tact

Arrian, Ars Tactica

Aul Gell

Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae

Aur Vic

Aurelius Victor, De Caesaribus


Julian Bennett, Trajan: Optimus Princeps


Anthony Birley, Hadrian, the Restless Emperor

Birley Vind

Anthony Birley, Garrison Life at Vindolanda


H. Mattingly, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, vol. 3


Alan K. Bowman, Life and Letters on the Roman Frontier


P. A. Brunt, Roman Imperial Themes


Walter Burkert, Greek Religion


Cambridge Ancient History, vol. XI


J. M. Camp, The Archaeology of Athens


Catalogus Codicum Astrologorum Graecorum


Charisius, Ars Grammatica

Cic Att

Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum (Letters to Atticus)

Cic Fam

Cicero, Epistulae ad familiares (Letters to His Friends)

Cic Leg

Cicero, Leges (Laws)

Cic Tusc

Cicero, Tusculanae Quaestiones (Tusculan Disputations)


Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum


Clement of Alexandria, Proteptious


Keith Hopkins and Mary Beard, The Colosseum (Wonders of the World)


Columella, De re rustica (On Farming)


Digesta (Justinian I)


Dio Cassius, Roman History

Dio Chrys

Dio Chrysostom, Oratio (Discourse) 21


Diodorus Siculus Bibliotheke (Library)

Dio Laer Epicurus

Diogenes Laertius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers: Epicurus


Werner Eck, “The Bar Kokhba Revolt: The Roman Point of View”


Ennius, Annales (Annals)

Ep de Caes

Epitome de Caesaribus (Summary of the Caesars)


Epictetus, Discourses


Epiphanius, Weights and Measures

Eur Alc

Euripides, Alcestis

Euseb Ch Hist

Eusebius, Church History


Eutropius, Historiae romanae breviarium


Fontes Iuris Romani Antejustiniani

Florus Ep

Florus, Epitome

Fronto Ad L Ver

Fronto, Ad Lucium Verum (to Lucius Verus)

Fronto Ad M Caes

Fronto, Ad Marcum Caesarem (To Marcus Caesar)

Fronto de bell Parth

Fronto, De bello Parthico (On War with Parthia)

Fronto de fer Als

Fronto, De feriis Alsiensibus

Fronto Princ Hist

Fronto, Principia Historiae


Alessandro Galimberti, Adriano e l’ideologia del principato


Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire


Adrian Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome


William D. Gray, “New Light from Egypt on the Early Reign of Hadrian”

Greek Horo

Hephaestio of Thebes


Peter Green, Juvenal: The Sixteen Satires


Soranus, Gynaecologia

HA Ant

Historia Augusta, Antoninus Pius

HA Ael

Historia Augustus, Aelius Caesar

HA Hadr

Historia Augusta, Hadrian

HA Marc

Historia Augusta, Marcus Aurelius

HA Ver

Historia Augusta, Aelius Verus


Herodian, History of the Empire After Marcus

Homer II

Homer, Iliad

Hor Ep

Horace, Epistulae (Letters)

Hor Epo

Horace, Epodes

Hor Ser

Horace, Sermones (Satires)


Inscriptiones Graecae


Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae

Jer Chron

Jerome, Chronicle

Jer Contra Ruf

Jerome, Contra Rufinum (Against Rufinus)

Jer de vir ill

Jerome, De viris illustribus (Of Famous Men)

Jer In Esaiam

Jerome, In Esaiam (Commentary on Isaiah)


Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews


Brian W. Jones, The Emperor Domitian

Jos AJ

Josephus, Jewish Antiquities

Jos BJ

Josephus, Jewish War


Journal of Roman Studies

Julian Caes

Julian, The Caesars

Justin Apol App

Justin, Apologia Appendix

Justin First Apol

Justin, First Apologia


Juvenal, Saturae (Satires)


Royston Lambert, Beloved and God


Lee I. Levine, Jerusalem: Portrait of the City in the Second Temple Period


Livy, Ab Urbe Condita (History of Rome)

Lucian Philospeud

Lucian, Lover of Lies

Lucr de Rerum Nat

Lucretius, De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things)


William L. MacDonald and John A. Pinto, Hadrian’s Villa and Its Legacy


Macrobius, Saturnalia


John Malalas, Chronographia

Marc Aur

Marcus Aurelius, To Himself (Meditations)


Martial, Epigrammata (Epigrams)

Mart Lib de Spect

Martial, Liber de Spectaculis (Show Book)


Minor Latin Poets, Loeb Classical Library


Theodor Mommsen, A History of Rome Under the Emperors


Mordecai Naor, City of Hope


J. H. Oliver, Greek Constitutions of Early Roman Emperors from Inscriptions and Papyri


Thorsten Opper, Hadrian—Empire and Conflict


Pausanias, Description of Greece


Petronius, Satyricon


Saint Paul, Letter to the Philippians

Philo Apoll

Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana

Philo Her

Philostratus, Heroicus

Philo v. Soph

Philostratus, Lives of the Sophists

Pindar Dith

Pindar, Dithyrambs

Plato Symp

Plato, Symposium

Plaut Curc

Plautus, Curculio

Pliny Ep

Pliny the Younger, Epistulae (Correspondence)

Pliny NH

Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia (Natural History)

Pliny Pan

Pliny the Younger, Panegyricus

Plut Crass

Plutarch, Life of Crassus

Plut Mor

Plutarch, Moralia (Essays)

Plut Per

Plutarch, Life of Pericles

Plut Pomp

Plutarch, Life of Pompey the Great

Pol Physio

Polemon, De Physiognomia


Oxyrhyncus Papyri


Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria


H. Mattingly and E. A. Sydenham, The Roman Imperial Coinage


Lino Rossi, Trajan’s Column and the Dacian Wars

Script Phys Vet

Scriptores Physiognomoniae Veteres

Sen Contr

Seneca, Controversiae

Sen Ep

Seneca, Epistulae (Correspondence)

Shakespeare, A & C

Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra


Robert K. Sherk, ed., The Roman Empire: Augustus to Hadrian


E. Mary Smallwood, Documents Illustrating the Principates of Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian


M. P. Speidel, Riding for Caesar

Stat Silv

Statius, Silvae


Strabo, Geographica

Suet Aug

Suetonius, Augustus

Suet Cal

Suetonius, Caligula

Suet Dom

Suetonius, Domitian

Suet Nero

Suetonius, Nero

Suet Vesp

Suetonius, Vespasian


Sybilline Oracles

Syme Tac

Ronald Syme, Tacitus

Syncellus Chron

Syncellus, Chronographia

Tac Agric

Tacitus, Agricola

Tac Ann

Tacitus, Annals

Tac His

Tacitus, Historiae (Histories)

Tert Apol

Tertullian, Apologeticum (Apology)


Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War


Vegetius, De re militari (On Military Affairs)

Virg Aen

Virgil, Aeneid

Xen Anab

Xenophon, Anabasis (The Persian Expedition)

Xen Hunt

Xenophon, Hunting with Dogs

Yadin Bar-K

Yigael Yadin, Bar-Kokhba


Babylonian Talmud Yoma


“the fair prospect of universal peace” Gibbon, p. 36.

“persisted in the design” Ibid., p. 37.

“repellent” and “venemous” Mommsen, p. 340.


Full information on Hadrian’s villa at Tivoli can be found in the site guidebook and MacDonald.

“And in order not to omit anything” HA Hadr 26 5.


Main literary source—Historia Augusta

born on the ninth day HA Hadr 13.

“exceedingly miserable place to live” Strabo 312.

“Turdetania … is marvelously blessed” Ibid., 324.

The Aelii were friendly with the Ulpii For this paragraph and the next, see Syme Tac, p. 603.

four hundred active senatorial families CAH, p. 222.

“should be not younger than twenty” Gyn 2 19.

Paulina appointed a woman called Germana See CIL 14 3721 for an inscription about her.

“Should I express wonder at gilded beams” Stat Silv 13 35–37.

“they grow up lying around in litters” and “broad daylight of a respectable school” Quint 127–9.

Now thirty-two Eutropius 852 reports that Trajan died in his sixty-third year. It follows that he was born in A.D. 53. Other literary sources suggest different years of death, but most modern scholars follow Eutropius.

Tall and well made For Trajan’s appearance, see statues and Pliny Pan 47.

“setting foot on rocky crags” Pliny Pan 81 1.

liked having sex with young men Although biographers such as Bennett write of Trajan’s bisexuality, the emperor may have been exclusively homosexual, although most Romans appear not to have specialized.


Main literary sources—Historia Augusta; Xenophon and Arrian on hunting

the celebrated Quintus Terentius Scaurus HA Ver 25 identifies Scaurus as “Hadrian’s grammaticus.” It has been argued that this simply means a “grammaticusof the age of Hadrian,” but the context implies that a personal teacher is meant.

obiter Char 13 271.

“he preserved my chastity” Hor Ser 16 82–84. Although Horace wrote in the first century B.C., there is no reason at all to believe that children’s safety improved under the empire.

“require that he take” Juv 7 237–41.

manum subducere ferulae Op. cit. 1 15.

“that genius” Sen Contr 1 Praef 11.

“An orator, son Marcus” Sen Contr 1 Praef 9.

“happiest days of my life” Pliny Ep 2 18 1. This citation from Pliny and the one that follows date from the early second century, but there need be little doubt that they are equally relevant to educational attitudes in Hadrian’s youth.

the slightest hint In HA Hadr after the sentence recording Hadrian’s father’s death, we read “imbutusque impensius Graecis studiis”—“and he steeped himself rather enthusiastically in …” The que, or “and,” could imply a connection.

his guardian’s new wife, Plotina, encouraged him A persuasive speculation in Galimberti, pp. 21–22.

“When Greece was taken” Hor Ep 21 156–57.

“Like Indians under the British Raj” Green, p. 316.

“from this day, from this moment” Sherk 168, p. 217.

casting an emperor’s horoscope was high treason Ulpian, De Officio Proconsulis 7.

“moribus antiquis” Ennius 467.

singling out for bravery Pliny NH 8 11.

celebrated his fifteenth birthday Hadrian’s coming of age is an assumption that convincingly explains his visit later in the year to the family estates in Spain, a natural step for their new owner to take.

Hadrian had visited Baetica once before It is argued in Birley 19 that “returned,” rediit, HA Hadr 21, is probably a way of saying “went back to the old plantation” without meaning that Hadrian had been there before. Possibly so; but there is no reason not to take the word literally.

a collegium in the province of Africa See inscription in L’année epigraphique, Paris 1888ff., 1958.

We can safely assume The following section on hunting makes use of Xenophon’s and Arrian’s monographs, Hunting with Dogs.

“Surely everyone is liable to make mistakes” Pliny Ep 9 12 1.

“these Graeculi” Ibid., 10 40 2.


Main literary source—Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria

“The man who can really play his part” Quint 1 p. 10.

one likely candidate is Lucius Licinius Sura A helpful speculation in Birley, p. 27.

“The (person) who has the stars” Greek Horo pp. 79–80.

“your antiquated vocabulary” Martial 7 47 2.

“gave orders respectfully” Sherk 173 A.

Tombstones from the early empire Sherk 173 B to Z.

“has a lovely family” Sen Ep 41 7.

“all the flower of the colonies” FIRA I 43 Col II lines 2–4.

perhaps 17 percent of its six hundred members Lambert, p. 26.

“Robbers of the world” Tac Agric 30 4–5.


Chief literary sources—Suetonius on Nero, Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian; Josephus and the Talmud

“There were people” Suet Nero 57 1.

“Even now everyone wishes [Nero] to be alive” Dio Chrys 21 On Beauty 10.

“The Greeks alone are worthy” Ibid., 22 3.

“Other leaders,” he said Sherk 71.

the decree earned Nero reincarnation Plut Mor Delays of God’s Vengeance 567F.

of an empire of about 60 million souls For population estimates see CAH, pp. 813—14.

Tacitus exemplifies the general opinion The account that follows draws on Tac His 52–8.

“hid the circumcision” Jos AJ 12 5 1.

“Cursed be the man” Mishnah Sota 49B.

“The great Jewish revolts” Johnson, pp. 112, 133.

a population perhaps of 100,000 Levine, p. 342.

a snowcapped mountain peak Jos BJ 56 223. The description of the city and Temple draws on Jos BJ 5 136–8 247.

“In this stood nothing at all” Jos BJ 6 282.

A military incident Jos BJ 3 31 289–306.

“What an artist” Suet Nero 49 1.

between thirty thousand and forty thousand men Goldsworthy, p. 337.

a silver shekel Naor, p. 55.

“Following the directions and plans” Sherk 83 (ILS 264).

“Why was the First Temple destroyed?” Yoma 9b.


Chief literary sources—Suetonius, Dio Cassius, and Pliny the Younger

pecunia non olet See Dio 65 14 5.

“This is what it means” Epict 1 1 31–32.

verbatim notes These are The Discourses of Epictetus, written by Arrian.

in the expected high Roman fashion See Shakespeare, A & C 4 15 92. 49 Paete, non dolet Pliny Ep 3 166.

“It is in your power” Epict 12 19–21.

“Dear me, I seem to be becoming a god!” Suet Vesp 23 4.

“An emperor ought to die on his feet.” For the two versions of the story, see Suet Vesp 24 and Dio 66 17 1–3.

Vespasian had in fact been poisoned Dio 66 17 1.

“people did not know” Dio 66 23 5.

“the whole world was dying with me” Pliny Ep 6 20 17.

“At the beginning of his reign” Suet Dom 31.

“shaking the thunderbolt of purity” Stat Silv 52 102.

the senior Vestal, Cornelia For Cornelia’s trial and execution see Pliny Ep 4 11 passim.

unfazed by the contrast There is no good reason to resist the unanimity of the sources on this topic.

“he was not only physically lazy” Dio 67 6 3.

“bed-wrestling” Ep de Caes 11 7.

“shrewd in his understanding of warfare” Dio 67 61.

“dreaming of battle” Juv 4 111–12.

subsidy of about 8 million sesterces See Jones, p. 74.

the emperor agreed to provide military engineers Dio 67 4.

exhibits displayed as campaign spoils Dio 67 72.

“Rulers find themselves” Suet Dom 21.

Trajan received the culminating reward In the ensuing brief discussion about Trajan’s career, I follow Bennett, pp. 43–45.


Chief literary sources—Suetonius, Dio Cassius, Pliny, and Epictetus

“young patrician who had had his tunic torn off” Pliny Ep 4 16.

behest of one of the consuls for 94 A plausible speculation in Birley, p. 30, regarding the consul C. Antius A. Julius Quadratus.

“We want bears!” Hor Ep 21 182–213.

The emperor Caligula Suet Cal 36, 55, 57.

Nero acted as one himself Suet Nero 16, 26.

an eccentric old noblewoman Pliny Ep 7 24.

Apuleius, in his picaresque novel Apul Met 10 29–35, for the following paragraphs.

a similar spectacle actually occurred Mart Lib de Spect 6 (5).

Appuleius Diocles For Diocles’ detailed and boastful funerary inscription, see Sherk 167 (CIL 6 1000 48; ILS 5287).

Eutyches Sherk 168 (CIL II 4314; ILS 5299).

“standing down there below them” Dio 62 17 4.

Cicero found the whole business vulgar Cic Fam 713.

An ingenious recent calculation Col pp. 91–94.

one dud arm Juv 6 106–10.

one beast, beaten for failing to learn a trick Pliny NH 86.

death of a pregnant wild sow Mart Lib de Spect 14.

“Time was when their plebiscite” Juv 10 78–81.

the complete gallery of horrors According to the HA Hadr 19 8, Hadrian was a frequent spectator at gladiatorial shows when emperor. He presumably acquired the taste when young.

Massa … served as governor of Baetica For Massa’s trial and its consequences, Pliny Ep 7 33.

“A soldier marched in” Plut Mor Curiosity 522d.

“I stood among the flames” Pliny Ep 3 11 3.

“In Rome reckless persons” Epict 4 13 5.


Chief literary sources—Historia Augusta, Dio Cassius, and Pliny

Pannonia was famous for a plant Pliny NH 21 20 and 83: probably Valeriana celtica.

“A distant look at a camp” Pliny Pan 15 2.

an estimated salary of 18,000 sesterces For army pay, see Speidel passim and Table 7.

“an ostentatious lover of the common people” HA Hadr 17 8.

an uncanny memory for names Pliny Pan 155.

identified as Quintus Marcius Turbo Birley, p. 32, but see Syme, “The Wrong Marcius Turbo,” p. 91, for an opposing view.

“the charge brought against them” Dio 67 14 1–2.

“man of the most contemptible laziness” Suet Dom 15 1.

“on the slightest of suspicions” Ibid., 15 1.

He was a handsome man For Nerva’s appearance see Julian Caes 311A, his coins. His vomiting is recorded in Dio 68 13, and drinking in Aur Vic 13 10.

“Whoever is familiar with the poet Nero’s verses” Mart 8 70 7–8.

reported to have seduced Domitian Suet Dom 11.

“Your great enemy, Clemens” Phil Apoll 8 25 1. The usually unreliable Philostratus seems to be reporting a credible account.


Chief literary sources—Dio Cassius, Pliny, and Historia Augusta

personification of Liberty BMC III p. 3 16.

provision of grain for the capital city Ibid., p. 21 115.

“Harmony of the armies” Ibid., p. 4, 25 ff.

“Assuredly we have been given a signal proof” Tac Agric 23, 31.

Despite the embargo For this episode and quotations, Pliny Ep 9 13.

“bloodstained servility” Pliny Ep 9 13 16.

“whose loss of sight” Ibid., 4 22 5.

“I wonder what would have happened” Ibid., 4 22 4–5.

“I have done nothing” Dio 68 3 1.

The Guard took over the palace For this episode, see Dio 68 33–4, Ep de Caes 12 7–8.

A laureled dispatch If I am wrong, and Trajan was governing one of the Germanys, then the victory must have been someone else’s. However, this would render Pliny’s reference Pan 7–82 rather odd; he says that the Pannonian victory marked “the rise of a ruler [i.e., Trajan] who would never be defeated.” That makes little sense if it was not for Trajan’s success on the battlefield.

“May good fortune attend” Dio 68 3 4.

“May the Danaans” Homer Il 1 42.

he moved Trajan from his posting in Pannonia For Trajan’s postings and movements I follow Bennett, pp. 44–50.

“All disturbances died at once” Pliny Pan 85.

“You had to be pressed” Ibid., 56.

“foretold” the principate of Trajan Tac Agric 44 5.

“wanton tyranny of power” Pliny Pan 76.

he had famously congratulated Ep de Caes 12 3.

an unprecedented third posting Only one case is attested: see Birley, p. 37.

and was impressed An inference drawn from Hadrian’s later development of the limes principle.

revealed “what he was spending” HA Hadr 26.

The news angered Trajan, as was intended The Latin has “odium in eum movit” (“he stirred anger against him”). The “movit” implies intention.

Aquae Mattiacae Pliny NH 31 17.

Hadrian seized the hour HA Hadr 26, for the race to Colonia Agrippinensis.


Chief literary sources—Pliny and Dio Cassius

“Who is that in the distance” Virg Aen 6 808–12.

Plotina was probably in her mid-thirties I follow Bennett, p. 24, in supposing that Trajan married Plotina about A.D. 78, and that, like most Roman girls, she was between thirteen and fifteen at the time of the union.

“he thought that an old man” Dio 68 51.

“he would not kill or disenfranchise” Dio 68 52.

“If the public interest demands it” Pliny Pan 67 8.

“ridicule that had greeted” Tac Agric 39 1.

“One could see swords everywhere” Dio Chrys 12 16–20.

“I enter here such a woman” Dio 68 55.

“Nothing was so popular” Pliny Pan 34 3–4.

“Well, let them go!” Ibid., 34 5.

“The weather was … particularly bad” Pliny Ep 3 18 4.

“critical sense of my audience” Ibid., 18 8.

“Times are different” Pliny Pan 23–4.

“provoked a laugh” HA Hadr 31.

he picked up un-Italian speech patterns Birley, p. 46.

Some said she was in love with him Dio 69 12.

more interested sexually in men than women This is an assumption, but everything in the records of Hadrian’s life points to this conclusion. I discuss his sexuality on pp. 239—44.

According to Aulus Gellius Aul Gell 10 10.

she was a wealthy woman Opper, p. 204.

“it was a bit crowded” BBC Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, November 21, 1995.


Chief literary sources—Dio Cassius, Pliny, and Historia Augusta. Trajan’s Column is an important “document.”

“O Jupiter, Greatest and Best” Smallwood II 1 24–37.

“Imperator Caesar, son of the deified Nerva” L’Année Épigraphique 1973, 473.

“because of the danger of cataracts” JRS 63 (1973) pp. 80–81.

a notorious rogue Dio 68 32 4–5.

“how high a hill and place have been excavated” Smallwood 378.

The column picks up the tale The interpretation of the reliefs on Trajan’s Column in the following paragraphs is indebted to Rossi, pp. 130–212.

“I have had no letter from you” Pliny Ep 3 17 1–3. It is highly probable, though not certain, that this letter was sent to Servianus during the first Dacian war.

Servianus and Sura returned to Rome In the ordinary course of things, they should have served or at least opened their consulships in Rome. They may have stayed with Trajan, but I follow Bennett, p. 93.

An inscription … sets out his early career Smallwood 109. The reference to donis militaribus is associated with Hadrian’s quaestorship and appointment ascomesduring the Dacian expedition.

military decorations See Rossi, pp. 79–80.

“into a position of fairly close intimacy” HA Hadr 32–3; and the next quotation.

“opulent rewards” Ibid., 33.

appointment as tribunus plebes The Historia Augusta confuses the dates, placing the tribuneship in A.D. 105, later than the praetorship, which it must have preceded. See discussion in Birley, p. 47.

“he was given an omen” HA Hadr 35.

There is some misunderstanding Birley, p. 48.

“seized some fortified mountains” Dio 68 93.

The celebratory coins he issued BMC III 191, 236, and 242.

“agreed to surrender his weapons” Dio 68 95–6.

“excessively keen on poetry” HA Hadr 14 8.

would write verse as a relaxation Pliny Ep 7 9 9.

“rage powers my poetry” Juv 1 79.

“the poverty of our native tongue” Lucr de Rerum Nat 1 139.

“When you speak, the honey” Pliny Ep 4 3 3. See also Homer Iliad 1 249.

lascivus versu Apul Apol 11.

“glory of the empire” Pliny Ep 10 14.

seems to have been made urban praetor The sources are not explicit, but this must be the assumption, for only the urban praetor held games. Confusion in theHistoria Augusta has left the date of the praetorship uncertain. I agree with Birley, p. 47.

arrested “on suspicion” Dio 68 11 3.

about this time that a telling exchange took place I follow the plausible speculation in Birley, p. 50ff.

“To the strongest” Arrian Alex 7 26.

it distinctly appealed to Trajan In the event (as the reader will discover), Trajan did seek to follow Alexander’s precedent, except perhaps in his very last hours.

“I commend the provinces” HA Hadr 48. By its location in the text, this story (if true) took place near the end of Trajan’s life. The Dacian wars seem a more likely date, seeing that Trajan would be naming a nearby general; Priscus could take over in the event of his being killed or incapacitated.

offered to negotiate without preconditions For Longinus’ story see Dio 68 12 1–5.

the freedman’s safety Ibid., 68 12 5.

“with the help of some captives” Ibid., 68 14 4–5.

about 500,000 pounds of gold Sherk 118 (Joannes Lydus De Mag 2 28). Lydus’ numbers are fantastic because of a transmission fault in the text, but this can be easily corrected to produce a rational result.

gray marble inscription Sherk 117. For a photograph see Rossi, p. 228.

“his many remarkable deeds” HA Hadr 3 6.


Chief literary sources—Historia Augusta, Dio Cassius, and Pliny. Also the alimenta tablets.

“held back the Sarmatians” HA Hadr 39.

“restrained the procurators” Ibid., 39.

“One was said to ask a wealthy man” Ep de Caes 42 21.

“maintained military discipline” HA Hadr 39.

in recognition of his successful record HA Hadr 3 10.

“So great was the friendship” Dio 68 15 4–6.

One of these concerned a spring Pliny Ep 4 30.

“He was no longer despised” HA Hadr 3 10.

“zeal that he had secured imperium” Epit de Caes 13 6.

with its thirty legions This was the legionary strength after Trajan raised two additional legions, probably during the Dacian wars.

He treated them as personal friends Eutropius 84.

“He joined others in animal hunts” Dio 68 73; and the next quotation, “took more pleasure …”

“what the emperor decides” Digest 14 1Pr.

“Appello Caesarem” Acts 25 11.

defendants condemned in absentia Digest 48 19 5.

a remote bridge in Numidia Smallwood 98.

he was nicknamed “the Wallflower” Amm Marc 27 3 7.

Even the decisions of a “bad” emperor For example, see Pliny Ep 10 66.

the celebrated tabula alimentaria Now in the National Archaeological Museum of Parma.

The tablets give detailed information CIL 1455 and 11.1147.

identify needy children CAH, vol. XI, p. 115, argues against poverty as a criterion. While Roman citizenship in the provinces was selective and indicative of membership in an affluent local elite, in Italy it was universal; so many citizens there must have been poor. What would the point have been of an alimenta system that did not target their offspring? Epitome de Caesaribus 12 4 claims the chosen children were those in greatest need.

cost the state annually 311 million sesterces Bennett, p. 83.

“As a result, most of [them] have lost interest” Pliny Ep 937.

one with the proud slogan Italia restituta RIC II 278 no. 470.

writing the emperor’s speeches HA Hadr 3 11.

“My own view is that we should compromise” Pliny Ep 10 115.

“I think then that the safest course” Ibid., 10 113.

So he wrote to Rome for guidance Ibid., 10 96.

It was impossible, he wrote Ibid., 10 97.


Chief literary sources—Dio Cassius, Historia Augusta, and Epictetus. Also Camp for background on Roman Athens.

“to the pure and genuine Greece” Pliny Ep 8 24 2.

“O glittering, violet-crowned” Pindar Dith 76 (46).

In 112 Hadrian made his way to Athens The dating is supported by Hadrian’s year as archon, known to be 112. Because the Athenian official year ran from summer to summer, this could mean either 111–112 or 112– 113. That Panathenaic Games were held in 112 makes it very likely that Hadrian chose 112–113 for his stay in Athens.

became a friend and admirer HA Hadr 16 10.

a number of remarks in his lectures I am indebted to Birley, pp. 60– 61, for this happy speculation.

“If the emperor adopts you” Epict 132.

“Shall kinship with the emperor” Ibid., 197.

“Some men … have excessively sharp tongues” Ibid., 125 15–16.

“Maximus: I sit as a judge over Greeks” Ibid., 37 30–33.

They then awarded him their highest honor The Constitution of Athens 55 makes clear that archons entered office immediately after election. I assume that the antiquarian Athens of the first century A.D. maintained the old tradition.

“He devoured the pursuits and customs” Ep de Caes 14 2.

“Euphranor” The Latin has “Euphranoras,” but Euphranor must be meant.

He was tall and … elegant in appearance For Hadrian’s appearance see HA Hadr 26 1–2. I have also used the evidence of statues.

“a pleasant man to meet” Dio 69 2 62.

“languishing, bright, piercing” Script Phys Vet 2 51f (Adamantius).

Augustus prided himself Suet Aug 79 2.

“bristly farmer with a kiss like a billy-goat’s” Martial 12 59 4–5. 146 Cicero called them barbatuli Cic Att 1 16 11.

cover some natural blemishes HA Hadr 26 1.

“Can anything be more useless than hairs” Epict 1 16 9.

“So we ought to preserve the signs” Ibid., 1 16 14.

very plausible that he did so now See Birley, p. 61, for this notion.

“Friend of the Greeks” Smallwood 44a.

Plutarch recalls how Roman soldiers Plut Crass 24 2.

Trajan, while mindful of the dignity See Arrian Parth frag. 33.

“was a desire to win glory” Dio 68 17 1.

Coins were issued BMC III p. 108 531; p. 106 525; p. 101 500; p. 112 569ff.

legatus to the emperor HA Hadr 41.

“assigned to Syria for the Parthian war” Dio 69 1.

“large force of soldiers and senators” Malalas 11 3–4.

“satisfactory neither to the Romans” Dio 68 17 2–3.

“Friendship is decided by actions” Ibid.

Hadrian waited in Antioch Hadrian’s movements and whereabouts during this period are uncertain. Malalas (11 3–4) says that he accompanied the emperor on his journey east, presumably after Athens. But Dio (69 1) and HA (Hadr 4 1) seem to indicate a preparatory role; it follows that he preceded Trajan to Syria.

the legions he had assembled Little detail has come down to us of Hadrian’s responsibilities, but it can be inferred that preparing an army for the Parthian campaign was one of them.

the superstitious Hadrian Amm Marc 22 12 8. The reference is undated, and could have taken place during Hadrian’s brief governorship of Syria in 117.

The imperial pair presented Arrian Parth frag. 36.

“To Zeus Kasios has Trajan” Anth Pal 6 332.


Chief literary sources—Dio Cassius, Historia Augusta, and Arrian’s Parthica

“At this same time [Hadrian] enjoyed” HA Hadr 42.

cocommander of the Guard Attianus’ partner was Servius Sulpicius Similis. He stayed in Rome while Attianus accompanied Trajan on his profectio.

owner of twin boys Martial 9 103.

“He displayed neither effeminacy” Dio 69 18 1.

“always his enemies” HA Hadr 43.

distinction of public statues Dio 68 16 2.

arrived toward the end of May Bennett, p. 192.

Abgarus, king of Osrhoene Dio 68 21 1.

“Afraid of Trajan and the Parthians alike” Ibid., 68 18 1.

Parthamasiris turned up late Arrian Parth frags. 38–40.

laid his diadem Dio 68 19 2–20 3.

coin issues that depict the rex Parthus BMC III 103, 106.

Armenia was soon reduced The timing and order of events in the Armenian and Parthian campaigns are hard to determine from our sketchy sources. Dio seems to conflate the fighting in 114 and 115, and I follow Bennett in placing the Mesopotamian campaign in 115; the earthquake at Antioch in late 115 or early 116; and the capture of Ctesiphon in 116. Certainty cannot be had.

“became Trajan’s friend” Dio 68 21 3.

“Sometimes he even made his scouts” Ibid., 68 23 1–2.

“laureled letter” See fasti Ostienses, Smallwood 23.

Early one morning in January Malalas 11 275 3–8. Malalas can be unreliable. Birley, p. 71, believes that because the ordinarius consul Pedo had given way to a suffect long before December, the earthquake must have taken place in January 115. But there is no need to disturb Malalas’ precision; he very probably called Pedo consul because as ordinarius he gave his name to the year.

“able neither to live any longer” Dio 68 24 6.

the emperor “hurried” back Ibid., 68 26 1.

civil strife had removed Parthia’s capacity Ibid., 68 26 42.

a military trophy … with two captives For example, BMC III 606.

raising the ferry charges Fronto Princ Hist 16.

a third new province, Assyria The location of the Roman provincia Assyria is disputed. It may be that historic Assyria was mislabeled Mesopotamia, the year before the capture of Ctesiphon in the south, and that Mesopotamia was called Assyria later, when the name Mesopotamia had already been used for the northern reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris. Strabo seems to have thought that Assyria was located in the lands we take to be Mesopotamia. Other scholars now argue that the new province lay along the eastern bank of the Tigris.

down the Tigris Arrian Parth frag. 67.

“four of them carried the royal flags” Ibid.

“I would certainly have crossed over” Dio 68 29 1.

“Because of the large number of peoples” Ibid., 68 29 2.

“would eat the flesh” Ibid., 68 32 1–2.

“The one hope” Sherk 129 E.

“Not only because of my long absence” Ibid., F.

“clean them out” Euseb Ch Hist 425.

“in grandiloquent language” Dio 68 303.

emperor crowning Parthemaspates BMC III p. 223 no. 1045.

“So great and so boundless” Malalas 11 274 11–13.


Chief literary sources—Dio Cassius and Historia Augusta

“sharing his daily life” Dio 69 11. Although the phrase is undated, it is placed in a passage referring to this time.

related to one of those onetime royal families Sherk 128.

Well known for his promiscuity Aur Vic 14 9, 10.

“Widespread rumor asserted” HA Hadr 45.

“The blood, which descends” Dio 68 33 2.

In modern terms I owe this analysis to Bennett, p. 201.

sure … he had been poisoned. Dio 68 33 2.

Apparently Trajan at dinner Ibid., 69 17 3. One epitome mistakenly attributes the incident to Hadrian.

“My father, Apronianus” Ibid., 69 13.

A gold piece showed Trajan BMC III, p. 124. Galimberti, p. 19, sees this coin as evidence that the story of a deathbed and/or fake adoption is false, and that in fact Trajan adopted Hadrian earlier in the year 117, before he was approaching death. But while the literary sources may have been hostile to Hadrian they would hardly have made up a story that many eyewitnesses would have known to be false. Also, Dio’s citation of his father’s account has the ring of truth. However, the coin is awkward and calls for a convincing explanation, which I seek to provide.

the cognomina “Augustus” and “Caesar” Aur Vic 13 21.

He climbed Mount Casius Dio 69 21; and HA Hadr 14 3. Dio refers to a dream, but HA more convincingly writes of an actual event. This is one incident in different versions, not two.

“To [the memory of] Marcus Ulpius Phaedimus” Smallwood 176.

Hadrian drafted a polite, carefully worded letter HA Hadr 61–2.

Trajan handing a globe to Hadrian BMC III, p. 236 1.

image of the phoenix Ibid., p. 245, 48 and 49.

the “Golden Age” Ibid., p. 278 312.

The dowager empress Ibid., p. 246.

a coin with two obverses Ibid., p. 124.

“advised him by letter” HA Hadr 55.

“he swore that he would do nothing” Dio 69 24.

boarded ship An assumption on my part. A cortege could have made its way to Antioch by land, but it would have been a journey through uncomfortable terrain and taken a week or more.

“Noting from your letter” Oliver, pp. 154–56.

blocked up with a huge mass of stone Amm Marc 22 12 8.

“The nations that Trajan had conquered” HA Hadr 52.

“The Romans have aimed to preserve their empire” App Civ War pref. 7.

“all catalogued by Augustus” Tac Ann 1 11.

he must have known of the policy HA Hadr 51.

“Because it is impossible to keep them under our care” Ibid., 53. This translation paraphrases the compressed Latin.

Rome was to abjure military expansion Some contemporary scholars wonder whether Hadrian really did abandon the principle of imperium sine fine. Hadrian’s actions and those of his successor, together with what we know or can infer about the practicalities of administering a large empire, persuade me that Hadrian did indeed introduce a strategic change. For less firm opinions, see Opper, chapter 2, and the brilliant chapter 8 in CAH.

“From the time of Caesar Augustus” Florus Ep 18.

in his post on or before August 25 POxy 3781.

Hadrian himself probably paid a quick visit I follow Gray, pp. 25–28.

the tributum soli For more information see Brunt, p. 335.

known for his shrewdness and sharpness of wit Marc Aur 8 25.

Hadrian presided over the trial This account derives from fragmentary papyri, the so-called Acts of Paulus and Antoninus; these nationalistic texts are semifictional, but it is possible to interpret the bedrock of actuality on which they rest. The events described seem most likely to have taken place now and in Egypt, although it is possible that they occurred later and elsewhere. Delay in dealing with the aftermath of the Jewish revolt was not in Rome’s interest.

“he had fallen under suspicion” HA Hadr 58.

“And after him shall rule” Or Syb 5 65–69. The quotation comes from the Sibylline Oracles, a collection of Greek hexameters, much amended and added to over the centuries, probably composed between the second century B.C. and the sixth century A.D. The original Sibylline Oracles were in the possession of the Roman Republic and were destroyed by fire in 83 B.C. These surviving texts reflect Jewish and Christian hostility to the Roman empire.

appoint the reliable Gaius Avidius Nigrinus This is plausible speculation; we know that Nigrinus was governor of Dacia from an inscription found in Sarmizegetusa (Smallwood 192), but not exactly when. See Birley, p. 86, for a discussion.

the emperor’s favorite horse, Borysthenes A speculation by Birley, p. 86. There are, of course, other possible donors among Rome’s client kingdoms that lined the Black Sea.

“energetic enough in mobilizing his friends” Fronto Princ Hist 10. Also the following quotation “with amusing games.”

the supposed talents of a later emperor Lucius Verus, co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius. See Galimberti, p. 99.

“a well-phrased statement” Pliny Ep 5 13 6.

“in reality because they had great influence” Dio 69 25.

while he was conducting a sacrifice HA Hadr 71.

the occasion was a hunt Dio 69 25.

Trajan had accessed the public courier or postal service Aur Vic 13 5–6.

a German-born centurion, Marcus Calventius Viator Speidel pp. 47—48. (“German-born” because the Dacian altar was dedicated to Celtic deities; bodyguards usually consisted of Germanic recruits.)

His name appears on two altars Smallwood 192 and 332.

“This slavish passivity” Tac Ann 16 16.


Chief literary sources—Dio Cassius, Historia Augusta, and Juvenal on Rome

“They are made exclusively for war” Tac Germ 29 2.

“I was once the most famous of men” Smallwood 336 1–5 (my translation).

“No Roman or barbarian” Ibid., 7, 11.

a certain Mastor Dio 69 22 2.

declared on oath Ibid., 69 26.

he would never put a senator to death HA Hadr 74.

it showed Clemency BMC III p. 271 no. 252.

Hadrian wanted to do away with his former guardian HA Hadr 93.

“burned the records of old debts” Suet Aug 32 2.

“who remitted 900 million sesterces” Smallwood 64a.

A carved relief shows the scene Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, inv. no. A 59.

a lictor setting fire to a pile of bonds Smallwood 64b.

maintaining the government courier service HA Hadr 75.

“crown gold” Ibid., 65.

supplementary distribution BMC III p. 402 nos. 1125, 1126, and 1127.

“bread and circuses” Juv 10 78–81.

“the waxed tablets” Smallwood II 6, February 26 p. 20.

permission to hang an ornamental shield The date of this request is unknown. I refer to it here for convenience.

a high-value silver coin, a tetradrachm BMC III p. 395 no. 1094.

“That he was surnamed Thurinus” Suet Aug 71.

“On the day of a meeting of the Senate” Ibid., 53 3.

“he frequently attended the official functions” HA Hadr 97–8.

a dangerous faux pas Dio 69 6 1–2.

He had not forgotten those lines from Virgil See page 93 above.

“In a word, he induced a fierce people” Florus Ep 12.

“in the fashion of the Greeks or Numa” Aur Vic 14 2–3; “fine arts” is my paraphrase of ingenuarum artium.

the emperor’s interest in supporting culture Green, p. 164.

denarius struck at Rome shows a bust of Matidia BMC III p. 281 no. 332.

“most immense delights” HA Hadr 19 5.

The Arvals recorded their generous Smallwood II 74–9 (p. 23).

We have his own words Ibid., 114 4 (p. 56).

“All hopes for the arts” Juv 71–4, 17, 20–21.

“a charming coastal retreat” Juv 34.

“at Tibur perched on its hillside” Ibid., 3 191.

“But here we inhabit a city” Ibid., 192–97.

“Insomnia causes most deaths here” Ibid., 232, 236–38.

“however flown with wine” Ibid., 282–88.

“as a special favor” Ibid., 301.

“the whores pimped out” Ibid., 64–65.

“When every building” Ibid., 302–5.

commissioning masterworks of architecture This section is indebted to Opper, pp. 110–25.

“the most blest of plains” Strabo 543.

the celebrated occasion when his predecessor Tac Ann 4 57 and 58.

His aim … was to “aid all the towns” HA Hadr 96.

Inscriptions have been discovered at various towns CIL X 4574, 6652, and ILS 843.

“a restful vacation” Strabo 547.

demarch HA Hadr 19 1.

According to Petronius … she lived in a cave Petr 48.


Chief literary sources—Dio Cassius and Historia Augusta

dispensed “with imperial trappings” Dio 69 10 1.

“went to the relief of all the communities” HA Hadr 10 1.

restitutor, or “restorer,” of the province BMC III p. 350f, 521f.

the generals of the Republic HA Hadr 10 2 refers to Hadrian’s debt to Scipio Aemilianus and Metellus. The information must have come from Hadrian’s lost autobiography via Marius Maximus. Hadrian would have first heard about these generals in his youth.

“A glorious moment” App Pun 132.

“There will come a day” Homer Iliad 6 448–449.

“[The soldiers’] food” App Iberica 85.

“Stranger, you will do well to linger here” Sen Ep 21 10.

“A painful inability to urinate” Dio Laer Epicurus 10 22.

“You know very well, sir, [the interest I] have” Oliver, pp. 174ff.; Smallwood 442.

“We have what we were so eager to obtain” Smallwood 442.

“the best of all fellow-sectarians” Ibid.

“inattention of previous supreme commanders” HA Hadr 10 3.

a manual of military regulations Veg 18.

“with a view to beauty, speed, the inspiring of terror” Arr Tact 32 3.

“such camp fare as bacon, cheese, and vinegar” HA Hadr 10 2.

“He generally wore the commonest clothing” Ibid., 10 5.

“He personally viewed and investigated” Dio 69 92.

“demolished dining rooms in the camps” HA Hadr 10 4.

older men “with full beards” Ibid., 10 6.

the death penalty should be used See Digest 49 16 6–7, and 48 3 12.

“put a more humane interpretation” Smallwood 333.

“during this period [his first provincial tour]” HA Hadr 12 6.

“An encamped army” Ael Arist Rom 82.


Chief literary sources—Dio Cassius and Historia Augusta. Also Birley and Bowman on Vindolanda.

a still-persisting trick of the weather Birley Vind p. 50.

Britunculi See Bowman p. 103, TVII 164.

“I shall expect you, sister” Bowman, p. 135.

“furnish me with very many friends” Ibid., p. 129.

a couple of tablets reveal the efforts See Birley Vind p. 76.

“Many hellos” Bowman, pp. 141–42.

Archaeologists have discovered and explored See Birley Vind p. 76.

Certificates were issued Smallwood 347.

His reply survives Justin Apol App.

“I will not allow them simply to beg” Ibid.

“And this, by Hercules” Ibid.

A document of May 18 TVII 154 (see Bowman, pp. 101–2).

“corrected many abuses” HA Hadr 11 2.

“To the discipline of the emperor” Birley Vind p. 97.

“ripped up their cuirasses” Fronto Ad L Ver 19.

“I implore Your Clemency” TVII 344 (see Bowman, pp. 146–47, but NB variant translation). It is just possible that the letter was for the provincial governor, but the use of the term “Majesty” (not quoted here) suggests that Hadrian was the addressee.

there was an amusing sequel For this anecdote, HA Hadr 11 6–7.

“replaced Septicius Clarus, Praetorian prefect” HA Hadr 11 3. “Without his consent” translates iniussu eius, but some prefer a modern emendation in usu eius, or “in their association with her.” I prefer the former, the latter being somewhat repetitive of apud, “in the presence (or company) of.”

because of his monstrous personality Epit de Caes 14 8. 222 “the first to construct a wall” HA Hadr 11 2.

“necessity of keeping intact” Sherk 141. Hadrian was consul in 118 and 119.


Chief literary sources—Historia Augusta and Dio Cassius. Also Xenophon on reaching the sea.

“I couldn’t bear to be Caesar” HA Hadr 16 3–4. This and the following quatrain is a free rendering of ego nolo Caesar esse / ambulare per Britannos / [latitare per Germanos] / Scythicas pati pruinas and ego nolo Florus esse / ambulare per tabernas / latitare per popinas, / culices pati rotundos. A line has dropped out of the first squib, but it can be reconstructed by reference to the emperor’s reply and his itinerary since accession.

“Every woman’s breast” MLP Florus 3. The Latin runs: Mulier intra pectus omnis celat virus pestilens; / dulce de labris loquuntur, corde vivunt noxio.

“the woman through whom he had secured” Dio 69 10 3.

“honored her exceedingly” Ibid.

“Although she asked much of me” Ibid., 32.

he famously brought down a huge boar Ibid.

he broke his collarbone Ibid., 69 10 2.

“Borysthenes the barbarian” MLP Hadr 4. Borysthenes Alanus, / Caesareus veredus, / per aequor et paludes / et tumulos Etruscos / volare qui solebat / … die sua peremptus / hic situs est in agro. The Alani were Iranian nomads who reared Borysthenes. Also the next quotation.

he loved his horses and dogs HA Hadr 20 13.

“There you will slaughter” Mart 1 49 23–30.

a certain Publius Rufius Flavus Sherk 180, CIL II 4332.

“one of the slaves of the household” HA Hadr 12 5.

he failed to revisit his hometown of Italica Dio 69 10 1.

Suetonius’ successor as ab epistulis We know that Vestinus became Hadrian’s ab epistulis, but it is not certain that he followed immediately on Suetonius.

Hadrian scattered cultural largesse Birley, p. 153. Malalas 278f.

“very elegant” temple See Birley p. 153, Suda sv Jovianus.

“War with the Parthians” HA Hadr 12 8.

expeditio Augusti BMC III p. 425 no. 1259ff., pp. 434–35 no. 1312ff.

Janus began to appear on the coinage Ibid., p. 254 no. 100, p. 437 no. 1335.

“doorkeeper of heaven and hell” Macr 19 13.

“However, when the shouting got louder” Xen Anab 4 7.

memorial cairns built by the Greek soldiers Diod 14 29 4.

“although [it] has been erected” Arrian Peri 1 3–4.

“long street of great beauty” Pliny Ep 10 98 1.

“disgusting eyesore” Ibid.

An earthquake had struck the province Syncellus Chron p. 659 7–8.


Chief literary sources—Plato, Plutarch, and others on love. Polemon on a possible assassination attempt.

“building, or rather excavating” Pliny Ep 39 5–6.

his birthday … November 27 Smallwood 165, line 5.

a cheerful, chubby-faced teenager Bust, Munich Glyptothek, Inv. No. GL286; head, British Museum, Inv. No. 1900. Juvenile portraits may or may not have been posthumously carved or copies of earlier ones, but, even if posthumous, are an indication of contemporaries’ understanding of Antinous’ age when first noticed.

In about 130 we see Antinous in a carved relief Tondo, Arch of Constantine, Rome.

a woman called Antinoe Paus 8 8 4–5. Also, after Antinous’ death, a divine cult in his honor was established at Mantinea; so the connection was credited, even if mistakenly.

A late reference to Antinous as Hadrian’s “slave” Jer de vir ill 22.

“no one keeps you from coming here” Plaut Curc 33–38.

The Cretans engaged in a procedure Strabo 10 4 21.

“Lovers of their own sex” Plato Symp 181 D.

“the true genuine love” Plut Mor 751a.

no one falls in love with an ugly youngster? Cic Tusc 4 33 70.

“Lesbia of the Lesbians” Mart 7 70.

Mousa Paidike This is Book 12, Anth Pal.

“who used to fancy himself” Juv 9 46–47.

a procurer of every luxury Aur Vic 14 7.

agmen comitantium Ep de Caes 14 4 5.

“cohorts … every kind of specialist” Ibid.

the imperial Paedogogium in Rome I accept here the traditional location on the Palatine Hill, although another address places the Paedogogium on the Caelian Hill. Perhaps there were two similar or related establishments. In this section, I am indebted to Clarence A. Forbes, “Supplementary Paper: The Education and Training of Slaves in Antiquity,” American Philological Association 86 (1955), 321–60; also to Lambert, pp. 61–63.

the gravestone of one of its directors ILS 1831. The widow of the “paedogogus of the slave boys of our Caesar” was called Ulpia Helpis, which suggests that she won her freedom from Trajan. So Ganymedes would have died not before Trajan’s reign and very possibly in Hadrian’s.

“colleges for the most contemptible vices” Colum 1 praef. 5.

Juvenal grumpily complained Juv 5 121–22.

some two hundred graffiti The Paedogogium had a long life, and the dating of these graffiti ranges from the first to the third century.

tomb of the Greek warrior Ajax Philo Her 1 2; the reference at Paus 1 35 3 must refer to Hadrian’s visit, unless it is to be supposed that the tomb needed restoration twice in the same period.

Hadrianutherae, or Hadrian’s Hunt HA Hadr 20 13.

“select and genuinely Hellenic” Philo v. Soph 1 25 3.

his Greek text A book called Polemon’s Physiognomica.

“Once I accompanied the greatest king” Pol Physio (ed. G. Hoffmann, in R. Forster, Scriptores Physiognomici I, pp. 138ff.); also the succeeding quotations. See Birley, pp. 164–66.

The prosperous city of Stratonicea Oliver, pp. 201–4.

a woman stepped forward Dio 69 6 3.

“the emperor Hadrian” Galen, The Diseases of the Mind, 4.

“accomplish what kings could only attempt” Pliny Ep 10 41 5. 249 “In general,” observed Dio Dio 70 4 2.

“young men of the city” Smallwood 72b.

a late and not altogether dependable source Malalas, p. 279.

“Julianus himself” Digest, Constitution “Tanta …” 18.

recast their constitution Jer Chron 280–81.


Chief literary source—Pausanias on Greece. Also Burkert on Eleusis.

The piglet squealed For my account of the Mysteries I am mainly indebted to Burkert, especially pp. 285–90. There are many theories of what took place during the rites, but I try to take a conservative line. The first section concerns what were called the Lesser Mysteries, where initiates were purified; these usually took place in March, but could be held at other times. Special arrangements were surely put in place for an emperor. It appears that Hadrian was not initiated during his previous visit to Athens.

for more than one thousand years Legend has it that the Mysteries started in 1500 B.C. Their popularity was long sustained. Peter Levi writes: “As late as 1801 Demeter was still worshipped at Eleusis; when her last cult image, a two-ton kistophorus from the inner porch, was stolen by Professor E. D. Clarke of Cambridge, the visitors were terrified. An ox ran up, butted the statue repeatedly and fled bellowing. The people prophesied the shipwreck of Clarke’s ship: it occurred off Beachy Head, but the statue is now in Cambridge.” Paus vol. 1, book 1, note 231.

“We have learned from them the beginnings of life” Cic Leg 2 14 36.

weapons were banned HA Hadr 13 2.

“uncovered her shame” Clem 2 176–77.

a new bridge over the river Kephisos Jer Chron 280–81.

“ruler of the wide, unharvested earth” Smallwood 71a.

“Hadrian, god and Panhellene” IG 222958.

When he was at Eleusis It is a reasonable assumption that the princeps noticed the distorted market in fish during his visit to Eleusis, but it is only an assumption.

“I want the vendors to have been stopped” Oliver, pp. 193–95.

a tour of the Peloponnese See Birley, pp. 177–182.

“a peacock in gold” Paus 2 17 6.

“founder, lawgiver, benefactor” IG VII 70–72, 3491.

“not even the emperor” Paus 1363.

buried at the roadside Ibid., 8 11 7–8.

an annual celebration Xen Anab 5 3 9–10.

“He wore local dress” Dio 69 16 1.

“Do not detract from anyone’s dignity” Pliny Ep 8 24.

“Those who introduce the emperor’s opinion” Plut Mor 814—15.

“hundred columns, walls and colonnades” Paus 1 18 9.

a complicated dispute CIG 1713.

“very magnificent and splendid” Plut Mor 748—49.

“be gracious, kindly receive” IG 7 1828.

“the soul from the world” Plut Mor 764—65.


Chief literary source—Historia Augusta. Also the guidebook, and MacDonald and Pinto, on Hadrian’s villa; and the speech at Lambaesis.

“many-colored, it is said, like a rainbow” HA Hadr 13 3.

entire crest had been blown off M. Coltelli, P. Del Carlo, and L. Vezzoli, “Discovery of a Plinian basaltic eruption of Roman age at Etna Volcano, Italy,” Geology 26(1998), 1095–98.

“the Aelian villa with the colorful walls” CIL 14 3911.

rus in urbe Mart 12 57 21.

“built his villa at Tibur” HA Hadr 26 5.

his “house at Tibur” Oliver, p. 74 bis.

Some scholars suggest … a cult theater MacDonald, pp. 162ff.

“devoted to music and flute players” Fronto de fer Als 4.

His most astonishing architectural innovation It is possible that Hadrian was influenced by the palace of Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse, which was isolated by a canal, and the Herodion, Herod the Great’s circular palace-fortress.

He had been born in or about 113 Dio has Pedanius Fuscus about six years younger. An ancient horoscope places his birth in 113, and because of its broad contemporaneity (it would have been published not long after his death when he was still “news”) is more likely to be accurate.

an odd little congratulatory poem ILS 5173. It survives in an inscription. See the inspired interpretation by Edward Champlin in Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 60 (1985) 159ff.

“his kindly disposition” Marc Aur 1 1.

“the simple life” Ibid., 13.

“solemn child from the very beginning” HA Marc 2 1.

“in Hadrian’s lap” Ibid., 4 1.

“erotic and fond of gladiators” CCAG 8, 2 p. 85, 18 to p. 86, 12.

“the emperor’s health” Smallwood 24 16.

the personification of health … feeding a snake BMC III 476 etc.

Hope, Spes, holding up a flower Ibid., 486.

“subcutaneous disease” … “burning” Ep de Caes 14 9.

“it rained on his arrival” HA Hadr 22 14.

“Caesar’s untiring concern” Smallwood 464, col. II 4–5.

fossatum Africae See Birley, pp. 209–10.

“Jupiter Best” … “Winds that have the power” CIL 8 2609—10.

“Military exercises” Sherk 148 (and the further quotations).


Chief literary sources—Dio Cassius and Historia Augusta. Also Epitome de Caesaribus and Aurelius Victor on Antinous. Lambert on Antinous. Betz on magic.

tetradrachm worth six sesterces BMC III p. 395.

first citizen Thuc 1 139.

“introduced a bill to the effect” Plut Per 17.

He decided to launch a new Panhellenion On Hadrian’s Panhellenion, see A. J. Spawforth and Susan Walker, “The World of the Panhellenion: I. Athens and Eleusis,” The Journal of Roman Studies 75 (1985).

to recruit the past Arafat, p. 30.

its shrine not far from the Roman Agora There has been debate about its location. I follow Camp, p. 203.

“This is Athens, the onetime city” IG II2 5185.

“with such severity that it was believed” HA Hadr 13 10.

“after procuring peace from many kings” Epit de Caes 14 10.

Pharasmenes was king of the Iberi HA Hadr 13 9, 17 11–12 and 21 13.

Paul of Tarsus called it mutilation Phil 3 2–3.

the new city’s celebratory coinage Birley, p. 233.

A fourth-century church father, Epiphanius Epiph 14.

No later than the end of August Alexandrian coinage celebrating Hadrian’s adventus is dated in the fourteenth year of the reign, which ended on August 28, 130. See Birley, p. 237.

“Dead men don’t bite” Plut Pomp 77 4.

“How pitiful a tomb” App Civil War 2 86.

investing in restoration projects Jer Chron 197.

“By Mouseion,” wrote Philostratus Phil v. Soph 1 22 3.

“put forward many questions” HA Hadr 20 2.

“Although he wrote verse and composed speeches” HA Hadr 15 10–11.

“The emperor can give you money” Dio 69 3 5.

“extremely obscure work” HA Hadr 16 2.

“You are giving me bad advice” Ibid., 15 13.

“Some writers go on to record the cures” Strabo 17 1 17.

a village called Eleusis Ibid., 17 16.

“First Hadrian with his brass-fitted spear” MS Gr Class d 113 (P), Bodleian Library, Oxford.

the town of Oxyrhyncus Birley, p. 246.

“with shaved head” Lucian Philospeud 34f.

“performed the sacrifices” Strabo 17 1 29.

instruction in the art of a spell Betz, pp. 82ff.

Opposite Hermopolis the riverbank curved See Lambert, p. 127, for this description.

“wept for the youth like a woman” HA Hadr 14 5.

“the Greeks deified him” Ibid.

“O my daughter” Laszlo Kakosy, “The Nile, Euthenia, and the Nymphs,” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 68 (1982), 295.

“Antinous … had been a favorite” Dio 69 11 2.

“when Hadrian wanted to prolong his life” Aur Vic 14 9–10.

“Concerning this incident there are varying rumors” HA Hadr 14 6.

“malicious rumors spread” Aur Vic 14 8.

the superannuated gigolo See page 243 above.

“if he could find another” Eur Alc 13–18.

“I myself believe that Achilles” Arrian Peri 23 4.

his little horror poem Hor Epo 5.

A new coin type shows an equally youthful Hadrian BMC III p. 318, no. 603. The reverse shows heads of Trajan and Plotina, and another interpretation concerns the legitimacy of his adoption.

“This town was a perpetual peristyle” Lambert, p. 198.

a shrine to house his remains … at Tibur The account I give of the Antinoeum at Tibur is drawn from Mari and Sgalambro passim. Brick date-stamps show that building started soon after 130. The site was excavated from 1998.

“Antinous rests in this tomb” Ibid., p. 99.

“the honor paid to him falls little short” Origen 336.

Antinous as Iakchos Opper p. 190.

“I never saw him in the flesh” Paus 897.

Hadrian “set up statues” Dio 69 11 4.

his own active websites Current at the time of writing: sites include,, and the homoerotic


Chief literary sources—Dio Cassius and Bar Kokhba papyri on Judaea. Also Christian writers and Talmudic references.

“very like the twanging” Paus 1 42 3.

“The emperor Hadrian” Bernand, Les inscriptions grecques et latines du Colosse de Memnon.

“Know that I take every opportunity” Smallwood 445.

“they wanted to leave” Jos AJ 12 5 1.

“endeavored to abolish Jewish superstition” Tac His 5 8.

Hadrian was still in Egypt Dio 69 12 2.

They armed themselves Ibid.

“they occupied the advantageous positions” Ibid., 69 12 3.

“I look into the future” Numbers 24 17.

“This is the Messiah” Midrash Rabbah Lamentations 2 2–4.

“At first the Romans took no account” Dio 69 13 1–2.

Roman casualties Fronto de bell Parth 2.

“If you and your children are in health” Dio 69 14 3.

“sent against [the Jews] his best generals” Ibid., 13 2.

Severus was not in overall command Regarding the Roman response I follow Eck.

“the First Year of the Redemption of Israel” For example, Sherk 151 E.

“Soumaios to Ionathes, son of Baianos” Ibid., 151 C.

“Shim’on Bar Kosiba” Yadin Bar-K, p. 128.

“And if you shall not send them” Ibid., p. 126.

“In the present war it is only the Christians” Justin First Apol 31 5–6.

“Barcocheba, leader of a party of the Jews” Jer Chron p. 283.

prophecy that the Messiah breathed fire 4 Ezra 13 9–11.

“fanning a lighted blade of straw” Jer Contra Ruf.

“When military aid had been sent him” Euseb Ch Hist 461.

“I am honored” See Birley, p. 273.

“he would catch missiles” Midrash Rabbah Lamentations 24.

“In comfort you sit, eat, and drink” Yadin Bar-K, p. 133.

Well-to-do families Jer In Esaiam 2 12 17.

A fragmentary letter evokes the despair Yadin Bar-K, p. 139.

“the rebels were driven to final destruction” Euseb Ch Hist 463.

Bar Kokhba’s head was taken to Hadrian According to Midrash Rabbah Lamentations 2 2–4.

forbidden to enter the district around Jerusalem Euseb Ch Hist 464.

still in place more than a century later Jer In Esaiam 129.

a marble sow was erected Jer Chron p. 283.

“May his bones rot!” For example, Midrash Rabbah Genesis 78 1.


Chief literary sources—Historia Augusta and Dio Cassius

the fullest record of the Roman army in the field Arr Alan.

Other coins from this time BMC III p. 325f, p. 329.

“allowed to dispense with attendance at schools” Marc Aur 1 4.

“not to side with the Greens or the Blues” Ibid., 1 5.

“set my heart on the pallet bed” Ibid., 1 6.

“not to give credence to the claims of miracle-mongers” Ibid.

a bust of him in his teens MC279 Musei Capitolini, Rome.

“get back to your drawing exercises” Dio 69 4 2. Literally, “get back to drawing your gourds.” These were plants like pumpkins or squash and resembled domes being built at the time.

“ought to have been built on high ground” Ibid., 4 4–5.

the emperor’s huge mausoleum For a fuller description see Opper, pp. 208f.

The text on the obelisk See H. Meyer, Der Obelisk des Antinoos: Eine kommentierte Edition, Munich, 1994.

A portrait study from … Diktynna in Crete The bust is in the Archaeological Museum of Chania, Crete. See illustration in photo section.

an innate cruelty Dio 69 18 3.

He now held him “in the greatest abhorrence” HA Hadr 23 4.

“he spent the entire day” Dio 18 1–2.

Turbo was removed It is conceivable that he was somehow caught up in the Pedanius Fuscus plot—see below.

The Historia Augusta asserts The Life of Aelius is largely fiction, but the details quoted in this paragraph are plausible: see HA Ael 5 3 and 9.

“his sole recommendation was his beauty” HA Hadr 23 10.

“not discreditable but somewhat unfocused” HA Ael 5 3.

their love for each other Fronto, On Love, 5; Marc Aur to Fronto 1, Epist Graecae 7.

he staged a coup It is possible that Pedanius acted before the public announcement of the adoption: that is the order of events in the Historia Augusta.

“the degrees of the Horoscopos” CCAG No. L 76, 90–91.

“of an illustrious family” Sherk 159.

instructed to commit suicide HA Hadr 23 8. 313 “he gave a feast for slaves” Ibid., 8–9.

“That I have done nothing wrong” Dio 69 17 2.

“many others” HA Hadr 23.

“many from the Senate” Epit de Caes 14 9.

A late source reports that “his wife, Sabina” Ibid., 14 8.

Her apotheosis Smallwood 145 b.

a rumor that he poisoned her HA Hadr 23 9.

“His enthusiasm for philosophy” HA Marc 4 9–10.

he had by no means been a failure HA Ael 3 6.

“universal opposition” HA Hadr 23 11.

“My friends, I have not been permitted” Dio 69 20 2.

“with the dignity of a bygone age” Pliny Ep 431.

bad dreams HA Hadr 26 10.

affairs of state Ibid., 24 11.

“charms and magic rituals” Dio 69 22 1.

congestive … heart disease The suggestion that diagonal creases in earlobes, as seen in some portrait busts of Hadrian, are an indicator of heart disease (e.g., see Opper pp. 57–59) is now discounted by cardiac specialists, according to Philip Hayward (see Acknowledgments).

“partly by threatening him” Dio 69 22 2.

He now drew up a will HA Hadr 24 12–13.

a suicide watch Ep de Caes 14 12.

“I want you to know” Smallwood 123.

owing more to Hadrian’s favorite, Ennius Lines 3–4 in Hadrian’s poem recalls Ennius’ evocation of the underworld as “pallida leto, nubila tenebris loca.”

animula vagula blandula HA Hadr 25 9.

“Many doctors killed a king” Dio 69 22 4.


“mixed justice with kindheartedness” Smallwood 454b 7–8.

“Hadrian was hated by the people” Dio 69 23 2.

“The following words, it seems to me” Arr Tact 44 3.

 T. Bergk Terpander, Poetae Lyrici Graeci, 4th ed., Leipzig, iii 12 frag 6.

The army … the arts … and holy justice I owe this elegant observation to Alexander, p. 175.

“in the gardens of Domitia” HA Ant 5 1. HA is confusing, for elsewhere it claims that Antoninus “built a temple for [Hadrian] at Puteoli instead of a tomb” (HA Hadr 27 3). Why would he have commissioned a new building, with the mausoleum at Rome nearing completion? Perhaps the allusion is to a temple in Hadrian’s honor.

The consecration ceremony See Opper, pp. 209–10; Suet Aug 100 for Augustus’ apotheosis; Dio 75 4–5 and Herodian 4 2 for two later emperors, Pertinax and Septimius Severus.

omnium curiositatum explorator Tert Apol 5.

“diverse, manifold, and multiform” Ep de Caes 14 6.

“Do not be upset” Marc Aur 8 5.

“I wished to appease and propitiate” Fronto ad M Caes 2 1.

“saw Hadrian to his grave” Marc Aur 8 25.

Chabrias and Diotimus Ibid., 8 37.

“Even today the methods” Dio 69 9 4.

“The sea is not a hindrance” Ael Arist Rom 59–60.

“immeasurable majesty of the Roman peace” Pliny NH 27 3.

“Wars, if they once occurred” Ael Arist Rom 70.

“He can stay quietly where he is” Ibid., 33.

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