Roman Empire, Hadrian, 117-138, BL Tetradrachma, year 18=133/34, Alexandria, VF
Laur. bust r.
Rv.L IH - Seated Sarapis l. with extended right hand and scpetre flanked by Cerberus
Publius Aelius Hadrianus (* 24 January 76 in Italica ; † 10 July 138 in Baiae) was the fourteenth Roman emperor.
He ruled from 117 until his death.
Hadrian, like his great uncle and imperial predecessor Trajan, was based in Hispania. As a ruler, he strove intensively to consolidate the unity of the Roman Empire, which he travelled extensively in many parts. Through grants and administrative measures at the level of the Roman provinces and cities, he promoted prosperity and strengthened the infrastructure. By fixing the edictum perpetuum, he gave an important impulse to the judicial system. Since he fought only a few wars, especially against the rebellious Jews, his reign was an era of peace for the vast majority of the empire. He renounced conquests and relinquished the territories occupied by Trajan in the Parthian War, thus making a sharp and controversial change of course that strained his relationship with the Senate but prevented an overstretching of Rome's forces. Thereafter, Hadrian concentrated his military efforts on an efficient organisation of the empire's defence. This purpose was served in particular by border fortifications, including Hadrian's Wall, named after him.
Hadrian had a wide range of interests and was ambitious in testing his talents. He had a special appreciation for Greek culture, especially for Athens, which was famous as the classical centre of Greek education and which he promoted, along with many other cities, through intensive building activity. During his reign, important buildings such as the library in Athens, the Pantheon and Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome as well as Hadrian's Villa near Tivoli were erected.