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Hadrian: Emperor and Artisan

            Biography of Hadrian, Emperor of Rome.
             Hadrian served as the Emperor of Rome from 117 138 A. He hailed from Picenum, which later would be known as Spain. Hadrian's father died when he was ten years old and he became the ward of his cousin Trajan. Trajan eventually adopted Hadrian, and upon his death Hadrian assumed the ultimate status of Emperor of Rome. There is some controversy about this fact. It is said that Trajan had selected someone else to succeed him as emperor, not Hadrian. Since Trajan had not formally announced who his successor would be to the Senate, they assumed it would be Hadrian since they had just learned of his adoption by Trajan. It is also stated that Hadrian's adoption was a trick that was only put into effect after Trajan's death. Hadrian also had a wife whose name was Sabina. Sabina was the grandniece to Trajan. This marriage was reportedly not a happy one but did link Hadrian and Trajan together as family.
             Hadrian was a connoisseur of all the arts, as well as an avid architect and published author. He was known to travel a great bit and spent much of his time in the Greek East. It was this fondness of the Greek arts that swayed his thoughts and impressions. He spent much time devoted to Greek studies, to which his natural tastes inclined so much that some called him "Greekling." His devotion was further manifested in the fact the Hadrian wore a beard, which at the time of his rule was seen strictly as a Greek influence. This style was adopted and for the next century and a half became the norm for a Roman emperor. Hadrian's love of the arts is evident in the fact that more portraits of him exist today than of any other emperor, save Augustus.
             Hadrian held many titles in the Roman government before assuming the position of emperor. Hadrian began his government service in the army. He held many positions, such as tribune of the Second Legion, and Commander of the First Legion.

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