Hadrian: The Builder



This article briefly introduces Roman Emperor Hadrian, including Hadrian’s early life, time as Emperor, Hadrian’s wall, personal life, and death.

Hadrian’s Early Life

Hadrian, who reigned as Roman Emperor from 117 CE to 138 CE, was born in northern Spain to a wealthy family of Roman origin. As a young man, he served in various military and administrative posts throughout the empire, including Germany and Syria. He was known for his intellectual curiosity and keen interest in architecture and the arts.

Despite his upbringing, Hadrian was not without his share of personal tragedy and political conflict. Nonetheless, he rose to the highest office in the empire. He left a lasting legacy with his contributions to public works and strengthening Roman borders, notably with the construction of Hadrian’s Wall in Britain.


Roman Emperor Hadrian

Hadrian was the Emperor of Rome from 117 CE to 138 CE. He was known for establishing peace and stability throughout the empire during his time in power. One major accomplishment of his was the creation of the Pantheon in Rome, originally intended as a temple to all the gods. However, it later became a Christian church and remains one of ancient Rome’s most well-known and impressive architectural wonders.

Hadrian also had significant military accomplishments, including successfully suppressing the Second Jewish Revolt and constructing Hadrian’s Wall in Britain to guard the empire’s northern frontier. These achievements solidified his rule and secured the empire’s borders.


Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s Wall is a historical fortification built by the Romans in the early 2nd century AD and is located in modern-day Northern England. This 73-mile-long wall was constructed to mark the northernmost limit of the Roman Empire and served as a military defense barrier against the invading barbarian tribes from Scotland.

The wall was made of stone and was up to 20 feet high and 10 feet wide in some areas, with defensive structures such as forts, towers, and gates at regular intervals.

Today, Hadrian’s Wall is a popular tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to marvel at its impressive engineering and historical significance.

Hadrians wall
Sunset at Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, England

Hadrian’s Personal Life

Hadrian was renowned for his extensive travels throughout the Roman Empire and his passion for architecture. He was also known to have strong relationships with both men and women, including his lover Antinous, who tragically drowned in the Nile River during a trip to Egypt. Additionally, Hadrian was a patron of the arts and an avid poet, having authored several works of poetry during his reign. Despite his successful reign and personal accomplishments, Hadrian’s later years were marked by declining health and concerns about the succession of the empire.

He was married to a woman named Vibia Sabina throughout his reign. However, their marriage was reportedly unhappy, and lived largely separate lives. Hadrian’s rumored homosexual relationships and travels away from Rome contributed to the strain on their relationship. Despite this, Sabina remained Empress until she died in 136 CE.


Roman Emperor Hadrian’s Death

Roman Emperor Hadrian’s death occurred on July 10, 138 CE. Hadrian, who was one of the Five Good Emperors, was renowned for his military, administrative, and artistic accomplishments during his reign. Despite his reluctant decision to take the throne, Hadrian is credited for his many achievements, including the construction of Hadrian’s Wall, the Pantheon, and the Temple of Venus and Roma.

His death was most likely due to heart failure, which was common among the elderly in ancient Rome. Hadrian was succeeded by his adopted son, Antoninus Pius. Antoninus Pius would go on to become known as the “Good Emperor’ and was known as a ruler with exceptional administration skills.


Roman Coins

Each coin has a unique history attached to it. Coin collectors love the Roman Denarius. We carry various Roman Denarius from different time periods in the Roman Republic/Empire. Click the link below to see if we have a denarius currently in stock that’s right for your collection.

Roman Emperor Hadrian Death
Denarius showing the portrait of Roman Emperor Hadrian.

Published by Invest in History Co.

We specialize in high-quality gold and silver coins. Focusing on Middle East, Eastern European, and Ancient coins. We carry Roman, Greek, Parthian, Phoenician, Celtic, Byzantine, Russian, Jewish, Islamic, and many other culture's coins.