Hadrian becomes Emperor today, the 8th August, 117AD
Today in 117AD Hadrian, the adopted son of Trajan, became the new Roman Emperor. Trajan had ruled for nearly twenty years and had enlarged the Empire greatly. Hadrian in his twenty one year rule would be just as good for Rome. He left behind four great building works, which remain today.
The first was to rebuild Agrippa’s Pantheon, adding the 141ft diameter Dome. It has massive bronze doors and now a church, has buried two of Italy’s kings and the artist Raphael amongst others.
On the river Tiber is the Castel San Angelo, another stone dome building, this one built as his own tomb. It has been used as a fortress by more than one Pope when Rome has been threatened. It housed Pope Clement VII when the forces of the (Spanish)Holy Roman Empire sacked the city in 1527. It is well worth a visit if you ever go to Rome. A coffee from the battlements’ cafe’ is a good end to a walk around the military museum it is now.
The third monument is the beautiful Villa at Tivoli.
Lastly is the wall he had constructed in the North of England to keep out those pesky Picts(Scots). It was 15ft high and stretched 73 miles from coast tocoast and there was a fort every five miles.
Hadrian had been unwell for some time and despite seeking death and requesting it of his adopted son Pius, who refused to aid him, he died aged 62 in his villa at Baie on the Bay of Naples.