The Roman emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus.

Essay by vivHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2003

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The Roman emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus or better known as Hadrian lived from 76-138 A.D. He was born an orphan in Spain and later adopted by his uncle Trajan. Texts describe him as a tall, elegant man who was very handsome and likeable as well as possessing natural qualities of charm and grace. Trajan's wife Pompeia Plotina recommended Hadrian as heir to Trajan, and He was married to Trajan's grandniece Sabina.

Him and his wife were anything but close, with several rumours that he tried to poison her. He's sexuality was also questionable and many said he was homosexual and in particular had a serious relationship with a handsome young man named Antinous whom Hadrian had many sculptures made of. When Antinous mysteriously died on a trip down the Nile in Egypt, (a popular belief was that he was sacrificed to an Egyptian hippo) Hadrian grieved deeply and set up a town near the place where he died named Antinoopolis in his honour.

Although touching, this act was viewed as ridiculous and many made fun of him within the senate. Hadrian was skilled in many areas, especially poetry and He travelled frequently. He is famous today for being an excellent architect, designing the beautiful Hadrian's Villa as well as constructing the famous Hadrian's Wall in Britain where it was once used to separate Rome from the barbarian tribes of the northern British Isles.

He carried out his plan of building a massive roman temple on the site of the ruined Temple and renamed Jerusalem Colonia Aelia Capitolina. The Jews, however, were not happy with Hadrian destroying their holy, sacred site sparking a war in 132 AD that was only back under control at the end of AD 135, with over half a million Jews having lost their lives in...