Hadrian


Hadrian
Roman Emperor AD 117-138.
    The ward and eventually the successor of the emperor *Trajan, Hadrian was a conscientious emperor whose reign allowed the consolidation and development of the Roman Empire.
    He travelled more extensively than any previous emperor and in AD 130, he spent several months in the Roman province of Egypt. There he participated in a great lion-hunt in the desert region west of the Delta, and held discussions with the scholars at the Museum in Alexandria. Accompanied by his wife Sabina and a large retinue, he also spent several days at the famed Colossi of Memnon at Thebes, to hear the 'singing statue'. Greek verses inscribed on the legs of the northern statue, composed by the Court-poetess Balbilla, tell how the statue sang in greeting for Hadrian on the second day of his visit. While he was in Egypt, Hadrian also suffered a personal tragedy when *Antinous, his friend and lover, was drowned in the Nile. The Emperor preserved the memory of *Antinous by founding a city, Antinoupolis, at the place where the young man died.
    Various sacred buildings commemorate Hadrian's reign as Pharaoh of Egypt. With his predecessor *Trajan, he added reliefs to the Birth-House built by the Emperor *Augustus at the Temple of Hathor at Denderah; a temple was erected in his honour on the road to Armant from Medinet Habu; in the Temple of Isis on the island of Philae, Hadrian's Gateway was built; and in the Temple of Khnum at Esna there are important texts on the walls of the hypostyle hall.
BIBL. Von Groningen, B.A. Preparatives to Hadrian's visit to Egypt. Studi in onore de A.Calderini, E R Paribeni. Milan: 1957. II: 253-6.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David
* * *
(76–138 AD)
   Roman emperor. Original name Publius Aelius Hadrianus. He was born in Baetica in 76, son of Publius Aelius Hadrianus and Domitia Paulina, and was great-nephew of the Emperor Trajan, who adopted him on his deathbed in 117. Hadrian was noted for his policy of favoring Greek culture and his constant travels throughout the empire. He visited Egypt in 130 along with his wife, Vibia Sabina, and his favorite, Antinous, who drowned in the Nile. Hadrian founded the city of Antinoopolis in his honor. His visit to the Colossi of Memnon is recorded in graffiti.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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