Age of 41 on becoming Emperor. Reigned from 117-138 A.D.
Our friend, Acilius Attianus, (or Hadrian's I should say) returns in this final post on the succession. Hadrian was still insecure about the security of his promotion to Emperor. Using Attianus, who with Plotina had hastened back to Rome with Trajan's ashes, Hadrian got rid of a powerful enemy, Lusius Quietus, a Moorish general, along with three other of the most honored and and elite generals and statesmen of Trajan's reign. Attianus had alleged the four were plotting Hadrian's assassination. Attianus was Prefect of the Guard and bullied the Senate into executing these men. The four men were undoubtedly unenthusiastic about Hadrian's reign, but there was no organized opposition to him and the truth of the charges in is doubt. Hadrian denied complicity in the deaths of the four consulars, but the Senate, behind its meek compliance never forgot or forgave him.
Before returning to Rome, Hadrian had to deal with the unrestful situation along the Danube frontier. This he accomplished with a combination of military action and diplomacy by way of bribery. He finally entered Rome on 9 July 118.
To help his unsettled relations with the Senate, he apologized for accepting the army's acclamation and not the Senate's selection as his power base. He also promised never again to punish any of its members without its consent (Why we wonder, if he had nothing to do with the previous deaths mentioned?). To soothe Rome's unrestful population he distributed a huge largesse of gold and also remitted debts to the Treasury to the enormous amount of 900 million sesterces (modern tax rebates and economic stimulus checks anyone?)- who says the United States has nothing in common with old Rome. In this series of posts I hope to bring out these similarites and would appreciate any reader's comments on this matter. The tax returns were burnt in a huge bonfire in Trajan's forum. From Royston Lambert's, Beloved and God: " It was a strange and disconcerting beginning for one who had waited so long and detrimentally to himself for his inheritance. Bloodshed, tax bonfires and massive bribery ushered in the 'times of felicity', advertised so proudly on the first coins of the reign bearing the slogans 'concord', 'peace, 'justice' and 'piety'." I have very much enjoyed Beloved and God-the book gave me the idea for this set of posts. I have the book out from the library now, but would like to order it from Amazon or a site that sells older books online-Beloved and God was published in 1984 by Viking.
Once he was Emperor, Hadrian acted very quickly on several matters. He immediately relinquished control of Roman conquests east of the Tigris and Euphrates. He gave a double sized donation of money and friends who were in control of twenty-one Roman Legions. He used Marcius Turbo, a very capable soldier, but who was only of equestrian rank and others to crush Jewish revolts in Palestine, Egypt, Mauretania, Libya and Cyprus.
This is the last post involving Hadrian's succession. The next posts in this series will be about Antinous and then Hadrian's relationship with Antinous. I hope to have these up in 4-6 days. It really is a great story. I do hope to have some fitting poetry here perhaps tonight or tomorrow depending on what I can find. I have been searching the web and books from the library for prose that fits this set of posts and don't know if I have found what I want here yet. I am still deciding if I should do any off-topic posts between this series-a lot may depend on how fast I can condense and bring out the important facts and mysteries of this story. Thanks so much for bearing with me and for people about to enjoy Thanksgiving my best wishes go out to you and your families and of course to any other readers I have who do not celebrate this holiday.