Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome

Anthony Everitt, Author . Random $32 (392p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6662-9

The author of biographies of Augustus and Cicero, British scholar Everitt now combines academic expertise with lively prose in a satisfying account of the emperor who ruled Rome from 117 to 138 C.E., the man Everitt says “has a good claim to have been the most successful of Rome's leaders.” As a youth, Hadrian became the protégé and adopted ward of future emperor Trajan. (Homosexual emperors, including Hadrian, often adopted a successor, a procedure that worked better than letting pugnacious generals fight it out.) After suppressing the Jewish revolt that had begun under Trajan, Hadrian abandoned several of his predecessor's conquests as indefensible. Traveling the empire, he shored up its defenses, which included building Hadrian's Wall in England and another across Germany. Nearing the end of a prosperous, mostly peaceful reign, he adopted two men who also ruled successfully: Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. Everitt presents the Roman Empire, in what he calls “tempestuous and thrilling times,” as an almost ungovernable collection of polyglot nations dominated by ambitious, frequently bloodthirsty and unscrupulous men. Readers will wonder how Rome lasted so long, but they will enjoy this skillful portrait of a good leader during its last golden age. 2 maps. (Sept. 8)

Reviewed on: 06/22/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-1117-5
Open Ebook - 330 pages - 978-1-58836-896-6
Paperback - 392 pages - 978-0-8129-7814-8
Ebook - 297 pages - 978-1-78185-209-5
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