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Former good article nominee Hadrian was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
May 27, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
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In the hadrians wall article it suggests that the wall was planned and the construction began before Hadrian ruled in that area as - iT is contradicting to say Hadrian built the wall - If you have proof that Hadrian actually built the wall please cite your quotation or display evidence. A suggestion would be to rephrase this statement... perhaps that "the wall was built during the ruling of Hadrian?"

This is nonsense: "the construction began before Hadrian ruled in that area" What does this mean? The wall was built during his reign, under his orders. He built it. Fatidiot1234 (talk) 04:21, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

See Talk:Bar Kokhba's revolt for the corresponding discussion. Humus sapiensTalk 01:21, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)


shouldn't there be a brief mentioning of hadrian's homosexuality, like his relationship with antinous?

Yes, of course, including the death of Antinous - probably sacrificial - in the Nile, and more generally, how Hadrian was so far up the Greeks he he invented a new religion for him, building temples to Antinous across the empire. This page on Hadrian is pathetic, it misses out just about everything of importance, and misrepresents him seriously. Hadrian instigated the Third Jewish-Roman war and holocaust against the Jews: he is comparable to Adolf Hitler - mad, bad and dangerous to know. Now, who here is promoting him? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Extramural (talkcontribs) 20:51, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Gimme a break buddy, since when was a Roman emperor nice to ANYBODY?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:53, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

Actually if we are going to give Hadrian a label for his sexual orientation it would be bisexual, not gay or homosexual. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:06, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

"made love to a horse"??[edit]

This section perhaps needs some clarification

Another loser with no life thinking vandalism is clever. They never seem to realize that we can revert vandalism faster than they can write it, so it's pointless to try. Stan 16:01, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

the building work on hadrians wall started in 0122, not 0112, i found out in a reliable history book.

There is some useful material in the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica that might be incorporated into the article to fill that gap. You can find it here. /Nicke L 21:18, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

That diagonal earlobe creases – a characteristic associated with coronary heart disease is practically medical urban legend. I'm not sure it fits here in wikipedia article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:07, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

This understanding is now outdated and wrong. ("Having one small abnormality in facial features, such as an earlobe crease, is not uncommon, and is usually not associated with a serious medical condition." Medline Plus) Extramural —Preceding undated comment added 20:37, 22 June 2010 (UTC).

Whoever posted that was thinking of Caligula. Or it's just vandalism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:08, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

"friend" of Antinous?[edit]

It seems well known that these men were lovers. The extreme display of grief by Hadrian following the death of Antinous speaks of a strong emotional connection. Taking a young man as a lover is consistent with the Hellene culture Hadrian was a fan of. Why is it not explicitly stated that these men were lovers when there is so much evidence for this? Also Marcus Aurelius in his Meditations disapproves of Hadrians pedophilia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Computatioi (talkcontribs) 10:26, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

"When there is so much evidence for this"? you're drawing such conclusions based on him being upset due to his death? That's hardly 'evidence' to support anything let alone this. I was pretty distraught when my hamster died when i was little. I buried him and made a little hamster gravestone, does that make us lovers? please. you're pushing an agenda. keep it to yourself or source it with irrefutable evidence. (talk) 22:58, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
The comparison between your reaction to the death of your hamster and Hadrian's reaction to Antinous's is so ridiculous it doesn’t really deserve comment, but nevertheless I will. The whole Roman world was put in a state of mourning and vast numbers of statues were erected at public expense. Antinous was a nobody, a greek boy from Bithnya and the level of grief displayed by Hadrian was immoderate and out of character for a man of such undoubted intellect as he. There was clearly something more than a conventional friendship going on. You are right of course that irrefutable proof is lacking but it is also true to say that there is no proof the relationship wasn't homosexual either. The evidence would seem to point towards bi/homosexuality however, especially given the nature of Roman morality. Roman views on bi/homosexuality were completely at odds with those of later times. It was a pre-christian world. What was morally unacceptable to the Romans, as all those who know the slightest bit about Roman history know, was for a man to be the submissive partner in a relationship (i.e. the 'receiver'). The gender of a man's sexual partners was irrelevant as long he was sexually dominant. Hence a lack of comment in the ancient sources to something which was not socially unacceptable is not unsurprising (how many mistresses of kings and Emperors are unrecorded in history). What was special, however, was Hadrian's reaction to Antinous' death. Finally, to suggest that an agenda is being pushed is a perversion of scholarship. What possible agenda could be pursued by suggesting Hadrian was homosexual? The allegation suggests that you have an agenda in ensuring that Hadrian not be seen as homosexual or bisexual. It is probable that Hadrian was at least bisexual, although debate on his relationship with Antinous is welcome and necessary to scholarship. It should have its own section in the article as does Alexander the Great's relationship with his alleged lover Hephaestion (also a man!). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:02, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Hadrian's grief was modeled that of Achilles when Patroclus died, as well as on the Alexander/Hephaestion relationship. That is to say, there were specific things you were supposed to do in Greek culture when your catamite died, so this was Hadrian's opportunity to show how Greek-friendly he was. Hadrian obviously knew how well this sort of drama played in the Greek-speaking world, so well, in fact, that there is a good chance Hadrian offed Antinous to have it play out. Kauffner (talk) 17:19, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
There is also the possibility that he might have considered adopting Antinous, which was a common thing for emperors to do. Hadrian himself was an adoptive son of Trajan and he did after all have two other adoptive sons. Considering that Hadrian was a staunch Philhellene this would make sense. Maybe this possibility could be mentioned if this view is not considered to be original research... OTOH, Historia Augusta which seems to be the main source for the claim of something else between them has some credibility issues, i.e. it's hard to know what's gossip and what's not... Abvgd (talk) 13:11, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Hadrian would not have adopted Antinous as his son. It would have been politically unthinkable, however Philhellenic he was. While adoption was indeed a common act by Emperors (Hadrian actually adopted two sons: Lucius Ceionius Commodus and Antoninus Pius), it was always done to signify an heir to the position of princips (or the throne if you prefer to speak plainly). Antinous was a nobody. He never held any office, never served in the legion and there is no evidence that he did anything but act as a companion to Hadrian. Both of the men adopted by Hadrian, the first predeceased Hadrian thus necessitating the adoption of Antoninus Pius, held consular rank. Antinous' only qualification was his not inconsiderable beauty. For Hadrian to have adopted him as his son would have looked to the Roman establishment as though his reason had been overtaken by lust, something Romans would have seen as an intolerable weakness in a princeps. Even had the relationship been entirely plutonic, which it almost certainly was not, it was still popular gossip that they were lovers. Worse than that he would not only have been seen as a lust blinded fool but incestuous father! The most plausible explanation for Hadrian and Antinous' bond was that it was founded upon on the Greek practice of pederasty which then continued into Antinous' adult life and developed into a full homosexual relationship. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:42, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
We can only use what sources say - we can use Historia Augusta but should include academic commentary, not just the Historia. Dougweller (talk) 13:21, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Why is he still listed as his lover when it is pure speculation, and there is no credible resource to back it up? (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 13:53, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

His estate[edit]

At Hadrian's villa in Tivoli(?)

So far, 15 steps, each 27 feet wide, have been identified and archaeologists did not rule out uncovering more. [1]

Archaeologists who have been digging for more than a year at the villa of Roman Emperor Hadrian in Tivoli have unearthed a monumental staircase, a statue of an athlete and what appears to be a headless sphinx.


Is it not highly relevant that Hadrian was a brutal killer of Christians?--Railsmart


I've taken the phrase 'barbarians for the time being' out because it makes no sense. There is no barbarian 'lifestyle'. The Caledonians chose not to be Roman and the Romans defined them as barbarians. That's all there is to be said. Rcpaterson 03:22, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Where was he born?[edit]

Is it Italica or Rome?

Italica was the birthplace of the Roman Emperors Trajan and Hadrian
Hadrian was born in Rome to a well-established family which had originated in Picenum in Italy and had subsequently settled in Italica, Hispania Baetica (originally Hispania Ulterior).

--hello,gadren 00:11, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Italica was Hadrian's patria, ie his family's home town, and some late Roman historians assumed that to be his birthplace, but he himself was born in Rome as is explicitly stated in the Historia Augusta, here almost universally considerd to be reproducing a good late 2nd or early 3rd century source.Cenedi

Birley's biography on Hadrian states that he was born in Flavian Rome. See also the Cambridge Ancient History, 2nd Edition, Vol XI: The Imperial Peace, p. 132.Neoaeolian

As of today we have his birthplace changed back to Spain, specifically Seville. On what grounds? Cenedi 10:15, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Will people please read the first paragraph of Anthony R. Birley's magisterial new biography of Hadrian, which explains that he had to have been born in Rome? His father was a senator, and senators customarily resided in Rome unless appointed as governors elsewhere. Moreover, his father was probably a praetor at the time of Hadrian's birth, another reason why the family would have to have been in Rome. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mentor2 (talkcontribs) 15:13, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Well, there are far more sources that name Hispania as Hadrian's birthplace than not. Historian Alicia M. Canto "argues that only one ancient source gives Hadrian's birth as Rome (SHA, Vita Hadr 2,4, probably interpolated), opposite to 25 ancient authors who affirm that he was born in Italica. Among these ancient sources is included his own imperial horoscope, which remained in the famous Antigonus of Nicaea's collection (end of the 2nd. century)."

This is also backed by historian F.H. Cramer: "...Hadrian – whose horoscope is absolutely certain – surely was born in southern Spain... (in) SHA, Hadrian, 2, 4, the birth was erroneously assigned to Rome instead of Italica, the actual birth-place of Hadrian..."

Also, it's often claimed that his family is from Picenum, which is misleading because it is well known that his family lived in Hispania for several centuries. He had some Italian ancestry but very little of this ancestry can be proven outside of vague mentions of distant ancestors from Picenum who came to Spain several centuries before his birth. Also, His wife, sister, parents and grandparents are all known to be born and raised in Hispania, they were not ethnically Roman. Aesthetics101 (talk) 10:03, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

according to Elizabeth Speller...assessment of Hadrian beyond "good" and "bad"[edit]

Elizabeth Speller, while an accomplished novelist, was certainly not the first to remark on the complex character of Hadrian that comes down to us from ancient works. The difficulty of categorizing Hadrian as a "good" or "bad" emperor, even by ancient biographical sources that often had a penchant for moralizing caricature, was remarked upon as far back as Gibbon. See Gibbon's Decline and Fall (Methuen ed. 1909, p. 83) "Hadrian was, by turns, an excellent prince, a ridiculous sophist, and a jealous tyrant." While I have nothing against Mrs. Speller, the appearance should not be given that that observation was her original creation. Having the article read "according to Elizabeth Speller.." does give the impression of originality. Seeing that Mrs. Speller's authority on the subject rests on her novel "Following Hadrain" which is itself somewhat of a derivative work (of Marguerite Yourcenar's "Memoirs of Hadrian", an altogether superior work), I am hesitant to award to Mrs. Speller the credit for the observation.

Unless someone can persuade me otherwise, I will change the article to something more reasonable towards all of the Hadrian scholarship that has come before Mrs. Speller's time.

There are a number of other references to Speller. Surely an encyclopedia can cite better sources than a novel, i.e. a fictional account? --Nantonos 09:21, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Why is this person listed as a source along with page numbers but no reference to what those page numbers refer to. Someone's name and a page number with no work to tie the number to, hardly qualifies as a source. (though looking at her biography, it seems that she is not qualified to be a source anyway.) (talk) 19:06, 20 December 2012 (UTC)


Hi there. Under "Cultural Pursuits..." it says "Hadrian drew the whole Empire into his mourning, making Antinous the last new god of antiquity". I didn't change it in case I misunderstood something but what is written can't be what is meant. Many, many more men are deified in 'antiquity' including Emperor Hadrian himself as noted later in this very article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:40, 17 January 2007 (UTC).


Hi there. Under "Cultural Pursuits..." it says "Hadrian drew the whole Empire into his mourning, making Antinous the last new god of antiquity". I didn't change it in case I misunderstood something but what is written can't be what is meant. Many, many more men are deified in 'antiquity' including Emperor Hadrian himself as noted later in this very article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:41, 17 January 2007 (UTC).


I don't think we should assume that they were lovers, there is no concrete proof, and if they were it would have been known and in the open. Pederasty was quite well-known at the time and in practice, there was no need for Hadrian to hide it. A quick read through the pederasty section of Wiki will show anyone that their relation did not seem like an amorous one cause it does not fall within the usual rules. But the fact that he deified him is sort of suspicious as well. Antinous was considerd to be the most attractive male to have ever lived so who knows... MarcusAntoninus 17:52, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Modern scholarship has stopped pretending that they were not lovers. The scandal was not that they were, but that Hadrian wished to continue the relationship once Antinous reached the age of maturity (Birley 2-3, 158 184-185, 241) --Nantonos 09:36, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

born place[edit]

He was born in Italica in a place near the adriatic see , then very young he moved in spain with trajan when he was governor of spain...

What is the source for this statement? Italica is nowhere near the Adriatic. It also isn't identical with Seville, which the article currently has as his birthplace (quite erroneously, I would think). I repeat from 'Where was he born?' above - Italica was his family's home town, not necessarily his own birthplace. The best sources suggest he was born at Rome.Cenedi 00:14, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

I've rejigged the heading paragraph and the start of 'Early Life' to try and lay this matter to rest - ie that Hadrian was born in Rome, where his father, as a senator, resided most of the time - but I have no faith this will be the end of the matter!Cenedi 13:00, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Nowadays, Italica is part of the province of Seville. In the Roman period Italica and Hispalis (Seville) were different cities.


What is this supposed to mean? Stoicism and Epicureanism were often opposing each other (on philosophy of nature, on ethics derived from it, etc.) Daizus 13:52, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

i had the exact same question. i guess it means a god-fearing atheist. second tidbit, what is the difference between a "Jewish persecution" and an "anti-Jewish persecution"? The Jackal God 18:58, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
They seem to be in opposition to one another... (talk) 23:03, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree that this qualification can hardly be correct. Probably meant is a diluted Epicureanism, i.e. someone who loves life and the arts, etc. but who is not a follower of Epicurus, who himself led a sober life, and who adhered to atomism as explanation of the universe. But even calling him a Stoic seems like overdoing it: although he may have admired Epictetus, this not ncecessarily entails any adherence to Stoic philosophical views: possibly to some precepts for daily life. Probably here also a diluted Stoicism is meant, in the sense that Hadrian did not refrain from (sometimes) living the stern and sober life of a soldier when he was on campaign. (Marguerite Yourcenar makes him explicitly criticize the Stoics). Donjanssen (talk) 16:14, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Recent Hadrian / Antinous sex picture[edit]

I think this picture should be removed. This article is not a sex-specific article in the same way that Erotic art in Pompeii and Herculaneum is. I don't think this erotic picture belongs in this article any more than a picture of Henry VIII in bed with Anne Boleyn or George Washington doing it with Martha belongs on theirs. Mlouns 17:51, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. I'm aware that Wikipedia is not censored, but per Wikipedia:Profanity, potentially offensive images should be used "if and only if their omission would cause the article to be less informative, relevant, or accurate". I don't think this painting is important enough to the topic of Hadrian to justify its inclusion. I can see better grounds for including it on the Antinous article, since artistic portrayals are a much larger part of what makes him important than is the case for Hadrian, but I would still incline to omit it if it isn't considered notable by art historians. EALacey 19:20, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
I intend to remove the picture in the next few days. If someone objects, please state why this particular painting is especially important to include in the article. Mlouns 16:57, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I notice it crept back in - removed, again. Shimgray | talk | 20:22, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

GA nomination[edit]

  • Regarding the first requirement (It is well written) the article looks complained.
  • There are some problems with the 2nd requirement (It is well referenced), some sections and paragraphs are completely unreferenced:
    • "Securing power" section, 2nd paragraph;
    • "Hadrian and the military" section, 1st paragraph;
    • "Cultural pursuits and patronage" - almost completely unreferenced;
    • In "Hadrian's travels" section there is only one ref in 3 big paragraphs;
    • Prior to Hadrian's arrival on Great Britain there had been a major rebellion in Britannia, spanning roughly two years (119–121)...In many ways it represents Hadrian's will to improve and develop within the Empire, rather than waging wars and conquering. - an important paragraph without a ref;
this one now fixed --Nantonos 09:47, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
    • "Britannia" section - 1st paragraph;
    • Hadrian spent the final years of his life at Rome. In 134, he took an Imperial salutation for the end of the Jewish War (which was not actually concluded until the following year). In 136, he dedicated a new Temple of 'Venus and Rome' on the former site of Nero's Golden House. - really needs a ref;
    • "Death" section - completely unreferenced;
  • Regarding the third, fourth, fifth and sixth requirements (It is broad in its coverage / It is neutral / It is stable / Any images it contains are appropriate), the article looks compliant.

I'll check back in seven day and see if the article deserves the GA promotion. Best regards, Eurocopter tigre 12:38, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Second Roman-Jewish War[edit]

I added a section on the Second Roman-Jewish war and the role of Hadrian in it by combining the material already present with material from the Wikipedia site on the Roman-Jewish war, lightly edited to make it consistent. RFB —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 05:32, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Britannia section[edit]

This section is really inaccurate: the purpose of Hadrian's wall was not, as is popularly believed, to safeguard the empire against attacks from Caledonia. This can be readily seen by the existence of trading posts that allowed unhindered access through the wall, along with the settlements that sprang up around them (see the first episode of Simon Schama's A History of Britain). The true purpose of the wall was to define the Roman Empire's geographical limits, which had never been previously done. It was basically Hadrian's way of saying, "this is as far as we'll go", and marked a transition from centuries of progressive conquest to the beginning of the empire's decline.

Can someone with more specific knowledge on this update the article? I don't have the sources or experience to really do it justice. -- Hux 02:09, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree - it's most unsatisfactory. The section gives the impression that there had been no military activity in Caledonia prior to Hadrian's visit to Britannia, and that he abandoned the idea of "conquest" north of the Solway/Tyne isthmus in favour of building an impregnable barrier. Hadrian was reversing the misguided and unsustainable expansionist policies of previous emperors, retrenching within clearly defined borders, to best use the available military manpower.

Not only that, the section ties itself in knots. Firstly the wall was to be made of stone as there was "a lack of suitable wood in the area" (the largest forests in England are just north of the Wall, and it was even more heavily wooded in Hadrian's time), and then a substantial part was to be built of turf, as there was a lack of building stone! This ignores the fact that the turf wall and mile-castles had substantial wooden palisades on top, and that it was rebuilt in stone later!

It then goes on to suggest a lack of stone resulted in the narrowing of the wall in the eastern sector! Surprising then, that large 19th and 20th century quarries were dug, destroying whole sections of the Wall, and that the Roman architects were so dim as to plan a construction they couldn't complete with the materials available. Most of this section is conjecture, and poor conjecture at that. Rambler24 (talk) 16:08, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

First bearded emperor[edit]

We wasn't. That honour goes to Nero (54-68), many of whose images - on coins and in statuary - show him sporting a beard (of the 'chinstrap' variety). He too was something of a philhellene. I have edited accordingly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Vallum Hadriani[edit]

I'll add the original Latin name of the Hadrian's Wall: Vallum Hadriani. Fleabox (talk) 17:24, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

The Latin name of the wall is unknown (see the discussion on the Hadrian's Wall page). In any case, it's unlikely to have borne the builder's cognomen (Hadrianus), but his nomen gentilicium (Aelius), as this was the usual Roman naming practice for building projects (although there are a few exceptions). (talk) 08:32, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Edward Gibbon: "happiest era of human history"[edit]

In 1776, Edward Gibbon called Hadrian's epoch the "happiest era of human history". I found a good place where to insert this. Fleabox (talk) 17:33, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

- I am sorry, but I believe that it is not so. The Gibbon's famous quotation, in his chapter I, does not refer to Hadrian's reign concretly, but to the almost totality of the 2nd. century AD, exempting Commodus, be read here. I think you can anyway adapt it, or even to introduce the quote. --Alicia M. Canto (talk) 21:38, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

You are totally right - thanks! What about this modification: In 1776, he stated that Hadrian's epoch was part of the "happiest era of human history". Fleabox (talk) 19:28, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

- Your welcome. Well, it would be much more exact, certainly. --Alicia M. Canto (talk) 07:09, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Personal Life[edit]

Why is the info about his personal life just mixed in with his career instead of having it's own section, like with most articles on famous people? I could not find his marriage, mention of why he had no children (one assumes, since the family tree indicates only an adopted "son" to secure the succession) and Antinous was written about under the heading "Cultural pursuits and patronage." For someone who is researching bisexual people in history, this article does not make that info very accessible, unlike many other articles. Sheela —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:52, 27 December 2008 (UTC) ```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:04, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Family tree[edit]

The name PLOTINA is written in a wrong style. I tried to fix it but couldn't reach the desired effect. Could anyone please help? Thank you.--Broletto (talk) 09:55, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Now it's ok. Maybe it was only a matter of time?--Broletto (talk) 17:35, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

There is no evidence Hadrian stated in his autobiography that he was born in Rome.[edit]

This is a conjecture of the Wikipedia article, based on a faulty reading of the 'Augustan History' biography of Hadrian, purportedly written by one Aelius Spartianus.
I refer to the actual text of the biography.*.html
In the opening paragraph of the the biography, only one reference is made to claims Hadrian made himself in his autobiography:
"The original home of the family of the Emperor Hadrian was Picenum, the later, Spain; for Hadrian himself relates in his autobiography that his forefathers came from Hadria, but settled at Italica in the time of the Scipios."
However, the mention of Hadrian's birth in Rome is an inference of the Augustan History biographer:
"Hadrian was born in Rome on the ninth day before the Kalends of February in the seventh consulship of Vespasian and the fifth of Titus."
Nevertheless, the footnote referring to this claim in the English translation (Loeb Classical Library) says:
"This is, of course, a fiction, and the biography contradicts itself, for Italica is clearly the patria referred to in c. ii.1 and 2, and c. xix.1."
As for the reference to Hadrian's own autobiography, the footnote says:
"For the Autobiography of Hadrian, now lost, cf. c. xvi. It seems to have been written toward the close of his life, and, to judge from scanty citations from it, its purpose was to contradict current statements about himself which he considered derogatory to his reputation and to present him in a favourable light to posterity."
Jacob Davidson

Birthplace, redux[edit]

Just above is an argument saying he wasn't born in Rome. Earlier today -- further up, another editor points to a book which says he must have been born in Rome. The article needs to reflect the dispute, it can't state where he was born, only that there is uncertainty, the locations suggested, and, attributed, the arguments for and against them, without trying to come to a conclusion. Dougweller (talk) 17:09, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Agreed Augustun84 (talk) 05:07, 16 June 2010 (UTC)


Aside from the wall, Hadrian's relationship with Antinous is what he is best known for, both today and in ancient times. The cult of Antinous was one of the most popular ancient cults, with his bust a very common archeological find.[2] Googling Hadrian homosexual yields a staggering number hits, presumably because of this relationship. The issue certainly deserves a mention in the lede.
"Hispano" is the pre-Roman population in Spain. But here we don't mean that Hadrian was mixed race, but only that he came from Spain. "Spain" is just the anglicized form of Hispania, even if the borders are not quite the same. (After all, what country's borders have stayed the same over a 2,000 year period?) Kauffner (talk) 07:19, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Many books about Hadrian will mention the word homosexual, so a large number of hits isn't surprising, but 20,000 web hits, which is about what I saw when I clicked on your link, isn't staggering or proof of anything. If I do a search on Google books with the words Hadrian and emperor, I get about 449,000 (which may merit the word staggering). Replacing 'emperor' with 'homosexual' gives me about 4,710 results. That search on GScholar provides about 2,130 results, Hadrian and emperor about 23,000. The point being that far more books, journal articles, etc do not mention his homosexuality than do mention it. So, if your argument is that is what he is best known for, then I'd challenge your statement. I have found the statement "Hadrian is perhaps best known for his building legacy, especially in Athens, " which is certainly something he is well known for. So no, it doesn't belong in the lead. Dougweller (talk) 08:13, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure the 3rd paragraph in the lead belongs there either. Dougweller (talk) 08:17, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

There is nothing in the lede currently about Hadrian's building projects in Athens. In fact, the lede is full of trivia, especially the third paragraph, like you said. We could take out that paragraph, add the Athens projects and the Bar Kochba revolt, as well as Antinous, and easily stay under 500 words. A published summary of Hadrian's life typically mentions Antinous -- and that's what the lede should do. See here, here, here and even an article entitled "Hadrian the gay emperor" for examples. There is also an enormous amount of writing on the Web about homosexuality that uses Hadrian as an object lesson, as least if the results of this Google search are any indication: homosexuality Hadrian Kauffner (talk) 17:35, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Antinous, redux[edit]

As the previous section makes clear, Hadrian's relationship with Antinous attracted an enormous amount of attention, both in ancient and modern times. I hardly think that adding a few sentences to explain its context and significance constitutes WP:UNDUE or WP:COATRACK. Yourcenar's book is easily the best-known work on Hadrian and it has quite a reputation, as you can see from this review. There is no issue of using it as a source, but merely informing the reader that Yourcenar's view of Hadrian has been influential. Kauffner (talk) 06:37, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Citation needed for Italica?[edit]

It seems that a "citation needed template" affects the fact of Italica location close to Sevilla (Spain). I think it is a so obvious and well-known fact as to render any citation unnecessary.--Auró (talk) 20:45, 14 August 2011 (UTC)


Deleted this entire section - it anachronistically describes Hadrian as making it clear he was 'gay', a category that didn't exist at the time, and its only source is a newspaper article in the Independent. There ought to be a section on Hadrian's sexuality, but one with proper scholarly refs and an understanding of the different sexualities of the ancient world. (talk) 15:05, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

You're right. All that's needed is the Antinous section, which has been a long battle against the neo-Victorians who somehow think it's improper to suggest that H&A got it on. A "Sexuality" section can only contain half-baked psychologizing based on exiguous evidence: OR. Fatidiot1234 (talk) 03:43, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Era style[edit]

This article uses "BCE"/"CE" already. It would be preferred that you keep it this way, out of respect for the Nerva-Antonine Dynasty since they had no affiliation, or liking to Christianity. If you object, please provide a valid reason as to why. Lupus Bellator (talk) 20:57, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

No, the article traditionally used the BC/AD convention until you changed it today. Your change was challenged and reverted per WP:ERA. The article should retain the established convention.Cúchullain t/c 21:02, 4 December 2012 (UTC)
Oppose changing era style, or removing era designation per Plotinus example at WP:ERA. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:00, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Name and title[edit]

I have deleted a weird sentence, but the page was updated before I could explain what I had done:

Deleted sentence:

"In Latin, the full imperial title of Hadrian was also rendered as Tito Ael[io] Hadriano, just as it appears in ancient epigraphic records."


The "full imperial title" is not given of any emperor, only part of a name. Moreover, this is not Hadrian (whose praenomen was Publius) but Antoninus Pius whose praenomen was Titus and whose full imperial name was (CIL III 116 = 6639): [Imp(eratori) Caes(ari)] Tito Ael(io) Hadriano Antonino Aug(usto) Pio p(atri) p(atriae) pontiflici) augur(i) d(ecreto) d(ecurionum)

As this is a dedicatio to the emperor the names and titles are in the dative. They should be rendered in the nominative in an English translation of the Latin text!!!

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Hadrian/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Tim riley (talk · contribs) 10:52, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Starting first read-through. More soonest. Tim riley talk 10:52, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

This is an impressive and substantial article, and unless I run across unexpected obstacles I fully expect to promote it to GA (and perhaps see it at FAC in due course) but there are some drafting points I should like you to look at first. It will take me two or three goes to get through them. Here is the first batch:

  • General
    • The article is mostly written with English spelling, but a few American spellings ("traveled", "honor" etc) have crept in, and need to be amended. (I have a techie shortcut that makes this easy, and I'll gladly do it if you would like me to. Please let me know.)
  • Sources
    • The second sentence is 69 words long, and really could do with breaking into two.
    • ("a mish mash of actual fact, Cloak and dagger, Sword and Sandal, with a sprinkling of Ubu Roi") – this calls for an an inline citation in addition to the reference. And "Cloak and lower case dagger but Sword and upper case Sandal: is this right? I see it's from a French book. If the translation is yours it would be as well to give the original French text in a footnote.
    • "absolutely necessary" – otiose adverb: something is either necessary or it isn't.
    • "However, this may be a ruse" – the word "however" appears 34 times in this article, mostly (as here) quite needlessly. "Howevers", as I well know, creep into one's prose unbidden, but they usually weaken the prose, and should be weeded severely.
    • "can be partially linked" – partially as in partly, no doubt, rather than in a biased way. The ambiguity is somewhat theoretical – who's going to misunderstand it? – but it's as well to make things completely unambiguous, nonetheless.
  • Public service
    • "His first…" – there seems to be a WP convention, with which I don't entirely agree, that at first mention in each paragraph "he" (or "she") won't do, and the name must be used. Here et passim.
    • "Later, he was to be transferred to the Legio I Minervia" – the "was to be" really is ambiguous: does it mean that he was sent to be tribune of the Legio II Adiutrix with the intention that he would go on to be Legio I Minervia or is it merely a succession of events, in which case the "to be" should be removed?
    • "governor of said province" – the "said" grates somewhat: how about just "the" or "that"?
    • "as was customary to the regular senator" – not sure about the preposition here: would "for" be more natural?

Here endeth the first batch. More soonest. Tim riley talk 21:03, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Before resuming my review of the individual sections of the text, I pause here to mention the quite remarkable excess of WP:OVERLINKs. In Early life alone Italica is linked four times. Rome does not need one link, let alone the five it has at present. I spotted other duplicate links (and there may be more) to:

  • Antinopolis
  • Antinous
  • Athens
  • Attianus
  • Augustan Histories
  • Baiae
  • Bar Kokhba
  • Barcelona
  • Bithynia
  • Cassius Dio
  • Danube
  • Ephesus
  • Eusebius
  • Fifth Macedonian Legion
  • Fronto
  • Hadrian's Wall
  • Hellenist
  • Hispania Baetica
  • Historia Augusta
  • Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus
  • Marcus Aurelius
  • Mauretania
  • Nero
  • Pannonia Inferior
  • Pantheon
  • Parthia
  • Pausanias
  • Roman Senate
  • Scipio Africanus
  • Second Temple
  • Sparta
  • Syria
  • Torah
  • Trajan
  • Vallum
  • Vespasian
  • XXII Deiotariana

Resuming the section-by-section review:

  • Securing power
    • "relieve him from his post" – unexpected phrasing instead of the more usual relieve him of his post
    • "Or better, the reason" – who says it's better?
    • "It's probable" – conversational contractions of this kind are inappropriate for an encyclopaedia article. See MOS:N'T.
  • Hadrian and the military
    • "However, disturbances …" – This huge sentence (62 words) needs chopping up.
    • "conjectural and speculative" – how is conjecture distinguished from speculation?
    • "a Greek intellectual that had been" – unexpected choice of pronoun: surely "who" would be normal here?
    • "It's more probable" – chatty contraction, as above.
    • "proof to it" – two points here: first, "proof of it" would be more usual phrasing, surely? And how can it be "proof" of something you have just decribed as merely "probable"?
    • "Great Britain" – WP:OVERLINK – we do not link the names of "major geographic features and locations, languages, and religions".
    • "built on stone" – typo for "of stone"?
    • "Hadrian established intensive drill routines" – I was amused to see what this links to.
  • Cultural pursuits and patronage
    • "an Ancient anonymous source" – is the capital letter intentional?
    • "When Trajan, predecessor to Hadrian" – we have already been told that Trajan was predecessor to Hadrian.
    • "He also wrote an autobiography …" – citation for this sentence, please.

More anon. Tim riley talk 09:51, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

  • Purpose
    • First para, last sentence: lacks a main verb. Indeed, as I read this section I get the strong impression that it is written by someone whose first language is not English, and whether or not I am correct in that surmise I really think the section needs a good copy-edit. Some minor hiccups of English usage earlier in the article didn't seem to me serious enough to fail GA criterion 1a, but I think this section is another matter. I am perfectly happy to give the text a swift once-over – there is no reason why a GAN reviewer should not do so. Please let me know what you think best.
  • Africa, Parthia and Anatolia
    • Third para: this is a rehash of earlier material about the Hadrian-Antinous affair, and doesn't need serving up again here.

Please consider the above point about copy-editing before I go any further. I fear I am inclined to fail the candidacy if it is not addressed. – Tim riley talk 14:26, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Cerme (talk) 13:27, 1 September 2015 (UTC) I will revise the article, mainly by adding some materials from the German version, which is a FA. Then I shall ask for copy edit.Cerme (talk) 13:27, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Fair enough. I'll obviously have to fail the GAN on this occasion, but it is fundamentally a fine piece of work and I look forward to its future progress. Regards, Tim riley talk 20:33, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Bar Kochba War and modern historiography.[edit]

I have found resistence when introducing present-day historians' accounts of the Bar Kochba War, specially in the work of Schlomo Sand, who argues about what he sees as the unhistorical character of the general Jewish exile on the wake of the war, which he takes, among other things, as a by-product of Late Antique Christian historiography (or "Christian mythology"). I am fully aware of the politically charged character of Sand's work and his thesis, however, I have to mention that his views exist and are part of the existing academic views on the war - or not? Abhorrent as the Sand's thesis may appear, he is a bona fide scholar with a teaching post in an Israeli universityCerme (talk) 18:36, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

N.B. What I have attempted in the biographies of both Trajan & Hadrian was, to the full extent of my limited knowledge, to update the historiography used, as to me seems a problem with many of the Roman Imperial biographies on the wiki. That's why I have introduced living authors such as Paul Veyne and Sand as sources into the biograph of Hadrian. As all history is, to a certain measure, present history.... Cerme (talk) 18:52, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia's policy calls out for "reliable sources," but Sand is a historical revisionist who seeks to reinterpret orthodox views on evidence, motivations, and decision-making processes surrounding a historical event, in this case Hadrian's war with the Jews. If, as you claim, it was somehow connected to Jesus's crucifixion, then you have made null and void the Roman governor's call for assistance against the war of independence waged by Bar-Kokhba, which, by all accounts, is the official reason for Hadrian's war against Judea.Davidbena (talk) 19:04, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Okay, I understand what you mean. Only the Late Antique Christian writers were not dealing with actual historical causes such as stating that the Roman governor asked for help because the Jews rebelled, they were pointing to what they saw as Jesus' prophecy fulfilled. But then, I have, en lieu of the book by Sand, found a, in my view, far less controversial source that simply states that the actual consequences of the war and its precise place in Hadrian's religious policies are still a matter for controversy. What I'm trying to convey it's simply that a controversy exists and I'm not trying to solve it - something Wikipedia explicitly forbids Cerme (talk) 19:20, 28 September 2015 (UTC)