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Archives > High Point: Nerva (AD 96) - Commodus (AD 192)

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message 1: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (last edited Mar 04, 2010 07:22PM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 622 comments Mod
This period marked the high water mark of Imperial expansion and the most stable period in the history of the Empire.

Why do you suppose this was true?

What was unique about Nerva's accession as Emperor and his legacy?

What were Trajan's greatest accomplishments?

Was Trajan's decision to ignore Augustus' warning that Rome should stop expanding a good thing or a bad thing?

Why did Hadrian discontinue the expansionist policies of Trajan?

Why did Hadrian do so much traveling?

Why was Marcus Aurelius more devoted to duty than to his personal inclinations?

Why were both the Western and Eastern borders of the Empire so contentious during Marcus Aurelius' reign?

Why was Commodus unable to continue the Golden Age that had been in effect during the reign of the previous two emperors?

message 2: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Nerva was the first of Gibbon's five good emperors. He was not that strong, but he managed to make a peaceful transition between dynasties to the Antonines. He brought back the liberty (and the senate's power) gone during Domitian era and was regarded to be a wise ruler.

Trajan was unique as he's not from a patrician family, a 'foreigner' from Spain, and also a great military leader with his conquests in the Near East He also made some important public works, e.g the forum and column.

His decision to ignore Augustus warning was a rather bad thing. He spent too much time fighting in Parthia and the surrounding areas without giving much thought about how Rome could manage such vast territory, barren and almost no inhabitants. Logistical nightmare and useless occupation. Hadrian was a better emperor in this issue. He understood that there was no use of such occupation and he withdrew the Roman forces and made some kind of a buffer zone between Parthia and Roman territory, to be managed by small kings who were (made to be) loyal to Rome. He also did some awesome job in fortification around his territory inc. his Wall in north England.

Hadrian, a Spaniard like Trajan, personified the "provincial" aspect of the Roman Empire with his decentralization tints. He was an educated Roman with experiences and interests in the provincials. No wonder he rarely spent his time in Rome and went to numerous tours. He understood that some distribution of wealth and facilities throughout the empire is crucial for their long term survival. During his tours, he also made sure that the provinces were loyal to him. He inspected the legions, made some improvements if necessary, as he was also a capable military general.

message 3: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) I watched a documentary by BBC on Hadrian last night and found out some interesting facts:
- he was the one who erased the name 'Judea' (replacing it with Syria-Palestine) thus making the Jews did not have any political 'sovereignty' whatsoever until the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 (18 centuries??)
- he restored 400 cities and built many new ones (forgot the figure)
- the pillars in the Pantheon were granites dug out from the quarries in Egypt. why Egypt? did the stones were better? no...it's because it was the farthest compared with other areas e.g. Elba. Hadrian wanted to prove the harder the work(inc. transporting those stones - one weighs 60 tons - all the way from the desert, the Nile, the sea etc to Rome), the more pride he'd get.
- it was said that Hadrian in his death bed appointed three successors at once: Antoninus Pius, Marcus Annius Verus and Lucius Ceionius Commodus. Well, not all them to become emperors at the same time though. Pius was told to adopt the other two as his successors.

message 4: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 622 comments Mod
Silvana wrote: "I watched a documentary by BBC on Hadrian last night and found out some interesting facts:
- he was the one who erased the name 'Judea' (replacing it with Syria-Palestine) thus making the Jews did ..."

I hope it gets to HK.

message 5: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads, Crazy Cat Lady (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 310 comments Mod
Sounds interesting - with any luck it will cross the Atlantic.

message 6: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Hope so too!

It's a great doc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadrian_...

It was initially aired in 2008 and critically acclaimed.

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