Front Matter The First Settlers Escape from the Burning City The Clever Trick The Boards Are Eaten The Wolf and the Twins Romulus Builds Rome The Maidens Carried Off Union of Sabines and Romans Death of Romulus Strange Signs of the Romans The Quarrel with Alba The Horatii and Curiatii Tarquin and the Eagle The Roman Youths The King Outwitted The Murder of Tarquin The Ungrateful Children The Mysterious Books Tarquin's Poppies The Oracle of Delphi The Death of Lucretia The Stern Father A Roman Triumph A Roman Triumph (Cont.) Defense of the Bridge The Burnt Hand The Twin Gods The Wrongs of the Poor Fable of the Stomach The Story of Coriolanus The Farmer Hero The New Laws Death of Virginia Plans of a Traitor A School-Teacher Punished Invasion of the Gauls The Sacred Geese Two Heroes of Rome Disaster at Caudine Forks Pyrrhus and His Elephants The Elephants Routed Ancient Ships Regulus and the Snake Hannibal Crosses the Alps The Romans Defeated The Inventor Archimedes The Roman Conquests Destruction of Carthage Roman Amusements The Jewels of Cornelia Death of Tiberius Gracchus Caius Gracchus Jugurtha, King of Numidia The Barbarians The Social War The Flight of Marius The Proscription Lists Sertorius and His Doe Revolt of the Slaves Pompey's Conquests Conspiracy of Catiline Caesar's Conquests Crossing of the Rubicon Battle of Pharsalia The Death of Caesar The Second Triumvirate The Vision of Brutus Antony and Cleopatra The Poisonous Snake The Augustan Age Death of Augustus Varus Avenged Death of Germanicus Tiberius Smothered The Wild Caligula Wicked Wives of Claudius Nero's First Crimes Christians Persecuted Nero's Cruelty Two Short Reigns The Siege of Jerusalem The Buried Cities The Terrible Banquet The Emperor's Tablets The Good Trajan Trajan's Column The Great Wall Hadrian's Death Antoninus Pius The Model Pagan Another Cruel Emperor An Unnatural Son The Senate of Women The Gigantic Emperor Invasion of the Goths Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra A Prophecy Fulfulled First Christian Emperor Roman Empire Divided An Emperor's Penance Sieges of Rome End of the Western Empire

Story of the Romans - Helene Guerber

Hadrian's Death

The emperor Hadrian's chief delight was in building. For instance, he gave orders for the rebuilding of Carthage, and when he visited Egypt he had Pompey's tomb carefully repaired.

In Palestine, Hadrian would have liked to rebuild Jerusalem. The Jews were delighted when they heard this, because the Christians had declared that the city would never rise again. Their joy, however, did not last long, for they and the Romans soon began a terrible quarrel which ended in a war. More than five hundred thousand Jews perished in the struggle, and countless Romans and Christians also were killed.

After making two journeys to visit all the different parts of his empire, Hadrian went back to Rome, where he hoped to end his life in peace among learned men, and in devising new laws and erecting new buildings. He built a palace at Tibur, and a fine tomb on the banks of the Tiber. This tomb was long knows as "Hadrian's Mole," but is now generally called the "Castle of St. Angelo," on account of the statue of the angel Michael which surmounts it.

Hadrian's tomb

Tomb of Hadrian.

Hadrian, as we have seen, had been gentle and forgiving during the first part of his reign; but he now began to suffer from a disease which soon made him cross and suspicious. He therefore became very cruel, and, forgetting that he had once quite approved of the Christians, he ordered a fourth persecution, in which many were put to death.

To make sure that the Romans would be governed well after his death, Hadrian selected as his successor a very good and wise man named Antoninus. Then, feeling that his sufferings were more than he could bear, he implored his servants to kill him. They all refused, so he sent for many doctors, and took all the medicines they prescribed.

This, of course, somewhat hastened his death; and we are told that he spent the last moments of his life in dictating verses addressed to his soul. These are well known, and perhaps you will some day read them when you learn Latin, the language in which they were written.

Hadrian was buried in the tomb which he had built on the banks of the Tiber; and, when you go to Rome, you will surely visit this building, although it is so old that many changes have been made in it since it was first finished.