Hadrian - London, England, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Metro2
N 51° 31.131 W 000° 07.573
30U E 699376 N 5711441
Quick Description: This bust of the Roman Emperor Hadrian is located in the British Museum.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/21/2012 3:33:17 PM
Waymark Code: WMDJPG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member The Blue Quasar
Views: 3

Long Description:
This life-sized marble bust of Roman Emperor Hadrian is located in the British Museum which does not charge an admission fee...and does allow non-flash photography. The Museum's website (visit link) informs us:

"Marble bust of the emperor Hadrian wearing military dress

From Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli, Lazio, Italy
AD 117-118

This portrait bust was found at the Villa Adriana, the Roman emperor Hadrian’s magnificent country residence near Tivoli, outside Rome.

In ancient Rome, the dedication of public statues was governed by rules concerning location, material and iconography. This was even more important when it concerned imperial images. Official portraits were an extremely important way for Roman emperors to reach out to their subjects and their public image was defined by them.

There are hundreds of surviving imperial statues, which show us that there were only three ways in which the emperor could officially be represented: in the battle dress of a general; in a toga, the Roman state civilian costume; or nude, likened to a god. These formats powerfully and effectively evoked the emperor’s role as commander-in-chief, magistrate or priest, and finally as the ultimate embodiment of divine providence.

We know from ancient literary sources that Hadrian was particularly keen to project a strong military image and in this bust we see Hadrian presented as the commander-in-chief.

Sculpted portraits of Hadrian show a remarkably naturalistic detail – a deep, diagonal crease in both earlobes. We now know there is a strong link between these creases and coronary artery disease. They are caused by the collapse of blood vessels in the earlobe, one of the early symptoms of the disease. It is impossible to say if Hadrian suffered from this illness, but the existence of such a life-like element in his portraits brings a strong sense of naturalism to them."

There is a bust of Hadrian's lover Antinous beside this bust of Hadrian.

Hadrian's Wikipedia page (visit link) also informs us that Hadrian "...was a Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in all his tastes. He was the third of the so-called Five Good Emperors.

Hadrian was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus. His predecessor Trajan was a maternal cousin of Hadrian's father. Trajan never officially designated an heir, but according to his wife Pompeia Plotina, Trajan named Hadrian emperor immediately before his death. Trajan's wife and his friend Licinius Sura were well-disposed towards Hadrian, and he may well have owed his succession to them.

During his reign, Hadrian traveled to nearly every province of the Empire. An ardent admirer of Greece, he sought to make Athens the cultural capital of the Empire and ordered the construction of many opulent temples in the city. He used his relationship with his Greek favorite Antinous to underline his philhellenism and led to the creation of one of the most popular cults of ancient times. He spent extensive amounts of his time with the military; he usually wore military attire and even dined and slept amongst the soldiers. He ordered military training and drilling to be more rigorous and even made use of false reports of attack to keep the army alert. Upon his ascension to the throne, Hadrian withdrew from Trajan's conquests in Mesopotamia and Armenia, and even considered abandoning Dacia. Late in his reign he suppressed the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judaea, renaming the province Syria Palaestina. In 136 an ailing Hadrian adopted Lucius Aelius as his heir, but the latter died suddenly two years later. In 138, Hadrian resolved to adopt Antoninus Pius if he would in turn adopt Marcus Aurelius and Aelius' son Lucius Verus as his own eventual successors. Antoninus agreed, and soon afterward Hadrian died at Baiae."
Monarch Ranking: Emperor / Empress

Proper Title and Name of Monarch: Emperor Caesar Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus Augustus

Country or Empire of Influence: Roman Empire

Website for additonal information: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:

Waymark Visitor - Must either

  • Provide a photo at the Statue
  • Answer a related question, if available, as posted on the Waymark description to the satistfaction of the Owner
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    Recent Visits/Logs:
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    Benchmark Blasterz visited Hadrian  -  London, England, UK 10/13/2016 Benchmark Blasterz visited it
    Master Mariner visited Hadrian  -  London, England, UK 4/9/2012 Master Mariner visited it
    Metro2 visited Hadrian  -  London, England, UK 10/24/2011 Metro2 visited it

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