Europe 117: Accession of Hadrian

Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean on 10 Aug 117 (The Nerva–Antonine Dynasty: Accession of Hadrian), showing the following events: Hadrian’s Dacian War; Parthamaspates of Parthia; End of Kitos War; Principate of Hadrian.

Trajan set about suppressing the revolts in Mesopotamia (116–7), even crowning his own king of Parthia in an attempt to restore order, but fell ill and died before he could complete his efforts. He was succeeded by Hadrian, who quickly traveled to Rome to secure his authority and deal with an uprising on the Danube.

Main Events

117–119 Hadrian’s Dacian War

Shortly after receiving word of Trajan’s death (August 117), Hadrian learned that Quadratus Bassus, commander of Roman forces in Dacia, had been killed in a revolt of the Roxolani—who were angered that Trajan had ceased payments he promised them. The Roxolani and Iazyges then invaded Lower and Upper Moesia, persuading Hadrian to dismantle Trajan’s great bridge across the Danube as a security measure. In 118 Hadrian himself took the field, defeating first the Roxolani and then the Iazyges. Even so, both tribes received lands in Dacia and Moesia, and the Roman subsidies to the Roxolani were wikipedia

117 Parthamaspates of Parthia

In 117 Trajan’s forces recaptured and destroyed Seleucia, defeating and killing the Parthian commander Sanatrukes near Ctesiphon. With some sort of peace established, Trajan crowned Shah Osroes I’s son Parthamaspates as the Roman client king of Parthia. However, following Trajan’s death in August, Osroes quickly overcame Parthamaspates and regained his wikipedia

??–Aug 117 End of Kitos War

In 117 Qunitus Marcius Turbo finally brought an end to the Jewish revolt in Egypt and Cyrenaica, while Lusius Quietus commanded a predominately mounted force to suppress the revolt in Mesopotamia. Jewish rebels from all regions fled to Judea where, under the joint leadership of Lukus, Julianus, and Pappos, they made a last stand at Lydda (Lod). In August, Turbo and Quietus converged on the city, capturing it by siege and assault and crucifying the wikipedia

10 Aug 117–10 Jul 138 Principate of Hadrian

Hadrian was in Antioch, Syria, when he learned of Trajan’s death and of his adoption as Trajan’s heir (although it is possible that Trajan’s widow Pompeia Plotina and others had conspired on Hadrian’s behalf). Hadrian swiftly returned to Rome to be made emperor, abandoning many of Trajan’s gains as indefensible. Over his 21-year reign—the longest since Tiberius—Hadrian visited almost every province in the Empire, constructing buildings and pushing for military preparedness as he went. Although hated by the Senate for executing a number of alleged plotters among them and facing hostility from the Jews over his panhellenism, Hadrian’s rule was largely peaceful. In 138 he died at the age of 62, having chosen Antoninus as his successor and both Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus as Antoninus’ wikipedia