Europe 122: Pax Romana
Concerned by the instability which followed Trajan’s expansionism, Hadrian ended the Parthian War by abandoning the provinces of Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Assyria. He then toured the Roman Empire, organizing stable, defensible borders and pushing for cultural unity. The ensuing peace would see the peak of Roman power and wealth.
117 Fall of Parthamaspates▲
Shortly after Trajan’s death, Osroes I overthrew his son Parthamaspates—a Roman client—to regain the Parthian throne. Parthamaspates fled to the Romans, who granted him co-rulership in Osroene as a consolation. With the Roman’s position in the east weakened, Osroes rapidly regained power in Mesopotamia while his rival Vologases III invaded Armenia.
118 First Hadrian–Osroes Treaty▲
In 118 the Roman emperor Hadrian acknowledged the situation in Parthia by recognizing Osroes I as Shah and made the former Roman client king of Parthia, Parthamaspates, the king of Osroene. By this action, Hadrian completed the abandonment of Trajan’s provinces of Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Assyria, as well as the Roman client state of Characene. However, Osroes’ rival Shah Vologases III also made gains, with Trajan recognizing him as the client king of Armenia.
118 Upper and Lower Dacia▲
Following the Roman–Roxolani war (117–118), the Roman emperor Hadrian ceded most of Lower Moesia north of the Danube to the Roxolani. The rest was added to Dacia, which was in turn divided into the provinces of Dacia Superior (Upper Dacia) and Dacia Inferior (Lower Dacia). In 158 Antoninus Pius would reorganize Upper Dacia as Dacia Apulensis (capital Apulum) and Lower Dacia as Dacia Malvensis (capital Romula).
122–128 Hadrian’s Wall▲
In 122 the Roman emperor Hadrian arrived in Britain as part of his tour of inspection of the western part of the Empire. Possibly influenced by recent unrest in northern Britain (c.119), Hadrian ordered the governor Aulus Platorius Nepos to construct a stone fortified wall between the North Sea mouth of the River Tyne and the Solway Firth to secure the frontier. Completed in 128, Hadrian’s Wall was the greatest of the many fortifications the emperor built on the Roman frontier during his reign.