Pannonia Inferior- the Hadrian Connection

Quick quiz question

On visiting an erstwhile frontier town from the ancient Roman empire, the emperor you are most likely to encounter or who beat you to that town nearly 1900 years ago is likely to be

(a) Hadrian
(b) Hadrian
(c) Hadrian
(d) All of the above

Hadrian is (maybe after Augustus) one of the most well recognised Roman emperors today- no thanks in small part to his building projects including Hadrian’s wall in the UK, the Pantheon in Rome and so on.

Hadrian's footprints in the Ancient Roman Empire
Hadrian’s footprints in the Ancient Roman Empire

During his reign between 117 and 138 CE, Hadrian visited almost every corner of the empire as it stood then- leaving behind a trail of arches and shrines dedicated to his honour. I have been fortunate enough to visit some (though not all) of these monuments including the impressive Hadrian’s arch in Jerash.

The Imposing Arch of Hadrian Welcomes you to Jerash

So it came as no surprise that Hadrian had left some kind of footprint at Aquincum- the latest ancient Roman town that I visited. However, Hadrian had been proconsul/ governer at Aquincum during the reign of Emperor Trajan (that is before he became emperor). Aquincum (near today’s Budapest) was then part of the province of Pannonia Inferior- a frontier town of the Roman empire with the river Danube as a natural border.

Other Hadrianic sites on my to visit list include Hadrian’s Wall in the UK, Hadrian’s Arch in Athens and Hadrian’s ancestral town Italica near today’s Seville. Although I would love to visit Leptis Magna and Palmyra (what remains)- I’m fairly sceptical given the current situation in the region if any visit possible in the near future.

Bust of Hadrian
Bust of Hadrian By Unknown Marie-Lan Nguyen (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Lav says:

    It’s a pity about the places that have been shut off for us now…
    Good luck, I hope you make it to all the other places in the very near future…

  2. Anabel Marsh says:

    I was born in a little town by Hadrain’s Wall so I know it very well!

  3. Nirmala says:

    Best wishes to make your trip to places!

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