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Trajan's second expedition against the Dacians, he entrusted to Hadrian the command of a legion, and took him with him. Hadrian distinguished himself so much by his bravery, that Trajan rewarded him with a diamond which he himself had received from Nerva, and which was looked upon as a token .that Trajan designated him as his successor. In a. d. 108 Hadrian was sent as legatus praetorius into Lower Pannonia; and he not only distinguished himself in the administration of the province, and by the strict discipline he maintained among the troops, but he also fought with great success against the Sarmatians. The favourable opinion which the emperor entertained of Hadrian on this account was increased through the influence of Plotina and Licinius Sura, a favourite friend of Trajan ; and Hadrian was made consul suffectus for the year 109 ; hay, a report was even spread that Trajan entertained the thought of adopting Hadrian, and of thus securing to him the succession. After the death of Licinius Sura, Hadrian became the private secretary of Trajan; and the deference paid to him by the courtiers now increased in the same proportion as the intimacy between him and the emperor. Through the influence of Plotina, he obtained in A. d. 114 the office of legate during the war against the Par-thians; and in 117 he. became consul designatus for the year following. It is said that at the same time he was promised to be adopted by the emperor; but Dion Cassius expressly denies it; and the further remark, that he was designated only consul suffectus, seems to show that Trajan, at least at that time, had not yet made up his mind as to his adoption.
While Trajan was carrying on the war against the Parthians, in which he was accompanied by Hadrian, and while he was besieging the town of Hatra, he was taken severely ill. He placed Hadrian at the head of the army and the province of Syria, and returned to Rome ; but on his way thither he died, at Selinus, in Cilicia. Now it is said, that on the 9th of August, 117, Hadrian received intelligence of his adoption by Trajan, and on the llth the news of his death ; but this statement is contradicted by Dion Cassius, who renders it highly probable that Plotina and Attianus fabricated the adoption after the death of the emperor, and that for this purpose Trajan's death was for a few days kept secret. It is even said that Trajan intended to make Neratius Priscus his successor. Thus much, however, seems certain, that the fact of Trajan leaving Hadrian at the head of affairs in the east, when his illness compelled him to leave, was a sufficient proof that he placed the highest confidence in him. Hadrian was at the time at Antioch, and on the llth of August, 117, he was proclaimed emperor. He immediately sent a letter to the senate at Rome, in which he apologised for not having been able to wait for its decision, and solicited its sanction, which was readily granted.
The Roman empire at this period was in a perilous condition: the Parthians, over whom Trajan had gained brilliant victories, had revolted, and been 'successful in several engagements; the provinces of Mauritania and Moesia were invaded by barbarians; and other provinces, such as Egypt, Syria, and Palestine, were in a state of insurrection. Hadrian, with a wise policj7, endeavoured, above all things, to establish peace in the east. He purchased it with a great but necessary sacrifice: it
was surely wise to give up what could not fee maintained. He therefore renounced all the conquests which his, predecessor had made east of the Euphrates ; he restored Mesopotamia and Assyria to the Parthians, and recognised Cosrhoes, whom Trajan had deposed, as their king; while he indemnified Parthamaspater, whom Trajan had made king of the Parthians, by assigning to him a small neighbouring kingdom. Armenia, moreover, was raised to the rank of an independent kingdom. While engaged in making these arrangements, he is said to have been advised by Attianus to put to death Baebius Macer, praefect of the city, Laberius Maximus, and Frugi Crassus, either because they opposed his accession, or because they were otherwise hostile towards him ; but it is added that Hadrian rejected this advice, though Frugi Crassus was afterwards killed, but without the emperor's command. Lusius Quietus, who at the time had the command in Mauritania, but was suspected of an attempt to place himself at the head of the Roman world, was deprived of his post, which was given to Marcius Turbo, who, under Trajan, had reduced the rebellious Jews, and was a personal friend of Hadrian.
After having settled thus the most urgent affairs of the empire, he went from Antioch to Cilicia, to see the body of Trajan, which was to be conveyed to Rome by Plotina, Attianus, and Matidia. Soon after his return to Antioch he appointed Catilius Severus governor of Syria, and travelled to Rome in a. d. 118. A triumph was celebrated to commemorate the victories of .Trajan in the .east, and the late emperor's image was placed in the triumphal car. The solemnity was scarcely over when Hadrian received the news that the Sarmatae and Roxolani had invaded the province of Moesia. He forthwith sent out his armies, and immediately after he himself followed them. The king of the Roxolani complained* of the tribute, which he had to receive from the Romans, not being fully paid ; but Hadrian concluded a peace with him, for which he had probably to pay a heavy sum. After this was settled, it appears that Hadrian intended marching into Dacia to attack the Sarmatians, when he was informed of a conspiracy against his life ; it had been formed by the consular, Nigrinus, in conjunction with others of high rank, among whom are mentioned Palma, Celsus, and Lusius Quietus. Hadrian escaped from the hands of the conspirators, and all of them were put to death, as Hadrian himself said, by the command of the senate, and against his own will, though it was believed at the time, and is also maintained by Dion Cassius, that Hadrian himself had given orders for their execution. In consequence of this act of severity, popular feeling was very strong against him, especially as it was rumoured, that the conspiracy was a mere pretence, devised for the purpose of getting rid of those men who had been opposed to him during the reign of Trajan. As Hadrian had to fear the consequences^of this state of public feeling, he entrusted the provinces of Pannonia and Dacia to Marcius Turbo, who had just pacified Mauritania, and returned to Rome. His first object was to refute the opinion that he had any share in the execution of the four con-sulars, and he soothe^ the minds of the people by games, gladiatorial exhibitions, and large donations in money. Another act, which must have won for him the favour of thousands, both in Italy and the