Britannia, Frontiers of the Roman Empire, Hadrian's Wall, Hadrian1900, Roman Army, Vindolanda

Digging at Vindolanda

This summer, in the year we celebrate the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian's Wall, I participated in the excavations at Vindolanda, the famous frontier fort and settlement in Northern England at the edge of the Roman Empire. Vindolanda is a fascinating excavation site, one of the most productive in the world.   Every year, between April and… Continue reading Digging at Vindolanda

Britannia, Hadrian's travels, Hadrian's Wall, Hadrian1900

Summer AD 122 – Hadrian inspects the northern frontiers: part 5 Britannia (#Hadrian1900)

After a lengthy inspection tour on the Rhine and Danube frontiers, Hadrian arrived in Britannia in the summer of 122 with his friend Aulus Platorius Nepos, the man chosen to be the new governor of the province. Nepos' previous posting had been to Germania Inferior, where Hadrian had just spent the last couple of weeks… Continue reading Summer AD 122 – Hadrian inspects the northern frontiers: part 5 Britannia (#Hadrian1900)

Germania Inferior, Germany, Hadrian, Hadrian's travels, Hadrian1900, Limes Germanicus, Roman Army

Spring AD 122 – Hadrian inspects the northern frontiers: part 4 Germania Inferior (#Hadrian1900)

In 122, perhaps in late spring, Hadrian returned from the Danube to the Rhine. The last stage of his journey along the German frontier before moving to Britannia would have taken him down the Rhine to Colonia Agrippinensis (modern Cologne), the Hadrianic capital of Germania Inferior. One of his most trusted friends, Platorius Nepos, who… Continue reading Spring AD 122 – Hadrian inspects the northern frontiers: part 4 Germania Inferior (#Hadrian1900)

Frontiers of the Roman Empire, Hadrian1900, Noricum

Winter AD 121/2 – Hadrian inspects the northern frontiers: part 3 Noricum (#Hadrian1900)

At some stage during his inspections of the northern military borders and fortifications, Hadrian was in the province of Noricum. The evidence for this visit derives from coins celebrating his official arrival (adventus) and, as in Raetia (see here), the army (exercitus Noricus). He may even have visited the famous iron mines that produced the highly prized… Continue reading Winter AD 121/2 – Hadrian inspects the northern frontiers: part 3 Noricum (#Hadrian1900)

Frontiers of the Roman Empire, Hadrian's travels, Hadrian1900, Limes Germanicus, Raetia, Roman Army

Winter AD 121/2 – Hadrian inspects the northern frontiers: part 2 Raetia (#Hadrian1900)

After Hadrian inspected the military forces and installations in Germania Superior (see here), the Emperor visited the limes and the army troops of the neighbouring province of Raetia, now part of German Bavaria. At the time of Hadrian's visit in AD 122, no legion was stationed in this area, but the province relied on its large auxiliaries… Continue reading Winter AD 121/2 – Hadrian inspects the northern frontiers: part 2 Raetia (#Hadrian1900)

Frontiers of the Roman Empire, Hadrian, Hadrian's Wall, Hadrian1900, HW1900

Felicem diem natalem, Hadriane! #HW1900

Happy 1946th birthday, Hadrian! This year, I baked a cake for Hadrian's birthday inspired by Hadrian's Wall and the HW1900 festival. 2022 marks the 1900th anniversary of the beginning of the construction of Hadrian’s Wall. Starting today on Hadrian's birthday, the HW1900 festival will celebrate this epic milestone with hundreds of events taking place along… Continue reading Felicem diem natalem, Hadriane! #HW1900

France, Gaul, Hadrian's travels, Hadrian1900

Spring AD 121 – Hadrian departs for the northern provinces (#Hadrian1900)

Shortly after celebrating Rome's birthday (see here), Hadrian departed on his journey to the northern provinces and began his first extensive voyage through the empire. As he intended to be absent for a considerable time with little idea of a return date, it was necessary to leave the control of Rome in trustworthy hands. Annius Verus,… Continue reading Spring AD 121 – Hadrian departs for the northern provinces (#Hadrian1900)

Hadrian, Hadrian1900, Rome, SPQR

21 April AD 121 – Hadrian celebrates Rome’s 874th birthday with circus games (#Hadrian1900)

Every year, the Romans celebrated the birthday of their city on the 21st of April, the day on which, according to early traditions, Romulus founded Rome by tracing the pomerium, the sacred urban boundary separating the city (urbs) from the country (ager). The celebrations were held during the Parilia, a rural festival associated with flocks and… Continue reading 21 April AD 121 – Hadrian celebrates Rome’s 874th birthday with circus games (#Hadrian1900)

Epigraphy, Hadrian1900, Plotina

Early AD 121 – Plotina writes to Hadrian on behalf of the Epicurean school in Athens (#Hadrian1900)

In the early year of AD 121, Pompeia Plotina, the greatly respected widow of the emperor Trajan, sent Hadrian a letter asking him to help the Epicurean school in Athens solve an issue regarding the rights of succession. According to Roman law, the head of the school was obliged to appoint a new leader from… Continue reading Early AD 121 – Plotina writes to Hadrian on behalf of the Epicurean school in Athens (#Hadrian1900)

Egypt, Epigraphy, Hadrian1900

18 February AD 121 – Titus Haterius Nepos, prefect of Egypt, visits the Memnon Colossus (#Hadrian1900)

On 18 February AD 121, Titus Haterius Nepos, the prefect of Egypt, visited the Colossus of Memnon at the Theban necropolis and heard the statue sing. Nepos immortalised his encounter by inscribing his name upon the right leg of the statue. In a five-line text written in Latin, Nepos attests that he heard Memnon an hour… Continue reading 18 February AD 121 – Titus Haterius Nepos, prefect of Egypt, visits the Memnon Colossus (#Hadrian1900)