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Publius Aelius Hadrianus (Hadrian) (76-138)

Emperor of Rome from 117-138. Following the expansionist reign of Trajan, Hadrian sought to stabilize disaffected areas and to defend frontiers. A major portion of his reign was spent on tours of inspection in the provinces, and his personal presence among the border troops served to assure their loyalty. In 122, while visiting Britain, he ordered the construction of a wall which was to run the entire length of the province's northern frontier, and which, not surprisingly, has come to be called Hadrian's Wall.

Up to this time all had not been well in Britain, which had been engaged in constant warfare during the governorship of Pompeius Falco (188-122). The invasions had been from barbarian tribes outside the province, with some possible collusion with rebel tribes on the inside. According to a fourth century description of the wall, it was intended to divide the barbarians from the Romans.



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