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Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome Paperback – September 14, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Excellent . . . highly recommended . . . a skillfully analyzed and well-researched narrative.”
“One gets a clear and compelling sense of Hadrian’s times.”
—The New Yorker
“[A] skillful portrait . . . The author of biographies of Augustus and Cicero, British scholar Everitt now combines academic expertise with lively prose in a satisfying account of the emperor.”
Top Customer Reviews
However, Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome doesn't quite work as a biography. Too many times, Everitt is forced to qualify his narrative with assumptions or suppositions, while Hadrian himself is far in the background. I appreciate that Everitt warns his readers when he ventures off what is definitely known about Hadrian's life, but it becomes a bit too much.Read more ›
This book also has some great insights into leadership. Hadrain is a great observer of both current events and historical events. His political hero was the great Augustus. He takes many of Augustus`s policies, and makes them his own. He uses the lessons of his two military heroes, to whip a peace time military into shape. He also identifies the evils of Domitian, and how Trajan does such a better job of managing the different parts of government. But he also realizes Trajan is making a mistake by over extending the Empire. Soon after taking over power, Hadrian reverses Trajan`s policy of never ending conquest. This was not a popular decision, but Hadrain has the fortitude to go through with the policy. Hadrain almost always attempts to reach a peaceful agreement on political matters. However, he would use over whelming force if need be, to crush a rebellion.
Many of Hadrain`s policies are still being felt in the modern world. The border of France and Germany, and turning Judea into Palestine, are just two examples.
There was one weak area of the book. When Hadrian comes into power, he begins to travel all over the Empire. Everitt lists all sorts of building details. Everywhere Hadrain goes, he seems to build large monuments.Read more ›
The second half is much more focused on Hadrian. There is, however, a fair amount of speculation on certain events. This is likely due to a lack of source material. The author is quick to point out what is known and what is unknown. For example, Hadrian is believed to have taken a young boy named Antinous as a lover and companion. The boy subsequently drowned in Egypt but the available sources are in conflict over the circumstances of his death. Antinous may have died in an accident or he may have been deliberately sacrificed in a ritual designed to prolong Hadrian's life.
The author does an excellent job of documenting his research. The book is 327 pages long, not counting sources, notes, and an index. It has a detailed chronology and several photographs of statues and monuments. It also contains two maps, one of the Roman Empire and one of Greece. These maps are helpful in orienting the reader to various cities and sites that are referenced in the narrative.
Bottom line: this book is an easy read that moves quickly. Of note, however, is that a little more than half the text is focused on Hadrian. The author spends an equal amount of time on preceding emperors and Roman life in the 2nd century. Given the lack of primary sources, the author did a pretty good job of covering this emperor who is mostly known for building a wall in Britain.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Scrupulously honest about divided views of issues but always honest and clear, this author gives the reader a strong feel for Hadrian's personality and motives. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Rosemary Williams
Everitt's treatment of the life, context and consequences of Hadian is balanced and thoughtful.Published 9 months ago by Gregg M.
A bit too slow, with too many diversions from the actual life of HPublished 10 months ago by Ignacio de Posadas
Objective, and an easy read with a true sense of history.Published 11 months ago by Murray P LeLacheur
This is a very well documented biography of the Emperor Hadrian based on historical writings of his contemporaries and later historians. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Bellerive
This book tries to bring Hadrian and his times to life, and it did seem to me to do so (albeit at the cost of being a little speculative). Read morePublished 12 months ago by Michael Lewyn
Beautiffuly written book with a loads of historic information that are presented in non-dull way. This is not book only for specialist but for people with different interests. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Sookie