Page 178. " The embalmers delivered their handiwork "

Egyptian mummies of the 1st and 2nd Centuries AD typically had a realistic portrait of the dead person on the innermost coffin, like this example from Fayum.

Coffin portrait from Fayum, Egypt.
Public DomainCoffin portrait from Fayum, Egypt. - Credit: Eloquence



The phrase means "Imperial Discipline" or "Augustan Discipline" but, like "Tellus Stabilita" and "Saeculum Aureum," it is a "genius" or deified abstraction. There are altars dedicated to "Disciplina Augusta" at forts on Hadrian's Wall.

Page 184. " I had encouraged Phlegon to compose a series of chronicles "

The sixteen volumes of Phlegon's Olympiads, covering Graeco-Roman history from the 1st Olympiad (776 BC) to the 229th (137 AD) survive only as fragments in the work of later authors, notably Photius ( and Eusebius (


Page 187. " It was near this period that Quadratus, a bishop of the Christians, sent me a defense of his faith "

Saint Quadratus of Athens was bishop of the city until his death in 129 AD. The text of his letter to Hadrian has not survived, but Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History (IV, 3) has this to say about it:

1. After Trajan had reigned for nineteen and a half years Ælius Adrian became his successor in the empire. To him Quadratus addressed a discourse containing an apology for our religion, because certain wicked men had attempted to trouble the Christians. The work is still in the hands of a great many of the brethren, as also in our own, and furnishes clear proofs of the man's understanding and of his apostolic orthodoxy. 2. He himself reveals the early date at which he lived in the following words: But the works of our Saviour were always present, for they were genuine:— those that were healed, and those that were raised from the dead, who were seen not only when they were healed and when they were raised, but were also always present; and not merely while the Saviour was on earth, but also after his death, they were alive for quite a while, so that some of them lived even to our day.

Page 191. " On that occasion a series of spectacles was given, with marked success, in the theater of Dionysos "

The Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus is located on the southern slope of the Acropolis in Athens, to the east of the better known and better preserved Theatre of Herodes Atticus (which post-dates Hadrian's visit). Originally built in the 5th Century BC, most of the surviving structure dates to the 4th Century BC.


The Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus, Athens
Creative Commons AttributionThe Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus, Athens - Credit: Dalbera
Page 195. " For example, Juvenal, in one of his Satires, was bold enough to attack the actor, Paris "

The satirist, Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenalis) was active in the late 1st and early 2nd Century AD. His five books of Satires are available at Whilst sources agree that he was expelled from Rome, this may well have happened before Hadrian's accession, at the instigation either of Domitian or of Trajan.

Page 198. " a fellow named Simon who entitled himself Bar-Kochba "

This is Simon ben Kosiba (d. 135 AD), who led the 3rd Jewish Revolt of 132-135 AD, and was given the title Bar-Kokhba ("Son of the Star") in reference to the prophecy of Numbers 24, 17 ("...there shall step forth a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite through the corners of Moab...". The revolt had been prompted by a series of laws enacted by Hadrian, forbidding the Jewish practice of male circumcision and expelling Jews from Jerusalem (now renamed Aelia Capitolina). Bar-Kokhba established a Jewish state, which he ruled as "Nasi" (Prince) for three years, before his stronghold at Betar was overcome by the legions. According to Cassius Dio, 580,000 Jews were massacred following this defeat. All Jews thereafter were permanently excluded from Jerusalem, and the province of Judea merged with other territories to form "Syria Palestina." After the failure of the revolt, Rabbinical sources referred to ben Kosiba as Simon Bar-Kozeba ("Son of Lies").