Hadrian's brother-in-law, Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus, had been thought of as a potential successor but, by this stage, was regarded as being too old. Servianus, however, had hopes for his own grandson, Gnaeus Pedanius Fuscus Salinator. Both were sentenced to death by Hadrian in 137 AD, probably implicated in an attempted coup.
Lucius Aelius (101-138 AD) was adopted by Hadrian in 136 AD with a view to the succession, but died shortly before Hadrian himself.
Titus Fulvius Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Pius (86-161 AD) was adopted by Hadrian after the death of Lucius Aelius, and became his immediate successor. He was a nobleman whose family came from Nimes, and had followed the usual route to power, serving as Consul in 120, and subsequently as Proconsul in Italy and Asia. During his reign, the borders of the Empire were extended to a limited extent, both eastwards into Germany and northwards into Scotland. Unlike Trajan and Hadrian, however, he never left Italy during the course of his reign.
The Fratres Arvales ("Brothers of the Fields") were a body of priests who offered annual sacrifices, in May, to guarantee good harvests. The order dated back to the time of Numa Pompilius, the second King of Rome (reigned 715-673 BC), and centered around the worship of the Dea Dia, a fertility goddess, probably an aspect of Ceres.