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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
IX. THE EARLY EMPIRE: THE WORLD UNDER ROMAN RULE, 31 B.C.-l80 A.D.
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HADRIAN THE ADMINISTRATOR
Hadrian distinguished himself as an administrator. He may be compared with Augustus in his love of peace and in his care for the interests of the provincials. Hadrian made two long journeys throughout the Roman world. On the frontiers he built fortresses and walls, in the provinces he raised baths, aqueducts, theaters, and temples. Scarcely a city throughout the empire lacked some monument to his generosity. Hadrian left behind him the memory of a prince whose life was devoted to the public welfare—the first servant of the state.
MARCUS AURELIUS, THE PHILOSOPHER ON THE THRONE
The last of the "Good Emperors," Marcus Aurelius, was a thinker and a student, but he enjoyed little opportunity for meditation. His reign was filled with an almost uninterrupted series of campaigns against the Parthians on the Euphrates and the Germans on the Danube and the Rhine. These wars revealed the weakness of the frontiers and rapidly growing strength of the barbarians. After the death of Marcus Aurelius the empire entered on its downward course. But before passing to this period of our study, we may take a survey of the world under Roman rule, during the two centuries between Augustus and Marcus Aurelius.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy