Emperor Hadrian was born on January 24, 76. He was the first ruler of the Roman Empire to wear a beard. This information is important because wearing a beard symbolized Hadrian’s attachment to Greek customs. Namely, while the ancient Greeks used to wear full beards (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and many other examples), the Romans were shaved. Only Hadrian, as the 14th emperor of the Roman Empire, reintroduced wearing a beard, adhering to more Greek than Roman tradition.
Of all the Roman emperors, Hadrian probably traveled the most, visiting almost all the provinces of the Empire. He has even been to Britain, Spain, Africa, our Illyricum as well as the Black Sea coasts. In Egypt it reached south as far as the city of Thebes. He also visited the Palestinian territories, visiting Jerusalem.
Emperor Hadrian is named after the famous Hadrian’s Wall in northern England, which served as a safeguard against the “wild” Picts, and its former mausoleum is today the Angelic Fortress in Rome (Latin Castel Sant’Angelo). Hadrian built one of the most beautiful villas in history – the so-called. Hadrian’s villa in Tivoli. The architecture and decoration of this villa shows his love for Greek culture, as well as the impact of his travels around different parts of the Empire.