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BBC Documentaries: Season 2008

2008x55 Hadrian

  • 2008-07-19T20:00:00Z on BBC
  • 60 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest

As the British Museum prepares to launch its spectacular exhibition on the Emperor Hadrian, Dan Snow takes us on a journey around Hadrian's vast empire.
Immortalised in the UK after building a Wall on the edge of his Empire, which bears his name to this day. Hadrian's Wall, as it is known, is just a tiny portion of a massive structure Hadrian had built to protect the Roman Empire, with similar, sister walls running through northern Europe and still more in north Africa. His legacy also includes the Pantheon in Rome.
Hadrian brought the Empire to an unparalleled period of peace and prosperity. At the heart of this great Empire, however, lay a mystery - Hadrian's relationship with a young man, Antinous. The friendship led to Antinous being deified by Hadrian following his death, in strange circumstances, on the Nile.
Dan Snow uncovers the genius and the dark side of Hadrian: peace-maker, frontier-builder, star-crossed lover, architect - and ruthless oppressor of the jews. But still, Dan concludes, Hadrian was one of the greatest Roman emperors.