Many physicians have slain a kingBMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6924.346 (Published 29 January 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:346
- G Dunea
Modern tourists know Hadrian mainly for his mausoleum in Rome or for the wall that he built in the north of England to keep out the barbarians. Historians think of him as an effective emperor and a capable administrator. But he was also a complex personality, full of contradictions during his reign as well as during a lengthy illness characterised by intractable anasarca.
Succeeding to the throne in AD 117, he devoted most of his time to maintaining the peace of the empire, travelling extensively, and building on a large scale. He fought few wars, but in AD 132 put down Simon Bar-Kochba's rebellion in Judea, razing Solomon's temple and so desolating the region that …