|The Story of the Romans|
|by Helene A. Guerber|
| Elementary history of Rome, presenting short stories of the great heroes, mythical and historical, from Aeneas and the founding of Rome to the fall of the western empire. Around the famous characters of Rome are graphically grouped the great events with which their names will forever stand connected. Vivid descriptions bring to life the events narrated, making history attractive to the young, and awakening their enthusiasm for further reading and study. Ages 10-14 |
THE GREAT WALL
 TRAJAN was succeeded by his cousin Hadrian, a good
and true man, who had received an excellent education,
and was very talented. Hadrian had fought with Trajan
in most of his campaigns, and gladly accepted the title
of emperor, which the legions gave him, and which was
confirmed by the Roman senate.
The first act of the new emperor was to reward his
soldiers for their devotion, and his next, to pardon
all who had ever injured him. Thus, we are told that
on meeting an enemy he said: "My good friend, you have
escaped, for I am made emperor."
Hadrian was very affable, and always ready to serve
others. When asked why he, an emperor, troubled
himself thus about others, he replied: "I have been
made emperor for the benefit of mankind and not for my
Instead of continuing to enlarge the Roman Empire, as
Trajan had done, Hadrian now said that it was large
enough; so he did all that he could to have it governed
properly. He did not always remain at Rome, but made a
grand journey through all his vast realm.
Accompanied by able men of every kind, he first visited
Gaul, Germany, Holland, and Britain. Everywhere he
went he inspected the buildings, ordered the
construction of new aqueducts, temples, etc., and paid
particular attention to the training of his armies. He
shared the soldiers' fatigues, marched at their head
twenty miles a day in the burning sun, and lived on
their scanty fare of bread,
 lard, and sour wine; so none of his men every dared
Wherever he went, Hadrian planned great improvements;
and in Britain he built a rampart, or wall,
seventy-three miles long, to protect the Britons from
the barbarians who at that time lived in Scotland.
Then, passing through the western part of Gaul, Hadrian
went up into Spain, and from thence into Africa.
He also visited the East, and made a long stay in
Athens, where he took part for the first time in a
religious ceremony called the Eleusinian Mysteries.
During his stay there, he ordered that the Temple of
Jupiter should be finished, and heard much about the
new religion which the Christians taught.
Although he had at first objected greatly to the
Christians, Hadrian now began to like them, and even
proposed to place Christ among the Roman gods, as
Tiberius is said to have done many years before.
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