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Ask the Experts

Who was Hadrian, who built the wall?

Born in AD 76, Hadrian became Roman emperor in AD 117 and reigned until his death almost 21 years later. The third of the so-called ‘Five Good Emperors’ credited with the most prosperous and progressive days of the empire, he was particularly notable for his efforts to unite the people under his rule through construction and architecture. Though he boasted no major military achievements, he travelled his realm extensively – including Germany, Africa, Greece, Syria and Egypt – and oversaw the construction of new public buildings and monuments. In Rome itself, he rebuilt the iconic Pantheon that survives today. Following his visit to Britannia in AD 122, he ordered the construction of a sea to-sea to-sea wall to mark the frontier of the northern limit of the empire.

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About History Revealed

Follow the rise and fall of France's most infamous dictator, Napoleon, all the way from emperor to exile. Also inside, celebrate 200 years of Jane Austen and discover what life was really like for Ancient Greeks living in Sparta, the civilisation's most brutal city-state. We've also lined up ten of the greatest partnerships in history, from Marks and Spencer to Rolls and Royce, plus meet the man who inspired 007 – Elizabeth I's forgotten spy, John Dee.