It took me a few chapters to get accustomed to the author’s use of English, and after feeling a little perturbed, I did some online research, only to find that her usage is correct. Afterall, the author is an English woman. An enjoyable read and enlightening about a character of Roman history probably best known for “Hadrian’s Wall”, a barrier built to keep the Picts out, but not necessarily the Romans in. Surprisingly, Speller’s book details relatively little of Hadrian’s experiences outside of the eastern Mediterranean.
An informational account of the Roman Emperor so often associated with the wall in northern England and the Pantheon in the city of Rome, but little understood beyond that. It seems that a great deal of Speller’s focus was put on Hadrian’s philhellenism, his tour of the eastern Mediterranean in the years around 130 AD, and even more about his obsession with his “favourite”. The book could almost be titled “Antinous: A Journey from Mortal Peon to Diety of Sensuality”. The book did serve as inspiration to learn more about Hadrian and some of the other Roman Emperors of the early millennium AD.