Emperor Hadrian’s Reconstruction Projects in Mysia and Bithynia

Onur GÜLBAY   403–417

 

Abstract: Under Hadrian the empire had its economic, military and political heyday. The emperor undertook many construction and development activities through the empire. Mysia and Bithynia, where he often went hunting, attracted his particular attention. In Mysia he founded four cities named after him. Nowhere else in the empire can be found in such close proximity to one another so many cities named after this emperor. Hadrian adopted the cult of Zeus as if it were a cult of his own person and endeavoured to spread it in the region, giving the title neokoros to Nikaia and Kyzi­kos. He founded the cult of Antinous and began to spread it from said area. He also gave aid to cities damaged by earthquakes; numerous buildings were repaired or reconstructed thanks to him. As a result of these activities Hadrian was honoured by the cities of the region with the titles of restitutor and conservator. Without interfering with the local administrative systems, the emperor brought about the Romanization of the Mysian and Bithynian regions and ensured their development.

Keywords: Hadrian; cult of Antinous; Romanization; restitutor; conservator.

 

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