[Solved] Trajan and Hadrian, the Antonine and the Severan Dynasties


Only use these sources to answer the questions. Answers will be found in the following books. – Steven Tuck, A History of Roman Art (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015) ISBN 978-1444330267 (chapter 8 ) – Naphtali Lewis and Meyer Reinhold, Roman Civilization, 2 volumes: The Republic, andthe Empire, Third Edition (Columbia, 1990) ISBN 9780231071314 and 9780231071338 ( section […]

Trajan and Hadrian, the Antonine and the Severan Dynasties

The Roman history involved a lot of war, art, liberal governance, and architecture that played an essential role in the success and longevity of the empire. Not surprisingly, the realm needed some good leaders to build the empire to the peak of its strength in the first century and the period shortly after. Rome’s Good emperors get remembered for implementing policies that considered the poor and for military victories that managed to keep the empire safe and economically stable. Even more, the leaders’ ideology played a hand in shaping Roman art and architecture during their reigns. As such, the good Roman Emperors stood for the transformational power of good leadership that spiralled down to the culture and art of their society and reflects even reflects on modern governance.

During the reign of the high empire, military victories on several fronts allowed their emperors to build productive economies in Rome while expanding the kingdom and establishing great Greek cultural monuments. Trajanus’ successful quest in his reign (98-117 AD) expanded the empire to its greatest extent while boosting the Roman economy from the massive war booty[1].  Hadranius established great cultural monuments in Athens and built Hadrian’s Wall, while Aurelius and Severus managed to conquer resurgent Parthian and Barbarian incursion to Rome[2]. More so, the good Emperors of Rome displayed the ability to foster peace, build education and the economy, and protect the kingdom. For example, Trajunus, a good Emperor, subsidized education and provided food for the poor while establishing low-interest loans for farmers[3]. Other good emperors included Hadrian, Adonine, and Aurelius, who succeeded in protecting the ordinary people, noble administration, and enhancing Roman culture. The Severan dynasty differed from the proceeding dynasties since it adopted hereditary succession after the death of Severus, were two of his sons succeeded him[4].

Different emperors from Rome had varying artistic and cultural tastes, which got reflected in the artistic and architectural works commissioned during their rule. Hadrianus championed Greek art with works such as the Battle of Centaurs and Wild Beast and the Hadrian wall in Roman Britain[5].  The Baths of Trajan symbolized the emperor’s commitment to the public’s well-being, while Marcus Aurelius and Trojun’s columns alluded to the leader’s military ideologies. As Rome’s great architecture contributes to modern art history, different periods utilized different styles. For instance, the onset of the Severan dynasty came with a shift to late antiquity from earlier classical influences[6]. As such, different emperors’ ideologies got reflected in their art and architecture in Rome.

Naphtali Lewis and Meyer Reinhold’s Roman civilization come as classical literature in understanding the empire’s long-lasting influence on modern culture. As the reader explores over a thousand years of civilization and the rise and fall of the empire, it becomes evident that contemporary society used the Roman culture as a foundation stone for political and social life. Like the Roman Empire, leaders continue to exhibit sound and lousy leadership styles. Even as corruption and nepotism played a role in the empire’s fall, these practices were significant threats to our modern society.   The importance of sound policies became illustrated in the leadership of good emperors such as Trajanus and Hadrianus. They cared for the local people in the empire and led some of the most successful reigns in the period.

Roman history involves some crucial historical lessons on good leadership and the impact of governance on the architectural and art scene, which is present even in modern culture. The good Roman emperors stood for the common man through effective policies that safeguarded the economy, the poor, and the vulnerable. Furthermore, the empire’s decline after the Severan dynasties shows the impact of nepotism in hereditary politics as opposed to merit-based succession. It might appear to be a distant past, but the rise and fall of the Roman Empire contain a lot of lessons for modern governance systems.




















Lewis, Naphtali, and Meyer Reinhold. Roman Civilization. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

Tuck, Steven L. A History of Roman Art. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, 2015.


[1] Naphtali Lewis and Meyer Reinhold, Roman Civilization New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Naphtali Lewis and Meyer Reinhold, Roman Civilization New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

[5] Steven L Tuck, A History Of Roman Art Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, 2015.

[6] Ibid


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