The Emperor Hadrian’s rescript on the epicurean school in Athens
Keywords:emperor, Hadrian, rescript, successor, epicurean school
In 121 AD, emperor Hadrian published a rescript in reply to the request submitted to the Princepsby the epicurean school in Athens via Trajan’s widow, Plotina. By vir- tue of the emperor’s constitution, head of the epicurean school at that time, Popilius Theotimos and his successors could freely select their successors irrespective of the can- didate’s citizenship. Yet, the reasons underlying this regulation remain unresolved and not completely clear, especially that they remained in contradiction with the valid legal order and other regulations of emperor Hadrian in this respect. Presumably, special treatment of epicureans was attributable to Trajan’s widow, Plotina. Her inﬂuence onto Hadrian, who owed her much, was quite signiﬁcant. Moreover, it was upon her requ- est that the emperor’s constitution was issued, which may evidence that the empress followed the epicurean philosophy, which was the source of her care for the school in Athens.