The more I read about him, the more I’m convinced that it was Hadrian who fused Greek and Roman culture and made it the cornerstone of Greco-Roman/Western civilization.
I’m reading (casually) a book called “Monumentality and the Roman Empire: Architecture in the Antonine Age,” by Edmund Thomas, and he claims Hadrian built or rebuilt a ton of Greek temples and designed cities using Athens as a model (with, of course, the added Roman amenities). Agree or disagree?
Either way, I think Hadrian is one of the most underestimated Roman emperors. To my knowledge, there are only two modern, scholarly biographies of Hadrian (Bernard Henderson in 1923 and Anthony Birley in 2000). Perhaps it is my calling to write a third biography (so around 2019, check out Amazon ;D).