the wife of the emperor Hadrian was the grand-niece of Trajan, being the daughter of Matidia, who was the daughter of Marciana, the sister of Trajan. Sabina was married to Hadrian about A. D. 100 through the influence of Plotina, the wife of Trajan, but not with the full approbation of the latter.
The marriage did not prove a happy one. Hadrian complained of his wife's temper, and said that he would have divorced her if he had been in a private station; while she used to boast that she had taken care not to propagate the race of such a tyrant.
But, although Hadrian treated her almost like a slave, he would not allow others to fail in their respect towards the empress; aud, accordingly, when Septicius Clarus, the praefect of the praetorian cohorts, Suetonius Tranquillus, and many other high officers at the court behaved rudely to her during the expedition into Britain, Hadrian dismissed them all from their employments. Worn out by his ill-treatment Sabina at length put an end to her life.
There was a report that she had even been poisoned by her husband. Spartianus speaks as if she had died about two years before Hadrian, and it appears from a coin of Amisus, that she was alive in A. D. 136. Tillemont supposes that she did not die till after the adoption of Antoninus, since the latter calls her his mother in an inscription.
This, however, is scarcely sufficient evidence. Antoninus was adopted in February, A. D. 138, and Hadrian died in July in the same year. (Spartian, Hadr.
1, 2, 11, 23; Aurel. Vict. Epit.
14.) Sabina was honoured with the title of Augusta,
as appears from her medals.
She received her title at the same time as Hadrian was called Pater Patriae.
.) Orosius supposes that this took place at the beginning of the reign of Hadrian, but Eckhel has shown that it must be referred to A. D. 128. Sabina was enrolled among the gods after her death, as we see from medals which bear Divae Sabinae.
She is frequently called Julia
Sabina by modern writers lint the name of Julia is found only on the forged coins of Goltzius. (Eckhel, vol. vi. pp. 519-523.)