Ending wars has always been hard for great powers. Hadrian knew this. In 117 A.D., the new Roman emperor decided to withdraw his forces from an unwinnable war against the Parthian Empire.
Hadrian had inherited the conflict with Parthia—a large empire centered in what is now Iran—from Trajan, his imperial predecessor. Trajan’s generals resisted Hadrian’s withdrawal so forcefully that the emperor feared he might lose both his crown and his life. His ending of the war brought historical condemnation upon him for centuries.
It also was a decision that made Rome stronger.