Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hadrian's Villa (Continued)

Figure 1 - Antinous (Munich)
     While in Egypt, the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, had a tragedy strike. A court favorite of his, a man name Antinous, died under mysterious circumstances (possibly he fell in the Nile and drowned). Antinous was deified after his death and worshiped throughout the Roman Empire.

     Antinous was of Greek origin, but born in what is now Turkey. Little is known of his life other than the fact that he became a favorite of Hadrian's and travelled with the Emperor throughout the Roman Empire. In Libya, Hadrian may have actually saved Antinous' life by killing a lion.

Figure 2 - Bust of Antinous (Louvre)
After his friend's death, Hadrian founded the city of Antinopolis near the place where his favorite died, and this city became the center of the worship of Osiris-Antinous. The Emperor also encouraged the worship of a god named Hermes-Antinous in the Greek parts of the empire.

Figure 3 - Another Bust of Antinous (Louvre)
     In researching this post on Antinous, I remembered that  there are two busts of this young man in the Louvre in Paris. Both of these busts (figures 2 and 3) were originally found in Hadrian's Villa, along with the statue shown here (figure 1, now in Munich). Both of the busts show Antinous wearing the Nemes headdress normally worn in Egypt only by the Pharaoh. In figure 3 you can see the young man's curly hair showing below the headdress.

Copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed

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