Emperor Hadrian and his beloved Antinous Cameo Silver Pendant

• Handmade 100% Made in Italy • Material Sterling Silver 925
$375.00

This medal, brought to life from my own artwork, commemorates one of antiquity's most poignant love stories: that of Emperor Hadrian and his beloved Antinous. Together, they adorn one side of the medal, symbolizing their enduring bond. On the reverse side lies the intricate layout of the "Maritime Theater," a pivotal setting in their romance located within Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli.

Antinous, a striking young man born in Bithynia, ventured to Rome alongside Emperor Hadrian in 125 AD. Their fateful encounter occurred during one of the emperor's journeys along the borders of the Roman Empire, igniting an immediate and profound love between them. While one might assume such a relationship would be met with scandal, in reality, it aligned with the customs of Ancient Greece and Rome, where nobles often engaged in relationships with young male companions. However, to maintain societal acceptance, certain protocols were observed, with the older and more powerful partner assuming the dominant role.

Historian Royston Lambert noted Antinous as the individual who deeply resonated with Hadrian, forming a connection of unparalleled significance. The "Maritime Theater," an architectural marvel encircled by moats and accessed via drawbridges, served as a sanctuary for contemplation, learning, and love—a cherished rendezvous for Hadrian and Antinous.

Tragically, their love endured for merely five years, as Antinous met a mysterious demise, drowning in the waters of the Nile during a journey. Stricken with grief, Hadrian immortalized his beloved by establishing a cult venerating Antinous as a divine figure, epitomizing the depth of their affection.

In the solace of the Maritime Theater, Hadrian commenced his memoirs, penning the poignant words, "Anima Blandula Vagula" ("little wandering soul"). The profound impact of their love story reverberates through history, transcending time to inspire reverence and admiration for their enduring devotion.