Emperor Hadrian and his beloved Antinous Cameo Silver Pendant
- • Handmade 100% Made in Italy • Material Sterling Silver 925
This medal, born and made from a drawing of mine, depicts together the protagonists of one of the most beautiful gay love stories of antiquity: the Emperor Hadrian and his young lover Antinous. On the other side of the medal there is the plan of the" Maritime Theater", located in Villa Adriana in Tivoli, which played an important part in their love. The beautiful young man, Antinous, born in Bithynia, followed the Emperor Hadrian to Rome in 125 AD. They had met during one of the emperor’s journeys on the border of the Roman Empire and the two fell in love immediately. Given the circumstances, one could think that this must have been viewed as a scandalous affair. However, this was not true. Just like it was custom in Ancient Greece, Roman nobles also had young male lovers. For the relationship to not be considered scandalous, specific guidelines had to be followed: the older, more powerful man always had to be “on top" There was the fact that the two men shared real and genuine feelings. According to historian Royston Lambert, Antinous was “the one person who seems to have connected most profoundly with Hadrian.” The “Maritime Theater”, a circular building surrounded by moats and accessible via two drawbridges, is still visible today in Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli. This was a place for study, meditation and love, and it is where Hadrian met with the beautiful Antinous. Their love lasted only five years; tragically, Antinous drowned mysteriously in the Nile during a journey. In The Maritime Theatre Hadrian began his memoirs.“Anima Blandula Vagula” (”little lost soul”).... Devasted by the sudden death of his beloved, Hadrian founded a cult which worshiped Antinous as a divinity.