On the eastern tip of the Rodopou Peninsula in West Crete are the scanty remains of a temple dedicated to the Cretan goddess Diktynna (Diktynnaion). Diktynna was the virgin goddess of hunting and she was worshipped fervently in western Crete as the patroness of hunters and fishermen. Diktynna's name may be connected with Mount Dikte… Continue reading The Hadrianic Temple of Diktynna in Crete
This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a grey basalt Osiris-Canopus jar. The vase represents a form of the Egyptian god Osiris depicted as a jar topped by a human head known as Osiris-Hydreios, or commonly Osiris-Canopus because it was originally exclusively connected to the Canopic region of Egypt. It was discovered in the middle… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Osiris-Canopus jar
The Acropolis Museum in Athens celebrated the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian's accession with the presentation of an exquisite portrait of the Emperor found in Syngrou Avenue and of an interesting video which showcased the Emperor’s immense building program in Athens. The presentation run from 15th January to 31st March 2017. Hadrian was a dedicated philhellene… Continue reading Hadrian at the Acropolis Museum of Athens
This month’s sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa are a pair of marble herms whose heads are traditionally identified as Tragedy and Comedy. According to the Italian archaeologist Giovanni Battista Visconti, both herms were found in 1735 by the owner of the Villa, Giuseppe Fede, near the entrance of the Greek Theatre. It was acquired in 1777 by Conte… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Herms of Tragedy and Comedy
Art has always been an important part of human existence. Over time, individuals have taken great pleasure from beautiful things and sought to acquire lavish personal collections. The first known cases of individuals seeking to accumulate art collections were in Hellenistic Greece more than 2,000 years ago. The Attalids are usually considered the first art… Continue reading A head of Hadrian from a private art collection on show at Musée du Quai Branly in Paris
The Italian State Mint will issue a new collector coin in March 2017 to mark the 1900th anniversary of the beginning of Hadrian's reign (117 - 2017). The obverse shows a bust of Hadrian's facing right. It was inspired by a portrait of Hadrian which is housed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Around the bust… Continue reading 10€ gold coin to commemorate Hadrian
An international team including members of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Palazzo Altemps Museum in Rome and the University of Chicago used new technologies to make an improbable discovery about two portraits of Antinous. The years of research that led to this discovery were the focus of an exhibition titled "A Portrait of Antinous,… Continue reading A Portrait of Antinous, in Two Parts
Happy 1941st birthday, Hadrian! For this year’s birthday cake I chose to cook Apicius’s recipe for Patina versatilis vice dulcis (nut omelette). Patina versatilis vice dulcis recipe (from LacusCurtius): Pignolia nuts, chopped or broken nuts (other varieties) are cleaned and roasted and crushed with honey. Mix in, beat well pepper, broth, milk, eggs, a little… Continue reading Felix dies natalis, Hadriane!
This month’s sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa are a pair of dark-grey marble statues of centaurs. The sculptures became very famous due to their sculptors' outstanding workmanship and the rarity and high quality of their materials. The group was carved in bigio morato marble from the quarries of Göktepe near Aphrodisias in Caria (modern-day Turkey). The statues… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: The Furietti Centaurs
I would like to wish you all a happy, prosperous and inspiring New Year! Here are some New Year's wishes from a Roman oil lamp which was traditionally given as present for New Year’s Day. This Roman lamp was made in Italy in around 50-100 AD to celebrate the New Year. On the discus, a… Continue reading Annum novum faustum felicem vobis!