Hadrian1900, Numismatics

10€ gold coin to commemorate Hadrian

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 [...]

Views of the Art Institute of Chicago exhibition, “A Portrait of Antinous, in Two Parts”. 
Credit: Art Institute of Chicago
Antinous, Exhibition, Museum, Roman Portraiture

A Portrait of Antinous, in Two Parts

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, [...]

Happy 1941st birthday Hadrian!

Felix dies natalis, Hadriane!

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 [...]

Old Centaur
Hadrian's Villa, Hellenistic Art, Mythology, Roman art

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: The Furietti Centaurs

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 [...]

Terracotta oil lamp, on the discus a winged Victory holds a shield on which is inscribed Happy New Year, surrounded by New Year's gifts, made in Italy, around 50-100 AD, British Museum

Annum novum faustum felicem vobis!

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 [...]


The Natalis Antinoi and the collegium of Diana and Antinous in Lanuvium

November 27 was the day when the Natalis Antinoi, the birthday of Antinous, was celebrated. Although the exact year of his birth is uncertain (c. 110-112 AD), an inscription found in scores of fragments in Lanuvio (Italy) attests November 27 (V a.d. Kalendas Decembres) as his date of birth. The marble inscription (CIL 14.2112) was [...]

Fragment of a marble panel with depiction of a musician centaur with thyrsus and drum and a herm of Herakles (Dionysiac subjects).
Hadrian's Villa, Roman art

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Fragment of a marble panel with Dionysiac subjects

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a fragment of a dark grey marble panel with depictions of a centaur and a herm of Hercules. Formerly the property of the duke Braschi in Tivoli, the relief was acquired by the National Roman Museum in 1913 from Giorgio Sangiorgi, a well-known antiques dealer whose gallery was in the [...]

Cartouche of Antinous.
Antinous, Epigraphy, Hadrian, Hadrian's Villa, Rome

The Obelisk of Antinous

While Hadrian was visiting the province of Egypt in late 130 AD, his favorite Antinous drowned mysteriously in the Nile River. This tragic event led to the creation of a new divinity: Osirantinous, or Antinous as a manifestation of Osiris, the god who died and was reborn. One of our best primary sources for information [...]

Mosaic panel depicting a landscape with goats and sheeps and a statue of Dionysus holding thyrsus, from the Sala a Tre Navate (Hall with three ailes) in the Imperial Villa at Hadrian's Villa, Vatican Museums (Sala degli Animali)
Hadrian's Villa, Italy, Mythology, Roman art, Roman Mosaic, Roman villa

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Three mosaic panels with bucolic scenes

This month’s masterpiece from Hadrian’s Villa is a series of heavily restored mosaic panels depicting bucolic scenes with animals. The first panel depicts a rocky landscape with a flock of goats peacefully grazing by a stream. A standing bronze statue dressed in a long tunic is standing on a rock. It holds a bunch of grapes [...]

Tondi adrianei on the Arch of Constantine, Northern side - right lateral, LEFT: Lion hunt, RIGHT: Sacrifice to Hercules
Antinous, Hadrian, Italy, Roman art, Roman Portraiture, Rome

The Hadrianic Tondi on the Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine, dedicated on 25 July 315 AD, stands in Rome between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill, at what was once the beginning of the Via Triumphalis. As described on its attic inscription, it commemorates Constantine’s victory at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge on 28 October 312 AD over the tyrant [...]