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
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!
The WordPress.com Team prepared a 2015 annual report. 2015 was another great year for my Following Hadrian blog. Let’s revisit some of the most important moments of the year. 'The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 150,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre… Continue reading Following Hadrian 2015: A Year in Review
It is the first day of 2015. Happy new year, everyone! Thank you to all of you for your support and I hope you continue to enjoy my blog for many more years to come! In 2014 I was fortunate enough to explore many wonderful places; Greece, Italy, Israel and Portugal. 2015 is looking promising with… Continue reading Happy New Year!
The WordPress.com Team prepared a 2014 annual report for my blog Following Hadrian. I love how this report compares the number of views of my blog to the number of people seeing an exhibit at the Louvre! The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 110,000 times in 2014. If… Continue reading 2014 in review by WordPress
Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus was born Marcus Annius Verus on April 26, 121 A.D. of a distinguished family of Spanish origin. He was the last of the five “good” emperors of Rome and a major Stoic philosopher. When Marcus Aurelius was a young child he gained the attention and favor of Hadrian by the frankness of his character. Hadrian nicknamed him Verissimus, meaning most truthful or sincere. In 127, at the age of six, Hadrian gave him equestrian honors, and made him a priest of the Salii at the age of eight. After the death of Aelius Caesar (the adopted son and intended successor of Hadrian), Hadrian adopted as his heir Antoninus Pius, Marcus’ uncle, on condition that he in turn adopt Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Ceionius Commodus (Lucius Verus), son of Aelius Caesar. This became know as the Antonine Dynasty. Their reigns were considered as the height of Roman…
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Septimius Severus was born on 11 April 145 in the African city of Leptis Magna, whose magnificent ruins are located in modern-day Libya, 130 miles east of Tripoli.
Although Severus was not a member of the Antonine Dynasty, he and his descendants had close ties with the Antonine emperors. Severus’ grandfather was a duumvir under Trajan, his cousins received suffect consulships in Rome under Antoninus Pius and his own career flourished under Marcus Aurelius and Commodus.
But it does not stop here, Severus entered the Antonine Dynasty by declaring that he was Marcus Aurelius’ son. Not surprisingly, all official portraits of the emperor depict him with…
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Vibia Sabina (83-136 A.D.), a relative of Trajan, was married very young to the future emperor, Hadrian. The comparison with coins, physiognomy, hairstyle and diadem allows for the portrait's identification as the Empress Sabina.