Roman Bronze Medallion of Antinous - C.0493 - For Sale

Roman Bronze Medallion of Antinous - C.0493
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Antinous was a youth celebrated for his statuesque looks who caught the fancy of Emperor Hadrian. So beloved by the Emperor was this youth that, upon his untimely death, he was deified. His portrait was immortalized in many life size marble representations and smaller, more intimate, memorials such as this commemorative medallion. The relationship of the youthful Antinous and the powerful, older Hadrian was often compared to the legendary myth of Jupiter and Ganymede. This myth, also known as the Rape of Ganymede (by “rape,” the literal meaning of abduction is implied), describes time when Jupiter, in the guise of an eagle, swooped down an kidnapped the beautiful young boy Ganymede, with whom he had become enamored, and carried him away to Mt. Olympus where he served as cup bearer to the Gods. The linking of the tragic life of Antinous with the mythological Ganymede reveals how both naïve youths were swept away by the power and wisdom of an older man, one the King of the Gods, the other the Emperor of men. This gorgeous hand struck medallion is a testament to enduring love and heartbreak. Hadrian, having lost his young lover, eased his broken heart by creating numerous works of art to honor Antinous. Gazing upon this medallion, we see the idealized image of this handsome youth. We can imagine that the Emperor himself might have once held this medallion in his hands and stared longingly at his lost love. - (C.0493)

Antique Coins
Ancient coins
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