Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Italy Blog #61: Hadrian: a Great and First Openly Gay Emperor

In this Italy blog, we'll look at a special figure in Ancient Italian history who was a great leader and he was openly gay. His name is Hadrian, and his statues were in the Vatican Museum along with a statue of his lover.
 In fact, Hadrian suffered intense grief after his lover died and virtually saw him as a god. In 2008 the U.K. Independent published a great article about Hadrian, which we're sharing here).

Hadrian the gay emperor

WHO WAS HADRIAN?   Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus was not only a peacemaker who pulled his soldiers out of modern-day Iraq. He was also the first leader of Rome to make it clear that he was gay.  Born: January 24, 76 AD, Baetica;    Died: July 10, 138 AD, Baiae, Italy
THE EMPEROR: After being made emperor AD117, he inherited a Roman Empire in its prime, which had thrived on a policy of endless expansion and conquest.

Antoinous, Hadrian's lover
His first move, within hours of coronation, was to withdraw his troops from Mesopotamia, now Iraq, and fortify the empire's boundaries by building his eponymous wall in northern England and others in the Danube and the Rhine valleys, ushering in a new era of peace. The reign that followed can be traced through 200 ancient treasures (which were on display in Britain in 2008).

WHAT WAS HADRIAN FAMOUS FOR? - Aside from being openly gay, Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. Hadrian is known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Britannia. He also rebuilt the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma.
WHO WAS HADRIAN'S LOVER?  - Hadrian's male consort, Antinous, accompanied him on his travels around the empire. Several items about Antinous were found including a poem written on papyrus, featuring the two men hunting together, and memorials to the dead lover at Hadrian's villa in Tivoli. Although it was not uncommon for his predecessors to have taken gay lovers alongside a female spouse, Hadrian was unique in making his love "official" in a way that no other emperor had before him.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ANTINOUS? - When Antinous drowned in mysterious circumstances, Hadrian was so distraught that he chose to commemorate the young Greek by naming an Egyptian city in his honor. What was unusual is that he had a lot of flings, and then after his lover drowned in the Nile AD130 he made him a god.

A CITY NAMED FOR HADRIAN'S LOVER - Hadrian was clearly bereaved and he had lots of images put up. When a city was founded close to the spot where Antinous drowned on the east bank of the Nile in Egypy, he named it Antinopolis. 

Full Article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/hadrian-the-gay-emperor-769442.html


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next