Saturday, April 22, 2006

Exhibition: Hadrian's Egyptian glories

"The Egyptian glories of Hadrian's Villa are highlighted in a new show at the famed site this summer. Egyptian Suggestions at Hadrian's Villa, running till October 15, shows how the ageing emperor peppered the site with Egyptian-style divine representations of his lover Antinoos after the 20-year-old drowned in the Nile in 130 CE (AD) - a probable suicide sparked by Hadrian's new dalliances. As well as numerous statues of Antinoos as the god Osiris, there is a host of statuary evoking the cult of Isis that had become fashionable in Rome, with its esoteric mystery rites and exotic art. Priests, processions of offerings and still-unexplained rituals feature heavily alongside male and female characters in the form of monkeys, lions, sphinxes and crocodiles, as well as the only two Egyptian-style temples to have emerged from the vast site. Visitors will also get their first look at a monumental staircase that recently came to light and forced scholars to rethink their conception of the complex."
For more about the exhibition see the above page.

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