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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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ANTIQUE STATUES. I9I
Where the lord of the world came on, it was as though a
new spring-tide of humanity had burst into bloom. Him-
self, he had a temperament as sensitive to the beauty of
nature as of art. Spartianus mentions in connection
with this, a trait that reminds us more of the man of the
present, than of him of antiquity. Hadrian one night
climbed yEtna, to enjoy from its summit the spectacle of
a sunrise.
In Athens, at that time, taught the New Pythago-
rean philosopher Secundus, called the Silent. In Ce-
ronea, his native city, yet lived, according to the compu-
tation of some, the venerable Plutarch. Epictetus, Ha-
drian’s friend, was dead, but Arrianus, his disciple, pro-
claimed his master’s sublime philosophy, near of kin to
Christianity. Philosophy was in a state of transition to
a theosophy, full of presentiments. The emperor leaned
in the same direction, and presumably the young Bithyn-
ian also. The conjecture is not improbable, that the
latter was living in Athens for the sake of studies in phi-
losophy, when Hadrian made acquaintance with him. In
any case he can hardly have been a stranger to the doc-
trines promulgated by the intimate friends of the emperor
and embraced by the emperor himself. If ever a face be
mirror of the soul, then did the imaginative, the myste-
rious and the romantic that had expression in the New
Pythagorean, the New Platonic and the Gnostic systems,
which that and the following age begot, find receptive
ground in the mind of Antinous. The little <-hat history
has to say of his nature, supports the idea art has de-
signed to give us of him. His contemporaries thought
he had inspirations from Apollo, and shortly after his
death, prophecies in his name were circulated among
the Hellenes. To ambition, court intrigues and politics.

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