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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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he was an utter stranger, and the influence he had with
the emperor, he used neither to reach high places of
honor, nor to amass wealth. Envy, always in arms
against the favorites of princes, seems to have spared
him, in the feeling that the bond between him and Ha-
drian was congeniality in unpractical things. We seem
to behold in his features the musing mystic, and at the
same time the world of Hellas, fair, but now languishing
and dying under an apparent renewal of life ; and we
would gladly remain in the belief, that Hadrian loved in
him his own best dreams and those of his time. That the
emperor, artist as he was, was struck at first with his phys-
ical beauty, seems unquestionable ; but with Socrates
and Plato before our eyes, we may and ought to believe
that this feeling, so common in the antique world, was
not seldom coupled with the aim of forming in the physi-
cally beautiful, the morally good. When Hadrian had
lost his beloved friend, he expressed v/ith a warmth of
conviction that created laughter among the sober scep-
tics, the belief that a good genius had taken up its abode
in that friend’s soul ; and when, as it now happened a
new star, (that which yet bears Antinous’ name) was lit
in the firmament, the emperor saw in this, a proof that
the youth had been received into the circle of the heav-
enly powers. In this enthusiasm, the psychologist
should rather see the evidence of a noble friendship, than
of the contrary. And such enthusiasm could hardly
have been possible, if the (in the Hellenic sense) demon-
iac^ which meets us in the statues of Antinous had not
had something to correspond with it in the youth’s being ;
and if it had, this feeling may easily be explained, by the
humor of the time. Where youth and beauty appeared,
* Aaifiuv—a god.

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