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193

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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ANTIQUE STATUES. I93
joined with fine intellectual gifts, the striving after wis-
dom, and religious aspiration, they acted as the revela-
tion of a higher spirit. We call attention to the contem-
porary of Antinous, the Gnostic Epiphanes, who died at
sixteen, to whom the inhabitants of Cephalene erected
temples and museums, statues and altars. When one
speaks of an Antinous ideal, it should probably be under-
stood that nature gave this ideal already perfect to an
art that had long been incapable of begetting anything
new and original.
From Greece, Antinous went with the emperor upon
his travels through Asia Minor, Syria and Palestine, to
Egypt, where they met with the monuments of the Pha-
raohs, the Hamitic symbolical worship of the gods, and
the Alexandrian philosophers’ misty ponderings over the
questions of humanity. During their stay in Egypt,
threatening signs appeared of the insurrection that broke
out in Palestine under the leadership of Messiah-Bar-
kokba, and a tradition arose, that an oracle had foretold
the emperor’s speedy death. Yet Antinous was fated to
go before him. He was drowned in the neighborhood
of Baesa, during a boating-party on the Nile.
Probably he died by an accident. But this, the age
would not believe. His death was placed in connection
with the oracle of which mention has been made. It was
a common idea that one man by voluntary death could
obtain from fate longer life for another; and the rumor
was generally circulated that Antinous, out of love and
gratitude, had consecrated himself to the world below, in
Hadrian’s stead.
By a later historian, Aurelius Victor, this tradition is
reproduced in the following manner: "When Hadrian
wished his life prolonged, but the magi had declared that
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