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202

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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202 J? OMAN DA YS.
fore the divinity of death, he may receive from his be-
loved companion the promise of inviolable friendship
to the brink of the grave. Such an act, the Greeks called
" pact of loyalty." That not Hadrian himself appears,
but his genius, is an allusion, springing from the most
delicate feeling, to the pure and noble friendship between
him and Antinous. It was to the spiritual not the cor-
poreal being of his lofty, high-minded friend, that An-
tinous gave his heart : to the former, not the latter, be-
longs the oath of fidelity. Their dearest vows, the Hel-
lenes made by the powers of the world below : even the
Olympian gods swore by Styx, the river of the lower
world, and regarded the oath as sacred. The oath was
spoken, while one lighted a torch or a wax light at the
flame of the altar, which was made a witness of the vow
and avenger of its violation. This rite, Hadrian’s genius
is in the very act of performing, as with the right hand he
extends a torch to his friend, and with the left holds that
he himself will use.
" The action described here," adds Botticher, ’’leads
to the conclusion that the work of art was produced be-
fore the death of Antinous ; it bears witness of the love,
blameless and lifted above every suspicion, of Hadrian
for Antinous." Botticher like Friederichs and others,
does not believe the time of Hadrian capable of inde-
pendently creating such a work as this. An Attic pro-
totype from the flourishing time of art, " The pact of
loyalty between Theseus and Perithous," has, perhaps at
the instance of Hadrian himself, given the artist guid-
ance. A vase is still in existence, upon which both
heroes are to be seen offering together to Persephone;
and on various grounds, it is to be inferred that there
was a group representing this subject, in Athens.

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