Bronze statue of Hadrian in the gardens of Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome. Photo by Carole Raddato, 2014.
Today, July 10, we recall the death of Hadrian in 138 C.E. His mausoleum, now known as the Castel Sant’Angelo, was constructed between 123 and 139 C.E. Located on the right bank of the Tiber, it was inspired by the mausoleum of Augustus. The 64 meter circular collonade may have been topped with a cella, and is said to have been surmounted by a gilded statue of Hadrian as Helios, driving the chariot of the sun. Hadrian’s ashes, as well as those of his wife Sabina, were interred in the depths of the building, as were the remains of succeeding emperors down to Caracalla in 217 C.E.
The bronze statue of Hadrian in the foreground was created by Franco Goio in 1940.
Hadrian was deified by the Roman Senate in 139 CE, the year after his death.
Ave, Divus Hadriani! May your pietas inspire in us greater devotion to the gods!