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In 130 of the Common Era Hadrian, the Emperor of all Rome, lost his Beloved to the muddy waters of the Nile. The loss of Antinous changed the emperor and the once sensible man was now dark, dangerous and consumed by guilt and obsession; guilt for the death of the youth and obsession with making that youth a god. The eight years that followed Antinous’s death saw Hadrian feed that obsession with temples and sculptures of his Beloved as well as patronage of the cult that grew out of the story of the tragic youth. Despite the many beauties in his empire eager to satisfy his needs, those distractions paled in the morning light leaving a deeper sense of desolation in Hadrian’s life. Wandering the roads of that empire his thoughts always found their way to the memory of the blue-black curls, the sensuous mouth, the body more godlike than mortal. Even when surrounded by the power of his legions and the adoration of his minions, his life remained a journey alone.

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