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Exhibition Explores the Roman Emperor Who Loved Greek Culture

(Courtesy of National Archaeological Museum)

Greece and Italy are coming together to highlight the life of the Roman emperor Hadrian whose love for Athens and Greek culture left a huge historical legacy.
The National Archaeological Museum, together with the Italian Archaeological School of Athens, is organizing a temporary exhibition “Hadrian and Athens: Conversing with an Ideal World”.
It marks the 1,900 years since the beginning of Adrian’s Principate in AD 117, and its purpose is to portray Hadrian’s philhellenism while also highlighting his immense influence which forged a common base at the core of Western culture.
Artifacts and exhibits come from the National Archaeological Museum’s collections. Different portraits of Emperor Hadrian are on display in an imaginary philosophical dialogue about Greek culture with emblematic figures of intellectuals.
Portrait bust of Antinous, found in Patras (AD 130-138). Next to it a stele with a list of the officials of the Gymnasium and the ephebes, by tribe. Found in Athens. About AD 212/213. (© Archaeological Receipts Fund/National Archaeological Museum)

Portraits of Plato and Aristoteles, standing as symbols of Greek philosophical thought, observe the imagined conservation. Through this enriched exhibition narrative, the guardians of the traditional education (paideia) of ancient Athens are approached with new interpretative media that highlight the deep spiritual affinity between Hellenic and Roman culture.
Two additional exhibition halls portray other aspects of Hadrian’s presence in Athens, creating a parallel thematic tour to the rest of the museum.
The exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum (Patission 44, Athens 10682) will run until November 2018. The opening hours are Monday 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Tuesday-Sunday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

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