Visit Our LGBT Ancestors in Rome

Rome from the Capitoline Museum

One of the treasures of Rome, often overshadowed by the more famous sites in Rome, such as The Coliseum and The Vatican, is The Capitoline Museum, which houses some of the most exquisite ancient Roman marble sculptures, several of which may be of interest to the LGBT community.At the Capitoline Museum, is the Head of Harmodius. Aristogeiton & Harmodius  became famous as Lovers and Slayers of Tyrants.

Double Portrait of Epicurus and Metrodorus (c. 250 AD) Capitoline Museum, Rome

Psyche alata, 2nd century AD, Capitoline Museums, Rome

 While we can only speculate, it is known that Metrodorus was the most prominent disciple of Epicurus, with whom he shared an intimate friendship, and was rarely separated from him. After their deaths, a national holiday was created in their honor.A mythical creature that can be seen in many ancient cultures around the world is that of the fairy. Ancient Roman art has many depictions of fairy-like creatures, perhaps the most well known being that of Psyche, a human woman with butterfly wings.

Bust of Antinous (117-138 CE) Capitoline Museum, Rome

Antinous was a Greek youth and a favorite, or lover, of the Roman emperor Hadrian. He was deified after his death, being worshiped in both the Greek East and Latin West, sometimes as a god (theos) and sometimes merely as a deified mortal (heros).

Following his death, Hadrian deified Antinous and founded an organised cult devoted to his worship that spread throughout the Empire. Hadrian founded the city of Antinopolis close to Antinous’s place of death, which became a cultic centre for the worship of Osiris-Antinous. Hadrian also founded games in commemoration of Antinous to take place in both Antinopolis and Athens, with Antinous becoming a symbol of Hadrian’s dreams.

Antinous became associated with homosexuality in Western culture, appearing in the work of Oscar Wilde and the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa.

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