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Paper: Sirius Rising 139 AD: Hadrian, Tivoli, and the Tazza Farnese
Volume: 441, The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena VI
Page: 509
Authors: Aakhus, P. L.
Abstract: The heliacal rising of Sirius in 139 AD, intersecting with the beginning of the Egyptian year after an interval of 1461 years, signaled abundant fertility derived from the flooding of the Nile and the resurrection of Osiris. Hadrian’s preparation for this event, which he did not live to see, at his villa in Tivoli was concurrent with the establishment of the cult of Antinoos assimilated to Osiris, Hermes and Master of the Hounds, following his drowning in the Nile. The site of the obelisk marking Antinoos’ tomb and describing his resurrection has recently been discovered near the so-called “Canopus” at Tivoli , where the prominent placement of Demeter/Isis/Sothis and Antinoos/Osiris suggests the rising of Sirius on 20 July 139 AD and flooding of the Nile. Furthermore, this astronomical-cultural event shown on coins and gems of the period, may also be represented in the much debated iconography of the Tazza Farnese, a carved Hellenistic sardonyx libation bowl owned by a prince of Samarkand, Lorenzo de’ Medici, and Frederick II, and said to have been found in Hadrian's tomb.
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