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Sabina AugustaAn Imperial Journey$
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T. Corey Brennan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190250997

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190250997.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 December 2021

Egypt and the Journey Home

Egypt and the Journey Home

(p.125) 8 Egypt and the Journey Home
Sabina Augusta

T. Corey Brennan

Oxford University Press

Sabina visited the famous “singing statue” of the Colossus of Memnon near Egyptian Thebes in November 130, just after Antinoös’ death. The proof is her first-person graffiti carved on a leg of this gigantic statue. Emperor and empress repeatedly visited the statue to hear its sound, as their companion the Seleucid princess Julia Balbilla records in her own verse graffiti on the stone. Her four poems, in a revival of Sappho’s Lesbian dialect with eroticized language, describe the empress, apparently to highlight the attributes of Sabina’s developed, official public persona: youthfulness, seductive beauty, piety, marital fidelity colored by institutionalized jealousy, and communion with the immortal. The chapter then reconstructs honors given Sabina in 131 in travel from Egypt to Anatolia and Athens. The chapter concludes with Hadrian’s forced return to Judaea in 132 to face the Bar Kochba revolt and examines recent evidence for extensive cultic honors to Sabina on Epirus.

Keywords:   Colossus of Memnon, Julia Balbilla, Sappho, Panhellenion, Bar Kochba, Nicopolis, altar

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