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Antinous

(born AD 111, died AD 130) Favourite lover of the Emperor Hadrian

Antinous was a youth of renowned beauty from Bithynia in northwest Asia Minor (Turkey). He is best known as the favourite lover of the Emperor Hadrian (born AD 76, died AD 138), accompanying him on tours of his Empire.

Hadrian visited Egypt in AD 130, along with both his wife and Antinous, and embarked on a voyage up the River Nile. On 24 October Antinous drowned in the river. The extent of their love for one another was indicated by reports that Hadrian wept for him like a woman’. It is thought that Antinous might have sacrificed himself to the Gods in order to ensure Hadrian’s prosperity. Hadrian mourned Antinous’ death intensely and publically rather than in private as was custom.

Antinous became something of a celebrity after his death. He was deified (worshipped as a God) and a new city named Antinopolis was founded near the site of his death. Hadrian erected statues, such as this one, which embodied an ideal form of youthful beauty, throughout his Empire.
  • Gender
    Male
  • Relationship
    Subject of
  • Nationality
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Born
    111
  • Place of birth
    Asia: Western Asia: Turkey: Bithynia
  • Died
    130-10-24
  • Place of death
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Cause of death
    Drowning
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