Hadrian and antinous relationship

The Lovers–Hadrian and Antinous – Alan Lessik

hadrian and antinous relationship

The Emperor Hadrian passed through Bithynia in the year A.D. and it is believed by the presence of Antinous and his obvious relationship to the Emperor. Hadrian: Empire and Conflict will see the bust make pilgrimages to When Antinous drowned in mysterious circumstances, Hadrian was so. Antinoüs: Antinoüs, homosexual lover of the Roman emperor Hadrian, deified by relationship with Hadrian. In Hadrian: Policies as emperor. Antinoüs. close.

hadrian and antinous relationship

There are several theories as to how this happened. The longer the affair lasted, the greater the risk of being remembered as a homosexual rather than a great Emperor. It was believed that human sacrifice could extend the life of another. It could also have just been a simple case of murder on the Nile for reasons forgotten or unknown.

hadrian and antinous relationship

He founded a city close to where the man died and named it Antinopolis in his memory. He decided Antinous could now be worshiped as a god and built temples to his memory across the empire, commissioning up to statues of his beautiful deceased lover. Hadrian hired Greek sculptors to recreate the stunning beauty of his departed sweetheart. The statues of Antinous all shared similar characteristics such as a broad swelling chest, a head of Grecian curls and his face always turned down, making them very easy to identify.

When the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, most of these temples were destroyed, and many of the beautiful statues disappeared. At least 80 survive today, many of them in the Vatican museums.

Alternative Facts Hadrian was a man very much ahead of his time.

hadrian and antinous relationship

Before his leadership, Roman Emperors were expected to be clean shaven. In the 2nd century Roman Empire, a belief that the death of one could rejuvenate the health of another was widespread, and Hadrian had been ill for many years; in this scenario, Antinous could have sacrificed himself in the belief that Hadrian would have recovered.

The Lovers–Hadrian and Antinous

In this situation, Hadrian might not have revealed the cause of Antinous's death because he did not wish to appear either physically or politically weak. Conversely, opposing this possibility is the fact that Hadrian disliked human sacrifice and had strengthened laws against it in the Empire.

Hadrian was devastated by the death of Antinous, and possibly also experiencing remorse.

  • Hadrian – life and legacy
  • The Love Affair of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and the Handsome Antinous

It has been argued that either his body or some relics associated with him would have been interred at a shrine in Antinopolis, although this has yet to be identified archaeologically. In some inscriptions he is identified as a divine hero, in others as a god, and in others as both a divine hero and a god.

Conversely, in many Egyptian inscriptions he is described as both a hero and a god, while in others he was seen as a full god, and in Egypt, he was often understood as a daemon. All previous buildings were razed and replaced, with the exception of the Temple of Ramses II. To encourage Egyptians to integrate with this imported Greek culture, he permitted Greeks and Egyptians in the city to marry and allowed the main deity of Hir-we, Besto continue to be worshipped in Antinopolis alongside the new primary deity, Osiris-Antinous.

Known as the Antinoeiathey would be held annually for several centuries, being noted as the most important in Egypt. Events included athletic competitions, chariot and equestrian races, and artistic and musical festivals, with prizes including citizenship, money, tokens, and free lifetime maintenance.

Antinous and Hadrian

He focused on its spread within the Greek lands, and in Summer travelled these areas promoting it by presenting Antinous in a syncretised form with the more familiar deity Hermes. A concept of sexual transgression, defined by the term stuprum, did exist. Hadrian visited Egypt in AD along with the imperial entourage, including his wife and Antinous. They embarked on a voyage up the River Nile and on 24 October Antinous drowned in the river, on the same day the locals were commemorating the death, by drowning in the Nile, of the Egyptian god Osiris.

Some thought he had committed suicide or that he had been sacrificed. Others claimed Antinous sacrificed himself to prolong the life of the emperor. He also founded a new city on the banks of the Nile, and named it Antinoopolis. Other Greek cities began to establish their own cults and festivals in honour of Antinous, led by local and senatorial leaders, who wished to express their loyalty to Rome and to Hadrian.

The Love Affair of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and the Handsome Antinous | Ancient Origins

The Antinous cult became popular among the common people, where it seems to have competed with Christianity. Building a legacy Hadrian had a keen personal interest in architecture and some of the most famous buildings of the ancient world were constructed during his reign.

He transformed the city of Rome and many places throughout the empire. New public buildings and religious monuments helped to spread prosperity and create a common identity throughout the empire.

hadrian and antinous relationship

In other words, Hadrian built to unite the people of his empire under his rule.