"For the constellation, see Antinous (constellation); for the asteroid, see 1863 Antinous; for the mythological figure, see Antinous son of Eupeithes"

Antinoüs or Antinoös (Greek: Polytonic|Ἀντίνοος) (born ca. AD 110/111, died AD 130), was a member of the Roman Emperor Hadrian's entourage, who loved and deified him after his death. []


Antinous was born to a Greek family in Bithynion-Claudiopolis, in the Roman province of Bithynia in what is now north-west Turkey. One version is that Antinous joined the entourage of the Emperor when Hadrian passed through Bithynia in about 124, and soon became his lover who accompanied him on his many journeys through the empire. Another version has it that Hadrian had the empire searched for the most beautiful youth, and chose Antinous. Although some have suggested the two might have had a romantic relationship, it is uncertain if this was true.

In October 130, according to Hadrian, "Antinous was drowned in the Nilus."Fact|date=July 2008 It is not known whether his death was the result of accident, suicide, murder, or religious sacrifice.

At Antinous's death the emperor decreed his deification, and the 2nd century Christian writer Tatian mentions a belief that his likeness was placed over the face of the Moon, though this may be exaggerated due to his anti-pagan polemical style. [Tatian, [ "Tatian's Address to the Greeks"] Ch.X - "And how was the dead Antinous fixed as a beautiful youth in the moon? Who carried him thither: unless perchance, as men, perjuring themselves for hire, are credited when they say in ridicule of the gods that kings have ascended into heaven, so some one, in like manner, has put this man also among the gods, and been recompensed with honour and reward?"]


After his death, the grief of the emperor knew no bounds, causing the most extravagant respect to be paid to his memory. Cities were founded in his name, medals struck with his effigy, and statues erected to him in all parts of the empire. Following the example of Alexander (who sought divine honours for his beloved, Hephaistion, when he died), Hadrian had Antinous proclaimed a god. Temples were built for his worship in Bithynia, Mantineia in Arcadia, and Athens, festivals celebrated in his honour and oracles delivered in his name. The city of Antinopolis or Antinoe was founded on the ruins of Besa where he died (Dio Cassius "lix.11; Spartianus", "Hadrian"). One of Hadrian's attempts at extravagant remembrance failed, when the proposal to create a constellation of Antinous being lifted to heaven by an eagle (the constellation Aquila) failed of adoption.

After deification, Antinous was associated with and depicted as the Ancient Egyptian god Osiris, associated with the rebirth of the Nile. Antinous was also depicted as the Roman Bacchus, a god related to fertility, cutting vine leaves.Worship, or at least acknowledgment, of the idealized Antinous was widespread, although mainly outside the city of Rome. As a result, Antinous is one of the best-preserved faces from the ancient world. Many busts, gems and coins represent Antinous as the ideal type of youthful beauty, often with the attributes of some special god. They include a colossal bust in the Vatican, [. [Mari, Zaccaria and Sgalambro, Sergio: "The Antinoeion of Hadrian's Villa: Interpretation and Architectural Reconstruction", American Journal of Archaeology, Vol 3, No 1, Jan 2007.]




* [ Encyclopædia Britannica: "Antinous"]
*Dietrich, "Antinoos" (1884)
*Ebers, "Der Kaiser" (1881).
*Laban, "Der Gemütsausdruck des Antinoos" (1891)
*Lambert, R., "Beloved and God: The Story of Hadrian and Antinous" (New York, 1984)
*Levezow, "Über den Antinous" (1808)

Ancient Literary Sources

*Biography of Hadrian in the Augustan History (attributed to Aelius Spartianus)
*Cassius Dio, epitome of book 69

External links

* [ The Temple of Antinous, Ecclesia Antinoi]
* [ Antinous Homepage - various facets of the Antinous topic]
* [ Antinous: the face of the Antique] , an exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute
* [*.html Cassius Dio's Roman History, epitome of Book 69]
* [ Sculpture of Antinous] at the [ Lady lever Art Gallery]
* [ The first Antinous Forum (new)]
* [ The Sacred Antinous] - Erotically-charged, explicitly illustrated, queer-themed historical fiction about Antinous and Hadrian
* [ The Shrine of Antinous]
* [ Virtual Museum: Portraits of Antinous]
* [ "Worship of Antinous"]

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