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Antinous

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Antinous-osiris.JPG
Antinous as Osiris, from Hadrian Villa in Tivoli.
Bust of Antinous in the museum at
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Bust of Antinous in the museum at Delphi

Antinous or Antino÷s (Greek: Αντινοος, born circa 110 or 111 AD, died 130 AD), lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, was born to a Greek family in Bithynion-Claudiopolis, in the province of Bithynia in what is now north-west Turkey. It's thought he joined the entourage of the Emperor when he passed through Bithynia in about 124 AD, and was always at his side during Hadrian's extensive journeys in Africa and Asia from 128 AD. Hadrian was a great admirer of Greek culture and so he did what many famous Greeks had done before: he fell in love with a beautiful teenage boy.

In October 130 AD Antinous died by drowning in the Nile. It is not known if his death was the result of accident, suicide, murder or religious sacrifice. The grief of the emperor knew no bounds; he enrolled him among the gods, erected a temple and founded a city in his honour, artists vied with each other in immortalising his beauty. In Egypt he was associated with and depicted as Osiris, and associated with the rebirth of the Nile, and Antinous was also depicted as Bacchus cutting vine leaves as a god related to fertility. Temples and statues to his memory were erected all over the Empire, and there began a Cult of Antinous.

As a result, Antinous is one of the best-preserved faces from the ancient world. Many of his statues survive and may be seen in museums across Europe.

Hadrian founded the city of Antinoopolis on the ruins of Besa, where Antinous died. Many busts, gems and coins represent Antinous as the ideal type of youthful beauty, often with the attributes of some special god. Although these are obviously idealised images, they demonstrate what all contemporary writers described as Antinous's extraordinary beauty.

Contents

References

  • Lambert, R., Beloved and God: The Story of Hadrian and Antinous (New York, 1984)

Lead suitor of Penelope

In Greek mythology, Antinous, or Antino÷s, son of Eupeithes, was the leader of Penelope's suitors and was the first to be killed by Odysseus.

Odyssey IV, 628, 660, 773; XVII, 409; XXII, 8.

See also

External links

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es:Antinoo fr:AntinoŘs nl:Antinous pl:Antinous fi:Antinoos sv:Antinous

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