Hadrian and antinous relationship

Antinous - Wikipedia

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. The Roman Emperor Hadrian took a young lover named Antinous. While such relationships were common in Rome and Greece, the. Items related to Antinous and Hadrian, queer relationships from our LGBT collections.

Hadrian: An emperor's love

One of the most iconic buildings of its age, it is the product of the great leaps forward made in Roman construction technology at this time. One of these innovations was in the use of concrete, which made it possible to design types of buildings never seen before in human history.

Hadrian rebuilt it completely. Its core was made from brick and concrete and its front porch is supported by massive columns.

Their granite shafts were quarried in the remote deserts of Upper Egypt and brought to Rome at great expense. Inside, the rotunda contained niches and small shrines for statues of the gods and perhaps also members of the imperial family.

It was lit by a large circular opening at the top of the dome.

hadrian and antinous relationship

It has since influenced many other spectacular buildings, from the most impo rtant church of the Byzantine Empire, Hagia Sophia in Constantinople Istanbul sixth century and the Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul sixteenth centuryto the dome of the Basilica of St Peter in Rome fifteenth centurywhich was partly designed by Michelangelo who had closely studied the Pantheon.

At the time it covered around hectares and is the largest villa known from the Roman world.

Antinous and Hadrian

He added many elaborate buildings and filled it with exquisite works of art. It became an extensive palace and alternative seat of government, almost like a small city, perhaps even like the empire in miniature.

hadrian and antinous relationship

Daring experiments in the design and construction techniques of its buildings turned the site into a vast architectural playground, with some structures that had no equal in the ancient world. Hadrian died on 10 July ADaged just 62 — not particularly old for a man of his social class. His achievements as a ruler testify to a leader who devoted himself to the task of revitalizing and securing the future of his empire.

hadrian and antinous relationship

In the end he died exhausted, but in a position to pass on a strengthened and revitalized empire to his chosen successor. In a bold political statement he built himself a large tomb in the centre of Rome.

Hadrian and Sabina did not have any children and just as he had been adopted by Trajan, Hadrian decided to adopt a worthy successor. His great nephew, Pedanius Fuscus, had hoped to succeed him, but Hadrian ignored his own family and adopted first Aelius Caesar, who died just 18 months later, and then Antoninus Pius.

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

For almost 21 years Hadrian had ruled over one of the mightiest empires the world had ever seen, containing 40 modern countries spread across three continents. Such a societal institution of pederasty was not indigenous to Roman culture, although bisexuality was the norm in the upper echelons of Roman society by the early 2nd century. It is generally agreed, although not proven, that Antinous was also initiated at that time. From there, Hadrian became increasingly critical of Jewish culture, which he feared opposed Romanisation, and so introduced policies banning circumcision and building a Temple of Zeus-Jupiter on the former site of the Jewish Temple.

From there, they headed to Egypt. Although welcomed with public praise and ceremony, some of Hadrian's appointments and actions angered the city's Hellenic social elite, who began to gossip about his sexual activities, including those with Antinous. They hunted down the lion, and although the exact events are unclear, it is apparent that Hadrian saved Antinous' life during their confrontation with it, before the beast itself was killed.

On this tondo it was clear that Antinous was no longer a youth, having become more muscular and hairy, perceptibly more able to resist his master; and thus it is likely that his relationship with Hadrian was changing as a result.

The Lovers–Hadrian and Antinous

The retinue included officials, the Prefect, army and naval commanders, as well as literary and scholarly figures. Possibly also joining them was Lucius Ceionius Commodusa young aristocrat whom Antinous might have deemed a rival to Hadrian's affections.

hadrian and antinous relationship

However, Lambert asserted that this was unlikely because it lacked any supporting historical evidence, and because Antinous himself seemingly exerted little influence over Hadrian, thus meaning that an assassination served little purpose.

However, this is improbable because Hadrian deemed both castration and circumcision to be abominations and as Antinous was aged between 18 and 20 at the time of death, any such operation would have been ineffective.

Life of Antinous

However, in the surviving evidence Hadrian does not describe the death as being an accident; Lambert thought that this was suspicious. Our earliest surviving evidence for this comes from the writings of Dio Cassius80 years after the event, although it would later be repeated in many subsequent sources. 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.

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. 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.