Bust of Antinous

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Antinous: The great love of Emperor Hadrian.

Antinous was born approximately between 110 and 115 A.D. in Claudiopolis, a city located in the Roman province of Bithynia (now northwest of Turkey). Hadrian, who traveled throughout the Empire during his reign, visited Claudiopolis twice, in 121 and 123 A.D.

Antinous, then supposed to be 14 years old, attracted the attention of Hadrian (who had passed his forties) as soon as they met during the first or second imperial visit? No one can say. Did they immediately become lovers? Opinions differ. Some historians say so.

Although Antinous had only been one of the many beautiful squires at the beginning of their relationship, the two men would never again separate and Antinous soon became the emperor's faithful companion and his greatest love.

Hadrian and Antinous were inseparable for six years and accompanied him on all his journeys to the heart of the Empire, until his trip to Egypt on October 30, 130, during which Antinous was found drowned in the Nile. No one knew how or why, it happened. There is still speculation today about the nature of his death: was it an accident, a murder, a suicide or some kind of sacrificial rite?
Historian Dion Cassius claims that he was sacrificed to prolong Hadrian's existence. Maybe Antinous wanted to show his love by committing suicide.... Others think he drowned in the Nile; probably a simple accident, as Hadrian mentions. Rarer, some think of a murder, perpetrated by high-ranking figures who feared that the Emperor would adopt his favorite to make him his successor. The case is strange, even today, because no one could prove the mysterious circumstances of his death.

Dimensions

Height: 97 cm.
Width: 76 cm.
Depth: 76 cm.
Weight: 48 Kg
Material: reconstituted marble (marble powder + high density resin)

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Hadrian was born on January 24, 76 AD in Italica (near Seville), was from a new Roman elite from Spain who drew power and fortune from the olive oil trade and was passionate about Greek culture. To the point of adopting pederasty, a form of love commonly practiced in classical Greece, as a way of life. This loving relationship between a man and a young boy was idealized as the perfect union between experience and the pure perfection of youth. 
It was perfectly natural at that time for a Roman to have sex with boys and other men. These relationships were not considered a distinct sexuality that prevented marriage or sex with concubines, but rather a natural inclination of male men.
Hadrian was married to Vibia Sabina (Sabine), his third cousin, but their union seemed to be an unhappy marriage and gave no children. It is easy to conclude that he was simply not interested in heterosexual love.

The cult of Antinous

Hadrian, devastated by the death of his lover, decided to deify Antinous, that is, to raise him to the rank of gods and give him divine immortality under the appearance of Osiris.
We will then speak of the "cult of Antinous" as a religion. Hadrian founded the city of Antinoupolis on the banks of the Nile, which hosted the cult of Antinous, where every year his memory was celebrated through games and a large sanctuary was erected, not far from the place where his young lover died. Hadrian will bring back from Egypt an obelisk, three of whose faces are dedicated to Antinous and the fourth to Hadrian's glory. The obelisk will be erected on the tomb of the new god.

Hadrian commissioned a large number of statues and busts bearing the effigy of the young Bithynian who would thus become one of the most represented characters of Greek and Roman antiquity. Hadrian gave his name to a constellation corresponding to the current constellation of the Eagle. Coins were minted in Greece, the young man's country of origin, and in Egypt on the fifth anniversary of his death. And, under Hadrian's impetus, the cult of Antinous became the last greatest religion throughout the empire before Christianity.

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Bust of Antinous

Antinous: The great love of Emperor Hadrian.

Antinous was born approximately between 110 and 115 A.D. in Claudiopolis, a city located in the Roman province of Bithynia (now northwest of Turkey). Hadrian, who traveled throughout the Empire during his reign, visited Claudiopolis twice, in 121 and 123 A.D.

Antinous, then supposed to be 14 years old, attracted the attention of Hadrian (who had passed his forties) as soon as they met during the first or second imperial visit? No one can say. Did they immediately become lovers? Opinions differ. Some historians say so.

Although Antinous had only been one of the many beautiful squires at the beginning of their relationship, the two men would never again separate and Antinous soon became the emperor's faithful companion and his greatest love.

Hadrian and Antinous were inseparable for six years and accompanied him on all his journeys to the heart of the Empire, until his trip to Egypt on October 30, 130, during which Antinous was found drowned in the Nile. No one knew how or why, it happened. There is still speculation today about the nature of his death: was it an accident, a murder, a suicide or some kind of sacrificial rite?
Historian Dion Cassius claims that he was sacrificed to prolong Hadrian's existence. Maybe Antinous wanted to show his love by committing suicide.... Others think he drowned in the Nile; probably a simple accident, as Hadrian mentions. Rarer, some think of a murder, perpetrated by high-ranking figures who feared that the Emperor would adopt his favorite to make him his successor. The case is strange, even today, because no one could prove the mysterious circumstances of his death.

Dimensions

Height: 97 cm.
Width: 76 cm.
Depth: 76 cm.
Weight: 48 Kg
Material: reconstituted marble (marble powder + high density resin)

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