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By Hadrian's beard! Antinoüs, Hadrian's Greek boyfriend


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(Antinoüs Braschi, Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, the Vatican)

"In 130, Hadrian arrived in Egypt along with his entourage, which included the young Antinoüs, Hadrian's lover, whom he had met seven years earlier in Claudiopolis in Bithynia. During a lion hunt in a Libyan desert, the emperor narrowly saved the young man's life, but a sad fate befell him shortly thereafter during a cruise on the Nile. The details of the events are sketchy: all we know is that Antinoüs somehow fell overboard and was pulled underwater by the stream, drowning. The official version was already questioned in Antiquity, however. Theories range from murder perpetrated by one of his rivals or a gruesome human sacrifice meant to reinvigorate Hadrian's failing health. Whatever the truth behind Antinoüs' death, Hadrian was devastated, and he honored his fallen lover by founding an eponymous city, Antinoöpolis, at the spot where he died and the young man was worshiped as a hero thereafter."

I was shocked today to win this Antinoüs after getting blown out of the water on several other marks. I've wanted to add the young man with a strange story to my collection for years. Despite the wear I'm very pleased to have won this for what I did:


Lydia, Tmolus. Pseudo-autonomous. Time of Hadrian, AD 117-138. Antinous, favourite of Hadrian. AE. 9.54 g. 25.08 mm.

Obv: ΑΝΤΙΝΟΟϹ ΗΡΩϹ. Bare-headed draped bust of Antinous, right.

Rev: ΤΜΩΛΙΤΩΝ. Antinous as Tmolus standing left, holding knotted staff in right hand and maintaining basket on head with his left hand.

Ref: Blum Tmolus 1, Foss type J; RPC 2389.

Near Fine.

On the reverse Antinoüs is represented as Tmolus, who was a mythical king of Lydia, famous for judging the musical contest between Pan and Apollo:


Have any coins of Antinoüs, Hadrian, Tmolus, from Lydia or thoughts, please share!

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Wow!!! Coingratulations on the new acquisition!! It's not every day one encounters an affordable Antinoös!

Here's Hadrian's beard, by the way! 😉

Sabina, AD 117-137.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 22.51 g, 31.2 mm, 6 h.
Rome, AD 132.
Obv: SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AVG P P, diademed and draped bust, right.
Rev: IVNONI REGINAE, Juno standing left, holding patera and scepter.
Refs: RIC 1028; BMCRE 1869; Cohen 38; RCV 3934; UCR 500; Strack 86.

Edited by Roman Collector
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