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ANTINOÜS, a beautiful youth of Claudiopolis in Bithynia, was the favourite of the emperor Hadrian, whom he accompanied on his journeys. He committed suicide by drowning himself in the Nile (A.D. 130), either in a fit of melancholy or in order to prolong his patron’s life by his voluntary sacrifice. After his death, Hadrian caused the most extravagant respect to be paid to his memory. Not only were cities called after him, medals struck with his effigy, and statues erected to him in all parts of the empire, but he was raised to the rank of the gods, 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 Antinoöpolis was founded on the ruins of Besa where he died (Dio Cassius lix. 11; Spartianus, Hadrian). A number of statues, busts, gems and coins represented Antinoüs as the ideal type of youthful beauty, often with the attributes of some special god. We still possess a colossal bust in the Vatican, a bust in the Louvre, a bas-relief from the Villa Albani, a statue in the Capitoline museum, another in Berlin, another in the Lateran, and many more.

See Levezow, Über den Antinous (1808); Dietrich, Antinoos (1884); Laban, Der Gemütsausdruck des Antinoos (1891); Antinoüs, A Romance of Ancient Rome, from the German of A. Hausrath, by M. Saftord (New York, 1882); Ebers, Der Kaiser (1881).

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