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Antinous: Boy Made God

Antinous: Boy Made God

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by R.R.R. Sith and M. Melfi

 220 mm x 160 mm Pages: 128 Illustrations: 50 color, 10 b&w Paperback

An engaging and well illustrated story of the hero and god Antinous, and how his tragic death ensured immortality through the Roman Empire and beyond

Antinous: Boy Made God is the catalogue of an Ashmolean Museum exhibition that centers around one of the most important surviving portraits of Antinous, an inscribed bust from Syria found in 1879 and currently in a private collection. it is a visual biography of this young man whose fame has endured to today.

Antinous was a Bithynian Greek youth and a favourite, or lover, of the Roman emperor Hadrian.[2] He was deified after his death, being worshiped in both the Greek East and Latin West, sometimes as a god (theos) and sometimes merely as a hero (heros).[3] 

Little is known of his life. He was born in Turkey and probably introduced to Hadrian in 123. He accompanied the emperor during his attendance of the annual Eleusinian Mysteries in Athens, and was with him when he killed the Marousian lion in Libya. In 130, as part of a flotilla going along the Nile, the boy  died from mysterious circumstances.

He was worshipped by a cult throughout the Empire.  Hadrian founded the city of Antinopolis after him and ran games commemorating his life. In Western culture he has appeared in the works of  Oscar Wilde and Fernando Pessoa

The publication also includes additional key portraits, coins of Antinous, medals and bronze figurines and we see why his story has lived so long beyond antiquity to the modern world.

 Professor R.R.R. Smith is the Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology and Curator of the Ashmolean's Cast Gallery and a world expert on ancient sculpture. Dr Milena Melfi is the Assistant Curator of Cast Gallery and Lecturer/Researcher in Classical Archaeology. Both have studied and published on Greek culture under the Roman Empire within which the story of Antinous is placed.


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