Numismatic and History Discussions > History and Archeology

Hadrian visiting Alexandria in AD 130/131


Potator II:
Here is a tetradrachm minted in Alexandria c. AD 130/131, which commemorates an interesting topic of history. As you all know Hadrian spent a great part of his life visiting the whole empire. Also, he was really found of his favorite Antinoos. It is when they where both visiting Egypt that Antinoos died, drowned in the Nile (accident, suicide, assassination ?). The reverse of that tetradrachm shows a personnification of Alexandria making an offering to Hadrian as a welcome gift, on his arrival in the city.

AVT KAI TRAI ADRIA CEB, Laureate and draped bust of Harian right
L IE (=15 th regnal year=130/131) Hadrian standing left, receiving an offering from Alexandria standing right
Ref : RCV #3736, Hemmet #845


David Atherton:
A very nice coin with an interesting history.

If you would like a book to go along with that coin (matching a book with a coin is something I sometimes do) seek out Royston Lambert's Beloved and God... a very thorough study of Hadrian's relationship with Antinous.

How was Hadrian's relationship with Antinous viewed at the time? I'm aware that a few hundred years prior, it wouldn't have been a big deal, but I'm unaware of to what level homosexual relationships were tolerated by this point in Rome.


David Atherton:
I don't think the relationship itself was viewed as a scandal, remember it wasn't unusual in ancient Rome for an older man to 'oversee' a young boy (the term boy in this case of course refers to a teenager).

The scandal was in the manner of Antinous' death and Hadrian's behavior afterwards.


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