The Mystery of Emperor Hadrian and his Greek Lover Antinous

TLDR Emperor Hadrian's relationship with his Greek lover Antinous was seen as a marker of his respect for Greek culture. Antinous's death led to the founding of a city and the creation of a syncretic god in his honor, and his cult continued to be adored and worshiped even after the triumph of Christianity.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 In late October AD 130, the body of a young man, believed to be part of Caesar's party, was found floating in the Nile, leading to a mystery surrounding his death and his relationship with Emperor Hadrian.
05:13 Emperor Hadrian builds walls and palisades as expressions of contempt for barbarians and views the world ruled by Rome as a great garden, excluding those beyond its borders, while his beard marks him as a philosopher and lover of Greek culture.
09:48 Emperor Hadrian's relationship with his Greek lover Antinous is seen as a marker of his respect for Greek culture, and after Antinous's death, Hadrian founds a city and creates a syncretic god, blending Greek and Egyptian elements, in his honor.
14:39 Antinous is celebrated as a gay god today, but it is debated whether the term "gay" accurately describes his relationship with Hadrian due to the different understanding of sexuality in ancient Rome.
19:15 In ancient Rome, the Romans found it shocking for a man to offer himself up to another man, rather than forcing himself on them, and losing one's sexual integrity or being passive was seen as shameful and enduring, while women were considered passive and not expected to force themselves on others, and powerful women could unsettle this binary but would still be tainted by the fact that they were impudica, and being impudicus or apathicus was seen as playing the role of a woman or a slave, and the word for a man who wants to play the part of a woman is chinatus, which connotes youthfulness, Greek and Eastern influences, and servility, while the object of Roman desire was a young boy or youth who looked like a girl, known as a delicatus, who were expensive slaves and status symbols.
24:24 Eunuchs were prestigious status symbols in ancient Rome, but by the time Hadrian became emperor, they had been criminalized, leading to a desire for delicati or boys who looked like eunuchs, which explains the fascination with Antinous.
29:21 Antinous's origins in the region where the mythological figures Ganymede and Hylas were associated, as well as Hadrian's devotion to Greek culture and the different understanding of same-sex relations in Greece, contribute to the appeal and love that Hadrian had for Antinous.
34:03 The Romans and Greeks had a different understanding of power imbalances in relationships, with the idea of a young man being educated by an older man seen as part of his moral, intellectual, and erotic education, although there were age-centered dynamics and rituals that determined the appropriate age for such relationships.
38:54 Antinous, the slave who became a god and was seen as a perverted parody of Christ by Christian authors, had a cult that was genuinely adored and worshiped by people even after the triumph of Christianity, with evidence of his cult found in over 70 archaeological sites.
43:31 Antinous turning 20 and being upset about his changing body, offers himself as a sacrifice to preserve Hadrian's life, while Tom believes they had a row and Hadrian killed him.
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