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    Description

    Impressive Unpublished Antinous Provincial

    AEOLIS. Cyme. Antinoüs (died AD 130). AE (38mm, 37.27 gm, 12h). NGC Choice Fine 4/5 - 3/5, Fine Style. Hieronymus, as magistrate. ΗΡΩ? ΑΝΤΙΝΟΟ?; bare-headed heroic half-length bust of Antinoüs right, seen from front / ΙΕΡΩΝΥΜΟ? ΑΝΕΘΗΚΕ ΚΥΜΑΙΟΙ?; Apollo (?), half draped, seated left, branch upward in right hand, left arm resting on lyre. Apparently unpublished.

    From the Rockport Collection. Privately purchased from Heritage Auctions in the 1980s. Sold with original custom holder listing older catalog references.

    Antinoüs was a handsome Bithynian youth whom Hadrian probably noticed on his visit to Bithynium-Claudiopolis in AD 123/4. According to Hadrian's recent biographer Anthony Birley, Antinoüs likely found a "discreet place" in Hadrian's entourage and accompanied the peripatetic emperor on his various journeys. Their relationship came to a mysterious end during Hadrian's visit to Egypt in AD 130. During a barge trip up the Nile, Antinoüs drowned, probably on October 24. In his memoirs, Hadrian insisted the youth's death was an accident, but other historians implied either that Hadrian had killed him in some sacrificial rite, or that Antinoüs had committed ritual suicide to preserve Hadrian's health. Whatever the true story, Hadrian's grief was such that he deified the youth and founded the city of Antinoopolis near the spot of his drowning. The cult of Antinoüs spread rapidly throughout the Greek east, making him the last of the truly popular pagan gods. His sculpted image also became ubiquitous as the very personification of male beauty. Antinoüs is extensively honored on the Roman provincial coinage of the East, particularly in Bithynia and Egypt, but is totally absent from the official Roman coinage.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2021
    19th Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 41
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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