Head from a marble statue of Vespasian


British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

Antinous was a young Greek from Bythinia (now northern Turkey).
It is known that the Roman emperor Hadrian passed through this area in AD 123 and many scholars believe this was when they met. Later sources make it very clear that Hadrian and Antinous formed a homosexual relationship. Although we know little of their personal bond, it is understood they shared a passion for hunting.
In AD 130 Hadrian visited Egypt with his imperial entourage, including his wife Sabina and Antinous. After an extended stay in Alexandria, they embarked on a voyage up the River Nile. On 24 October Antinous drowned in the river. This was the same day on which the locals annually commemorated the death, by drowning in the Nile, of the Egyptian god Osiris. Although Hadrian maintained Antinous


  • Title: Head from a marble statue of Vespasian
  • Date Created: 70/80
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 45.72cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Subject: emperor/empress
  • Registration number: 1850,0304.35
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Carthage
  • Period/culture: Roman Imperial
  • Material: marble
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Doubleday, John. Excavated by Reade, Thomas

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