Hadrian A Pederasty In Ancient Greece

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Hadrian was the ruler of the vast and powerful Roman Empire. Antinous was a young Greek boy from Bithynia. Together they embarked on a passionate love affair that spanned several years. It did not end with Antinous’ mysterious and premature death along the Nile River nor did it end another eight years later with Hadrian’s own death. Their relationship, a romance tragically cut short, influenced history and culture for nearly two thousand years. The relationship between Hadrian and Antinous was pederasty in nature. An older man aged somewhere between 20 and 40 (erastes) would become sexually and emotionally involved with a youth aged between 12 and 18 (eromenos). A pederasty relationship was socially acceptable practice in Ancient Greece for centuries. It never played such a large role in Roman society, but its prevalence had highs and lows throughout history. Hadrian took over as Emperor in 117 after the death of his predecessor Trajan . He was 41 years old at this time. Despite the fact that Hadrian was an accomplished military leader, his reign was one of relative peace. Hadrian spent a large portion of his rule traveling outside of Rome. He visited nearly every province in the empire. His travels were an important part of his own style of governing. He wanted to “…[better]…show more content…
It is possible that during his first tour around the empire he came across Antinous in Claudiopolis in the year 123 as he was departing from Nicomedia, another Bithynian city. From there some suggest Antinous entered the service of the emperor and went to Italy for training. Sometime after that he became the favorite. Others list a wide variety of possible meetings: from being presented to the emperor among a group of slaves to Hadrian spotting him next to a pool in a palace of Nicomedia . There is no concrete evidence either way so we’re left to speculate on all the potential

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