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The Roman emperor Hadrian officially founded the city of Antinoöpolis in ancient Egypt

29 octubre, 2017
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Información en castellano, aquí
Information en français, ici.

Hadrian, also spelled Adrian, Latin in full Caesar Traianus Hadrianus Augustus, original name (until 117 ce) Publius Aelius Hadrianus (born January 24, 76 ce—died July 10, 138, Baiae [Baia], near Naples [Italy]), Roman emperor (117–138 ce), the emperor Trajan’s cousin and successor, who was a cultivated admirer of Greek civilization and who unified and consolidated Rome’s vast empire. He was the third of the so-called Five Good Emperors.

In Bithynium-Claudiopolis (modern Bolu) in northwestern Asia Minor, Hadrian encountered a languid youth, born about 110, by the name of Antinoüs. Captivated by him, Hadrian made Antinoüs his companion. When, as they journeyed together along the Nile in 130, the boy fell into the river and drowned, Hadrian was desolate and wept openly. A report circulated and was widely believed that Antinoüs had cast himself deliberately into the river as a part of some sacred sacrifice. Although Hadrian himself denied this, the sober 3rd-century historian Dio Cassius thought it was the truth. The religious character, if such there was, of the relation between Hadrian and the boy is totally elusive. The emotional involvement is, however, quite clear. Seeing Hadrian’s grief, the Greek world strove to provide suitable consolation for the bereaved and honour for the deceased. Cults of Antinoüs sprang up all over the East and then spread to the West. Statues of the boy became a common sight. In Egypt the city of Antinoöpolis commemorated his death.

Antinoöpolis, modern Sheikh ʿIbade, Roman city in ancient Egypt, on the east bank of the Nile, 24 miles (38 km) south of modern al-Minyā in al-Minyā muḥāfaẓah (governorate) and 177 miles (285 km) south of Cairo. The earliest levels excavated date to the New Kingdom (1567–1085 bc). On the site of a Ramesside temple, the Roman emperor Hadrian officially founded the city on October 30, ad 130, naming it after his companion Antinoüs, who had drowned in the Nile near the site earlier that year. The Via Hadriana, which led to the Red Sea, began at Antinoöpolis. Papyri found there have provided information about its constitution, which was based on that of Naukratis. The citizens were considered Greeks, although they could marry Egyptian women. Under Diocletian (ad 286) it became capital of the Thebaid nome.

Under Valens (reigned ad 364–378) it became the seat of two bishops, one Orthodox, the other Monophysite. The city survived at least to the 8th century ad. A theatre, many temples, a triumphal arch, a circus, and a hippodrome were still visible in the early 19th century, but there is now little to see.

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