Aleksander starred as Antinous in Mark Barford and Anna Jastrzembski’s play Hadrian and Antinous, which debuted at the Morris A. Shapiro Hall on West 115th Street in New York City on the 4th of May and ran until the 6th.
This excellent new work details the grand love affair between the Roman Emperor Hadrian and Antinous, his Greek lover. While we do not know much about Antinous before his fateful meeting with Hadrian around 123 AD, we know that Hadrian instantly became infatuated with the young Bithynian, never leaving the Emperor’s side throughout his tour of Rome’s vast territories as part of Hadrian’s personal retinue.
After the mysterious drowning of Antinous in the Nile in 130 AD, Hadrian was said to be completely inconsolable. He would found an Egyptian city in his name, the only city founded by the Romans in Egypt, and financed games in posthumous commemoration of his lover. But most of all he proclaimed Antinous as a god, closely associating him with Osiris, and while Emperors deifying themselves and their family members was nothing new in Ancient Rome, making one of your lovers was certainly out of the ordinary especially in the case of a gay lover. Antinous has been associated with homosexuality in western culture ever since, turning up in such places as the writings of Oscar Wilde.
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For Aleksander’s profile click here