AFTER the tragic death of Antinous in the Nile in October of the year 130 AD, a grieving Hadrian had no choice but to complete his scheduled goodwill tour of Egypt and to head back to Asia Minor, the birthplace of his beloved.
Leaving Egypt behind, the Imperial entourage separated, with the majority returning to Rome, while Hadrian and his close circle continued into the Euxine Sea, known today as the Black Sea, going as far as the ancient city of Colchis in what is now called the Republic of Georgia.
Colchis was the destination of Jason and the Argonauts who went in search of the Golden Fleece.
Not far from Colchis is Mount Caucus, where legend has it that Prometheus had been bound for thirty thousand years before being set free by Hercules.
This is the furthest East that Hadrian would ever journey, and it is possible that he carried the mummified body of Antinous with him.
Flamen Antonius Subia explains the significance from a gay spiritual standpoint based on the 72 days of the Egyptian mummification process:
"Spiritually, in the process of deification and triumph over the 72 Archons, we observe that Antinous confronts the 52nd Archon, who is the ruler of the four elements. Antinous is on the verge of leaving our cosmos."