THE DAY THAT ANTONINUS PIUS DIED
AND ANTINOUS BECAME HIS GUARDIAN SPIRIT
ON March 1 in 161 AD Antoninus Pius died after 23 years as Emperor.
His rule is marked by an almost unbroken period of peace and tranquility.
The golden era of Rome, known as the Age of the Antonines, takes its name from Antoninus, because every emperor afterward took up his name as an emblem of glory.
Antoninus is the emperor most responsible for the perpetuation of the religion of Antinous.
He had served as Proconsul of Asia Minor under Hadrian from 130 to 135, while the religion of Antinous was being formed, and it was during his reign that construction of the city of Antinoopolis was completed. The senate deified Antoninus Pius shortly after his death.
The base of the column erected in his honor, shows Antoninus Pius and his wife Faustina the elder, rising up to heaven. They are ascending upon the wings of an Aeon, with Mother Rome on one side, and a beautiful reclining male figure on the other who grasps an obelisk.
We believe this figure to be Antinous, guardian spirit of the Age of the Antonines.