Monday, June 25, 2018


AT the cycle of the June Solstice we commemorate the entry of Antinous into Egypt on his fateful tour of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.

Hadrian and Antinous, accompanied by their immediate circle of companions crossed the desert of Sinai and entered Egypt in the summer of the year 130. The majority of the Imperial court made the journey by sea and reunited with Hadrian at Alexandria.

They visited and restored the tomb of Pompey the Great at Pelusium, where the desert meets the Delta and the Sea.

Dio Casius reports that when Hadrian saw the ruins of Pompey's tomb he said "Strange lack of tomb for one with shrines overwhelmed!"

These words were like a prophesy of the future of the religion of Antinous, who entered Egypt with the shadow of Pompey and his vanished tomb, looming over him.

The entry into Egypt is sacred to Isis whom the travelers thanked after traversing the desert and entering the outskirts of the green Delta.

Hadrian traveled through the Eastern Provinces of the Roman Empire with the intention of founding a Roman city. When Antinous died in the Nile in October 130 AD, grief-stricken Hadrian established the city of Antinoopolis on the site where his beloved had died.

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