In fact, Hadrian suffered intense grief after his lover died and virtually saw him as a god. In 2008 the U.K. Independent published a great article about Hadrian, which we're sharing here).
Hadrian the gay emperorWHO WAS HADRIAN? Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus was not only a peacemaker who pulled his soldiers out of modern-day Iraq. He was also the first leader of Rome to make it clear that he was gay. Born: January 24, 76 AD, Baetica; Died: July 10, 138 AD, Baiae, Italy
THE EMPEROR: After being made emperor AD117, he inherited a Roman Empire in its prime, which had thrived on a policy of endless expansion and conquest.
|Antoinous, Hadrian's lover|
WHAT WAS HADRIAN FAMOUS FOR? - Aside from being openly gay, Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. Hadrian is known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Britannia. He also rebuilt the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma.
WHO WAS HADRIAN'S LOVER? - Hadrian's male consort, Antinous, accompanied him on his travels around the empire. Several items about Antinous were found including a poem written on papyrus, featuring the two men hunting together, and memorials to the dead lover at Hadrian's villa in Tivoli. Although it was not uncommon for his predecessors to have taken gay lovers alongside a female spouse, Hadrian was unique in making his love "official" in a way that no other emperor had before him.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ANTINOUS? - When Antinous drowned in mysterious circumstances, Hadrian was so distraught that he chose to commemorate the young Greek by naming an Egyptian city in his honor. What was unusual is that he had a lot of flings, and then after his lover drowned in the Nile AD130 he made him a god.
A CITY NAMED FOR HADRIAN'S LOVER - Hadrian was clearly bereaved and he had lots of images put up. When a city was founded close to the spot where Antinous drowned on the east bank of the Nile in Egypy, he named it Antinopolis.
Full Article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/hadrian-the-gay-emperor-769442.html
NEXT: NAVONA SQUARE, ROME