Friday, February 10, 2023

Antinous Listens To Your Prayers: Prudentius, Contra Symmachum 1.271-277

Content Warning: In this poem, the Christian author Prudentius refers to Antinous as a "deliciae," which is usually used to refer to slaves / human trafficking victims. His disdain for same sex relationships is evident, as he equates the relationship as negating Antinous' masculinity. 

quid loquar Antinoum caelesti in sede locatum,

illum delicias nunc divi principis, illum

purpureo in gremio spoliatum sorte virili,

Hadrianique dei Ganymedem, non cyathos dis

porgere sed medio recubantem cum Iove fulcro

nectaris ambrosii sacrum potare Lyaeum,

dumque suo in templis vota exaudire marito?

--Prudentius, Contra Symmachum 1.271-277 

What can I say about Antinous,

The man turned into a constellation,

The boyfriend of our divine Emperor [Hadrian]

The man denied a man’s role

       as he lies in the emperor’s arms

The Divine Hadrian’s Ganymede,

Who doesn’t pour drinks for the gods

but instead reclines on the couch with his Jupiter

drinking the sacred drink of ambrosia & nectar

and listens to prayers offered to his imperial husband?



Name: Aurelius Prudentius Clemens 

Date:   4th century CE

Works:  Crowns of Martyrdom; Against Symmachus; Psychomachia





  Prudentius was a Christian author from Roman Hispania (modern Spain) who had great influence in the court of Emperor Theodosius I. He is known for his elevated poetry with Christian themes.

Byzantine / Late Latin




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