Antinous the Servant

Asterism Visual Appearance

The stars of Antinous lie entirely within the modern constellation of Aquila.

Asterism Origin and History

This star pattern was mentioned by Ptolemy, although he did not list it among his 48 constellations. The figure of Antinous appears on the celestial globe of Gerard Mercator made in 1551.

Asterism Skylore

Historical person:  As the slave of Hadrian, Antinous drowned himself in the Nile in order (as he thought) to preserve Hadrian's life.

According to Homer, Antinous was one of Penelope’s suitors during Odysseus’ absence because of the Trojan War. Upon the return of Odysseus, Antinous was the first suitor slain by Odysseus.  Odyssey IV, 628, 660, 773; XVII, 409; XXII, 8. (See Penelope’s story as told by Bulfinch.)

Another well-known Antinous was the boy lover of the Roman emperor Hadrian: “The deification of Antinous, his medals, statues, city, oracles, and constellation, are well known, and still dishonor the memory of Hadrian. Yet we may remark, that of the first fifteen emperors, Claudius was the only one whose taste in love was entirely correct.” Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (footnote on p. 76, vol. 1). (See Lady Hedgehog.)

Hyginus - Ganymede, brought to Jove by Aquila.