ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 46 (2009) 81-96
under Hadrian and Antoninus Pius
A Prosopographical Study of the
First Thirty Years of Antinoopolis
Myrto Malouta University of Oxford
Prosopography of Antinoite citizens attested in 130-161 with comments about the composition of the citizen body.
This paper is a prosopographical study of the first thirtyyears in the history
of Antinoopolis and aims to identify the key issues associated with Antinoite
citizenship under Hadrian and Antoninus Pius.' Antinoopolis was founded by
Hadrian in AD 130, during his extensive travels through the empire. The city
was named after Hadrian's favourite, Antinoos, a Greek boy from Bithynia,
who had recently drowned in the Nile. The new foundation was much more
than just a memorial to Antinoos, and the value attached to it by the emperor
himself enhanced the political significance of the city. Its importance persisted
in the centuries that followed, and Antinoopolis even became the administrative capital of the province of the Thebaid in the Byzantine period.
What was special about Antinoopolis in comparison with other Roman
foundations3 was that it was designed to be a Greek polis. Apart from AlexI wish to thank Roger Bagnall for the invitation to participate in the Inaugural Sather
Conference in Berkeley, where an earlier version of this paper was given.
2 For his new foundation Hadrian himself chose the site in Middle Egypt, opposite
Hermopolis, where, according to Dio Cassius 69.11.3, Antinoos had drowned.
3 E. Kilhn, Antinoopolis. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Hellenismus im romischen
Agypten (G6ttingen 1913) 85, reports that W. Weber, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte
des Kaisers Hadrianus (Leipzig 1907) claimed that the Roman colony Aelia Capitolina
was also founded in 130 and colonised with Greeks (on the basis of Dio Cassius 69.12.2
and Zonaras, Epit.Hist. 11.23; might it be that the latter actually confused this with