Institute of Archaeology


LGBT+ History Month 2023 Lecture: A Boy and His Empire: Antinous – Last God of the Ancient World

24 February 2023, 6:15 pm–7:30 pm

UCL Students welcome event 2021 (Image copyright: James Tye https://jamestye.com/)

John J. Johnston (UCL Institute of Archaeology Alumnus) will give the LGBT+ History Month 2023 Lecture on 24 February.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Charlotte Frearson


Archaeology Lecture Theatre G6
UCL Institute of Archaeology
31-34 Gordon Square
United Kingdom


When the beautiful youth Antinous, favourite of the Roman emperor Hadrian, drowned in the Nile in AD 130, his potential legacy appeared slight. However, in the aftermath of Antinous’ death, the grieving emperor founded the city of Antinoopolis, named a constellation after him, and, most remarkably, proclaimed him a god, whose cult survived until the fall of the Empire, generating a vast, and instantly recognisable, sculptural corpus, a great deal of which survives to the present day. Drawing upon archaeological and textual sources to examine the enigmatic life and death of Antinous, this lavishly illustrated lecture will consider his religious and artistic legacy throughout the Roman world and his continuing influence in the modern world as the inspiration of artists, writers, and film-makers.

The event is free but pre-booking via Eventbrite is essential. 

The UCL Institute of Archaeology has established its own Equality & Diversity Forum to provide a supportive and inclusive environment for discussion of any issues relating to Equality, Diversity, Gender and/or Sexuality. The Institute is part of the Friends of Out@UCL campaign and signed the Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment pledge (2015-16 onwards), making a commitment to challenge sexual harassment and support students and staff who experience it.

Any queries about LGBT+ History Month events may be directed to Charlotte Frearson.

Further details

About the Speaker

John J. Johnston

Freelance Egyptologist, Classicist, and cultural historian

Close up picture of a man (bald, wearing glasses and a cream suit, with gold tie) in front of a wood panel background

A former Vice-Chair of the Egypt Exploration Society, John is a Trustee of By Jove Theatre Company and Ambassador of the International Society for the Study of Egyptomania. He has lectured extensively at institutions such as the British Museum, the British Film Institute, the National Museum of Scotland, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. His research interests encompass mortuary belief and practice, gender and sexuality, Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, the history of Egyptology, and the reception of ancient Egypt in the modern world. In addition to contributing numerous articles to both academic and general publications John has co-edited the books, Narratives of Egypt and the Ancient Near East: Literary Linguistic Approaches (Peeters, 2011), A Good Scribe and an Exceedingly Wise Man (Golden House, 2014), and an anthology of classic mummy fiction, Unearthed (Jurassic London, 2013). He has made numerous television appearances for BBC, Discovery Science and Channel 5.