So the Historia Augusta says this on Hadrian and Antinous;

"During a journey on the Nile he (Hadrian) lost Antinous, his favourite, and for this youth he wept like a woman. concerning this incident there are varying rumours; for some claim that he had devoted himself to death for Hadrian, and others - what both his beauty and Hadrian's sensuality suggest.
[Penguin: what both his beauty and Hadrian's excessive sensuality make obvious.]

"But however this may be, the Greeks deified his at Hadrian's request, and declared that oracles were given through his agency, but there, it is commonly asserted, were composed by Hadrian himself."
Historia Augusta, Hadrian, XIV. 5-7

Now there are problems with the Historia Augusta (HA) - known for being notoriously unreliable and occasionally even fictional, but the early accounts Trajan, Hadrian, Lucius Verus, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius were so extensively written about that the HA was able to copy vast tracts - accordingly whilst it spice up accounts, its retention of facts makes it worth delving.

In perhaps unfair terms, I regard the HA as the red-top newspaper of its day - almost a Daily Mail of its time. In this respect it's account of the gay relationship between Hadrian and Antinous is helpful and significant. For it recognises it for what it was. Rather unhelpfully, and in the tradition of the Daily Mail, the context around Antinous's death is sadly mired in confusion, innuendo and uncertainty.

It is clear that he died from drowning in the Nile around 130AD. Is it clear that it was around 20th-30th October (22nd October has become the accepted probably date). But whether is was by suicide design or by disgruntled courtiers, officials or others is deliberately vague. What is more likely is that is was an accident - but in a era of sacrifice, oracles and mystique - accidents were all considered to have meaning.

But the simple reality, and anyone who has studied the Nile will appreciate this, is it is no small simple river and that anyone swimming in it, no matter how confident, could easily come unstuck. And however much we look at the story, we will never know. But we know that Hadrian was deeply upset, that Antinous was declared a god, a city founded in his name near the site of the accident.

The cult of Antinous survived for some centuries and he was worshipped as a god and became a cause celeb as a muse for the notion of beauty and youth. And so it continues today.