The Sacred Antinous - Erotically-charged, Explicitly Illustrated, Queer-Themed Historical Fiction about Antinous and Hadrian
Sacred Texts
  ~000 Introduction
  ~001 Arrival at Caelian Hill
  ~002 Life at the Paedagogium
  ~003 Monsters and Heroes
  ~004 The Private Baths
  ~005 The Soaps of Cyprias
  ~006 The Treachery of Gryllus
  ~007 Assurances and Endurances
  ~008 The Demise of Trenus
  ~009 The Surprise Inspection
  ~010 Little Donkey
  ~011 Whispering Hope
  ~012 Epigrams for Antinous
  ~013 Books from Maltinus
  ~014 Little Signals
  ~015 Promotion
  ~016 Juvenalis IX
  ~017 A Frothy Idea
  ~018 Evening on the Riverbank
  ~019 Across the Leagues
  ~020 Unprecedented Access
  ~021 Winged Mercury
  ~022 Dinner Guest
  ~023 Causes of Nausea
  ~024 New Pupil
  ~025 Wax, Soap, and Wool
  ~026 Four Daughters
  ~027 Vitalis Atones
  ~028 Futures and Histories...
  ~029 The Triumph of Desire
  ~030 An Image of Antinous
  ~031 The Ride From Rome
  ~032 The Villa at Tibur
  ~033 The Ride To Rome
  ~034 Praeconina
  ~035 Foolish Carisius
  ~036 The Christian Texts
  ~037 Married Pleasures
  ~038 In Tibur, Alone
  ~039 The End of Corinthus
  ~040 Turning Tables
  ~041 A History & Fantasy...
  ~042 A Sad Collection
  ~043 Rafts in a Raging Sea
  ~044 Rome, Home and History
  ~045 A Caravan of Monologue
  ~046 On Favorinus
  ~047 The Flesh of a Metaphor
  ~048 Disquieting Thoughts
  ~049 Purple Reign
  ~050 The Heart of Numidia
  ~051 Stables of the Palatine
  ~052 Hadrian's Deprivation
  ~053 Transcripts and Categories
  ~054 In the Wake of a Paradox
  ~055 Father of the Country
  ~056 The First Night with Hadrian
  ~057 A Place in the World
  ~058 Hard Resolution
  ~059 Announcements...
  ~060 Keeping Company
  ~061 The Stallions' Ride
  ~062 The Tour Begins
  ~063 On the Isthmus
  ~064 On Grief
  ~065 The Eleusian Mysteries
  ~066 A Playful Wager
  ~067 The Delights of Athens
  ~068 On Receiving
  ~069 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~070 Epistle Coming Soon
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Phallic Amulets

Arrival at Caelian Hill


I miss you and I am sad that we did not see each other before I was taken away. I asked the man named Gryllus who chose me why I was leaving Claudiopolis with him and his soldiers. He told me there was a school that wanted me very much and they would teach me to be a servant in the Emperor’s house. That did not sound very bad to me and so I agreed to go with him. But still I miss you and I am sorry that you are not here with me.

The journey was a long one and I was not the only boy. There were four of us brought here and at first we spent much time walking on foot. Everyday the man named Gryllus would bring us up onto his horse and we would take turns riding with him. The first time he brought me up to be with him I told him I was able to ride by myself but he laughed and wanted to know how he should travel if not in the saddle. I told him that he could walk like the rest of us. He laughed again and thought I was joking. But I was not joking. He is always dressed very nicely and I knew that he was worried about getting his clothes dirty by walking along the roads. All of us boys soon knew why he brought us up to ride with him. When his body was behind us he would hold us around the waist and sometimes touch us. When he did it to me he pulled me back against him and I could feel his hardness against me. It made me ashamed for I wished not to be that for him but still I liked being upon the horse and feeling the beautiful animal’s strength beneath me. So I let him touch me and did not squirm so much as the other boys did. That was why I was on the horse more than they were and I know that they were jealous of me. There was one boy who was named Carisius who was very mean to me because of it. But I told him that he could ride too if he wanted. We all knew what the price was to ride upon such a lovely creature. And I was ready to pay it. The man named Gryllus told me that because of it I would make an excellent page.

Antinous and Gryllus Riding together
Illustration by Shawn Postoff

There were many days on the road. We traveled near the back of a long line of horses and soldiers and wagons and slaves. The soldiers would change every few days moving up or down the line. Some of them were nice to us but most of them said nothing and didn’t care to know us. We were told that at the very front of the line rode the Emperor but I did not see him. The Roads of the RomansDo you remember when together we watched him arrive in Claudiopolis after the earthquake? He stood very far away from us but still you could see how stricken he was. Many of the soldiers who traveled with us spoke highly of the Emperor who served with them at the frontier and was known for his courage. At night when we stopped to make camp the man named Gryllus would have us eat together. Carisius was quick to make friends with the other boys and told them not to talk to me. For being alone I missed you even more. Sometimes the soldiers would have women with them. Sometimes they would ask the man Gryllus if one of us boys could sleep with them but Gryllus did not let them because we belonged to the Paedagogium and were to remain unsullied. But he was a liar for he would sometimes take me into his tent for the night and command me to be with him. He did not do this with the other boys. There were nights when we had been on the road for many days at a time without a stop at the baths and on these nights his manhood was smelly and unwashed. Sometimes he would force into me from behind and this made me angry for it was not by the blessing of Arkamedes ha ha. In the morning he told me we were friends and I did not tell him that I did not agree with him. I did not tell him about you who is my real friend.

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I am in Rome now and have been here for many months. The school is upon a hill and at the bottom of the hill is Flavian’s Amphitheatre. From the hill you can look out upon the city that rolls in all directions. It is a very very big city. I have not yet been to the Forum. The man Gryllus returns every few weeks with some new boys but always he seeks me out and wants to know how I am doing. He can no longer take me into bed with him for the Paedagogiarch will not allow it but he asks the Paedagogiarch for private lessons and then he makes sure we are alone and then has his way. These times are never fun but he does bring me small gifts from his travels like little herms and sometimes fruits and ribbons or the tusk of a boar that he wishes for me to carve into a horn. He tells me that he likes me very much. He tells me that I am special from the other boys and not to worry that they do not like me.

Maybe you are wondering how I have taken this paper to write to you. I have learned to read and write here and my tutor who is named Maltinus tells me that I am a very fast learner. I am trying to catch up to many of the other boys who come from rich families and have already been to school for many years. It helps me to catch up that I wish to learn as much as I can and to speak and write good rhetoric like the Senators. My tutor who is named Maltinus is stern but kind to me because I am taking well to his lessons. He likes that I try hard. When I told him I wished to write you a letter he asked me who you were and I said to him that you were my friend from Claudiopolis. He smiled and thought that was very nice of me. So he gave me this paper and told me he would make sure it was delivered. I like him very much.

I want you to write to me and tell me what you are doing. Is your house fixed yet? Your father is a great builder and I’m sure he has repaired the roof. Eat a great many olives for me as we do not get to eat them very much here and I miss them ha ha. But there are things here that we never had in Claudiopolis like strange cheeses that smell very bad and people even eat them and fishes that I have never tasted. There is such a wonder of things in Rome that I wish for you to see and I will try to write to you as much as I can to tell you of what I am living.

I kiss you in my dreams. A.

The Sacred Antinous is an ongoing work of Historical Fiction, for contemplative and educational purposes.
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