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
  ~071 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~072 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~073 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~074 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~075 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~076 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~077 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~078 Epistle Coming Soon
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  ~080 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~081 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~082 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~083 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~084 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~085 Epistle Coming Soon
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  ~088 Epistle Coming Soon
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  ~090 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~091 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~092 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~093 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~094 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~095 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~096 Epistle Coming Soon
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Phallic Amulets

Books from Maltinus


Hadrian was departed for a brief respite at Tibur, and for a small time the stables were relatively quiet. Owing to the fact that it was my birthday I asked Anaxamenos if I might be spared for a while, so that I could seize the opportunity to return to the Caelian and revisit with my old tutor. Anaxamenos could hardly object, and wished me a very fine day indeed. Thus was I off to see Maltinus. My intent was two-fold. The first, of course, was simply to enjoy in his company, share with him my news, and learn of his. The second was to persuade him to procure for me, if he was able, some books. My appetite had been whetted by that brief encounter with Martialis, and I wished to read more – of anything!

I entered the grounds of the school from the back gates, close to the wallowing tree where Trenus had been tied. I was deliberate in my wish to revisit that haunted site as a pilgrimage to his sweet memory. I paused there to reflect upon him, and speak his name aloud with love: “Trenus.” I remembered the hot tears upon his cheeks, and the tempestuous fury of his escape despite my appeal to his fleeing backside. Such a sad day that was – filled with anger and frustration and impotence.

I sought out Maltinus and found him, as expected for the noon hour, in the courtyard, where he was enjoying some sun. He laughed upon seeing me and rose to embrace me warmly. “Was your time here so enjoyable that you were compelled so soon to return?” It was a joke, of course, for he knew quite well how much I despised the place. “There is only one reason that should compel my return, Maltinus, and it is you.” Maltinus sat me down upon a stone bench and gazed at me happily. “Tell me of the palace.”

“It is well there,” I said. And I recounted to him of my duties, and how I sought out Bellator, and how he took me to see Mordanticus to whom I now deliver my letters. “You are most resourceful,” he affirmed. I asked him to tell me his news, and he said modestly that there was little to report of his personal life. Then, of course, he belied it with the news that his wife had recently given birth to their fourth daughter. I congratulated him most heartily, and he was very thankful for it. “She is beautiful, Antinous. Her name is Merula, and she is a perfect child. And her sisters adore her immensely.” He spoke of all his children, and lavished particular attention on his eldest, a girl of ten, whom he suggested could one day be my future wife. I laughed at this, and he laughed too, but I realized there was some serious intent behind his words and so I stopped myself from laughing. “I would be most honoured to meet her one day, Maltinus.” And for this he was gratified, for I believe he has long sensed in my character the prospect of a stable and accomplished career in the civil service, a fact which suggests to him that I should make for his daughter a most practical and sheltering husband. And why should I not consider it? I can think of few better father-in-laws than lovely Maltinus.

“Gryllus is gone,” he said suddenly. “Missing. We know not where he is, and his disappearance is very strange. In fact, we were very recently visited by a man who was attached to the investigation of his disappearance. He questioned Vestinus. And then, owing to Gryllus’ well-known fondness for you, the man came to question me, for I was your tutor. He asked me what I knew of your liaison with Gryllus.” I felt my chest constrict, and was filled with a sudden trepidation. “What did you say to him?” I asked.

Maltinus thought for a time before answering: “I told him very honestly that you did not care for Gryllus or his attentions, but were certainly not of the mind to kill him. And then the man asked me if I could indeed be sure of such an assertion, and so I explained to him that you were a gentle and kind spirit – a fellow of letters and imagination. I told him the remarkable tale of how you alone were selected by Hadrian, and of its justice in the eyes of the gods. And I told him of your epistles to Lysicles, of which he inquired after the contents. I confessed to him that I did not know of their contents; that I merely passed them along to Bellator. After that, the man left, and we have not seen nor heard any news since. We must assume that Gryllus is gone forever.”

“When was the last time you saw him?” I asked. “’Twas a full month before that day you were chosen by the Emperor.” I was worried then, for I knew not what to make of the news. Had he retreated to some secret vantage to plot an attack against me? Would he burst one day from hiding to ambush me at the moment of my most resplendent success? I began to fret, but Maltinus put a steady hand upon my shoulder. “Do not worry, Antinous. Though he travels amid the official ranks, any travel at all upon the roads beyond Rome can prove dangerous. That he took no provisions and has sent no word is increasing for many the likely suspicion that he is dead. He shall bother you no further.” At this I felt a strange sense of loss, and perhaps even some responsibility for the demise of Gryllus. Is that not absurd, Lysicles? After all the tribulation I endured at the hand of that wicked man, the news of his death put me into a sudden state of mourning. Yet I shrugged it off and refused to be bothered by it any longer. “Good,” I said simply. “May he exist now eternally amid the shades, the purple shaft of Pluto forever thrusting deep into his ass.”

Maltinus smiled at me then, although it was a modest one that refused to give in completely to my obvious disrespect. “Is the death of Trenus forgotten?” I asked. He nodded gravely. “In fact,” he spoke, “Falconius was reclaimed by his parents very shortly after you left us. He is no longer at the school.” “What’s to become of him?” I continued. Maltinus did not know the answer to that. “They are a very wealthy family, with many ancient ties in Rome. Despite of this, we believe they have moved away, off to a distant province.” I was amazed at this. “Which one?” I demanded. But Maltinus could not say for sure: “It is an eastern province. They have moved east. That is all we know.”

At last I broached with him the topic of books. “I am hungry to keep reading,” I told him. “There is a great paucity of books available to us now that we are at our duties. And although the lessons continue, they are painfully narrowed in scope, for it appears that the most enjoyable of the writers are now reserved for but the boys of the very rich.” Maltinus considered my words. “What in particular do you wish to read?” “Whatever you may suggest to me,” I told him. “But I should very much like to learn more of Martialis.” At this he looked at me in surprise. “A boy your age should not be reading things so lewd!” “Yet is not my age mitigated by my position?” I retorted. “Is it not conceivable that one such as I, navigating, as I must, the annals of Palatine power, could do very well to learn of and fortify myself against the many moral corruptions that will no doubt seek to seduce me in my forthcoming career?”

He stared at me then for a very long time, half bemused, half aghast. At last he conceded. “I shall fetch you a volume of Martialis. But do not be caught dead with it, Antinous, or it shall be the end of you.” I happily promised him not to be caught dead with it, though made it quite clear that I had no qualms about being caught with it most alive and vital. “In return,” he told me, “you shall read an Epictetus Discoursesauthor of my choosing.” “Most happily,” I said, and indeed I meant it, for never yet had Maltinus led me astray. “Are you aware that on his most recent travels through Epirus, the Emperor had occasion to visit the school of the exiled philosopher Epictetus?” I did not know this, for it was not something that Hadrian had told me when I asked him of his travels. “Well,” continued my tutor (and then paused for effect, as was his custom), “it so happens that I am in possession of his Discourses.” “Are they worthy?” I asked him. “They are most worthy,” he replied, “and you should do well to understand Epictetus before you plunge into lewd Martialis.” I laughed and assured him that his message was very clear. Thus was I furnished with two books of Martialis and two of Epictetus, and I am extremely pleased by their promise of both ribald and royal wisdom in the long days ahead.

The sack of books upon my back was heavy, but walking with them was a welcome labour, for I was very keen to enjoy its benefits. As I approached the front gates of the school, I chanced upon meeting with Carisius, who was momentarily stunned to see me. I stared at him coldly, accusing him with my silence of so many injustices. He was smart enough to say nothing; merely hurried away in what I can only interpret as shame and cowardice, and I felt at that moment that I could, perhaps, one day forgive him if he should ever discover the fortitude to take ownership for his mighty history of trespasses.

And then I was departed, my sandals slapping loudly upon the road toward the palace. I marveled at the joy I felt in my heart for the triumph of hauling home a treasure of books, and knew well that few at either school would envy me. Yet I have the utmost faith, Lysicles, that you yourself most surely would. And though I should wish never to incite out of malice your envy, I have no reservations to do so out of fun. For I know how happy it would render you, to have been there by my side as we reveled in the victory of reason and shared between us the spoil of gleaming words. I shall devote each turning of every page unto you. A.

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