The Sacred Antinous - Erotically-charged, Explicitly Illustrated, Queer-Themed Historical Fiction about Antinous and Hadrian
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LEGEND TO ILLUSTRATIONS
  CONTAINS X-RATED IMAGES
  CONTAINS R-RATED IMAGES
  CONTAINS G-RATED IMAGES
COMMENTARY
  ~000 Introduction
I - THE YOUNG SCHOOLBOY
  ~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
II - THE COURT PAGE
  ~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
III - THE IMPERIAL FAVOURITE
  ~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
  ~079 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~080 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~081 Epistle Coming Soon
IV - THE SEARCHING SOUL
  ~082 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~083 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~084 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~085 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~086 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~087 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~088 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~089 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~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
  ~097 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~098 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~099 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~100 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~101 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~102 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~103 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~104 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~105 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~106 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~107 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~108 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~109 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~110 Epistle Coming Soon
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New Pupil

Lysicles

I made good on my promise (to myself) and returned today to the office of Mordanticus. Decentius, to my great relief, was there. I approached him humbly: “Noble Decentius.”

He looked at me and nodded, “Good morning, Antinous.” I stood directly in front of him and said, “I am shamed, Sir, by the behaviour I exhibited before you yesterday when you made your request. It sprang from a very irrational fear, and since that time I have experienced a considerable remorse at having treated you so callously. I ask your forgiveness. And I say to you that I would be most honoured to hold the privilege of being your tutor.”

He gazed at me for a long while before speaking. “It is a great man, Antinous, who can stand before another and admit, with a clarity of words as well as heart, that he has been wrong. I have heard many men speak of your intellect; they were certainly not hard to doubt. And too, I have heard much talk of your strength of character and conviction. Yet after our exchange, I confess to have spent the night doubting it. Thankfully, my doubt has been suddenly slain. You are indeed a noble soul, and I salute you."

And so it was ended: my shame turned instantly to pride at having sealed a very fine bond with such a direct and uncluttered man. The sickening churn in the pit of my stomach suddenly was gone, and in its place I felt a great fortitude of spirit, as though the physical strength of Decentius was magically become my own.

“When the Emperor is in Rome, my days are full, and thus are you and I relegated to evenings or holidays. Yet when Hadrian is in Tibur, I am blessed with a remarkable freedom. Therefore I shall defer to you: whenever your duties permit you to meet with me, so long as I am able, I shall oblige.”

Decentius smiled and made a very small bow of the head. “I am very grateful to you.”

I excused myself in order to deliver last night’s letter to Mordanticus. He received me promptly and we chatted for a small time about inconsequential matters. When I emerged again, Decentius was still waiting. I turned and looked up at him – for although I have grown steadily over the past year, the soldier still stood half a head taller than I. “When shall we begin?” I asked him.

We set a time for a few days hence, and I told him I would begin to make preparations. Just before I was set to depart, however, he asked me, “Which is the better language to learn – Latin or Greek?” I considered his question carefully before answering. “Most of what is learned and ancient is written in Greek, although there is more and more being written in Latin.”

“Which do you prefer?” he asked. I needed no time to think with this one: “I still prefer my Greek, for it is the language of my childhood.” Decentius smiled and replied, “Then that is the language I wish to learn.”

I was touched by this, but far more practical concerns quickly sprouted in my brain: “Do you not think it will be easier to learn to read your Latin first, as it is a language you already understand?” He contemplated my thoughts, and I amazed to myself that I was already thinking like a teacher. I continued: “Once you have mastered the technique of putting together letters in the formulation of words, you may then advance to a second language – which will require you to learn not only a new set of symbols, but an entire vocabulary as well.”

Decentius suddenly appeared doubtful. “’Tis a mighty program of study you are prescribing for me, Antinous.” I chuckled and shook my head. “Nay, Sir – it is a program you are prescribing for yourself. I am merely here to direct you.” When he understood the full significance of those words, he nodded. I reached out to grasp his hand and he in turn grasped mine. And then I left him, feeling lighter upon my feet and happier in my breast. I was excited for him! Tomorrow I shall dash off to visit Maltinus, and ask for his advice on approaching such an elementary pupil.

That is all, Lysicles. I only wished to inform you of my success at making amends, and the joy it has inspired in me. There is other news, of course, but it must wait until I can get to it. I have spent far too much time lately writing letters! And yet, not surprisingly, I persist in missing you dearly. A.

 
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