The Sacred Antinous - Erotically-charged, Explicitly Illustrated, Queer-Themed Historical Fiction about Antinous and Hadrian
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Sacred Texts
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
Phallic Amulets

Futures and Histories Abroad

Lysicles

There was very good news today. Florentius has indeed secured his place abroad – he is destined for Gaul to begin his career in the civil service. And as expected, Petasius has pronounced Anaxamenos to succeed him as Officer of the Palatine Stables, with the official promotion to come into effect when Florentius leaves in the new year. In the meantime, Anaxamenos will be trained to fill the very capable shoes of Florentius. As I’m sure you can imagine, there arose in the Gelotiana a mighty cheer when Anaxamenos announced his triumph, and I was so very grateful to the gods that have smiled upon such a deserving fellow.

Owing to the proximity of our hearts, Anaxamenos sought me out in the stables before he had told anyone else. He delivered me the news with a wide grin upon his face, and I embraced him happily. In typical fashion, he revealed to me that what most excited him about the announcement was the financial stability such a position would afford him. He suggested to me that as a result of this development, he would promptly seek out Maltinus in order to ask for Palmetta’s hand. I was moderately surprised by this, and then but a moment later realized that there was nothing to be surprised about. Their courtship was well-known, and there was certainly nothing to suggest that it was out of the ordinary. I told him I would await the confirmation of it before congratulating him, but had little doubt that Maltinus would enthusiastically endorse the union.

After eating dinner with Anaxamenos and Vitalis, I announced that I had to get to my lesson. Vitalis was amazed to hear that I was still taking lessons, to which I replied that I wasn’t taking them – I was giving them. “To whom?” he demanded excitedly. “To a soldier,” I replied. “He is a good man who desires to learn how to read. And thus am I teaching him.” Vitalis asked if he might join me on my lesson, if only to observe. I thought for a time and soon declined the request, explaining that I did not want to make Decentius uncomfortable in the presence of an audience.

And I am very glad that I decided so. For after our lesson (in which I should add that Decentius demonstrated a remarkable progress!), he found himself in a reverie, and I must believe that he would not have allowed himself to venture into it had Vitalis been there among us. I had just declared our time adjourned and was preparing to leave – until I noticed upon his face that familiar gaze. It was a countenance that sought to pierce my soul; a look in his eye that I never failed to notice at least once per session. “Why do you look at me like that?” I asked him.

He smiled and considered. “You remind me of someone.” And by the vagueness of his answer, the refusal to offer a name, I surmised – correctly – that he wanted me to ask for one. And thus I asked, which opened up a very small compartment of his memories and the stories they contained. “Calidus,” he answered. “A lean and determined young man; beauteous and serene of face yet fiery of spirit and colossal of heart.”

“Where is he?” I asked. “He is dead,” replied Decentius without expression. “For well over a year we stood together at the wall we both helped to build. Every night we shared a tent; with drink and laughter and the nearness of our flesh did manage to keep each other warm. Until, one moonless night, a party of Brigantes infiltrated the camp. They killed a great many men, including Calidus.”

“How did you survive?” I asked him. “I had left the tent,” he said, “to relieve myself.” There ensued a long silence, for the bitterness of that night and its endless accusations of failure hung low in the air between us. “Britannia,” he finally spoke, “is my home. And yet it is a land of colossal brutality. Into the hills of that hard isle have soaked the blood of my father, my mother, my wife, my daughter, my Calidus, and a great many friends – all of them murdered by the sword of marauding tribes. How much of such misery shall a man endure before he is forced to quit the miserable place that makes it?”

I was shaken by his words – though they were few. The eyes in his fine-lined face were suddenly very heavy – leagues deep with the saltwater stories of endless tribulation. And yet, I suddenly found myself thirsty to drink of them. I desired to taste them; to taste as well the voice that spoke them, and yet nevertheless was too concerned for propriety to probe any further. I decided it best to leave the pace of revelation in his hands, and offered instead of questions a ready, willing, and patient ear: “I am honoured that you tell me such things, Decentius, and know that there is a great deal more that could be told. I am always grateful to hear you speak of your past, whether today or in the future. Further, I express to you my hope that whatever memories of Calidus I inspire are happy ones.”

He smiled at me and replied, “They are, Antinous.” And so ended our lesson, for he wished no more this night to speak to me of his former life. Yet he promised me that one day soon, he would again. Thus I returned to the Gelotiana and immediately sat down to compose this, hoping to salvage enough time at the end of the evening to spend in the company of a very patient Vitalis. I shudder to think at the stories I will tell when I have reached the age of Decentius. Life seems suddenly tumultuous and unforgiving, and I must wonder at my capacity for resilience in the face of it. Yet how much easier could I bear it if only you, Lysicles, were with me interlocked as the ceaseless wind buffeted our bodies? A.

 
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