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
  ~079 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~080 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~081 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~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
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Phallic Amulets

The Triumph of Desire


Well, my friend, it is official: Anaxamenos has announced his engagement to Palmetta. They were observed recently (by me) walking through the Forum hand in hand, and have enjoyed the attentions of a great many well-wishers from members of both their tribes. I knew that something was afoot when Anaxamenos introduced me to his parents, who had suddenly shown up from Sparta. The moment they gave indication that they had met Maltinus and his family, I smiled knowingly at Anaxamenos. He winked back at me, and whispered, “They have bonded like cement!”

I laughed in delight, for with their parents’ approval there can be no impediment: Anaxamenos is destined to be married! And so once again was his name the centre of much celebratory attention among the boys of the Gelotiana, and I am feeling happy at the fact of my dear friend’s blossoming happiness.

What else shall I tell you? Mordanticus reports that Glaucia is now showing; that she is rounder and filled with the energy of her middle months. He is hoping for a son, and yet I myself am equally eager for a child of either sex. What difference shall it make? Is not a child a thing of beauty and joy, regardless of whether it be male or female? That being said, Mordanticus has a considerable weight of obligation upon his head to ensure the continuance of his name. His desire for a boy is quite understandable.

I daresay that Decentius is now a proud reader of the Latin language. Arguably, he is not without the stutter and stop of a novice, and yet he nevertheless possesses within him all the skills necessary to read Vergilius cover to cover. When I pronounced this very opinion to him, I observed in his eyes a great and wordless gratitude – not for that he was unable to express it, but on the fact that we both understood how its expression would somehow diminish its immensity. In response, I but smiled at him proudly, as might a father to his boy in first armour. We have mutually decided that he shall continue to improve his reading to the point where I am no longer necessary. On that day, he shall renew my necessity by engaging me to teach him in Greek. It is strange to me how a man of his age and experience has suddenly decided to pursue a life of scholarship. And yet who am I to fault him for it? Would that all the world thought as he, imagine how peaceful and prosperous would suddenly breathe the bosom of every land.

I continue to be delighted by the increasingly close company of Vitalis, a fellow who takes a great interest in my person and my pursuits. Even tonight while at dinner, he was overjoyed to hear of Decentius’ progress and is very keen one day to meet him. Additionally, Vitalis was very moved to learn of you, Lysicles, of the story of our separation, and of my enduring campaign to reach you by these words. That being said, I have since explained to him that these letters are quite likely not reaching you, for I have never received a reply.

“So why do you persist in writing them?” he asked.

“How often have I asked myself that very same thing,” I sighed. And then I thought some more, and endeavoured to formulate a respectable answer: “The word Lysicles has become to me now like a signature scent from my childhood; a kind of rare and surprising fragrance that will occasionally be discovered in the present, which, when inhaled, will grant one swift passage by the wings of Mercury into the brightest hours of departed days. To write the word Lysicles again and again is merely a means to return to a time when the world was easy and careless, filled with the pleasures of perfect touch and the rush of a marauding friendship twixt two boys in love. To write the word Lysicles is, I think, to write to myself. And yet, I suppose it also a missive unto Hope. It is a persistent belief despite the absurdity of believing. It has lost all meaning, yet is nonetheless meaningful.”

I turned back to him to discover Vitalis looking at me very oddly. “You think me a fool,” I said. But he quickly shook his head: “I find in your tenacity a nobility unlike any I have ever witnessed.” I laughed at that, for it struck me as very inaccurate, and poor Vitalis seemed to take offense: “Do not laugh, Antinous.” And there was silence between us, for I was suddenly humbled by him. He reached up and touched the small stack of blank parchment upon the table, which, although intended as a common workspace, was openly acknowledged by the boys of the dormitory to be mine alone. “Where do you procure such a quantity of this fantastic stuff?” he asked.

“I have allies both upon and beyond the Palatine who are quite ready to supply me with an endless stack of it.” And I was thinking of Mordanticus and Maltinus, respectively. I experienced a fleeting thought with regard to the fact that recently, it has been Mordanticus who has replaced my former tutor as provider of the lion’s share of my materials – something which I suddenly realized I have taken for granted. I resolved that I would need to find a way to thank him…).

Anyway, Vitalis asked if he might steal a leaf of paper, and I quite readily agreed: “Do you think I am so prolific as to be able to go through all of this stack tonight? By all means, my friend, take it, and take a reed, and write whatever you will.” That was half an evening ago. And lo, I have just looked up from this and turned to gaze upon him. He, in turn, was staring at me, and upon being discovered looked down in embarrassment. I have no doubt now that Vitalis feels for me a great love, and I am extremely happy to be its recipient. I, too, feel a fondness for him and a burgeoning sense of excitement at the prospect of tasting his flesh. Although we shall need to be quiet, perhaps tonight we shall abut our beds together for a time.

You’ll forgive me, Lysicles, if I put this reed to rest. Though I love you always, I am suddenly hard, and Vitalis continues to gaze at me. By Cupid, I desire him! A.

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