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
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  ~086 Epistle Coming Soon
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  ~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
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  ~098 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~099 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~100 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~101 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~102 Epistle Coming Soon
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Phallic Amulets



Her name is Praeconina, and she is beautiful. She was born to Glaucia while I was in Tibur, and I only learned of her arrival upon my return, when I went to Mordanticus to hand him my trio of letters.

“Do you wish to see her?” he asked me. “Of course!” I exclaimed, for what inhuman soul would even think to decline? He laughed softly at my excitement and told me that I was welcome to accompany him to his home that evening.

I left his office and excitedly conveyed to Decentius the news, but he was already quite aware of it, having heard it directly from Mordanticus the day after the birth had occurred. He was happy to see me so joyous, but wondered why I should be so exceptionally eager to see a child that was not even mine. “It is unusual,” he suggested, “that a young man such as yourself – one who is being so intensely groomed for political and social ascent – should care so ardently about the appearance of a child with so little consequence in your life.”

It suddenly struck me – far more powerfully than it had at any time in the past – that I was the custodian of a rather unsavoury secret concerning the paternity of Praeconina. To announce to the world that the child was really mine would naturally bring shame and dishonour upon not only myself, but Mordanticus and Glaucia as well. I scrambled for a quick reply, and said to him simply: “Mordanticus is a friend, and I celebrate with him the arrival of his daughter.”

Decentius looked at me with a smile that held the hint of pity beneath it. “Mordanticus,” he whispered, “is considerably disappointed by the fact that his child is a girl.” I turned quickly to look at the closed door, beyond which sat Mordanticus in his office. Back to Decentius I peered, and asked, “How do you know?” The soldier merely shrugged: “He told me. It is not so uncommon, Antinous. The man desires a son. He has political ambition – not only for himself, but his family name as well. Be respectful of that, and curtail yourself from becoming too overjoyed, lest it pain him all the more in his own refusal to celebrate.”

How very sobering. I plodded back to the stables, laden with the heavy thoughts of Mordanticus in his disappointment, Glaucia in her fear (would he command the child abandoned and exposed in the quest to save money while awaiting the son he desired?), and unfortunate little Praeconina, born into a household that desired her not. Yet what can I do? What can I say? It is certainly not my place to interfere.

I returned to my station to discover Vitalis hard at work, ensuring that our mutual duties were completed. In truth, we both know they should be my duties – and mine alone. In fact, everyone knows it! Certainly Florentius and Anaxamenos, and quite possibly most of the fellows in the Gelotiana, are quite aware that Vitalis has been reassigned for the sole purpose of making lighter my list of tasks that was, before the arrival of Vitalis, already remarkably light. Thus there are now, officially, two pages assigned to the care of but a single horse. Is that not absurd? And yet, we all understand what purpose it serves: Antinous must be free to do as he pleases. To study from the books of the Palatine library, to learn, to grow, to groom himself into the kind of companion that Hadrian himself must wonder if is even possible. It is a considerable and daunting task, and thus I must believe that no one begrudges me my freedoms. In fact, I suspect they are all quite relieved that my life is not their own, for it is increasingly and widely known that there is an immense expectation upon my spirit – one that even I have only recently begun to fully comprehend. And I am having considerable doubts that I shall ever be able to meet it.

When evening arrived I hurried to meet Mordanticus at his office. Decentius was by this time relieved and there was a different duo stationed outside his door. They let me pass without incident, and I greeted Mordanticus with considerable decorum. As we walked together toward his home, he seemed far more interested in whatever news I could divulge to him of my trip to Tibur, something he imagined I had written of at great length in my letters. Thus I briefly recounted the most salient points, leaving out those that I felt were too private and thus suitable only for the eyes of Lysicles.

He was immensely interested in my developing relations with Hadrian (hardly surprising – there are few that I meet these days who are not) and wondered aloud why I had yet to be invited into the man’s bed. O, what I could have told him! But I didn’t. I merely confessed my ignorance of the Emperor’s true mind and resolved to him that the Fates would spin out my destiny as ever they saw fit, and who was I to attempt to predict or even understand it?

With that we arrived at his home, and eagerly was I shown into the courtyard. There before me reclined Glaucia, sipping wine, while an attending wetnurse held a tiny bundle to her breast. Glaucia smiled at me and held out a beckoning hand, “Antinous.”

I approached her and took her hand in mine. She in turn gave a private and soundless squeeze of my fingers. It was a message of joy, and of congratulations, and of hope, and fear, and the cry for support, and, I suspect, of warning. There was much in her gaze at me that was unspoken. “Go,” she said. “Look at her.”

And so I softly approached the wetnurse and peered in at the tiny face with the closed eye and the fat, flushed cheek as it suckled upon the woman’s breast. This was Praeconina. My daughter. My secret. I turned to Mordanticus and smiled at him. “She is beautiful,” I said.

“Are you surprised?” he asked me simply. “You are not without your considerable appeal, Antinous. Nor is my wife.” Suddenly I was bashful and ashamed. I felt as though I were a culprit in some kind of grand conspiracy that had just been uncovered by the Praetorian. But Mordanticus continued in a direction completely at odds with how I felt: “You have given us a wonderful gift, my friend. We are both grateful to you. Not only for your presence in our lives, but too for your continued discretion and fidelity unto our family’s aspiration."

I nodded my solemn agreement at him. And then I looked supportively at Glaucia, who but smiled her thanks at me. There was a great amount of tension in the room – I could tell there was much between the couple that was unspoken. Or perhaps it had indeed been spoken, and my presence there between them was cause for it to be safely re-concealed. I simply could not tell.

We ate together a very light and casual meal, at which I spent most of the time rehearsing but variations on the theme of my time in Tibur. Mordanticus probed for the details of who it was I had met, attempting to better understand the mechanisms of “the court in the country,” as he called it. Meanwhile, Glaucia asked after the grounds: the statuary and the mosaics beneath my feet, the baths in which I washed and the gardens through which I ambled. “It must have been dazzling,” she sighed, and there was much longing in it.

At last I left them and returned to the Gelotiana. Vitalis was waiting for me and wished to hear news of the infant. I told him simply that the child was beautiful and pure, as is right. I did not tell him of all the other thoughts and considerations that weighed heavily upon me, but there is little doubt in my mind that he sensed them. He took my hand in his and gazed at me earnestly. “Shall we push our beds together?” he asked.

I smiled at him and thanked him for his offer. “But I am in no state for such an exertion,” I said. “Then allow me,” he replied, “to be the one who exerts himself, Antinous. I alone shall provide the pleasure. Your sole requirement is merely to accept it without effort.” How could I refuse such an earnest offer? I lay down upon my bed and allowed Vitalis to crawl under my covers. His lips around me were firm and capable; his tongue was warm and pleasant.

When I had achieved my end, he resurfaced and wiped his mouth upon his own blanket. “Thank you, Vitalis,” I said to him. “You are most welcome, Antinous,” he replied. And he pulled up the covers around me such that I fell to my sleep in but moments.

This morning I awoke to discover that the youth had done yet another drawing of me, this time in my slumber. On my face is an inscrutable expression. There is no way to tell what I am dreaming – and I confess to have no memory of their contents. Yet the fellow’s talents are delightful: I continue to marvel at the product of his nimble fingers under the direction of a capable eye.

To any outside observer, Lysicles, these days must surely appear to them to be for me a continuous stream of blessings and joys. Why then do I consistently feel by them burdened? Why do they make me so afraid? Perhaps it is their uncertainty. The apprehension that Hadrian shall suddenly decide I am but a distraction to him; that he will be healthier if I am flung as far from him as possible. Or perhaps it is a fear for the opposite: that the man shall consume me in his fervent adoration of all that I unusually inspire in him. I have no answer. Do you? A.

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