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
  ~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

Foolish Carisius


It was inevitable, I suppose, that Carisius would end up in Hadrian’s bed, owing to his relative proximity to the Emperor in his role as Keeper of the Purple Robes. Hadrian, like myself, is generally known to prefer his males over his females, and so it is hardly surprising to think that he should take particular notice of the youths that surround him in his daily affairs. Owing to the fact that Carisius has certainly been visible – not only in his role as a page, but also in the frequent company of Commodus – few if any should give it much thought that, on a particular evening in recent memory, Hadrian grew weary of Corinthus and ordered instead the novelty of Carisius into his bed. Such is not an uncommon occurance: it certainly doesn’t displace Corinthus from his role (in fact, it probably gives the lad some much-appreciated respite), and Carisius is hardly distinguished among the other boys in having been invited into Hadrian’s overnight company.

All of this to preface why everyone was so put off by the boy’s trumpeting, the next day, of his exploits. For he claimed – in all seriousness – that the Emperor had been dazzled by him, had expressed to him a most ardent fondness, and had all but promised to make him the next Favourite when Corinthus was sent upon his awaiting career. It was so obviously a desperate attempt at attention; a horrifying and disfiguring need to affirm himself triumphant in opposition to my burgeoning fame. It is a sad comment on the powerful and corrupting influence of a blinding and rabid envy.

Ordinarily, such behaviour would be cause for pity. Had Servillius been the kind of friend to him that Anaxamenos was to me, he likely would have counseled Carisius to stand down and be not so foolishly self-aggrandizing. But Servillius is certainly not a sharp one, and dotes devoutly upon the every utterance of Carisius. Thus he, too, began to sing the boy’s praises, and even took to campaigning on his behalf to convince the others in the Gelotiana that they ought to honour Carisius as one assured to become the next Favourite.

It was in the dining hall, amid more of their inane propaganda, that Anaxamenos finally lost his patience. “Have you not noticed, Carisius, how infrequently the Emperor actually wears his Purple?” Anaxamenos spoke loudly and forcefully enough to send a powerful ripple of silence throughout the room. Everyone turned to watch and listen, no doubt perversely entertained by the spectacle of Carisius about to be trounced. Anaxamenos continued: “The robes are a useless formality to him. They are an encumbrance to his rule. He places precious little value upon them as a source of power and legitimacy in his method of governance. It follows, then, that the page who keeps them must be relatively undistinguished. Of far greater value to Hadrian – who is a soldier, and a hunter, and a man of considerable action – is the horse upon which he places his elevated eyes. Is it any wonder, then, that Antinous, upon his hand-picked arrival here, was assigned immediately to the stables? Is it any wonder that Antinous was swiftly thereafter promoted to Keeper of the Personal Horse – a position created expressly for him? Are you so deluded, Carisius, as to think that you are making a palpable progress toward usurping Antinous from his obvious destiny? Perhaps it is time you shut your mouth and allowed the rest of us to resume our peaceful living within the warm embrace of reality.”

Several of the boys laughed and hooted, and Carisius was quite understandably humiliated. Furthermore, he could conjure no effective response, for indeed everything that Anaxamenos had spoken was incontrovertibly true.

I hardly need tell you that Carisius was considerably more restrained after that. Yet his restraint, unfortunately, was limited to the sound of his voice, and his retaliation manifested in a far more insidious way.

It was some days later that Anaxamenos, Vitalis and I returned to the Gelotiana to discover its residents in a flurry of agitated discussion. Yet they instantly quieted when we walked into the building, and we all sensed that something was amiss. One of the boys from his dormitory, a fellow by the name of Longus, approached Anaxamenos and lowered his voice. “You will not be pleased,” he said, and indicated their sleeping quarters.

We all went into the room, and discovered there several boys who turned to look at us. There was a respectful silence. And then Vitalis pointed to the wall, where we beheld a very crudely drawn donkey. It stood upon its hind legs, and its front hooves were outstretched upon a cross of boards in mockery of the Christian cult practices. Below it was scrawled the provocative words, ANAXAMENOS WORSHIPS HIS GOD.

Anaxamenos stood very still for a long time, struggling to keep his temper at bay. Longus approached him. “There are no witnesses, yet several say they saw Servillius emerge from the building at a time that is, given his duties at the baths, unusual. He is therefore the prime suspect in the minds of many.” Anaxamenos nodded in quiet acknowledgement. I leaned in close to my friend and spoke thusly: “Although Servillius is stupid enough to perform such a provocative deed, and strong enough to defend himself physically from its consequences, I must believe that his very stupidity renders him incapable of plotting such an act. For this is far too insulting an attack to have sprung unassisted from his mind alone. I should not be surprised to learn that Carisius conceived it, and very likely planted the notion in the head of a hapless Servillius, who probably gave little thought to its meaning or import.”

Anaxamenos considered that. He turned to me and asked, “Are you sure?” I shook my head, “No. But the nature of the crime is familiar to me. And to Vitalis as well, no doubt. Carisius has, in the past, demonstrated a willingness to employ others as pawns in the execution of his plot. And such plots seem to revolve around the defamation of my character through an association of it with Christian absurdities. He did something similar, with the help of Vitalis, upon the Caelian, abusing a known friend of Antinous for the sole purpose of striking at the heart of Antinous. He is obviously not very adventurous or creative in the conception of his attacks upon me.”

I was not present, a few days later, when the retaliation of Anaxemons came. In fact, I had no knowledge of it until after it had transpired. I believe my ignorance, and hence my absence, was intentional, for I suspect that Anaxamenos did not wish to involve me in the deed and possibly jeopardize my ascent toward Hadrian. But Vitalis was certainly present, and he reported back to me what had occurred.

A youth was sent as a messenger to meet Carisius at the close of his daily duties. He was pretending to be on an urgent errand from Commodus, and thus Carisius eagerly followed him through the palace. As they plunged into some quiet and rarely trodden shadows, Carisius was suddenly snared by a group of hooded boys who quickly bound, gagged, and blindfolded him. They then proceed to take their ample and violent pleasures from him, and when it was over they removed his binds and walked quietly away, leaving him exhausted and crumpled upon the marble floor, thus without any true claim to have been held against his will.

“Who was among them?” I asked Vitalis. He gazed at me levelly. “Myself,” he said, as though to suggest that he had enjoyed taking his revenge upon Carisius for having been used in the humiliation of Trenus long ago. “Anaxamenos?” I asked. Vitalis nodded, adding, “Rullus, whose ambition was cut short when Carisius stole from him his position as Keeper of the Robes. Longus, who wished not to miss the event, and three others in need of a simple and laughing release.”

I sat quietly then for a long time, trying to digest the news. “It was his due,” assured Vitalis. “He will not offend you – or anyone – ever again.” I looked earnestly at my friend, and smiled at him. I could think of nothing else to say.

Is it justice, Lysicles, that has been served to Carisius? Probably. Yet why then do I find it so difficult to rejoice? A.

The Sacred Antinous is an ongoing work of Historical Fiction, for contemplative and educational purposes.
Site Design & Content Copyright © 2006 - present, Infinitive Ink Limited | Contact
The Sacred Antinous