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
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  ~078 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~079 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~080 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~081 Epistle Coming Soon
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  ~083 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~084 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~085 Epistle Coming Soon
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  ~088 Epistle Coming Soon
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  ~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
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  ~100 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~101 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~102 Epistle Coming Soon
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Phallic Amulets

A Place in the World


Do you suppose I should be showing these epistles to Hadrian? For several days has this question been lurking in my skull, and I am unsure how to rout it. Actually, that’s not quite true. I know exactly how to get rid of it: I must make a decision! But I’ve no idea what to decide.

If I tell him that I write to you, will he be jealous? If I tell him that these letters are never sent, will he think me mad? Will he admonish me for setting his private world to paper? Will he be bored by it? Will he even have time to read what I write? Do I delude myself to think that such scribblings are important enough to the emperor to command his attention?

And yet, why should I feel compelled to show him? Are they not a private correspondence between you and I? (Or rather, ‘twixt my brain and itself?) It is difficult not to consider the fact that my chamber has been furnished with an abundance of parchment, reeds, and several wells of ink. This must surely suggest to me that Hadrian (Or Phlegon? Or Macedo?) is aware of my penchant for writing, and thinks it worthy of encouragement. Perhaps it is enough for them to know that I am kept out of trouble.

It has occurred to me that my letters, regularly deposited in the stables, might still indeed be accessed by determined others. If the Frumentarii approached Anaxamenos and demanded to see what I was writing, there would be no way for him to refuse. Then again, why would they even bother to ask? Why not simply access the cabinet on their own when Anaxamenos was absent? Am I being paranoid? Assuredly. And such a state is downright comic, given that the content of these letters is nothing seditious. And yet, owing to my experience with Gryllus, I assert that I can be forgiven for assuming that someone with some considerable degree of imperium is reading what I am writing and reporting (or showing) it to Hadrian. Perhaps he is amused by it, for certainly, if he was angered, would I not be ordered to stop?

Are you reading this now, Hadrian? Are you spying on me? Then know this: I love you! And since you are here, O gorgeous king, you might as well remain with me while I recount to Lysicles my most recent days (and nights!).

As I’m sure he will avouch, Hadrian is a wonderful and rabid lover. Our exchange of pleasures is always fun, adventurous, and sublimely sensual. I take great pride in keeping myself perpetually at the ready for him, and have begun to interpret his physical signals with evermore accuracy and aplomb. There is the sideways glance to me when he is trapped in the company of bromides; a calculating eyebrow launched in my direction. More brazenly, there was the occasion two days ago when we were standing amid a small crowd of courtiers following the reception of dignitaries from Gaul. I had placed myself to the side, so as not to be in Hadrian’s way. But he made a point of passing close to me, and I felt the nonchalant brush of the back of his hand across my groin. When I turned to look at him, he was rubbing that same patch of skin upon his beard. I smiled at him, and he returned to his guests with a knowing smile of his own. And suddenly I grew hard, causing me much private embarrassment. Predictably, the man took great pleasure as he casually watched me struggle to conceal my bulge. Yet the moment his audience was gone, Hadrian swept me into his chamber and had me. It was a most joyous and playful afternoon!

Never does Hadrian demonstrate such physical ardour with his wife. Yet that is not to say they are frigid to one another. Indeed, his relation to Sabina appears quite friendly and affectionate, especially when they are privately settled within their residences. To my person Sabina is always cordial, and even at times warmly inclusive, which, admittedly, came as a bit of a surprise given my first impression of her at dinner last year. For her entertainment she dotes on the energetic company of Commodus, but in his absence retains several distinguished women who supply a seemingly endless stream of conversation, laughter and physicality. Indeed, they seem to be a very tightly knit circle of friends, for she rarely ventures into the streets of Rome without at least three of them by her side.

All of this to preface the fact that my perception of the Palatine has shifted. Whereas before it always presented to me a rather cold and hostile place, I am suddenly finding it somewhat more like a home. No doubt, this is owing to the physical intimacy that I now share with its master. But more substantially, I believe it is on account of a greater sense of certainty that I am experiencing with regard to my place in the world. I am indeed the Favourite, and as such have a clear understanding of where I belong. There is great comfort in that.

It was alluded to in his acceptance when the Senate bestowed on him the mantle of Father. But now it has become explicit, and Hadrian is earnestly making his travel plans. His sights are set on a vast crescent of provinces that encircle the eastern Mediterranean. It is an ambitious, multi-year itinerary – one that I am thrilled to be able to experience at his side. Plans are already underway to arrive at Athens in time for the Eleusian Mysteries, which Hadrian intends to embrace. “And you too shall take them,” he casually informed me last night.

This, then, is my world, Lysicles. I am admitted to the inner sanctum of a great, beating heart of opulence and power, where want is vanquished at a whim and desires are easily sated. And yet, such a state is nothing. Far more real to me is when I catch sight of Hadrian in his most human of activities: at his toilet; in the picking of his teeth and the blowing of his nose; at the height of sexual ecstasy and the rumbling slumber of a body wearied by the day’s activities. I suppose it is these things that render me truly happy, for in them I see the authentic Hadrian that is my ardent lover. The pomp of his purple robes is as uninteresting to me as it is, I suspect, to him.

I think of you daily and smile. A.

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