Interested in Antinous?

If you find yourself more than a little intrigued with Antinous, the second century, young man who was the beloved of the Roman emperor Hadrian and was deified at his death, after drowning in the Nile River, and become interested in him as a spiritual figure, there is a tremendous reference work available:  Devotio Antinoo: The Doctors’ Notes, Volume One by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, published by the Red Lotus Library earlier this year.

It’s a thick compendium of the author’ writings, as well as translations of hard to find historical texts and related information. As always Lupus is scholarly and thorough and the book is full of references and resources for further exploration. It’s also exhaustively indexed, which is a great help in a reference work of this sort.

Devotio Antinoo features prayers and hymn that can be use in one’s own rites and practices, ones that have become familiar in the context of the Ekklesia Antinoo, but can be easily adapted for anyone’s purposes. These include, “The Antinoan Petition”, “Ave Ave Antinoe”, “Aratologia Antinoi”, “A Prayer to Antinous”, and the “Prayer Against Persecution”. There’s an extensive calendrical section of festivals and special days throughout the year which provide many resources.

A real treasure trove of translated ancient texts can be found in the Historical and Cultic Documents section. These include, “Hadrian’s Temple Inscription”, “The Obelisk of Antinous” (which is a key ritual text), the “Citharoedic Hymn of Curium”, and Pancrates’ “Poem on the Lion Hunt”. There’s also “The Poem on the Colossus of Memnon” by Julia Balbilla, the poet companion of the Empress Sabina.

Some of the author’s essays are “The Feast of the Senses”, a celebration familiar to Dionysians and “The Feast of the Mind”—which contains a great resources hoard of interesting books distributed throughout the year. I found lots of works to add to my list. It’s a good point that reading and study can be part of piety. Lupus is a poet also and quite a few of his devotional poems are included, which work very well in ritual. I recommend his book of poems too, The Phillupic Hymns. For me, perhaps the best came last: a provocative and insightful essay on what does devotion mean in a polytheistic context, with an exploration of Hindu bhakti, which although almost always translated into English as “devotion”, would perhaps better be translated as “participation”. I had a real semantic epiphany with this—for one thing the wall comes down between devotion and mysticism. I think this is such a key text here that it would have been better placed near the beginning. I should mention the books has lots of cool pictures too. Overall, Lupus has written a great resource for scholarly-inclined  and experiential pagan polytheists of various bents.

You can buy direct from the publisher here:

4 thoughts on “Interested in Antinous?

  1. Pingback: The Red Lotus Emerges from the Mud of the Nile and the Blood of the Lion… « Aedicula Antinoi: A Small Shrine of Antinous


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