The Banquet: A Megala Poem

Each year the Ekklesia Antinoou does a contest on this date called the Megala Antinoia. Here’s a light hearted poem I wrote for it.


The Banquet

We’ll assemble where Antinous hangs out with Hippolytus

By Diana’s grove in Lanuvium above the Pacific.

But what would Adolph Sutro that

Philanthropic Jew who made it in silver

A new world immigrant and progressive mayor

Of San Francisco and builder of marvels

Think about all this devotion in his garden?

I think he might rather like it actually.

Let’s reach for the holy bough, let’s invite Frazier

To this party, (atheist that he was notwithstanding)

And Winckelman of course, he would surely like to attend, and

Wilde and Yourcenar, quipping and quaffing,

And there will be P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, naturally enough.

There will be miner’s lettuce for starters to clear the palate,

This will be a many course banquet I can assure you.

For there is so much to pick from: The Citharoedic Hymn of Curium,

The Antinoieos Flower of the Tebtynis Papyrus or the Oxyrhynchus Poem

And many more. I’d sure be happy to drink wine from a cup,

Whether rhyton, kothon, kantharos or a seemly kyliske

(It will be a symposium too!) and read aloud Pancrates’

Poem of the Lion Hunt and the Animula Vagula Blandula.

Oh, there are so many tidbits just like the endless scraps that

fall from Athenaeus’ banquet table. When shall we begin?


This needs a bit of a key. There’s a grove in a small San Francisco park overlooking the sea from a height. It was originally the home and gardens of Sutro, a very important person in local history, and great benefactor of the city and its populace. Local pagans have long worshiped Diana here and you can usually see flowers and other offerings at her statue. Some of us have done Antinous devotion here too, invoking the memory of Lanuvium, Italy where Diana and Antinous were worshiped together. The kothon was a drinking cup of Spartan origins, the kantharos was a deep cup used in symposia, but some thought they were too deep, while the kyliske was more like a saucer, very modest in what it could contain. Animula Vagula Blandula is a poem written by the emperor Hadrian probably not long before he died. Miner’s lettuce grows there in the spring, a plant associated with the gold rush. We once ate some in a spontaneous ritual gesture.


6 thoughts on “The Banquet: A Megala Poem

  1. Pingback: to be fixed | Aedicula Antinoi: A Small Shrine of Antinous

  2. Pingback: to be fixed | Aedicula Antinoi: A Small Shrine of Antinous

  3. Again, this is lovely! It attests to the rich history our cultus has, as well as the growing local “new world” traditions that are becoming associated with it, and are making their own spiritual mark on the sacred landscapes in our own territories. Thank you for doing this!

    (And, it seems lighter-hearted stuff is the order of the day: I have not written a blues piece for decades!)

      1. Alas, yes; but, I hope to fix that over the coming days, perhaps, with a collaborative activity that, with any luck, several people might get in on…we shall see! 😉

  4. Pingback: The Communal Hymn, Part I: More Formal… | Aedicula Antinoi: A Small Shrine of Antinous

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