IN March of 130 AD, the inner circle of Hadrian's court, with a light escort, visited PALMYRA in what is now Eastern Syria, near the northern Iraqi border.
Palymra was an ancient buffer state between the Roman and the Persia Empires, which had now been at peace for many years.
Palmyra was therefore a mixture of both cultures, with its own, ancient Assyrian and Hittite blood beneath the surface.
According to Marguerite Yourcenar, Antinous was initiated into the Cult of Mithras while at Palmyra to the displeasure of Hadrian who was already an initiate, and perhaps an influential leader of the secret cult because of his position as Pontifex Maximus.
Flamen Antonius Subia says:
"Coming after the Zoroastrian sanctification in Armenia, and given the Phrygian aspect of the Mithraic cult, and the proximity to the Persian border, and the end of the transition from the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aries, which the cult revealed, we celebrate the initiation of Antinous into the mysteries of Mithras and their cosmic revelation."