ON March 6th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the arrival of Hadrian and Antinous in Nicomedia during the first year of the final and fateful tour of the Eastern Empire.
In the spring of 129 AD, after visiting Mt. Ida and the Phyrgian countryside the court of Hadrian entered Nicomedia, the ancient capital of the province of Bithynia, from which most of Asia was governed at that time. We commemorate this visit on March 6 each year.
Here is how Flamen Antonyus Subia describes it at the online TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS:
"This is the triumphant return of Antinous to his homeland as the Imperial Favorite, and is symbolized as the return of the wandering Dionysus.
"It is said that Julius Caesar stayed as the guest of Nicomedes III, the last king of Bithynia, and that Caesar, when he was young, was the lover of Nicomedes. For the rest of his life, critics called Julius Caesar the Queen of Bithynia, a title that may have had some truth because when Nicomedes died without a son, and he left his kingdom to Rome in his will, or rather to his beloved Julius Caesar.
"This title of Queen of Bithynia would by inheritance fall to Hadrian, and it accentuates the homosexual liberty and voluptuousness of the Bithynians as a nation, the reputation of Nicomedia as a city where Kings loved beautiful boys and gave them the throne for their beauty's sake, and this is the atmosphere which permeated the return of Antinous to his people.
"We celebrate the ancient openness and homoeros of the Bithynians and pray that the modern nation of Turkey will one day return to the grace of its ancestors."