I was very sad today to read of Steve Moore’s passing.
No, I did not know Steve personally, but I am very familiar with some of his work, including The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels (together with Alan Moore, who also wrote Unearthing in his honor before he died), and the novel Somnium (on which, more later). He and his no-relation fellow Moore have done more to re-popularize the cult of Glykon than anyone, really, and I did mention both Moores in by Abraxas 5 article.
I hope that a great deal of his work gets published in the not-too-distant future. He was near completion on a nonfiction book about Selene when this interview was published (almost two-and-a-half years ago), and of course the long-awaited The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic which he was working on in collaboration with the more-heavily bearded Moore for the last 5ish years…his contributions to estoerica, to comics, and to many other fields of interest are inestimable, and will be magnified by these publications and the keen absence that his death has left for those of us who would wish to converse with his contributions more directly.
But, I mention him here not only because I am an admirer of his work, but because a few lines in Somnium actually qualifies him for Ekklesíá´Antinoou sanctification. In a sequence which is a story within the story, a man called Théophile reads a book from a dream library that presents a rather phantasmagoric alternative view of many historical and mythic matters from the classical world (p. 219):
How Remus had been sodomised to death by Romulus while giant birds of prey pecked out his bleeding lungs until he had no breath to scream. How Helen, cursed by all the Gods at birth because her beauty was too great, aged never more than up to twelve until her dying day, and always was a child in bed who did not understand at all the things that men desired, and did; and ever wished that she could die, and didn’t. How handsome Antinous, because he was too loved, was cut in tiny pieces by old Hadrian his lover, fried with onions, most sacred plant of Egypt, and eaten by the emperor, all his blood-sauce drunk as well, and bones boiled up for soup, till nothing did remain. And how Pyriphlegethon, the fiery river, rises up from hell each night, to burn the innocent as they pray to their innocent Gods, who quite refuse to save them.
There’s more, of course, but you get the idea. While this may not be a flattering view of Hadrian, it’s no worse at the end of the day than what some scholars like Daniel Ogden have suggested about the emperor’s purposeful murder of Antinous in order to have a servitor-like daimon; and, this is not presented as fact, but as obvious and purposefully horrible fiction within the fiction itself. Moore’s knowledge of Selene is so extensive that he must have known about the Antinous and Selene text from P.Oxy 63, so with any luck, mention of that will be in his book. This is likely the first of Antinous that many readers of Somnium might have encountered, so hopefully they’ll go looking for more on him…
For less, people have become Sancti as Messengers of Antinous. What do you all reckon?