Friday, December 19, 2014

SEEKING THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT?
GOLVIN'S RECREATIONS OF EGYPTIAN CITIES



LOOKING for the perfect holiday gift? Look no further!

The out-of-print editions of French archaeo-artist JEAN-CLAUDE GOLVIN's highly acclaimed three volumes of gouache paintings of Ancient Egyptian cities have just been republished in one comprehensive, three-in-one volume.

L'EGYPTE RESTITUÉE offers Golvin's breathtaking paintings of Ancient Egyptian sites in their heyday.

They include his famous painting of ANTINOOPOLIS at the top of this entry.

All of the paintings for all three volumes originally published in the 1990s, but long out of print, are now available as one hard-cover book.

Rounding out the tour of Egypt is explanatory text by French Egyptologist Sydney Hervé Aufrère.

CLICK HERE for details in French. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

THESE AMUSING PHRASE BOOKS
HELPED ANTINOUS LEARN LATIN


WE can assume that Antinous spoke Greek as his mother tongue because he was born in Bithynia in Asia Minor ... so he probably learned Latin as a second language when he went to Rome with Hadrian.

Anyone who has studied Latin in school knows it is a labyrinth of complicated grammar ... notoriously boring to learn.


The ancients also had to face the problem. Clearly, non-Romans who wanted a career in Roman high society, the courts, civil administration or the army needed to learn Latin. 

So they did, and by the time Antinous lived, in the 2nd Century AD, the Greek essayist Plutarch was able to say that almost all men used Latin.

So how did the ancients do it?

Professor Eleanor Dickey (University of Reading in the UK) has shown in her outstanding scholarly edition of the "Colloquia" that, when it came to learning foreign languages, the ancients initially glossed over the grammar and began with upbeat bilingual stories featuring scenes and conversations from everyday life.

Professor Dickey lists 80 surviving manuscripts designed to enable Greeks such as Antinous to learn Latin. They consist of vocabulary lists (very big on food), grammars, and texts (these make up more than half the material, with Virgil and Cicero especially popular). 

These texts appear in two columns, one to three words wide, the Latin on the left, and the Greek — a word-for-word translation of the Latin — on the right.

Among these texts are the colloquia, bilingual conversational stories for beginners. 

They tell of schoolboys going to school, lawyers in court, trips to the baths and people borrowing money from a banker, summoning friends for lunch and visiting the sick. 

They are constructed in a series of easily-digested, phrase-book style utterances.

Here is one featuring a school boy perhaps not unlike Antinous:
Ante lucem — before daylight/vigilavi — I awoke/de somno — from sleep/surrexi — I got up/de lecto — from the bed/sedi — I sat down/accepi — I took/pedules — gaiters/caligas — boots/calciavi me — I booted myself/poposci — I asked for/aquam — water/ad faciem — for my face/lavo— I wash/primo manus — first my hands/deinde faciem — next my face/lavi— I washed/extersi — I dried myself/deposui dormitoriam — I took off my pyjamas/accepi tunicam — I took a tunic/ad corpus — for my body/praecinxi me — I belted myself/unxi caput meum — I anointed my head/et pectinavi — and combed [my hair]/…’

The Antinous-like school boy then leaves the bedroom with his pedagogue and nurse, greets his parents with a kiss and sets off for school. 

He greets the teacher, who kisses him and returns the greeting, takes his books (scrolls), writing tablets, styluses and ruler from his slave, rubs out the previous contents of the tablet, rules new lines, writes his work, and shows it to the teacher who corrects it and crosses it out. The teacher then orders him to read aloud. 

There is a squabble with a fellow pupil, the small kids in the class practice their Greek letters, and "Antinous" gets down to his grammar, parsing words and declining nouns. 

He goes home for lunch (white bread, olives, dried figs, cheese, nuts, water), and back to school.

These conversations are full of interest. When slaves fail to make the bed up properly, the master refuses them permission to go out for the night and says they will be in for it if he hears a single peep out of them. 

A man borrowing money at a bank asks what the rate of interest is — quibus usuris? The banker replies quibus vis — ‘Whatever you want’! 

Probably this was a polite convention: the man would not get his money if he wrote down the wrong rate. 

Likewise, the banker tells him to check that the coins he receives are not debased, and to ensure he repays the loan in equally good coin.

Two friends go the baths (towel, strigil, face-cloth, foot-cloth, balsamarium of oil, soap) and hand their clothes to the slave to guard against theft.

They exercise with a ball and wrestle for a bit (one of them is reluctant — non scio si possum — because he has not done it for a long time).

They pay the keeper and plunge in. Dried off, oiled and dressed, they buy goods at the bath-shop — chopped food, lupins and beans in vinegar — and go home.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

JALALUDDIN RUMI
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON December 17th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of the Sufi mystic Jalaluddin Rumi who dedicated his life to the illumination he received through the love of another man.

The mystic lover and poet Jalaluddin Rumi, better known simply as Rumi, was united with his beloved on this day. 

Born in Afghanistan in 1207 CE, his family moved to Turkey while he was still young. 

In the city of Konya, not far from the Bithynian birthplace of Antinous, Jalaluddin Rumi established himself as a traditional Islamic teacher.

But then one day he met Shams-e-Tabriz, a wandering Sufi mystic. 

Shams set Jalaluddin free from worldly concern and revealed the inward love of god as expressed through music, poetry and the whirling dance that simultaneously confuses and centers the soul of one who spins.

When Shams mysteriously disappeared, Jalaluddin went in search of him, only to discover that Shams was within his own heart.

From that day forward, Jalaluddin Rumi became a profound teacher of mystic eloquence whose poetry refers to god as the Lover within. 

The homoerotic character of Jalaluddin Rumi's spirituality, referring both to his love for Shams and his love for god, has ingratiated him to gay men because of the depth and sensitivity and sacred intimacy that his words exude.

Jalaluddin Rumi and his Mevlevi Order are the last remnants of the Bithynian-Phrygian ecstasy cults of Dionysus and Attis, and they are distantly connected to the Religion of Antinous, through the mystical charge of homoerotic spirituality.

Jalaluddin Rumi expressed total love, proclaiming that all religions were one. And on the day of his funeral, his bier was followed by a procession made up of representatives from five different faiths.

We sanctify Jalaluddin Rumi as a Saint in the Religion of Antinous. He died on December 17th, 1234.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A TRUE SAINT OF ANTINOUS:
GAY MAN GIVES LIFE TO SAVE OTHERS



A gay man's courage in the face of imminent death helped most hostages at his café in the heart of Sydney to escape ... though he paid for his bravery with his life.

Worshipers of Antinous in Australia and New Zealand have nominated Tori Johnson as a Saint of Antinous for wrestling a gunman to the ground ... giving a chance for others to flee to safety.

Tori, an openly gay man who had been with his partner Thomas Zinn for 14 years, was the manager of Lindt Chocolat Café in busy Martin Square in the heart of the financial district of Sydney. He was on duty when an Islamic radical held the staff and customers as hostages for 11 hours yesterday.

The gunman was identified as Man Haron Monis who was an a radical cleric.

Tori, 34, who was one of two persons killed during the Sydney siege, is being remembered as a hero for trying to snatch the weapon from the gunman to allow the other hostages to escape. 

Tori died in hospital after being shot by the gunman inside the cafe Monday. 

He was the son of acclaimed Australian artist Ken Johnson and his former wife Rowena. 

His parents and his lover huddled at Tori's home in the Redfern section of Sydney as reporters converged on the house.

"We are so proud of our beautiful boy Tori, gone from this earth but forever in our memories as the most amazing life partner, son and brother we could ever wish for," the family said in a statement.

Friends of Tori described him on Tuesday as "a loving, placid and very gentle soul ... a true gentleman".

Co-workers said they were not the least bit surprised at his bravery.

"He was an amazing man," said Peter Manettas, who worked with Tori for nearly seven years. 


"He was a selfless person who always put staff above everyone," Manettas said. "He always put himself second."

Others spoke of his loving compassion for everyone, even strangers.

When Tori heard of a 6-year-old boy (photo at left) who had never eaten a candy Easter egg because of a rare food-allergy disorder, Tori invited the boy and his family to the café. 

He created a giant Easter egg made entirely of pure chocolate … one of the few foods that the boy could eat safely.

"My son still talks about it all the time," said the boy's mother, Mercedez Hinchcliff. "It taught him that some people do go out of their way for other people."

Mrs Hinchcliff said she was heartbroken when she found out that Mr Johnson was among the victims of the Lindt cafe siege. She hoped his parents would take some comfort by hearing of their son's kind gesture towards her children. 

"We are devastated to hear of his passing and wish to pass along our appreciation of him and our deepest condolences to his family. We will always remember him fondly."

Monday, December 15, 2014

BIRTH OF THE DIVINE LUCIUS VERUS


ON December 15th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the birth of the Divine Lucius Verus, who was born 48 days after the death of ANTINOUS in the year 130 AD (Year 19 of Antinous). As an 8-year-old boy he was hand-picked by Hadrian to become future co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius.

And Hadrian's wisdom in choosing him was realized when Lucius Verus proved to be a wise and diligent leader who combined efficiency in government along with a sense of charisma and high-drama style.


A handsome young man with naturally sandy-blond hair, he instructed his team of imperial stylists to sprinkle gold dust in his carefully coiffed hair and beard to highlight the natural blond sheen. 

Verus led a high-stepping lifestyle and kept a coterie of glitterati, actors and favourites with him. He had a replica tavern built in his house -- a sort of in-house Studio 54 -- where he staged lavish parties with his friends until dawn. 

He also enjoyed roaming around the city among the population, without acknowledging his identity. The games of the circus were another passion in his life, especially chariot racing.


Lucius Ceionius Aelius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus was the son of Lucius Aelius Caesar, His mother's name was Avidia. After the unexpected death of young Lucius's father, Lucius Aelius Caesar, Hadrian then adopted Antoninus Pius to be his successor, and ordered that Antoninus adopt Marcus Aurelius, Hadrian's 17-year-old nephew, and the 8-year-old Lucius who took the name Lucius Verus.

As a boy Lucius Verus was educated by the foremost Roman scholars including the historian Marcus Cornelius Fronto. He was watched over by a devoted freedman of his father named Nicomedes, a name with Bithynian connotations and of almost homosexual allusion.

Originally Hadrian desired that Lucius should marry Faustina the Younger, daughter of Antoninus, but then Antoninus canceled this arrangement and Faustina married Marcus Aurelius instead. Lucius married Lucilla, the daughter of Marcus Aurelius, in 161 a year after becoming Emperor in 161.

War broke out with the Parthians and Marcus Aurelius sent Lucius Verus to head the Campaign, but he is said to have spent his time drinking and banqueting, leaving the war in the capable hands of his  generals. It was a wise decision. For this victory, he was awarded a triumph.


In general, the duties of running the government were left in the hands of Marcus Aurelius, while Lucius Verus spent his time with actors and musicians, and at the chariot races. 

He is said to have excelled his eccentric father Lucius Aelius in ostentatiously exhibiting his pleasures on an Imperial scale, much to the disapproval of the stoic Marcus Aurelius. The two co-emperors, however, always maintained cordial relations.

Lucius Verus was born in the year 130, only 48 days after the Death of Antinous. This is of course very important to consider, and certainly must have left a life-long impression of Lucius Verus. Considerations of reincarnation are open for contemplation.

His death in the year 169 was sudden and unexpected, occurring during a military inspection, likely due to dysentery or possibly smallpox, as he died during a widespread epidemic known as the "Antonine Plague". 

Despite the minor differences between them, Marcus Aureliusgrieved the loss of his adoptive brother. He accompanied the body to Rome, where he offered games to honour his memory. After the funeral, the senate declared Verus divine to be worshipped as Divus Verus.

Many people (even modern-day pagans) balk at believing in the divinity of the emperors, preferring instead the Classical deities of the Roman Republic.

Pagans find it extremely difficult to worship human beings as legitimate gods, because they have no believable supernatural powers, it's too obvious. There are other reasons of course, but this is one.

Why not Worship Lucius Verus and Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius and all the Antonines, why not call out to them, why not praise them and declare our loyalty to them and hope for whatever benefit we might gain? 

The odds seem as favorable with them as with anything else that people call Gods.

For this reason, among others...we turn to ANTINOUS...because he IS a human being...and he WAS deified...ANTINOUS is in every way Both God and Man...we can believe whatever we want about him...but only so long as we do not delude ourselves into thinking that we can placate ANTINOUS, that by worshiping HIM, that we will somehow purchase his good favor...that we will be rewarded for our good faith.

We don't see any harm in asking ANTINOUS to give us the Moon and the Stars and the Beautiful Things of the Land and the Sea...and we are proud to ask ANTINOUS to watch over His People, all the Homosexuals of the World, to protect them and Guide into the Future.

This may seem to be a violation of our personal creed of not asking for fulfillment of our selfish whims...but it is not a violation of that creed...perhaps because it is not for ourselves...and also because we  do not expect ANTINOUS to respond in any way or form...it is not so much a response from ANTINOUS Himself that we are seeking, but a Response from the Antinous within Our Hearts and from the Antinous within All of Our Hearts.

It is We who must watch over ourselves and the whole world...through the Power of Antinous Love within us all.

Lucius Verus IS a god and he represents the Power of the Antinous Love which resides within us all.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

ATHENS GETS A SECOND ACROPOLIS
MADE OF LEGO BY AN AUSTRALIAN



ATHENS now has a second Acropolis ... all the way from Australia.

Already famous in its own right, the LEGO ACROPOLIS OF SYDNEY has gone on exhibit at the Acropolis Museum in Athens after having been on exhibit at the Nicholson Museum at Sydney University for two years. 

Built by Lego-certified professional Ryan McNaught, the Lego Acropolis contains more than 120,000 bricks and took about 300 hours to build.

The buildings, including The Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, the smaller Erechtheion temple and the Propylaia, the monumental gateway, are made from gleaming white bricks.

''The model is as close to the real Acropolis as I could make it,'' he says. ''It's not an architectural scale model; it's more of a representation. The hardest parts were working out how to do all the diagonal lines.''


The Nicholson Museum, in Sydney University's quadrangle, is Australia's largest museum of antiquities and fast developing a reputation as one of the most innovative museums of its type for its integration of the ancient and contemporary world. 

Although the Acropolis is gone, the Colosseum is still in Sydney ... made entirely of Lego bricks.

The departure of the Acropolis makes room for a Lego Pompeii.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN COBALT GLASS BEAD
FOUND ON 3,400-YEAR-OLD VIKING NECKLACE


A thousand years before the siege of Troy, a woman in what is now Denmark was buried wearing a necklace whith "magical" cobalt blue glass beads which had been made in Egypt.

The discovery was made by experts from Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus, the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, and Institut de Recherche sur les Archéomatériaux (IRAMAT) at Orléans, France.

It proves that there was a lively trade route between northern Europe and Ancient Egypt in the era of King Tutankhamun … 3,400 years ago.

Experts have long known that Baltic Sea amber was sought after by the Greeks and Romans.

But until now, it was not known that the Ancient Egyptians, who were well known for their glass technology, operated trade routes that supplied Northern Europe with Egyptian-made glass.

The discovery suggests trade routes between Denmark and the ancient civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia in the Bronze Age 3,400 years ago. The discovery also gives us new knowledge about the sun cult in the Nordic Bronze Age.

Archeologists Jeanette Varberg from Moesgaard Museum and Flemming Kaul from the National Museum, and Bernard Gratuze, director of IRAMAT, analysed the composition of some blue glass beads found on a buried Bronze Age women in Denmark. 

Twenty-three glass beads from Denmark were analysed using plasma-spectrometry. 

Without destroying the fragile beads, this technique makes it possible to compare the chemical composition of trace elements in the beads with reference material from Amarna in Egypt and Nippur in Mesopotamia, about 50 km south east of Baghdad in Iraq. 

The comparison showed that the chemical composition of the two sets of trace elements match.

The researchers' first object for comparison was a bead from a wealthy woman's grave at Ølby, 40 km south of Copenhagen.

The woman had been buried in a more extravagant fashion, lying in a hollowed-out oak trunk and wearing a beautiful belt disc, a smart string skirt with tinkling, shining small bronzes tubes, and an overarm bracelet made of amber beads, and a single blue glass bead. 

The glass bead turned out to be Egyptian. This is the first time that typical Egyptian cobalt glass has been discovered outside the Mediterranean area. 

Now the researchers are linking amber and glass together in an unexpected way. One property that both glass and amber have is that sunlight penetrates their surface. The archaeologists believe this could be proof of a link between the Egyptian sun cult and the Nordic sun cult. 


When a Danish woman in the Bronze Age took a piece of jewellery made of amber and blue glass with her to the grave, it constituted a prayer to the sun to ensure that she would be re-united with it and share her fate with the sun's on its eternal journey.