Saturday, August 31, 2013
ANTINOPHILES who have despaired of finding Antinous-related items for their homes, cars and work places can breathe a sigh of relief.
One-stop shopping is just one click away at the online TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS SHOP
This shop features official Antinous articles selected and designed by FLAMEN ANTONIUS SUBIA personally.
If you admire the artwork of Antonyus, then order your own posters of his hand-picked favorite paintings and photographs.
A wide range of T-shirts is available, including classic "T", fitted "T", ringer "T", sleeveless, long-sleeve and baseball jersey — in up to nine colors, depending on the style and design you prefer.
The handy Antinous Tote Bag is a must-have as is a wide array of Antinous lapel buttons and refrigerator magnets in various sizes and designs.
Naturally, there are coffee mugs — and even an official Antinous beer stein appropriately adorned with the well-known Subian portrait of Antinous/Dionysus.
One of our favorites is the Antinous Keepsake Box, available in red-mahogany or black, with a tile cover portrait of the Louvre's breath-taking Ecouen Antinous. This roomy box is perfect for any home shrine or altar and is the perfect jewelry box.
And of course the ever-popular Antinous bumper sticker (at the top of this entry) provides the Beauteous Boy's blessings on any vehicle.
All items are ordered with safety and guaranteed efficiency through cafepress, which has a sound reputation for speedy delivery around the world, with secure payment in all major currencies.
Friday, August 30, 2013
A dazzling star explosion discovered in the night sky last week is the brightest nova seen from Earth in at least five years and it's visible now to the naked eye.
The super nova in the Constellation of the Dolphin is in close proximity to the STAR OF ANTINOUS.
The Nova Delphinus 2013 star explosion can be seen by the naked eye from places without too much light pollution, skywatching experts say. The stellar phenomenon is expected to be visible for weeks to come, and its location in the night sky should make the nova easy for even novice stargazers to spot.
The nova is easy to locate north of the lovely star pattern of Delphinus. And the constellation Sagitta, the Arrow, points right toward it. The image above is courtesy of Singapore-based astro-photographer Justin Ng who photographed Nova Delphinus 2013 on August 18, 2013.
Flamen Antonus Subia says this could herald a major celestial event:
"This constellation is literally right next to Aquila where the Constellation of Antinous is found ....
"I keep a constant vigil for these New Stars because I'm waiting for the news of a Nova Aquila ... which is a sign from the Star of Antinous ... I've seen three so far ... and they always mark great milestones of change.
"Delphinus is very close...we could be on the verge of a great one ... they supposedly come once ever 10 or 15 years in Aquila, and every century there's supposed to be a massive one. The brightest Super Nova ever recorded was in Aquila in 1918 ... so we are due for the Aquila Super Nova of the Century!"
Thursday, August 29, 2013
THE BBC and HBO are planning to follow up their hit mini-series "ROMA" with a star-studded new version of "I, Claudius" ... defying a show-biz curse which has stymied and foiled other productions of this ambitious landmark of historical fiction.
The new series will NOT simply be a remake of the epic 13-part 1976 BBC mini-series "I, Claudius."
Instead, the new series will be based entirely on the two Claudius novels by Robert Graves outlining the life of Emperor Claudius.
Graves based the two books "I, Claudius" and "Claudius the God" on Suetonius' gossipy "De vita Caesarum" (Lives of the Caesars) and other sources, but he fleshed out the details with his own research and imagination, creating a landmark of historical fiction.
The 1976 series hit most of the highlights of those two books, but skimmed over or left out many juicy details.
The announcement of the BBC/HBO deal comes after years of wrangling over rights to the Graves books.
At one point it appeared there would be a movie version with Leonardo DiCaprio starring in the title role. But legal challenges and bizarre twists and turns of fate prevented anything being produced ... either for the big screen or the TV screen.
The problems were so fraught with peril that there was even talk of the "I, Claudius Curse" ... the legendary "curse" which prevented a movie version of from being produced in the 1930s.
"I, Claudius" was to have been the biggest movie ever made in Britain in the 1930s, with Charles Laughton in the title role (seated, left), heading up a stellar line-up of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood and Britain.
But one calamity after another occurred during the production ... accidents ... disasters ... a car crash which injured one of the stars of the film, Merle Oberon, who was to play Messalina.
The string of bad luck gave rise to the belief that there was "curse" associated with the attempt to adapt "I Claudius."
Derek Jacobi (right) turned in the role of a career as Claudius.
"I, Claudius" gives a glimpse into the power, madness, murder, backstabbing and debauchery that was part and parcel of ruling-class Rome.
It is seen through the eyes of Claudius, who is content to be the butt of jokes and hide his brilliance behind a stutter and a limp.
Because he is never perceived as a threat, Claudius is never poisoned as many others in his circle are.
Claudius out-survives them all and, against all odds and despite the jeers of those who call him a fool, he becomes emperor of Rome.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
ON AUGUST 28th, the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, the world's first gay activist, who lobbied governments 100 years before Stonewall for repeal of anti-gay laws, and who was also Chief Priest of Antinous worldwide in the latter half of the 19th Century.
Even before the term "homosexuality" had been coined, Ulrichs came out to his friends and families and proclaimed in 1864 that he was a "Uranian" — or "Urning" in his native German — and thenceforth waged a one-man campaign for gay rights in Germany.
Sanctus Carolus Henricus Ulrichs, Chief Priest of Antinous in the 2nd half of the 19th Century (worldwide!) wrote incredibly long poems — nearly in epic form — about Hadrian and Antinous.
He wrote a manuscript for a mammoth scientific work on Antinous in history, art, coins and his influence on ancient and modern culture. The manuscript was confiscated and destroyed in a police raid.
As part of his gay-rights lobbying effort, he wrote dozens of pamphlets with titles such as "Researches on the Riddle of Man-Manly Love" aimed at dispelling homophobic myths about same-sex love.
Late in life Ulrichs wrote: "Until my dying day I will look back with pride that I found the courage to come face to face in battle against the spectre which for time immemorial has been injecting poison into me and into men of my nature. Many have been driven to suicide because all their happiness in life was tainted. Indeed, I am proud that I found the courage to deal the initial blow to the hydra of public contempt."
Forgotten for many years, Ulrichs is now becoming something of a cult figure in Europe. There are streets named for him in the German cities of Munich, Bremen and Hanover. His birthday (August 28th, 1825) is marked each year by a lively street party and poetry reading at Karl Heinrich Ulrichs Square in Munich.
The International Lesbian and Gay Law Association presents an annual Karl Heinrich Ulrichs Award in his memory. He died on July 14th, 1895, in L'Aquila, Italy.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
IT has often been said that the love story of Hadrian and his beloved Antinous has all the drama, romance, mystery and intrigue of opera — and now the curtain is going up.
ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN is premiering at 7 p.m. August 28th in New York City at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Chelsea, 296 Ninth Avenue, at 28th Street. Other performances are scheduled for August 29th at 7 p.m. and September 7 at 4 p.m.
This ground-breaking opera was written by composer CLINT BORZONI with a libretto by EDWARD FICKLIN.
Borzoni's award-winning music reflects his passion for lyricism and functional harmony. He has written over sixty pieces, including a full length opera, two one act operas, a piano concerto, percussion quartet, piece for orchestra, two string quartets, several works for chamber orchestra, and many art songs.
Ficklin has composed and written librettos for various forms of music-theater. He has realized his works in a number of unusual venues, like a store window near Grand Central Station and a vacant bank lobby near the World Trade Center (with the support of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the September 11th Fund). His work has also been presented by numerous opera companies across the United States and Europe.
He describes "Antinous and Hadrian" as truly "grand opera," a hugely ambitious project.
"Rome wasn't built in a day," says Ficklin. "When embarking on something large, we're often given that sage, if cliche, advice. Having recently laid down on paper, finally, the first few lines a new libretto destined to be a grand opera, I find that I need to remind myself of this. Indeed, large endeavors always require a large perspective.
Follow updates on this bold new opera project on TWITTER.
Those addicted to Twitter can find the minute details of our progress here: http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23antinous.
Those addicted to Twitter can find the minute details of our progress here: http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23antinous.
er can find the minute details of our progress here: http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23antinous.
Monday, August 26, 2013
THIS colorful 1,600-year-old glass goblet shows the Romans were experts at nanotechnology, according to scientists.
The glass chalice, known as the Lycurgus Cup because it bears a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, appears jade green when lit from the front but blood-red when lit from behind—a property that puzzled scientists for decades after the museum acquired the cup in the 1950s.
The mystery wasn't solved until researchers in England scrutinized broken fragments under a microscope and discovered that the Roman artisans were nanotechnology pioneers, according to a report in SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE.
They impregnated the glass with particles of silver and gold, ground down until they were as small as 50 nanometers in diameter, less than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt.
The exact mixture of the precious metals suggests the Romans knew what they were doing ... "an amazing feat," says one of the researchers, archaeologist Ian Freestone of University College London (UCL).
The ancient nanotech works something like this: When hit with light, electrons belonging to the metal flecks vibrate in ways that alter the color depending on the observer's position.
Gang Logan Liu, an engineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who has long focused on using nanotechnology to diagnose disease, and his colleagues realized that this effect offered untapped potential.
"The Romans knew how to make and use nanoparticles for beautiful art," Liu says. "We wanted to see if this could have scientific applications."
When various fluids filled the cup, Liu suspected, they would change how the vibrating electrons in the glass interacted, and thus the color.
The original 4th Century AD Lycurgus Cup, probably taken out only for special occasions, depicts King Lycurgus ensnared in a tangle of grapevines, presumably for evil acts committed against Dionysus, the Greek god of wine.
If inventors manage to develop a new detection tool from this ancient technology, it'll be Lycurgus' turn to do the ensnaring.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
OFFICIALS in Greece have cautioned against believing claims that the Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great has been found north of Athens.
Greece's Ministry of Culture says it is too early to speculate whether an ancient mound currently being excavated in the north contains the remains of Alexander.
Greek news media and Internet blogs claim a tomb unearthed by archaeologists in Amplipolis, Serres, 600 kilometers north of Athens, is the royal tomb of Roxane, the wife and son of 4th Century BC king Alexander the Great.
Some reports even say the tomb may be of Alexander himself.
"The finding of Amphipolis is certainly very important, but linking the site with the identification of historical figures without scientific justification is risky," the Culture Ministry said in a press release.
The warrior king has always been thought to have been buried in Egypt. But experts have now become excited after they uncovered a marble-faced wall dating from the time.
The structure measures an impressive wall measuring 500 metres long and three metres high, which archaeologists believe could contain a royal grave.
The site near ancient Amphipolis lies 370 miles north of Athens.
Site archaeologist Aikaterini Peristeri has voiced hopes of finding 'a significant individual or individuals' within.
A Culture Ministry statement has enthused that the archaeologists have partly excavated a mound that has yielded a 'very remarkable' marble-faced wall from the late 4th Century BC.
Experts believe the ancient artificial mound could contain the remains of the king, or is at least an important royal Macedonian grave.
The news has captured the Greek public's imaginations and many people are hopeful the site will solve the mystery of where Alexander the Great rests.
However, Greece's Culture Ministry has warned against "overbold" speculation that archaeologists are close to uncovering the king's remains.
There are several stories about where Alexander the Great was buried after he suddenly died of a fever at the age of just 32 - although some believe he was poisoned.
History tells that his body was laid to rest in a rock crystal and gold sarcophagus filled with honey. It is said to have been taken to Memphis before Alexandria in Egypt where it remained until late Antiquity.
Famous Romans Pompey, Augustus and Julius Caesar are all said to have visited his tomb in Alexandria, with Caligula reportedly swiping the warrior's breastplate for a souvenir.
Alexander's crystal sarcophagus appeared in a key scene of the 1963 epic "Cleopatra" starring Elizabeth Taylor in the title role and Rex Harrison as Caesar (photo at right).
It is possible that Hadrian and Antinous visited the Tomb of Alexander ... assuming it was located in Alexandria and still intact when they visited the city in 130 AD.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
BEADS discovered on an Ancient Egyptian necklace that was first excavated in 1911 have finally been confirmed as being made from space rock ... proving at last that the Egyptians considered meteorite ore to be on a par with gold and gemstones.
Researchers from the University College London's Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology conducted detailed analysis of the necklace using gamma rays and have been able to prove that the beads, originally believed to be made from iron, were in fact created using fragments of meteorites.
The analysis is also the first time scientists have been able to assess how the beads were formed and it is thought that the Egyptians used the technique of smithing and rolling, which involved hammering the rock several times until it could be flattened and then rolled to form the bead-shaped tubes.
Egyptologists from the Open University first scanned beads found in a pre-dynastic cemetery near the village of el-Gerzeh, in Lower Egypt in May, using scanning electron microscopy and computed tomography.
It is the first time researchers have been able to study the internal structure of the beads to reveal how they were created - showing an advanced knowledge and skill of metal work.
The discovery additionally unearths a glimpse of the genesis of the ancient Egyptians' religion and the divine attributes they attached to meteorites.
"The sky was very important to the ancient Egyptians," said Joyce Tyldesley, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester, UK, and a co-author of the paper on the discovery.
"Something that falls from the sky is going to be considered as a gift from the gods," she said.
Friday, August 23, 2013
THE world's oldest temple, Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey, may have been built to worship the dog star, Sirius.
The 11,000-year-old site consists of a series of at least 20 circular enclosures, although only a few have been uncovered since excavations began in the mid-1990s.
Each one is surrounded by a ring of huge, T-shaped stone pillars, some of which are decorated with carvings of fierce animals. Two more megaliths stand parallel to each other at the centre of each ring.
Giulio Magli, an archaeoastronomer at the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy, looked to the night sky for clues. After all, the arrangement of the pillars at Stonehenge in the UK suggests it could have been built as an astronomical observatory, maybe even to worship the moon.
Magli simulated what the sky would have looked like from Turkey when Göbekli Tepe was built. Over millennia, the positions of the stars change due to Earth wobbling as it spins on its axis. Stars that are near the horizon will rise and set at different points, and they can even disappear completely, only to reappear thousands of years later.
Today, Sirius can be seen almost worldwide as the brightest star in the sky – excluding the sun – and the fourth brightest night-sky object after the moon, Venus and Jupiter. Sirius is so noticeable that its rising and setting was used as the basis for the ancient Egyptian calendar, says Magli.
At the latitude of Göbekli Tepe, Sirius would have been below the horizon until around 9300 BC, when it would have suddenly popped into view.
"I propose that the temple was built to follow the 'birth' of this star," says Magli. "You can imagine that the appearance of a new object in the sky could even have triggered a new religion."
Magli used existing maps of Göbekli Tepe and satellite images of the region.
Magli drew an imaginary line running between and parallel to the two megaliths inside each enclosure. Three of the excavated rings seem to be aligned with the points on the horizon where Sirius would have risen in 9100 BC, 8750 BC and 8300 BC, respectively (arxiv.org/abs/1307.8397).
The results are preliminary, Magli stresses. More accurate calculations will need a full survey using instruments such as a theodolite, a device for measuring horizontal and vertical angles.
Also, the sequence in which the structures were built is unclear, so it is hard to say if rings were built to follow Sirius as it rose at different points along the horizon.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
May you all be blessed
on this occasion of
THE SACRED LION HUNT
beneath the light of the
ANTINOUS BLUE MOON.
~ANTONIUS N. SUBIA
May you all be blessed
on this sacred occasion of
THE SACRED LION HUNT
beneath the light of the
ANTINOUS BLUE MOON.
~ANTONIUS N. SUBIA
EXPERTS have known for decades that a labyrinth of tunnels allowed servants to scurry from one end of Hadrian's Villa to the other without disturbing the Emperor and his guests.
But now Italian archaeologists have stumbled upon a veritable underground "expressway" ... a tunnel wide enough to have taken horse-drawn carts and wagons, which would have ferried food, fire wood and other goods from one part of the sprawling palace to another.
The newly-discovered underground passageway has been dubbed by archaeologists the Great Underground Expressway — in Italian the "Strada Carrabile."
It was discovered after archaeologists working at the site stumbled upon a small hole in the ground, hidden by bushes and brambles, which led to the main gallery.
Around 10ft wide, it runs in a north-easterly direction and then switches to the south.
"All the majesty of the villa is reflected underground," Vittoria Fresi, the archaeologist leading the research project, told Il Messagero newspaper. "The underground network helps us to understand the structures that are above ground."
In contrast to the palace, which fell into disrepair after the fall of the Roman Empire and was plundered for its stone, the underground network remains "almost intact."
The villa, at Tivoli, about 20 miles east of Rome, was built by Hadrian in the 2nd Century AD and was the largest ever constructed in the Roman period. It covered around 250 acres and consisted of more than 30 major buildings.
Although known as a villa, it was in fact a vast country estate which consisted of palaces, libraries, heated baths, theatres, courtyards and landscaped gardens.
There were outdoor ornamental pools adorned with green marble crocodiles, as well as a perfectly round, artificial island in the middle of a pond which is believed to have been the Emperor's private retreat within the compound.
Beneath the complex were more than two miles of tunnels which would have enabled slaves to move from the basement of one building to another without being seen by the emperor, his family and imperial dignitaries.
Many of the tunnels have been known about for decades but this one is far larger than the rest.
The tunnel has been explored by a society of amateur archaeologists with caving and abseiling skills, as well as by wire-controlled robots equipped with cameras.
Much of it is blocked by debris that has accumulated over the centuries.
Heritage officials are hoping to organise the first public tours of the tunnels in the autumn.
"After a lot of work, we are preparing to open several areas to guided visits," said Benedetta Adembri, the director of Hadrian's Villa.
Hadrian, who built the eponymous defensive wall in northern England, was a keen amateur architect who incorporated into the design of his villa architectural styles that he had seen during his travels in Egypt and Greece.
He started building the palace shortly after he became emperor in 117AD and continued adding to it until his death in 138AD.
It included dining halls, fountains, and quarters for courtiers, slaves and the Praetorian Guard.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
IT IS THE DAWNING of the 21st of August and the Sun is poised to enter the fiery sign of Leo the Lion.
All around the world worshipers of Antinous commemorate The Sacred Lion Hunt which climaxes with solemn rituals at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS.
The place is Egypt, somewhere in the rocky wilderness between the scattered oases southeast of Alexandria. The time is August of the Year 130 AD. The Sun is poised to enter the Sign of Leo. The Constellation of Aquila the Eagle is at its zenith in the nighttime sky — just as it is now.
It is the constellation of the Emperor. And the Emperor and his Beloved are touring Egypt when they hear grisly accounts of a man-eating lion marauding the countryside on the edge of the cultivated land. The "Marousian Lion" it was called.
They lead a hunting expedition out into the wilderness. The whole expedition is rife with symbolism from the start since the Sun is in Leo in the daytime skies and the Eagle is soaring in the nighttime skies and the Ancients believed killing lions was tantamount to defeating death itself. Lion hunting was the sport of kings.
When at last the Imperial party flushes out the man-eater, the huntsmen and archers stand back and leave Hadrian to close in on the beast with his steed. Hadrian has just got off an arrow which wounds the animal when, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, young Antinous rides ahead, his reins in his left hand, an adamantine-tipped lance in his upraised right hand.
As the Imperial retinue looks on in horror, the snarling lion charges toward the boy, causing his panicked horse to whinny and wheel about in terror. But Antinous maintains his balance and, instantly judging distance and angle, sends his lance sailing towards the lion as it quickly closed the gap between them.
The lance slams into its rear flank, inflicting a serious but not fatal wound. Enraged even more, the lion uses its fangs to pull out the lance and charges anew against the Boy who is fumbling with his quiver to ready a shot with his bow. But an arrow is already in the air from behind Antinous, and it whizzes past his ear and hit its mark in the throat of the lion.
It has been fired by Hadrian, who is approaching at full gallop and who, even while the first arrow was still in the air, had already readied a second arrow, which this time penetrates both lungs.
The lion spins about and collapses writhing in the dust, rage in its eyes, blood and saliva guttering from its fanged mouth, gasping for breath as it struggles to get to its feet — because Antinous has dismounted and is sprinting toward it with a drawn dagger.
Hadrian draws his steed to a halt and dismounts with an agility and lightness befitting a man half his age, fueled by adrenalin and alarm for his Beloved Boy, who faces imminent peril from the mortally wounded lion, still capable of severing an artery with one swipe of its mighty paw.
Hadrian draws his hunting axe from his belt and holds it high as he lunges onto the lion's back and dispatches the beast with one powerful blow which splits its skull in two with a frightening crack and a spurt of bright red blood which bathes both the older man, now panting and perspiring heavily, and the younger man who still shows no visible expression of concern, just a wild-eyed look of excitement in his eyes, as if he never realized the danger he had been in — as if he thinks he is immortal.
A cheer goes up from the coterie of onlookers when they realize the lion is dead, killed seemingly by a single blow from the Emperor's hand. Courtiers whose eyes are unskilled in the ways of hunting will later claim Hadrian had struck the lion dead with a club.
As soldiers and nervous bodyguards rush forward to make sure everything is all right, the emperor, his adrenalin-strength ebbing as quickly as it came, shakily wraps a blood-spattered arm around Antinous and plants his gilded, spike-soled sandal on the dead animal's neck and nods to Antinous to do the same.
There they stand, bathed in blood and bathed in the adulation of the Imperial coterie, each with one foot on the vanquished man-eater as the animal's blood spreads out and covers the surrounding rocks and sand and a few scrubby wildflowers growing from a crevice in a rock.
Even the flowers are splattered with blood. And these red blossoms will be plucked by members of the entourage to take back as souvenirs to show to envious courtiers who had not been invited along.
THE SACRED LION HUNT was immortalized in poetry and in stone, with Hadrian adding medallions to the Arch of Constantine showing him and Antinous with feet on the lion's neck and also making sacrifice to the great lion-killer Hercules.
Soon legend would have it that scarlet-red lotus blossoms had sprung forth from the pool of the lion's blood, the lion which had been brought down by Antinous and which had been dealt its death blow by Hadrian — the SACRED RED LOTUS.
Under the Sign of Leo. And under the Constellation of the Eagle.
Within a few short weeks, Antinous himself would be dead. The Sacred Lion Hunt is the last recorded event in His short life.
And some time afterward, grieving Hadrian would look up into the nighttime skies with tear-filled eyes and his court astronomers would point out a New Star which had appeared in the southern part of the Constellation of Aquila the Eagle.
The New Star would be interpreted as a celestial sign that Antinous had been raised to the firmament, that the Constellation of the Imperial Eagle had been joined by the CONSTELLATION OF ANTINOUS. It was a sign that Antinous was now a God.
If you go outside tonight and peer out into the darkness with all its deep and hidden dangers, remember Antinous and how he peered out into the barren wilderness with all its deep and hidden dangers.
He charged forth, his bridle-reins in his left hand and an adamantine-tipped lance in his right, and he faced death unafraid.
For Antinous knew he was immortal.
The Constellation of Antinous, still under the wing of the Imperial Eagle, will be right directly over your head tonight — shining proof that Antinous is a God and that he is indeed immortal.
Don't look out into the darkness around you and be afraid. Instead, look up and remember the Beloved Boy, who was a fearless hunter, who stalked death itself, and who emerged victorious over it.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
ON AUGUST 20th the Religion of Antinous commemorates the Sacred Band of Thebes, the Army of Gay Lovers whose courage and valour have echoed down through the ages as an inspiration that Gay Love is a magical means of Conquering Fear and Doubt.
The Sacred Band of Thebes, also called The Theban Band, was a battalion composed entirely of homosexual friends and lovers. This military unit, consisting of 150 male couples, was based on the belief that men fighting alongside their lovers would die rather than shame one another.
According to Aristotle, the Army of Lovers were sworn into military service at the Tomb of Iolaus, one of the many male lovers of Hercules. Iolaus had helped the god in the Twelve Herculean Tasks.
He often acted as Hercules' charioteer and companion, and the closeness of their relationship was such that he was known as Heracles' symbomos (altar-sharer), since the two could be honored at one and the same altar — a very rare occurrence in ancient Greece, where each divinity would have his or her own altar.
Iolaus was called the eromenos (beloved boy) of Hercules, and was thus a Sacred Hero of same-sex love in Thebes. Hercules, Iolaus and Eros were often depicted together.
That is probably why the army of gay lovers was called the Sacred Band, since they took their oath of allegiance at the Sacred Tomb of Iolaus, which was at the same time a shared sacred altar to Hercules. In effect, the warriors were swearing that they would fight alongside their comrades the same way Iolaus and Hercules fought together — armed with the arrows of Eros.
You can see the parallels to Hadrian and his beloved boy Antinous, and later this week the parallels become even clearer when we commemorate the SACRED LION HUNT. After that hunt in the Libyan desert in the summer of the year 130 AD, Hadrian and Antinous made sacrifice to the Great Lion Slayer Hercules — thus cementing the identification between Hadrian/Hercules and Antinous/Iolaus — and their affiliation with the Sacred Band of Thebes.
The great Theban general and tactician Epaminondas is generally credited with establishing The Sacred Band, although some sources claim it was his "beloved friend" Pelopidas who was responsible for recruiting them. No matter — they both fought side-by-side at the head of The Sacred Band.
This corps d'elite first took to the battlefield against Sparta, which had dominated Greece since the fall of Athens in 404 BC. The Spartans were confident of victory, as they had never suffered a defeat on the battlefield — never ever.
Deploying the Sacred Band on his front left wing, "Epaminondas made his left wing fifty deep and flung it forward in the attack."
The "extra weight" of this wing and the "fanatical bravery of the Sacred Band" broke the Sparta right wing, which contained their best warriors. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, the Spartan king was killed and their right gave way.
Witnessing this, the rest of the Spartan forces, who had not yet been engaged, fell back in disarray, running for their lives. Thus, Sparta suffered their first recorded defeat in more than 400 years — at the hands of an Army of Gay Lovers.
But the end came in 338 BC at the battle of Chaeronea when King Phillip II of Macedonia and his son Alexander (later called Alexander the Great) defeated the combined forces of Athens and Thebes-Boetia. Alexander confronted The Sacred Band of Thebes, the elite corps of 300 homosexual lovers who were by that time the most respected soldiers in the world.
But alas! They were no match for the Macedonians under Phillip and Alexander. It was a rout. The Athenian and Theban armies gave way and began retreating from the advancing Macedonians. Only The Sacred Band stood their ground — and died. Only a few were subdued and captured. Of those who died, it was found that not one had been wounded in the back — a sign that they had not turned away from the fight.
Alexander was so moved by their nobility and courage that he asked his father to bury them with honour and raise a monument in the form of a Sacred Lion over their mass grave. In 1881, the shattered fragments of this Lion Tomb were discovered, surrounded by the bones of 254 pairs of men with their weapons, arranged in a phalanx of seven rows, the battle formation of the Sacred Band.
In 1902 the fragments of the Sacred Lion were reconstructed and placed again over the tomb of The Sacred Band (depicted left) by the secret homosexual society known as the Order of Chaeronea, founded by gay-rights pioneer George Cecil Ives.
It reminds us once again of the Sacred Lion Hunt which we celebrate later this week.
So, what has all of this got to do with us in our daily lives? We're not soldiers. We're not brave and courageous. Like Dorothy Gale, we're meek and mild. Timid. We know that if we were on a battlefield, we would turn and run. We would hide and "play dead" and hope nobody found us.
We assume that the Army of Gay Lovers were all fearless. We think they were unafraid. We don't think of them as being saredy-cats like us. We think they didn't mind the prospect of agonizing death. We think they were somehow above such mortal fears and doubts.
That's nonsense, of course. They were scared out of their wits. We can scarcely imagine how afraid they were. As they stood there alone against the mightiest army in the Ancient World, their emotions shifted beyond the mere terror of possibly being killed, to the actual horror of inescapable agony and death. It is one thing to be terrified — we all know the fears generated by terrorists who fly airliners into buildings.
But the emotions experienced by those trapped in the planes or inside the burning buildings go far beyond mere terror to the actual horror of inescapable agony and death. That is the Mystery of Terror as opposed to the Mystery of Horror. We tend to forget the distinction!
The Army of Gay Lovers were not without fear. On the contrary, they were staring into the horror of impending pain and death. But they did not allow their fear to overwhelm them.
Instead, they turned their fear "inside-out" and used it as a magical shield. The barbs of fear were no longer poking inward to themselves, but instead were pointing outward towards their foes.
And that is the Mystery Teaching of the Army of Gay Lovers. It was no doubt part of the initiation which the recruits underwent at the Tomb of Iolaus. They were schooled in magico-religious methods for handling fear. It's about learning to harness Mars energy. Mars is all about the double-edge sword of fear/bravery and how you can learn to wield that Sword of Mars.
It's not about being fearless. It's about being able to transform your fear into a mighty force which wins the battle of life. Mars Warrior Energy is not about death. It is about LIFE. It is about harnessing fear and doubt and turning them into useful energies in your daily life.
Life — from the time you are born until the time you die — life is just one constant battle. And if you give in, then you are lost. And if you give in to the fear and doubt that constantly confront you each and ever day, then you are lost. It's about using selfless love and transcendant awareness to transform fear and doubt into constructive energies which empower you to stand up and wade into the fray of daily life.
The Band of Thebes were initiated into Mystery Teachings which showed them how to transform fear and doubt into a magical force which made them invincible — capable of asserting their will and making their dreams become reality.
And the catalyst was male-male love and devotion.
This is one of the deepest and most profound Mystery Teachings of the Religion of Antinous.
We are talking about the Mysteries of Antinous-Mars. This is why Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia has painted Antinous in the guise of the War God (top left).
Antinous is not just about gay male beauty. He is about gay male warrior energy.
Mars is a very important constituent aspect of Antinous. In Fixed Star Astrology, the STAR OF ANTINOUS is characterized by a mixture of Jupiter/Mars energy along with Venus energy — unique among Fixed Stars. To overlook Mars is to overlook a major component of what Antinous is all about.
Mars and his Alchemical Intelligence Graphiel and Daimon Barzabel (Deimos and Phobos) is much misunderstood by philosophers and occultists.
The fiery Graphiel/Barzabel energies of the red planet ("terror" Deimos and "horror" Phobos) are often seen as frightful and horrific and destructive and warlike with no other qualities. This is a shallow analysis and one that should be discarded. Understanding your Martial nature — the Antinous-Mars warrior inside you — is essential to your survival and growth as a gay man. Terror and horror accompany us all our lives.
We are all afraid every day. We are all riddled with doubts every day. Look around you — most people are consumed with fear and doubt. Fear fuels their lives! But each of us can learn to turn our fears and doubts "inside-out" so that their barbs no longer point inward towards us, but instead so that these barbs of fear and doubt form a protective shield around us.
It girds us with a constructive energy which helps us to advance through the Herculean travails which we face in our daily lives. Instead of being "fearfully" timid, we become "fearsomely" determined not to let life get us down.
Tomorrow, this transformational ability to turn fear "inside-out" will help us to understand how Antinous was able to charge the man-eater during the SACRED LION HUNT.
He must have been terrified. He was young and inexperienced and alone on his steed and armed only with an adamantine-tipped lance.
But through his loving bond with Hadrian/Hercules, Antinous/Iolaus was also magically armed with the "fearsomely strong" energies of the Sacred Band of Thebes.
Flamen Antinoalis Antonius affirms: "We consecrate and honor their memory and call upon their strength and courage in our own hearts, that we may become the New Sacred Band."
Monday, August 19, 2013
ON AUGUST 19th, the Religion of Antinous honors St. Federico García Lorca, who was openly gay and who is one of the greatest poets of the Spanish language.
He was executed by the Fascists on this day, August 19th, during the Spanish Civil War in 1936.
García Lorca's central themes are love, pride, passion and violent death, which also marked his own life.
The Spanish Civil was just getting underway in August 1936 and García Lorca was seen by the right-wing forces as an enemy. The author hid from the soldiers but he was eventually found.
An eyewitness has told that he was taken out of a Civil Government building by guards and Falangists belonging to the "Black Squad". García Lorca was shot in Granada without trial. The circumstances of his death are still shrouded in mystery. He was buried in a grave that he had been forced top dig for himself.
According to some sources, he had to be finished off by a coup de grâce. One of his assassins later boasted, that he shot "two bullets into his arse for being a queer".
It was the end of a brilliant career as a poet and dramatist who was also remembered as a painter, pianist and composer.
In the 1920s he was close friends with Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, among many others who later became influential artists in Spain. Despite the accolades from artists and critics, he suffered from bouts of depression brought on largely by his inner conflict about his homosexuality.
He was tortured by the demands of being a celebrity in a homophobic society and the yearnings of his gay soul.
During his lifetime only a handful of close friends were allowed to read the collection of gay poems which would be published many years later as his Sonnets of Dark Love. Here is one of them, entitled Love Sleeps in the Poet's Heart:
You'll never understand my love for you,
because you dream inside me, fast asleep.
I hide you, persecuted though you weep,
from the penetrating steel voice of truth.
Normalcy stirs both flesh and blinding star,
and pierces even my despairing heart.
Confusing reasoning has eaten out
the wings on which your spirit fiercely soared:
onlookers who gather on the garden lawn
await your body and my bitter grief,
their jumping horses made of light, green manes.
But go on sleeping now, my life, my dear.
Hear my smashed blood rebuke their violins!
See how they still must spy on us, so near!
With the Catalan painter Salvador Dalí and the film director Louis Buñuel he worked in different productions.
Dalí and Lorca had met in 1923. From the beginning, Lorca was fascinated by the young Catalan's personality and looks. Also Dalí had admitted that Lorca impressed him deeply.
When Buñuel and Dalí made their famous surrealist short film Un Chien Andalou (1928), García Lorca was offended: he thought that the film was about him.
Lorca's friendship with Dalí inspired a poem, a defense of modern art and at the same time an expression of homosexual love. Dalí dedicated his painting of Saint Sebastian to his friend, who often compared himself to the tortured homoerotic martyr.
"Let us agree," Lorca wrote to Dalí, "that one of man's most beautiful postures is that of St. Sebastian."
"In my 'Saint Sebastian' I remember you," Salvador Dalí replied, ". . . and sometimes I think he IS you. Let's see whether Saint Sebastian turns out to be you."
García Lorca was capable only of a "tragic, passionate relationship," Dalí once wrote — a friendship pierced by the arrows of Saint Sebastian.
The Religion of Antinous honors this great artist who lived and loved tragically and passionately and who died tragically for being gay.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
AN intact Roman ship from the 2nd Century BC has been discovered off the coast of Genoa, Italy.
The vessel, which contains roughly 50 valuable amphorae, was spotted by police divers roughly one mile from the shore of Alassio, 50 meters underwater.
Police were tipped off to the whereabouts of the boat during a yearlong investigation into purloined artefacts sold on the black market in northern Italy.
"This is an exceptional find," said Colonel Francesco Schilardi. "Now our goal is to preserve the ship and keep thieves out. We are executing surveys and excavations to study the contents of the boat which is perfectly intact."
The culture ministry said the ship should prove vital in shedding light on Rome's trade activity between the Italian peninsula, France and Spain.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
LOOTERS have ransacked a museum only a few short miles from Antinoopolis, smashing display cases and reportedly stealing 1,200 priceless objects.
The Malawi National Museum in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya, adjacent to Antinoopolis, was severely damaged and looted by rioters as part of deadly clashes that erupted across the country.
As this blog entry was being uploaded, clashes were still raging on the streets of Assyut, the largest town near Antinoopolis.
There has also been widespread blatant LOOTING AT ANTINOOPOLIS in recent months.
The entire Assyut/Minya area is a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism.
Ironically, the area has always been a region of religious fervor, dating back to Antinoopolis ... and even further back to the 18th Dynasty when "heretic" Pharaoh Akhenaten founded his capital city Akhetaten a few miles south of the site where Antinous would plunge into the Nile and his sacred city would be founded in the year 130 AD.
This week Egypt witnessed nationwide violence that left hundreds dead and thousands injured after police cleared sit-ins by supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi at Rabaa Al-Adawiya in Cairo.
At Minya, pro-Morsi protesters allegedly broke into the museum property, adjacent to the town police station and the Malawi council building, and announced their sit-in in the museum's garden.
Security guards were beaten and injured by some protesters who were attempting to break into the museum building, a security guard who preferred to remain anonymous told Ahram Online.
The pro-Morsi protesters tore down the museum's internal gate and broke into its halls, damaging and stealing some of its treasured artefacts. The looters also tore out the museum surveillance cameras and ransacked offices.
Among the items stolen was this exquisite statuette of a Roman-era Egyptian priest caressing a jar of oil or unguent sacred to his deity.
Afterwards, police and volunteers managed to gather together the artefacts that had not been stolen and transferred them to a secure vault at nearby Al-Ashmunein ... ancient Hermopolis (called Shmunu by the Ancient Egyptians).
Hermopolis was the last city that Antinous saw before his death in October 130 AD.
But the police and volunteers were only able to salvage a few items, most of them badly damaged. Everything that was small enough to be carried was stolen.
"It's a great loss and I'm really saddened by what's happened to such a museum," Antiquities official Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online.
Ibrahim added that an archaeological committee is inspecting the losses and identifying the number of stolen artefacts to provide a list of the missing objects and send it to the prosecutor general to begin investigations.
Unofficial sources said 1,200 stolen objects were on the listed and that the list of stolen artefacts will also be distributed among all Egyptian ports to prevent any smuggling attempts, the antiquities minister continued.
International museums, UNESCO and the INTERPOL are planning to put these artefacts on the Red List to prevent its trading and to return the items safely to Egypt.
The Malawi National Museum internal gate has been restored and put back to its original position.
Despite such incident, antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim decided to open all museums and archaeological sites as normal but will close two hours earlier than usual, except for the Malawi National Museum, which will remain closed.
Friday, August 16, 2013
WE all know that the Ancient Egyptians believed you can take it with you ... that death does not mean you have to part with everything that was important to you in life ... but few people today understand that there was a far more sophisticated spiritual interpretation.
Yes, of course, the simple folk believed that you literally took things with you to the afterlife ... mummified body, ushabti figures, food, clothing. There was a huge industry specializing in tomb furnishings, mummification and supplying the dead with sustenance.
But the material goods in tombs were only symbolic of a far richer, and spiritually deeper understanding of "taking it with you" after death.
The curious-looking winged snake on the papyrus of the 19th Dynasty scribe Amenemwija in Berlin's Egyptian Museum hints at that far deeper spiritual meaning. The deity is called "Nehebkau" (Harnesses KAs) ... and he is poised in front of the deceased ... taking in the every spiritual essence (KA) that the deceased wants to take with him in the afterlife.
The Egyptians believed you give up only those things you don't want to take with you ... you take anything and everything else which you deem worth saving for eternity.
Nehebkau represents an advanced spiritual element. In computer parlance, he "downloads" the spiritual essence or "KA" of everything you want to have with you ... and Nehebkau defrags and condenses everything for instant retrieval.
The "KA" is the spiritual essence of everything. Each human has a main KA plus many subsidiary ones. Everything has at least one KA ... every blade of grass, every object, every animal ... everything.
Nehebkau literally takes all the KAs of the person and all the KAs that the person wants to have with him/herself in the afterlife ... all friends, memories, pets, pleasant experiences, houses, furnishings ... the spiritual essence of EVERYTHING ... and then he "downloads" them by swallowing them into his slender serpentine body ... and condenses them like zip files and defrags them and compacts and configures them all into an infinitely small corner of his infinitely vast mind ....
It is important to point out that this does not mean that the dead person drains the life force from all friends and family and leaves them empty. It does not mean they all have to die to accompany the deceased.
Instead, it is exactly like "downloading" the essence of the persons or objects. The persons and objects themselves remain intact ... their spiritual essence is unaffected ... but Nehebkau has downloaded the spiritual essence to accompany the deceased.
Nothing is diminished. Nothing is lost. The KA is copied and saved and filed away.
And in the afterlife, the deceased retrieves any and all docs, jpegs, YouTube URLS and files ... eternally fresh and alive ... for all eternity.
We tend to buy the Judaeo-Christian idea of ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust which means that we must "let go" while our loved ones, memories and treasures all crumble away and end up on the conveyor belt of the garbage incinerator ... like the final scene from a "Toy Story" movie.
Or we opt for the Eastern idea that you become one with the universe and everything dissolves away into one-ness ... no self, no ego, no death, no suffering, no end to suffering, no end to death ... etc. ... like the final scene of a movie about Tibetan monks and a little boy from Seattle.
These scenarios would have been appalling to the Egyptians. You take whatever and whomever you want along with you into the afterlife ... no carry-on bags necessary ... everything is neatly defragged and compressed and configurated and stored away in the infinitely vast mind of Nehebkau.
Yes, all of your earthly friends, pets and possessions will crumble away ... but their spiritual essence has been downloaded as a back up for you to keep with you ... for all eternity ... thanks to Nehebkau.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
VIOLENT clashes between police and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi have erupted all around Antinoopolis as Egypt edges ever closer to civil war.
During clashes, pro-Morsi protesters destroyed guard kiosks at the entrance to at the Malawi National Museum in the Upper Egypt town of El-Minya ... and bloodshed was also reported at Mallawi.
Both of those towns are located only a very short distance from the city sacred to Antinous.
The area around El-Minya and Mallawi is a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism and recently there has been serious LOOTING AT ANTINOOPOLIS.
At least 40 people have killed this week in the Egyptian province of Minya, where Antinoopolis is located, in violence ignited by the security forces' assault on protest camps set up by supporters of the deposed president, Health Ministry officials said.
Six of the dead were policemen, according to Mohamed Abdo, head of the ambulance department. The toll was confirmed by a statement from the Minya branch of the Health Ministry.
But independent sources say the death toll may be much higher and the clashes may be far more widespread than officials admit.
Antinoopolis and Minya are 200 km (125 miles) south of Cairo.
Meanwhile, all archaeological sites and museums throughout Egypt are closed indefinitely due to the violence which has swept all parts of the country.
The decision comes in response to violence in Egypt following police attempts to break up Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya in Nasr City and Al-Nahda Square in Giza.
Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim established an emergency operation room to follow up on security measures taken at archaeological sites and museums across the country, in order to protect them from looting or encroachment.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
THE Roman emperor Commodus might have cultivated the skills showcased in Ridley Scott's blockbuster film "Gladiator" in a personal miniature Colosseum on his estate near Rome.
Archaeologists from Montclair State University, in New Jersey USA, believe that a large oval area with curved walls and floors made of marble is, in fact, the arena where the emperor killed wild beasts, earning the nickname "the Roman Hercules," as recorded in historical writings.
Found in Genzano, a village southeast of Rome which overlooks Lake Nemi, a crater lake in the Alban Hills, the oval structure measures 200 feet by 130 feet and dates to the 2nd Century AD.
It was found by the U.S. team as they excavated thermal baths at an estate known as the Villa of Antonines.
Based on literary references and the discovery in the 18th century of marble busts of imperial figures, the site is believed to have been the property of the Antonine Dynasty (138–193), which began with the reign of Hadrian and his successor Antoninus Pius and included emperors Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus and Commodus.
"We first noticed a small section of a curving structure next to the baths. Ground-penetrating radar mapped out the entire foundations revealing new specular curving structures," Deborah Chatr Aryamontri, a co-director of the excavation, told the Italian daily Il Messaggero.
Forming an ellipse, the arena could sit more than 1,300 people. It featured an imperial box and was richly decorated with mosaic tesserae and luxurious, imported marbles.
"The very numerous pieces and fragments of marble of varied thickness and dimensions include white marbles as well as colored ones such as serpentine, porphyry, giallo antico, pavonazetto, cipollino and africano — basically the most common decorative types imported from North Africa and the Aegean region," wrote Chatr Aryamontri, and co-director Timothy Renner.
"The tesserae, or cubic tiles used for mosaics, include many from black and white compositions (leucitite and white limestone), while the remainder are small colored glass tesserae that represent a large part of the color spectrum and include transparent examples covered with gold leaf," they added.
According to the archaeologists, several large blocks of worked peperino stone would have helped support an awning system (velarium) to shade spectators from the sun, just like at the Colosseum in Rome.
Most likely, it was in this opulent setting that Commodus practiced for his first semi-public appearances as a killer of animals and a gladiator.
Succeeding his father, Marcus Aurelius, Commodus ruled Rome from 180 AD until 192 AD, when he was strangled in his bath by a wrestler.
Immediately after he became emperor, he displayed his strength in gladiatorial combats at Rome’s Colosseum.
According to his contemporary Dio Cassius, Commodus killed men in his private gladiatorial bouts, and was known for "slicing off a nose, an ear or various other parts of the body."
An accomplished left-handed fighter, determined to cast himself as "Hercules reborn" (sculpture left), Commodus was also a skilled hunter, showing his ability in the Colosseum by killing bears, tigers, hippopotamuses, elephants, but also domestic animals.
He delighted the public by shooting crescent-headed arrows at ostriches, who continued to dash around even after they had been decapitated.
In the Oscar-winning film "Gladiator," Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix, fought to the death in the Colosseum in Rome with fictional army general Russell Crowe.
At the private mini-Colosseum in Genzano, Commodus might have enjoyed more elaborate shows.
Indeed, an underground canal around the amphitheater suggests that naval battles were staged there. Leading down to underground chambers, a spiral staircase brings to mind the arrangements at the Colosseum in Rome. Most likely, lifts were used in the Genzano Colosseum to raise scenery and possibly animals.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
DIANA the Divine Huntress was born on this day, according to the Lanuvium inscription which is consecrated to Antinous and Diana.
She is said to be the twin sister of Apollo, but our belief is that the virgin huntress is the female Antinous, his twin sister, goddess of lesbian beauty just as Antinous is the god of gay beauty.
Diana and Antinous are deities of the Moon.
As Antinous is often assimilated to Apollo, he therefore substitutes as the twin of Diana, though he can often be viewed as her male double, so that Antinous is Diana.
She is Helen of Troy to the Castor and Pollux of Antinous-Apollo, they share not only the attribute of hunters, and of the moon, but also as gods of magic and darkness.
Diana is often compared to Heckate, the supreme goddess of Theurgian magicians, who rose to prominence during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Antinous therefore is the male equivalent of Heckate.
We pray to Diana to guide us in our hunt and to illuminate our nights with the silver light of her sublime power. We recognize that the Moon of Diana is the Moon of Antinous.
On this night we venerate the Virgin, she who guides new life into the world, goddess of beasts, the mistress of the hounds, the archeress, the young Great Mother of Ephesus.
Monday, August 12, 2013
ON AUGUST 12th, the Religion of Antinous honors Hercules Invictus, the champion of homosexuality.
The Great God Hercules, defender of mankind against chaos, the son of Zeus, the strongest and mightiest man that has ever lived, was one of the first of the Greek gods to be worshipped by the Romans.
The Greeks of southern Italy introduced the Cult of Hercules at such an early date that the Romans were convinced that Hercules was indigenous. Indeed, he was admitted by Romulus into the sacred Pomeria, the spiritual protective wall of the city of Rome.
The cult of Hercules was centered at Tibur, where Hadrian built his magnificent Villa, and Hadrian is often compared to Hercules for his travels, his physical strength, courage, and his sexual prowess.
Hercules was driven mad by Hera and forced to murder his wife and children. In order to atone for his sin, he visited the oracle of Delphi and was instructed to submit to twelve labors.
Hercules accomplished them all, and many others including the release of Prometheus from bondage. He was also a sexual champion and the number of his lovers is very long, and they include boys such as Abderus, Chonus, Haemon, Hylas, Iokastus, Iolaus, Nestor, Philoctetes, Polyphemus, Telamon, Abderus, Admetus, and Dryops.
Without question, Hercules was a champion of homosexuality, and a defender of mankind against the forces of evil. For his benefit to mankind, he is venerated as a God and Protector of the Religion of Antinous.