Friday, February 28, 2014

ANTONINUS PIUS, THE ROMAN EMPEROR
WHO FULFILLED HADRIAN'S DREAMS



AT the end of February and beginning of March the Religion of Antinous marks Three Holy Days involving the Divine Antoninus Pius.

On February 28th we celebrate the Adoption of Antoninus Pius by Hadrian. And on March 1st we commemorate the Apotheosis of Antoninus Pius . Also on March 1st, we celebrate the Ascension of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.

After the death of Aelius Caesar, Hadrian adopted Antoninus, imposing on him the condition that he adopt two sons, Lucius Verus and Marcus Antoninus to be his successors. Antoninus supported the dying Hadrian for the remainder of his years, and obeyed his commands even after his death. For this Antoninus is called Pius.

As the Fates would have it, March 1st is the date when Antoninus Pius died in 161 AD after 23 years as Emperor. His rule is marked by an almost unbroken period of peace and tranquility. The golden era of Rome, known as the Age of the Antonines, takes its name from Antoninus, because every emperor afterward took up his name as an emblem of glory. Antoninus is the emperor most responsible for the perpetuation of the Religion of Antinous.

He had served as Proconsul of Asia Minor under Hadrian from 130 to 135, while the Religion of Antinous was being formed, and it was during his reign that construction of the Sacred City of Antinoopolis was completed.

The Senate deified Antoninus Pius shortly after his death. The base of the column erected in his honor, shows Antoninus Pius and his wife Faustina the elder, rising up to heaven. They are ascending upon the wings of an Aeon, with Mother Rome on one side, and a beautiful reclining male figure on the other who grasps an obelisk. We believe this figure to be Antinous, guardian spirit of the Age of the Antonines.

Upon the occasion of the Death and Apotheosis of Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus became co-Emperors, both surnamed Antoninus, a name which the ancient Romans equate with inestimable glory.

Marcus being the elder and wiser, was given the title Augustus, while Lucius took the name Caesar. They remained cordial to one another though their vastly different characters were always a cause of discord, though never of rivalry or outright animosity. They were a harmonious and cooperative pair of rulers, the only example of effective imperial brotherhood in the long history of Rome.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

HADRIAN AND ANTINOUS WOULD LOVE THIS:
'BES: DEVELOPMENT OF A DEITY'



A very ancient shrine dedicated to Bes was located on the site where Antinous plunged into the Nile.

The village there was called Besat.

Hadrian is said to have given great significance to the fact that the God of Young People was watching over the Beauteous Boy.

Now you can explore this incredibly multi-facted deity without leaving home at the
 virtual online museum exhibition "Bes: Development of a Deity."

CLICK HERE to enter the online exhibition featuring artefacts from Eaton College and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in England.

Bes is perhaps the most misunderstood Egyptian deity. He was variously understood as protector of children and family households, but also as god of dance and music, as well as a god of military prowess.

And in his female form Beset, he/she was a powerful sorceress deity of magic.

Bes was cherished in the hearts of every Ancient Egyptian. He was the most personal of all Egyptian deities. 

Every household with children had a shrine to Bes, just as every household with children in our age expects a visit from Santa Claus during the Festive Season ... some experts even speculate that Bes is the proto-Santa.

Curators of this unprecedented online exhibition say: 
"In the past Bes has been variously described as ‘monkey’ (Hart 1986: 59), ‘dwarf’ (Altenmüller 1973: 721), ‘Nubian’ (Graves 2011), ‘deformed’ (Zivie-Coche 2011: 7), ‘lionlike’ (Malaise 2000: 180) amongst others, it certainly is not that any of these descriptions are wrong – instead, the confusion over Bes’ imagery arises due to the huge variety of iconographic changes in his appearance over the two millennia that he was worshipped in ancient Egypt. To exemplify the visual development of Bes, this exhibition has chosen to utilise two collections of Egyptian antiquities; the Eton College William Joseph Myers Collection and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery collection."




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

POSEIDON CAN'T SINK THIS MODEL TEMPLE
BECAUSE IT IS MADE OF CORK



THIS CORK model of the famous Temple of Poseidon could fetch up to $1,000 at auction in England as a prime example of Victorian fascination with antiquity and conversation piece knickknacks.

The intricate reconstruction, 25 inches (63 cm) long, dates back to the 19th Century and is thought to have been made to enable architecture students to examine the building’s design without having to travel abroad.

It is to be sold by Sworders the fine art auction house in Stansted, England. 

Sworders director John Black said: "The model is of one of the most spectacular ancient Greek temples which can still be visited in Paestum, Italy."

Paestum was a thriving Greek colony while Rome was just a collection of thatched huts on the Tiber.

"Models like this were often used in the 18th and 19th Centuries by architects such as Sir John Soane to teach their pupils and clerks who were unable to go to Italy or Greece," Black added.

"The Model Room of the Soane’s Museum includes a collection of similar examples, which portray an alternative Grand Tour."

The term "Grand Tour" describes the predilection in Victorian times for wealthy British and American tourists to spend the "off months" of the social season traveling to famous sites in Europe and Egypt ... returning home with souvenirs in time for the start of the next season of balls, cotillions and the theatre.

The Temple of Poseidon is being sold at Sworders' spring country house sale next Tuesday (March 4) at a guide price of £400-£600.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

IS THIS THE GOLD OF THE NIBELUNGEN?
GERMAN TREASURE HUNTER HITS GOLD


THESE silver statuettes ripped from a Roman commander's field chair by metal-detector treasure hunter are part of a trove of gold and silver found in a German forest.

Dating back to late Roman times, the find has spawned speculation it could be the legendary Nibelung treasure that inspired Richard Wagner's opera cycle.

But the man who found the cache was dumb enough to post images and videos of his spectacular find on the Internet.

German authorities, who otherwise might never have known of his find, have now swooped on his home.

They have confiscated the horde and are holding him for questioning in connection with possible violation of laws ranging from plundering historical sites to illicit merchandising of taxable treasure.

The haul from Rhineland-Palatinate state, worth about 1 million euros, includes silver bowls, brooches and other jewelry from ceremonial robes and small statues that adorned a grand chair, said archaeologists. 

"In terms of timing and geography, the find fits in with the epoch of the Nibelung legend," Axel von Berg, the state's chief archaeologist was quoted by German media as saying.

"But we cannot say whether it actually belongs to the Nibelung treasure," he said, adding that whoever owned it had "lived well" and could have been a prince.

Authorities fear that the most valuable items may already have been sold to buyers abroad in violation of German law.

Meanwhile, archaeologists are appalled at the man's wanton destruction of the site. 

He destroyed an ancient chair, throwing away the wood and polishing the metal bits.

A number of buttons, buckles, brooches and other items from military garb were brutally stripped of shreds of fabric and then were polished … totally ruining their value to historians.

Whether the treasure is the famous "Rhinegold" or not, it seems to have been buried in haste by its owner or by robbers in around 406-407 AD, when the Roman Empire was crumbling in the area along the Rhine.


According to Nibelung legend, the warrior Hagen killed the dragon-slayer Siegfried and sank his treasure in the Rhine river. 

The Rhine has shifted its course many times over the centuries, so the treasure need no longer be under water.

Although it is the stuff of myths, the story is based on the downfall of the Burgundians in the 5th Century AD. 

Rhineland Palatinate boasts the most famous stretch of the Rhine, dotted with castles and steeped in legend that has inspired German poets, painters and musicians.

Monday, February 24, 2014

STEVEN SAYLOR'S 'RAIDERS OF THE NILE'
HITS BOOK STORES FEBRUARY 25


EXCITING news for fans of Steven Saylor, gay author of the best-selling epic "ROMA" ... he has announced publication of his newest novel ... a further adventure of Gordianus the Finder.

"RAIDERS OF THE NILE" hits book shops worldwide February 25.

The new book comes fresh on the heels of his highly acclaimed Gordianus prequel "THE SEVEN WONDERS", which traces the exploits of Gordianus the Finder as a young man.

Saylor just posted this on Facebook:

"My new novel is called 'Raiders of the Nile' and directly follows 'The Seven Wonders,' recounting the further adventures of young Gordianus (and Bethesda) in Egypt. I took inspiration from the motifs of the ancient Greek novels: separated lovers, kidnapping, bandits, concealed identity, love tested and redeemed. This plot hinges on a true incident: the disappearance of the golden sarcophagus of Alexander the Great..."

Sunday, February 23, 2014

MEET ANTINOUS IN LONDON
DURING GAY HISTORY MONTH



ONE of the world's leading authorities on Antinous will discuss the latest research discoveries and insights into the Beauteous Boy during a popular lecture as part of London Gay History Month tomorrow, February 24th.

John J Johnston will give the lecture, entitled "A Boy and His Empire: Antinous — Last God of the Ancient World", on February 24th at the TREADWELL'S esoteric and occult book shop located at  33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 7BS.

Seating is exceedingly limited, so it is advisable to contact the store by CLICKING HERE.

Johnston, shown above with the famous Berlin Green Head, is well known for giving lectures which offer a very thorough and precise outline of the historical person Antinous and his elevation by the Emperor Hadrian from provincial obscurity to the dizzying heights of Imperial Rome — and upon his death, to the celestial realm of divinity. 

He has spoken on the subject of Antinous twice at the renowned Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, drawing standing-room-only crowds each time.

This lavishly illustrated lecture draws upon artistic, archaeological, and textual sources to examine the enigmatic life and death of Antinous, before going on to consider his religious and artistic legacy throughout the Roman world and his continuing influence in the modern world from his adoration by Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the father of art history, through the works of Victorian artists and writers, and into the 21st Century where Antinous and his image have provided the basis for numerous "blockbuster" exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the world and continue to inspire artists, writers and film-makers.
 

Bringing the discussion right up-to-date, he will also be addressing our own Priesthood of Antinous and the online TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS as exemplars of Antinous' influence on modern popular culture.

Recently, he presented a conference paper focused upon the effect of Antinous upon western gay culture, entitled The Cult of Antinous: 1,882 Years and Counting?
  
John J Johnston is Vice-Chair of the Egypt Exploration Society and serves on the Committee of the Friends of the Petrie Museum. He has lectured extensively at institutions such as the British Museum, the National Museum of Scotland, the Royal College of Surgeons and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen. 


His varied research interests encompass mortuary beliefs and practices, gender and sexuality, Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, the history of Egyptology and the reception of ancient Egypt in the modern world. 

He is co-editor of the book, Narratives of Egypt and the Ancient Near East: Literary Linguistic Approaches (Peeters, 2011). He is presently editing two further publications and sits on the Editorial Board of Egyptian Archaeology magazine.

John J Johnston read Egyptology and Classics at the University of Liverpool and Open University, respectively. He obtained an MA in  Egyptian Archaeology from University College London, where he is  currently reading for a PhD.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

EXPERTS SAY OLDEST TEMPLE IN ROME
WAS DEDICATED TO THE GODDESS FORTUNA



EXPERTS have unearthed the ruins of a 2,500-year-old temple to the goddess Fortuna which they say is the oldest temple ever found in the city of Rome.

The temple, located at the commercial dockside on the Tiber River, was built of imported stone, which was rare for the 6th Century BC ... when Rome was little more than a collection of villages on seven hills. 

It may not have been as impressive as this digital mock-up of an Imperial-era Temple of Fortuna 700 years later. But the true-life earliest temple is nonetheless stunning in the eyes of the experts.

Archaeologists have long suspected that the oldest Roman temple lay at the foot of the legendary Capitoline Hill under the Sant’Omobono church.

But the dig site lies under the water table and it’s only recently that they've managed to excavate the waterlogged Sant’Omobono site with modern techniques.

"The temple's much more interesting than anybody expected,” said Albert Ammerman, an archaeologist at Colgate University who worked on the dig. "It's beautiful down there."

By looking at imported Greek pottery found nearby, archaeologists have dated the temple to the early 6th Century BC. 

"There is no other temple quite this old," said Ammerman, though he noted that earlier Romans might have built temples of wood or perishable materials. The other contender for oldest Roman temple would be the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, also on the Capitoline Hill.

In antiquity, the riverside site probably functioned as an emporium: a trading station where merchants from places like Cyprus, Lebanon and Egypt could stop and hawk their goods, rest, socialize—and say a prayer.

"The religious dimension sort of sanctifies the trade," said Ammerman. "It's like having money that says, 'In God we trust'."

In addition to the remains of the temple, archaeologists found what they believe to be votive offerings, including figurines, cups, bronze objects and spears of wood, bone and ivory.

"There are hundreds and hundreds of these things," said Nicola Terrenato, co-director of the Sant’Omobono excavation project. "We’re still in the process of cleaning and cataloging them."

The archaeologists believe the temple was dedicated to Fortuna, the Roman goddess of luck. 


"Fortuna isn’t one of the major deities," said Ammerman. "You have all these foreign peoples here. The Romans aren’t going to put one of the gods that’s close to their soul here."

Friday, February 21, 2014

WHAT YOU'LL BE WEARING THIS SUMMER:
ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD

HERE's what you'll be wearing this summer ... Antinous the Gay God!

Antinous along with other Classical male deities are emblazoned in oversize prints on shirts, jackets, shorts and trousers in the DOLCE & GABBANA men's collection for Spring and Summer 2014.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have found a perfect formula: Sicily as an inspiration for clothes modeled on the catwalk by Sicilians themselves. 

The sweet authenticity of the idea has powered their last few collections for men, and when cynics in the Spring/Summer 2014 runway audience in Milan sighed, "Oh no, not again," you wanted to slap them. 

Or torture them by passing on Gabbana's confident declaration: "There is so much in Sicily, we could be doing this forever."

It was Sicily's Greece-inflected mythology that forms the 2014 collection ... Antinous. 

"Fashion is freedom," Gabbana said.

Check out the D&G Summer 2014 Men's Collection here:



Thursday, February 20, 2014

THE MAGIC PORTAL TO ANOTHER DIMENSION
RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF MODERN-DAY ROME


IN a quiet corner of a shady plaza in the middle of Rome stands an ages old portal to another dimension.

The "Magical Doorway" (Porta Alchemica) is all that remains of a 17th Century alchemical laboratory which drew scientists from across Europe ... and which drew the wrath of the Inquisition.

The Alchemy Gate or Magic Portal is a landmark from the Villa Palombara built in 1680 by Massimiliano Palombara marquis of Pietraforte on the Esquiline Hill.

The Porta Alchemica is the only survivor of the five gates of the villa Palombara. 


There was a lost door on the opposite side dating from 1680 and four other lost inscriptions on the walls of the mansion inside the villa. 

The marquis was fascinated by occult and esoteric sciences. His wealth and social position enabled him to act as a patron to a number of alchemists. 

In his villa he also held meetings, attended by other important personages who shared his interests, such as the Swedish Queen Christina, who lived in Rome after having abdicated, the distinguished astronomer Domenico Cassini, the renowned scholar Father Athanasius Kircher, and others.

Villa Palombara had a small detached outbuilding, probably a laboratory, where the occult meetings and the alchemic experiments were secretly held, and occult rituals were performed.

A young doctor and alchemist from Milan named Giuseppe Borri, who had been expelled from the Jesuit college for delving into the occult, came to Rome and joined the circle of Villa Palombara.

A legend says that Borri, sponsored by the marquis, was successful in transforming lead into gold ... creating the Philosopher's Stone of transformational magic. 

But one night he suddenly fled - this really happened, after being stalked by the pope's Inquisition - and left behind a number of papers inscribed with complicated formulae which nobody was able to decipher. 

So Massimiliano Palombara had them inscribed on the doorways of his laboratory.

Another version of the legend says that an occultist calling himself Antimony (an alchemical element whose symbol adorns the portal lentil) conducted experiments at the villa ... and vanished through the doorway one night ... disappearing into a magical dimension ... leaving behind only a solid-gold apple as proof that he could transform matter into gold.


Unfortunately Villa Palombara was completely demolished in the second half of the 1800s, when the new district was built. 

The other doorways were lost ... along with their alchemical formulae.

On both sides of the surviving portal stand two bearded and bandied-legged statues ... they are statues of the Egyptian deity BES which once stood at a Temple of Isis and Serapis in Ancient Rome.

Knowledge of the Egyptian hieroglyphs had long since been lost when the portal was built. 

The marquis could not have known that BES was a worshiped by the Egyptians not only as a protective deity ... but also as a protector of Egyptian SEM magician-priests.

Or perhaps the marquis was very well aware of this ....

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

DEFINING DESIRE:
LABELS AND SEX IN ANCIENT TIMES


A leading authority on Antinous will chair an evening of discussions on sex in ancient civilizations as part of Gay History Month in London tomorrow evening.

John J. Johnston chairs the event exploring how sexuality has been classified or not, including a presentation on "Sex and History: Talking sex with objects from the past" project by Jennifer Grove (University of Exeter) and "Queer Time Capsules" by Tim Redfern / Timberlina.

"I will be starting off with a presentation on sexualities in the ancient world before chairing a series of presentations and a discussion and in addition to those knowledgeable and eclectic participants mentioned in the blurb above," John told us. 

"We'll also have a contribution from the rather fabulous Fern Riddell of King's College London, who specialises in sexuality during the Victorian era. I think it will be a thought-provoking and entertaining evening," he added. 

The evening is part of the University College of London (UCL) Diversity Month and LGBT History Month http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums/whats-on.

Date: 20 February | Time: 6-8pm | Location: G6 Lecture Theatre, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, Gordon Square | Price: Free. Booking essential via https://definingdesire.eventbrite.co.uk 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

WE HONOR MICHELANGELO
AS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS


FEBRUARY 18th is the day when the Religion of Antinous honors Michelangelo, who died on this date.

Saint Michelangelo was the ultimate Renaissance Man, a painter/sculptor/architect/engineer, a man of art and science. A man torn between his passions and his religion. 


In the Renaissance, his voluptuous depictions of the male form were accepted as expressions of the Divine in art. 

It was the Victorians who went into denial over any hint that he may have been gay, despite the fact that he never married.

His male art is done with a passion for detail and obvious love of the male form. The only females he sculpted were maternal figures.

In 1532, he met a handsome young nobleman called Tommaso de Cavalieri. Michelangelo was struck by a romantic feeling that simply would not go away. He wrote sonnet after sonnet for the man as well as producing some rather "personal" sketches for his eyes only.

Michelangelo executed a number of exquisite ink sketches of Jove's Abduction of the beautiful youth Ganymede.

Michelangelo most certainly knew that Jove and Ganymede were synonymous with Hadrian and Antinous. As a man of art and science, all he had to do was look at the nighttime sky and see the Constellation of Antinous (formerly the Constellation of Ganymede).


An older man enthralled with a handsome youth. Our modern concept of "gayness" did not exist. But did he really have to spell it out to Tommaso any more clearly than that?

For thirty-odd years, the two were constant companions, but Michelangelo? s passions did not end there. During his relationship with Cavalieri, he also wrote about some deep feelings for other men in his life, including the 16-year-old Cecchino dei Bracci, for whom he wrote 48 funeral epigrams after his untimely death.

Here is an extract from one of his same-sex love sonnets:

"The love I speak of aspires to the heights; woman is too dissimilar, and it ill becomes a wise and manly heart to burn for her."

For his gentle genius and for his love of male beauty and for representing the best strivings of humanity, we proclaim Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni one of our Blessed Prophets of Homoeros.

Michelangelo reminds us that male beauty IS divine.

Monday, February 17, 2014

'LOST' PAINTING THAT SHOCKED VICTORIANS
GOES AT AUCTION FOR NEARLY $500,000



A "lost" painting said to have "shocked" the Victorians with its depiction of a young woman in a diaphanous pink gown doing a sensuous dance in Pompeii has been rediscovered and has sold at auction at Bonhams in London for £301,250 ($454,750).

The painting, by Sir Edward John Poynter and entitled "The Ionian Dance," caused ladies to swoon and heterosexual gentlemen to twitch their moustaches in titillation when it was unveiled in 1895.

Homosexual art aficionados at the time noted Poynter's brilliant mastery of the brush in creating realistic marble surfaces polished so smoothly that they reflect light. They also marveled at the way the sheer fabric flows.

The painting was last seen on the open market in 1915, when it passed into a private collection and out of the public gaze.

It has now re-emerged nearly a century later after being offered at Bonhams auction house.

A spokesman called the painting "arguably the most important work by Sir Edward Poynter," as he claimed it was the first opportunity for it to be seen in "generations," according to a report in THE TELEGRAPH.

The image is intended to bring to life an ancient Greek poem by Horace, in which a young girl is exiled from Greece and the Ionian islands. She is seen in the painting in a translucent gown, performing a native dance for her Roman mistress.

It is said to have been "heavily influenced" by the stories of debauchery coming out of the buried city of Pompeii, after it was rediscovered in 1863.

A spokesman for Bonhams told The Telegraph: "For the first time, excavations exposed magnificent murals, artworks and the preserved remains of the city's inhabitants.

"The city had been discovered once before in 1599 by an architect who stumbled across frescoes of such frequent sexual content that they were hastily covered over again and no more of the city was touched.

"After the 19th century re-discovery, artists were heavily influenced by the ancient Roman culture that had been tragically wiped from history."

"The Ionian Dance" was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London, and bought from the artist by notable collector Robert English. It remained in his collection until his death in 1914, when it was sold by his estate.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

BRITISH MP URGES 100,000 PEOPLE
TO JOIN HANDS ACROSS HADRIAN'S WALL



HADRIAN's Wall was built to keep out the Scots ... but now a member of the British Parliament wants 100,000 people to join hands across Hadrian's Wall to prevent Scotland from voting for independence.

Scottish Rory Stewart, Conservative MP for Penrith and the Border, compared the relationship between England and Scotland to a marriage, the BBC reported. 


He spoke during a parliamentary debate on Scottish independence.

"If a relationship is going wrong, if a marriage is going wrong, the answer cannot simply be to say 'you can't afford to break up because you are going to lose the house.' The answer can only be one thing, which is: 'I love you'. What we need is the human expression," Stewart said. 

"On 19 July this year I'm hoping that 100,000 people will gather along that old, foreign, Roman wall ... English, Welsh, Irish, Scots, holding hands, linking arms across that border ... because in the end what matters is not the wall that divides us but the human ties that bind in the name of love," he said.

Hadrian's Wall, built to mark the Roman frontier in Britain, runs south of the border between England and Scotland. 

At its western terminus, at Bowness-on-Solway, the wall is about half a mile south of the border while at the eastern end it is 68 miles to the south.

Stewart has an unusual background for an MP. He went on a number of extended walking trips, writing "The Places In Between" about a walk across Afghanistan, and served as an occupation administrator in Iraq, leading to another book, "The Prince of the Marshes."

Saturday, February 15, 2014

ANTINOUS AND THE LUPERCALIA


EVEN Hadrian and Antinous would not have known the precise origins of the Lupercalia, the ancient rite of spring when young nobles stripped off naked except for fur pelts and ran around the Palatine Hill flinging rawhide strips at females.

But Antinous might well have visited the cave-like grotto ... the Lupercale ... at the foot of the Palatine Hill. 


The cave-like structure was found a few years ago and experts are carrying out an extensive archaeological dig at a site which they believe is the ceremonial site of the Lupercale grotto where the caesars honored Romulus and Remus.

It is intriguing to think that Hadrian and Antinous took part in the rites in this subterranean chamber.

For centuries, the cave-like grotto was revered as the sacred site where the "She-Wolf" suckled the orphans Romulus and Remus. Young nobles called Luperci, taking their name from the place of the wolf (lupa), ran naked from the Lupercale grotto around the bounds of the Palatine, and used strips of hide to slap the hands or buttocks of girls and women lining the route ... reenacting a prank attributed to Romulus and Remus as randy teenagers.


Here is how Flamen Antonius Subia explains its significance for the Religion of Antinous:

"The Lupercalia is the festival of the wolf mother of Rome, and sacred festival of Antinous Master of Hounds. 


"The Lupercalia remembers the she-wolf who raised Romulus and Remus, twin sons of Venus and Mars, who later founded the city of Rome. 

"The wolf-like nature of the twins and of the Roman character was imparted through the milk of the wolf-mother. 

"The spirit transferred through the loving milk of the ferocious mother is celebrated on this day, and is integral to the concept of Antinous the Hunter. 

"Antinous took his place at Hadrian's feet, and accompanied him bravely and loyally through the forests and lived by the Emperor's side for seven years, which is equivalent to the life of a strong hunting dog. 

"The Canine nature of Antinous is celebrated on this day and is seen as an allegory for the Priesthood of the Religion of Antinous."

Antonius goes on to explain that the Lupercalia festival is a purification rite, cleansing the way for Spring, nourishing the winter spirit of the dormant wolves within so as to fuel the ruthless courage of Roman warriors. A Dog and a Goat were sacrificed, and the young noble youths raced around the city naked except for goat, or wolf skins, whipping any girls or women who they encountered.


Antonius explains, "The Festival is also sacred to Faunus, the Roman Pan...the one who 'drives away the wolf from the flock.'...we usually think of Pan as Goat-horned and cloven hooved, but 'the one who drives away the wolf'...could quite possibly be a sacred Dog. Lupercalia is therefore quite possibly a dog festival...and it is interesting to note that it falls almost exactly opposite the calendar from the rise of the Dog Star."

Antonius elaborates by adding, "For me, Lupercalia is a time of cleansing and light...the lighted lamp that preceeds the coming dawn of Spring...a preparation for the Flowering....

"So a celebration or ritual to observe the Lupercalia should focus on purification. ..self-purification primarily, but also the purification of the home, and surroundings. A cleansing of negative, stagnant, dusty, mildewy, settled, sedimentary influences that we are ready to clear away...from within and without."

He also outlines rituals for purification and cleansing which members of the worldwide Religion of Antinous will be performing this weekend.

Antonyus says the Lupercalia harkens to the most ancient of rites of Spring, and he says the cleansing must come from within.

"And then look into your soul, observe your interactions. ..make changes for the better...be kinder, more polite, or just simply be friendlier to people...and do something strickly for your own pleasure," he says in his Lupercalia Epistle.

He stresses, "It is really a matter of deep and meaningful concentration on cleansing your mind and heart of negative internal influences...so as to strengthen your fortifications against external negative influences."

Friday, February 14, 2014

DID ANTINOUS MEET ST. VALENTINE?
BOTH IN ALEXANDRIA AT THE SAME TIME



IT is a little known fact that there is a connection between Antinous and the original St. Valentine ... Valentinus of Alexandria. Hadrian and Antinous visited Alexandria in the year 130 AD ... and could possibly have crossed paths with the man who would one day become one of Christianity's most misunderstood saints.

Here is how our own Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains our own special view of Valentine's Day ... the Day of Love:

"Valentinus was the Gnostic Father who was a bishop of the Catholic Church. He tried to change orthodoxy by introducing the Gnostic speculation.

"Valentinus was from Alexandria and was there, studying with his teacher Basilides, when the court of Hadrian and Antinous arrived.

"He believed that Love was the creator of the universe, and the cause for the fall of Sophia (wisdom) ...

"He believed that Jesus came to reverse the fall of Sophia, that Jesus was the consort of Sophia, the Aeon called Christos.

"The love between them was the reason that Jesus descended to save the world. Valentinus began his teaching in Rome, and gained so much support that he was even nominated for the Papacy but lost by a narrow margin.

"Eventually exiled for heresy, the Gnostic Father formed his own rival church that became an influential and widespread Gnostic sect, influencing Gnostic thought down to our own time.

"Because Valentinus was a witness of the Passion of Antinous, and because he attempted to change the Catholic Church, we sanctify his name and venerate him on this sacred day of Eros, the Day of Love."

Thursday, February 13, 2014

HADRIAN-ERA SCHOOL FOUND AT OASIS
WHERE LION HUNT MAY HAVE OCCURRED



A Hadrian-era school has been unearthed at an oasis in Egypt which could have been the location where the Emperor and Antinous slew a man-eating lion.

Archaeologists working in the Dakhla Oasis 300 km west of the Nile called the discovery historic because the Egyptians in the Roman era seldom had buildings solely devoted to education. Places of learning were incorporated into temples, palaces or homes.

At Dakhla, however, a proper "school house" accommodated rows of pupils with walls adorned with educational passages from Greek literature for pupils to copy onto their wax tablets.

The 1,700-year-old school's walls even show a text from Homer's "The Odyssey" in the original Greek which demonstrates use of anti-depressants.

The school — which contains benches that students could sit on to read, or stand on and write on the walls — dates back to a time when the Roman Empire controlled Egypt, and Greek was widely spoken.

In use for less than 20 years, the school structure eventually became part of a large house that contained colorful art, including images of the Olympian gods, the researchers said.

In the literary passage, Helen of Troy, for whom the Trojan War had been fought, gives her guests a potion that "takes away grief and anger, and brings forgetfulness of every ill," the text reads. 


"Whoever should drink this down when it is mixed in the bowl would not let fall a tear down his cheek in the course of that day at least. Now Copy." 

The words "Now Copy" appear to indicate the students should copy the passage in some way. 

Ancient records say that some people believed this passage had a magical quality to it that could calm young people, Raffaella Cribiore, a professor at New York University, wrote in the German Egyptological journal Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik.

Although archaeologists know of another ancient school in Egypt — a university in Alexandria — the school at Amheida is unique because it was found with texts on its walls, Cribiore said. 

The texts are "further proof that teaching and learning took place there, and confirm that they belong to the only building so far discovered from antiquity that was certainly a school and showed educational activities," Cribiore wrote..

Hadrian and Antinous slew a man-eating lion in Egypt in the year 130 AD. While the exact location has never been determined, it is thought that the beast lurked in one of the sprawling oases west of the Nile ... such as the Dakhla Oasis.

Read the full story at LIVESCIENCE.COM.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

LAWRENCE 'LARRY' KING
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON February 12th the Religion of Antinous commemorates the brief life and tragic death of Saint Lawrence "Larry" King, the 15-year-old California schoolboy who was shot to death by a classmate after Larry had asked him to be his Valentine.

Two days before Valentine's Day 2008, 14-year-old Brandon McInerney sat down at a desk behind Larry in science class at a junior high school in Oxnard, California. 
Without saying a word, Brandon pulled out a .22-caliber revolver and shot Larry in the back.

As Larry slumped to the floor amid screams from horrified students, Brandon quietly stood up and fired a "coup de grace" shot to the back of Larry's head, killing him.

Brandon had teased and taunted Larry for months, ridiculing Larry's sissified mannerisms. He attempted to enlist other boys to beat up Larry. When that failed for lack of interest, he decided to kill Larry and repeatedly vowed to "get a gun and shoot" him.

After weeks and months of teasing by Brandon and other male students who called him "faggot," Larry had started to retaliate by flaunting his sexuality. He wore make-up to school and taunted Brandon by making verbal passes at him.

The day before the shooting, the two boys were bickering during class. When Larry left, a student heard Brandon mutter, "I'm going to shoot him."

Just after that class, another student heard Larry say "I love you" to Brandon as they passed in a hallway. The same student then heard Brandon say he was "going to get a gun and shoot" Larry.

A few minutes later, Brandon told one of Larry's friends: "Say goodbye to your friend Larry because you're never going to see him again."

Larry's death struck a chord with parents, teachers, students and gay-rights advocates concerned that Brandon's bullying of him had been minimized by school authorities.

Since Larry's death, teachers have sought training in how to identify gay and lesbian students who might be struggling with their sexual identity. Teachers also have asked for resources to help students who have already come out or who may be experiencing bullying.

One of the many roles that Antinous the Gay God plays is the role of patron and protector of Troubled Gay Boys and also of Boys in Trouble for Gay-related things.

Larry lost his life because he dared to wear eye makeup and to ask another boy to be his Valentine. And Brandon McInerney faces up to half a century in prison for murdering Larry.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

FISHERMAN MAKES CATCH OF A LIFETIME:
A PRICELESS BRONZE STATUE OF APOLLO



A fisherman in the Gaza strip recently made the biggest catch of his lifetime … an incredibly beautiful and almost entirely intact 500 kg bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo.

After taking it home and having it briefly appear online for $500,000 (a fraction of its value on the black market), the statue was seized by Hamas ... because it is nude!

Archaeologists, much to their dissatisfaction, have been unable to acquire the statue, and have instead been delegated to examining it through photos that were put online.

From the photos, archaeologists have been able to discern that the statue was made sometime between the 5th and 1st centuries BC, which would make it up to 2,500 years old.

Jean-Michel de Tarragon, a historian with the French Biblical and Archaeological School of Jerusalem, said that the statue is truly "unique." 

"In some ways I would say it is priceless," he continued.

"It's like people asking what is the value of the Mona Lisa. It’s very very rare to find a statue which is not in marble or in stone, but in metal,” he told Reuters.

The statue’s condition has lead to speculation that it was found on land, and not fished from the sea as reported, said de Tarragon, who believed this may have been done to hide the actual location of where it was found, and avoid issues of ownership. 

"This wasn't found on the seashore or in the sea... it is very clean. No, it was found inland and dry," he said, adding that the lack of disfigurement or barnacles furthers suggest it was not taken from the water.

Joudat Ghrab, the Palestinian fisherman who found the statue, countered this, telling Reuters that he found it roughly 100 meters offshore, north of the Egypt-Gaza border. 

Believing it was a badly burnt body, Ghrab dived down to examine it before finding it was a statue. 

He said that it took four hours for him and his relatives to drag it ashore.

"I felt it was a gift to me from God," he said. "My financial situation is very difficult and I am waiting for my reward."

Both Ghrab and one of his brothers took pieces of the statue to experts to determine its value, before family members belonging to Hamas militia took control of the statue. At one point, the statue appeared on Ebay, the seller’s instructions being to come to Gaza and pick up the statue.

Ahmed Al-Bursh, Gaza’s director of archaeology, said he had seen the statue and promised Ghrab he would indeed receive some form of reward.


Monday, February 10, 2014

EGYPTOLOGISTS FIND A 'NEW' PYRAMID
WHICH IS ACTUALLY THE OLDEST



AN international team of archaeologists have identified a 4,600-year-old proto-pyramid in far southern Egypt which predates the Great Pyramid by centuries.

The step pyramid, located near the town of Edfu, belongs to a series of almost identical small pyramids that have been discovered near several provincial centers in Egypt such as Elephantine, Hierakonpolis, Naqada, Abydos, Zawiet el-Meitin near Minya, and Seila in the Fayoum.

According to an inscription found at Elephantine that can be linked directly to this pyramid, the whole group dates to the reign of Pharaoh Huni (around 2600 BC), last ruler of the 3rd Dynasty.

The monument is situated north of the modern village of al-Ghonemiya – between the edge of the desert and the cultivated areas of the Nile Valley, about 5 km south of Tell Edfu and at 25 km south of the pyramid of al-Kula, which is linked to the major Predynastic site of Hierakonpolis.

The first reference to the Edfu pyramid dates back to 1894, when G. Legrain indicated a ‘false’ pyramid at the entrance of the Edfu-Kharga caravan road. In 1908, H. de Morgan mentioned the structure again, and two years later Arthur Weigall mentioned its presence in his Guide to the Antiquities of Upper Egypt from Abydos to the Sudan Frontier.

In 2009, the archaeological team led by Dr Gregory Marouard from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute and Dr Hratch Papazian from the University of Copenhagen commissioned the Tell Edfu Project in order to unearth and protect this pyramid.

According to the archaeologists, the Edfu pyramid had been built directly on the sandstone bedrock and was made exclusively of sandstone and some calcareous sandstone blocks. The quarry area has been discovered only 800 m north of the site during an extensive preliminary survey conducted on some of the small hills that mark the desert edge at the site.

“The construction itself reflects a certain care and a real expertise in the mastery of stone construction, especially for the adjustment of the most important blocks,” Dr Marouard and Dr Papazian said in an article published in the News & Notes, a Quarterly Publication of the Oriental Institute (in .pdf).

Sunday, February 9, 2014

THE CARTHAGINIANS SACRIFICED BABIES
JUST AS THE GREEKS AND ROMANS CLAIMED



FOR decades, historians staunchly denied that the Carthaginians sacrificed their children as described in Greek and Roman accounts … until now.

Now a new study claims to have found "overwhelming" evidence that the ancient civilization really did carry out this bloodthirsty practice.

Carthaginian parents ritually sacrificed young children as an offering to the gods and laid them to rest in special infant burial grounds, according to a team of international researchers.

They said that the archaeological, literary and documentary evidence for child sacrifice is "overwhelming."

A collaborative paper by academics from institutions across the globe, including Oxford University reveals that previous well-meaning attempts to interpret these ancient burial grounds, called tophets (photo at right), simply as child cemeteries, are misguided.

Instead, the researchers think the practice of child sacrifice could even hold the key to why the civilization was founded in the first place.

The research pulls together literary, epigraphical, archaeological and historical evidence and confirms the Greek and Roman account of events that held sway until the 1970s, when scholars began to argue that the theory was simply anti-Carthaginian propaganda.

"It's becoming increasingly clear that the stories about Carthaginian child sacrifice are true. This is something the Romans and Greeks said the Carthaginians did and it was part of the popular history of Carthage in the 18th and 19th centuries," said Dr Josephine Quinn, of the university's Faculty of Classics, who an author of the paper, published in the journal Antiquity.

"But in the 20th century, people increasingly took the view that this was racist propaganda on the part of the Greeks and Romans against their political enemy and that Carthage should be saved from this terrible slander," she said.



Saturday, February 8, 2014

THIS 3-D FILM RECREATES SOLDIER'S LIFE
AT HADRIAN'S WALL IN 2nd CENTURY AD



A dramatic new 3-D documentary film tells the story of a young recruit stationed at Hadrian's Wall in the 2nd Century AD.

The 20-minute film is titled "Eagle's Eye: Edge of Empire" and is being shown at the ROMAN ARMY MUSEUM at VINDOLANDA FORT in northern England


The docu-drama focuses on a Roman Legionnaire called Aquila and features "soldiers" played by members of a leading Roman re-enactment society, The Ermine Street Guard.

The $500,000 film commissioned by The Vindolanda Trust was produced by the award-winning, Newcastle-based company, Dene Films.

It comes amidst a $10 million project to renovate the Roman Army Museum near Greenhead and build new facilities at the Roman fort of Vindolanda.

Trust director Patricia Birley says: "The new film is a journey along Hadrian's Wall and is a picture that speaks a thousand words. There is a huge amount of historical information woven into the film and it is thoroughly enjoyable."

Dene Films shot "Edge of Empire" at Walltown Craggs, and different locations along the Wall are providing backdrops for the film, which charts the story of young auxiliary recruit Aquila. A specially-equipped helicopter filmed the views of the wall "seen" by Sima, a white-tailed sea eagle whose bird's-eye view will enhance the film's 3-D effects.

Steve Salam, managing director Dene Films, says: "The film aims to transport people back to Roman times and hopefully they will get a real experience of the wall."

Computer-generated images recreate the World Heritage Site in its 2nd Century AD glory.

The film is at the heart of the new exhibition space at the Vindolanda Roman Army Museum.

Friday, February 7, 2014

VESUVIUS ERUPTS IN 3-D
AT A MOVIE THEATRE NEAR YOU


VESUVIUS erupts in 3-D in the new Paul W.S. Anderson action flick POMPEII which opens in most countries in coming weeks.

While Anderson is best known for sci-fi action pics like the Resident Evil films and Alien vs. Predator, the director took a bit of a departure recently for The Three Musketeers, and he's set to take on another period flick with Pompeii.

The film takes place in ancient Rome and centers on a young slave who races to save the woman he loves and his best friend from the violent eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, which threatens to destroy the entire city.

It’s late summer in 79 AD and the city of Pompeii glitters at the foot of the mighty Mt. Vesuvius. 

Game of Thrones star Kit Harington plays MILO, the slave of a shipping tycoon, who dreams of the day he will buy his freedom and marry his master’s daughter. 

What he doesn’t know is that Columba’s debt-ridden father has promised Columba to a despicable Roman Senator to pay off an overdue loan.

Milo is in a race against time to fight for his true love in the gladiatorial arena. 

Just as it seems things can’t get any worse, Mt. Vesuvius suddenly explodes with the power of 40 nuclear bombs, sending a torrent of 1,000-degree ash and smoke into the city. 

As the people of Pompeii flee the obliterated city, Milo is determined to return to it to save his friends and his beloved. 


With fire and ash destroying the only world he’s ever known, an ordinary man is tested to his breaking point in this heart-pounding tale of extraordinary heroism.

Click here for the latest trailer:


Thursday, February 6, 2014

ANTINOUS SAW ROME'S SEAMY SUBURA
WHERE HE COULD GET IT ALL ... GOOD OR BAD



IMAGINE how overwhelming Rome was when Antinous arrived from the provinces as a boy ... the greatest city in the world ... the center of the Roman Empire.

And imagine how impressive it was to attend the "paedagogium" ... the school on the slopes of the Palatine Hill for elite boys from all over the Empire.


But imagine how big his eyes were when some of the older boys took him out on a tour of the notorious "Subura" ... the "red-light district" at the foot of the Esquiline Hill on the east side of the city ... looking west past the Colosseum towards the Temple of Jupiter atop the Capitoline Hill in the distance.


By daylight the whores (of all genders) slept off the rigors of a long night's work. 

People did laundry, repaired roof tiles, cleaned vomit and worse from their doorsteps ... acrid smoke from cooking fires stung a provincial youth's eyes.

But after dark was when the Subura 
really came to life. With a little luck, you could get ANYTHING in the Subura ... if you had the money.  And with bad luck, you could CATCH anything.

Any young man visiting Rome for the first time could not resist a night in the Subura ... getting drunk on love and cheap wine, spiked with knock-out drops as often as not. 

The air in the Subura was thick with the scent of love (besides being thick with less salubrious scents).

An innocent young blade from the provinces would be warned by Romans: "You must watch your heart in the Subura, young man." 

And he would also be well advised to watch his coin pouch in the Subura.

We can imagine wide-eyed young Antinous (fresh from the provinces) and the somewhat older Lucius (the "other favorite of Hadrian who lived only for luxury") exploring the sordid streets of the Subura ... well after dark ....