Thursday, July 31, 2014

YOUR ONLINE ANTINOUS SHOP



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 ANTONYUS 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.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

'POMPEII OF THE NORTH'
UNEARTHED IN NORTHERN ENGLAND



EXPERTS at a dig in northern England have unearthed some of the best-preserved Roman ruins outside Pompeii ... raising hopes of finding an indication that Hadrian and possibly Antinous visited there ... or that Antinous was worshiped there after his death.

Just a year ago, a the stone HEAD OF A DEITY resembling Antinous was found at this site.

The site at Binchester Roman Fort near Bishop Auckland in County Durham near Hadrian's Wall, has produced an ancient bathhouse, an altar to the goddess Fortuna and a piece of jewelry that offers early evidence of Christianity in Roman Britain.

Known as "Vinovia" to the Romans, the outpost once commanded the crossroads of the River Wear and Dere Street, an ancient road that linked the Roman headquarters at York with Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall near Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Researchers with the Binchester excavation project have been digging at the fort since 2009, and they now say the site includes some of the most exquisitely preserved ruins ever unearthed in Britain. 

"These findings are hugely significant as they are virtually intact and present a graphic illustration of life under the Roman Empire," said Dr. David Mason, principal archeologist with the Durham County Council, in a press release. "They are so stunning and spectacular that we can claim we have our very own 'Pompeii of the north' right on our doorstep."

Chief among the discoveries is an 1,800-year-old Roman bathhouse that would have served as the hub of the fort's social and recreational life. 

The baths still feature original floors, windows and doorways, and plaster shards indicate that their seven-foot-high walls were once adorned with colorful designs and drawings. 

"The most unique feature of these remains is the sheer scale of their preservation," said Dr. David Petts, archeologist at Durham University. 

"It is possible to walk through a series of Roman rooms with walls all above head height; this is pretty exceptional for Roman Britain." 

Further digging in the bathhouse uncovered evidence of plumbing, including a drain and gaps in the walls that may have once held lead piping to channel water.

In an adjacent changing room, the archeologists excavated a carved stone altar to Fortune the Home-Bringer, one of several aspects of Fortuna, the Roman goddess of luck, chance and fate. 

The altar bears an inscription by a trooper garrisoned at the fort with a unit of Spanish cavalry. The etching identifies his rank as "architectus," offering some of the first evidence that military architects may have operated on staff at provincial Roman outposts.

Excavations at the Binchester site have also yielded a silver ring with an engraving that features two fish dangling from an anchor, often considered an early symbol of Christianity. The design appears widely in Roman artifacts, but the researchers say the ring is only the second time it has cropped up in Britain. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

NEW FINDS SHOW DIVERSITY
OF ANTINOUS-ERA THEATRE IN ROME




ONE of the places Antinous must have frequented in Rome was the Theatre of Balbus and adjacent gardens and markets ... one of the liveliest corners of Rome before a fire razed the area in the 2nd Century AD.

Now, archaeologists have unearthed a shrine and other finds at the garden courtyard, now called the "Crypta Balbi" (Crypt of Balbus), buried under the ruins.

The new excavations, described Friday, July 18th to the press by the Director Laura Vendittelli (State Superintendent of the Archaeological Heritage of Rome), have revealed a fullonica - workshop of the fullers, workers who washed clothes and linens - and a shrine (altar with sacred enclosure) dedicated to Greek and Eastern deities and the East.

The theater was an ancient Roman structure in the Campus Martius of Rome

It was built in 13 BC by proconsul Lucius Cornelius Balbus (minor), likely from the spoils of a military campaign by order of Augustus Caesar.

Excavations of the theatre began in 1981 and are still ongoing, however, the main portion of the crypta finished in 2000. 

Today what has been excavated can be seen at the Museo Nazionale Romano Crypta Balbi (National Museum of Rome), which is located at Via delle Botteghe Oscure, 31, (corner of Via M. Caetani).

Few tourists ever stray into this museum. But it is worth an extra visit. The museum is located in what was the crypta or courtyard in the rear of the theater's complex behind the stage. 

This courtyard was the smallest of all of Rome's major theatres. Here patrons would stroll between acts of a performance and seek refreshment.

Perhaps Antinous strolled here between acts.

Monday, July 28, 2014

NEED TO MAKE A HASTY EXIT?
HEAD FOR THE VOMITORIUM



NEXT time you are in a theatre, look to see if it has a vomitorium in case you need to make a quick exit.

We have all heard lurid tales of extravagant banquets in Ancient Rome at which guests would over-indulge in food and drink and would need the help of a slave to help them vomit.

The slave would use a feather to assist in the regurgitation process ... and would hold a vessel in front of the person's mouth.

There is a popular misconception that Roman villas had a special room for this purpose ... a vomitorium.

According to Cicero, Julius Caesar escaped an assassination attempt because he felt ill after dinner. 

Instead of going to the latrine, where his assassins were waiting, he went to his bedroom and avoided assassination. This may be the origin of the misconception.

Actually, however, a vomitorium is a passage situated below or behind a tier of seats in an amphitheatre or a stadium, through which big crowds can exit rapidly at the end of a performance. They can also be pathways for actors to enter and leave stage.

The Latin word vomitorium, plural vomitoria, derives from the verb vomō, vomere, "to spew forth." In Ancient Rome, vomitoria were designed to provide rapid egress for large crowds at amphitheatres and stadiums, as they do in modern sports stadiums and large theatres.

The Circle in the Square Theatre, designed to reflect the theatres of ancient Greece and Rome, is the only Broadway theatre that has a vomitorium. The vomitorium is still used in many of their productions as an entrance and exit for the actors.

The Cockpit Theatre, built in London in the 1960s, is one of the very few purpose-built theatres in the round in London and features four vomitoria as corner entrances between four banks of raked seating arranged in a square.

In addition the Mark Taper Forum, one of the three theatres making up the Los Angeles Music Center, has two vomitoria. It has a strong thrust stage such that the audience sit in an amphitheatre-type array.

If a performance makes you sick, just head for the vomitorium ... to find your way outside fast.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

YOU MAY SOON CARESS YOUR OWN ANTINOUS
THANKS TO 3-D SCULPTURAL COPYING


SOON you may be able to acquire an exact copy of a famous statue or bust of Antinous ... indistinguishable from the original ... thanks to 3-D imaging technology.


Not everyone can afford to seek out every Antinous statue or bust in museums scattered around the world.

And of course no one is permitted to touch them, or even use a flash camera to take a snapshot.

Imagine how compelling it would be to be able to not only look at an artifact but also to handle it and feel the skill and artistry of the who created the piece on Imperial commission from Hadrian himself.

Now, a team of research engineers from Lancaster University in the UK have tried to achieve just that by offering schoolchildren the chance to handle ancient Egyptian artifacts at the nearby KENDAL MUSEUM – without any fear of damaging the 3,000-year-old relics.

Using a simple digital SLR camera used to photograph objects from every angle, readily-available software to stitch the images together into a 3D model, and the university’s simple SLS printer, the team reproduced a range of objects including pottery, a clay head and a figurine of a warrior.

"These Ancient Egyptian items are so rare that normally we don’t let anybody touch them," says the museum's archaeology curator Morag Clement, pictured here holding some of the replicas. 

"With these copies, people can pick them up, touch and interact with them instead of just viewing them behind glass," he adds. "We can also put them into loan boxes sent out to schools to teach the children about history."

The use of this technique could also make it easier to digitally repair broken antiquities. 

The replicas were created by PhD student John Kaufman and Dr Allan Rennie from the Department of Engineering at Lancaster University. John Kaufman painstakingly photographed every object from 360 degrees. 

"Normally this would be done with a laser scanner," he says. "But as part of my research, I used a much cheaper digital camera to see if I could make this method more accessible."

Up to 150 photos of each object were then digitally stitched together to create a 3D virtual image of the original.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN SOLDIER OF ROME
WROTE OF HOMESICKNESS FOR THE NILE


A newly deciphered letter home dating back to the time of Hadrian and Antinous reveals the homesickness of a young Egyptian soldier named Aurelius Polion who was serving, probably as a volunteer, in a Roman legion in Europe.

In the letter, written mainly in Greek, Polion tells his family that he is desperate to hear from them.

This image of a plaintive young Egyptian in Roman toga dates from the era and was found at Antinoopolis, not far from where this letter was discovered.

In the letter, Polion says that he is going to request leave to make the long journey home to see his family and the Nile which he misses so much.

Addressed to his mother (a bread seller), sister and brother, part of it reads: "I pray that you are in good health night and day, and I always make obeisance before all the gods on your behalf. I do not cease writing to you, but you do not have me in mind," it reads.

"I am worried about you because although you received letters from me often, you never wrote back to me so that I may know how you ..." (Part of the letter hasn't survived.)

Polion says he has written six letters to his family without response.

"While away in Pannonia I sent (letters) to you, but you treat me so as a stranger," he writes. "I shall obtain leave from the consular (commander), and I shall come to you so that you may know that I am your brother …"

The letter was found outside a temple in the Egyptian town of Tebtunis over 100 years ago by an archaeological expedition led by Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt.

They found numerous papyri in the town and did not have time to translate all of them.

Recently Grant Adamson, a doctoral candidate at Rice University, took up the task of translating the papyrus, using infrared images of it, a technology that makes part of the text more legible.

His translation was published recently in the Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists.

Adamson isn't sure if the soldier's family responded to his pleas, or if Polion got leave to see them (it's unlikely), but it appears this letter did arrive home.

"I tend to think so. The letter was addressed to and mentions Egyptians, and it was found outside the temple of the Roman-period town of Tebtunis in the Fayyum not far from the Nile River," Adamson wrote in an email to Live Science.

Polion, who lived at a time when the Roman Empire controlled Egypt, was part of the legio II Adiutrix legion stationed in Pannonia Inferior (around modern-day Hungary).

Friday, July 25, 2014

THE INUNDATION OF THE NILE
THE FIRST MIRACLE OF ANTINOUS THE GOD


ON JULY 25 the Religion of Antinous joyfully commemorates the First Miracle of Antinous — the Bountiful Inundation of the Nile which ended a drought which had caused food shortages throughout the Empire.

The famine had overshadowed the tour of Egypt by the Imperial entourage in the year 130. The half-starved Egyptians looked to Hadrian, whom they worshipped as pharaoh, to perform a miracle which would end their misery.

But as Hadrian and Antinous traveled up the Nile during the summer and autumn of 130, the Nile once again failed to rise sufficiently to water the fields of Egypt — Rome's "Bread Basket" and chief source of grain and other staple foodstuffs.

It was a humiliating disappointment for the Emperor following the jubilant welcome by peoples during the earlier part of his tour through the Eastern Empire. In Ephesus and other cities he had been welcomed as a living god.

But the Egyptians had given him and his coterie what little they had in the way of food and wine — and he had failed to convince the Inundation Deity Hapi to bless them with bounty. Hapi is one of the most extraordinary deities in the history of religion.

Hapi is special to us especially because Hapi is hermaphroditic. With many other such deities, the gender division is down the middle of the body (like some Hindu deities) or the top half is one gender and the bottom half is the other.

But Hapi is very complex and the genders are mixed throughout his/her body. Male deities invariably have reddish-orange skin in Egyptian Art and female deities have yellowish skin. Hapi has bluish-green skin. Hapi has long hair like a female deity but has a square jaw and a beard. Hapi has broad shoulders yet has pendulous breasts like a nursing mother. Hapi has narrow hips and masculine thighs, but has a pregnant belly. Nobody knows what sort of genitals Hapi has, since they are covered by a strange garment reminiscent of a sumo wrestler's belt.

Hapi is both father and mother to the Egyptians. Hapi provides them with everything necessary for life. As Herodotus wrote, "Egypt is the gift of the Nile". Hapi wears a fabulous headdress of towering water plants and she/he carries enormous offering trays laden with foodstuffs.

The Ancient Egyptians had no problem worshipping a mixed-gender deity. I think it is very important to draw the connection between Hapi and Antinous, especially since the First Miracle that Antinous performed as a god involved Hapi. The Egyptians accepted Antinous into their own belief system immediately and were among the most ardent followers of Antinous.

They had no problem worshipping a gay deity who had united himself with a hermaphroditic deity. It must have seemed very logical and credible to them.

It made sense to them and enriched their belief system, made it more personal since they could identify more easily with a handsome young man than with a hermaphrodite wearing a sumo belt (Hapi forgive me!).

Herodotus also said he once asked a very learned religious man in Egypt what the true source of the Nile was.

The learned man (speaking through an interpreter, since most Greeks never bothered to learn Egyptian) paused and finally told him the true source of the Nile is the thigh of Osiris.

We think of it as a strange answer. We think of the Nile as an "it" and the source as a "geographical location". But the Egyptians thought of the Nile as "us" and its true source as "heka" — the magical semen of the creator.

So, a learned Egyptian would have assumed that a learned Greek would understand what was meant: That Hapi is the equivalent of Dionysus, who was "incubated" in the inner thigh of Zeus after his pregnant mortal mother Semele perished when she could not bear the searing sight of her lover Zeus in all his divine panoply.

It's a very poetic way (a very Egyptian way) of saying that the "true source" of the Nile, which is to say Egypt itself, is the magical heka/semen from the loins of the original creator.

We will never know what happened during that journey up the Nile along the drought-parched fields with anxious Egyptian farmers looking to Hadrian for a miracle. All we know is that Antinous "plunged into the Nile" and into the arms of Hapi in late October of the year 130.

And then the following summer, Hapi the Inundation Deity provided a bountiful Nile flood which replenished the food stocks of Egypt — and the Roman Empire.

Our own Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains the more esoteric aspects of this special Religious Holy Day:

"The Dog Star Sirius appears, and the sacred Star of Antinous begins to approach its zenith in the night sky of the northern hemisphere. The appearance of the Dog Star once announced the rise of the Inundation of the Nile, though it no longer does due to the precession of the Equinox, which is the slight alteration of the position of the stars.
"After the Death and Deification of Antinous, the Nile responded by rising miraculously after two successive years of severe drought. It was on this day, July 25th, in the year 131 that the ancient Egyptians recognized that Antinous was a god, nine months after his death, following their custom of deifying those who drowned in the Nile, whose sacrifice insured the life-giving flood.

"Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, it is part of the constellation Canis Major, or the big dog, which is the hunting dog of Orion. Mystically, Sirius and the constellation Canis Major is Antinous Master of Hounds and Orion is Hadrian the Hunter.

"The position of Orion, along the banks of the Milky Way, our galaxy in relation to Sirius is a mirror image of Pyramids along the bank of the Nile, which is the same relationship as Antinoopolis to the Nile, with the Via Hadriani, the road which Hadrian built across the desert to the East, linking the Nile with the Red Sea — Rome to India.

"We consecrate the beginning of the Dog Days of Summer to the advent of the Egyptian deification of Antinous and the miracle of the Inundation of the Nile."

The First Miracle of Antinous the Gay God is enshrined in the hieroglyphic inscription on the OBELISK OF ANTINOUS which stands in Rome.

The East Face of the Obelisk, which is aligned to the rising sun Ra-Herakhte, speaks of the joy that fills the heart of Antinous since having been summoned to meet his heavenly father Ra-Herakhte and to become a god himself.

Then the inscription tells how Antinous intercedes with Ra-Herakhte to shower blessings upon Hadrian and the Empress Sabina Augusta.

And Antinous immediately calls upon Hapi ...

Hapi, progenitor of the gods,
On behalf of Hadrian and Sabina,
Arrange the inundation in fortuitous time
To make fertile and bountiful, the fields
Of Both Upper and Lower Egypt!
We joyfully celebrate this, the First Miracle of Antinous!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

THE HELIACAL RISING OF THE DOG STAR




Arise in Me…Sothis,

Let me be cleansed

Let me be renewed

Let the Inundation flood

Across the heart

Dog Star Returns

A New Antinous coming forth

To set the soul in order

To purify with clear water

That we may be whole again

~FLAMEN ANTONIUS SUBIA


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MAP OF ANCIENT ROMAN TRAVEL ROUTES
ALLOWS YOU TO FOLLOW ANTINOUS



WE know that Antinous and Hadrian traveled to many far-flung provinces of the Roman Empire ... and now an interactive map helps you appreciate how long it would have taken ... and how it would have cost ... to follow in their footsteps.

Rome was at its largest under Hadrian. The Roman Empire stretched across the length and breadth of UK, Europe and beyond covering a staggering 1,061,780 square miles (2,750,000 square km).

But its size was can also be attributed to its downfall as managing such a large expanse of land proved costly and time consuming. 

To put this expanse into perspective, historians have created the interactive ORBIS: Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World that lets you explore the Empire, and see how long it would have taken ... and how much it would have cost ... to travel the world in the time of Antinous and Hadrian.

The map of the Roman world was created by Walter Scheidel, an historian in the Classics and History Departments at Stanford.

It features 632 sites including urban settlements and mountain passes, and covers close to 4 million square miles (10 million square km) of land and sea.

The map reveals how much it would have cost to travel on roads and seas across the Roman Empire, and calculates the route based on the season or mode of transport chosen.

Map modes include travelling by foot, horses, relay, oxcart, porter, private chariot, and during a rapid military march.

Travelling by Imperial Entourage is perhaps the only option missing.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

YOUR FRIENDS REALLY ARE YOUR FAMILY
STUNNING NEW GENETIC STUDY PROVES



YOU may unsuspectingly choose friends who have some DNA sequences in common with you, a new analysis finds.

Researchers compared gene variations between nearly 2,000 people who were not biologically related, and found that friends had more gene variations in common than strangers.

The study lends a possible scientific backing for the well-worn clichés: "We're just like family," or "Friends are the family you choose," the researchers said.

"Humans are unique in that we create long-term connections with people of our species," said Nicholas Christakis, a social scientist at Yale University involved in the study. "Why do we do that? Why do we make friends? Not only that, we prefer the company of people we resemble."

The researchers did the study because they wanted "to provide a deep evolutionary account of the origins and significance of friendship," Christakis said.

The new study is based on data from the Framingham Heart Study, which is a large, ongoing study looking at heart disease risk factors in the people living in one town: Framingham, Massachusetts. The researchers looked at data on people's DNA, as well as who was friends with whom.

After analyzing almost 1.5 million markers of gene variations, the researchers found that pairs of friends had the same level of genetic relation as people did with a fourth cousin, or a great-great-great grandfather, which translates to about 1 percent of the human genome.

The most common gene shared by friends was the "olfactory" gene, which is involved in a person's sense of smell.

Although 1 percent may not sound like much, Christakis said in a statement, "to geneticists it is a significant number.

He said, "Most people don't even know who their fourth cousins are, yet we are somehow, among a myriad of possibilities, managing to select as friends the people who resemble ourselves."

Monday, July 21, 2014

HART CRANE
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON JULY 21 the Religion of Antinous honors St. Hart Crane (July 21, 1899 — April 27, 1932) a great and openly gay American poet whose poetry was considered "beyond comprehension" by straight readers but which is easily understood by gays.

He was one of the most influential poets of his generation, but — like so many gay men — was plagued by doubts and low self-esteem and feelings of failure.

Crane was gay and he considered his sexuality to be an integral part of his life's mission as a poet. Raised in the Christian Science tradition of his mother, he was never able to shake off the feeling that he was an outcast and a sinner.

However, as poems such as "Repose of Rivers" make clear, he felt that this sense of alienation was necessary in order for him to attain the visionary insight that formed the basis for his poetic work.

Throughout the early 1920s, small but well-respected literary magazines published some of Crane's lyrics, gaining him, among the avant-garde, a respect that White Buildings (1926), his first volume, ratified and strengthened. White Buildings contains many of Crane's best lyrics, including "For the Marriage of Faustus and Helen", and a powerful sequence of erotic poems called "Voyages", written while he was falling in love with Emil Opffer, a Danish merchant marineman.

He wanted to write the great American epic poem. This ambition would finally issue in The Bridge (1930), where the Brooklyn Bridge is both the poem's central symbol and its poetic starting point.

The Bridge got mostly bad reviews, but much worse than that was Crane's sense that he had not succeeded in his goal. It was during the late '20s, while he was finishing The Bridge, that his heavy drinking got notably heavier. The partial failure of the poem perhaps had something to do with his increasing escape into booze.

While on a Guggenheim Fellowship in Mexico in 1931-32, his drinking continued while he suffered from bouts of alternating depression and elation. His only heterosexual affair, with Peggy Cowley, the wife of his friend Malcolm Cowley, was one of the few bright spots. And "The Broken Tower", his last great lyric poem (maybe his greatest lyric poem), emerges from that affair. But in his own eyes, he was still a failure.

Crane was returning to New York by steamship when, on the morning of April 26, 1932, he made advances to a male crewmember and was beaten up. Just before noon he jumped overboard into the Gulf of Mexico. His body was never found.

 Here is a poem which straight people found inscrutable and obscure, but which gay readers understood was about anonymous gay sex:


INTERIOR
It sheds a shy solemnity,
This lamp in our poor room.
O grey and gold amenity, --
Silence and gentle gloom!
Wide from the world, a stolen hour
We claim, and none may know
How love blooms like a tardy flower
Here in the day's after-glow.
And even should the world break in
With jealous threat and guile,
The world, at last, must bow and win
Our pity and a smile. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

HADRIAN ALIGNED TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS
TO CATCH DAWN RAYS ON JULY 20



HADRIAN designed the Antinous Mortuary Temple at his Villa outside Rome so that the rays of the rising sun would illuminate the inner sanctum on the Egyptian festival of the Nile Inundation, according to a US research team.

The new findings come on the heels of studies by other researchers showing that Emperor Hadrian, a skilled architect and astronomer/astrologer in his own right, aligned the Pantheon and the observatory at his Villa to the Solstices.

The new findings are the first indicating a celestial configuration for the Mortuary Temple of Antinous at Hadrian's Villa.

Archaeo-astronomers at Ball State University in the United States say the mystery-shrouded temple, called the ANTINOEION, was aligned so that the first rays of the rising sun would illuminate the East Face of the OBELISK OF ANTINOUS, which would then cast a shadow across a monolithic statue of Antinous-Osiris deep in the inner sanctum of the temple.

Using "solar tracking" technology and highly sophisticated 3-D computer imaging, the Ball State experts say that this sunrise configuration only occurs on July 20th each year.

July 20th was when the Egyptians, at that point in their long history, celebrated the annual Inundation of the Nile, the flood waters which brought nutrient-rich sediment down the river to Egypt to ensure bountiful crops for the coming year.

At other points in Egyptian history, that "Egyptian New Year" festival was celebrated on other dates, owing to vagaries of ancient calendars. But according to Roman writer Censorinus, the Egyptian New Year's Day fell on July 20th in the Julian Calendar in 139 AD, which was a heliacal rising of Sirius in Egypt.

The Ball State University findings are all the more interesting because the First Miracle of Antinous, the July after his death in October 130 AD, was the NILE INUNDATION MIRACLEwhich ended a years-long drought which had threatened the entire empire with famine since Egypt was Rome's "breadbasket" for grain and produce.



The Obelisk is now located atop the Pincian Hill in Rome, but it almost certainly originally stood at the Antinoeion within the Hadrian's Villa compound. The plinth for the obelisk is still visible.

The Obelisk is covered in Egyptian hieroglyphs which constitute a prayer of praise for Antinous the God, describing his blessings.

The Egyptian hieroglyphs on the East Face of the Obelisk quote Antinous the God as asking Ra-Herakhte the sun god for blessings on Hadrian, and also asking Hapy, the Nile Inundation deity, to bring about a bountiful inundation on his behalf.

In effect, the rays (or "hands") of the sun god "activate" the Egyptian hieroglyphs, bringing this divine prayer to religio-magical life, as the shadow of the Obelisk covers the statue of Antinous-Osiris, master of death and transfiguration.

The Ball State University findings have yet to be verified independently, and the researchers said further studies are underway.


It is possible, of course, that the date July 20th had another significance of a more personal nature involving Hadrian and Antinous. 

On the final leg of a three-year tour of the Eastern Empire, Hadrian and his Imperial entourage arrived in Egypt in the summer of the year 130 AD. 

It is known that Hadrian and Antinous spent time in Alexandria, as well as in the coastal resort of Canopus. And they also slew a man-eating lion in Egypt in the summer of 130 AD.

So July 20th could refer to one of those events. It could, of course, also refer to something of a more intimate nature between the two men which transpired on that date.


Perhaps Hadrian and Antinous took part in celebrations for the Nile Inundation on July 20th of 130 AD in Egypt at which drought-weary Egyptians looked to Emperor Hadrian, as their pharaoh, to provide a miracle. 

Ancient writers speculated that Antinous may have been eager to find a religio-magical way to help his beloved Hadrian, possibly sacrificing his life in return for blessings on the Emperor.

Whatever the date may signify, we know that, barely three months later, Antinous drowned in the Nile, and that grief-stricken Hadrian proclaimed him a God, the last Classical Deity before the Fall of Rome.
 

He died under mysterious circumstances, with Hadrian saying only that he "fell into the Nile." The Inundation Deity Hapy ensured that the Nile overflowed its banks generously the following July 20th.

A walk-through of the Ball State University computer model of the Antinoeion and explanation of the July 20th solar alignment is provided in this YouTube video:


ALEXANDRIA ALIGNED TO SUN
ON ALEXANDER THE GREAT'S BIRTHDAY



ALEXANDRIA, home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, may have been built to align with the rising sun on the day of Alexander the Great's birth, according to a report by LIVESCIENCE.

The Macedonian king, who commanded an empire that stretched from Greece to Egypt to the Indus River in what is now India, founded the city of Alexandria in 331 B.C. 

It would later become hugely prosperous, home to Cleopatra, the magnificent Royal Library of Alexandria and the 450-foot-tall (140 meters) Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the SEVEN WONDERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD.

Hadrian and Antinous visited Alexandria in the summer and early autumn of 130 AD.

Ancient Alexandria was planned around a main east-west thoroughfare called the Canopic Road, points out Giulio Magli, an archaeo-astronomer at the Politecnico of Milan. 

A study of the ancient route reveals it is not laid out according to topography; for example, it doesn't run quite parallel to the coastline. 

But on July 20th, the birthday of Alexander the Great, the rising sun of the 4th Century BC rose "in almost perfect alignment with the road," Magli was quoted as saying.

July 20th, 356 BC, is the date which has always been accepted as the birthday of Alexander the Great. Whether it was his actual birthday or only the official royal observance of his birth is unknown.

It is said that on the night before the mother of Alexander, Olympias, was to be married to King Phillip of Macedonia, she dreamt that a thunderbolt struck her body and filled it with power.

After the marriage, it is said that Phillip peeked into her chamber, and found her lying with a serpent, and that he afterward dreamt that her womb was sealed and that a lion dwelled within her. 


And on the night that he was born, 20th of July, 356 BC, the great Temple at Ephesus was burned to the ground by a vandal, because the goddess Artemis was away, assisting with the birth of Alexander the Great.

He was considered to be the son of Zeus, and this divine origin was what was given as an explanation for the unprecedented conquests that he accomplished. In his youth Aristotle, a student of Plato, educated him along with his following of young princes, who were later serve as his generals, and the founders of great dynastic monarchies of the Hellenistic world.

Foremost of these was his ever loyal and devoted Hepheistion, whose reciprocated love for Alexander was homosexual in nature.

In one of their first battles, while Phillip was still king, the young Alexander proved himself by defeating the SACRED BAND OF THEBES, the army of homosexual lovers who were the most famous and courageous warriors of their time.

Alexander is said to have wept at their destruction, and buried them with honor, erecting a statue of a Lion over their graves.

He would later go one to conquer the entire Eastern world, Asia Minor, Syria, Judea, Egypt, and all of Persia, as far East as India.


The Empire of Alexander spread Greek culture throughout the world, and made the communication of far-distant ideas possible so that the new Hellenistic culture that he created, was a combination of classical Greece and of the exotic cultures that were imported from every corner.

After the death of Alexander, at only 33 years of age, he was deified by his generals who divided his great Empire among themselves. We praise the glorious warrior Alexander of Macedonia, and elevate him, and worship him as a God, an example of the greatness of homosexuality, and a heroic protector of the Divine Antinous.
 

THE BIRTH OF ALEXANDER


IT IS SAID that on the night before the mother of Alexander, Olympias, was to be married to King Phillip of Macedonia, she dreamt that a thunderbolt struck her body and filled it with power.

After the marriage, it is said that Phillip peeked into her chamber, and found her lying with a serpent, and that he afterward dreamt that her womb was sealed and that a lion dwelled within her. 

And on the night that he was born, 20th of July, 356 BC, the great Temple at Ephesus was burned to the ground by a vandal, because the goddess Artemis was away, assisting with the birth of Alexander the Great.

He was considered to be the son of Zeus, and this divine origin was  what was given as an explanation for the unprecedented conquests that he accomplished. In his youth Aristotle, a student of Plato, educated him along with his following of young princes, who were later serve as his generals, and the founders of great dynastic monarchies of the Hellenistic world.

Foremost of these was his ever loyal and devoted Hepheistion, whose reciprocated love for Alexander was homosexual in nature.

In one of their first battles, while Phillip was still king, the young Alexander proved himself by defeating the Sacred Band of Thebes, the army of homosexual lovers who were the most famous and courageous warriors of their time.

Alexander is said to have wept at their destruction, and buried them with honor, erecting a statue of a Lion over their graves.

He would later go one to conquer the entire Eastern world, Asia Minor, Syria, Judea, Egypt, and all of Persia, as far East as India. The Empire of Alexander spread Greek culture throughout the world, and made the communication of far-distant ideas possible so that the new Hellenistic culture that he created, was a combination of classical Greece and of the exotic cultures that were imported from every corner.

After the death of Alexander, at only 33 years of age, he was deified by his generals who divided his great Empire among themselves. We praise the glorious warrior Alexander of Macedonia, and elevate him, and worship him as a God, an example of the greatness of homosexuality, and a heroic protector of the Divine Antinous.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

THE SACRED GAY MARTYRS OF IRAN


IRAN publicly executed two teenage boys on July 19th, 2005, in the city of Mashad.

Their names were Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, one 18 and the other 17 or 16 years old.

They were accused of raping a 13-year-old boy, but it has been established that the authorities invented the charge of rape in order to prevent public sympathy for the true reason for their execution, that they were Homosexuals.

After their arrest the two boys endured a year of imprisonment and  torture before the high court of Iran upheld their sentence and their  execution by hanging was carried out in a public square in the city of Mashad.

International outrage was met with arrogance and impunity by the religious and conservative Iranian government, and a systematic persecution soon began against homosexuals, which has led to an unabated spate of sporadic executions over the years, and untold numbers of arrests and torture.

These events indicate that the worldwide struggle for Gay Freedom has not decreased but has become more violent and inhumane.

The photograph at left of the Martyrs just before their death is one of the first depictions ever photographed of anti-homosexual violence in action.

For their suffering, we proclaim Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni and all of the unnamed gay victims of Iranian persecution, Saints and Innocent Martyrs of the Religion of Antinous.

May all those who see this image of violence rise up for the cause of Gay Freedom, and remember those who suffer in Iran.

Friday, July 18, 2014

CARAVAGGIO, SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON JULY 18th the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Caravaggio.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, who died under suspicious circumstances on this day in 1610, was an extraordinary painter whose homoerotic images of young men have caused art historians to call him the first modern painter.

St. Caravaggio is the Patron of Gifted Bad Boys — Gay Boys who are blessed with incredible talents but who are too impatient and too rebellious to abide by the rules of society.

St. Caravaggio was always in trouble. In 1592, when he was not yet 20 years old, he fled Milan after a series of brawls and the wounding of a police officer. He went to Rome and was there, for the most part, until 1606, when he again had to flee. His life in Rome was of growing financial and professional success, but it was also punctuated with crime.

In the years 1600-1606 alone, he was brought to trial no less than eleven times. The charges covered a variety of offenses, most involved violence. It is significant that, despite his reputation for homosexuality, and his endless brushes with the police, he was never charged with sodomy, then a capital offense.

But he was charged with murder. On 29 May 1606 he killed one Tommasoni in a brawl after a disputed game of royal tennis, and had to flee to escape execution. He went first to Naples, then to Malta, where he was feted and made a Knight of St John.

Then, after "an ill considered quarrel" with a senior knight, he was on the run once more, all around Sicily, then on to Naples again.

But this time there was no hiding place. The knights, known for their relentlessness, pursued him, and Caravaggio, now 39 nine, in an attempt to seek forgiveness and refuge in Rome, tried to get there, but died at Porto Ercole, apparently of a fever, though the circumstances are highly suspicious.

Despite his hunted and, in the end, desperate life, he always managed to go on painting, often without a proper workshop of any kind. He was variously described, even by admirers, as a man of "stravaganze" as "uno cervello stravagantissimo" (exceptionally odd) and a "cervello stravolto".

His father died when he was six, his mother when he was 18, which may help to explain his anger at the world. His paintings show that he was a man of the most profound religious convictions, of a humble and contrite heart, and with a fanatical devotion to his art.

 His fundamental ideas were always absolutely clear, though he continually changed and improved his techniques. He believed in total realism, and he always painted from life, dragging poor people in from the street if need be.

He became a great realist by painting flowers and fruit, in a variety  of lights, sometimes pure still lifes, sometimes with street boys, such as the model for Bacchus (above).

To achieve realism, he liked to pull his subject out of surrounding darkness into strong lateral or overhead light, as close to the viewer as possible.

This was a new kind of art, which was to have momentous consequences. It has led some modern writers to speculate that, born into the 20th or 21st Century, Caravaggio would have been a photographer or a filmmaker.

But that is nonsense. Caravaggio, it is clear, adored the feel and line of a brush on a slightly springy surface, prepared with grey (as a rule), and the sheer creative excitement of using the brush to bring the real world out of the darkness of the canvas.

For the first time in the history of art, Caravaggio eliminated the space between the event in the painting and the people looking at it. He created a kind of virtual reality to give you a feeling as though you are right there inside the painting.

Even we, whose vision and sense of reality has been blunted and distorted by television and the cinema, still get tremendous impressions of participating when we see his great canvases close up. What then must it have been like in the early seventeenth century, for people who had never come across anything approaching this blast of actuality, to be brought face-to-face with a reenactment of sacred events in two dimensions, such as St. Francis of Asisi in Ecstasy?

Artists were particularly struck, or perhaps shocked is a better word, but horribly stimulated too, and stirred to find out exactly how the man did it.

Caravaggio, despite all his difficulties, always finished each piece of work if he possibly could, then went directly on to another, with  fresh ideas and new experiments.

He was a Bad Boy. But he was a gifted genius. The Religion of Antinous honors this Patron of Gifted Bad Gay Boys as an exemplar and saint. Let us lift our glasses to St. Caravaggio.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

HADRIAN'S WALL MAY CRUMBLE
DUE TO FUNDING CUTBACKS



IT is feared that Hadrian's Wall could crumble into disrepair because the organisation responsible for maintaining and promoting it will close at the end of this month.

Hadrian's Wall Trust says it will shut down on July 31 after its funding was cut from £1.6 million a year to £300,000.

The trust, which employs 10 people, has been laying off staff and phasing out operations over the past six months.

After this month the monument will then be maintained by English Heritage and local authorities. A spokesman said it was "crucial" to safeguard the piece of history.

The trust was part funded by organisations including English Heritage, Natural England and eight local authorities.

In recent years the British government has undertaken drastic cuts in social services and other areas of city and regional council spending - forcing them to pare services to the bone. 

They are struggling even to keep minimum services functioning.


Government and council funding for organisations supporting heritage sites is, therefore, very limited.


Hadrian's Wall Trust announced an ADOPT A STONE money-raising scheme a few months ago after issuing a warning that two years of severe funding cuts had left the future of the trust in peril.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ANTINOUS SHOOTS HIS ARROWS
INTO YOUR HEART


THE PERSEID meteors streak across the heavens from mid-July to mid-August. Go outside on a clear night and you will see dozens of meteors.

They appear to originate in the Constellation of Antinous right in the middle of the July and August night sky — as though Antinous is shooting arrows at you.

The CONSTELLATION OF ANTINOUS is directly right overhead in mid-heaven at this time of year. Go outside about 10 p.m. when it is good and dark and look up. You will see the Milky Way bisecting the sky from north to south. Look for the "Summer Triangle" formed by the stars Vega, Deneb and Altair — they seem to straddle the brightest part of the Milky Way.

Altair is the head of Aquila the Eagle — and Antinous is directly under the Eagle. 

The PERSEIDS are a great opportunity for ANTINOUS STAR MAGIC. 

How you cast the wish is up to you. If you re a Druid, Wiccan or even just a lapsed Catholic, you know some simple rituals. You can write a wish on a piece of paper and then go outside and look up and, as you repeat the wish aloud while tearing up the piece of paper, a shooting star will catch your eye — and you hold the palm of your hand in front of your mouth and blow away the bits of paper.

The Shooting Star does the rest.

There are many, many other ways of working ANTINOUS STAR MAGIC. As always with such things, the "magic" is within your heart and soul. So there are no firm-and-fast rules ... it all depends on you. 



If you are an ARIES, you probably don't believe in such foolishness as "wishing on a star" — but you love to gamble, and so you'll make a wish. And when it comes true, you'll be all the happier.

If you are a TAURUS, you know precisely what you want to wish for, something you've wanted for a long, long time. A leatherette recliner, for example. You love the romance and beauty of a summer evening. You've brought along a lawn chair and a hamper full of food and drink. 

If you are a GEMINI, you will be out with friends and you will be talking, laughing or else texting and twittering so much that you may forget to look up and make a wish.

If you are a CANCER you will be overwhelmed by the sheer romantic beauty of it all. You love the cosy setting and being with close friends or family. When you look up, you will make a special wish upon a star in hopes of finding that certain someone. You may stop pouting about how that other special someone broke your heart.

If you are a LEO, you will be convinced that Antinous is indeed shooting these love arrows your way — just for your own personal benefit, of course! And you will make a very grand wish, and you can't wait to show off and brag when it comes true.

If you are a VIRGO, you don't believe in luck, only in thankless hard work, and so you doubt that any wishes ever come true. You are wary of lying back on the grass because you are worried that a tick might bite you and you would contract Lyme Disease. It would be just your luck — Besides, you know it's selfish to wish for things for yourself. And anyway, you think you don't deserve to have a wish come true. But you DO deserve it!

If you are a LIBRAN, you can't decide on just one wish. So you make two wishes (at least). You secretly know you deserve to have your wishes come true more than anybody else, but you are far too diplomatic and tactful ever to say so openly. Your wishes involve matters of love and grace and beauty. You publicly wish good luck to all the others and they all thank you and think you're so nice. Everyone thinks you're their friend and you encourage them in that. Of course, secretly you think they're all morons, and if their lame wishes come true and your lovely wish doesn't come true — then there's no justice in this world.

If you are a SCORPIO, then you will also wish for love — but skip the grace and beauty and get down to the hot and heavy. Something with gleaming black leather and chrome steel chains. That wish better come true, too. You demand obedience.

If you are a SAGITTARIUS, your wish comes true instantaneously — or perhaps has already come true before you actually made the wish. Sagittarians have a direct hotline to the stars, so you always get your wishes -- and don't mind letting others know about it, either.

If you are a CAPRICORN, you don't believe in such frivolous nonsense as wishing on a star. But you have a list of very practical things you would like to wish for. Good dividends on investments, for example. So there's no harm in making a wish. If it comes true, it was "coincidence".

If you are an AQUARIUS, you will be counting the shooting stars ("Wow, 60 in just one hour, that's one a minute!") and you will be estimating what speed they must be traveling to reach the burn-out temperature. You're indoors, of course, watching the spectacle on NASA's streaming video website. You wrote down a wish for a new iPhone on a slip of paper, but you forgot where you put it, maybe it's stuck to the cheese under the Domino's Pizza next to your keyboard. Who cares? There are so many shooting stars to count.

If you are a PISCES, you have made elaborate plans to position yourself on a hilltop where your friends the UFO space aliens will be sure to spot you in your glow-in-the-dark jump suit. Your wish is for the aliens to abduct you ... again.

Make a wish!

HERNESTUS