Sunday, August 31, 2014

DID ANTINOUS SEE CLEOPATRA'S TOMB
ON HIS LION-HUNTING EXPEDITION?



THE Lost Tomb of Antinous and the Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great capture the imaginations of archaeologists everywhere ... but imagine stumbling onto the Lost Tome of Cleopatra?

One long-held theory is that her tomb could be hidden in a labyrinth beneath a Roman era fort in the desert west of Alexandria called Taposiris Magna.

Experts from Egypt and the Dominican Republic have discovered the temple's original gate on its western side. In pharaonic Egypt the temple was named Per-Usir, meaning "A place of Osiris."

Legend has it that when the god Seth killed Osiris he cut him into fourteen pieces and threw them all over Egypt. This is one of 14 temples said to contain one piece of the god's body.

The team also found limestone foundation stones, which would once have lined the entrance to the temple. 

One of these bears traces indicating that the entrance was lined with a series of Sphinx statues.

The team, led by Dr. Kathleen Martinez, began excavations in Taposiris Magna ten years ago in an attempt to locate the tomb of the well-known lovers, Queen Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony.

There is some evidence that suggests that Egypt's last Queen might not be buried inside the tomb built beside her royal palace, which is now under the eastern harbour of Alexandria.

The archaeologists have been exploring the underground labyrinth, turning up a bronze statue of the goddess Aphrodite, the alabaster head of a Cleopatra statue, a mask believed to belong to Marcus Antonius and a headless statue from the Ptolemaic era.

The location is of great interest to those of us who love Antinous because it is very likely that Hadrian and Antinous visited this temple site in August of the year 130 AD ... the final summer of the brief life of Antinous.

As we know, the imperial entourage was visiting Alexandria in the summer of the year 130, and we know that Hadrian and Antinous hunted and killed a man-eating lion which had been terrorizing the countryside. 

It was described as a "Libyan" lion, "Libya" being the term used in those days for everything west of Alexandria.

So it is highly possible (even likely) that the imperial hunting party passed by the temple at Taposiris Magna, which is less than 45 kms (30 miles) west of Alexandria. 

In the year 130 it was a vast complex of temples that included a Roman fortress. The name Taposiris comes from the legend that one of the relics of Osiris was enshrined there.

This is a very noteworthy site because it is the location of the only wholly Greek style temple (with columns) ever known to have been built in Egypt. 

And it is also a temple which was converted into a military fortress by the Romans.

In addition, it is the location of a unique stone tower overlooking the sea which is believed to have been a miniature replica of the Great Lighthouse at nearby Alexandria.

Only shattered walls and foundations are left to indicate the size of Taposiris Magna.

It is entirely conceivable that Cleopatra and Marcus Antonius, cornered by Octavian's advancing forces, might have sought refuge at this fortified temple complex with its tower suitable for use as an observation post.

It is also entirely possible that Cleopatra and Marc Antony were buried here.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT'S HADRIAN OPERA
A TIMELY LOOK AT MODERN HOMOPHOBIA



THE new opera by Rufus Wainright about Hadrian and Antinous will be a timely operatic comment on modern homophobia, the composer says.

The opera – simply titled HADRIAN  with a libretto by Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor will have its world premiere as the opening production of the Canadian Opera Company's 2018 season.

"What's interesting about the story of Hadrian is he was actually in love with Antinous, who was another man," Wainwright says in the interview with PRI radio. 

"And he was persecuted for it. A lot of the same problems that exist today with homophobia and so forth were very much present back then," he adds.

Wainwright is the gifted Canadian singer/songwriter/musical man about the world who has forged a unique career in mainstream contemporary music as an original, quirky, thinking person's pop star. And he's not new to the world of opera.

"Prima Donna," his 2009 debut, which told the story of an aging opera singer attempting to make a comeback, has been presented in Manchester, London, New York, Toronto and around the globe, to reviews that roamed from the enthusiastic ("a love song to opera," wrote The Times of London) to the outraged (The New York Times called it "an ultimately mystifying failure") – the quality of reaction being determined, more or less, by the closeness of the reviewer to the world of classical music.


Wainwright started talking about Hadrian around the time he was serenading his mother with the opera's overture in early 2010.

As his mother, Kate McGarrigle, faced her final days in January, 2010, Wainwright played his latest composition for her at the family piano ... the overture to his new opera about Antinous and Hadrian.

What attracted him to Hadrian was the power of the story Wainwright wanted to tell. 

Certainly the story of the Emperor Hadrian has plenty to offer contemporary audiences. Quixotic, domineering and visionary, Hadrian represented the end of the Classical era in Roman history, a fascinating period when the influence of Greek ideas began to predominate in Roman society, changing its political landscape in significant ways.

Wainwright adds, "And then there's Antinous, essentially the male equivalent to Helen of Troy - though we know he actually existed and exactly what he looked like. At one point he was neck and neck with Christ in terms of cult status after disappearing in the Nile. Imagine what a different world that would have been if he had lived!"

Friday, August 29, 2014

WORLD'S OLDEST WOODEN TOILET SEAT
FOUND AT HADRIAN'S WALL FORT



BRITISH archaeologists have unearthed a perfectly preserved wooden toilet seat at a Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall which dates to the time when the Emperor and Antinous may have visited on an inspection tour.

Experts at Vindolanda believe it is the only find of its kind and dates from the 2nd Century, according to BBC NEWS.

The site, near Hexham, has previously revealed gold and silver coins and other artefacts of the Roman army.

The seat was discovered in a muddy trench, which was previously filled with rubbish.

Dr Andrew Birley, director of excavations at Vindolanda, told the BBC: "We know a lot about Roman toilets from previous excavations at the site and from the wider Roman world, which have included many fabulous Roman latrines.

"But never before have we had the pleasure of seeing a surviving and perfectly preserved wooden seat.

"As soon as we started to uncover it there was no doubt at all on what we had found.

"It is made from a very well worked piece of wood and looks pretty comfortable.

"Now we need to find the toilet that went with it as Roman loos are fascinating places to excavate - their drains often contain astonishing artefacts.

"Let's face it, if you drop something down a Roman latrine you are unlikely to attempt to fish it out unless you are pretty brave or foolhardy."

Dr Birley said many examples of stone and marble toilet benches existed from across the Roman Empire, but this is believed to be the only surviving wooden seat.

He said it was probably preferred to a cold stone seat given the "chilly northern location".

Thursday, August 28, 2014

KARL HEINRICH ULRICHS
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON AUGUST 28 the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, the world's first gay activist, who lobbied governments 100 years before Stonewall for repeal of anti-gay laws, and who was also Chief Priest of Antinous worldwide in the latter half of the 19th Century.

Even before the term "homosexuality" had been coined, Ulrichs came out to his friends and families and proclaimed in 1864 that he was a "Uranian" — or "Urning" in his native German — and thenceforth waged a one-man campaign for gay rights in Germany.

Sanctus Carolus Henricus Ulrichs, Chief Priest of Antinous in the 2nd half of the 19th Century (worldwide!) wrote incredibly long poems — nearly in epic form — about Hadrian and Antinous.

He wrote a manuscript for a mammoth scientific work on Antinous in history, art, coins and his influence on ancient and modern culture. The manuscript was confiscated and destroyed in a police raid.

As part of his gay-rights lobbying effort, he wrote dozens of pamphlets with titles such as "Researches on the Riddle of Man-Manly Love" aimed at dispelling homophobic myths about same-sex love.

Late in life Ulrichs wrote: "Until my dying day I will look back with pride that I found the courage to come face to face in battle against the spectre which for time immemorial has been injecting poison into me and into men of my nature. Many have been driven to suicide because all their happiness in life was tainted. Indeed, I am proud that I found the courage to deal the initial blow to the hydra of public contempt."

Forgotten for many years, Ulrichs is now becoming something of a cult figure in Europe. There are streets named for him in the German cities of Munich, Bremen and Hanover. His birthday (August 28th, 1825) is marked each year by a lively street party and poetry reading at Karl Heinrich Ulrichs Square in Munich.

The International Lesbian and Gay Law Association presents an annual Karl Heinrich Ulrichs Award in his memory. He died on July 14th, 1895, in L'Aquila, Italy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

MYSTERIOUS BIG TOMB IN GREECE
MAY HAVE BEEN LOOTED BY FRENCH IN WWI



THE mysterious giant tomb in Macedonia which officials in Greece hope may be the Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great may actually have been looted during World War II ... if not in Roman times, according to an expert.

A prominent Greek historian claims that it is possible the Louvre Museum in Paris possesses artifacts from the ancient Greek tomb currently being excavated by archaeologists in Amphipolis, Greece.

Historian Sarantis Kargakos, speaking to Antenna TV, said that the tomb almost certainly has been looted in the past, from Roman times to the two world wars of the 20th Century, and that the monument's interior won't be intact. 

"At the spot where Ancient Amphipolis is located, a village called Neochorion where Bulgarians used to live was destroyed in 1941-44.

"The residents destroyed 20% of their homes, while it is possible that at the same time they looted the tomb, by digging a hole near the Lion of Amphipolis. 

"Another scenario is that the tomb was looted by French officers stationed in the area during World War I, who used the stones found around the ancient tomb to build their ramparts," noted Kargakos. 

The historian said it was possible that some of the tomb's treasures were exhibited as part of the Alexander the Great show at The Louvre in Paris three years ago.

"Where did they get what they claimed to be Ancient Macedonian artifacts at their exhibit?" said Kargakos, posing his question to the Ministry of Culture and to the Louvre’s management.

The discovery of the tomb guarded by sphinxes made headlines world wide earlier this month when the Greek prime minister boldly said he believed it must be the LOST TOMB OF ALEXANDER.

However, the broader opinion is that Alexander was buried in Egypt and that the Amphipolis tomb is more likely to belong to one of his favoured generals.

Earlier this year, a Polish team of archaeologists claimed they may have found the TOMB OF ALEXANDER in Alexandria, Egypt.

Alexander assumed the Grecian throne at the age of 20 when his father was assassinated. Before he died 13 years later, he had built an empire that stretched from the Danube across Persia almost to India.

In the modern Religion of Antinous, Alexander is a SAINT OF ANTINOUS for being an example of the greatness of homosexuality.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

LOOTING CONTINUES AT ANTINOOPOLIS
AS EGYPT NEGLECTS ITS ANCIENT HERITAGE



WANTON looting continues unabated at the site of the ancient city which Hadrian established in Egypt on the spot where he beloved Antinous died in the Nile.

Since the revolution in Egypt, which resulted in runaway lawlessness, the site has been subject to "SYSTEMATIC LOOTING" for two years. The scope of looting diminished in recent months, but not the frequency.

Archaeologists working at ANTINOOPOLIS (also known as Antinoe) say local villagers have bulldozed much of the dig site ... ostensibly to create new space for housing and graves.

However, it is an ages-old practice in Egypt for villagers to build houses over places where they can "accidentally" unearth ancient treasures by digging tunnels under their homes. And excavation of new graves can "accidentally" reveal more ancient treasures.


"And the distinction must be made between the looting perpetrated by individuals (often poor) looking for trinkets to sell and the vandals who wantonly destroy archaeological material for no apparent purpose," according to James B. Heidel, president of the Antinoupolis Foundation which spearheads the archaeological effort.

He says local villagers send out troops of children, usually overseen by one adult, who use shovels and picks to dig for treasure. They scatter when an archaeologist or a site guard spots them. 

"But they return as soon as the coast is clear," he says.

Meanwhile, unknown persons willfully smash and deface artefacts such as building blocks from the time of Akhenaten, the "heretic" pharaoh, whose city is located a scant 20 km south of Antinoopolis.

After months of requests for assistance, the Egyptian government hired new guards on condition that the foundation provide a new guard house. And the guards have been persuaded to patrol the site at night, though grudgingly.

But that does not stop wide-scale housing construction on top of the dig site.

"The housing compound under construction is atop ancient architecture ... in the middle of a scatter of monumental red granite columns and limestone papyrus lobed column capitals and within sight of the Ramses II temple," he says.

"Indeed, this is the area which two hundred years ago Napoleon's surveyors marked as probably a tomb or a temple." 

He adds, "If the Egyptian government does not stop this illegal building, we might never know what urban monument was located here as a part of Hadrian's city," Heidel warns. 

But the largest threat to the ancient city in terms of archaeological material being destroyed is the modern cemetery. 

"Each year vast new swathes of ancient cemetery, parts of the ancient city wall, and in the last two years even half of the ancient hipprodrome, have been bulldozed flat, raked with a front loader and marked out with white blocks for new cemetery plots," Heidel says. 

"Two years ago fully half the hippodrome was leveled, and in spite of our protests to the Ministry of Antiquities, no protections were put in place," he says. 

"This year a further, smaller area of it was bulldozed flat, and the construction of walls for tomb plots were completed which were the year before only marked out with pebbles," he adds. 

Ironically, sometimes the local villagers unearth things of interest to the archaeologitst with their bulldozers.

For example, a newly bulldozed site confirms that the supporting foundations for the seating of the hippodrome were built as a casemate platform where the rough stone walls were filled in with clay, sand and gravel/rubble from the adjacent wadi.

But these discoveries come at the cost of rampant destruction and Heidel issued a new appeal for international pressure to be brought bear on the Egyptian government.

"We call, once again, upon the Ministry of Antiquities and Heritage and its new minister, Dr. Mahmoud el-Damaty, to increase site protection and safeguards and to stop the ongoing destruction and looting of archaeological material," Heidel insisted.



Monday, August 25, 2014

YOU CAN GET AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
IN THIS HISTORICAL BOOK ON GAY LOVERS



ONE of the most talented artists who took part in last week's Games of Antinous is the acclaimed artist LINDA LARSON.

Her official entry in the III Antinoeiad was this painting which received some 1,500 views on Facebook during the competition.

Linda's next project is a book entitled THE CUPBEARERS ... true stories of ancient emperors and kings and their male favorites ... with 50 stunning illustrations.

"This book began as an illustrated project of my paintings, and developed into a collection of stories," Linda says. 

Some of the paintings in The Cupbearers started out as an exhibition project called House of the Faun. 

Though these stories are factual, this is not academic gay history. It's more creative nonfiction. 

"I've found that most books written about gay history are scholarly and can be difficult to follow for the nonacademic reader," she explains. 

"For that reason, I wanted to keep these adventures short and enjoyable."

September 1 is the deadline for crowd-funding her project. CLICK HERE here to find out how you can pre-order with your contribution ... or contact her directly at LLRAY01@aol.com.

Linda says: "Please help me to make my small contribution to re-envisioning LGBT history by supporting this project."


Sunday, August 24, 2014

QUEEN PARDONS WAR HERO ALAN TURING
WHO WAS CASTRATED FOR BEING GAY


QUEEN Elizabeth II has formally pardoned Alan Turing (Saint of Antinous), the scientist who broke the Nazi's Enigma code machine during World War II but who was convicted of sodomy after the war.

The namesake of the A.M. Turing Award, the "Nobel Prize of computing," Turing was castrated in 1952 as part of his punishment.

Having chosen chemical castration over a prison sentence, Turing is believed to have killed himself two years later. 

He is credited with breaking the previously unbreakable Nazi code machine called "enigma" during World War II, which many say helped lead to an Allied victory over Germany's Adolf Hitler.

"A pardon from the queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man," British Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said in a statement. "Dr. Turing deserves to be remembered and recognized for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science."

Turing was just one of nearly 50,000 men who were sentenced under the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act that made homosexuality a crime. 

Despite its plans to pardon Turing, late last year, the British government announced it would not provide posthumous pardons for the other 49,000 or so men who were sentenced under the law.


Noting the computing scientist and mathematician's contributions to the war effort, British Prime Minister David Cameron used the occasion of the queen's pardon to laud Turing as "a remarkable man who played a key role in saving this country in World War II by cracking the German enigma code."

Saturday, August 23, 2014

'THE LOVE GOD' BY MARTIN CAMPBELL
IS A BRILLIANT NOVEL ABOUT ANTINOUS


THE most brilliant novel about Antinous to appear in over half a century has just been published ... THE LOVE GOD ... by our own MARTIN CAMPBELL, novice priest of Antinous.

While that sounds like biased praise, we Antinomaniacs are hard to please and would not hesitate to pick apart a poorly researched book or one that denigrated Antinous, even if it were written by one of our best friends ... perhaps especially if it were. 

At the same time, a sycophantic book that presented Antinous as being cloyingly sweet and angelic would be unbearable and not believable.

So we are gratified (and greatly relieved) to report that this book truly is a remarkable work of historical fiction right up there with Marguerite Yourcenar's landmark MEMOIRS OF HADRIAN 60 years ago.

Martin traces the life of Antinous from the moment his tousle-haired head emerges from his mother's womb under auspicious stars in Asia Minor to the moment his head sinks beneath the swirling waters of the Nile on a starry evening in Egypt.

Antinous comes to life as a young man of breath-taking beauty who is filled with conflicting passions and loyalties. He is a young man who at times is naive, yet at other times worldly wise with an ability to see the world as it is ... and to describe it with at times brutal honesty to the most powerful man in the world.

Above all, this is a gentle love story between Antinous and Emperor Hadrian, himself a man of contradictory passions and priorities.

Martin himself is a man shares these passions. He has rebounded from a series of debilitating strokes to resume a daunting array of political activism for LGBTIU health and rights issues ... while working on this novel.

Based in a hilltop home overlooking the sea in Brighton England, he spent the best part of a decade researching this novel, retracing the footsteps of Antinous across Greece and Italy, as far north as Hadrian's Wall and as far south as the Nile in Upper Egypt.

Historical facts are excruciatingly accurate ... even the positions of the stars and planets at the moment of the birth of Antinous have been calculated to precision.

An academic scholar can read this book with satisfaction, noting obscure and arcane references which only the experts in the field of Antinology fully appreciate.

At the same time, however, this is a fun book to read even for those who have never heard of Antinous in their lives and who have no firm grasp of Roman civilization in the 2nd Century AD.

There is intrigue, skulduggery, near-death by lightning, getting lost in a subterranean labyrinth, a storm at sea, earthquakes ... and some fairly hot man sex as well, albeit tastefully brought to the page.

The narrator is the Classical Love God himself: Eros. He shoots his amorous arrows and ensures that Antinous and Hadrian fulfill the destiny which the Fates have in store for them ... despite efforts by certain people in the Imperial Court to thwart the Fates.


But the genius of this book is that there are no black-and-white villains or heroes.

Antinous is a young man with all the problems and drives of late adolescence, and Hadrian is a man with a mid-life crisis of doubt and regret.

Others such as Empress Sabina and her constant companion Julia Balbilla and their coterie of fawning courtiers and freedmen are not really hateful towards Antinous so much as they are simply perplexed by him. 

They view him the way some members of the Royal Household might look at the favorite Corgi of the Queen, unable to comprehend her affection for it, her grief when it dies.


They whisper amongst themselves: What hold does Antinous have over Hadrian? 

Just who does he think he is? And is he a threat to them? 

What is so different about Antinous that Hadrian doesn't grow weary of him ... as he always has with previous toy boys? 

Because they cannot understand how he fits in the scheme of Imperial court life, some really rather wish he would just disappear ... voluntarily or otherwise. 

And through it all is the boyhood friend of Antinous who has accompanied him on this long journey with mixed feelings and with growing envy and jealousy. 

The boiling emotions all stem from Eros, who winks knowingly at the reader as he shoots one arrow after another with unerring accuracy to ensure that Antinous fulfills his destiny ... to take his place alongside Eros as a God of Love.

The result is a richly entertaining and beautifully written novel which appeals to those seeking authoritative scholarly accuracy as well as readers who just want a riveting and memorable adventure yarn.

The Love God is available as Kindle and as a paperback ... CLICK HERE to order.

Friday, August 22, 2014

THE HISTORY OF THE ROSY LOTUS
OF ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD





When Emperor Hadrian visited Alexandria,
the poet Pancrates presented him
with a beautiful lotus flower.


Awestruck by the magnificent rosy-red petals,
Hadrian agreed to name the flower
after his beloved Antinous.


Drawings by Uendi


Beautiful CG Art by Antonyus Subia


Music by Kevin MacLeod


For more info: THE TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS


Thursday, August 21, 2014

GAMES OF ANTINOUS WINNING VIDEO
SEEN BY 80,000 ON FACEBOOK


"THESE have been the most glorious Games of Antinous since they were held in ancient times," Antonius Subia said today after announcing winners of the III Antinoeiad ... the modern Games which drew submissions from artists from around the world.

"The Ancient Games were held for 300 years, and their main function was to enhance the glory of Antinous," Antonius added.

"And that is what our goal was, and these games have attracted the attention of thousands of people, many of whom had never heard of Antinous the Gay God before."

The winner of this year's games, with a winning video which was seen by 80,000 Facebook followers, is Pietro Adjano from Brazil. Pietro took part via Skype in ceremonies held at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS overnight and said: "I want to take this opportunity to say how grateful I am to all the people on Facebook who clicked 'Like' on my entry."

As champion of the 2014 Games of Antinous, Pietro receives a bronze replica Greek incense tripod, a resin Antinous cameo cast by Antonius Subia plus $500 in cash.

Second-Place goes to Frater Aser Nox of Romania for his artwork depiction of Saint Sebastian as an icon for gay oppression (left). He receives a 19 cm (7 in) pewter cruet by Royal Holland, a resin Antinous cameo cast by Antonius Subia, and $250 in cash.

Third-Place honors go Dallan Chantal of Brazil for a prose "Hymn to Pan" which received the third-highest number of Likes at the ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD FACEBOOK page. His prize is a mounted 20 cm (8 in) replica Greek amphora plus a resin Antinous cameo cast by Antonius as well as $100 in cash.

"I am very honored to have taken part in these Games and to have helped spread the love of Antinous," Dallan said during the Skype ceremonies which drew in a dozen people from Hollywood to Christchurch New Zealand and from Brazil to Germany.

Those three prize-winners were among 15 artists who submitted entries. Winners were chosen on the basis of "Likes" clicked by visitors to the Antinous the Gay God Facebook page.

The awards ceremonies were only one part of the Skype proceedings, which also included ritual ceremonies in honor of the Sacred Lion Hunt during which Hadrian and Antinous slew a man-eating lion in August of the year 130 AD in Egypt.

(Photo left-to-right: Priest Hernestus in Hamburg Germany, Pietro Adjano in Curitiba Brazil, Dallan Chantal in Uberlandia Brazil.)

Also, homage was paid to the Rosy Lotus of Antinous ... the fabled pink waterlily which was said to have spring forth spontaneously from the lion's blood which splattered the banks of the Nile.

An additional high point of the evening was when Antonius unveiled the colossal bust of Antinous seen at the top of this page.

It is a plaster copy by a California bronze works atelier which was cast from a mold taken from the famous Townley Antinous in the British Museum.

This plaster bust has in the past been loaned out by the atelier to Hollywood studios for use as props in productions.

Now this exact copy of the Townley Bust has found its permanent home on the Sacred Altar of the Hollywood Temple of Antinous (shown here dwarfing a bust of the Capitoline Antinous).

Click here for Pietro Adjano's bilingual English/Portuguese hymn to Antinous which was viewed by 80,000 Facebook fans:



THE SACRED LION HUNT



IT IS THE DAWNING of the 21st of August and the modern-day Priests of Antinous have just concluded a globally shared celebration which included a dozen participants via Skype from Hollywood to Christchurch New Zealand and from Brazil to Germany.

With the Sun in the final degrees of Leo the Lion, we commemorated the Sacred Lion Hunt ... when Hadrian and Antinous slew a man-eating lion in Egypt in August 130 AD.

The Priests also declared winners in the III Antinoeiad (Sacred Games of Antinous) who will be highlighted in a separate blog entry within the hour.

In addition, the Priests and their guests around the world also honored the Sacred Rosy Lotus of Antinous ... the pink waterlily said to have sprung forth spontaneously from the lion's blood as it splattered the banks of the Nile.

Flamen Antonius Subia related in vivid detail the events of the Sacred Lion Hunt:

The place is Egypt, somewhere in the rocky wilderness between the scattered oases southeast of Alexandria. The time is August of the Year 130 AD. The Sun is poised to enter the Sign of Leo. The Constellation of Aquila the Eagle is at its zenith in the nighttime sky — just as it is now.

It is the constellation of the Emperor. And the Emperor and his Beloved are touring Egypt when they hear grisly accounts of a man-eating lion marauding the countryside on the edge of the cultivated land. The "Marousian Lion" it was called.

They lead a hunting expedition out into the wilderness. The whole expedition is rife with symbolism from the start since the Sun is in Leo in the daytime skies and the Eagle is soaring in the nighttime skies and the Ancients believed killing lions was tantamount to defeating death itself. Lion hunting was the sport of kings.

When at last the Imperial party flushes out the man-eater, the huntsmen and archers stand back and leave Hadrian to close in on the beast with his steed. Hadrian has just got off an arrow which wounds the animal when, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, young Antinous rides ahead, his reins in his left hand, an adamantine-tipped lance in his upraised right hand.

As the Imperial retinue looks on in horror, the snarling lion charges toward the boy, causing his panicked horse to whinny and wheel about in terror. But Antinous maintains his balance and, instantly judging distance and angle, sends his lance sailing towards the lion as it quickly closed the gap between them. 

The lance slams into its rear flank, inflicting a serious but not fatal wound. Enraged even more, the lion uses its fangs to pull out the lance and charges anew against the Boy who is fumbling with his quiver to ready a shot with his bow. But an arrow is already in the air from behind Antinous, and it whizzes past his ear and hit its mark in the throat of the lion.

It has been fired by Hadrian, who is approaching at full gallop and who, even while the first arrow was still in the air, had already readied a second arrow, which this time penetrates both lungs.

The lion spins about and collapses writhing in the dust, rage in its eyes, blood and saliva guttering from its fanged mouth, gasping for breath as it struggles to get to its feet — because Antinous has dismounted and is sprinting toward it with a drawn dagger.

Hadrian draws his steed to a halt and dismounts with an agility and  lightness befitting a man half his age, fueled by adrenalin and alarm for his Beloved Boy, who faces imminent peril from the mortally wounded lion, still capable of severing an artery with one swipe of its mighty paw.

Hadrian draws his hunting axe from his belt and holds it high as he  lunges onto the lion's back and dispatches the beast with one powerful blow which splits its skull in two with a frightening crack and a spurt of bright red blood which bathes both the older man, now panting and perspiring heavily, and the younger man who still shows no visible expression of concern, just a wild-eyed look of excitement in his eyes, as if he never realized the danger he had been in — as if he thinks he is immortal.

A cheer goes up from the coterie of onlookers when they realize the lion is dead, killed seemingly by a single blow from the Emperor's hand. Courtiers whose eyes are unskilled in the ways of hunting will later claim Hadrian had struck the lion dead with a club.

As soldiers and nervous bodyguards rush forward to make sure everything is all right, the emperor, his adrenalin-strength ebbing as quickly as it came, shakily wraps a blood-spattered arm around Antinous and plants his gilded, spike-soled sandal on the dead animal's neck and nods to Antinous to do the same.

There they stand, bathed in blood and bathed in the adulation of the Imperial coterie, each with one foot on the vanquished man-eater as the animal's blood spreads out and covers the surrounding rocks and sand and a few scrubby wildflowers growing from a crevice in a rock.

Even the flowers are splattered with blood. And these red blossoms  will be plucked by members of the entourage to take back as souvenirs to show to envious courtiers who had not been invited along.

THE SACRED LION HUNT was immortalized in poetry and in stone, with Hadrian adding medallions to the Arch of Constantine showing him and Antinous with feet on the lion's neck and also making sacrifice to the great lion-killer Hercules.


Soon legend would have it that scarlet-red lotus blossoms had sprung forth from the pool of the lion's blood, the lion which had been brought down by Antinous and which had been dealt its death blow by Hadrian — the SACRED RED LOTUS.

Under the Sign of Leo. And under the Constellation of the Eagle. 

Within a few short weeks, Antinous himself would be dead. The Sacred Lion Hunt is the last recorded event in His short life.

And some time afterward, grieving Hadrian would look up into the  nighttime skies with tear-filled eyes and his court astronomers would point out a New Star which had appeared in the southern part of the Constellation of Aquila the Eagle.

The New Star would be interpreted as a celestial sign that Antinous had been raised to the firmament, that the Constellation of the Imperial Eagle had been joined by the CONSTELLATION OF ANTINOUS. It was a sign that Antinous was now a God.

If you go outside tonight and peer out into the darkness with all its deep and hidden dangers, remember Antinous and how he peered out into the barren wilderness with all its deep and hidden dangers. 

He charged forth, his bridle-reins in his left hand and an adamantine-tipped lance in his right, and he faced death unafraid.

For Antinous knew he was immortal.

The Constellation of Antinous, still under the wing of the Imperial Eagle, will be right directly over your head tonight — shining proof that Antinous is a God and that he is indeed immortal.

Don't look out into the darkness around you and be afraid. Instead, look up and remember the Beloved Boy, who was a fearless hunter, who stalked death itself, and who emerged victorious over it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

THE SACRED BAND OF THEBES
THE ARMY OF LOVERS


AUG. 20 the Religion of Antinous commemorates the Sacred Band of Thebes, the Army of Gay Lovers whose courage and valour have echoed down through the ages as an inspiration that Gay Love is a magical means of Conquering Fear and  Doubt.

The Sacred Band of Thebes, also called The Theban Band, was a battalion composed entirely of homosexual friends and lovers. This military unit, consisting of 150 male couples, was based on the belief that men fighting alongside their lovers would die rather than shame one another.

According to Aristotle, the Army of Lovers were sworn into military service at the Tomb of Iolaus, one of the many male lovers of Hercules. Iolaus had helped the god in the Twelve Herculean Tasks. 

He often acted as Hercules' charioteer and companion, and the closeness of their relationship was such that he was known as Heracles' symbomos (altar-sharer), since the two could be honored at one and the same altar — a very rare occurrence in ancient Greece, where each divinity would have his or her own altar.

Iolaus was called the eromenos (beloved boy) of Hercules, and was thus a Sacred Hero of same-sex love in Thebes. Hercules, Iolaus and Eros were often depicted together.

That is probably why the army of gay lovers was called the Sacred Band, since they took their oath of allegiance at the Sacred Tomb of Iolaus, which was at the same time a shared sacred altar to Hercules. In effect, the warriors were swearing that they would fight alongside their comrades the same way Iolaus and Hercules fought together — armed with the arrows of Eros.

You can see the parallels to Hadrian and his beloved boy Antinous, and later this week the parallels become even clearer when we commemorate the SACRED LION HUNT

After that hunt in the Libyan desert in the summer of the year 130 AD, Hadrian and Antinous made sacrifice to the Great Lion Slayer Hercules — thus cementing the identification between Hadrian/Hercules and Antinous/Iolaus — and their affiliation with the Sacred Band of Thebes.

The great Theban general and tactician Epaminondas is generally credited with establishing The Sacred Band, although some sources claim it was his "beloved friend" Pelopidas who was responsible for recruiting them. No matter — they both fought side-by-side at the head of The Sacred Band.

This corps d'elite first took to the battlefield against Sparta, which had dominated Greece since the fall of Athens in 404 BC. The Spartans were confident of victory, as they had never suffered a defeat on the battlefield — never ever.

Deploying the Sacred Band on his front left wing, "Epaminondas made his left wing fifty deep and flung it forward in the attack." 

The "extra weight" of this wing and the "fanatical bravery of the Sacred Band" broke the Sparta right wing, which contained their best warriors. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, the Spartan king was killed and their right gave way.

Witnessing this, the rest of the Spartan forces, who had not yet been engaged, fell back in disarray, running for their lives. Thus, Sparta suffered their first recorded defeat in more than 400 years — at the hands of an Army of Gay Lovers.

But the end came in 338 BC at the battle of Chaeronea when King Phillip II of Macedonia and his son Alexander (later called Alexander the Great) defeated the combined forces of Athens and Thebes-Boetia. Alexander confronted The Sacred Band of Thebes, the elite corps of 300 homosexual lovers who were by that time the most respected soldiers in the world.

But alas! They were no match for the Macedonians under Phillip and Alexander. It was a rout. The Athenian and Theban armies gave way and began retreating from the advancing Macedonians. Only The Sacred Band stood their ground — and died. Only a few were subdued and captured. Of those who died, it was found that not one had been wounded in the back — a sign that they had not turned away from the fight.

Alexander was so moved by their nobility and courage that he asked his father to bury them with honour and raise a monument in the form of a Sacred Lion over their mass grave. In 1881, the shattered fragments of this Lion Tomb were discovered, surrounded by the bones of 254 pairs of men with their weapons, arranged in a phalanx of seven rows, the battle formation of the Sacred Band.

In 1902 the fragments of the Sacred Lion were reconstructed and placed again over the tomb of The Sacred Band (depicted left) by the secret homosexual society known as the Order of Chaeronea, founded by gay-rights pioneer George Cecil Ives.

It reminds us once again of the Sacred Lion Hunt which we celebrate later this week.

So, what has all of this got to do with us in our daily lives? We're not soldiers. We're not brave and courageous. Like Dorothy Gale, we're meek and mild. Timid. We know that if we were on a battlefield, we would turn and run. We would hide and "play dead" and hope nobody found us.

We assume that the Army of Gay Lovers were all fearless. We think they were unafraid. We don't think of them as being saredy-cats like us. We think they didn't mind the prospect of agonizing death. We think they were somehow above such mortal fears and doubts.

That's nonsense, of course. They were scared out of their wits. We can scarcely imagine how afraid they were. As they stood there alone against the mightiest army in the Ancient World, their emotions shifted beyond the mere terror of possibly being killed, to the actual horror of inescapable agony and death. It is one thing to be terrified — we all know the fears generated by terrorists who fly airliners into buildings. 

But the emotions experienced by those trapped in the planes or inside the burning buildings go far beyond mere terror to the actual horror of inescapable agony and death. That is the Mystery of Terror as opposed to the Mystery of Horror. We tend to forget the distinction!

The Army of Gay Lovers were not without fear. On the contrary, they were staring into the horror of impending pain and death. But they did not allow their fear to overwhelm them. 

Instead, they turned their fear "inside-out" and used it as a magical shield. The barbs of fear were no longer poking inward to themselves, but instead were pointing outward towards their foes.

And that is the Mystery Teaching of the Army of Gay Lovers. It was no doubt part of the initiation which the recruits underwent at the Tomb of Iolaus. They were schooled in magico-religious methods for handling fear. It's about learning to harness Mars energy. Mars is all about the double-edge sword of fear/bravery and how you can learn to wield that Sword of Mars.

It's not about being fearless. It's about being able to transform your fear into a mighty force which wins the battle of life. Mars Warrior Energy is not about death. It is about LIFE. It is about harnessing fear and doubt and turning them into useful energies in your daily life.

Life — from the time you are born until the time you die — life is just one constant battle. And if you give in, then you are lost. And if you give in to the fear and doubt that constantly confront you each and ever day, then you are lost. It's about using selfless love and transcendant awareness to transform fear and doubt into constructive energies which empower you to stand up and wade into the fray of daily life.


The Band of Thebes were initiated into Mystery Teachings which showed them how to transform fear and doubt into a magical force which made them invincible — capable of asserting their will and making their dreams become reality. 

And the catalyst was male-male love and devotion.

This is one of the deepest and most profound Mystery Teachings of the Religion of Antinous

We are talking about the Mysteries of Antinous-Mars. This is why Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia has painted Antinous in the guise of the War God (above). 

Antinous is not just about gay male beauty. He is about gay male warrior energy.

Mars is a very important constituent aspect of Antinous. In Fixed Star Astrology, the STAR OF ANTINOUS is characterized by a mixture of Jupiter/Mars energy along with Venus energy — unique among Fixed Stars. To overlook Mars is to overlook a major component of what Antinous is all about.

Mars and his Alchemical Intelligence Graphiel and Daimon Barzabel (Deimos and Phobos) is much misunderstood by philosophers and occultists. 

The fiery Graphiel/Barzabel energies of the red planet ("terror" Deimos and "horror" Phobos) are often seen as frightful and horrific and destructive and warlike with no other qualities. This is a shallow analysis and one that should be discarded. Understanding your Martial nature — the Antinous-Mars warrior inside you — is essential to your survival and growth as a gay man. Terror and horror accompany us all our lives.

We are all afraid every day. We are all riddled with doubts every day. Look around you — most people are consumed with fear and doubt. Fear fuels their lives! But each of us can learn to turn our fears and doubts "inside-out" so that their barbs no longer point inward towards us, but instead so that these barbs of fear and doubt form a protective shield around us. 

It girds us with a constructive energy which helps us to advance through the Herculean travails which we face in our daily lives. Instead of being "fearfully" timid, we become "fearsomely" determined not to let life get us down.

Tomorrow, this transformational ability to turn fear "inside-out" will help us to understand how Antinous was able to charge the man-eater during the SACRED LION HUNT.

He must have been terrified. He was young and inexperienced and alone on his steed and armed only with an adamantine-tipped lance.

But through his loving bond with Hadrian/Hercules, Antinous/Iolaus was also magically armed with the "fearsomely strong" energies of the Sacred Band of Thebes.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius affirms: "We consecrate and honor their memory and call upon their strength and courage in our own hearts, that we may become the New Sacred Band."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON AUGUST 19th, the Religion of Antinous honors St. Federico García Lorca, who was openly gay and who is one of the greatest poets of the Spanish language. 
He was executed by the Fascists on this day, August 19th, during the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

García Lorca's central themes are love, pride, passion and violent death, which also marked his own life.


The Spanish Civil was just getting underway in August 1936 and García Lorca was seen by the right-wing forces as an enemy. The author hid from the soldiers but he was eventually found.

An eyewitness has told that he was taken out of a Civil Government building by guards and Falangists belonging to the "Black Squad". García Lorca was shot in Granada without trial. The circumstances of his death are still shrouded in mystery. He was buried in a grave that he had been forced top dig for himself. 

According to some sources, he had to be finished off by a coup de grâce. One of his assassins later boasted, that he shot "two bullets into his arse for being a queer".

It was the end of a brilliant career as a poet and dramatist who was also remembered as a painter, pianist and composer.

In the 1920s he was close friends with Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, among many others who later became influential artists in Spain. Despite the accolades from artists and critics, he suffered from bouts of depression brought on largely by his inner conflict about his homosexuality.

He was tortured by the demands of being a celebrity in a homophobic society and the yearnings of his gay soul.

During his lifetime only a handful of close friends were allowed to read the collection of gay poems which would be published many years later as his Sonnets of Dark Love. Here is one of them, entitled Love Sleeps in the Poet's Heart:


You'll never understand my love for you,
because you dream inside me, fast asleep.
I hide you, persecuted though you weep,
from the penetrating steel voice of truth.
Normalcy stirs both flesh and blinding star,
and pierces even my despairing heart.
Confusing reasoning has eaten out
the wings on which your spirit fiercely soared:
onlookers who gather on the garden lawn
await your body and my bitter grief,
their jumping horses made of light, green manes.
But go on sleeping now, my life, my dear.
Hear my smashed blood rebuke their violins!
See how they still must spy on us, so near!


With the Catalan painter Salvador Dalí and the film director Louis Buñuel he worked in different productions.

Dalí and Lorca had met in 1923. From the beginning, Lorca was fascinated by the young Catalan's personality and looks. Also Dalí had admitted that Lorca impressed him deeply.

When Buñuel and Dalí made their famous surrealist short film Un Chien Andalou (1928), García Lorca was offended: he thought that the film was about him.

Lorca's friendship with Dalí inspired a poem, a defense of modern art and at the same time an expression of homosexual love. Dalí dedicated his painting of Saint Sebastian to his friend, who often compared himself to the tortured homoerotic martyr.

"Let us agree," Lorca wrote to Dalí, "that one of man's most beautiful postures is that of St. Sebastian."

"In my 'Saint Sebastian' I remember you," Salvador Dalí replied, ". . . and sometimes I think he IS you. Let's see whether Saint Sebastian turns out to be you."

García Lorca was capable only of a "tragic, passionate relationship," Dalí once wrote — a friendship pierced by the arrows of Saint Sebastian.

The Religion of Antinous honors this great artist who lived and loved tragically and passionately and who died tragically for being gay.

Monday, August 18, 2014

ROME HONORS AUGUSTUS CAESAR
ON 2,000th ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH



ROME commemorates the 2,000th anniversary on August 19 of the death of Augustus, the first emperor of Rome, with a full calendar of special events throughout the Eternal City.

On the Palatine Hill, the route available for public viewing in the House of Augustus will be doubled, and there will be new Augustus-themed routes through the Palatine Museum, according to Minister of Cultural Heritage Dario Francheschini and Special Superintendent for the Archaeological Heritage of Rome Mariarosaria Barbera. 

Other special events to mark the anniversary will be held at the House of Livia (Augustus's third wife) plus events at the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella, which was built during Augustus's reign.

Other events are planned as well as at the Diocletian Baths, the Antiquarium at the Villa of Livia, the Crypta Balbi Museum, and finally Palazzo Massimo, the National Roman Museum. 

This year has seen a major exhibition dedicated to Augustus at  the Scuderie del Quirinale which brought together various pieces of cultural heritage related to the emperor from many museums both locally in Rome and abroad.

For that exhibition, the Louvre in France lent the statue Marcellus as Hermes Logios, a sculpture of Augustus's nephew that was brought there from Rome by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. 

And the British Museum in London lent the Blacas cameo, a profile portrait of Augustus carved in onyx, which most likely dates to shortly after his death in 14 AD.


Augustus was Julius Caesar's adopted son and became Rome's leader after defeating Mark Antony and Cleopatra.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

THE SACRED LION HUNT
POEM BY PANCRATES OF ALEXANDRIA


AVE ANTINOE!


May you all be blessed 

as we prepare for 

THE SACRED LION HUNT

beneath the light of the 

LUCIUS MOON OF BROTHERS.


~ANTONIUS N. SUBIA

Saturday, August 16, 2014

GREEKS HOPING HUGE TOMB IN MACEDONIA
IS THAT OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT



THE Greek Prime Minister has announced the discovery of a tomb that many are claiming – or hoping – belongs to Alexander the Great.

More details will come in the next couple of weeks, but the massive burial site has been uncovered in the area of Amphipolis in the Macedonia region of Northern Greece.

Experts will only say it "belonged to an important figure dating back to the last quarter of the 4th Century BC", according to the BBC.

Lead archaeologist Katerina Peristeri confirmed it "certainly dated from after the death of Alexander the Great", in Babylon in 323 BC. 

However, the broader opinion is that Alexander was buried in Egypt and that the Amphipolis tomb is more likely to belong to one of his favoured generals.

Earlier this year, a Polish team of archaeologists claimed they may have found the TOMB OF ALEXANDER in Alexandria, Egypt.

In the modern Religion of Antinous, Alexander is a SAINT OF ANTINOUS for being an example of the greatness of homosexuality.

Alexander assumed the Grecian throne at the age of 20 when his father was assassinated. Before he died 13 years later, he had built an empire that stretched from the Danube across Persia almost to India.

The Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, said only of the find that it was "especially significant".

"The land of Macedonia continues to move and surprise us, revealing its unique treasures, which combine to form the unique mosaic of Greek history of which all Greeks are very proud," he said.

Here's what's known about the burial mound so far:

  • The large mound complex has so far taken two years to unearth at the Kasta hill site.
  • It’s 10 times bigger than that of Alexander’s father, Philip II of Macedon.
  • It’s nearly 500m long and made of marble imported from the nearby island of Thassos.
  • There are claims it was made by Alexander’s close architect friend, Dinocrates.