Sunday, November 30, 2014

GLOBAL ANTINOUS BIRTHDAY CEREMONIES
FEATURE NEW NOVEL, NEW VIDEO



"THE most salient feature about Antinous, and the thing that makes our religion different from others, is that Antinous was a mortal human being who actually lived," said Antonius Subia in a global Skype link-up this weekend celebrating the birthday of Antinous.

Speaking from the Hollywood Temple of Antinous to celebrants taking part from across the United States, Europe and as far away as New Zealand, he noted that we know his birth date ... 27 November ... and we know what he looked like from countless statues.

"He was a human being just like you or me," Flamen Antonius said. "He was not some ray of light of divine perfection. He was a person with faults and failings just like any of us. And yet he became the last deity of the Classical era ... we know he lived ... and we know he became a god."

Joining ceremonies from Germany via Skype, Priest Hernestus offered a reading from MARTIN CAMPBELL's brilliant new historical novel about the life of Antinous entitled, THE LOVE GOD, which has just been published to critical acclaim. 

The passage described the mountainous woodlands of Bithynia (modern Turkey) where Antinous was born in the year 111 AD. 

The other highlight of the evening was the premiere of a new video by Priest Uendi illustrating a rarely mentioned poem about Antinous. It was written 100 years ago by ALAN SEEGER and describes Antinous as a shepherd youth in the hills of Bithynia.

Be the first to see the video online: 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

INTRODUCING AN OBSCURE IMAGE
OF ANTINOUS ON HIS BIRTHDAY


IN celebration of the Birthday of Antinous, I would like to introduce a new Antinous image who has remained unknown for some reason.

I was first introduced to him by Francisco de la Maza In his wonderful book "Antinoo, El Ultimo Dios del Mundo Classico."

And I have been waiting for a special occasion to bring him to the attention of His people.

The name of this image is the "Antinous Dahlem," named for the DAHLEM MUSEUM in Berlin.

He is a small bronze figurine now found in the Berlin Museum.

He is truly one of the most beautiful of all Antinous images in the world.

May the Antinous Dahlem bless us with his presence in our hearts,

May he be reborn this day as we celebrate the birth of our beloved god.

Ave Antinous!
~ANTONIUS SUBIA


Friday, November 28, 2014

JEAN-BAPTISTE de LULLY
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON November 28th the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Jean-Baptiste de Lully, who was born on this day in 1632 in Florence, Italy. 

Parlaying his looks, his dancing and his musical genius into an erotic/artistic career, he rose from being a scullery knave to becoming director of music in the Court of French King Louis XIV. 

By the time he died on March 22, 1687, he had created a new art form and had changed the course of the performing arts forever.

Lully's story has some parallels to the story of Hadrian and Antinous. The parallels are not exact. It is more as though Lully and Louis XIV were a "parallel universe" story of Antinous and Hadrian with bizarre twists thrown in to the plot of the story.

Lully was totally dependent upon the Sun King and was totally devoted to him. When the king expressed a whim to learn to dance, Lully became his dance instructor, creating a whole new art form involving dance and song.

Quite aside from his infamous carousing with boys, Lully was desperately in love with Louis XIV. It was an impossible love, of course. It could never be consummated.

The king viewed Lully as his artistic mentor, but nothing more. Lully viewed the king as the love of his life, and his art was merely an expression of that love.

Unwittingly, Lully planted the seeds for his own doom. Others took his idea and developed it further: And Opera was born.

The king became infatuated with Opera and totally lost interest in Lully's Baroque stage productions. He forgot all about Lully.

For Lully, that was tantamount to death, and he soon died as the result of a tragic "accident" -- he plunged a sharp baton-sceptre through his foot in a rage of despair after the king failed to appear at the debut of his latest masterpiece.

The wound became gangrenous, but when physicians advised that the foot must be amputated, St. Jean-Baptiste refused, saying that if he could never dance again, then he would prefer to be dead.

Yes, his life was like some nightmare, parallel-universe version of the Hadrian and Antinous story, set against the backdrop of men in silk brocade costumes and in four-inch heels and wearing ornate wigs. It is a story of a man's unconditional love and self-sacrifice for his Sun King.

St. Jean-Baptiste de Lully had a deep fondness for the Roman Gods, and he portrayed them with the gay flourish of the the court of the Sun King. It remains a style all its own, completely out of fashion...even among classical music weirdos.

We adore St. Lully's music...we adore the grace and profound emotions that pour from his chords. We love the beauty of his style of dance.


No doubt when Monsieur St. de Lully arrived at the Divine court of Hadrian the God, he immediately set about rearranging the Imperial Orchestra, replacing the Ney Flutes with Bassoons and Oboes, dismissing the Cythara in favor of Violas de Gamba.

Perhaps the old Greek musicians might have taken insult at being swept aside, but with a wave of his hand...Antinous calmed them.

So it was that the celestial Imperial Orchestra performed the new opera Of Saint Jean-Baptiste de Lully. The Imperial Court was astonished to hear the new sound. Even the Greeks were amazed (and the Greeks had heard everything). And With a wreathed nod of his illuminated head, Hadrian enthroned commanded his beloved Antinous to dance.

When we join the court of Hadrian in the heavens, we will see Antinous dance to the new music of Saint Jean-Baptiste de Lully.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

ANTINOUS WAS BORN ON THIS DAY
1,903 YEARS AGO


ANTINOUS was born on this day, November 27th in the year 111 AD — 1,903 years ago!

Festive celebrations are being held by worshipers all over the world, with special rites being conducted at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS.

Antinous was born in the Bithynian city of Claudiopolis, modern-day Bolu in Turkey.

It was a major city in those days with a Hellenistic/Roman heritage dating back centuries. It was nestled among snow-capped peaks and woodlands full of wild beasts and full of mythical magic.

The portrait of the newborn baby Antinous and his mother against the backdrop of a Bithynian conifer forest is by PRIEST UENDI, a New York artist who now lives in Hollywood.

Modern Claudiopolis/Bolu is a sleepy health resort. Not too many foreign tourists go there, but the area is a popular with Turkish vacationers because of its pine-covered mountains and its sparkling lakes and spa waters.


The altitude makes it refreshingly cooler than lower-lying regions, so Turks go there to get away from the heat and noise of places like Istanbul and Ankara.

Wikipedia says: "Local specialities include a sweet made of hazelnuts (which grow in abundance here) and an eau-de-cologne with the scent of grass. One feature of Bolu dear to the local people is the soft spring water obtained from fountains in the town."
 

Hazelnut candy? Grass-scented cologne? Amazingly soft spring water? Somehow that one little paragraph makes it sound like a place where Antinous would have to have been born.

The area where Antinous was born is a beautiful place, nestled high in piney forests and yet only a short distance from the sparkling Black Sea coast about halfway between Istanbul and Ankara.

The region is teeming with bountiful wildlife and so Hadrian and Antinous went on hunting forays while in Bithynium. As a boy, Antinous must have played in these forests and bathed in these sparkling lakes.

He would have remembered these boyhood days during his travels with Hadrian to the far corners of the Empire. We often forget that Antinous had a family who must have loved him and missed him. They were no doubt proud of him, but they missed him.

And he missed them as he also missed his lovely Bithynia with its mountains and lakes and deep forests which, in winter, are covered in deep snow.

The first snows may have already fallen "back home" at the end of October in 130 AD when Antinous stood on the banks of the Nile in Upper Egypt. Perhaps he had received a letter from home with the latest family gossip and news of the first snowfall. He would have remembered the scent of pine forests and fresh-fallen snow.

As he looked into the green waters of the Nile in far-away Egypt at the end of his brief life, perhaps he thought of "home" and lakes and dark forests and pine cones and the scent of hazelnuts being roasted and mixed with rose water and honey to make candy.

November 27th is an introspective moment ... an evaluation of things past ... and things to come. And above all, it is birthday party time. Let the Festive Season Begin with an Antinous Birthday Party!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

HOW TO PLAN YOUR OWN
FESTIVE ANTINOUS BIRTHDAY PARTY



ANTINOUS was born on November 27 and worshipers around the world are busy planning their own festivities ... from Chile to Canada and from New England in the US to New South Wales in Australia.

November marks the start of the ancient pagan Festive Season, a season which is still full of fabulous party dates ... including Christmas, New Year's Eve, Twelfth Night and of course American Thanksgiving. Dia de los Muertos and Halloween/Samhain usher in this Festive Season of twinkly lights and over-eating and drinking way too much. 

The images on this page offer inspiration for Antinous Birthday festivities. Above is "Das Gastmahl" (The Symposion Feast) by Anton von Werner (1877) - preliminary color sketch as part of a series of wall murals on the theme of "Roman Life" for the Café Bauer (53 x 89 cm) (Privately Owned).

The other images are courtesy of the gifted artist FELIX D'EON and serve as an inspiration for Antinous Birthday festivities in the open air.

These ancient festivities go back WAAAAY before Christianity, of course. So it's a safe bet that Hadrian and Antinous would recognize many of the features of these festivities

So when you plan your Antinous Birthday Party, you can mix-and-match customs from all sorts of pagan Festive Season holidays, in full knowledge that Hadrian and Antinous would nod in approval.

It should be celebrated with feasting and drinking and singing and carousing. Green boughs (palm fronds, holly, pine boughs or whatever is native to your climate) should decorate the feast room in honour of the forests of Bithynia, the highlands of modern-day Turkey where Antinous was born.


Electric lights should be turned off in favor of candlelight or at the very least those strings of tiny "fairy lights" which Moslems use during Ramadan and Hindus during Divali and Christians at Christmas.

The one really bright spot in the room should be a bust or image of Antinous, which is spotlighted, signifying our belief that Antinous brings light into the world.

The Antinous Rosy Lotus would be perfect. But since not everyone has access to lotus blossoms in late November, orchids would also be fine. Bithynia was well known evenin Ancient Times for its forest orchids and the Romans loved orchids -- even orchid root beverages!

Orchids would be lovely as well as being a Hellenistic conversation piece. If they are too pricey, then your favorite seasonal flower will do. Look around and find something that is beautiful and unique to your own locale which you think would be very nice.

The Birthday of Antinous would be a wonderful opportunity for a costume party, also in keeping with the Halloween/Carnaval/Christmas flavor of these ancient pagan holidays. Guests might be encouraged to come as Greco-Romans or Egyptian priests.

The menu could be Mediterranean, with lots of finger foods such as tahini and couscous and humous and pita bread, stuffed olives, eggplant/aubergine, goat's cheese and so on. Refried beans (which the Egyptians call "fuul" and eat for breakfast) would be ideal since the theory goes that the Moors introduced "fuul" to the Spaniards, who introduced it to the New World, where it became refritos -- Mexican refried beans.

But you should feel free to go local with favorite regional dishes of your home area. There must be lots of good South American dishes which would be perfect, or Scottish specialties, or Aussie barbecued prawns or New England pot pies -- good simple "plebeian" food which is festive and spicy and filling.

In keeping with these pagan festivals, foods should represent birth and regeneration: beans, peas, black-eyed peas, pumpkins, squash, nuts, berries.

It doesn't really matter what food is served, of course, as long as it's delicious and plentiful, and as long as there is plenty of drink to wash it down, wine or beer or just good old iced tea.

Beer is quite appropriate, since the Ancient Egyptians were brewing beer thousands of years before Antinous was born.

Just imagine: Antinous' last meal may have been refried beans and beer and flat bread.

In a change from holiday cakes and cookies, how about baking Antinous cookies? Bake simple sugar cookies which have been cut out to resemble stars, comets, an imperial crown and Bithynian fir trees and lions and so on and decorate them with Antinoian lettering or symbols.

Instead of gingerbread men, make gingerbread Antinouses. The gingerbread man, after all, is thought to come from pagan rituals for honoring Thor or other gods. Generally, they are sweet dough which is filled with a nut-date-spice filling representing rebirth and spiritual sustenance. You still find them today on St. Nicholas' feast day throughout Europe.

Whatever you bake, make sure to include a small "surprise" somewhere in the cake or muffin or cookes for some lucky guest to chomp down on. It doesn't have to be a diamond ring, but a trinket of some sort is always fun. 


If that is too challenging for your skills as a confectioner, then just an ordinary cake with the letters "A-N-T-I-N-O-U-S" in store-bought candy lettering would do the job just as nicely. 

Or just a large "A" in icing in the middle of the cake.

Another tradition should be oracle games. This is the first major festival of the New Year in the Antinoian liturgical calendar, so oracles are appropriate.

And when your guests suggest you are robbing traditions from Christian festivals, just look them square in the eye and insist that the Christians stole these wonderful traditions from us pagans because the Christians didn't have any of their own. Where would Christian holidays be without pagan traditions?

Who knows? Perhaps Hadrian and Antinous enjoyed these very same pagan traditions in their Saturnalia revelries.

One more thing: Mistletoe. Mistletoe is plentiful in the forests of Bithynia. Antinous would be well familiar with mistletoe. I'm sure he would like it as a reminder of his boyhood hikes through the woods of home.

Use your imagination and you'll come up with lots of ideas.

Let the Festive Season Begin with an Antinous Birthday Party!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

YOU CAN COPY BRITISH MUSEUM
TREASURES THROUGH 3-D PRINTING



FOLLOWING in the footsteps of New York's Metropolitan Museum, London's British Museum is about to revolutionize the gift shop experience by allowing visitors to download and 3-D print replicas of its priceless antiques and artifacts.

Given the size of the museum's collection it will hopefully be posting hundreds of artifacts for visitors to download and 3D print. 


But for now there are just 14 3D models available on Sketchfab, including everything from a bust of Amenemhat III, an iconic Hoa Hakananai'a statue from Easter Island, and even an Egyptian granite sarcophagus—although you'll have to settle for a plastic version if you're making a copy at home with your 3D printer. [Sketchfab via SlashGear]

Monday, November 24, 2014

HOW THE ROMANS WORKED SILVER
ON VIEW AT THE GETTY VILLA



ANCIENT Roman silversmiths developed their craft to the highest levels of refinement and beauty. 

Applying fire and basic tools to the shaping of precious metals, many of their sophisticated techniques are still used today. 


This video illustrates the making of a stunning silver cup that has survived from the 1st Century AD.

This cup is on view at the GETTY VILLA in Malibu, California, from November 19, 2014, to August 17, 2015, in the exhibition "Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville": http://bit.ly/13Oxl7s

Subscribe NOW to the Getty Museum channel: http://bit.ly/gettymuseumyoutube

Love art? Follow the Getty Villa on Google+ to stay in touch: http://bit.ly/gettygoogleplus

Sunday, November 23, 2014

EXPERTS DECIPHER MAGICAL SPELL BOOK
FOUND NEAR ANTINOOPOLIS IN EGYPT



AN ancient Egyptian handbook containing magic spells in use in or near Antinoopolis has been deciphered by Australian scientists.

The Handbook of Ritual Power – as named by the researchers – explains how to cast love spells, exorcise evil spirits and treat 'black jaundice', a fatal infection still present today.

According to Live Science, the text is written in Coptic and the book is made of bound parchmentpapers. It is about 1,300 years old and was first acquired by Macquarie University in 1981 from antiques dealer Michael Fackelmann.

However, where Fackelmann first got the handbook from is unknown.

"The dialect suggests an origin in Upper Egypt, perhaps in the vicinity of Ashmunein/Hermopolis," which is directly across the Nile from Antinoopolis, researchers Malcolm Choat and Iain Gardner wrote in their book A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power.

Antinoopolis was always a place of "magic, sorcery and strange religious fervor " according to Royston Lambert in his authoritative book about Antinous, BELOVED AND GOD

We know that the priests of Antinous wrote a LOVE SPELL. Lambert notes that even to this day local villagers believe the place to be haunted.

The ancient Egyptian magic spell book starts with a long series of invocations, annotated with drawings and "words of power", they say.

"These are followed by a number of prescriptions or spells to cure possession by spirits and various ailments, or to bring success in love and business."

The book, which is 20 pages long, includes a spell about how to control someone. To do this, people must say a magical formula over two nails, then drive them into his doorstop: "One on the right side (and) one on the left."

At the time the book was written, Egyptians had become Christians and it contains several references to Jesus. However, there are also mentions of the Sethians – a group that held the third son of Adam and Eve (Seth) in high regard.

Church leaders thought Sethians to be heretics and by the time the book was written, they had been all but wiped out.

The authors believe the handbook could be a transitional text created before all the Sethian spells had been purged. They told LiveScience they believe the spells were originally from separate books, but were later combined to create a "single instrument of ritual power".

Discussing who might have used the book, Choat said: "It is my sense that there were ritual practitioners outside the ranks of the clergy and monks, but exactly who they were is shielded from us by the fact that people didn't really want to be labeled as a 'magician'."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

SORROWING HADRIAN WAITS
FOR THE COLOSSI OF MEMNON TO SING



WE commemorate the solemn visit of a very grief-stricken Emperor Hadrian to Thebes and the Colossi of Memnon less than a month after the demise of his Beloved Antinous.

Antinous had drowned at the end of October and Hadrian had issued decrees establishing the CITY OF ANTINOOPOLIS at the spot on the shores of the Nile where his Beloved had died. 


Hadrian probably left the body with priests before the Imperial Entourage continued its scheduled tour up the Nile to the historic city of Thebes.

The Colossi of Memnon stand at the entrance of what was a great temple for Amenophis III.

The Colossi of Memnon at Thebes were mistakenly identified as such by the Greeks. They were the giant statues of Amenhotep III at the entrance of his now destroyed Temple. 


Memnon (left above) was actually the "brazen-crested Memnon, a comely man" according to Odysseus, King of the Ethiopians (Susa in the East not Africa) who came with a great force to help Troy against the Achaean invaders, and was killed by Achilles. At his death his soldiers turned into birds.

By the time Emperor Hadrian arrived, the statues were in a ruinous state and emitted a wailing sound at dawn when the rising sun heated the stone. Greeks and Romans traveled from afar to hear the statues "speak" to them. Hadrian left graffiti here.

Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA writes:

"After the death of Antinous, the Imperial entourage visited the ancient city of Thebes in the Upper Nile, it was the furthest south that Hadrian ever journeyed. The court visited the two Colosoi of Memnon, which are monumental seated statues of Amenhotep III built in the 18th dynasty.

"It was said that a ringing sound was emitted by the statues in the early mourning, and that anyone who heard the statues speak was favored by the gods, as the belief was that the statues were of Memnon, the son of Aurora. Hadrian did not hear the sound, but the empress Sabina did.

"The God of Thebes was Amon, the ram-headed, who was equated with Jupiter. Julia Balbilla, poetess and companion of Sabina, who was with the court throughout the voyage and was present at the Death and Liberation of Antinous, wrote these words. These are the first words written after the death of Antinous. They were inscribed, like graffiti on the Colossus of Memnon.

"'I, Balbilla, when the rock spoke, heard the voice of the divine Memnon or Phamenoth. I came here with the lovely Empress Sabina. The course of the sun was in its first hour, in the fifteenth year of Hadrian's reign, on the twenty-fourth day of the month Hathor. I wrote this on the twenty-fifth day of the month Hathor'."

Rather more recently, in the 21st Century, while researching his novel about Antinous entitled THE LOVE GOD, author MARTIN CAMPBELL made a pilgrimage to the Colossi of Memnon in the footsteps of the Divine Hadrian. He filed this report via email from Thebes:

"The Nile is noiselessly rushing by my hotel only a hundred or so feet from where I am writing.

"I have stood at the Colossi of Memnon and seen where Sabina and Julia Balbilla wrote verses about Hadrian.

"I walked around Luxor temple where Hadrian would have officiated as pharaoh. I have looked at the ruins of the Roman barracks where he may have stayed while in Luxor (then Thebes). I have been to the Dendera temple where Trajan decorated a temple to childbirth which may later have been converted to a temple to Bes, possibly by Hadrian."

The truth is that we all follow in the footsteps of the Divine Hadrian as he attempts to work out his grief in the weeks following the death of his Beloved and just seven days before the Birthday of Antinous on November 27th.

Friday, November 21, 2014

QUENTIN CRISP
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON November 21st the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Quentin Crisp, who died on this day in 1999. He was born on Christmas Day in 1908. 

He became a gay icon in the 1970s after publication of his memoir, The Naked Civil Servant, his true-life account of his defiant exhibitionism and longstanding refusal to conceal his homosexuality.

John Hurt helped to make Quentin Crisp a media star in the movie adaptation of The Naked Civil Servant in the 1970s. In a sequel 30 years later Hurt made him a screen legend, very much in keeping with the lifelong ambition of Quentin Crisp.

In the second film, An Englishman In New York, Hurt portrayed the elderly Quentin Crisp as the New York gay icon based in Manhattan's funky-gritty Lower East Side in the 1980s and '90s.

At an age when most people would retire to a nursing home, Quentin Crisp left his native England and moved to New York City, where he pursued a career as a bon vivant and raconteur.

Asked by a BBC interview if he intended to die in New York, Saint Quentin emphatically said: "Oh no, I didn't come to New York to die. I came to New York to LIVE."

Arriving in New York in his 70s, he lived in his accustomed artistic squalor in a Lower East Side walk-up with a view through a grimy window pane of the next door neighbor's grimy bedroom window.

Every bit the considerate Englishman, he turned off his bare-bulb light at 11 p.m. and sat in the dark, lest the neighbor complain the glare from the 60-watt bulb (through two filthy window panes) kept him awake.

Saint Quentin experienced a meteoric rise after his cunning agent launched him into a career as a raconteur in an off-Broadway one-man show and he became a movie reviewer for a Christopher Street magazine.

But he experienced a meteoric fall from grace when, during one of his frequent TV talk-show appearances, he flippantly remarked that AIDS was "just a fad" which would soon be out of fashion, and the gay community viciously turned on him. Quentin, who had never apologized for anything in his life (and was not about to start apologizing), was perplexed when he was dropped by his agent and editor until his eyes were opened when he got to know young artist Patrick Angus, who later died of AIDS.

But in a Hollywood happy ending, Quentin was rescued by performance artist Penny Arcade, who put him back on stage, and Christopher Street re-hired him, paving the way for a glorious comeback and reconciliation with the gay community when he was in his 90s.

It is fitting that most people know Saint Quentin only through these two films. As might be expected, the best recommendation for the films comes from Quentin Crisp himself, who once famously said: "Any film, even the worst, is better than real life."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

KLAUS WITZELING
A "BLESSED" OF ANTINOUS



ON November 20th we honor a modern-day mortal whose loving support has been instrumental in establishing the Religion of Antinous in the 21st Century.

Klaus Witzeling, born on this day in 1944, spearheaded the effort to expand our religion from North America back to its roots in Europe.

Born in Graz, Austria, he was trained as an actor at the famed Max Reinhardt Institute in Vienna before moving to Hamburg, Germany, where he become a well-known drama and dance critic.

His open gayness and his tireless efforts to promote new talent were instrumental in the resurgence of modern dance and independent theatrical groups in the German-speaking world over the past 30 years.

He was known for his fair and unbiased critiques. And he was especially noted for promoting obscure dance troupes and unknown actors. His insistent emphasis on furthering new talent helped to make stars out of actors and dancers who otherwise might never have become well known.

Modest to the point of introversion, he wanted no funeral services or wake. But following his death on September 29th, 2013, scores of theatrical directors, actors, dancers, agents and fellow journalists spontaneously organized a gala evening at a theatre in Hamburg in his honor.

As a Blessed of Antinous, Klaus intercedes on behalf of those in the performing arts who know the angst of standing in the wings ... waiting for their cue to go out on stage. We offer this prayer to Antinous for Klaus to intercede on their behalf:


May Klaus Witzeling have the gift of unlimited 
Antinous heka magic ...

May he have the gift of unlimited Semen of the First God ...

That he intercedes for those who dedicate their lives 

To the performing arts

That they stride onto the stage of life

With confidence and audacity

That they generously open their hearts

To the Homotheosis of Antinous

Living it in the midst of the challenges

And demands of their calling

As a spotlight on the dark stage of mortal existence

Shining as a beacon for those sitting in the darkness

That they might also fulfill their gay spiritual potential

Through Antinous the Gay God

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

FLUSHED WITH PRIDE, WE OFFER
THE LATEST UPDATES ON WORLD TOILET DAY



TODAY November 19 is WORLD TOILET DAY and we are flushed with pride to have kept you on the edge of your seats for two years with headlines on what's new in ancient toilets.

We were the first to report the discovery by Philippe Charlier, a Parisian forensic expert, that Ancient Greek ceramic discs which hitherto had been thought to be gaming pieces may actually have been used as a form of ANCIENT TOILET PAPER.


Charlier (pictured here) presented among other things, a Greek proverb stating, "Three stones are enough to wipe one's arse," as evidence that such stones were used to clean up after going to the bathroom.

This blog also was among the first to report on the discovery of the world's oldest WOODEN TOILET SEAT (top of entry) in September 2014 at Vindolanda Roman Fort near Hadrian's Wall in northern England.


The Vindolanda experts also unearthed a WRITING TABLET (shown here) believed to be from 105-120 AD. The tablet was found just 12 inches (30 cm) from the wooden toilet seat. 

The tablet is one of 12 found at Vindolanda this year and one of seven found from the same building level.

Andrew Birley, head of the dig, stated he was "looking forward" to reading the tablet's text.

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

Dr Birley stated : "If we are really lucky the person using the seat will have had verbal diarrhoea and we will be able to get their personal thoughts regarding life 1,900 years ago."

The Romans used wooden tablets covered with a layer of wax for writing. They would scratch words into the wax using a stylus.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

QUINTUS AURELIUS SYMMACHUS
VENERABLE SAINT OF ANTINOUS



WE are proud to consecrate Quintus Aurelius Symmachus as a Venerable Saint of Antinous for his unyielding efforts to uphold the Religion of Antinous in the face of Christian opposition.

A Roman statesman, orator, and man of letters who lived 345 – 402 AD, he held the offices of governor of proconsular Africa in 373, urban prefect of Rome in 384 and 385, and consul in 391.

Symmachus sought to preserve the traditional religions of Rome at a time when the aristocracy was converting to Christianity, and led an unsuccessful delegation of protest against Gratian, when he ordered the Altar of Victory removed from the curia, the principal meeting place of the Roman Senate in the Forum Romanum.

Two years later he made a famous appeal to Gratian's successor, Valentinian II, in a dispatch that was rebutted by Ambrose, the bishop of Milan.

Symmachus's career was temporarily derailed when he supported the short-lived usurper Magnus Maximus, but he was rehabilitated and three years later appointed consul.

Much of his writing has survived: nine books of letters, a collection of Relationes or official dispatches, and fragments of various orations.

Antonius Subia says:

In an age when almost all other Roman Nobility were turning away from our ancient Religion, this gentleman stood strong and faithful and was a voice of dissent against the tidal wave of Christianity that was enveloping the Roman world.  This was the time when the Ancient Religion of Antinous was finally suppressed and destroyed.  We can be sure that this Great Noble Roman was one of the last champions and defenders of our God.

The portrait above shows the Apotheosis of Symmachus ... a relief depicting Symmachus being carried up to the realm of the gods by two divine figures as though he were being deified.  The Zodiac figures may indicate that his Deification took place around the Winter Solstice.

Monday, November 17, 2014

MAN WITH LIGHT SKIN, BROWN HAIR
BURIED IN MYSTERIOUS AMPHIPOLIS TOMB



EXPERTS working at the mysterious large tomb at AMPHIPOLIS in Macedonia, Greece, have released this rendering of original appearance of the body which they claim to have found in the inner-most third chamber of the tomb.

The skeletal remains indicate the body was that of a light-skinned male with auburn-brown hair who was of average height for men in ancient times: 165 cm tall or 5 feet, 5 inches. The remains are undergoing DNA testing at special labs in Manchester UK.

It must be noted that this rendering by artist Demetris Aggelousis which appeared in "Ta NEA" newspaper is highly fanciful.

No armour, helmet, clothing or any other treasures were found with the skeletal remains scattered amongst the remnants of a wooden coffin at the bottom of a deep limestone block pit.

The skeletal remains and bits of wooden debris were interspersed by iron and copper nails along with ivory and glass decorative adornments for the coffin.

The discovery of skeletal remains raises almost as many questions as it answers, since wood was not thought to have been used for royal coffins in the time of Alexander the Great. Royals were cremated in Ancient Greece.

However, it could be the body of a non-royal person ... such as Alexander's lover Hephaestion.

The latest discovery comes only weeks after the archaeologists uncovered mosaic flooring of the second chamber ... revealing the Abduction of Proserpine/Persephone by Pluto. 

The symbolism of the MOSAIC, which was discovered in the second chamber along with CARYATIDS, vastly increases the chances that this tomb houses a member of the Macedonian royal family.

The Greek prime minister has said he is almost certain it must be the LOST TOMB OF ALEXANDER

Alexander sailed from Amphipolis to Asia. 

However, it is almost certain that his tomb is located in Alexandria, since people such as Julius Caesar, Hadrian and Antinous are supposed to have visited his burial site there.

Other candidates for the tomb include the MOTHER OF ALEXANDER or possibly Roxana the WIFE OF ALEXANDER or even his male lover Hephaestion.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

LOZEN, APACHE WARRIORESS
SAINT OF ANTINOUS



WE honor Lozen, the two-spirit Apache warrioress and holy woman who fought with Geronimo, and who was with his final band of warriors when they surrendered.

She is a blessed Saint of Antinous.

A contemporary observer said:

"Lozen had no concern for her appearance and, even though she is seen in several famous photos of Geronimo with his warriors, there is nothing to indicate that she is a woman. You would never spot her. She was very manly in her appearance, dressed like a man, lived and fought like a man. She never married, and devoted her life to the service of her people, to the very end."

Saturday, November 15, 2014

ROMAN HOMES WERE FULL OF BLING-BLING
AND EACH HAD A 'WINGED GENIUS' SOUL


"ROMAN houses were pretty bling-bling," says curator Pascal Capus in explaining why the exhibition of ancient interior design at the MUSÉE SAINT-RAYMOND in Toulouse, France, is entitled "L-empire de la couleur" (Empire of Color).


"Also, it is an exhibition on interior decoration in ancient times, covering three and a half centuries of murals, the 1st Century BC to the early 3rd Century, through 79 paintings, still lifes, fragments of walls," he adds. 

The exhibition opens today November 15 and runs through March 22, 2015. 

"We see how there for 2,000 years, Rome, capital of the world, influenced fashion in interior design and these trends were more or less followed through southern Gaul, the provinces annexed as Narbonne. 

"Besides fragments of painted plaster in the Musée Saint-Raymond, the exhibition includes outstanding loans from, among others, Pompeii and the Louvre," he notes.

"For me, the absolute masterpiece is the famous 'Winged Genius" of the Louvre, the 'Mona Lisa' of antiquity. This is the painting that was chosen for the exhibition poster," he says. "This is the first time that this fresco has ever been seen outside the Louvre."

The Winged Genius comes from the Villa Boscoreale near Pompeii, where it was placed near a door. 

From a distance, we see a young person with amber eyes and slightly dilated pupils who seems to be fascinated by something to the right. 

As you approach, you realize that this is not a human being at all. 

This otherworldly being has wings on his back, pointy ears and preternatural hair that radiates from the crown of its head like moonbeams.

This androgynous being has no nipples and no primary or secondary sexual features.

Where its genitals and legs should be, the artist has shown an indistinct formlessness ... as if it is an incorporeal being who is slowly taking on humanoid form as it rises from some sort of crystal vessel.

It is holding forth a tray or platter which it can fill with anything its heart desires ... and it offers this magical dish to someone very special. 

It is a genie rising from a flask ... or rather, a Roman "genius loci." It is prepared to provide anything and grant the slightest wish. Its platter is ready and waiting to be filled with bounty which the genius loci will offer effortlessly and lovingly.

In classical Roman religion a "genius loci" was the protective spirit of a place. It was often depicted in religious iconography as a figure holding attributes such as a cornucopiapatera (libation bowl) or snake ... or a platter

Many Roman altars found throughout the Western Roman Empire were dedicated to a particular genius loci, such as this one who apparently is the genius or soul or spirit of a household or of the head of the household, the pater familias.

Each individual person or place had a genius (genius loci) and so did powerful objects, such as volcanoes. 

We would call it the soul of the person or place, the spiritual essence distinct from but still possessing the character and personality traits of the person or place.

The concept extended to the genius of the theatre, vineyards, and festivals, which made performances successful, grapes grow, and fests succeed. 

It was extremely important in the Roman mind to propitiate the appropriate genii for the major undertakings and events of their lives.

The genius appears explicitly in Roman literature relatively late as early as Plautus, where one character in the play, Captivi, jests that the father of another is so avaricious that he uses cheap Samian ware in sacrifices to his own genius, so as not to tempt the genius to steal it. 

In this passage, the genius is not identical to the person, as to propitiate oneself would be absurd, and yet the genius also has the avarice of the person; that is, the same character, the implication being, like person, like genius.

The Romans believed it was immensely important to offer prayers to the genius of a home. We like to think that the Winged Genius at this French exhibition will feel thoroughly propitiated by having his image replicated on thousands of posters and museum catalogues ... not to mention in cyberspace thanks to blogs like this one.


Friday, November 14, 2014

MYSTERY GOD FOUND DEEP INSIDE A TEMPLE
IN THE HOMELAND OF ANTINOUS



A dig carried out by German archaeologists at the sacred site of Jupiter Dolichenus in modern-day Turkey, the homeland of Antinous, has revealed a unique Roman relief depicting an unknown god.  

The 1.5 meter (five feet) high basalt stele dates to the time when Antinous lived and it was preserved only because it was re-used as a buttress in the wall of a Christian monastery built over the Roman temple close to the ancient city of Doliche in Southeast Turkey.

Jupiter Dolichenus is a Roman deity created from the syncretization of Jupiter/Zeus and a form of Baal worshipped in the city of Doliche near modern-day Gaziantep on the border between Turkey and Syria.

The "mystery god" depicted on the stele appears to be far older than Jupiter Dolicenus. Apparently, this was the mystery deity's temple before he was Jupiter's ... and long before it became a Christian monastery.

The worship of Jupiter Dolicenus flourished during the reign of Hadrian and his successors, particularly in the Roman Army, where he was regarded as all powerful and strongly associated with victory in war.

The experts found images of Jupiter Dolicenus, as expected. 

But the experts from the University of Münster in Germany are totally baffled by the mystery god whose image was found deep inside the temple.

"The image is remarkably well preserved. It provides valuable insights into the beliefs of the Romans and into the continued existence of ancient Near Eastern traditions." says archaeologist Michael Blömer.

"However, extensive research is necessary before we will be able to accurately identify the deity," he adds.

During the 2014 field season, the 60-strong excavation team uncovered finds from all periods of the 2,000-year history of the cult site.

They uncovered the thick enclosing wall of the first Iron Age sanctuary and the foundations of the main Roman temple of the god Jupiter Dolichenus, who became one of the most important deities of the Roman Empire in the 2nd Century AD … when Antinous lived. 

Blömer describes the depiction: "The basalt stele shows a deity growing from a chalice of leaves. Its long stem rises from a cone that is ornamented with astral symbols. From the sides of the cone grow a long horn and a tree, which the deity clasps with his right hand. The pictorial elements suggest that a fertility god is depicted." 

There are striking iconographic details such as the composition of the beard or the posture of the arms, which point to Iron Age depictions from the early 1st millennium B.C.

The mystery god proves that pre-Roman beliefs continued into the imperial age. Experts hope to find an inscription identifying this deity.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

TIME TO PUT ON THE WAR HELMET
THAT ANTINOUS WEARS FOR MARS


ANTINOUS wears many hats … the winged hat of Mercury … the grape wreath of Dionysus/Bacchus … and one of them is the warrior's helmet of Mars.

Today is the day to put on the war helmet of Antinous/Mars yourself and discover your inner wellspring of self-assertiveness and self-confidence.

This is the most explosive week of the year when Mars aligns in conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn before squaring off against Uranus on Thursday … there might literally be explosions or at least volcanic eruptions when the warrior god teams up with the lord of the underworld and is at odds with unpredictable Uranus. 

Pent-up anger bursts out into all-out armed conflict. 

This is a classic textbook recipe for terrorist attacks. It definitely spells trouble for the world's hot spots such as the Mideast and the Ukraine. And it does not bode well for the Ebola outbreak either. 

On the personal level, you need to be on guard for outbursts of rage. The important thing is to be aware where your rage is coming from. 

Don't vent your rage on innocent victims. Instead, be consciously aware of the source of your anger so that you can harness the powerful energies of Mars/Pluto/Uranus to carry out constructive projects you have been stalling on for way too long. 

Each of us has Mars energy within us. Mars is located in the astrological birth chart of each of us, and his position determines how we deal with self-confidence and self-assertion.

It is very hard for most LGBTIU people to muster up self-confidence and self-assertiveness. If we speak up or assert ourselves, we think we are being aggressive and nasty. We are used to being nice, good, well-behaved people.


We tend to repress our "Mars Energy" and try to ignore it. But Mars is in the natal horoscope of every person on this planet -- even nice, good, well-behaved gay boys like us. A certain amount of self-confidence and self-assertiveness is very healthy and good for us.If we try to repress this gods-given natal energy, then the aggression turns inwards. 


The energy has to go somewhere, so it will revert back into our souls and destroy us unless we understand how to harness it and channel it into constructive avenues.


Transforming fear into strength is the hardest task any human being faces.


Mars energies are always tricky and potentially dangerous.


You must learn to harness it and channel it into constructive courses.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

SKELETON FOUND IN WOODEN COFFIN
IN MYSTERIOUS AMPHIPOLIS TOMB


EXPERTS working at the mysterious large tomb at AMPHIPOLIS in Macedonia, Greece, claim they have found a skeleton in a wooden coffin in the inner-most third chamber of the tomb.

The remnants of the wooden coffin were at the bottom of a deep limestone block pit.

The skeletal remains and bits of wooden debris were interspersed by iron and copper nails along with ivory and glass decorative adornments for the coffin.

The discovery raises almost as many questions as it answers, since wood was not thought to have been used for royal coffins in the time of Alexander the Great.

The latest discovery comes only weeks after the archaeologists uncovered mosaic flooring of the second chamber ... revealing the Abduction of Proserpine/Persephone by Pluto. 

The symbolism of the MOSAIC, which was discovered in the second chamber along with CARYATIDS, vastly increases the chances that this tomb houses a member of the Macedonian royal family.

The Greek prime minister has said he is almost certain it must be the LOST TOMB OF ALEXANDER

Alexander sailed from Amphipolis to Asia. 

However, it is almost certain that his tomb is located in Alexandria, since people such as Julius Caesar, Hadrian and Antinous are supposed to have visited his burial site there.

Other candidates for the tomb include the MOTHER OF ALEXANDER or possibly Roxana the WIFE OF ALEXANDER or even his male lover Hephaestion.

THIS STUNNING VIDEO RECREATES
LOCATIONS IN HADRIAN'S LIFE


A stunning video by the ALTAIR4 team of 3-D archaeological recreations portrays locations in Emperor Hadrian's life.

The video shows portions of Hadrian's Villa, Nero's Golden House, the Acropolis in Athens, the Temple of Isis at Philae and Karnak in ancient Thebes....


Click HERE for more 3-D archaeological recreations.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

NIANKHKHNUM and KHNUMHOTEP
SAINTS OF ANTINOUS


ON November 11th the Religion of Antinous honors two men whose love for each other has survived the fall of all ancient civilizations.

We honor Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep, Blessed Saints of Antinous.They lived in Egypt 2,000 years before the siege of Troy. 

They had been dead and forgotten for 2,650 years when Hadrian and Antinous visited Mennefer (Memphis) Egypt in 130 AD. 

Most likely Hadrian and Antinous stood directly on top of (or very nearly on top of) the lost tomb of these two men — two men who were buried together at the Memphis necropolis some 4,500 years ago.

When the tomb was discovered in 1964 it sent shock waves through the dusty world of Egyptology. The vividly painted reliefs on the walls of the tomb showed an intimate embrace between two male Royal Manicurists — the first recorded depiction of an openly homosexual couple.
Prudish Egyptologists have argued ever since that the two men were "just good friends" or perhaps that they were possibly "twin brothers".

But recent research by more open-minded archaeologists, such as California-based EGYPTOLOGIST GREG REEDER, has offered compelling evidence that the two men were more than "just good friends" or "close brothers."

Greg Reeder has written and lectured extensively on this extraordinary tomb, which was uncovered in 1964 in the necropolis of Saqqara at Memphis, on the west bank of the Nile. The site atop a cliff overlooking the Nile has drawn tourists since ancient times. Julius Caesar and Cleopatra stood atop this cliff and gazed in awe at its ancient tomb structures.

Hadrian and Antinous almost certainly stood on this very same spot in October of the year 130 AD, only weeks before Antinous drowned in the Nile. Beneath their feet was the Lost Tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep. The sand has been removed and now that long-lost tomb is no longer lost.

And what a tomb it is! It has a splendid entrance and charming layout befitting a pleasant gay holiday retreat cottage — for an eternal, never-ending holiday vacation.

While grave robbers stripped the tomb of relics in antiquity, the wall paintings reveal tantalizing hints about its original occupants. The men are repeatedly depicted together, sometimes holding hands, sometimes with their arms around each other.

In two instances they are shown with their noses touching — the most intimate embrace permitted in Egyptian art of the time — tantamount to kissing. Their bodies are pressed so closely together that their groins rub against each other in a decidedly intimate sort of way. 

In Ancient Egypt, such male-male depictions were reserved for kings who merged with gods, not for two mortal men.

They are so close together that some Egyptologists have theorized that they may have been Siamese twins joined at the hips.

Other figures, identified as wives and children, are relegated to the background. In one scene, in which the two men share a final banquet before their journey into the afterlife, Niankhkhnum' s "wife" has been plastered over by the craftsmen who decorated the tomb. Khnumhotep's spouse fails to make an appearance at all — highly unusual in Egyptian tomb art, if not totally unprecedented.

Throughout the tomb, the two men are depicted in joyous pursuits, such as this relief vignette (right) showing one of them playing flute accompaniment as the other sings.

The magnificent reliefs show a variety of scenes involving nude or semi-nude males involved in all sorts of artistic and manly activities, such as one scene (below left) of a sort of "Egyptian Rodeo" bull-roping tournament with accompanying scenes of a raucous "beef barbecue" feast.

Or the scene (below right) of athletic youths — so sparingly attired you can see they are circumcised — engaged in a playful mock battle using reed skiffs on the Nile.

Throughout the tomb, the reliefs show men, men, men (and a few token females) engaged in service to the tomb's two male occupants who are — unprecedented in Egyptian Sacred Art — wholly committed to each other. Other tombs invariably show man-and-wife. Not this one.

Hieroglyphs describe the men as "Overseers of the Royal Manicurists" to pharaoh. 
Ostensibly, they were responsible for the care of the pharaoh's hands and were among the select few permitted to touch the ruler. 

However, it is also possible that the title "Royal Manicurist" could be a ceremonial honor similar to the "Order of the Garter".

Though the hieroglyphs say nothing of the two men's relationship, Greg Reeder, an Egyptologist based in San Francisco, believes the wall paintings suggest homosexuality is the answer. Reeder points out that Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep clearly chose to depict themselves in poses usually restricted to husbands and wives in other tombs. 

"Same-sex desire must be considered as a probable explanation," Reeder said at a lecture in Britain which made headlines a couple of years ago.

"We can only say for certain that the carvings show a profound intimacy between the two men, and the people who built the tomb were possibly unsure how to portray this," the US archaeologist noted.

The tomb was restored by German archaeologists in the late 1970s and opened to the public in the 1990s.

While gay tour operators have not targeted the site, in large part because Egypt outlaws homosexual activity, Greg Reeder's articles and lectures have created gay interest in this long-lost tomb.

"It has now become famous and lots of gay tourists go there," he says with scholarly pride.

Reeder notes that, regardless of whether the two men were sexual lovers, they were definitely two men who loved each other so much that they wanted to spend all eternity in an intimate embrace.

Even their two names are intertwined. Over the entrance to one chamber their names are mingled together so that Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep become "NiankhKHNUMhotep" — Peace and Life joined in the ram-headed Source-of-the-Nile Deity Khnum, clearly their mutual sacred patron.

Thus, their names blend together, forming a single name: "Joined in Life and Joined in Peace at the Source of All That Lives and Dies and is Born Again for All Eternity". Such is the subtlety of the Egyptian language, which turns a name into a commitment.
Our Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus Subia says:
"Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep is one of the earliest and most vivid portrayals of homosexual love, crossing all boundaries, binding two men and two families for all time, and demonstrating the profound antiquity and sacredness of our form of love." 
Thanks largely to the bold and candid research of Greg Reeder, the names of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep have been rescued from oblivion, so that their KAs might live forever — together!