Wednesday, December 31, 2014

THE APOTHEOSIS OF AELIUS CAESAR


ON December 31st we commemorate the Apotheosis of Aelius Caesar.

Hadrian adopted Lucius Ceionius Commodus Verus, and called him Aelius Verus Caesar (portraits by Priest Uendi).

It was said that beauty was his only recommendation. His poor health soon overtook him and Hadrian is reported to have said, "We have leaned against a tottering wall and have wasted the four hundred million sentences which we gave to the populace and the soldiers on the adoption of Commodus."

He died on the Calends of January in the year 138 ... only a few months before Hadrian ... from an overdose of medicine given to help him make a speech to the Senate thanking Hadrian for the succession.

After Aelius Caesar's death, Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius (September 19, 86 - March 7, 161) on the condition that Antoninus Pius adopt the younger Lucius Verus and Hadrian's great-nephew by marriage, Marcus Aurelius (April 26, 121 - March 17, 180).

Marcus later co-ruled with Lucius as Marcus Aurelius until Lucius' death in 169, at which time he was sole ruler until his own death in 180. Collectively, they are remembered as the Antonine Dynasty of emperors who ruled wisely over a period noted for its peace and prosperity.

In his classic text The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 18th Century historian Edward Gibbon considers the reign of the Antonines, as well as those of their predecessors Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian, the height of the Roman Empire, after which time the empire began its inexorable decline.

Aelius Caesar is a major character in Marguerite Yourcenar's epic historical novel Mémoires d'Hadrien (Memoirs of Hadrian).

Lucius, as we affectionately call him, is the recipient of much bittersweet love and adoration from followers of the Religion of Antinous

For us he represents so many pretty young men whose bright futures are thwarted by tragic illness.

Aelius Caesar is often called the Western Favorite, because of the possibility that he rivaled Antinous for Hadrian's love.

We venerate Aelius Caesar as the fallen Prince of Flowers, the spiritual twin brother of Antinous whose death is the end of the Saturnalia.
 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

'MY DEATH NEEDS TO MEAN SOMETHING'
17-YEAR-OLD TRANS GIRL SAID IN FINAL NOTE



ANTINOUS weeps for Leelah Alcorn (November 15, 1997 – December 28, 2014) the 17-year-old US transgender girl who committed suicide to make a statement about the societal standards of transgender people. 

A suicide note was published on her Tumblr page in which she declared that she wanted her suicide to cause an impact and create a dialogue about the discrimination and abuse of transgender people.

Meanwhile, Leelah Alcorn rallies are planned and a candlelight vigil is scheduled to be held at Leelah's high school near Cincinnati, Ohio, on January 3.

Laverne Cox and Emmy Rossum are a few of the celebs who spoke out after Leelah took her own life after struggling for many years as a transgender girl. 

At the Hollywood Temple of Antinous, Antonius Subia said he was devastated by the news, coming on the heels of many hundred deaths this past year involving LBGT youth.

"When these kids say that there is no hope for them, it's because that's all they see," Antonius said.  

"We need to look into our souls and see how we can change the world for them, what we can do to give them hope. The list of Saint nominations for 2015 keeps growing," he said.

"May Antinous take Leelah Alcorn into his arms and give her a place on the Barque of Millions of Years," Antonius added.

Leelah was born in November 1997 to parents Doug and Carla Alcorn. Her birth name was Joshua Ryan Alcorn. One of four children, she was raised in a fundamentalist Christian environment. 

In a suicide note, she referred to herself as Leelah Alcorn.

According to the suicide note, she identified as a transgender female from age 14, when she became aware of the term, having felt "like a girl trapped in a boy’s body" since she was four. 

She subsequently came out online, and turned primarily towards the internet for friendship. 

She attempted to convince her parents that she had to medically transition, but claims she instead received therapy and "biased" counseling from Christian therapists.

The note also describes her coming out as gay at age 16, hoping it would be a stepping stone to coming out as transgender at a later date. 

She wrote that she was instead taken out of school by her parents and cut off from the outside world for five months as her parents denied her access to social media and many forms of communication. She described this as a large contributing factor towards her suicide.

She committed suicide by walking into the path of a tandem-trailer truck on a highway near her home in Ohio on December 28, 2014.

BUT THERE WAS NO LAVA AT POMPEII!
BRITISH MUSEUM STAFF SHOCKED BY MOVIE




STAFF at the British Museum have issued a guide to inaccuracies in Ben Stiller's new "Night at the Museum" movie, which was filmed at the London museum.


British Museum curators and personnel were treated to an advanced screening of NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 3: THE SECRET OF THE TOMB and reportedly were aghast when a scene showed its characters fleeing from lava during the eruption of Pompeii.

The audience let out an audible gasp, with one woman screeching: 'There was no lava at Pompeii - Vesuvius erupted with a pyroclastic flow', The Times of London reported.

The ancient Roman town was buried in the deadly explosion not by lava, but ash and pumice.

British Museum staff have now provided an information guide to rectify some points the film portrays for the purposes of entertainment, but which have little basis in reality.

The museum doesn't have a triceratops skeleton. In fact, it contains no dinosaur skeletons as complete or impressive as the foreboding monster Ben Stiller's character faces.

In the film, two beautifully glazed porcelain ornaments, known as the Kakiemon elephants from 17th Century Japan, are portrayed as the size of real elephants. In reality, they are only 14 inches tall.

Although the museum boasts an incredible 120 human mummies, it does not hold the Egyptian pharaoh Ahkmenrah's tomb as scenes from the film would suggest.

British Museum directors have also been forced to remind visitors that it does not hold a 'nine-headed demon snake cast in bronze'. The monster was a feature of Chinese mythology but the museum hold such object.

Medieval period enthusiasts will be disappointed to hear that the museum holds nothing that could be attributed to Sir Lancelot ... who the curators gently remind is a fictional character ... after he makes an appearance in the film.


Nor does it have a 'medieval gallery' through which Ben Stiller's character is chased by the museum's fictional triceratops.

Sian Toogood, the musesum's broadcast manager, told The Times curators instinctively disliked inaccuracies, but she was hoping the film would draw in new visitors despite a few liberties being taken.



Monday, December 29, 2014

THE BRAVE HOPLITE BUGLER BOY
WIELDS HIS PIPES AS A SONIC WEAPON



HOPLITES invade Holborn in the heart of London! We love this photo of historical men in full Hoplite gear on their way to a historical reenactment event. They form a phalanx which commuters can't get through.

The "phalanx" of Ancient Greece was a formation in which the "hoplites" (warriors) would line up in ranks in close order. 

The hoplites would lock their shields together, and the first few ranks of soldiers would project their spears out over the first rank of shields. 

The phalanx therefore presented a shield wall and a mass of spear points to the enemy, making frontal assaults against it very difficult. 

It also allowed a higher proportion of the soldiers to be actively engaged in combat at a given time (rather than just those in the front rank).


This image is from the Chigi Vase, found in an Etruscan tomb. This famous frieze shows Greek hoplites marching into battle. 

Note the brave bugler boy just behind the front row, channeling all his terror into his pipes, creating a banshee wail which amplifies all the fear.

Wielding his pipes like a sonic weapon, he sends the sound into the ranks of the enemy ... penetrating their skulls and deep, deep into their hearts and souls.

The bugler boy wields the sound of his horn as a powerful weapon ... blaring his own fear through the trumpet ... into the heart of the enemy. 

This is one of the great mystery teachings of the SACRED BAND OF THEBES ... the "Army of Gay Lovers" 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

EDWARD PERRY 'NED' WARREN
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON December 28th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Saint Edward Perry "Ned" Warren, who died on this day in 1928. 

Estranged and ostracized by "decent" socialites, Saint Ned Warren was a famed gay Bostonian art collector who virtually single-handedly built up the collections of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and Boston Museum of Fine Arts through his passion for Classical art.

As a sissified schoolboy who suffered the taunts of bullies, he wrote a poem comparing a classmate in whom he was infatuated to Antinous.

He and his lover John Marshall travelled around Europe seeking out and buying art treasures for great museums. They were referred to snidely as "the bachelors of art" among society circles in Britain and America. 

But Warren was so fabulously rich, and museums depended on him  so much, that nobody dared say anything to his face about his blatant homosexuality. His gifts to the Boston MFA made up 90 per cent of its Classical collection, one of the finest in the world.

Even so, he found puritanical Boston deeply disagreeable, and spent most of his life in England when he was not at his apartment in Rome.

The famous Warren Cup and Rodin's statue The Kiss are just two of the most well-known objects he rounded up -- both of which were rejected by museums in Britain and America as being too raunchy. Museum curators feared museum-goers could be lured into thinking unwholesome thoughts.


Warren in fact actually commissioned the The Kiss from Rodin, explicitly saying he wanted large genitals on the man. To this day, photographs of the famous statue tend to avoid a full-frontal male view for that very reason.

The Warren Cup is a solid silver goblet which dates back to the 1st Century CE/AD and was found near Jerusalem. It is believed that it was deposited along with other valuables (some gold coins, jewellery and other precious items) in a cache by the servants of a fleeing Roman nobleman during one of several Jewish uprisings. It is even possible that it was buried during the uprising that was crushed by Hadrian's legions. 

The cup itself is considerably older, and may date to Republican times. And it is done in a retro-style which was a bit archaic even when it was new.

As the photos demonstrate, the Warren Cup shows two scenes (one on each side of the cup) of a man and a youth having sex on a couch. The silverwork is exquisitely done and the hair and draperies and facial expressions are beautifully rendered. It also reflects a bit of tongue-in-cheek wit by showing a servant boy peering curiously around a door frame at the lovers.

On one side a young man (barely more than a boy himself) is having his way with a young boy. On the other side, an older man with a beard is having anal sex with a younger man who is seated on top of him and holding onto what appears to be perhaps part of the drapes of a canopy bed. A servant looks on from the doorway off to the right side.

Saint Ned is believed to have purchased the Warren Cup from an antiquities dealer in Italy.
His efforts to sell it to museums in London and the U.S. were rebuffed.

The Warren Cup's unabashedly gay sex theme is impossible to ignore. The cup has been controversial in the art world ever since it first came to light in the 19th Century.

For many, many years, museums on both sides of the Atlantic refused to obtain it (despite its unquestionable value as a remarkably important historical piece of art) because of Victorian and Edwardian moral objections to its "immoral and beastly" theme.

At one time a curator for the British Museum was interested in acquiring the Warren Cub.

But other experts reminded him that one of the members of the board of directors of the British Museum was the Archbishop of Canterbury. The result was that museum officials were loathe to show his reverence even a photograph of the cup, let alone ask him to condone purchasing it for the collection.

So the cup languished in Warren's personal collection for many years and changed hands many times after his death, never ever being put on public display.

The British Museum finally purchased the Warren Cup for a large sum in 1999 -- and even then there was much titillation in the tabloid press.

Ned Warren wrote extensively about his views that homosexuality is a spiritual state of being, something divinely magical. Taunted as a schoolboy for being a bookworm and a sissy (he would get up at 5 a.m. to read Greek until breakfast), he nonetheless had many crushes on other schoolboys. He wrote about them all in his diary, and even wrote a poem about one especially beautiful boy whom he called a modern Antinous.

As an adult, he continued to proclaim his notion of idealized homosexual love, much to the distress of his family in Boston.

He even wrote a book entitled The Defence of Uranian Love about the same time that Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray was published. 

He also used his wealth to sponsor the educations of numerous boys and young men who showed promise but had no money.

He was very generous and had a big heart. For example, he heard that the daughter of a vicar in his district in England had become pregnant out of wedlock and was going to be forced to give up the child. 

Saying "this is as bad as Boston," he was so outraged that he legally adopted the little boy himself. He allowed mother and son to live upstairs in his home in England at his expense and loudly defied anyone to besmirch her honor or that of Travis, the little boy.

Ned Warren and his lover John Marshall had a stormy, on-again off-again relationship, but they were together at their flat in Rome in February of 1928. On the evening of the 15th, John went to bed early not feeling well. Ned tiptoed in later and kissed him good night and got in bed beside him. John was dead by morning.

Ned never recovered from that blow. He returned to England, where his health declined rapidly. Saying he couldn't face Christmas and New Year's without John, he died in a nursing home in England on December 28, 1928, at the age of 68.

He was cremated on January 1, 1929. But because he had always been blatant about his homosexuality, no members of his family attended the funeral and none of the museums that had benefitted so much from his largesse sent a representative to the memorial service.


His ashes were buried in the non-Catholic cemetery in Bagni di Lucca, Italy, a town known as a spa in Etruscan and Roman times.
  
We honor Edward Perry "Ned" Warren, 1860-1928, who wrote a poem likening a boy he loved to Antinous.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

THIS COLORFUL GOBLET REVEALS
ROMANS WERE NANOTECH EXPERTS



THIS colorful 1,600-year-old glass goblet shows the Romans were experts at nanotechnology, according to scientists.

The glass chalice, known as the Lycurgus Cup because it bears a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, appears jade green when lit from the front but blood-red when lit from behind—a property that puzzled scientists for decades after the museum acquired the cup in the 1950s.

The mystery wasn't solved until researchers in England scrutinized broken fragments under a microscope and discovered that the Roman artisans were nanotechnology pioneers, according to a report in SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE.

They impregnated the glass with particles of silver and gold, ground down until they were as small as 50 nanometers in diameter, less than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt.

The exact mixture of the precious metals suggests the Romans knew what they were doing ... "an amazing feat," says one of the researchers, archaeologist Ian Freestone of University College London (UCL).

The ancient nanotech works something like this: When hit with light, electrons belonging to the metal flecks vibrate in ways that alter the color depending on the observer's position.

 Gang Logan Liu, an engineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who has long focused on using nanotechnology to diagnose disease, and his colleagues realized that this effect offered untapped potential.

"The Romans knew how to make and use nanoparticles for beautiful art," Liu says. "We wanted to see if this could have scientific applications."

When various fluids filled the cup, Liu suspected, they would change how the vibrating electrons in the glass interacted, and thus the color.

The original 4th Century AD Lycurgus Cup, probably taken out only for special occasions, depicts King Lycurgus ensnared in a tangle of grapevines, presumably for evil acts committed against Dionysus, the Greek god of wine.

If inventors manage to develop a new detection tool from this ancient technology, it'll be Lycurgus' turn to do the ensnaring.

Friday, December 26, 2014

GRIEVING HADRIAN TRAVELS ALONE
TO THE LAND OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE



AFTER the tragic death of Antinous in the Nile in October of the year 130 AD, a grieving Hadrian had no choice but to complete his scheduled goodwill tour of Egypt and to head back to Asia Minor, the birthplace of his beloved.

Leaving Egypt behind, the Imperial entourage separated, with the majority returning to Rome, while Hadrian and his close circle continued into the Euxine Sea, known today as the Black Sea, going as far as the ancient city of Colchis in what is now called the Republic of Georgia.

Colchis was the destination of JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, who went in search of the Golden Fleece.

Not far from Colchis is Mount Caucus, where legend has it that Prometheus had been bound for thirty thousand years before being set free by Hercules.

This is the furthest East that Hadrian would ever journey, and it is possible that he carried the mummified body of Antinous with him.

Flamen Antonius Subia explains the significance from a gay spiritual standpoint based on the 72 days of the Egyptian mummification process:

"Spiritually, in the process of deification and triumph over the 72 Archons, we observe that Antinous confronts the 52nd Archon, who is the ruler of the four elements. Antinous is on the verge of leaving our cosmos."

Thursday, December 25, 2014

THE SATURNALIA
THE GOLDEN AGE OF SATURN


IN celebration of the return of Antinous Invictus, for the five days between December 25th and the 1st of January, we commemorate the Golden Age of the reign of Saturn.

This is a time outside of time, and an occasion for joy and freedom from the world.

The divine twins are born, Osiris and Isis, Seth and Nephthys, Castor and Pollux, Freyr and Freya (for whom this time is also known as Yule).

(Image: Antinous as the Ghost of Christmas Present by S.L. GORE.)


We celebrate the Saturnalia with indulgence and as the festival of Liberty and total Freedom. There shall be no authority and no submission during this sacred period.

There is to be no war, and no form of violence committed, only peace and harmony and the many joys of ecstasy are allowed.

The rejoicing of the Saturnalia ends with the apotheosis of the Prince of Flowers, Aelius Caesar, on January 1st.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

EGYPTIANS SAID YOU CAN TAKE IT WITH YOU
THANKS TO THIS WINGED SNAKE GOD



WE all know that the Ancient Egyptians believed you can take it with you ... that death does not mean you have to part with everything that was important to you in life ... but few people today understand that there was a far more sophisticated spiritual interpretation.

Yes, of course, the simple folk believed that you literally took things with you to the afterlife ... mummified body, ushabti figures, food, clothing. There was a huge industry specializing in tomb furnishings, mummification and supplying the dead with sustenance.

But the material goods in tombs were only symbolic of a far richer, and spiritually deeper understanding of "taking it with you" after death.

The curious-looking winged snake on the papyrus 
of the 19th Dynasty scribe Amenemwija in Berlin's Egyptian Museum hints at that far deeper spiritual meaning.

The deity is called "Nehebkau" (Harnesses KAs) ... and he is poised in front of the deceased ... taking in the every spiritual essence (KA) that the deceased wants to take with him in the afterlife.

The Egyptians believed you give up only those things you don't want to take with you ... you take anything and everything else which you deem worth saving for eternity.

Nehebkau represents an advanced spiritual element. In computer parlance, he "downloads" the spiritual essence or "KA" of everything you want to have with you ... and Nehebkau defrags and condenses everything for instant retrieval.

The "KA" is the spiritual essence of everything. Each human has a main KA plus many subsidiary ones. Everything has at least one KA ... every blade of grass, every object, every animal ... everything.

Nehebkau literally takes all the KAs of the person and all the KAs that the person wants to have with him/herself in the afterlife ... all friends, memories, pets, pleasant experiences, houses, furnishings ... the spiritual essence of EVERYTHING ... and then he "downloads" them by swallowing them into his slender serpentine body ... and condenses them like zip files and defrags them and compacts and configures them all into an infinitely small corner of his infinitely vast mind ....

It is important to point out that this does not mean that the dead person drains the life force from all friends and family and leaves them empty. It does not mean they all have to die to accompany the deceased.

Instead, it is exactly like "downloading" the essence of the persons or objects. The persons and objects themselves remain intact ... their spiritual essence is unaffected ... but Nehebkau has downloaded the spiritual essence to accompany the deceased.


Nothing is diminished. Nothing is lost. The KA is copied and saved and filed away.

And in the afterlife, the deceased retrieves any and all docs, jpegs, YouTube URLS and files ... eternally fresh and alive ... for all eternity.

We tend to buy the Judaeo-Christian idea of ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust which means that we must "let go" while our loved ones, memories and treasures all crumble away and end up on the conveyor belt of the garbage incinerator ... like the final scene from a "Toy Story" movie.

Or we opt for the Eastern idea that you become one with the universe and everything dissolves away into one-ness ... no self, no ego, no death, no suffering, no end to suffering, no end to death ... etc. ... like the final scene of a movie about Tibetan monks and a little boy from Seattle.

These scenarios would have been appalling to the Egyptians. You take whatever and whomever you want along with you into the afterlife ... no carry-on bags necessary ... everything is neatly defragged and compressed and configurated and stored away in the infinitely vast mind of Nehebkau.

Yes, all of your earthly friends, pets and possessions will crumble away ... but their spiritual essence has been downloaded as a back up for you to keep with you ... for all eternity ... thanks to Nehebkau.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

ODE TO CAPRICORNUS
By Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia



WITH the Solstice, the Sun enters the sign of Capricornus ... the Sun Sign of Antonius Subia and the home sign of the Star of Antinous

Antonius Subia says: 

Capricornus is Here Again!

Can't tell you all how relieved I am to see him!

Already I am feeling the alleviation
of proximity to Father Saturn,

And now we make our closest approach to the Star of Antinous!
So near...so far...could reach out my hand and touch him
and grasp dreams.

Help me Capricornus ... to climb to the summit,
not to be pushed down by the oscillations of fate.

Even if this mountain is no more than a pile of dung,
we Capricornians will always plant out flag at the top.

Not until we reach the place where we are closest to the gods

Will a Capricorn ever be content or happy or at peace.

Yet the thing that makes us so gloomy and hard on ourselves
is the cold realization that when we finally reach the top of the mountain

We will most likely be standing there all alone.

~ ANTONIUS SUBIA

Monday, December 22, 2014

STONEHENGE WAS BUILT ON SOLSTICE AXIS
BUT ONLY DUE TO ICE AGE FLUKE



FOR the first time, experts have found geological proof that the prehistoric builders of Stonehenge aligned it to the Solstice axis, and it has to do with an Ice Age "fluke" of terrain.

The discovery was made by accident during road work.

In what is described as a "missing piece in the jigsaw" in our understanding of one of the world's greatest prehistoric sites, excavations confirm the theory that its ancient processional route was built along an ice-age land form which was naturally on the solstice axis, according to Professor Mike Parker Pearson, a leading expert on Stonehenge.

The monument's original purpose still remains shrouded in mystery, but this is a dramatic clue, he said.

The route, known as the Avenue, extended 1.5 miles from the standing stones' north-eastern entrance to West Amesbury.

The discovery came only after the closure of a modern road which bisected the route, allowing archaeologists to excavate there for the first time.

Just below the modern road’s surface, they unearthed ditches dug by prehistoric builders.

Professor Parker Pearson identified naturally-occurring fissures that once lay between ridges which follow the route of the Avenue.

The ridges were created by Ice Age meltwater and naturally point directly at the mid-winter sunset in one direction and the mid-summer sunrise in the other.

Professor Parker Pearson is excited by the evidence, which he describes as "hugely significant".

"It tells us a lot about why Stonehenge was located where it is and why they were so interested in the solstices," he said.

"It's not to do with worshipping the sun, some kind of calendar or astronomical observatory.

"It's about how this place was special to prehistoric people. This natural land form happens to be on the solstice axis, which brings heaven and earth into one."

He explained that Stonehenge is "all about the solstices" and our ancestors could see this in the land.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

ANTINOUS INVICTUS AND THE SOLSTICE



ON Sunday at 23:03 Universal Time (3:03 p.m. Sunday at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous) the sun "stands still" ("Sol Stasis") — the December 21, 2014, Solstice. 

This is a special day every year in the Religion of Antinous for it marks the return of SOL INVICTUS, the Unconquerable Sun.

The return of the sun is the Conquest of Unconquered Light over chaos and darkness, the emergence of Phanes-Eros-Dionysus from the cosmic egg.

On this day, we observe the moment when the unknown god Bythus-Narcissus gazed into the pool of the abyss and saw his own reflection. His image caused the birth of the thrice-great Phanes-Eros-Zagreus, the saviors, who together are called Antinous Invictus.

The three-fold mystery of their birth is the descent of Phanes-Beauty, Eros-Love and Zagreus-Ecstasy into our world. These great spirits are the divine light of Antinous the God, it is their presence at the ground of our soul that is our immortal spark.

Within us all is the perfect image of the perfect face of light and love, a reflection of Narcissus-Bythus gazing down into the darkness of our world.

Antinous Invictus the perfect image of the perfect face of light and love will illuminate the way ahead.


It was Hadrian's dream to create the perfect civilization ... a civilization based on the Hellenistic principles of love, beauty, learning and tolerance. And it was his dream to create the perfect religion ... a religion which would encompass all others.

In the Northern Hemisphere today is the Winter Solstice and the days will be getting longer now. In the Southern Hemisphere it is the Summer Solstice and the days will become shorter now.


Wherever you live on this blue marble of ours, it is the same moment in the eye of Antinous the Gay God.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

EXQUISITE 'BIRTH OF MITHRAS' SCULPTURE
UNDERGOES RESTORATION IN BRITAIN



ON what is now Christmas Day, troops on Hadrian's Wall 1,800 years ago were celebrating the birthday of the god Mithras.

Born on December 25, Mithras was worshipped at sites on at least three locations along the Wall.

Now conservation work is to be carried out on a sculpture of Mithras which was discovered at Housesteads Roman fort in the 19th Century.

The stone relief shows Mithras emerging from the Orphic Egg – the symbol of eternal time.

The god is surrounded by an egg-shaped representation of the signs of the zodiac, representing the cosmos.

This is the earliest representation of the signs of the zodiac to be found in Britain.

It would have been lit from behind to present a powerful image for worshippers entering the semi-underground temple at Chapel Hill at Housesteads.

The sculpture is one of the main exhibits in a collection of Mithraic items from the Wall on show at the Great North Museum in Newcastle.

"It is one of the best collections of Mithraic material in the world," said Andrew Parkin, keeper of archaeology at Tyne Wear Archives and Museums.

Repair and conservation work will now take place on restoration measures carried out on the sculpture in the 1950s, which are deteriorating.

"It will be painstaking work undertaken by our experienced conservation team," said Andrew. He hopes the sculpture will be back on display in February.

The carving is usually on display underneath a relief sculpture which shows a scene of Mithras slaying a bull, which was also found at Housesteads and was a common depiction in Mithraic temples.

"Our Mithras stone is a unique and powerful Roman object that blends several religious traditions," Andrew said. "We still have offerings left at the museum at this time of year. Previously we've had a pot plant, pine cones, money and even a Chocolate Orange."

The stone is part of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne's collection.

The cult of Mithras was popular amongst the military and originated around 1400 BC in Persia.

It was confined to male worshippers and involved progression through several grades of worship with different ranks and costumes.

Mithraic temples have been identified in Northumberland at Housesteads, Rudchester and Carrawburgh, where three altars were found along with the remains of cockerels which had probably been sacrificed and statues of the god's helpers.

The complex imagery of the Housesteads sculpture suggests the sophistication of the cult at the fort. The celebration of Christmas became superimposed on earlier religious and ritual practices.

"To some extent there have always been mid-winter festivals at what is the darkest part of the year to mark the turning point when it will begin getting lighter," said Andrew. "In the early days Christianity was competing with a lot of different cults around the world."

Mithras was celebrated as the Lord of Ages and a god of light, who is often shown carrying a torch and bringing light to the world.

Friday, December 19, 2014

SEEKING THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT?
GOLVIN'S RECREATIONS OF EGYPTIAN CITIES



LOOKING for the perfect holiday gift? Look no further!

The out-of-print editions of French archaeo-artist JEAN-CLAUDE GOLVIN's highly acclaimed three volumes of gouache paintings of Ancient Egyptian cities have just been republished in one comprehensive, three-in-one volume.

L'EGYPTE RESTITUÉE offers Golvin's breathtaking paintings of Ancient Egyptian sites in their heyday.

They include his famous painting of ANTINOOPOLIS at the top of this entry.

All of the paintings for all three volumes originally published in the 1990s, but long out of print, are now available as one hard-cover book.

Rounding out the tour of Egypt is explanatory text by French Egyptologist Sydney Hervé Aufrère.

CLICK HERE for details in French. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

THESE AMUSING PHRASE BOOKS
HELPED ANTINOUS LEARN LATIN


WE can assume that Antinous spoke Greek as his mother tongue because he was born in Bithynia in Asia Minor ... so he probably learned Latin as a second language when he went to Rome with Hadrian.

Anyone who has studied Latin in school knows it is a labyrinth of complicated grammar ... notoriously boring to learn.


The ancients also had to face the problem. Clearly, non-Romans who wanted a career in Roman high society, the courts, civil administration or the army needed to learn Latin. 

So they did, and by the time Antinous lived, in the 2nd Century AD, the Greek essayist Plutarch was able to say that almost all men used Latin.

So how did the ancients do it?

Professor Eleanor Dickey (University of Reading in the UK) has shown in her outstanding scholarly edition of the "Colloquia" that, when it came to learning foreign languages, the ancients initially glossed over the grammar and began with upbeat bilingual stories featuring scenes and conversations from everyday life.

Professor Dickey lists 80 surviving manuscripts designed to enable Greeks such as Antinous to learn Latin. They consist of vocabulary lists (very big on food), grammars, and texts (these make up more than half the material, with Virgil and Cicero especially popular). 

These texts appear in two columns, one to three words wide, the Latin on the left, and the Greek — a word-for-word translation of the Latin — on the right.

Among these texts are the colloquia, bilingual conversational stories for beginners. 

They tell of schoolboys going to school, lawyers in court, trips to the baths and people borrowing money from a banker, summoning friends for lunch and visiting the sick. 

They are constructed in a series of easily-digested, phrase-book style utterances.

Here is one featuring a school boy perhaps not unlike Antinous:
Ante lucem — before daylight/vigilavi — I awoke/de somno — from sleep/surrexi — I got up/de lecto — from the bed/sedi — I sat down/accepi — I took/pedules — gaiters/caligas — boots/calciavi me — I booted myself/poposci — I asked for/aquam — water/ad faciem — for my face/lavo— I wash/primo manus — first my hands/deinde faciem — next my face/lavi— I washed/extersi — I dried myself/deposui dormitoriam — I took off my pyjamas/accepi tunicam — I took a tunic/ad corpus — for my body/praecinxi me — I belted myself/unxi caput meum — I anointed my head/et pectinavi — and combed [my hair]/…’

The Antinous-like school boy then leaves the bedroom with his pedagogue and nurse, greets his parents with a kiss and sets off for school. 

He greets the teacher, who kisses him and returns the greeting, takes his books (scrolls), writing tablets, styluses and ruler from his slave, rubs out the previous contents of the tablet, rules new lines, writes his work, and shows it to the teacher who corrects it and crosses it out. The teacher then orders him to read aloud. 

There is a squabble with a fellow pupil, the small kids in the class practice their Greek letters, and "Antinous" gets down to his grammar, parsing words and declining nouns. 

He goes home for lunch (white bread, olives, dried figs, cheese, nuts, water), and back to school.

These conversations are full of interest. When slaves fail to make the bed up properly, the master refuses them permission to go out for the night and says they will be in for it if he hears a single peep out of them. 

A man borrowing money at a bank asks what the rate of interest is — quibus usuris? The banker replies quibus vis — ‘Whatever you want’! 

Probably this was a polite convention: the man would not get his money if he wrote down the wrong rate. 

Likewise, the banker tells him to check that the coins he receives are not debased, and to ensure he repays the loan in equally good coin.

Two friends go the baths (towel, strigil, face-cloth, foot-cloth, balsamarium of oil, soap) and hand their clothes to the slave to guard against theft.

They exercise with a ball and wrestle for a bit (one of them is reluctant — non scio si possum — because he has not done it for a long time).

They pay the keeper and plunge in. Dried off, oiled and dressed, they buy goods at the bath-shop — chopped food, lupins and beans in vinegar — and go home.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

JALALUDDIN RUMI
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON December 17th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of the Sufi mystic Jalaluddin Rumi who dedicated his life to the illumination he received through the love of another man.

The mystic lover and poet Jalaluddin Rumi, better known simply as Rumi, was united with his beloved on this day. 

Born in Afghanistan in 1207 CE, his family moved to Turkey while he was still young. 

In the city of Konya, not far from the Bithynian birthplace of Antinous, Jalaluddin Rumi established himself as a traditional Islamic teacher.

But then one day he met Shams-e-Tabriz, a wandering Sufi mystic. 

Shams set Jalaluddin free from worldly concern and revealed the inward love of god as expressed through music, poetry and the whirling dance that simultaneously confuses and centers the soul of one who spins.

When Shams mysteriously disappeared, Jalaluddin went in search of him, only to discover that Shams was within his own heart.

From that day forward, Jalaluddin Rumi became a profound teacher of mystic eloquence whose poetry refers to god as the Lover within. 

The homoerotic character of Jalaluddin Rumi's spirituality, referring both to his love for Shams and his love for god, has ingratiated him to gay men because of the depth and sensitivity and sacred intimacy that his words exude.

Jalaluddin Rumi and his Mevlevi Order are the last remnants of the Bithynian-Phrygian ecstasy cults of Dionysus and Attis, and they are distantly connected to the Religion of Antinous, through the mystical charge of homoerotic spirituality.

Jalaluddin Rumi expressed total love, proclaiming that all religions were one. And on the day of his funeral, his bier was followed by a procession made up of representatives from five different faiths.

We sanctify Jalaluddin Rumi as a Saint in the Religion of Antinous. He died on December 17th, 1234.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A TRUE SAINT OF ANTINOUS:
GAY MAN GIVES LIFE TO SAVE OTHERS



A gay man's courage in the face of imminent death helped most hostages at his café in the heart of Sydney to escape ... though he paid for his bravery with his life.

Worshipers of Antinous in Australia and New Zealand have nominated Tori Johnson as a Saint of Antinous for wrestling a gunman to the ground ... giving a chance for others to flee to safety.

Tori, an openly gay man who had been with his partner Thomas Zinn for 14 years, was the manager of Lindt Chocolat Café in busy Martin Square in the heart of the financial district of Sydney. He was on duty when an Islamic radical held the staff and customers as hostages for 11 hours yesterday.

The gunman was identified as Man Haron Monis who was an a radical cleric.

Tori, 34, who was one of two persons killed during the Sydney siege, is being remembered as a hero for trying to snatch the weapon from the gunman to allow the other hostages to escape. 

Tori died in hospital after being shot by the gunman inside the cafe Monday. 

He was the son of acclaimed Australian artist Ken Johnson and his former wife Rowena. 

His parents and his lover huddled at Tori's home in the Redfern section of Sydney as reporters converged on the house.

"We are so proud of our beautiful boy Tori, gone from this earth but forever in our memories as the most amazing life partner, son and brother we could ever wish for," the family said in a statement.

Friends of Tori described him on Tuesday as "a loving, placid and very gentle soul ... a true gentleman".

Co-workers said they were not the least bit surprised at his bravery.

"He was an amazing man," said Peter Manettas, who worked with Tori for nearly seven years. 


"He was a selfless person who always put staff above everyone," Manettas said. "He always put himself second."

Others spoke of his loving compassion for everyone, even strangers.

When Tori heard of a 6-year-old boy (photo at left) who had never eaten a candy Easter egg because of a rare food-allergy disorder, Tori invited the boy and his family to the café. 

He created a giant Easter egg made entirely of pure chocolate … one of the few foods that the boy could eat safely.

"My son still talks about it all the time," said the boy's mother, Mercedez Hinchcliff. "It taught him that some people do go out of their way for other people."

Mrs Hinchcliff said she was heartbroken when she found out that Mr Johnson was among the victims of the Lindt cafe siege. She hoped his parents would take some comfort by hearing of their son's kind gesture towards her children. 

"We are devastated to hear of his passing and wish to pass along our appreciation of him and our deepest condolences to his family. We will always remember him fondly."

Monday, December 15, 2014

BIRTH OF THE DIVINE LUCIUS VERUS


ON December 15th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the birth of the Divine Lucius Verus, who was born 48 days after the death of ANTINOUS in the year 130 AD (Year 19 of Antinous). As an 8-year-old boy he was hand-picked by Hadrian to become future co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius.

And Hadrian's wisdom in choosing him was realized when Lucius Verus proved to be a wise and diligent leader who combined efficiency in government along with a sense of charisma and high-drama style.


A handsome young man with naturally sandy-blond hair, he instructed his team of imperial stylists to sprinkle gold dust in his carefully coiffed hair and beard to highlight the natural blond sheen. 

Verus led a high-stepping lifestyle and kept a coterie of glitterati, actors and favourites with him. He had a replica tavern built in his house -- a sort of in-house Studio 54 -- where he staged lavish parties with his friends until dawn. 

He also enjoyed roaming around the city among the population, without acknowledging his identity. The games of the circus were another passion in his life, especially chariot racing.


Lucius Ceionius Aelius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus was the son of Lucius Aelius Caesar, His mother's name was Avidia. After the unexpected death of young Lucius's father, Lucius Aelius Caesar, Hadrian then adopted Antoninus Pius to be his successor, and ordered that Antoninus adopt Marcus Aurelius, Hadrian's 17-year-old nephew, and the 8-year-old Lucius who took the name Lucius Verus.

As a boy Lucius Verus was educated by the foremost Roman scholars including the historian Marcus Cornelius Fronto. He was watched over by a devoted freedman of his father named Nicomedes, a name with Bithynian connotations and of almost homosexual allusion.

Originally Hadrian desired that Lucius should marry Faustina the Younger, daughter of Antoninus, but then Antoninus canceled this arrangement and Faustina married Marcus Aurelius instead. Lucius married Lucilla, the daughter of Marcus Aurelius, in 161 a year after becoming Emperor in 161.

War broke out with the Parthians and Marcus Aurelius sent Lucius Verus to head the Campaign, but he is said to have spent his time drinking and banqueting, leaving the war in the capable hands of his  generals. It was a wise decision. For this victory, he was awarded a triumph.


In general, the duties of running the government were left in the hands of Marcus Aurelius, while Lucius Verus spent his time with actors and musicians, and at the chariot races. 

He is said to have excelled his eccentric father Lucius Aelius in ostentatiously exhibiting his pleasures on an Imperial scale, much to the disapproval of the stoic Marcus Aurelius. The two co-emperors, however, always maintained cordial relations.

Lucius Verus was born in the year 130, only 48 days after the Death of Antinous. This is of course very important to consider, and certainly must have left a life-long impression of Lucius Verus. Considerations of reincarnation are open for contemplation.

His death in the year 169 was sudden and unexpected, occurring during a military inspection, likely due to dysentery or possibly smallpox, as he died during a widespread epidemic known as the "Antonine Plague". 

Despite the minor differences between them, Marcus Aureliusgrieved the loss of his adoptive brother. He accompanied the body to Rome, where he offered games to honour his memory. After the funeral, the senate declared Verus divine to be worshipped as Divus Verus.

Many people (even modern-day pagans) balk at believing in the divinity of the emperors, preferring instead the Classical deities of the Roman Republic.

Pagans find it extremely difficult to worship human beings as legitimate gods, because they have no believable supernatural powers, it's too obvious. There are other reasons of course, but this is one.

Why not Worship Lucius Verus and Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius and all the Antonines, why not call out to them, why not praise them and declare our loyalty to them and hope for whatever benefit we might gain? 

The odds seem as favorable with them as with anything else that people call Gods.

For this reason, among others...we turn to ANTINOUS...because he IS a human being...and he WAS deified...ANTINOUS is in every way Both God and Man...we can believe whatever we want about him...but only so long as we do not delude ourselves into thinking that we can placate ANTINOUS, that by worshiping HIM, that we will somehow purchase his good favor...that we will be rewarded for our good faith.

We don't see any harm in asking ANTINOUS to give us the Moon and the Stars and the Beautiful Things of the Land and the Sea...and we are proud to ask ANTINOUS to watch over His People, all the Homosexuals of the World, to protect them and Guide into the Future.

This may seem to be a violation of our personal creed of not asking for fulfillment of our selfish whims...but it is not a violation of that creed...perhaps because it is not for ourselves...and also because we  do not expect ANTINOUS to respond in any way or form...it is not so much a response from ANTINOUS Himself that we are seeking, but a Response from the Antinous within Our Hearts and from the Antinous within All of Our Hearts.

It is We who must watch over ourselves and the whole world...through the Power of Antinous Love within us all.

Lucius Verus IS a god and he represents the Power of the Antinous Love which resides within us all.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

ATHENS GETS A SECOND ACROPOLIS
MADE OF LEGO BY AN AUSTRALIAN



ATHENS now has a second Acropolis ... all the way from Australia.

Already famous in its own right, the LEGO ACROPOLIS OF SYDNEY has gone on exhibit at the Acropolis Museum in Athens after having been on exhibit at the Nicholson Museum at Sydney University for two years. 

Built by Lego-certified professional Ryan McNaught, the Lego Acropolis contains more than 120,000 bricks and took about 300 hours to build.

The buildings, including The Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, the smaller Erechtheion temple and the Propylaia, the monumental gateway, are made from gleaming white bricks.

''The model is as close to the real Acropolis as I could make it,'' he says. ''It's not an architectural scale model; it's more of a representation. The hardest parts were working out how to do all the diagonal lines.''


The Nicholson Museum, in Sydney University's quadrangle, is Australia's largest museum of antiquities and fast developing a reputation as one of the most innovative museums of its type for its integration of the ancient and contemporary world. 

Although the Acropolis is gone, the Colosseum is still in Sydney ... made entirely of Lego bricks.

The departure of the Acropolis makes room for a Lego Pompeii.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN COBALT GLASS BEAD
FOUND ON 3,400-YEAR-OLD VIKING NECKLACE


A thousand years before the siege of Troy, a woman in what is now Denmark was buried wearing a necklace whith "magical" cobalt blue glass beads which had been made in Egypt.

The discovery was made by experts from Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus, the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, and Institut de Recherche sur les Archéomatériaux (IRAMAT) at Orléans, France.

It proves that there was a lively trade route between northern Europe and Ancient Egypt in the era of King Tutankhamun … 3,400 years ago.

Experts have long known that Baltic Sea amber was sought after by the Greeks and Romans.

But until now, it was not known that the Ancient Egyptians, who were well known for their glass technology, operated trade routes that supplied Northern Europe with Egyptian-made glass.

The discovery suggests trade routes between Denmark and the ancient civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia in the Bronze Age 3,400 years ago. The discovery also gives us new knowledge about the sun cult in the Nordic Bronze Age.

Archeologists Jeanette Varberg from Moesgaard Museum and Flemming Kaul from the National Museum, and Bernard Gratuze, director of IRAMAT, analysed the composition of some blue glass beads found on a buried Bronze Age women in Denmark. 

Twenty-three glass beads from Denmark were analysed using plasma-spectrometry. 

Without destroying the fragile beads, this technique makes it possible to compare the chemical composition of trace elements in the beads with reference material from Amarna in Egypt and Nippur in Mesopotamia, about 50 km south east of Baghdad in Iraq. 

The comparison showed that the chemical composition of the two sets of trace elements match.

The researchers' first object for comparison was a bead from a wealthy woman's grave at Ølby, 40 km south of Copenhagen.

The woman had been buried in a more extravagant fashion, lying in a hollowed-out oak trunk and wearing a beautiful belt disc, a smart string skirt with tinkling, shining small bronzes tubes, and an overarm bracelet made of amber beads, and a single blue glass bead. 

The glass bead turned out to be Egyptian. This is the first time that typical Egyptian cobalt glass has been discovered outside the Mediterranean area. 

Now the researchers are linking amber and glass together in an unexpected way. One property that both glass and amber have is that sunlight penetrates their surface. The archaeologists believe this could be proof of a link between the Egyptian sun cult and the Nordic sun cult. 


When a Danish woman in the Bronze Age took a piece of jewellery made of amber and blue glass with her to the grave, it constituted a prayer to the sun to ensure that she would be re-united with it and share her fate with the sun's on its eternal journey.