Monday, February 29, 2016

ON LEAP YEAR DAY YOUR LOVE SPELLS
REALLY DO COME TRUE



IT is the 29th of February 2016 ... Happy Leap Year Day! 

On this day Antinous/Amor/Eros shoots his arrows and all must obey! There is an old tradition that women can propose marriage to any man they fancy today.

In folk lore, an "old maid" (a euphemism for a witch or magical person) uses the special powers of Leap Year Day to concoct a love potion which is foolproof.

In popular folklore, a "spinster" (from the Old English word for a woman who spins a web of magical spells) uses enchantments to cook foods ... especially sweets ... which contain magical charms which cause a man to fall hopelessly in love with her.

In Britain there is even an act of Parliament dated 1228 which reads: "Gif he refuses to tak hir to be his wyf, he shale be mulct in the sum of ane hundrity punches, or less, as his estait may bee, except and alwais gif he can make it appeare that he is betrothit to anither woman, then he schall be free."

But the tradition applies to all couples! If you ask someone to marry you today ... that person will say yes!

MARCUS AURELIUS AND LUCIUS VERUS
BECOME CO-EMPERORS OF ROME



ON the Death and Apotheosis of Antoninus Pius in March 161 AD, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus became co-Emperors, both surnamed Antoninus, a name which the ancient Romans equate with inestimable glory.

Marcus being the elder and wiser, was given the title Augustus, while Lucius took the name Caesar. 

They remained cordial to one another though their vastly different characters were always a cause of discord, though never of rivalry or outright animosity.

They were a harmonious and cooperative pair of rulers, the only example of effective imperial brotherhood in the long history of Rome.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, February 27, 2016

EARLIEST WINE BAR AND BISTRO IN FRANCE
DATES BACK 2,100 YEARS TO ROME



EXPERTS have found the earliest wine bar and bistro on the French Riviera, dating back 2,100 years to Roman times.

The "taberna" (Latin for "tavern") was located near the Mediterranean beach in the Montpellier suburb of Lattes, called Lattara in Roman times.

The ruins are located at the port so that it probably provided a venue for orgiastic parties at night while providing cheap lunches for sailors and dock workers during the day.

The tavern dates back to anywhere between 125 and 75 BC.

According to archaeologists, local inhabitants of Lattara earned their livelihood through farming. 

As Romans conquered the place in the late 2nd Century BC, the region's economy saw changes in terms of new kinds of jobs and dining outside could be one of them.

"If you're not growing your own food, where are you going to eat?," archaeologist and co-author of the study Benjamin Luley of Gettysburg College in the US state of Pennsylvania said, according to USA Today

"The Romans, in a very practical Roman way, had a very practical solution ... a tavern," he added.

Luley and his co-researcher, Gaël Piquès of France's National Center for Scientific Research, first thought that they had found an ancient Roman bakery as remains of three ovens typically used for baking bread were uncovered during excavation of one of the rooms of the 2,100-year-old complex.

However, earthen benches lining the walls and a charcoal-burning fireplace in the middle of the floor found in another room suggest that the complex was a sit-down joint.

Debris of fancy drinking bowls and bones of fish, sheep and cattle were found scattered on the floor further hinting that the place was a drinking place that also served food, what is now called a pub, the researchers noted. The drinking bowls were probably imported from Italy, they added.

The dining complex is dubbed one of the first-of-its-kind to be found in the region. The discovery is significant to understand the social change in the region following Roman invasion.

"Despite being institutions of major social importance throughout the Roman world, taverns remain poorly understood archaeologically. 

"The identification of one such possible tavern at the Iron Age and Roman site of Lattara in Mediterranean France is hence a discovery of special significance," the archaeologists wrote in their study published in the February 2016 issue of the journal Antiquity.


"Not only is the tavern the earliest of its kind in the region, it also serves as an invaluable indicator of the changing social and economic infrastructure of the settlement and its inhabitants following the Roman conquest of Mediterranean Gaul in the late second century BC," they claimed.

Friday, February 26, 2016

A TWIST (OR CURL) IN ART HISTORY:
EXPERTS STUDY ANTINOUS' HAIR



ART historians study the hair of Antinous in detail. Incredibly, each and every curl of his hair has a special position and form. 

It seems apparent that Hadrian gave explicit instructions to the sculptors. 

Priest Uendi, known for her ironic sense of humor, made plaster curls as modern relics.

Os historiadores de arte estudar o cabelo de Antinous em detalhe. Incrivelmente , cada cacho de seu cabelo tem uma posição especial e forma. Parece evidente que Adriano deu instruções explícitas para os escultores . Sacerdote Uendi , conhecida por seu senso de humor irônico , feito cachos de gesso como relíquias modernos.

Los historiadores del arte estudian el pelo de Antinoo en detalle. Increíblemente , todos y cada rizo de su cabello tiene una posición especial y la forma. Parece evidente que Adriano dio instrucciones explícitas a los escultores . Sacerdote Uendi , conocido por su sentido del humor irónico , hecha de yeso rizos como reliquias modernas .

Thursday, February 25, 2016

BERLIN OPENS FIRST SHELTER
FOR GAY AND TRANS SYRIAN REFUGEES



A shelter has been opened in Berlin to house LGBTIQ refugees from Syria who face homophobic abuse at other refugee centers.

It will house 122 refugees ... which organizers admit is a small number ... but a vital step towards providing much-needed help to gay and trans refugees.

In some cases, refugees whose sexuality is not demonstrably straight are attacked, sexually groped and physically abused by homophobic refugees.


Germany has had an influx of one million refugees from war-torn Syria and the Mideast over the past 12 months and an undetermined number of those refugees are LGBTIQ asylum seekers fleeing persecution and death in their homelands.

Organizations in Germany earlier ISSUED AN APPEAL for Germans to open their homes to gay Syrian refugees who face discrimination from other refugees ... and death threats from radical Islamic militants.

Gay Syrians arriving at refugee camps in Germany say they have been subjected to verbal and even physical attacks from other refugees during the long trek from their war-torn homeland.

While the news cameras focus on families with small children, most of the refugees are in fact young adult males ... and between 5 and 10 per cent are gay or bisexual, according to German LGBT groups reaching out to gay refugees.


In Syria, they faced the threat of death at the hands of DAESH Islamic State barbarians who have executed scores of gay men ... throwing them from tall buildings and stoning them to death if they survive the fall.

At least 26 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN MURDERED because DAESH suspected they were gay, but that number is difficult to confirm and 
potentially much higher.

But even after they arrive safely in Germany, gays and lesbians are the victims of homophobia, according to German LGBT groups.

German television reported Thursday that DAESH militants have infiltrated some refugee camps.

"They shout Koran verses all night and scream that they will kill anyone who stands in their way," a Syrian refugee told ARD television. "A friend of mine was beheaded in Syria, so I am scared out of my wits."

Even less militant refugees are hostile towards LGBT refugees in their midst.

"Right now we are handling the case of a man who is in a refugee camp in Magdeburg in eastern Germany who says he fears for his life," says Mathias Fangohr, head of the Magdeburg Pride Organization.


"He is terrified that if other camp residents find out he is gay he will end up dead," Fangohr says. 

"He is totally traumatized from the ordeal he has gone through and is desperate for help," he adds.

The situation is compounded by the fact that many of the support groups are homophobic.

"We have trouble finding Arabic interpreters because many of them refuse to interpret for gays, whom they consider to be filth," he adds. "They won't even mention the word for homosexual in Arabic because it is dirty."


A Berlin group has issued an appeal for gays in the German capital to open their homes to LGBT refugees so that they can avoid homophobic taunts and humiliation at refugee camps.

The group has also launched a program for teaching LGBT refugees language skills and job skills to help them get on their feet in Germany.

With a falling birth rate and declining population, Germany has welcomed the refugees not only on humanitarian grounds ... but also as a boost to immigration.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

GAY PILGRIMS TREK TO TAIWAN
TO PRAY FOR LOVE AT GAY TEMPLE



THOUSANDS of gay pilgrims are converging on Taiwan to pray at a temple to the Chinese "Rabbit God" of homosexuality.

Taiwan is leading the way in LGBTIQ rights in Asia. In January, a new president came into office promising to support same-sex marriage.

Beyond marriage equality, Taiwan has distinguished itself from its neighbors in relation to a variety of LGBTIQ rights issues. Taipei hosts the largest pride parade in the region, attracting 80,000 participants, including a range of politicians from across the political spectrum. 

Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression has been prohibited in education since 2003, while employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has been prohibited since 2007.

And ... a Taoist temple in Taiwan is attracting throngs of gay worshippers looking for blessings and for a suitable partner.

The Wei-ming temple in Tapei draws 9,000 pilgrims a year, looking for priest Lu Wei-ming (shown above and at left) to perform a love ceremony for them.

"This was a group with no one to look after them, and I wanted to fill that void," says 28-year-old Lu, who took a vow of celibacy and won't discuss his sexuality. 

He opened the temple in 2006 and dedicated it to Tu Er Shen, or the Rabbit God ... "Rabbit" being a historical slur for homosexuals in China.

Just as Antinous the Gay God is being re-discovered in the West, Hu Tianbao alias Tu Er Shen the "Rabbit God" is being rediscovered by Chinese gay people. 

Incredibly, both deities involve young gay men who were in love with men of high standing ... and who died tragically ... and who became gods of the spiritual essence of homosexuality. 

Antinous is a true-life historical figure, of course, but his Chinese counterpart is shrouded in myth and legend ... involving rabbits.

According to Zi Bu Yu (子不語), a book written by Yuan Mei (袁枚, a Qing dynasty writer), Tu Er Shen (兔兒神 or 兔神) was a mortal man called Hu Tianbao (胡天保).

Hu Tianbao fell in love with a very handsome imperial inspector of Fujian Province. One day Hu Tianbao was caught peeping on the inspector through a toilet wall, at which point he came out to the other man. To save face, the imperial inspector had no choice but to have Hu Tianbao beaten to death.

One month after Hu Tianbao's death, he is said to have appeared to a man from his hometown in a dream, claiming that since his crime was one of love, the gods decided to right the injustice by appointing him the god and safeguarder of homosexual affections.


After his dream the man erected a shrine to Hu Tianbao, which became very popular in Fujian province, so much so that in late Qing times, the cult of Hu Tianbao was suppressed by the homophobic Qing government.

A slang term for homosexuals in late imperial China was Tuzi (兔子) (bunnies) which is why Hu Tianbao is referred to as the RABBIT GOD, although in fact he has nothing to do with rabbits and should not be confused with TU-ER-YE (兔儿爷) the famous "Rabbit in the Moon" which is the Chinese version of the "Man in the Moon".

However, the rabbit association stuck, and even today his devotees portray him with rabbit ears and make offerings of carrots to his altars. The handsome statuette in this image is lovingly clothed in a rabbit-fur cloak.

While no one knows if gays in mainland China worship him ... the temple in Yonghe city (永和市)in Taiwan venerates Hu Tianbao, alias Tu Er Shen. The temple is known as the RABBIT TEMPLE (兔兒廟). The address is Taipei, Yonghe City, Yonghe Road Section 1, Alley 37, No 12.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

HIDDEN CHAMBERS IN TUT'S TOMB
'FULL OF TREASURES,' OFFICIAL SAYS



THE hidden chambers behind secret doors in Tutankhamun's tom are "full of treasures," a high-ranking Egyptian official reportedly has divulged.


The Tourism Minister of Egypt Hisham Zaazou may have slipped up during a recent visit to Spain when he revealed the startling information about the investigations into the chambers in Tutankhamun's tomb ahead of official press announcements due to take place in April.

Zaazou said that the hidden chambers have been found to be full of treasures and will be the "Big Bang" of the 21st Century.

According to the Spanish National daily newspaper, ABC, Zaazou made the sensational claims during a visit to Spain a few weeks ago.

"We do not know if the burial chamber is Nefertiti or another woman, but it is full of treasures," said Zaazou [via ABC] .... "It will be a 'Big Bang' ... the discovery of the 21st Century."

There has been no official word on the subject from Egyptian officials since last November when experts announced that scans prove there truly are chambers or passageways hidden behind secret doors in Tutankhamun's Tomb. The announcement followed three days of infrared scans. 

Dr Nicholas Reeves, who believes NEFERTITI could be buried in those secret chambers, says the findings appear to support his theory.

At a news conference in November, fittingly held at Howard Carter's Rest House on Luxor's West Bank, the Minister of Antiquities, Dr. Mamdouh El-Damaty, announced that the radar scans of Tutankhamun's Burial Chamber revealed there is a large void behind what we now know is a false wall in Tutankhamun's Burial Chamber.


The radar scans revealed that the transition from solid bedrock to masonry is stark. There is a straight, vertical line - the line that Nicholas Reeves first spotted earlier this year on high-definition scans of the tomb wall.

It strongly suggests that the antechamber continues through the burial chamber as a corridor.

Reeves believes that what looks like a solid, painted wall, is actually a ruse designed to foil tomb robbers. 

A number of other tombs in the Valley of the Kings used the same device. Tutankhamun's seems to be the only one that worked.

So what's next?

The Minister of Antiquities suggests that the next step is to drill as small hole in the wall of the side room known as theTreasury. 

It adjoins the "void" behind the wall in the Burial Chamber.

And, importantly, it has no painted decoration that could be damaged.

If a camera reveals artefacts within the chamber behind the wall, then a tunnel starting from the Treasury might be the best bet.

But for now, let's congratulate Dr. Nicholas Reeves for the results so far. He spotted something that ancient thieves, Howard Carter, and hundreds of scientists since missed - the outline of a hidden doorway in Tutankhamun's tomb.

Monday, February 22, 2016

TWO GUARDS DIE TRYING TO STOP LOOTERS
AT TOMB SITE NEAR ANTINOOPOLIS



TWO security guards have been shot and killed in clashes with anonymous armed men who attempted to loot an archaeological site near Antinoopolis in Upper Egypt.

The guards reportedly fought off the looters before dying.

They were in charge of the archaeological site of Deir el-Bersha … a scant 10 km (six miles) south of Antinoopolis. 

They died in a hospital after being wounded during the attack which occurred Friday evening, security sources told Youm7.

Deir al-Barsha is mid-way between Antinoopolis and Amarna, site of "heretic" Pharaoh Akhenaten's fabled "City on the Horizon" Akhetaten.

Deir al-Barsha is well known for its Middle Kingdom (2040BC-1600BC) rock-cut tombs built for the nomarchs of the 15th Upper Egyptian nom. 

The most spectacular of the tombs is that of Djehutihotep; an estate manager and high-ranking official. That tomb was in the headlines in May 2015 when looters hacked out a fragment of bas-relief carving (outlined at right).

A RAMPAGE OF LOOTING has also targeted nearby Antinoopolis.

In addition, the nearby MALAWI MUSEUM was ransacked and looted after rioters overpowered guards.

All of these sites are in a 12-mile (20 km) radius of each other.


Political turmoil in Egypt since the January 25 Revolution in 2011 and the subsequent security lapse left the country’s cultural heritage vulnerable to looting. 

In spite of the efforts of the Egyptian government in tracking artifacts smuggled outside Egypt and in auction houses abroad, the issue is still unsettled.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

UNEXPECTED ANTINOUS AT BRITISH MUSEUM:
COPY OF THE ILDEFONSO GROUP



ONE of the highlights for Antonius Subia during his recent pilgrimage to the British Museum was a "surprise Antinous" he had not expected to see.

It was a small replica of the life-size statue of Antinous as Castor and Pollux called the ILDEFONSO GROUP at the Prado in Spain.

"I was taken by surprise to find this," Antonius Subia says.

"It was the first time I've seen it … even if only a copy … it's a glimpse of what the real thing must be like in Spain."

Despite the head of Antinous the Gay God from another statue (left), the group is now accepted as Castor and Pollux, offering a sacrifice to Persephone.

Such an identification is based on the right-hand figure, who holds two torches, one downturned (on a flower-wreathed altar) and one upturned (behind his back), and on identifying the woman's sphere as an egg (like that from which the Dioscuri were born). 

Antinous Ildefonso Castor and Pollux statue ... Museo Nacional del Prado.


Antonius took these images from all sides:






Saturday, February 20, 2016

ANTONIUS SUBIA PAYS HOMAGE
TO THE COLOSSAL TOWNLEY ANTINOUS BUST



ON his pilgrimage to London earlier this month for a priestly conclave with Priests Hernestus from Germany and Martinus from Britain, our FLAMEN ANTONIUS SUBIA took these photos of the exquisite Townley bust of Antinous at the British Museum.

The 81 cm (31 inch) bust is on a pedestal adjacent to a bust of Hadrian in the museum's Roman Art galleries.


This bust is particularly special to Antonius because it was from a mold taken from this bust that an exact plaster replica copy was made ... the bust which adorns the sacred altar of the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS.

Antonius points out that the Townley bust was found at the Villa Doria Pamphili across the Tiber from the Vatican in the 1770s.

Apparently, there was a colossal statue of Antinous, bits and pieces of which survived into the 18th Century. An arm was still intact ... and the head was still pristine.

The head was converted into a bust (you can still see the seam where the base of the bust was joined with the head) and it was placed in a niche in a wall at the famous villa ... the home of the Doria family whose descendants included Andrea Doria, whose name is synonymous with one of maritime history's most appalling passenger ship disasters.


British art maven Charles Townley acquired the bust along with numerous other Roman art treasures and brought them back to Britain, where he remodeled his home in the manner of a Roman villa to serve as a fitting gallery ... stuffed to the rafters with the most fabulous Classical art collection in England.

Townley became a trustee of the British Museum in 1791 and, after his death, the Antinous bust and many other treasures were bequeathed to the museum.

The bust appears to depict Antinous as Dionysus/Bacchus since a wreath of grapes wound around an ivy vine rings the crown of his head.

The bust is colossal ... larger than life ... nearly three feet tall ... 81 cm.

"Just imagine how magnificent this statue must have been!" Antonius says.

These photos were taken by Antonius, showing the Townley Antinous from all angles:










Friday, February 19, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MINERVA


ON the 19th of February we celebrate the birthday of Minerva/Athena, goddess of wisdom, trade and commerce, arts and crafts, music, poetry, strategy and weaving.

She was said to have invented numbers and medicine and to have taught weaving. 

She knows war, being the goddess of strategy, but understands that there are both winners and losers, and rather than standing in triumph over her enemies, she empathises with them. 

Ovid called her "Goddess of a thousand works" and she can be approached in many ways. One of her symbols is the spider, as it weaves its web, she weaves the web of destiny, and into it the strands of magic. 

If you have been a victim of theft, then you can also appeal to Minerva for restitution. Image: Athena/Minerva by Chrisra.

19 de fevereiro é o aniversário de Minerva / Athena , deusa da sabedoria, comércio, artes e artesanato , música, poesia , estratégia e tecelagem. Ela foi dito ter números inventados e medicina e ter tecelagem ensinado. Ela sabe guerra, sendo a deusa da estratégia, mas entende que há vencedores e perdedores, e ao invés de em pé no triunfo sobre os seus inimigos , ela empathises com eles. Ovid a chamou de " Deusa de mil obras ", e ela pode ser abordada de várias maneiras. Um de seus símbolos é a aranha , uma vez que tece sua teia , ela tece a teia do destino , e nele os fios de magia. Se você tiver sido vítima de roubo, então você também pode apelar para Minerva de restituição .

19 de de febrero es el cumpleaños de Minerva / Athena , diosa de la sabiduría , el comercio y el comercio, artes y artesanías , la música , la poesía , la estrategia y el tejido. Ella se dice que tienen números inventados y medicina y tener tejer enseñado. Ella sabe que la guerra , siendo la diosa de la estrategia, pero entiende que existen ganadores y perdedores, y en lugar de pie en el triunfo sobre sus enemigos, empatiza con ellos . Ovidio la llamó " la diosa de un millar de obras " y que se puede abordar de muchas maneras . Uno de sus símbolos es la araña , mientras teje su tela, teje la red de destino, y en ella los hilos de magia. Si usted ha sido víctima de un robo , entonces también puede apelar a Minerva para la restitución.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

WE HONOR MICHELANGELO
AS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Michelangelo reminds us that male beauty IS divine.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

NEW STUDY LINKS INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS
TO ROMAN-ERA MUMMY PORTRAITS



THE fabled mummy face plates found at Antinoopolis and the nearby Fayoum Oasis have intrigued experts for decades … and now one expert says analysis reveals the stylistic techniques of individual artists ... and their artistic influences from the far corners of the Roman Empire.

These paintings, created for mummies in the heyday of the city of ANTINOOPOLIS, sharply departed from Egyptians' previous, simpler artworks and were among the first examples of modern Western portraits.

The mysterious FAYOUM MUMMY PORTRAITS date to 1,900 years ago, when the Roman Empire controlled Egypt and Antinoopolis was a thriving city.

Three such portraits of Roman-era Egyptians, found more than a century ago at site called Tebtunis, were created by the same artist, archaeologist and materials scientist Marc Walton reported February 14 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Identities of the boy and two men in the portraits are unknown, said Walton, from Northwestern University in the USA. 

But he said separate computerized analyses of colors and shapes in the stylistically similar paintings revealed that brushstrokes of the same width were used to apply the same pigment mixes to different parts of each portrait. 

All three portraits, for instance, included a purple shoulder sash that the artist painted with a blend of indigo and a red pigment derived from the madder plant.

Many pigments in the portraits probably came from Greece, Walton said.

Ancient Greeks' naturalistic painting style influenced the Egyptians' switch to portrait painting, he suggested. 

But the paintings also suggest even more distant influences: Walton's team traced red lead used in Egyptian pigments to Spain and wood on which the portraits were painted to Central Europe. Egyptians traded over long distances by 3,400 years ago (SN: 1/24/15, p. 8).

Now Walton plans to study 12 more Egyptian mummy portraits, as well as paintings of women in pink garb and ones of military gods that have also been found in Egyptian tombs. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

ANTINOUS RUNS IN THE LUPERCALIA
IN MARTIN CAMPBELL'S BRILLIANT NOVEL



THE brilliant novel about the life of Antinous "The Love God" by Martin Campbell describes how Antinous joined Roman Patrician youths in running the Lupercalia on 15 February 127 AD as "luperci" runners. 

As part of the ancient ritual, a priest sacrificed a dog and a goat and then smeared their blood on each boy's forehead. Here is the passage from the book (edited for space):

"Hadrian wiped each boy's forehead with wool saturated in milk, stating, 'Romulus and Remus were saved by Lupa who howled her joy at receiving a fresh kill from the Gods. In return Romulus and Remus laughed for joy at receiving fresh milk from the teats of Lupa'."

(Then the priests wrapped the goat's skin around each boy's waist as a loin cloth.)

"This was perhaps the worst part for Antinous. He felt pretty sick as the warm, still bloody skin was tied around his precious nether regions.

"The boys now had to run around the edge of the inner city walls using the strips of goat skin to fake flog as many people as they saw. Each person flogged would receive luck and fertility for the coming year.

"Antinous found no shortage of willing subjects. There was much hilarity. Some offered hands, others offered naked behinds … some attractive, some distinctly not. The latter got the biggest laughs … particularly if they were older men or plump ladies.

"It took Antinous two hours to 'run' a very short distance. Everyone wanted to be flogged by him specifically.

"It was clear that although this was, in theory, a fun event, to be whipped ritually by Antinous was taking on a more serious meaning.

"Women in particular seemed to be calling out to him with some desperation as if calling out to a God...."

Martin Campbell's book "The Love God" is available in paperback or Kindle: CLICK HERE

Monday, February 15, 2016

ANTINOUS AND THE LUPERCALIA


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, February 14, 2016

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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