Thursday, June 30, 2016

GAD BECK, SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ANTINOUS is the God of the Men with the Pink Triangles, gay victims of the Nazis. 

So it is with profound humility that we proclaim an anti-Nazi resistance fighter and the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust to be a Saint of Antinous.

GAD BECK died in Berlin in 2012 six days before his 89th birthday on June 30.

Beck was a pioneering gay activist and educator in a severely anti-homosexual, repressive post-World War II German society. He was famous for his witty, lively style of speaking.

On a German talk show, he said with a wink to his small physical size, "The Americans in New York called me a big hero. I said no... I’m really a little hero."

Perhaps the single most important experience that shaped his life was the war-time effort to rescue his boyfriend. Beck donned a Hitler Youth uniform and entered a deportation center to free his Jewish lover Manfred Lewin.



After bluffing his way out of the deportation center, as the two youths were hurrying down the road to freedom, Manfred stopped and said he couldn't go on. 

He tearfully said he would never forgive himself if he abandoned his family. So, with a parting kiss, he turned back and Gad never saw him again.

The Nazis would later deport the entire Lewin family to Auschwitz, where they were murdered.

Gad's only memento of Manfred was a little notebook with poems, sketches and essays which Manfred had written, plus a photograph. Gad treasured them all his life.

Speaking about his life as a gay Jew, Beck invoked a line frequently cited about homosexuality: "God doesn't punish for a life of love."

He was featured in the film THE LIFE OF GAD BECK (Die Freiheit des Erzählens: Das Leben des Gad Beck) as well as in the German documentary film PARAGRAPH 175. (The notorious Paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code outlawed homosexuality before Adolf Hitler became chancellor in 1933, and the Nazi party radically intensified the enforcement of the anti-gay law, including deportations to extermination camps.)

Aside from the two documentaries, however, he said with typical humor that he was still waiting for the blockbuster, feature-length movie about his life, and he knew just the man to bring it to the big screen.


"Only Steven Spielberg could film my life – forgive me, forgive me," Beck quipped.

He had immigrated to Israel in 1947. After his return to Germany in 1979, the first post-Holocaust head of Berlin's Jewish community, Heinz Galinski, appointed Beck director of the Jewish Adult Education Center in Berlin.

In a telephone interview with Judith Kessler, editor of the Berlin Jewish community's monthly magazine, Juedisches Berlin, she told THE JERUSALEM POST that Beck would organize gay singles meeting in the center.

"He was open, sweet and would speak with everybody," she said. Kessler, who knew Beck since 1989, added that he would attend the annual Christopher Street Day Parade for gay pride in Berlin and wave an Israeli flag.


Beck's father was an Austrian Jew and his mother converted to Judaism.

The Nazi racial laws defined Beck as mischling (mixed-breed), and he and his father were carted off to a holding compound in the Rosenstrasse in central Berlin. 


After the non-Jewish wives of the prisoners launched a massive street protest in 1943, Beck was released. There were "thousands of women who stood for days... my aunts demanded 'give us our children and men'," he said.

The Rosenstrasse demonstration helped debunk the widespread myth in post-Holocaust German society that resistance against Nazism was futile.

"The Rosenstrasse event made one thing absolutely clear to me: I won't wait until we get deported," said Beck.

Following his release, Beck joined Chug Chaluzi, an underground Zionist resistance youth group, and played a key role in securing the survival of Jews in Berlin.

According to the entry about him at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, he noted that "as a homosexual, I was able to turn to my trusted non-Jewish, homosexual acquaintances to help supply food and hiding places."

Shortly before the end of the war in 1945, a Jewish spy working for the Gestapo betrayed Beck and some of his fellow resistance fighters.

He was held captive at a Jewish transit camp in Berlin. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, Beck continued his Zionist work and helped Jewish survivors emigrate to Palestine. He remained in Israel between 1947 and 1979.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

AND NOW THE SEARCH BEGINS
FOR CALIGULA'S THIRD FLOATING PALACE


THE search has started for the third fabled Barque of Caligula in the waters of Lake Nemi outside Rome.

Marine archaeologists will be diving 33 meters to the bottom of Lake Nemi, 35 kilometers from Rome, for the "Third Floating Palace" of Caligula in mid-July. 

Two pleasure vessels were found in the 19th Century and there has always been speculation about a third ship.

The emperor was dedicated to the goddess Diana, whose temple was on the bank of the lake.

At his death, the Roman Senate decided to sink them as part of the effort to erase the memory of the tyrant Caligula. 

But for centuries intriguing clues were "fished" from the bottom of the lake: mosaics, pieces of columns, iron and bronze nails, objects of terra-cotta and a beautiful bronze lion's head. 

They were proof of the presence of sunken ships.

It was Benito Mussolini who, with dramatic solemnity, announced in April 1927 the decision to recover the submerged ships. 

Under orders of Mussolini the lake was drained and the vessels, in March 1929, the world was amazed when two ships were indeed found and were painstakingly retrieved and lovingly restored in a specially built museum.

Alas, the museum and its wooden ships were destroyed in a fire which engulfed the museum in 1944 attributed to retreating German occupation forces. 

Now only a few charred timbers at the Nemi Antiquarium recall the lavish splendor of the vessels.

Caligula, who reigned from 37 to 41 AD, has gone down in history as a crazed and power-hungry sex maniac who proclaimed he was a god — or goddess on days when he dressed in drag as Venus.

Caligula once set sail for Britannia on a war of conquest, then suddenly turned back and ordered his troops to collect seashells which he paraded before the citizens of Rome as booty from his victory over Poseidon.

He demanded that his horse, Incitatus, be given a marble feeding trough, robes of imperial purple and be addressed as "Consul of Rome" during state banquets to which the horse was invited.

At a gladiator show, the number of condemned men slain by beasts was insufficient to his liking, so he ordered a number of spectators to be thrown to the man-eating animals.

Once when Caligula fell ill, a Patrician prayed to the Gods, offering his own life that the emperor might live. When Caligula recovered, he reminded the man of his pledge, saying his fellow Gods would consider it a sacrilege if both of them remained alive.

So the man was compelled to commit suicide.

In early 41, Caligula was assassinated as the result of a conspiracy involving officers of the Praetorian Guard, as well as members of the Roman Senate and of the Imperial court. 

The conspirators' attempt to use the opportunity to restore the Roman Republic was thwarted when the Praetorian Guard discovered Caligula's lame and stuttering old uncle Claudius cowering and twitching behind a curtain and, almost as a joke, proclaimed him emperor on the spot.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

EDWARD CARPENTER
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


THE last of our three Uranian Patriarchs, Edward Carpenter was born in Brighton England on the 29th of August, 1844, to a very large middle-class family. 

While his brothers went into the military, Edward became a scholar, with great success and eventually even taught at Cambridge where he was required to become ordained as a curate of the Anglican Church.

It was at this time, when he was 24, that he first read Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and was completely changed. He resigned his position at Cambridge and devoted his life to the working class, becoming a Socialist philosopher, lecturing, organizing and speaking for working men.

When his parents died, he received an inheritance that he used to purchase a rural estate at Millthrope, which he turned into a veritable Socialist Commune. He repressed his homosexuality for much of his life, channeling his desire into politically inspired friendships.

But the Millthrope house gave him the freedom to express his feelings more openly, and he began to write books on the subject of Uranian Love. He was deeply influenced by Hindu spirituality, and visited India, all of which emerged in his spiritual view of the Socialist movement, which was not so much about political revolution, but directed towards a change in human consciousness, of which homosexuality rapidly became his greatest cause.

While returning from India he met George Merrill on the train. It would be the love of his life. The younger man soon moved into the house at Millthrope, the two became inseparable lovers whose relationship lasted over forty years.

In 1908, he published The Intermediate Sex, the first widely available book on the subject of homosexuality. After the death of John Addington Symonds, with whom he had been closely allied, Edward Carpenter assumed the role as torch bearer, and subsequently published dozens of books and essays for the cause of gay liberation.

He died on the 28th of June, 1929, in Guildford England, and though not widely known at the time, was to later become a spiritual patriarch for the gay liberation movement of the late 1960s and '70s. He is regarded as a Saint and Patriarch of the Religion of Antinous, and remembered as one of the first fathers whose work changed the world with subtle power.

Monday, June 27, 2016

THE DEATH OF JUDY GARLAND
SPARKED THE STONEWALL RIOTS


THIS is the day the Liturgical Calendar of the Religion of Antinous sets aside for remembrance of Saint Judy Garland, whose death was the spark that ignited the Stonewall Riots on a sultry night in 1969 when a bunch of drag queens and assorted other gay men decided they weren't in the mood to put up with yet another raid by the corrupt and brutal NYPD.

Gays had had enough and they had just suffered a terrible shock — Judy Garland's tragic death on June 22 had rocked the gay world. It was said that 13 twisters raged through Kansas the day Judy died, which — in Kansas — in June — is a pretty safe bet, in any case. But still, and all the same ....

Judy had died in London, and amid much news media hype, her body was flown back to New York for a memorial service which drew a huge crowd of grief-stricken gay men who gathered outside Campbell's Funeral Chapel in Manhattan — on June 27, 1969.

Afterwards, the bars were jammed with gay men drowning their sorrows in booze and drugs while listening to Judy Garland songs full blast on every jukebox.

The mood was electrified by a sense of solidarity in grieving for a fallen idol. Gay men had surprised themselves by turning out en masse for Judy's funeral. They had experienced strength in numbers for the first time. They had been on national TV news.

In an unprecedented move by prime-time national news anchormen, Walter Cronkite and Huntley-Brinkley had talked about Judy Garland's "tremendous appeal among male homosexual fans" — at supper time when whole families were watching the evening news!


Blacks were standing up for their rights. Women were burning their bras. The Chicano Movement was gathering steam. And now "ho-mo-sexuals" (the announcers were unaccustomed to speaking the word aloud) were having the audacity to congregate outside a sacred chapel in broad daylight — and they even showed their faces on the evening news!

Straight people were being confronted with homosexuals right there on television beamed into their homes. And — more importantly — homosexuals were seeing themselves and their brothers/sisters on national television news. Gays in isolated places who had worshipped Judy Garland at the movies or on LP and tape, were now watching other gay people weeping for her in New York. For the first time, gay people in isolated places saw themselves on TV. We were not alone in our grief at the passing of a star with whom we somehow innately felt connected.

It was a Friday night. Late June. Hot and steamy. The bars were filled to bursting. Gay men were sharing a rare moment of solidarity in powerful emotions. There was a feeling, not only in New York, but around the world, that a paradigm shift had taken place. A gay icon had died suddenly and tragically (shades of Antinous) and we gay people everywhere found ourselves in a catharsis of identity change. None of us understood what was happening. Just as it was with being gay, we gay men couldn't explain it, we just "felt" it and "knew" it to be true.

And THAT moment was when the Manhattan police happened to stage one of their periodic raids on queers. Basically it was a routine raid on an average gay bar. Nobody had reckoned with what would happen next. Even gay men were surprised by what happened next.

ESPECIALLY gay men.

We were men who had been accustomed to being timid fraidy-cats. Men who had never dared to stand up for their sexuality. Drag queens and faggots never fought back. That was a fact of gay survival. We knew we were gay. And we knew what we weren't. We were not "MEN".

Grief turned to outrage. It was a spontaneous uprising fuelled by rage. The vice squad was overwhelmed. Reinforcements had to be sent in. Gay men stood their ground and advanced on the police, pushing them back.

It was the turning point for us. Gay men throughout America — and later in London, Berlin, Sydney and elsewhere — began standing up for themselves under the banner "Remember Stonewall".

In a sense, Judy Garland died for us. Had it not been for her tragic death — strangling on vomit over a toilet bowl in a London hotel suite — there might not have been any Stonewall Riots.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia puts the Stonewall Riots into a spiritual context:

"It was the first resistance by homosexuals against the repression of two thousand years, and the beginning of the Gay Liberation movement. The importance of the Stonewall Riots is the awakening of gay consciousness, the throwing off of the coils of the python that had for so many centuries enveloped our divine form of Love. This sacred revolt is holy to Apollo, Dionysus, and Diana combined as the guardian spirits of Homosexuality. Our modern Gay society was born on this occasion, and all of the peace and freedom that we have obtained in the these short decades are due to the courage that erupted on that Sacred Night in front of the Stonewall Bar."

Sunday, June 26, 2016

POMPEII'S VILLA OF THE MYSTERIES
IN DANGER OF COLLAPSE



THE Villa of Mysteries, considered the "crown jewel" of the ancient city of Pompeii, is at risk of collapse due to vibrations from nearby trains mainly used by tourists and seismic activity in the Bay of Naples, a new report has warned.

The report, issued following a hi-tech study with state-of- the-art equipment by ENEA, Italy's national agency on sustainable development, comes just a few months after the restored Villa ... which features some of the best-preserved frescoes of the site ... was unveiled.

The project was trumpeted as a rare success story compared to Pompeii’s record of mismanagement and neglect that jeopardized its EU funding and Unesco world heritage site listing.

In addition to the vibrations from the Vesuvius light railway commuter trains, which ferry tourists to Pompeii from Naples, the protective structure around the villa, built in armoured cement, wood and steel 50 years ago is threatened by its own weight and water ingress.


"We have found a state of advanced degradation of many of the beams of the roof while the structure in cement in some rooms has been found to be especially vulnerable to seismic activity," said Bruno Carpani, the chief scientific officer heading the new study.

The villa is named for frescoes in one room of the suburban villa.

There are many different interpretations of the frescoes, but they are commonly believed to depict a bride initiating into the Dionysian Mysteries in preparation for marriage.

Women and satyrs are featured prominently. Because of the widely accepted theory of the mural depicting an initiation from the cult of Dionysus, some think that the room with the frescoes was used to conduct rituals and celebrations related to the god.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

ANTINOUS WADES INTO THE NILE
WITH GINGER-COLORED HAIR




I just found this painting of Antinous wading into the Nile. 

Don't know the name of this artist...I like the painting, except for the blonde hair.

Yes, I know there are blonde Greeks and Latins. 

But when the Citharoedic Poem, the only text that describes the color of his hair, says that it was "violet-colored" I think this means it was a probably a rich shade of dark brown bordering maybe on blood-red-black. 

It seems to be an Anglo-Saxon thing to portray Antinous as a blondie ... and that's okay ... the spiritual Antinous can take on the form of our deepest desires ... whatever that may be.

~ANTONIUS SUBIA

Friday, June 24, 2016

THE LANUVIUM INSCRIPTION EXPLAINED
By Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia


THERE was a group in the town of Lanuvium, outside of Rome, who started a Fraternity, dedicated to Diana and Antinous. 

It was basically a Funeral organization, kind of like a Life Insurance Policy group, only with religious overtones. 

What is interesting about this document is that it was open to slaves, freedmen, and Roman Citizens, with specific requirements of how much each person was required to contribute to the Funeral of a Member. 

A proper Roman funeral was very expensive and certain ceremonies were believed to be indispensable if the dead person was going to find peace in the afterlife. 

This group insured that if you were a member, that a Full Antinous themed Roman ceremony would be conducted on your behalf even if your family did not have the money to pay for the ceremony. 

It's a beautiful document really, and represents how significant Antinous was during the zenith of his religion. 

Another matter that makes this document important is that it is the only place where the Birthday of Antinous was recorded as 5 days before the Kalends of December ... or November 27th.

This inscription was posted at the doors of the now lost and forgotten Temple of Antinous of Lanuvium a completely insignificant town outside of Rome. 

Which leads us to wonder how many other towns had Temples of Antinous ... and groups like this .... There is also a reference to the Fratria of Naples and the Adriatic League.

The Cult of Lanuvium were dedicated to Diana and Antinous, this is also one of the strongest connection that we can make historially to Diana as the Witch Goddess

Diana and Antinous are the same

male and female version of the same power essentially

The Lanuvium Text is extremely powerful...this is only an abbreviation of the first part:

LANUVIUM TEXT

"In the consulship of Lucius Ceionius Commodus
And Sextus Vettulenus Civica Pompeianus,
5 days before Ides of June.
At Lanuvium in the Temple of Antinous,
In which Lucius Caesennius Rufus, patron of the town,
Had ordered that a meeting be called through Lucius Pompeius
To us, Quinquennalis of the Cult of Diana and Antinous,
He promised that he would give from his liberality
The interest on One Sixth of 1,000 sestertii
Namely 400 sestertii on the birthday of Diana, the Ides of August
And 400 sestertii on the birthday of Antinoos, 5 days before Kalends of December
And he instructed the by-laws passed by us to be inscribed
On the inner side of the port of the temple of Antinoos
As recorded below.
In the consulships of Marcus Antonius Hiberus and Publius Mummius Sisenna
Kalends of January,
The Benevolent Society of Diana and Antinoos was constituted
Lucius Caesennius Rufus son of Lucius,
Of the Quirine tribe
Being for the third time sole magistrate and also patron…"

Thursday, June 23, 2016

ANTINOUS DIED YOUNG, BUT LIFE WAS HARD
AND MANY ROMANS WERE DEAD BY 30



WE know that Antinous died when he was barely 20 ... but a shocking new report says many young men were dead by that age ... and the common folk in Ancient Rome were lucky to reach age 30.

A groundbreaking study of 2,000 ancient Roman skeletons from the time of Antinous has shown how many of the ancient city's inhabitants were riddled with arthritis, suffered broken bones and generally died in their twenties.

The harsh realities of life in imperial Rome were revealed by a multi-disciplinary study carried out by an Italian team of osteopaths, historians and anthropologists which used modern scanning techniques to analyze a huge sample of skeletons recently unearthed in the suburbs of the Eternal City.

The skeletons were exhumed over the last 15 years in the course of construction work on a new high speed rail line between Rome and Naples and show the brutal reality of life for the majority of ancient Romans.

"The bones are the earthly remains of poor, working-class Romans, taken from commoners' graves, and display high incidences of broken and fractured bones, chronic arthritis and high incidences of bone cancer," medical historian Valentina Gazzaniga told The Local.

"What's interesting is that the average age of death across the sample group was just 30, yet the skeletons still display severe damage wrought by the extremely difficult working conditions of the day."

The research paints a grim picture of the dangers faced by ancient Roman workers between the first and third century AD, with broken noses, hand bones and collar bones all being commonplace injuries.

However, the scans also revealed that the city's ancient inhabitants were adept at treating such injuries.

"With fractures and breaks so frequent, the Romans developed effective solutions to treat them. The scans show that these rudimentary medical techniques allowed people to keep working for years after sustaining severe breakages," explained Gazzaniga.

The treatments might have been effective, but they were not pretty. Today, severely broken bones can be surgically reset and bound in plaster, but the Romans simply placed a wooden cage over the limb to immobilize it until the shattered bones eventually fused themselves back together.

Aside from bearing the scars of lax workplace safety, the scans also revealed the back-breaking labour citizens had to endure for hours on end.

"Chronic arthritis around certain areas such as the shoulders, the knees and the back is present in the skeletons of those who died as young as 20," Gazzaniga explained.

The life of the average Roman worker bears a stark contrast to the good health enjoyed by the city's noblemen and Patricians.

similar study carried out on the petrified Roman skeletons of Pompeii revealed the good health enjoyed by its citizens ... until they were buried by the erupting Vesuvius.

The rich inhabitants in Pompeii ... a city of expensive villas and plush domuses ... generally avoided hard labour and ate a varied diet. 

But what about the working class Romans?

"It's difficult to reach any specific conclusions about their diet based on the results ... but given the incomplete way their bones healed and really high incidences of bone cancer we encountered, it doesn't suggest it was good," Gazzaniga said.

Indeed, historical evidence and tooth enamel analysis suggest that the lower echelons of Roman society subsisted on an extremely limited diet of poor quality, often rotting grains and stale bread.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

BIG ROMAN TEMPLE FOUND IN FRANCE
DEDICATED PERHAPS TO ANTINOUS?



AN unprecedentedly large Roman temple unearthed in northern France which dates to the 2nd Century AD in the heyday of the Religion of Antinous could potentially be an Antinous Temple being found, or at least a shrine or chapel (aedicula) to Antinous within a temple.

Experts caution, however, that they do not yet know to which deity or deities this temple was dedicated.

This is the largest provincial temple found in France. It measures 70 meters by 105 meters and has two small pavilions in the back, of which only the foundations remain. 

In the center, the "Cella," visitors could access a dramatic masonry platform via a front staircase.

Here in the heart of the temple, the ancient Romans would have erected the statue of a deity.

Archaeologists have discovered many elements of the artwork inside the sanctuary, including clashed spears and marble veneer.

The entrance to the temple was a monumental façade measuring 10 meters high and 70 meters long, which made it an exceptional structure in Roman Gaul.

This façade consists of 13 to 17 arches, above which the Romans surmounted an entablature and, exceptionally, a frieze that should include a dedication in bronze letters.

A few decades after its erection, the façade collapsed in one piece perhaps due to a defect in the foundation related to the nature and slope of the ground, which caused a mess of thousands of blocks and fragments. 

Archaeologists intend to study these fragments to gradually restore the original appearance of the sanctuary. 

The ornamentation, sometimes enhanced color reveals carved decorations: Greek meanders, foliage, animals, and images of several deities, including Venus, Apollo, and Jupiter.

Within the entablature, its most unique sequence is the frieze decorated with deities from the Greco-Roman Pantheon, such as a crouching Venus alongside the head of an old woman. 

This sculpture recalls an episode told by Homer in The Odyssey. After an affair with Mars, Vulcan’s wife retired to the woods. An old lady informed the gods, who sought the place of her retreat.

To punish her, Venus turned the old woman into a rock. At the top of the façade, one of the most remarkable features is a decoration of monumental heads, which measure three times larger than human size, with complex hair and eyes that had once consisted of colored stones.

Among them, the head of Jupiter and a series of griffins with outstretched wings sit along yet-undetermined gods … could Antinous be one of them?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

HADRIAN'S PANTHEON PUTS ON
SPECTACULAR SOLSTICE SHOW




ON June 21 Hadrian's Pantheon is the place to be during the Solstice. 

Hadrian's Pantheon brings tears to your eyes. Imagine being with ANTONIUS SUBIA as he describes the monolithic columns each carved from a single stone from Egypt ... "as if he could snap his fingers and have such columns appear here" ... and the marble in the interior coming from every corner of Hadrian's vast empire. 

Then you stand under the oculus ... the eye of the cosmos ... the most spiritual architectural element anywhere.

But see it for yourself:



Monday, June 20, 2016

ANTINOUS MERGES WITH APOLLO
DURING THE GLORIOUS JUNE SOLSTICE



THE JUNE SOLSTICE is one of the most sacred days in the Liturgical Calendar of the Religion of Antinous.

It is the day when Ra Herakhte, the heavenly father of Antinous, stands still for a moment. In the Northern Hemisphere it is the longest day  and from now on the days become shorter and shorter. For our brothers in the Southern Hemisphere, this is the Shortest Day and from now on the days become longer and longer.

That is an important aspect to remember about the Religion of Antinous. The Blessed Boy is beyond such constraints as Summer and Winter or even Life and Death. For Antinous, the days are ALWAYS getting longer and the they are ALWAYS getting shorter.

For HE lives in our hearts — wherever we are.

The Religion of Antinous celebrates a whole cluster of Sacred Events on this magical day, which we call The Delphinea as a collective term. The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo. 

Antinous would be associated with many deities in the generations to come. Among his many names, the Beauteous Boy was adored as Antinous-Apollo (image above).

The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo, and of his triumph over the great and monstrous Python which was wrapped around holy mount Parnassus. The Python was the creation of Juno, a creature of jealousy whose coils were meant only to stifle and constrict the grace of that which was to proceed from the Sacred Way of the holy city of Delphi.


Apollo shot the Python and destroyed it, when he was only three days old, which is like the brilliance of the Sun dispelling the covering of night. He set the black stone which had fallen from the sky, called the Omphalos, over the navel of the Earth, and charged a Sibyl, a priestess of the Great Mother to watch over the stone and to convey his wisdom to mankind.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains the significance for us Antinoians:
"The Oracle of Delphi, called a Pythoness, was overtaken while seated atop a golden tripod, by a fire that is the breath of the God. Apollo is the Flower Prince reborn, he is the Twin brother of Dionysus, the Twin brother of Diana. He is the Son of Zeus, and the inheritor of his Kingdom, just as Aelius Caesar was the chosen son of Hadrian.
"Apollo is the God of wisdom and art, the speaker of truth, the deliverer of radiance, reason and beauty. Apollo is the God of Socrates and Plato, and he is the God of Pythagoras who claimed to be his son, exhibiting a golden thigh as proof. Apollo is the unconquered light, the full manifested brilliance, power and wisdom of Orpheus.
"Of all the gods, Apollo is the most boy-loving, though the touch of his heart was invariably fatal. He is the genius of the dying boy-gods. We pray to Apollo, the great god of homosexuality, and seek his guidance on this day, the longest day of the year."

Also on the Solstice we celebrate the day that Hadrian and Antinous met and fell in love ...  "Incipit Amor"

In the year 123, Hadrian toured the Danube region and Asia Minor. It was on this occasion that he met and fell in love with Antinous, in the ancient Bithynian capital city of Nicomedia, according to current research. One portrayal of the event has Hadrian in a garden, surrounded by the youth of the city, hearing a poetry recital.


Antonius tells it this way:


"Towards the back of the crowd, Hadrian notices a boy of extraordinary beauty who did not bring a stylus and tablet for taking notes, but sat removed from the others, silently gazing into the fountain, contemplating the words of the reader, as if in a dream. Hadrian was captivated, and is said to have gained the blessing of the boy's parents to have Antinous join the court, where there were already other boys of Hadrian's interest. Antinous would have been twelve years old. He was then sent to Rome to attend the Paedagogium, a finishing school for boys. This day marks the beginning of the love upon which our religion is based."
The relief sculpture at right shows Hadrian addressing a crowd with a boy who bears a striking resemblance to Antinous foremost in the crowd, touching the robe of the Emperor.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

NICK DRAKE
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON JUNE 19th the Religion of Antinous commemorates the birth of SAINT NICK DRAKE, the sexually ambivalent English singer who died under very mysterious, Antinous-like circumstances at a young age and who became an artistic icon for future generations of dreamers and artists.

Nicholas Rodney Drake was born on June 19th, 1948, to an upper middle class English family living in Burma. His father was an industrialist and there was never much question about Nick's financial future. Indeed, he would have been a wealthy middle-aged man today had he done nothing at all. 


But Nick never ceased to wonder and worry about his spiritual future. Despite or perhaps precisely because of his admission to Cambridge University, Nick Drake was convinced that he should shun a financially certain future and pursue a future as a musician.

Nick Drake learned to play piano at an early age, and began to compose his own songs, which he would record on a reel-to-reel tape recorder he kept in the family drawing room in rural England.

In 1966 he spent some time in the South of France where he purportedly became acquainted with "the best sort of pot" and perhaps experimented with LSD — and possibly sex with both females and males.

Returning to England, he realized he was not suited to receive a degree from Cambridge University. Nick abruptly and shockingly (as far as his family was concerned) ended his studies at Cambridge nine months before graduation, and in autumn 1969 moved to London to concentrate on a career in music.

Nick signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969. By 1972, he had recorded his second album — Bryter Layter and part of his third, Pink Moon. Neither of the first two albums sold more than 5,000 copies on their initial release in Britain, much less abroad. He never made an American breakthrough, unlike other major British artists of the era.

Nick was devastated and depressed. His excruciating shyness to perform live or be interviewed further contributed to his lack of commercial success. Despite this, he was able to gather a loyal following.

He managed to complete his third album, Pink Moon, recorded in midnight sessions in the winter of 1971, immediately after which he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural England. Once again, it did not sell well. He felt he was a failure. On November 25th, 1974, Nick Drake retired to his upstairs bedroom where he took a cocktail anti-depressants which killed him. He was found stretched over his bed next morning by his mother.

The Religion of Antinous honors Nick Drake as a prophet of Homoeros. He was a man who saw through the transparent barriers between sexuality to see the spiritual truth of reality. He was one of those many men who are never sure of their sexuality. But it is unimportant whether he was "gay" or not.

Nick Drake is a symbol of these sorts of dreamy and shy men who live existences of quiet despair. Nick Drake could play better riffs on the guitar than almost anybody of his generation. He had a beautiful voice. He was a gifted song-writer. He knew he had more  talent in his little finger than most well-paid artists would ever possess. But his career never took off. The big break never happened. Nobody appreciated him. He was broke and disillusioned.

His sister says she believes he took an overdose of anti-depressants  thinking he wanted it to either cure him or kill him, because he couldn't go on living in such despair of being an artistic failure. How many people in the economic meltdown of the early 21st Century don't feel the same despair? And yet ....

Nick Drake could scarcely have dreamt as he swallowed a handful of pills on a dreary November evening in his parents' house in the English Midlands that he would become a major recording star with fans around the world — 30 years after his death. His three albums now are cult chart-busters around the world.

When we remember Saint Nick Drake, we must remember too that Antinous is the patron of these sensitive souls who die untimely and tragic deaths at an early age. Antinous is the River Man who drowned in the Nile ....



Saturday, June 18, 2016

SOME EGYPTIANS USED TOXIC COSMETICS
TO LIGHTEN THEIR COMPLEXION



EXPERTS claim they have found evidence that the ancient Egyptians plastered on killer cosmetics to whiten their skin, and that a 3,500-year-old mummy head proves their theory.

Belonging to an anonymous woman age 20-25, the head shows tiny nodules under the cheeks and at the back of the neck that point to a possible skin disorder called exogenous ochronosis.

"Such dermatosis is caused by the extensive use of skin bleaching cosmetics," ‎Despina Moissidou, an anthropologist at Nation Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, told Discovery News.

History suggests that a lightened tone of the skin might have made the difference in Egyptian society.

"Perhaps it was a symbol of high social status, indicating the individual did not perform hard outdoor work or work at all, just like the deformed feet or the extremely long nails for the ancient high-class Chinese women," Angel Gonzalez, a collaborator at the School of Legal Medicine in Madrid, told Discovery News.

Moissidou and colleagues at the University of Madrid and Athens presented their research at the recent International Conference of Comparative Mummy Studies in Hildesheim, Germany.

The mummified head currently belongs to the Museo de Antropología Médica, Forense, Paleopatología y Criminalística in Madrid, Spain.

The head's true origins were found only in 2007, when Moissidou and colleagues traced the mummified remains back to the Theban Necropolis archaeological area in Egypt.

The head's mummification technique made it possible to date it to the 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom.

This is the best known ancient Egyptian dynasty as it includes several famous pharaohs, such as Hatshepsut, Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun. The researchers believe the woman lived in a period between the reign of Thutmose II and Thutmose III.

Moissidou and colleagues carried out several examinations to confirm the diagnosis of exogenous ochronosis.

"Samples were retrieved from the base of the neck and were sent for histological examination," Moissidou said.

The primary results showed a chronic skin inflammation, while chemistry confirmed it. Electron microscopy revealed striking similarities with contemporary tissue affected by exogenous ochronosis.

"We know the ancient Egyptians regarded the use of cosmetics both for aesthetic purposes as well as magical and religious ones. Cosmetic pigments were indeed used on a daily basis," Moissidou said.

But many of the cosmetics used by the Egyptians included lead as a basic component, which could cause skin inflammation as well as skin diseases.

Intriguingly, the use of such cosmetics was common among members of royal families.

"This opens up new interesting questions on the head's identity. Further research is now needed," Moissidou said.

Friday, June 17, 2016

ROMAN EMPIRE'S SECRET TERROR WEAPON:
WHISTLING BULLETS USED AGAINST SCOTS



A collection of whistling bullets used 1,800 years ago by the Romans to incite fear into their enemies has been found on a hill in Scotland.

The bullets had tiny holes in them that allowed them to travel through the air towards their targets while making a terrifying shrieking sound.

Such "whistling" or mechanical buzzing is thought to have been an early form of psychological warfare.

The hill where the whistles were discovered was the site of an assault by Roman legions in the 2nd century AD against native tribes people.

Weighing about 1 ounce (30 grams), each of the bullets had been drilled with a 0.2-inch (5 millimeters) hole.

Dr John Reid, chairman of the Trimontium Trust, a Scottish historical society based in Galashiels, is leading an archaeological investigation into the hill. He believes the holes converted the bullets into a "terror weapon."

"You don't just have these silent but deadly bullets flying over; you've got a sound effect coming off them that would keep the defenders' heads down," Dr Reid told LiveScience.

"Every army likes an edge over its opponents, so this was an ingenious edge on the permutation of sling bullets."

The noise was a kind of buzzing which sounds like an "agitated wasp" according to Dr Reid.

The idea of terrorising enemies using weapons that make a horrific noise was more recently adopted by the Nazis in World War II.

The Junkers Ju 87 or Stuka was a German dive bomber and ground-attack aircraft which first flew in 1935. The aircraft had unmistakable wailing sirens, which is demonstrated in a video.

According to Dr Reid, the bullets could be fired in groups of three or four, creating a slingshot effect.

About 20 percent of the lead sling bullets found at Burnswark Hill had been drilled with holes.

This was a significant amount of effort to prepare enough ammunition for an assault, Dr Reid said. "It's a tremendous amount of work to do, to just chuck them away."

"Even more intriguingly, the mysterious holes proved to confer an aerophonic quality," Dr Reid said in Current Archaeology.

"In flight, these lead shot whistled, or more accurately gave off a mechanical buzzing sound eerily reminiscent of an agitated wasp."

Thursday, June 16, 2016

THE RIDDLE OF THE ROMAN DODECAHEDRON
IS UNRAVELED AT LAST BY NIMBLE FINGERS



MORE than 100 of these strange objects are known to exist, and their purpose remains a puzzling mystery that has baffled archaeologists since their first discovery.

All throughout Europe, small geometric objects known as Roman dodecahedrons have been recovered. 

As far north as Hadrian's Wall, and further south toward the Mediterranean, the dodecahedrons, usually made of bronze or stone, are seldom larger than about eight to ten centimeters in size. 

So what was their purpose?

No written records mention them, and experts have come up with many suggestions.

They could have been gaming pieces or weapons or even impediments strewn ahead of invading armies to cripple cavalry horses.

Others have speculated that they may hold religious or cultural significance, and some have gone so far as to presume they could have been useful in determining the proper times for planting various crops throughout the year.

But was there a simpler and more practical use … a use that was literally at our fingertips?

And for one man, this kind of practical thinking led him to finding a unique use for the Roman dodecahedrons… as well as a possible solution to their creation in ancient times.

In the video below, YouTube user Martin Hallett offers his own thoughts about what the Roman dodecahedrons might have been used for, demonstrating a fascinating potential solution to their design … and an interesting, but creative outcome as well.

Using a 3D printer, he had a scale replica of one of the dodecahedrons made, and then went to work experimenting… with knitting yarn.

His breakthrough came when he realized the holes in the dodecahedron always come in five different sizes ... just as human fingers always come in five different sizes. 

He deduced that these strange objects must have served some practical purpose related to fingers.

And the answer was indeed right at his fingertips ….



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

IS THIS THE THRONE FROM WHICH
AGAMEMNON LAUNCHED 1,000 SHIPS?



A Greek archaeologist believes he has found a fragment of the lost throne of the rulers of Mycenae, famous from ancient myth and the story of the Trojan War.

Christofilis Maggidis, who heads excavations at the site in southern Greece, said Tuesday that the chunk of worked limestone was found two years ago, in a streambed under the imposing citadel.

He told a press conference in Athens that the royal throne was among sections of the hilltop palace that collapsed during an earthquake around 1200 BC.

Greek Culture Ministry officials have distanced themselves from the identification, citing a separate study that ruled the chunk to be part of a stone basin.

But Maggidis said the find was unmistakably made for sitting on, and would have been no use for holding liquids as it is made of porous stone

"In our opinion, this is one of the most emblematic and significant finds from the Mycenaean era," he said.

Mycenae flourished from the mid-14th to the 12th Century BC and was one of Greece's most significant late bronze age centers.

Its rulers are among the key figures of Greek myth, caught in a vicious cycle of parricide, incest and dynastic strife.

The most famous of all, Agamemnon, led the Greek army that besieged and sacked Troy, according to Homer's epics. 

It is not clear to what extent the myths were inspired by memories of historic events. No other thrones have been found in mainland Greece's Mycenaean palaces.

An older, smaller example was found in the Minoan palace of Knossos, on the island of Crete.

Maggidis said other parts of the throne may lie be beneath Mycenae, and hopes to secure a permit to fully excavate the streamed.


The precise type of stone used has not been found anywhere else in the palace of Mycenae, although a similar material was used extensively in the citadel's massive defensive walls and in the magnificent beehive tombs where its rulers were buried.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

MUMMY PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN
FROM ANTINOOPOLIS MAKES HEADLINES



TAKE a good look into the eyes of this young man and you see a person who lived at or near the sacred city named for Antinous 1,900 years ago.

This remarkable portrait has rarely been seen in public, having been in a private art collection for decades.

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine, in the USA is celebrating the acquisition of the portrait, made all those centuries ago, at or near the city of ANTINOOPOLIS.

It shows a teenage boy with dark, liquid eyes, a long neck, and a gold laurel wreath. He has tight curls, a long nose, and a triangular jaw line, which makes him seem somewhat feminine.

The image is hauntingly lovely, and its acquisition is a coup for Bowdoin, since this ancient portrait has rarely been seen in public.

This "Mummy Portrait of a Young Man" from the heyday of Antinoopolis in the 2nd Century AD features the face of a young man with striking, realistic features painted with encaustic (wax-based paint) on thin wood panels and embellished with intricate gold-leaf details.

Portraits like these are highly treasured today. They are often known as FAYOUM PORTRAITS, after the region, near Antinoopolis, where most of them were found. There are fewer than 1,000 extant.

Bowdoin and its associated curator Jim Higginbotham have been looking for a good example for about a decade. 

The museum acted decisively when this portrait, previously owned by private collectors in Europe, came up for sale at Christie's last October.

Combining stylistic traits of Egyptian, Roman, and Greek portraiture, such works were painted in a restricted palette of of colors: white, black, yellow ochre, and red earth suspended in beeswax.

They were painted on thin panels of wood, or sometimes linen.

Since they were used as face plates on mummy casings, they are mostly life-size.

According to Frank Goodyear, the museum’s co-director, a piece of this panel that had come loose was examined by scientists in the college’s biology department. 

They determined that it was limewood, which was common in Northern Europe but did not grow in Egypt. The discovery, he said, emphasizes the centrality of Egypt to international trade routes at the time.

What's striking about Fayum portraits is not just the economy of means and the visible, rhythmic brushstrokes, but how plainspoken and honest they are. The best of them attain a level of immediacy and genuine realism that can force a gulp of recognition.

The persons depicted will often have dark patches under the eyes, asymmetrical features, heavy jewelry, or distinctive hairstyles, including facial hair. 

The sense of realism is enhanced by highlights and shadows created by a single light source ... in this case, coming from the left and raking lightly across the youth’s face.

And then, of course, there are those signature dark, slightly enlarged eyes, often with prominent eyelashes. They can remind the modern viewer of portraits by El Greco, Modigliani, or Lucian Freud.

Bowdoin has reason to celebrate the arrival of its own Fayum portrait, after a long, arduous, 2000-year journey.