Sunday, September 3, 2017
ANTINOUS IN TYRE/SIDON
IN summer of the year 129 AD, the Imperial entourage wound its way through the mountains of Asia Minor (modern-day Anatolia) and visited such cities as Ephesus and Tarsus before arriving in Antioch.
Antioch was their base of operations for the rest of that autumn and winter. From Antioch, they made excursions to other cities.
One jaunt in late summer was to the the ancient Phoenician twin cities of Tyre and Sidon on the Mediterranean coast.
Tyre and Sidon were famous for the production of the dye called Tyrian Purple which was used to color the robes of Emperors and Kings.
The dye was derived from "milking" thousands of sea snails known as porphyra in Greek and purpura in Latin ... from which we get the word purple.
The snails secrete a silvery semen-like mucous which is dripped on hand spun cotton thread. The color makes several color shifts and eventually colors the thread a beautiful violet color.
Arriving here in the late summer of 129, Antinous and Hadrian were draped in purple as they entered the temple of the great god Baal whose name means "Lord."
Baal was primarily the sun god, but he was also the ruler of the sky god, of war and the bestower of fertility. The mysterious El was his father. El placed Baal on the throne of the world, from which Baal waged war against evil and brought storms and life giving rains to the fields.
At his online Temple of Antinous, ANTONIUS SUBIA outlines a very curious and very interesting link between Hadrian and the Temple of Baal at Tyre/Sidon:
"When the Phoenicians colonized the Mediterranean, they brought the religion of Baal with them. So it was that Baal was installed first in Carthage, and then later in Spain, when the Carthaginians conquered the Iberian Peninsula.
"Baal was still worshipped in Spain when Hadrian was born, and so the visitation to the ancient Temple in the city of Tyre was touched with the reminiscence of Spain. The religion of Baal had a dark side in that human sacrifice was demanded in times of crisis, particularly the sacrifice of children. The Canaanites worshipped Baal along with the early Jews.
"Competition led to the demonization of Baal, who became known as Baal-zevuv, 'Lord of the Flies.' Later tradition would make Baal, called Beelzebub, one of the primary fallen angels, indeed the right hand man of Satan. It is in this sense that we view the entry of Antinous, the Demon, into the blood-soaked temple of Baal."
The early Christians demonized Antinous and denounced all his followers as devil worshippers.
Ironically, the Beauteous Boy was worshiped as a "daimon" (blessed spirit) in ancient times.