Wednesday, July 18, 2018

CARAVAGGIO, SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON JULY 18th the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Caravaggio.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, who died under suspicious circumstances on this day in 1610, was an extraordinary painter whose homoerotic images of young men have caused art historians to call him the first modern painter.

St. Caravaggio is the Patron of Gifted Bad Boys — Gay Boys who are blessed with incredible talents but who are too impatient and too rebellious to abide by the rules of society.

St. Caravaggio was always in trouble. In 1592, when he was not yet 20 years old, he fled Milan after a series of brawls and the wounding of a police officer. He went to Rome and was there, for the most part, until 1606, when he again had to flee. His life in Rome was of growing financial and professional success, but it was also punctuated with crime.

In the years 1600-1606 alone, he was brought to trial no less than eleven times. The charges covered a variety of offenses, most involved violence. It is significant that, despite his reputation for homosexuality, and his endless brushes with the police, he was never charged with sodomy, then a capital offense.

But he was charged with murder. On 29 May 1606 he killed one Tommasoni in a brawl after a disputed game of royal tennis, and had to flee to escape execution. He went first to Naples, then to Malta, where he was feted and made a Knight of St John.

Then, after "an ill considered quarrel" with a senior knight, he was on the run once more, all around Sicily, then on to Naples again.

But this time there was no hiding place. The knights, known for their relentlessness, pursued him, and Caravaggio, now 39 nine, in an attempt to seek forgiveness and refuge in Rome, tried to get there, but died at Porto Ercole, apparently of a fever, though the circumstances are highly suspicious.

Despite his hunted and, in the end, desperate life, he always managed to go on painting, often without a proper workshop of any kind. He was variously described, even by admirers, as a man of "stravaganze" as "uno cervello stravagantissimo" (exceptionally odd) and a "cervello stravolto".

His father died when he was six, his mother when he was 18, which may help to explain his anger at the world. His paintings show that he was a man of the most profound religious convictions, of a humble and contrite heart, and with a fanatical devotion to his art.

 His fundamental ideas were always absolutely clear, though he continually changed and improved his techniques. He believed in total realism, and he always painted from life, dragging poor people in from the street if need be.

He became a great realist by painting flowers and fruit, in a variety  of lights, sometimes pure still lifes, sometimes with street boys, such as the model for Bacchus (above).

To achieve realism, he liked to pull his subject out of surrounding darkness into strong lateral or overhead light, as close to the viewer  as possible.

This was a new kind of art, which was to have momentous consequences. It has led some modern writers to speculate that, born into the 20th or 21st Century, Caravaggio would have been a photographer or a filmmaker.

But that is nonsense. Caravaggio, it is clear, adored the feel and line of a brush on a slightly springy surface, prepared with grey (as a rule), and the sheer creative excitement of using the brush to bring the real world out of the darkness of the canvas.

For the first time in the history of art, Caravaggio eliminated the space between the event in the painting and the people looking at it. He created a kind of virtual reality to give you a feeling as though you are right there inside the painting.

Even we, whose vision and sense of reality has been blunted and distorted by television and the cinema, still get tremendous impressions of participating when we see his great canvases close up. What then must it have been like in the early seventeenth century, for people who had never come across anything approaching this blast of actuality, to be brought face-to-face with a reenactment of sacred events in two dimensions, such as St. Francis of Asisi in Ecstasy?

Artists were particularly struck, or perhaps shocked is a better word, but horribly stimulated too, and stirred to find out exactly how the man did it.

Caravaggio, despite all his difficulties, always finished each piece of work if he possibly could, then went directly on to another, with  fresh ideas and new experiments.


He was a Bad Boy. But he was a gifted genius. The Religion of Antinous honors this Patron of Gifted Bad Gay Boys as an exemplar and saint. Let us lift our glasses to St. Caravaggio.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

ANTINOUS ON VACATION IN ST. LOUIS
AT GODDIO'S SUNKEN CITIES EXHIBITION



ANTINOUS is spending his summer holidays in Saint Louis in the United States.

This statue of Antinous as a very pensive Osiris is from the Alexandria Museum and it is part of the SUNKEN CITIES: EGYPT'S LOST WORLDS exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum which runs 9 September 2018.

It is among some fabulous Egyptian monuments and treasures which Antinous himself may have seen ... but which were lost at the bottom of the sea for centuries.

This 2nd Century AD statue depicts Antinous in a Romanized-Egyptian style as a royal personage striding with his left foot forward ... as was the traditional depiction of Egyptian pharaohs and gods.

He is wearing the traditional dynastic kilt which gods and pharaohs were always shown as wearing.

In addition, he appears to have a Uraeus stylized spitting cobra as the centerpiece of his wig-like headdress.


One fist is visible, clinched in the ages-old symbol of divine power seen on countless statues of deities and pharaohs throughout the ages.

It is one of the most unusual statues depicting Antinous as Osiris. The workmanship is more Greco-Roman than Egyptian around the head and face ... but the body adheres to traditional Egyptian artistic style mandates.

He has a rather pensive expression on his face, as if he is gazing off into the far distance.

Originally, of course, the eye sockets would have had gemstone-and-ivory eyes, perhaps outlined with copper "eyeliner."

This splendid statue is part of the stunning exhibition currently on show in London which includes sunken treasures.

You have all heard of Franck Goddio, the French marine archeologist who made headlines in the 1990s with his discovery in the Bay of Alexandria of ruins and artefacts which appear to have come from royal palaces, temples and perhaps even the Pharos lighthouse.

It is intriguing to think that Antinous may have gazed on those treasures when he and Hadrian visited Egypt in 130 AD.

Since first discovering the Alexandria treasures, Monsieur Goddio has gone on to trawl the waters a few kilometres east of Alexandria in hopes of discovering the fabled "Lost Cities" of Canopus and HERAKLEION (Heracleion), which he succeeded in finding in 2000.

Goddio's exhibition of "Egypt's Sunken Treasures" has traveled the world.

Now, Goddio is back with even more artifacts retrieved from the bottom of the sea … at the ST. LOUIS ART MUSEUM.

It offers a rare public viewing of newly discovered Canopus-Herakleion treasures since the two cities vanished below the waves in a series of floods and earthquakes, finally disappearing completely in the late 7th Century AD.

By that time, Egyptian priests had retreated to Canopus-Herakleion and Muslims were sweeping across the land.

Thus the exhibition offers a sort of time capsule of the waning days of paganism when the "barbarians" literally stood at the gates.

There are many statues, mostly fragmentary ones minus heads and limbs ... and one (alleged) statue of Antinous with a facial expression of pensive introspection.

Monday, July 16, 2018

HADRIAN HONORED BY HIS FAVORITE CITY
IN NEW EXHIBITION IN ATHENS



HADRIAN loved all things Greek, especially Antinous.

Now the Athens National Archaeological Museum along with the Italian Archaeological School present "Hadrian and Athens, conversing with an Ideal World" now through November 2018 that marks 1,900 years since the Roman Emperor Hadrian began his reign in 117 AD.

All of the 40 exhibits featured come from the National Archaeological Museum's collections and gives visitors a unique opportunity to view exhibits that showcase Hadrian's philhellenism, highlighting his immense and enduring legacy.

Portraits and sculptures of the Emperor Hadrian are on display along with emblematic figures in Greek philosophical thought including, Plato and Aristoteles.

Hadrian decisively integrated Greek intelligence with Roman tradition forging a common cultural base that served as a fundamental element in western culture and creating a deep spiritual affinity between Hellenic and Roman culture. 

The exhibition is a testimony to Hadrian’s presence in Athens and the kindness and beneficence he showed its citizens.




Sunday, July 15, 2018

ANTINOUS SHOOTS HIS ARROWS
INTO YOUR HEART


THE PERSEID meteors streak across the heavens from mid-July to mid-August. Go outside on a clear night and you will see dozens of meteors.

They appear to originate in the Constellation of Antinous right in the middle of the July and August night sky — as though Antinous is shooting arrows at you.

The CONSTELLATION OF ANTINOUS is directly right overhead in mid-heaven at this time of year. Go outside about 10 p.m. when it is good and dark and look up. You will see the Milky Way bisecting the sky from north to south. Look for the "Summer Triangle" formed by the stars Vega, Deneb and Altair — they seem to straddle the brightest part of the Milky Way.

Altair is the head of Aquila the Eagle — and Antinous is directly under the Eagle. 

The PERSEIDS are a great opportunity for ANTINOUS STAR MAGIC. 

How you cast the wish is up to you. If you re a Druid, Wiccan or even just a lapsed Catholic, you know some simple rituals. You can write a wish on a piece of paper and then go outside and look up and, as you repeat the wish aloud while tearing up the piece of paper, a shooting star will catch your eye — and you hold the palm of your hand in front of your mouth and blow away the bits of paper.

The Shooting Star does the rest.

There are many, many other ways of working ANTINOUS STAR MAGIC. As always with such things, the "magic" is within your heart and soul. So there are no firm-and-fast rules ... it all depends on you. 



If you are an ARIES, you probably don't believe in such foolishness as "wishing on a star" — but you love to gamble, and so you'll make a wish. And when it comes true, you'll be all the happier.

If you are a TAURUS, you know precisely what you want to wish for, something you've wanted for a long, long time. A leatherette recliner, for example. You love the romance and beauty of a summer evening. You've brought along a lawn chair and a hamper full of food and drink. 

If you are a GEMINI, you will be out with friends and you will be talking, laughing or else texting and twittering so much that you may forget to look up and make a wish.

If you are a CANCER you will be overwhelmed by the sheer romantic beauty of it all. You love the cosy setting and being with close friends or family. When you look up, you will make a special wish upon a star in hopes of finding that certain someone. You may stop pouting about how that other special someone broke your heart.

If you are a LEO, you will be convinced that Antinous is indeed shooting these love arrows your way — just for your own personal benefit, of course! And you will make a very grand wish, and you can't wait to show off and brag when it comes true.

If you are a VIRGO, you don't believe in luck, only in thankless hard work, and so you doubt that any wishes ever come true. You are wary of lying back on the grass because you are worried that a tick might bite you and you would contract Lyme Disease. It would be just your luck — Besides, you know it's selfish to wish for things for yourself. And anyway, you think you don't deserve to have a wish come true. But you DO deserve it!

If you are a LIBRAN, you can't decide on just one wish. So you make two wishes (at least). You secretly know you deserve to have your wishes come true more than anybody else, but you are far too diplomatic and tactful ever to say so openly. Your wishes involve matters of love and grace and beauty. You publicly wish good luck to all the others and they all thank you and think you're so nice. Everyone thinks you're their friend and you encourage them in that. Of course, secretly you think they're all morons, and if their lame wishes come true and your lovely wish doesn't come true — then there's no justice in this world.

If you are a SCORPIO, then you will also wish for love — but skip the grace and beauty and get down to the hot and heavy. Something with gleaming black leather and chrome steel chains. That wish better come true, too. You demand obedience.

If you are a SAGITTARIUS, your wish comes true instantaneously — or perhaps has already come true before you actually made the wish. Sagittarians have a direct hotline to the stars, so you always get your wishes -- and don't mind letting others know about it, either.

If you are a CAPRICORN, you don't believe in such frivolous nonsense as wishing on a star. But you have a list of very practical things you would like to wish for. Good dividends on investments, for example. So there's no harm in making a wish. If it comes true, it was "coincidence".

If you are an AQUARIUS, you will be counting the shooting stars ("Wow, 60 in just one hour, that's one a minute!") and you will be estimating what speed they must be traveling to reach the burn-out temperature. You're indoors, of course, watching the spectacle on NASA's streaming video website. You wrote down a wish for a new iPhone on a slip of paper, but you forgot where you put it, maybe it's stuck to the cheese under the Domino's Pizza next to your keyboard. Who cares? There are so many shooting stars to count.

If you are a PISCES, you have made elaborate plans to position yourself on a hilltop where your friends the UFO space aliens will be sure to spot you in your glow-in-the-dark jump suit. Your wish is for the aliens to abduct you ... again.

Make a wish!

HERNESTUS  

Saturday, July 14, 2018

ROME'S TEMPLE OF DEIFIED HADRIAN
PUTS ON NIGHTLY LIGHT-AND-SOUND SHOW


THE Temple of Deified Hadrian is putting on a spectacular light show after sunset this summer for the benefit of tourists to Rome who flock to the sidewalk café at the Piazza di Pietra.

The Piazza is often called the living room of the Capitoline city, and it lives up to its name on evenings starting at 8:30 p.m., when a digital light show thrills spectators with a 12-minute multi-projection onto the Colonnade of the Temple of Hadrian tracing the history of the Emperor who deified his lover Antinous.

The play of light and sound promoted by the Chamber of Commerce and created by Paco Lanciano. The ancient structure now serves as the home of Rome's Stock Market.

The show debuted this week in the presence of Italy's Minister of Cultural Heritage Alberto Bonisoli, Rome's Mayor Virginia Raggi, the president of the Lazio Region, and the president of the Chamber of Commerce, Lorenzo Tagliavanti. 

Special guest Giancarlo Giannini recited a passage taken from the "Hadrian's Memoirs" by Marguerite Yourcenar.

The light-and-sound show will be repeated every evening about half an hour after sunset.

The Temple of Hadrian (Templum Divus Hadrianus, also Hadrianeum) was dedicated to the deified Emperor Hadrian on the Campus Martius in Rome by his adoptive son and successor Antoninus Pius in 145 AD. 

Long ago both ends of the temple, as well as the other side disappeared; all that remains are eleven fluted columns with Corinthian bases and capitals, as well as one side of the cella wall which was built into a nineteenth century palazzo that continues to house the Rome Borsa.

Overall, the temple was presumed to have been octastyle, elevated on a typical Roman high podium, peripteral in style and likely approached by stairs covering the eastern end with a deep pronaos of three bays. During Hadrian's reign, the peripteral style of temple came briefly back into fashion at Rome, and was also used in the Temple of Venus and Roma.








Friday, July 13, 2018

'THE LOVE GOD' BY MARTIN CAMPBELL
IS A BRILLIANT NOVEL ABOUT ANTINOUS


THE most brilliant novel about Antinous to appear in over half a century ... THE LOVE GOD ... is authored by our own MARTINUS CAMPBELL, priest of Antinous.

While that sounds like biased praise, we Antinomaniacs are hard to please and would not hesitate to pick apart a poorly researched book or one that denigrated Antinous, even if it were written by one of our best friends ... perhaps especially if it were. 

At the same time, a sycophantic book that presented Antinous as being cloyingly sweet and angelic would be unbearable and not believable.

So we are gratified (and greatly relieved) to report that this book truly is a remarkable work of historical fiction right up there with Marguerite Yourcenar's landmark MEMOIRS OF HADRIAN 60 years ago.

Martin traces the life of Antinous from the moment his tousle-haired head emerges from his mother's womb under auspicious stars in Asia Minor to the moment his head sinks beneath the swirling waters of the Nile on a starry evening in Egypt.

Antinous comes to life as a young man of breath-taking beauty who is filled with conflicting passions and loyalties. He is a young man who at times is naive, yet at other times worldly wise with an ability to see the world as it is ... and to describe it with at times brutal honesty to the most powerful man in the world.

Above all, this is a gentle love story between Antinous and Emperor Hadrian, himself a man of contradictory passions and priorities.

Martin himself is a man shares these passions. He has rebounded from a series of debilitating strokes to resume a daunting array of political activism for LGBTIU health and rights issues ... while working on this novel.

Based in a hilltop home overlooking the sea in Brighton England, he spent the best part of a decade researching this novel, retracing the footsteps of Antinous across Greece and Italy, as far north as Hadrian's Wall and as far south as the Nile in Upper Egypt.

Historical facts are excruciatingly accurate ... even the positions of the stars and planets at the moment of the birth of Antinous have been calculated to precision.

An academic scholar can read this book with satisfaction, noting obscure and arcane references which only the experts in the field of Antinology fully appreciate.

At the same time, however, this is a fun book to read even for those who have never heard of Antinous in their lives and who have no firm grasp of Roman civilization in the 2nd Century AD.

There is intrigue, skulduggery, near-death by lightning, getting lost in a subterranean labyrinth, a storm at sea, earthquakes ... and some fairly hot man sex as well, albeit tastefully brought to the page.

The narrator is the Classical Love God himself: Eros. He shoots his amorous arrows and ensures that Antinous and Hadrian fulfill the destiny which the Fates have in store for them ... despite efforts by certain people in the Imperial Court to thwart the Fates.

But the genius of this book is that there are no black-and-white villains or heroes. Antinous is a young man with all the problems and drives of late adolescence. Hadrian is a man with a mid-life crisis of doubt and regret.

Others such as Empress Sabina and her constant companion Julia Balbilla and their coterie of fawning courtiers and freedmen are not really hateful towards Antinous so much as they are simply perplexed by him. 

They view him the way some members of the Royal Household might look at the favorite Corgi of the Queen, unable to comprehend her affection for it, her grief when it dies.

They whisper amongst themselves: What hold does Antinous have over Hadrian? 

Just who does he think he is? And is he a threat to them? 

What is so different about Antinous that Hadrian doesn't grow weary of him ... as he always has with previous toy boys? 

Because they cannot understand how he fits in the scheme of Imperial court life, some really rather wish he would just disappear ... voluntarily or otherwise. 

And through it all is the boyhood friend of Antinous who has accompanied him on this long journey with mixed feelings and with growing envy and jealousy. 

The boiling emotions all stem from Eros, who winks knowingly at the reader as he shoots one arrow after another with unerring accuracy to ensure that Antinous fulfills his destiny ... to take his place alongside Eros as a God of Love.

The result is a richly entertaining and beautifully written novel which appeals to those seeking authoritative scholarly accuracy as well as readers who just want a riveting and memorable adventure yarn.

The Love God is available as Kindle and as a paperback ... CLICK HERE to order.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

WEAR A WREATH OF FLOWERS
DURING THE LUDI APOLLINARES



FROM the 5th to 13th of July is the Ludi Apollinares, a Roman festival in honour of Apollo. This was celebrated with horse racing and theatre plays. Livy writes: "The people took part in them wearing wreaths of flowers. The doors to the houses were opened, meals eaten in the open." So a picnic outside today would make a lovely way to celebrate. Photo art by Keith MezaenAset Hoberg.

05-13 de julho é o Ludi Apollinares , um festival romano em honra de Apollo . Este foi celebrado com corridas de cavalos e peças de teatro . Livy escreve: " As pessoas participaram neles vestindo coroas de flores As portas para as casas foram abertas , refeições consumidas no aberto. ". Assim, um piquenique fora hoje faria uma maneira bonita de comemorar . arte da foto por Keith MezaenAset Hoberg .

5-13to de julio es el Ludi Apollinares , un festival romano en honor de Apolo. Este fue celebrado con las carreras de caballos y obras de teatro . Livio escribe: " Las personas que participaron en ellos con coronas de flores Las puertas de las casas se abrieron , comidas comidas al aire libre. ". Por lo que un picnic fuera hoy haría una bonita manera de celebrar. Foto del arte de Keith MezaenAset Hoberg .

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

THE WELL OF CASTALIA —
HOW DELPHIC ANTINOUS
CAN TEACH YOU TO TAME PEGASUS


ON JULY 11th each year, the Religion of Antinous takes a moment to ponder the esoteric reflections in the Well of Castalia at Delphi — where Antinous took a sacred bath, and where he was initiated into the Delphi Mystery Teachings.

It is also where one of the most mysterious and inspiring statues of Antinous was found.

The Well of Castalia is a fresh-water spring that flows from Mount Parnassus at Dephi, the sanctuary of Apollo. 

The Castalian Spring is located about 500 yards/meters from the Apollo Sanctuary itself. Busloads of tourists are whisked through the ruins of Delphi, but few ever stray away from their groups to wander off over to the spring site, which makes it an even more secluded and magical and mysterious place. 

It really is like stepping into the scene pictured here — Tarot Trump XVII "The Star" — the trump card which was inspired by the Well of Castalia

The spring was created when Pegasus, the winged horse, struck his hoof against a rock at the base of Mount Parnassus and water gushed forth, creating a wellspring of divine inspiration for the gods of Olympus. 

The name Castalia is derived from a Nymph named Castalia, a daughter of the river Achelous, who, when pursued by Apollo, threw herself in the spring that took her name. It was the most holy spring at Delphi and was said to be the place where Apollo and the Muses bathed. 

Pilgrims washed in the sacred water before visiting the Pythoness at the Delphic Oracle. According to Euripides, washing one's hair was sufficient for the average visitor, but persons who had transgressed more seriously against the Gods (he mentions habitual murderers as an example) had to strip off and wash themselves completely in the purifying waters.

The ancients believed the name Pegasus came from an even more ancient word meaning "wellspring of magical inspiration" and it was said that Pegasus was drinking from the Castalian Pool when Bellerophontes (or in later versions Perseus) sneaked up on him to harness Pegasus to do battle against fearful monsters.

In the Delphic Mystery Teachings,  the initiates were called upon to harness the magical inspiration of Pegasus for their own quest against the inner-demons of darkness towards spiritual enlightenment.


It was also said that the water of Castalia possessed the gift of prophecy, and any man who drank there would derive prophetic vision. Castalia is also a metaphor for the Well of Knowledge, and was said to be the fountain from which wisdom and learning poured from the heart of Apollo.

We know that Hadrian and Antinous visited this spot and it seems certain that Antinous purified himself in these waters — or at least washed his luxuriant hair.

An exquisite statue of Antinous was discovered at Delphi. The forearms had been broken off, but the ancient priests had lovingly buried the statue standing upright — which was the way it was found in the 19th Century, incredibly intact except for the missing forearms.

Alas, Antinous would drown in the similarly magical waters of the River Nile only a few scant months after visiting Delphi, during what we call the imperial "Three-Year Peregrination" — the wondrous and fateful final three-year Eastern Empire travels of Hadrian and Antinous. 

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains why this special day, July 11th, is venerated by us Antinoians:


"We venerate the wisdom-gushing Well of Castalia on this day, half a year distant from the Well of Juturna, and bathe in preparation for the transition of the Peregrination year. We pray to Castalia to sweeten our tongue, as Antinous once bathed there, exposing the pure beauty of his flesh to the cold, fresh-gushing pool that imparts inspiration of the mind. In reverence of the wisdom and poetic elegance  of Antinous, we bathe in our own Fountains of Castalia."

The imagery of this purifying plunge into the magically inspiring waters of the Castalian Well has been used throughout history — even adorning the walls of early Christian churches, as seen in the mosaic (above) found in Libya. 

The imagery lives vibrantly in the XVIIth Greater Trump in the Tarot as The Star.

Open your Mind and your Heart to the Mystery Teachings of Delphi. Permit yourself to be carried aloft upon the magical wings of Pegasus, whose name means "wellspring of magical inspiration". Become one with Antinous through the wonder of HOMOTHEOSIS and allow yourself to conquer your demons and to soar to glory amongst the stars.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

THE DAY HADRIAN DIED


ON JULY 10th the Religion of Antinous commemorates the Apotheosis of Hadrian. After a prolonged illness, at Baiae, on the Bay of Naples, Hadrian died on July 10, 138. 

His ashes were placed in the mausoleum on the bank of the Tibur that is now called Castel Sant'Angelo.

After the death of the gentle Antinous, Hadrian became embittered and mistrustful, capricious and cruel. 

When Hadrian died, the Senate wished to condemn his memory for atrocities against them during his final years. 

But his successor, Antoninus Pius, persuaded them to declare Hadrian a God. 

A temple was built for him known as the Hadrianeum on the Campus Marius, the remains of which are now part of the Roman Stock Exchange.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains:

"Hadrian the God is venerated as the manifestation of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on Earth, the ruler and guiding force behind the Antonine Dynasty, the most sacred family of emperors, whose reign is the Golden Age of Rome, because of the peace and prosperity that it maintained, which was the result of the wisdom of Hadrian's far-sighted and divine plan stretching out over the world. We worship and adore Hadrian the God, Savior of the Cosmos."

Sunday, July 8, 2018

THE DAY HADRIAN WAS DECLARED
EMPEROR OF ROME



ON JULY 8th-9th we commemorate the Ascension and Consecration of Hadrian — when he became master of the world after years of worrying and waiting. Hadrian was declared Emperor by the Legions when Trajan died suddenly while campaigning in Parthia on August 8th, 117 ... and nearly a year later, on July 9th, 118 AD, he formally became Emperor of Rome. 

In this illustration, you see Hadrian entering the Roman Forum at the height of his power. Standing behind him in the chariot is Antinous saying: "Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento! Memento mori!": "Look behind you! Remember that you are a man! Remember that you'll die!"

On this day in 117 AD, however, Hadrian truly had been in fear of death. Hadrian had been on tenterhooks for years wondering whether Trajan would formally adopt him as his heir. 

If Trajan died without the issue of succession being settled, it could result in civil war — or at least in the assassination of Hadrian by some other ambitious man.

It is said that the Divine Empress Plotina forged the will of her husband and gave the throne to Hadrian, who had been her protégé and friend for years.

After assuming power, Hadrian first settled the conflict with the Persian King, signing a peace treaty that was to last through the whole of his reign. As Trajan's military representative in the provinces, he had seen how the empire was beginning to over-reach its resources. So he set about consolidating things in the East, lest his Empire become embroiled in the sort of chronic blood-letting that modern superpowers now seek to extricate themselves from in that same region.

It is also said that he wanted to let the political dust settle back in Rome before returning to a city where his critics were waiting. Many thought him unfit. Hadrian was Hispanic — literally so. He was born in the province of Hispania and spoke Latin with a provincial "Hispanic accent" which was the cause of much derision by high-born Patricians when he was sent to Rome as a boy to be educated. He never liked Rome and, throughout his reign, spent as little time there as possible.

Settling other matters in the East, Hadrian waited a full year before  returning to Rome, and on July 9th, 118, he entered the Holy City and was formally and ritually installed as Emperor by the Senate. He was then consecrated as Pontifex Maximus, highest priest of the Roman Religion, and head of all foreign cults.

He inherited from the warrior-king Trajan the largest empire that the western world had ever known — Rome at her greatest size and strength — and he wisely chose not to continue to expand the frontiers, but to turn instead to the development of the interior.


He visited every province, traveling more than any other emperor before or after, dedicating his power to art, literature, legal reform and the promotion of peace, prosperity, and the united religious consciousness of Roman citizenship after his beloved Athenian model.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia says the following about this Sacred Day in our Liturgical Calendar:

"On this day, Imperator Caesar Traianus Hadrianus Augustus was to assume responsibility as the spiritual leader of the Empire, Father of the Country with a vigor unparalleled by his predecessors, and was to be one of the foremost builders of cities, temples, and public structures world-wide. For his love of Antinous and the extraordinary gesture of deifying our god, we worship and venerate Hadrian as the founder of our faith and as our immortal father, the lover of Antinous."

Saturday, July 7, 2018

ANCIENT GREEK GRAFFITI
DESCRIBES GAY SEX IN POSITIVE TERMS


AN archaeologist in Greece has uncovered ancient inscriptions celebrating gay sex, in what is believed to be some of the oldest erotic graffiti in the world.

And unlike most other Ancient Greek written records, these inscriptions refer to male-male sexual relations in positive terms.

Dr Andreas Vlachopoulos of the University of Ioannina, has been working on the Aegean island of Astypalaia for four years. 

(The image reproduced here is by famed British gay artist Roger Payne, whose illustrations for popular historical publications delighted a generation of young readers, just as his more candid illustrations have delighted adult gay readers.)

Vlachapoulos reports finding inscriptions describing gay male sex alongside large phalluses carved into the rock.

He has described the inscriptions, which date to the fifth and sixth centuries BC, as “monumental in scale” and “triumphant”.

One inscription, believed to date from the mid-6th century BC, states: “Nikasitimos was here mounting Timiona”. It lacks the invective and negative tone found in similar graffiti which describes hypothetical sex acts in insulting terms.

Dr Vlachopoulos told THE GUARDIAN: “They claimed their own space in large letters that not only expressed sexual desire but talked about the act of sex itself. And that is very, very rare.”

“We know that in ancient Greece sexual desire between men was not a taboo. But this graffiti… it not just among the earliest ever discovered. 

"By using the verb in the past continuous [tense], it clearly says that these two men were making love over a long period of time, emphasising the sexual act in a way that is highly unusual in erotic artwork,” he told the London newspaper.

“Few Greek islands have been properly explored or excavated and these findings are testimony to why it is so important that they are," he added.

The inscriptions are also believed to be an important indicator of early literacy rates in Greece.

Homosexual relationships have long been recognised as an integral part of Ancient Greek culture, where sexual power was defined not by the gender of the participants but by the roles of penetrator and recipient.

Ancient Greek commentators saw in the earlier literature of Homer’s Iliad a gay relationship between heroes Achilles and Patroclus which matched on to elements of their own society, such as the Sacred Band of Thebes, an army made up of pairs of gay lovers.

The term ‘lesbian’ derives from an Ancient Greek female poet, Sappho of the isle of Lesbos, who wrote about her love for other women in her close circle of friends.

Friday, July 6, 2018

HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO BE A CHAMPION
IN THE SACRED GAMES OF ANTINOUS


HERE is your chance to pay tribute to Antinous with your own special artistic talents ... and to compete for prizes ... in keeping with the ancient tradition of holding Games in honor of Antinous.

The 4th SACRED GAMES OF ANTINOUS in the modern era will be held 25 August 2018. Applications for entries are being taken now.

Announcing the opening of The Games, Flamen Antinoalis ANTONIUS SUBIA says prizes will be awarded on 25 August in the categories of Visual Arts, Performing Arts and Literature.

Submissions must be entrants' original work and must pertain to Antinous in some way.

Deadline for submissions is 22 August 2018. Submit entries hereantinouspriest@gmail.com

This is the IV ANTINOEIAD of the modern era, and entry is open to everyone wishing to honor Antinous with their own artistic, academic or athletic talents.

"These Games are open to all ... regardless whether you are gay and regardless of gender," Antonius says.

"You can submit any form of artistic endeavor ... poems, paintings, videos or literary works. But you can also submit dancing, running or other physical effort ... as long as you provide documentation of your performance art," he explains.

Prizes will be awarded to winners, and will be shipped to the winners wherever they live in the world.

The winners will be announed during ceremonies at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS on 25 August 2018.

"Everyone has heard of the Ancient Olympics, but there were other Games held in antiquity," Antonius says.

"And among the most famous were the Games of Antinous, which were called the Megala Antinoeia ... the Great Games of Antinous," Antonius adds. "These were Sacred Games which were held in Antinoopolis, Bithynia and in Mantinea."

The most famous Games were held at Antinoopolis, the city founded by Emperor Hadrian in Egypt at the spot along the Nile where Antinous had drowned in the year 130 AD.

The competitors were primarily young men called Ephebes. 

In Antinoopolis these included swimming and boat races in the Nile.

But the Antinous Games were unique in that they also included competition in the arts and music. 

The over-all winner was consecrated as the living embodiment of Antinous and given citizenship in Antinoopolis, with an all-expense-paid life of luxury and adoration. 

He was worshiped in the temple as the representative of Antinous, the emblem of youth and masculinity. He was the Divine Ephebe.

The Great Antinoeia, as the Games of Antinous were called, were held for hundreds of years. 

But little was known of the actual competitions until a fragile papyrus was deciphered recently which revealed some intriguing and somewhat shocking details about the Games of Antinous of the year 267 AD and two wrestlers named NICANTINOUS AND DEMETRIUS.

The Games of Antinous faded into obscurity ... but have been revived in the past decade by us. They are held every four years during the cycle of the blooming of the ROSY LOTUS OF ANTINOUS AFTER THE LION HUNT in August.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

BRITISH MUSEUM'S ANTINOUS BUST
TO GO ON TOUR IN BRITAIN



THE British Museum has gathered a collection of objects with LGBTQ connections, including the world’s oldest known depiction of a couple having sex ... an 11,000-year-old carved calcite pebble ... to be sent on a national tour of Britain.

The pebble, called the Ain Sakhri, possibly depicts gay sex, as the figures portrayed in it are ambiguous. 

Other items which may go on tour include a bust of Antinous ... the famous Townley bust of the Roman emperor Hadrian's beloved.

Also in the tour will be a silver cup buried near Jerusalem in the 1st century AD showing men having sex and which was sold to the British Museum by a gay American art collector.

The museum has created an audio tour of the objects in London.

The museum will send a number of them out on a four-venue tour of England starting in September 2018 and running through 2019.

Fiona Shaw and Simon Russell Beale, who narrated the audio tour, said people would be surprised by the number of objects in the Museum with LGBTQ connections.

"Many might even have seen some of them on display without knowing how they relate to queer history," Beale said. "I'm thrilled that, thanks to this new audio tour, these stories will now take pride of place. Same-sex desire has existed in all societies and it is really important that the British Museum is highlighting this."


The Ain Sakhri shows a couple making love. Because the figures are ambiguous the museum does not assume they are of different sexes.

The figurine, which was found in a cave in the Judean desert, was made by hunter-gatherers known as Natufians who were among the first people to domesticate sheep and goats. Whoever carved it has ensured that its shape is phallic but the genders are not clear.

Other objects going on the tour, which begins in Oxford and goes on to Nottingham, Bolton and Norwich, include an ancient Greek vase depicting Sappho; etchings of gay sex by David Hockney, inspired by the poems of C P Cavafy; and a deck of cards depicting drag queens, produced in Japan in 1997.

The touring show is an expanded version of the museum's Desire, love, identity: Exploring LGBTQ histories display, which was staged last year.


The audio tour will offer further insight into the 1st Century AD silver drinking cup, known as the Warren Cup after the 19th-century gay Bostonian collector NED WARREN, who is a Saint of Antinous. 

He saw the cup as the "holy grail" of gay history because it showed the existence and acceptance of homosexuality long ago.

The cup will be part of on-site tours at the British Museum in 2019 ... the 50th anniversary of John Wolfenden becoming its director. Wolfenden chaired the committee whose landmark 1957 report recommended the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

ANTINOUS JEWELRY ART



WE love it when worshipers of Antinous send us images of their home altars, shrines or works of devotional art they have created.

Here are some items of Antinous jewelry created by artist Miranda Baggins.