Wednesday, October 17, 2018

INSCRIPTION SUGGESTS VESUVIUS
ERUPTED IN OCTOBER, NOT AUGUST



AUGUST 24th (or alternatively October 24th) generally has been accepted as the date of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD ... until now.

Now, graffiti written in charcoal has been uncovered which bears the date October 17th ... proving that Pompeiians were alive and well two months after the supposed destruction of the city. This discovery lends credence to the alternative date of October 24th in the year 79 AD.

Translated, it says: "On October 17th, he over-indulged in food ...."

Italy's culture minister labelled it "an extraordinary discovery."

The August 24th date was based on ancient writings that purported to share first-hand accounts.

They came from Pliny the Younger, an elite lawyer and author of ancient Rome, who wrote about the death of his even more famous uncle, Pliny the Elder.

"On the 24th of August, about one in the afternoon, my mother desired him to observe a cloud..." he wrote in a letter to Tacitus, a Roman senator and historian, about the events of that day."


Pliny wrote this eye-witness account to his friend Tacitus:


"... Behind us were frightening dark clouds, rent by lightning twisted and hurled, opening to reveal huge figures of flame. These were like lightning, but bigger .... It wasn't long  thereafter that the cloud stretched down to the ground and covered the sea ... Now came the ash, though still thinly. I look back: a dense cloud looms behind us, following us like a flood poured across the land .... 

"Someone said: 'Let us turn aside while we can still see, lest we be knocked over in the street and crushed by the crowd of our companions.' We had scarcely sat down when a darkness came that was not like a moonless or cloudy night, but more like the black of closed and unlighted rooms. You could hear women lamenting, children crying, men shouting. 

"Some were calling for parents, others for children or spouses; they could only recognize them by their voices. Some bemoaned their own lot, other that of their near and dear. There were some so afraid of death that they prayed for death. Many raised their hands to the gods, and even more believed that there were no gods any longer and that this was one last unending night for the world."

According to his account, Pliny the Elder was then a fleet commander at Misenum - modern day Miseno - across the bay from Pompeii. He took a ship to stage a rescue for those in danger from the volcano.

But he did not return from the venture.

Pliny the Younger, meanwhile, watched the destruction unfold from the other side of the bay.

"I have faithfully related to you what I was either an eye-witness of myself or received immediately after the accident happened, and before there was time to vary the truth," he wrote.

But the latest discovery calls such certainty into question.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

OSCAR WILDE
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON October 16th, the Religion of Antinous honors SAINT OSCAR WILDE who was born on this day in 1854. He died in ignominy and poverty on November 30th, 1900.

Ostensibly, Saint Oscar Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel.

Known for his biting wit, he became the most successful playwright of the late Victorian era in London, and the greatest "celebrity" of his day.

His plays are still widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest.

As the result of a widely covered series of trials, Wilde experienced  a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years' hard labour after being convicted of homosexual relationships, described as "gross indecency" with other men.

After Wilde was released from prison he set sail for Dieppe by the night ferry and he never returned to Ireland or Britain.


That is the truth, pure and simple, of his life. But as Saint Oscar himself once famously said: "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple."

For that reason (and for many others) we remember him not only because he was notorious (something for which he might claim to be quite proud) but because he remembered Antinous.

He kept the name of Antinous alive through his poetry: 

"—A moment more, the trees had stooped to kiss
Pale Daphne just awakening from the swoon
Of tremulous laurels, lonely Salmacis
Had bared his barren beauty to the moon,
And through the vale with sad voluptuous smile
ANTINOUS had wandered, the red lotus of the Nile.

"Down leaning from his black and clustering hair
To shade those slumberous eyelids — caverned bliss,
Or else on yonder grassy slope with bare
High-tuniced limbs unravished Artemis
Had bade her hounds give tongue, and roused the deer
From his green ambuscade with shrill hallo and pricking spear.
FROM "THE BURDEN OF ITYS" BY OSCAR WILDE.


"—Lift up your large black satin eyes which are like cushions where one sinks!
Fawn at my feet fantastic Sphinx! and sing me all your memories!

Sing to me of that odorous green eve when couching by the marge
You heard from Adrian's gilded barge the laughter of 
ANTINOUS
And lapped the stream and fed your drouth and watched with hot and hungry stare
The ivory body of that rare young slave with his pomegranate mouth!


FROM "THE SPHINX" BY OSCAR WILDE.
Here are some quotations from Oscar Wilde:
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot.
In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable

The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.

Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.

It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.

I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.

I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.

Always forgive your enemies — nothing annoys them so much.

A true friend stabs you in the front.

I don't want to earn my living — I want to live.

Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.

Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about.

A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.

What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

STANDING OVATION AND RAVE REVIEWS
FOR RUFUS WAINWRIGHT'S OPERA 'HADRIAN'



THE reviews are in and Rufus Wainwright's long-awaited opera about Antinous and Hadrian was a triumph this weekend at the Canadian Opera Company.

The opera by Wainright and Daniel McIvor, entitled HADRIAN, got a standing ovation during repeated curtain calls from a sold-out capacity audience at the Toronto opera house.

"Finally, after hundreds of years of doomed heterosexual love on the Opera stage, Rufus Wainwright and the Canadian Opera Company gave us some doomed homosexual love to enjoy. Thanks, Hadrian!" critic Christopher Butcher tweeted on Twitter.

"Just came back from Hadrian and I am SHAKEN that was so amazing and Thomas Hampson was perfect in the role as Hadrian. And as always Rufus Wainwright wrote a phenomenal score. I'll never forget it," another reviewer tweeted.

In the audience were a number of followers of Antinous and one of them posted this notice to us:

"Sold out house. Audience rapt for the entire performance, barely moved. The libretto is such a fascinating story. I was moved several times. Sets and costumes are effective. Performances outstanding. There's a curious feeling in this production as if you're looking at the ancient world from their standpoint, not ours looking back. It really grew on me. Some of it is so sublime. The past really is a foreign country."

The most gushing praise came from arts critic Leslie Barcza, who wrote: 

"There are some wonderful performances, great moments to report.

"First and foremost, the love story between two men presented on the opera stage brought an eruption of applause early in Act III ... While we were presented with a homosexual encounter, everything was tasteful, discreet.

"I was intrigued that Ambur Braid (as Empress Sabina) effortlessly stole the show, in a character who is far more sympathetic than one might expect. The jealous wife of a gay man, she has the two most dynamic moments musically, a pair of arias that, for whatever reason, are the moments of greatest inspiration & commitment from Rufus Wainwright. In this respect perhaps Wainwright is being truly Canadian, in being so self-effacing."

The opera, which explores the relationship between Roman Emperor Hadrian and the young Antinous, runs October 13–27 at Toronto’s Four Seasons Center.

Peter Hinton directed a cast that includes baritone Thomas Hampson as Hadrian and renowned tenor Isaiah Bell as Antinous, with Karita Mattila as Plotina.

Over four acts and three locations ... Hadrian’s villa, Greece, and Egypt ... the opera "is a surreal romp through time and space, mixing true occurrences with complete fabrication in order to illustrate a vivid 'creative snapshot' of what the end of the Classical era may have felt like," Wainwright says.


It opens on the last night of Hadrian's life in 138 AD. He wants to know the truth about Antinous' mysterious death eight years earlier in October of the year 130 AD.

Was it an accident? Or murder? The plot twists, political deals are struck amidst power struggles, deceptions, and visiting ghosts. And then it ends where it started.

But not before a love scene: "I realized that there are no sex scenes written into opera," Wainwright tells The New York Times, "let alone anal sex scenes. I think for some people it will be powerful to see gay love represented in the larger-than-life fashion that only opera can provide," he adds.

"When I first read the fabulous "Memoirs of Hadrian" by Marguerite Yourcenar, a novel which inspired at least three generations of gay men, I was instantly struck with the idea of transforming this historical subject into operatic form," Wainwright says.

Here is an exclusive excerpt from the opera's tender love scene between Hadrian and Antinous:



And here are more photos from the gala premiere night:













NOMINATIONS FOR SAINTHOOD 2018
NOW BEING ACCEPTED BY OUR PRIESTS



THE time has come to Nominate Gay Saints of Antinous for 2018. (Anno Antinoo 1907)

Before making a nomination, please check the current LIST OF SAINTS to be sure that your suggestion is not listed already.

All nominations will be considered, but as a reminder, our traditional criteria is as follows:

I. A Nominee for Sainthood must be:

    1. A person who is no longer alive.

    2. A person who was known to be Gay or reasonably suspected to have been Gay or bisexual to a significant degree.

    3. A person who made a notable contribution to gay society or human society in general.


II. A Nominee for the category of Martyr Saint should be:

    1. Any gay person who committed suicide or was the victim of gay violence.


III. A Nominee for the category of Venerable Saint can be:

    1. Any person who was not gay, or whose homosexuality is uncertain, but who made a significant contribution to gay society or gay spirituality that we feel deserves to be recognized in an official capacity.

IV. Members of Ecclesia Antinoi, and those they love may be nominated for passage on the Barque of Millions of Years.

The deadline for nominations is October 27th, any nominations made after that date will have to be added to the nomination list for 2019.  Discussion is open to all considering the qualifications of any nomination.  The Priesthood of Antinous will make the final decision...an announcement will be made on October 30th, and a ceremony of consecration will proceed that evening.

May the Saints of Antinous be with us,
Watch over us,
And guide us to Antinous Consciousness.

Antonivs N. Svbia

Flamen Antinoalis

Saturday, October 13, 2018

THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR
MARTYR SAINTS OF MALE-MALE LOVE


ON this day, the origin of the folk belief that "Friday the 13th" is an unlucky day, the Religion of Antinous remembers the Knights Templar.

The proud and courageous brotherhood known as the Order of Knights Templar, who were sworn to protect pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land, were accused of Heresy, Idolatry and Sodomy, and were arrested on Friday the 13th of October in the year 1310 in France.

Although they had fought valiantly during the Crusades, and even stayed behind, sacrificing themselves to guard the retreat of Christian refugees during the fall of Acre in 1291, the order was condemned by the Pope and handed over to the envious King Philip the "Fair" of France, who coveted their land and immense wealth.

The Knights had adopted the heresy of Catharism which was basically a form of Gnosticism with Manichean influence, that had perhaps been introduced to them in the Holy Land where it flourished under the Moslems.

The Cathars believed that Jesus had descended to the material plane to undo the rule of the God of Israel, and that he had liberated mankind from the law of Moses and the natural order, through salvation in his name.

The Cathars believed that the body, and life itself, was the creation of the Evil One, who claimed to be the "Creator of the Universe."

They did not recognize the authority of the Church and believed that homosexuality was sacred because it was a form of love which did not result in procreation (locking humans in a cycle of earthly incarnations).

Following the Platonic ideal of Venus Urania, the Cathars believed that Brotherly Love was more in keeping Christ's teaching than the love between husband and wife.


The Knights Templar, whose seal depicted two knights riding on one horse, quite openly advocated this philosophy. But the Papal accusation claimed that they took this to the extreme of sodomy, requiring new initiates to perform the Kiss of Shame, by which they kissed the buttocks and phallus of the Grand Master of the Order.

They were also accused of abandoning Christianity and worshipping a demon called Baphomet, a hermaphroditic, goat-headed idol whose name implied secret knowledge. 
 

Other accusations were leveled against the Knights. But Heresy, Satanism, and Sodomy were the crimes which essentially led to their downfall.
 

Of course most of this information was obtained through torture. But one can only wonder at the consistency that characterizes their confessions.
 

On this night, the Grand Master Jacques de Molay and thousands of  Templars were arrested, tortured, condemned and subsequently Burned at the Stake. From then on, Heresy, Devil worship, and Homosexuality were indistinguishable in the eyes of the Inquisition, perhaps because they were indeed interconnected.
 

Homosexuality, however, had not been a significant threat to Christendom until it was connected with a diabolical plot to overthrow the order of society and of the Church. This was the beginning of Our Burning Times, and over the course of the next 400 years, thousands of homosexuals were officially and publicly condemned and burned or otherwise executed as an act of faith that, through our extermination, the Church was protecting the world from the Forces of Evil which we embodied.


For their courage and sacrifice, we praise the Order of the Knights Templar as Heroic Martyr Saints of the Religion of Antinous, as the Sacred Band of the Middle Ages, and we recognize their secret god Baphomet as an incarnation of our beloved Dionysus, a manifestation of Homo Deus, and of Our Beautiful God Antinous.

Friday, October 12, 2018

MATTHEW SHEPARD
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON this sad day we honor a young gay man who was brutally murdered: Matthew Shepard, who died at 12:53 am on Monday, October 12th, 1998.

He was brutally assaulted because he was gay, on the night of October 7, by two men who had lured him to a secluded place outside of Laramie Wyoming. 

His attackers tied him to a fence, beat him and left him for dead in the freezing cold. 

He was found the following evening by a cyclist. 

By the time help arrived, he had slipped into unconsciousness.

The death of Matthew Shepard awakened the world to the persecution that homosexuals have endured for centuries. His beauty, youth and innocence affected everyone, and spoke for the hundreds of others who in recent years have died similar deaths without being noticed.

Matthew Shepard is a Sacred and Holy Martyr of Homosexuality, he died an innocent because he was gay. He died a death that so many others have suffered, but his death changed the world.

He was 22 years old, very near the age of Antinous and, like Antinous, his beautiful face, humble origin, and tragic death have had a great impact on the future of homosexuality in our society.


We consecrate his memory and pray for him, that he will guide and protect us in our hour of danger, and bring an end to the violence and hatred that he suffered.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL COMING OUT DAY


THIS international event is in celebration of the joy of revealing to the world our sexuality. 

It is an international event that gives people the opportunity to come out as an act of spiritual and political courage, in defiance of all who would deny homosexuals our human rights. 

The first National Coming Out Day was held on October 11, 1988, it was in commemoration for the 1987 March on Washington. 

In its full essence it is a political statement, meant to call out to our brothers and sisters to publicly state that they are homosexual to all those who do not already know. 

Flamen Antonius Subia says:
We acknowledge the spiritual implication of this event as profoundly significant to the religion of Antinous and of the mysterious nature of Homo Deus. As an act of Liberation and as a vision promotion of our presence and numbers, we solemnly dedicate ourselves to public declaration of our sacred sexuality on this day.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

OPERA'S FIRST-EVER ON-STAGE SEX SCENE
IN RUFUS WAINWRIGHT'S 'HADRIAN'



THE long-awaited opera by Rufus Wainwright about Antinous and Hadrian will feature the first-ever on-stage sex scene in the history of opera.

And it will be a gay sex scene that audiences see when the curtain goes up this weekend on the world premiere of the Canadian Opera Company production.

The opera by Wainright and Daniel McIvor, entitled HADRIAN, which explores the relationship between Roman Emperor Hadrian and the young Antinous, will run October 13–27 at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre.

Peter Hinton will direct a cast that includes Thomas Hampson as Hadrian and renowned tenor Isaiah Bell as Antinous, with Karita Mattila as Plotina.

Over four acts and three locations ... Hadrian’s villa, Greece, and Egypt ... the opera "is a surreal romp through time and space, mixing true occurrences with complete fabrication in order to illustrate a vivid 'creative snapshot' of what the end of the Classical era may have felt like," Wainwright says.


It opens on the last night of Hadrian's life in 138 AD. He wants to know the truth about Antinous' mysterious death eight years earlier in October of the year 130 AD.

Was it an accident? Or murder? The plot twists, political deals are struck amidst power struggles, deceptions, and visiting ghosts. And then it ends where it started.

But not before a love scene: "I realized that there are no sex scenes written into opera," Wainwright tells The New York Times, "let alone anal sex scenes. I think for some people it will be powerful to see gay love represented in the larger-than-life fashion that only opera can provide," he adds.

"When I first read the fabulous "Memoirs of Hadrian" by Marguerite Yourcenar, a novel which inspired at least three generations of gay men, I was instantly struck with the idea of transforming this historical subject into operatic form," Wainwright says.

Hadrian was a master builder, the legacy of which we still marvel over today.

"But he is mostly unknown for what might be his greatest legacy, his having lived openly as a homosexual and his deep, unshakable love for another man, Antinous," the opera's librettist Daniel MacIvor writes.

"Homoerotic relationships were acceptable within the Roman nobility at the time .... Antinous was treated by Hadrian as an equal partner in their love."

They were together for six years before Antinous' mysterious drowning in the Nile while travelling on a barge with the Emperor in Egypt.

Hadrian was so heartbroken that he deified Antinous and built close to 30 temples around the empire to honour him.

There were also thousands of sculptures depicting his young, beautiful lover. About 115 survive today ... including at least 20 found at Hadrian's villa, where some think Antinous might be entombed.

Here is a sneak preview of the opera's musical score:





ANTINOUS HAS TWO SPIRITS



IN October millions of people in the United States of America celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day as an alternative to Columbus Day.

Antinous the Gay God is the divine essence of homosexuality ... the magico/spiritual gay spark in the Ancient Blood of humanity ... from the Olduvai Gorge ... across the Caucasus ... into Europe ... over mountains and deserts to the Far East ... over land bridges and in outrigger canoes to Australasia ... and the Americas! 

That gay spiritual spark flows in the veins of all of us ... but it shines most brightly in the Two Spirit People ... who have suffered so terribly for living magico/spiritual lives ... and who are re-kindling that spark today ... that it might shine brighter than ever.

Antinous the Gay God has Two Spirits ... but One Heart. Antinous dances with Two Spirits around the world. Antinous lives in the heart of Two Spirits everywhere ... the healers, medicine people and musicians. 

Antinous adherent Jack Baker offers this poem to all Gay and LGBT Two-Spirit, that they take pride in that name! 

TWO-SPIRIT

Two-Spirit never forget who you are.
A light to this world as bright as a star.
You are born as healers to humanity.
Together we can cure its insanity.
Mother Earth gave you this gift.
Of two-spirits to heal this rift.
Once seen as sacred and pure.
Now a sinner the Abrahams abhor.
Persecuted you are but strong is your heart.
Shine a light to the world to pave this new start.
Two-Spirit you are the visionaries of earth.
Through your sacred guidance we will see a rebirth.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

FAMOUS AS HE WAS INFAMOUS
SIMEON SOLOMON IS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON October 9th we honour Simeon Solomon, who was born on this date in 1840, and who became one of the most famous and infamous pre-Raphaelite painters of the 19th Century.

He was an outcast in two regards: he was Jewish and he was homosexual.

The pre-Raphaelites rejected the industrial machine age in the mid-19th Century and sought to return the the artistic genius of the late Medieval and early Renaissance "before Raphael."

Solomon was acclaimed for his glowing depictions of Jewish life just as he was derided for his depictions of same-sex love.

At the height of his fame, he was arrested in 1873 at a public toilet on Oxford Street in the heart of London and thrown in jail. He was in and out of prison the rest of his life on similar public "indecency" convictions.

After his prosecutions he no longer exhibited, but achieved a degree of celebrity amongst those who shared his sensibilities, including Oscar WildeJohn Addington Symonds,Count Eric Stenbock, and Walter Pater, who all collected his works.

He continued to paint in prison. He died in ignominy 14 August 1905. He is a saint of Antinous!

NO ANTINOMANIAC SHOULD BE WITHOUT
THIS TRIPLE GLASS CAMEO BROOCH



RIDING the 18th Century Antinomania fad, Scottish gem engraver and modeller James Tassie created this triple glass cameo brooch of Mars/Ares (wearing an Attic sphinx helmet) guarding Hadrian and Antinous, who gaze lovingly at each other. Near mint 18K gold frame. Yours for $695 on EBAY.


Monday, October 8, 2018

POMPEII HOUSE'S ENCHANTED GARDEN
HAS FRESCOES OF PEACOCKS, SERPENTS



STUNNING frescoes depicting peacocks,writhing snakes and a wild boar being hunted by dogs have been discovered in Pompeii, 2,000 years after the Roman city was buried by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius.

The colourful frescoes were discovered in a villa dubbed “The House of the Enchanted Garden” for the variety of animals and plants that decorate its walls, which was partially excavated in the 19th century.

But the frescoed room had remained undiscovered until now.

The blood-red paint that adorns the walls is almost as lustrous as before the villa was smothered in volcanic ash and pumice in AD 79.

Archeologists found an altar in a niche in one of the walls, guarded by two serpents to ward off evil spirits and demons.

“It is a marvelous and enigmatic space,” said Massimo Osanna, the director of the archeological site. “It will need to be studied in great detail.”

The frescoes include the figure of a horse, birds in flight and a strange human figure with a dog’s head.

The remains of the villa came to light during the latest phase of excavations at the ancient site, located south of Naples.

As part of the Great Pompeii Project, areas that have never before been dug, or which were partially excavated in the 19th century, are being explored.

The main room is believed to be a lararium, a room designed to hold the images of the lares, divine protectors of the villa and the Roman family that occupied it.

Marble or bronze statues of gods would have been placed in the niche. Archeologists found burn marks on the stone altar, evidence of the offerings that the household would have made to honour their gods.

“This lararium is one of the most elegant to have emerged at Pompeii,” archeologists said in a press release.

The two giant snakes that are depicted on the wall were not only to ward off demons but also “symbols of prosperity and good auspices.”

The image of two dogs chasing a fierce black boar “seems to allude symbolically to the victory of the forces of good over the forces of evil.”






Sunday, October 7, 2018

SAINT SERGIUS AND SAINT BACCHUS



OCTOBER 7 the Religion of Antinous honors St. Sergius and St. Bacchus, Christian patron saints of male-male love.

They were inseparable officers in the Roman army stationed in Syria during the reign of Emperor Maximian, who was fond of them and honored them repeatedly, which gave rise to jealousy in the court. 

A rival denounced Sergius and Bacchus, accusing them of not venerating the ancient gods of Rome, and of being Christians. When summoned to sacrifice to the genius of the Emperor, as was the Roman custom, Sergius and Bacchus refused.

They were imprisoned and subjected to a long series of tortures aimed at forcing them to sacrifice to the gods. They were stripped of their uniforms and made to walk through the streets wearing the clothing of women, a strange form of humiliation not usually inflicted on Christians, but a sign that their sexuality was being used to mock the saints.

Bacchus was beaten to death, but Sergius proved to be considerably  stronger than any torture that the Pagans could subject him to. When he was on the verge of surrender, and in despair, the spirit of Bacchus appeared to him and said: 

"Why do you grieve and mourn, brother? If I have been taken from you in body, I am still with you in the bond of union — Hurry then, yourself, through beautiful and perfect confession to pursue and obtain me."

Sergius was so strengthened that he could not be compelled to betray his faith, and the pagans chopped off his head.

For their strength and for the valor of their love for one another, and because for so many centuries they have remained the champions of homosexual love and devotion, we honor the Christian Saints Sergius and Bacchus as saints of the Religion of Antinous.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

SAINT OF ANTINOUS FREDDIE MERCURY
REUNITED WITH MONTSERRAT CABALLÉ



ADIOS la superba diva Montse ... Montserrat Caballé, who has died at 85, bridged opera with new music styles but especially with new audiences. A whole new generation discovered opera via her duet with FREDDIE MERCURY (Saint of Antinous!) for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. They are now reunited aboard the Antinous Barque of Millions of Years, where they perform nightly: 



EMERGENCY FUNDING TO SHORE UP
TWO ROMAN WALLS IN BRITAIN


TWO Roman walls ... both World Heritage Sites ... are to benefit from $2.6 million in British lottery funding ... to prevent them from crumbling from neglect due to government cutbacks.

The 2 million pounds will help train a "volunteer army" to survey and carry out repairs to Hadrian's Wall in northern England.

There will be a campaign to locate its missing stones, taken during the past 1,500 years to build local houses, farms, field walls, and churches.

The funding will also be used to "address the lack of awareness" about the Antonine Wall in central Scotland.

Stretching 37 miles (60km) between the firths of Forth and Clyde, the Antonine Wall briefly marked the northernmost point of the Roman Empire.

The £980,600 of lottery cash will be spent on a programme of 30 community-designed projects across the five local authorities it passes through.

A number of locations along the 89-mile (135km) Hadrian's Wall are at risk of damage from severe weather, tourism and invasive plant species.

Using the grant of £1.17 million, experts at Newcastle University will work with community volunteers who will be trained in skills such as digital surveying to understand more about its condition, as well as conservation and work to help prevent further deterioration.

Friday, October 5, 2018

STRIPEY SOCK SHOWS ANTINOOPOLITANS
WERE FOOTWEAR FASHION TREND-SETTERS



WE know that Antinoopolis, the city established by Hadrian at the site on the Nile where Antinous died in October of 130 AD, is famous for its colorful woven tapestries, garments and burial shrouds.

Now it turns out that residents of ANTINOOPOLIS were style-setters in stripey socks ... using innovative weaving and dying techniques to create spectacular socks that were exported throughout the Roman Empire ... even as far away as Legion outposts at Hadrian's Wall in Britannia.

Scientists at the British Museum used a new imagining technique to analyze a child’s sock, recovered from a rubbish dump in ancient Antinoupolis in Roman Egypt, and dating from 300AD.


They discovered red, blue and yellow dyes were used, along with a range of advanced dying and weaving techniques.

The sock, made for the left foot of a child with separation between the big toe and four other toes used six to seven colours of wool yarn, they found, and was radiocarbon-dated to 3rd to 4th Century AD ... the heyday of the religion of Antinous.

Many Egyptian socks found have a similar style, made them of wool, generally bright colour, with a section between the first two fingers to wear with sandals.

Such Antinoopolis-style striped socks have been found as far away as northern Britain.

The new technique, looks at the luminescence of different dyes and uses digital microscopy to examine fibres, and discovered the Egyptians used just three colors to blend the seven used in the sock.

Researchers say it could allow many more textiles to be examined and giving us an unprecedented glimpse into ancient life ... and how colourful it may have been.

The city named for Antinous became renowned around the world in 1895 when French Egyptologist Albert Gayet (Saint of Antinous) discovered thousands of mummies ... To his utter astonishment, many were gilded, many were swathed in priceless woollen wraps and others wore Byzantine jewelry and headdresses ... Antinoopolis embroidery and linens inspired Matisse, Renoir and the leading Paris fashion designers, who incorporated the rich colors and designs into their work.

Over the years, spectacular finds at Antinoopolis have shown that mummies were given a SKIN OF GOLD for burial.

The socks find was made for the Egyptian Exploration Society in 1913-1914 by English papyrologist John de Monins Johnson.

His team found two excellent examples of Egyptian socks, the child's one that has been newly analyzed and a larger adult version, with the impression of the sandal thong still visible. 

While socks have been around since the stone age, when cavemen used pelts or animal skins, the ancient Egyptians are thought to be responsible for the first knitted socks.

ANTINOUS IN MENNEFER (MEMPHIS)
ENCOUNTERS THE MEMPHITE TRINITY



HADRIAN and Antinous arrived in splendor at Mennefer/Memphis the ancient capital of the Old Kingdom.

The Memphite cosmology held that the god Ptah was the creator of the universe, that out of fire he created Atum and the Ennead of the Heliopolis. 

Ptah created the Atum from his burning heart and speech, and then the Atum created the world with his hands and semen. 

In later days Ptah would become a ruler of the underworld, or more specifically, of what lied beyond these world, he was the root of the root. 

He was accompanied two other goddess, Sekhmet-Bast, the Lion-Cat Goddess who represents destruction and Nefertum, their son, whose name means "the accomplisher of Atum" and represents preservation and healing.

Another son of Ptah and Sekhmet-Bast was Maahes, the lion-headed boy god of war, protection, knives, lotus blossoms and also vanquishing enemies of light and justice.

Yet another deity associated with Ptah at Memphis/Mennefer was the dwarf deity Ptah-Pataikos ... who at first glance resembles BES, but who appears to represent all Egyptian dwarf deities.

Ancient Egyptian dwarfs were assumed neither fully adult or pre-pubescent and assumed part of both human and animal realms. Patakoi symbolised youthful solar gods. 

The symbolic aspect was the solar affinities of dwarfs reflecting the idea of regeneration.

They assumed the role of protectors of small children and were strongly connected with fertility and magical amulets. 

The dwarf Ptah-Pataikos-Sokar amulets were concerned with both the living and the dead ... the Ptah-Patakoi guarded the living, especially children, and what appears to be an insignificant figurine is in reality a beautiful and magical amulet.

Antinous was exposed to these mysteries that brought him deeper into the unfolding of the nature of the universe and the identity of the first principle. 

He was initiated into the double nature of creation, through Sekhmet and Nefertum. 

Pictured above is the Memphite triad with a very white-skinned king who resembles Antinous.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

THE ANCIENT RENAISSANCE MAN IMHOTEP
SET THE EGYPTIAN PRECEDENT
FOR ANTINOUS TO BECOME A GOD


SOME 3,000 years before Antinous visited Mennefer-Memphis in October 130 AD, the Egyptians deified another mortal commoner ... the ancient "Renaissance Man" Imhotep ... Egyptian magician, physician, scribe, sage, architect, astronomer, vizier, and priest.

Imhotep's many talents and vast acquired knowledge had such an effect on the Egyptian people that he became the first individual of non-royal birth to be deified ... setting a precedent for Antinous to attain the status of a god.

 Imhotep, or "he who cometh in peace," was born in Ankhtowe, a suburb of Memphis, Egypt. 


The month and day of his birth are noted precisely as the sixteenth day of Epiphi, third month of the Egyptian harvest (corresponding to May 31) but the year is not definitely recorded. 

It is known that Imhotep was a contemporary (living in the same time period) of the Pharaoh, or king of Egypt, Zoser (also known as  Neterikhet) of the Third Dynasty. But estimates of the era of his reign vary by as much as three hundred years, falling between 2980 and 2600 B.C.E.

Imhotep's father, Kanofer, a celebrated architect, was later known to be the first of a long line of master builders who contributed to Egyptian works through the reign of King Darius the First (522–486 B.C.E. ). His mother, Khreduonkh, who probably came from the province of Mendes, is known today for having been deified alongside her son, an Egyptian custom.


Vizier under King Zoser


The office of the vizier in politics was literally described as "supervisor of everything in this entire land." Only the best educated citizen could handle the range of duties of this position that worked closely with the Pharaoh, or king of Egypt.


The capital city was Mennefer (Memphis) called the city of the "White Walls" for the enormous walls around the Temple of Ptah compound (right).

As vizier, Imhotep was chief advisor to Zoser in both religious and practical matters, and he controlled the departments of the Judiciary (court system), Treasury, War, Agriculture, and the General Executive.

There are no historical records of Imhotep's acts as a political figure, but his wisdom as a religious advisor was widely recognized after he ended a terrible famine (a severe shortage of food) that dominated Egypt during seven years of Zoser's reign. It is said that the king was failing in his responsibility to please the god Khnum, and his neglect was causing the Nile to fall short of a flood level which would support Egyptian farms. 


Imhotep, having a vast knowledge of the proper traditions and methods of worship, was able to counsel Zoser on pleasing Hapi, the the god of the inundation, allowing the Nile to return to its usual flood level.

The first miracle attributed to Antinous was a bountiful Nile inundation in the year 131 AD. 

Architect of the famous pyramid at Sakkara


 The Step Pyramid at Sakkara is the only of Imhotep's achievements that can still be seen and appreciated today. Its reputation is largely based on Imhotep's accomplishments as the pyramid's inventor and builder. 


This pyramid for King Djoser, also called "Netjerikhet" (Incarnation of the Gods), was the first structure ever built of cut stone, and is by far the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the World, the seven structures of the ancient world that were astonishing accomplishments for their time. 

It took twenty years to complete—not very long, given the newness of the idea and the state of structural science in the Bronze Age (between 3000 B.C.E. and 1100 C. E.), the period of development where metals, particularly bronze, were used for the first time.

Imhotep wanted the tomb to accommodate the Pharaoh's rise into the heavens. To do this, he planned to improve upon the flat, rectangular mastabas, or built-in benches, which were the traditional tombal structures. 


The pyramid was raised on top of the base mastabas in five smaller steps, one on top of the other.

He added a passageway on the north side issuing upward within the structure from a sarcophagus chamber (where the stone coffin holding the mummy is kept) seventy-five feet below ground. 

The total height of the pyramid and base is just under two hundred feet, unimaginably large for a single structure before Imhotep's design.

The project at Sakkara was designed in its entirety as a way for the deceased to perform the rituals of the jubilee festival, or Hebsed. The complex consisted of many other buildings, as well as ornamental posts some thirty-seven feet high. 


The protection of the king and his burial gifts—about 36,000 vessels of alabaster, dolomite, aragonite, and other precious materials—was the other primary function of the burial site.

The entire complex was enclosed within a stone wall about thirty-five feet high. Imhotep added several false entrances to throw off possible tomb raiders. As a final measure, the king's treasure was lowered through vertical shafts around the tomb into a long corridor one hundred feet below ground. The digging of just this corridor without machines of any kind is an amazing accomplishment by modern standards.

When Antinous and Hadrian visited Egypt in the year 130 AD, they stood atop the plateau at Sakkara and marveled at the achievements of Imhotep.

It is likely that Imhotep was the architect and master builder of many other projects completed during a forty-year period of the Third Dynasty, though none of them compare in size or stylistic influence to the burial site at Sakkara. 


Imhotep was also the author of an encyclopedia of architecture that was used as a reference tool by Egyptian builders for thousands of years.
 

Physician-magician, God of medicine


As a god of medicine, Imhotep was beloved as a curer of everyday problems who could "provide remedies for all diseases," and "give sons to the childless."


Members of the cult of Imhotep in the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Dynasties (between 525 B.C.E. and 550 C. E.) would pay tribute to the God at his temple just outside Memphis. 

The temple also contained halls devoted to the teaching of medical methods, and to the preservation of the materia medica, which details the entirety of Egyptian medical knowledge which may actually have originated with Imhotep.

Imhotep's name was often grouped with such powerful deities as Thoth, God of Wisdom, Isis, the wonder-worker, and Ptah, a healer and the ancient God of Memphis. 


Although royal individuals were deified by the Egyptians, Imhotep is unique as the first non-royal man to be known by his own name as a god inferior in power only to Re (chief Sun-God). With that precedence in mind, the Egyptians had no objections to accepting Antinous as a God.

Imhotep was also a member of the great triad of Memphis, with Ptah, Imhotep's father among the gods, and Sekhmet, a goddess associated with childbirth.

It is a matter of debate today how much of Imhotep's reputation as a curer of disease stems from medical skill and how much comes from his command of magic and healing rituals.


More than 3,000 years before Antinous died in the Nile ... Imhotep set the precedent for deification of mortal non-royals in Egypt.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

ANTINOUS MAY HAVE SEEN HUGE STRUCTURE
NOW DISCOVERED IN EGYPT



Archaeologists have discovered a “massive” ancient building which Antinous and Hadrian may have seen during their visit to the ancient Egyptian city of Mennefer/Memphis in September/October of the year 130 AD.

The building was found in the ruins of Mennefer, now called the town of Mit Rahina, 12 miles (20km) south of the modern capital, Cairo.

The country’s Antiquities Ministry said archaeologists also uncovered an attached building which includes a large Roman bath and another chamber that was likely used for religious rituals.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the building probably formed part of the residential block in the area, which was the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. 

Memphis, founded in 3100 BC, was home to Menes, the king who united Upper and Lower Egypt. 

“The discovered building was built of brick blocks supported by huge blocks of limestone, whose foundations, external walls and inner staircase were built with red brick molds,” Mr Waziri said, according to Egypt Today. 

He said the area would be excavated and studied in order to discover more about the building.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

A QUEER TEMPLE IN LONDON
PAYS TRIBUTE TO OSCAR WILDE



FOR us, Oscar Wilde is a beloved saint of Antinous. Now the New York- and Ireland-based artist duo David McDermott and Peter McGough are enshrining him in a new installation, The Oscar Wilde Temple, located in a Victorian church in London.

It follows upon the artists' success with the same OSCAR WILDE TEMPLE project at a church in New York's Greenwich Village last year.


London's Oscar Wilde Temple, which runs 3 October 2018 until 31 March 2019 at Studio Voltaire, 1A Nelsons Row London SW4 7JR, will be free to visit and open to "all faiths and non-believers alike," the artists said in announcing the project.

It can also be booked "for LGBTQ+ marriage celebrations, naming ceremonies, vow renewals, memorials and markings of other important occasions," with proceeds from private events going towards LGBT homelessness charity the Albert Kennedy Trust.

Upon entering the space, visitors find a first assembly of portraits depicting historical LGBT figures, many of whom championed gay rights or were otherwise killed because of their sexuality and gender identity.

Paintings of gay icons and activists Marsha P. Johnson, Harvey Milk, and Xulhaz Mannan become constellations of martyrdom adjacent to the installation’s main event: the hagiography of Wilde. 


They illuminate the twisted heritage of queer advancements and reactionary violence against those advancements.

It symbolizes how the queer community must often rejoice and suffer in equal measure.

And the dim mood lighting of the temple recalls that of a funerary chapel, creating an atmosphere of meditation and mourning.

The Victorian fabric covering many of the temple walls is florid but altogether muted in a silent, muddy palette. 


Votive candles in purple-tinted glass dot the temple’s landscape, asking us to remember the dead.

Turning to McDermott and McGough's main focus, the deification of Wilde, we see a variety of mementos and devotionals. Paintings, sculptures, and quotations argue for Wilde’s foresight and forbearance on queer history.


The most elaborate of these examples is Oscar Wilde Altarpiece (2017), which depicts Wilde as a kind of Roman god or Catholic saint. He stands in Victorian dandy garb, hands clasped and chin pushed slightly up to confer a sense of grace. 

He is perched above his prison number from Reading Gaol, C.33, in a triumphant yet relaxed posture.

Just behind the figure, a stained-glass image of Jesus peers into the temple, his image beckoning viewers to connect Wilde’s narrative to a number of Christian martyrs who wilfully died for what they believed in.


This sly juxtaposition makes a case for Wilde's sanctification as an icon of queer suffering.