Friday, November 5, 2021

By Novice Priest Adriaan van den Berg

THE immense release that follows the drowning of Antinous in the Nile, when the grief and sense of tragedy dissipates upon Antinous deification and emergence as a god to be replaced by a sense of wonder and jubilation, is in turn followed by a sense of gratitude and celebration as the founding of our Antinoan faith arrives and is commemorated.

The Founding of the faith entailed the establishing of the holy city of Antinopolis near the place where Antinous drowned in the Nile by Hadrian, destined to be a centre of Antinous worship which Hadrian initiated by also creating a Priesthood for the religion and cultus of Antinous.

Antinopolis today lies in ruins, the Ancient Priests are no more and after 400 years of worship, the Christian Theodosius attempted to snuff out the religion of Antinous. 

We accept that all of this was fated to be and we lament not this incredible "passing" since memory and traces of him could never have been completely obliterated and Antinous endured and emerged into modernity, first anounced by the reappearance and rediscovery of and mania for his statues amongst the leaders of the Christians themselves, then through literature and art, beginning with Johann Joachim Winckelmann's study of Antinous, until the explosion of modern Antinous art and related literature that occured since and culminating in publication of Royston Lamberts' "Beloved And God" and Antinous emergence in the "ether" and his presence online and his successful introduction into cyberspace, the advent of official and open and public modern worship of Antinous.

These are a complexity of triumphant manifestations that asks and requires of us that we look at the ruin of our city, at passing of the ancient priests and worship as an important process that was meant to be and needed - since today Antinopolis is an abstracted ideal, a place beyond the reach of the intolerant.

There are modern Priests of Antinous who continue the work of the ancient, modern worshippers who adore Antinous the God and the faith of Antinous is practiced on six continents, in numerous countries. What Hadrian "founded" has never died or been eclipsed in 1,900 years since! 

And Antinous is immortal, Antinous lives!

Ave Antinous!

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