Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MAP OF ANCIENT ROMAN TRAVEL ROUTES
ALLOWS YOU TO FOLLOW ANTINOUS



WE know that Antinous and Hadrian traveled to many far-flung provinces of the Roman Empire ... and now an interactive map helps you appreciate how long it would have taken ... and how it would have cost ... to follow in their footsteps.

Rome was at its largest under Hadrian. The Roman Empire stretched across the length and breadth of UK, Europe and beyond covering a staggering 1,061,780 square miles (2,750,000 square km).

But its size was can also be attributed to its downfall as managing such a large expanse of land proved costly and time consuming. 

To put this expanse into perspective, historians have created the interactive ORBIS: Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World that lets you explore the Empire, and see how long it would have taken ... and how much it would have cost ... to travel the world in the time of Antinous and Hadrian.

The map of the Roman world was created by Walter Scheidel, an historian in the Classics and History Departments at Stanford.

It features 632 sites including urban settlements and mountain passes, and covers close to 4 million square miles (10 million square km) of land and sea.

The map reveals how much it would have cost to travel on roads and seas across the Roman Empire, and calculates the route based on the season or mode of transport chosen.

Map modes include travelling by foot, horses, relay, oxcart, porter, private chariot, and during a rapid military march.

Travelling by Imperial Entourage is perhaps the only option missing.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

YOUR FRIENDS REALLY ARE YOUR FAMILY
STUNNING NEW GENETIC STUDY PROVES



YOU may unsuspectingly choose friends who have some DNA sequences in common with you, a new analysis finds.

Researchers compared gene variations between nearly 2,000 people who were not biologically related, and found that friends had more gene variations in common than strangers.

The study lends a possible scientific backing for the well-worn clich├ęs: "We're just like family," or "Friends are the family you choose," the researchers said.

"Humans are unique in that we create long-term connections with people of our species," said Nicholas Christakis, a social scientist at Yale University involved in the study. "Why do we do that? Why do we make friends? Not only that, we prefer the company of people we resemble."

The researchers did the study because they wanted "to provide a deep evolutionary account of the origins and significance of friendship," Christakis said.

The new study is based on data from the Framingham Heart Study, which is a large, ongoing study looking at heart disease risk factors in the people living in one town: Framingham, Massachusetts. The researchers looked at data on people's DNA, as well as who was friends with whom.

After analyzing almost 1.5 million markers of gene variations, the researchers found that pairs of friends had the same level of genetic relation as people did with a fourth cousin, or a great-great-great grandfather, which translates to about 1 percent of the human genome.

The most common gene shared by friends was the "olfactory" gene, which is involved in a person's sense of smell.

Although 1 percent may not sound like much, Christakis said in a statement, "to geneticists it is a significant number.


He said, "Most people don't even know who their fourth cousins are, yet we are somehow, among a myriad of possibilities, managing to select as friends the people who resemble ourselves."

Monday, July 21, 2014

HART CRANE
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON JULY 21 the Religion of Antinous honors St. Hart Crane (July 21, 1899 — April 27, 1932) a great and openly gay American poet whose poetry was considered "beyond comprehension" by straight readers but which is easily understood by gays.

He was one of the most influential poets of his generation, but — like so many gay men — was plagued by doubts and low self-esteem and feelings of failure.

Crane was gay and he considered his sexuality to be an integral part of his life's mission as a poet. Raised in the Christian Science tradition of his mother, he was never able to shake off the feeling that he was an outcast and a sinner.

However, as poems such as "Repose of Rivers" make clear, he felt that this sense of alienation was necessary in order for him to attain the visionary insight that formed the basis for his poetic work.

Throughout the early 1920s, small but well-respected literary magazines published some of Crane's lyrics, gaining him, among the avant-garde, a respect that White Buildings (1926), his first volume, ratified and strengthened. White Buildings contains many of Crane's best lyrics, including "For the Marriage of Faustus and Helen", and a powerful sequence of erotic poems called "Voyages", written while he was falling in love with Emil Opffer, a Danish merchant marineman.

He wanted to write the great American epic poem. This ambition would finally issue in The Bridge (1930), where the Brooklyn Bridge is both the poem's central symbol and its poetic starting point.

The Bridge got mostly bad reviews, but much worse than that was Crane's sense that he had not succeeded in his goal. It was during the late '20s, while he was finishing The Bridge, that his heavy drinking got notably heavier. The partial failure of the poem perhaps had something to do with his increasing escape into booze.

While on a Guggenheim Fellowship in Mexico in 1931-32, his drinking continued while he suffered from bouts of alternating depression and elation. His only heterosexual affair, with Peggy Cowley, the wife of his friend Malcolm Cowley, was one of the few bright spots. And "The Broken Tower", his last great lyric poem (maybe his greatest lyric poem), emerges from that affair. But in his own eyes, he was still a failure.

Crane was returning to New York by steamship when, on the morning of April 26, 1932, he made advances to a male crewmember and was beaten up. Just before noon he jumped overboard into the Gulf of Mexico. His body was never found.

 Here is a poem which straight people found inscrutable and obscure, but which gay readers understood was about anonymous gay sex:


INTERIOR
It sheds a shy solemnity,
This lamp in our poor room.
O grey and gold amenity, --
Silence and gentle gloom!
Wide from the world, a stolen hour
We claim, and none may know
How love blooms like a tardy flower
Here in the day's after-glow.
And even should the world break in
With jealous threat and guile,
The world, at last, must bow and win
Our pity and a smile. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

HADRIAN ALIGNED TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS
TO CATCH DAWN RAYS ON JULY 20



HADRIAN designed the Antinous Mortuary Temple at his Villa outside Rome so that the rays of the rising sun would illuminate the inner sanctum on the Egyptian festival of the Nile Inundation, according to a US research team.

The new findings come on the heels of studies by other researchers showing that Emperor Hadrian, a skilled architect and astronomer/astrologer in his own right, aligned the Pantheon and the observatory at his Villa to the Solstices.

The new findings are the first indicating a celestial configuration for the Mortuary Temple of Antinous at Hadrian's Villa.

Archaeo-astronomers at Ball State University in the United States say the mystery-shrouded temple, called the ANTINOEION, was aligned so that the first rays of the rising sun would illuminate the East Face of the OBELISK OF ANTINOUS, which would then cast a shadow across a monolithic statue of Antinous-Osiris deep in the inner sanctum of the temple.

Using "solar tracking" technology and highly sophisticated 3-D computer imaging, the Ball State experts say that this sunrise configuration only occurs on July 20th each year.

July 20th was when the Egyptians, at that point in their long history, celebrated the annual Inundation of the Nile, the flood waters which brought nutrient-rich sediment down the river to Egypt to ensure bountiful crops for the coming year.

At other points in Egyptian history, that "Egyptian New Year" festival was celebrated on other dates, owing to vagaries of ancient calendars. But according to Roman writer Censorinus, the Egyptian New Year's Day fell on July 20th in the Julian Calendar in 139 AD, which was a heliacal rising of Sirius in Egypt.

The Ball State University findings are all the more interesting because the First Miracle of Antinous, the July after his death in October 130 AD, was the NILE INUNDATION MIRACLEwhich ended a years-long drought which had threatened the entire empire with famine since Egypt was Rome's "breadbasket" for grain and produce.



The Obelisk is now located atop the Pincian Hill in Rome, but it almost certainly originally stood at the Antinoeion within the Hadrian's Villa compound. The plinth for the obelisk is still visible.

The Obelisk is covered in Egyptian hieroglyphs which constitute a prayer of praise for Antinous the God, describing his blessings.

The Egyptian hieroglyphs on the East Face of the Obelisk quote Antinous the God as asking Ra-Herakhte the sun god for blessings on Hadrian, and also asking Hapy, the Nile Inundation deity, to bring about a bountiful inundation on his behalf.

In effect, the rays (or "hands") of the sun god "activate" the Egyptian hieroglyphs, bringing this divine prayer to religio-magical life, as the shadow of the Obelisk covers the statue of Antinous-Osiris, master of death and transfiguration.

The Ball State University findings have yet to be verified independently, and the researchers said further studies are underway.


It is possible, of course, that the date July 20th had another significance of a more personal nature involving Hadrian and Antinous. 

On the final leg of a three-year tour of the Eastern Empire, Hadrian and his Imperial entourage arrived in Egypt in the summer of the year 130 AD. 

It is known that Hadrian and Antinous spent time in Alexandria, as well as in the coastal resort of Canopus. And they also slew a man-eating lion in Egypt in the summer of 130 AD.

So July 20th could refer to one of those events. It could, of course, also refer to something of a more intimate nature between the two men which transpired on that date.


Perhaps Hadrian and Antinous took part in celebrations for the Nile Inundation on July 20th of 130 AD in Egypt at which drought-weary Egyptians looked to Emperor Hadrian, as their pharaoh, to provide a miracle. 

Ancient writers speculated that Antinous may have been eager to find a religio-magical way to help his beloved Hadrian, possibly sacrificing his life in return for blessings on the Emperor.

Whatever the date may signify, we know that, barely three months later, Antinous drowned in the Nile, and that grief-stricken Hadrian proclaimed him a God, the last Classical Deity before the Fall of Rome.
 

He died under mysterious circumstances, with Hadrian saying only that he "fell into the Nile." The Inundation Deity Hapy ensured that the Nile overflowed its banks generously the following July 20th.

A walk-through of the Ball State University computer model of the Antinoeion and explanation of the July 20th solar alignment is provided in this YouTube video:

ALEXANDRIA ALIGNED TO SUN
ON ALEXANDER THE GREAT'S BIRTHDAY



ALEXANDRIA, home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, may have been built to align with the rising sun on the day of Alexander the Great's birth, according to a report by LIVESCIENCE.

The Macedonian king, who commanded an empire that stretched from Greece to Egypt to the Indus River in what is now India, founded the city of Alexandria in 331 B.C. 

It would later become hugely prosperous, home to Cleopatra, the magnificent Royal Library of Alexandria and the 450-foot-tall (140 meters) Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the SEVEN WONDERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD.

Hadrian and Antinous visited Alexandria in the summer and early autumn of 130 AD.

Ancient Alexandria was planned around a main east-west thoroughfare called the Canopic Road, points out Giulio Magli, an archaeo-astronomer at the Politecnico of Milan. 

A study of the ancient route reveals it is not laid out according to topography; for example, it doesn't run quite parallel to the coastline. 

But on July 20th, the birthday of Alexander the Great, the rising sun of the 4th Century BC rose "in almost perfect alignment with the road," Magli was quoted as saying.

July 20th, 356 BC, is the date which has always been accepted as the birthday of Alexander the Great. Whether it was his actual birthday or only the official royal observance of his birth is unknown.

It is said that on the night before the mother of Alexander, Olympias, was to be married to King Phillip of Macedonia, she dreamt that a thunderbolt struck her body and filled it with power.

After the marriage, it is said that Phillip peeked into her chamber, and found her lying with a serpent, and that he afterward dreamt that her womb was sealed and that a lion dwelled within her. 


And on the night that he was born, 20th of July, 356 BC, the great Temple at Ephesus was burned to the ground by a vandal, because the goddess Artemis was away, assisting with the birth of Alexander the Great.

He was considered to be the son of Zeus, and this divine origin was what was given as an explanation for the unprecedented conquests that he accomplished. In his youth Aristotle, a student of Plato, educated him along with his following of young princes, who were later serve as his generals, and the founders of great dynastic monarchies of the Hellenistic world.

Foremost of these was his ever loyal and devoted Hepheistion, whose reciprocated love for Alexander was homosexual in nature.

In one of their first battles, while Phillip was still king, the young Alexander proved himself by defeating the SACRED BAND OF THEBES, the army of homosexual lovers who were the most famous and courageous warriors of their time.

Alexander is said to have wept at their destruction, and buried them with honor, erecting a statue of a Lion over their graves.

He would later go one to conquer the entire Eastern world, Asia Minor, Syria, Judea, Egypt, and all of Persia, as far East as India.


The Empire of Alexander spread Greek culture throughout the world, and made the communication of far-distant ideas possible so that the new Hellenistic culture that he created, was a combination of classical Greece and of the exotic cultures that were imported from every corner.

After the death of Alexander, at only 33 years of age, he was deified by his generals who divided his great Empire among themselves. We praise the glorious warrior Alexander of Macedonia, and elevate him, and worship him as a God, an example of the greatness of homosexuality, and a heroic protector of the Divine Antinous.
 

THE BIRTH OF ALEXANDER


IT IS SAID that on the night before the mother of Alexander, Olympias, was to be married to King Phillip of Macedonia, she dreamt that a thunderbolt struck her body and filled it with power.

After the marriage, it is said that Phillip peeked into her chamber, and found her lying with a serpent, and that he afterward dreamt that her womb was sealed and that a lion dwelled within her. 

And on the night that he was born, 20th of July, 356 BC, the great Temple at Ephesus was burned to the ground by a vandal, because the goddess Artemis was away, assisting with the birth of Alexander the Great.

He was considered to be the son of Zeus, and this divine origin was  what was given as an explanation for the unprecedented conquests that he accomplished. In his youth Aristotle, a student of Plato, educated him along with his following of young princes, who were later serve as his generals, and the founders of great dynastic monarchies of the Hellenistic world.

Foremost of these was his ever loyal and devoted Hepheistion, whose reciprocated love for Alexander was homosexual in nature.

In one of their first battles, while Phillip was still king, the young Alexander proved himself by defeating the Sacred Band of Thebes, the army of homosexual lovers who were the most famous and courageous warriors of their time.

Alexander is said to have wept at their destruction, and buried them with honor, erecting a statue of a Lion over their graves.

He would later go one to conquer the entire Eastern world, Asia Minor, Syria, Judea, Egypt, and all of Persia, as far East as India. The Empire of Alexander spread Greek culture throughout the world, and made the communication of far-distant ideas possible so that the new Hellenistic culture that he created, was a combination of classical Greece and of the exotic cultures that were imported from every corner.

After the death of Alexander, at only 33 years of age, he was deified by his generals who divided his great Empire among themselves. We praise the glorious warrior Alexander of Macedonia, and elevate him, and worship him as a God, an example of the greatness of homosexuality, and a heroic protector of the Divine Antinous.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

THE SACRED GAY MARTYRS OF IRAN


IRAN publicly executed two teenage boys on July 19th, 2005, in the city of Mashad.

Their names were Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, one 18 and the other 17 or 16 years old.

They were accused of raping a 13-year-old boy, but it has been established that the authorities invented the charge of rape in order to prevent public sympathy for the true reason for their execution, that they were Homosexuals.

After their arrest the two boys endured a year of imprisonment and  torture before the high court of Iran upheld their sentence and their  execution by hanging was carried out in a public square in the city of Mashad.

International outrage was met with arrogance and impunity by the religious and conservative Iranian government, and a systematic persecution soon began against homosexuals, which has led to an unabated spate of sporadic executions over the years, and untold numbers of arrests and torture.

These events indicate that the worldwide struggle for Gay Freedom has not decreased but has become more violent and inhumane.

The photograph at left of the Martyrs just before their death is one of the first depictions ever photographed of anti-homosexual violence in action.

For their suffering, we proclaim Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni and all of the unnamed gay victims of Iranian persecution, Saints and Innocent Martyrs of the Religion of Antinous.

May all those who see this image of violence rise up for the cause of Gay Freedom, and remember those who suffer in Iran.