Monday, April 27, 2015

CHECK OUT THESE GORGEOUS IMAGES
OF ANTINOUS FROM AN ADMIRER




WE love it when people who love Antinous send us unsolicited stories, poems and art. These images were created by our Twitter follower @Son_of_Sekhmet in the Netherlands.




Sunday, April 26, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARCUS AURELIUS


ON April 26th the Religion of Antinous joyously celebrates the birth of one of the wisest rulers in history, a man hand-picked by the Divine Hadrian personally to become Emperor of Rome.

Marcus Annius Verus was born on this day in the year 121 to a Spanish Roman family, related to Hadrian. From the very start, the young Marcus showed a deep interest in learning and particularly in philosophy.

The Stoic philosopher Epictetus had the most profound influence over him, and his truthful and pious nature gained Hadrian's attention and Hadrian is said to have called him "Verissimus", or most truthful, and to have taken an interest in the future of the young philosopher.

Marcus would have been 9 years old when Antinous died, and he is not believed to have been with the court in Egypt.

When Aelius Ceasar died shortly after being chosen Emperor in 138, it is believed that Marcus was Hadrian's next choice. However, the ailing and grieving emperor felt that the 17-year-old Marcus was too young.

So Hadrian decided to elect Antoninus Pius instead, requiring Antoninus to choose Marcus and the son of Lucius, called Lucius Verus, to be Antoninus's successors in turn.

This became known as the Dynasty of the Antonines, the last flowering of the glory that was Imperial Rome.

Hadrian believed that the old Antoninus would only rule for the few years needed to allow Marcus to mature. But instead, Antoninus remained in power far longer than Hadrian, and Marcus was 40 years old when he at last took power.

But the Empire that he inherited was succumbing to more and more trouble along its borders, as the Germanic hordes began their slow migration across the borders. The Philosopher-King Marcus was doomed to spend the majority of his reign leading the armies along the cold northern border.

He was successful in keeping the barbarians outside the Empire, and in maintaining the peace and prosperity in the heart of Rome that had been left to him by Hadrian and Antoninus. 


We celebrate the birthday of Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A LITTLE ANTINOUS CAN GO A LONG WAY


POCKET shrines are a handy and magical way to take Antinous with you wherever you go. 

ECCLESIA ANTINOI is the online meeting place for adherents of Antinous, and recently we have been talking about creating portable altars and pocket shrines. 

Many group members have shrines at home but would like to have a sacred little something to take with them, not only on long journeys but even when they go to work, to school or run everyday errands.

One group member said a household altar can be a multi-purpose center. He told us: "As I prepare a new altar and shrine to Antinous,  I've dedicated a place to put my wallet, money, and keys in a niche in the shrine thus connecting my life source — money — with that of  Antinous' caring, protective spirit."

Everyone can create ANTINOUS ALTARS in even the most limited space. It need not be large and expensive. Even a photo of Antinous on a shelf can be a sacred spot.

Many people think they have to have lots of space and buy out a whole home-hardware store to build an overly elaborate shrine which takes up practically a whole room. That's not true. You can create a Sacred Space anywhere — on a table top, on a shelf or a special box or bag — for a portable shrine such as travelers and pilgrims used to have with them on arduous journeys in bygone centuries before the advent of paved roads and reliable transport.

Just as a bonsai tree embodies a forest giant, a pocket shrine is the embodiment of the Great Temple of Antinous in ANTINOOPOLIS.

A pouch or bag can hold a photo or figure of Antinous along with other "magical" things which are special to you such as crystals, sea shells, inspirational notes, mementos of people (or animals) you love. A deck of tiny Tarot cards or a small vial of perfume oil, dried flowers and prayer beads. The possibilities — as tiny as they may be in physical size — are absolutely unlimited.

In his book about Antinous, Beloved and God, Royston Lambert points out that in ancient times many followers of the Blessed Youth felt it was necessary to have a tangible representation of Antinous with them at all times for protection and for blessings:

"Some of the devotees evidently could not bear to be parted from the beneficial and reassuring presence of their Antinous and therefore had small, light-weight travelling busts or bronzes made to accompany them on their journeys."

Ancient worshipers of the Beauteous Boy knew that a little Antinous quite literally can go a long way ....

Friday, April 24, 2015

ANTINOUS-ERA EGYPTIAN HANGOVER CURE
WAS ALSO A FASHION STATEMENT


A crumbling papyrus found near Antinoopolis offers a sure-fire hangover cure ... and one that is also a fashion statement.

A leafy wreath of curative herbs was just the thing to clear your day-after head, according to a newly translated and published papyrus written in Greek with the prescription for "A DRUNKEN HEADACHE" cure. 

The alcohol victim would have strung together leaves from a shrub called Alexandrian chamaedaphne (Ruscus racemosus L.), possibly wearing the strand around the neck or forehead, not unlike this Classical youth wearing a victory wreath by John Singer Sargent.

The 1,900-year-old papyrus dating back to the time of Antinous containing the hangover treatment is one of over 500,000 such documents found in the ancient Egyptian town of Oxyrhynchus not far from Antinoopolis by researchers Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt about a century ago.

But the study and publication of so many papyri is a long and slow task that has been going on for a century. 

Only recently, volume 80 was published, containing studies and decipherments of about 30 medical papyri found at Oxyrhynchus, including the papyrus with the hangover treatment.

This newly published volume represents "the largest single collection of medical papyri to be published," wrote Vivian Nutton, a professor at University College London, at the beginning of the volume. 

The collection includes medical treatises and treatments for a wide variety of ailments, including hemorrhoids, ulcers, tooth problems and even some fragments discussing eye surgery.

The writers of these ancient papyri relied heavily on Greek knowledge. The ancient residents of Oxyrhynchus strongly embraced Hellenistic (Greek-influenced) culture, something that spread throughout Egypt, and the wider Middle East, after the conquests of Alexander the Great, Nutton said.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

NICANTINOUS AND DEMETRIUS
WRESTLERS AT THE GAMES OF ANTINOUS


OUT of the thousands of athletes, artists and poets who took part in the famous Ancient Games of Antinous, only two names have come down to us ... two teenage wrestlers named Nicantinous and Demetrius.

The modern priests of Antinous rejoice at the discovery by pure chance of their names ... on a crumbling papyrus which had been found 100 years ago but which only recently has been translated.

These two youths were rivals in life. The faced each other in a championship match in honor of Antinous.

And the bittersweet irony of it all is that their names were recorded for posterity because they cheated! They names are bound together for all eternity as if in a vice-like wrestler's grip ... because their managers rigged the match.

The remarkable thing is how few names have survived to this day. We know the names of only a handful of Ancient Priests of Antinous ... and even fewer names of his worshipers. 

We know for example that a man called Serapammon commissioned the priests to cast a love spell to win the heart of a woman he adored.

The Games of Antinous, formally called the Great Antinoeia, were held every four years in Antinoopolis which was founded by Emperor Hadrian on the site along the Nile where his beloved Antinous had died in 130 AD. The Games flourished for hundreds of years, but no record had ever been found listing any names connected with the Games.


Until now ... and now a papyrus document has been deciphered which lists two boy wrestlers who took part in the final wrestling championship match in at the 138th Great Antinoeia in the year 267 AD.

Ironically, the papyrus is a contract signed by trainers of the two boys to rig their match so that Nicantinous would win ... and Demetrius would be paid off to lose.

Details of this contract came to light this past week as the Modern Priests of Antinous were making plans for the 2014 Games of Antinous which will be held in August.

We shall never know who Nicantinous and Demetrius were during their lifetimes. Now, of course, they will be forever linked together ... grappling to the end of time ... bound together forever in connection with scandal and corruption involving the Games of Antinous.


We Modern Priests believe it is immaterial whether they were scoundrels or whether they were innocent pawns in the hands of unscrupulous agents ... they were boys in a big-time sport firmly in the hands of quick-talking professionals.

Let us honor both Demetrius and Nicantinous. Presumably Nicantinous won his medals and his prizes and his lifetime pension. But he paid a heavy price. 

Apparently, the bribery contract came to light, for it was found filed away at the Great Library in Oxyrhynchos Egypt. Presumably, a court case ensued.

Perhaps both youths were forced to stand trial. And even if their secret never came to light during their lifetimes, they lived with it and faced the threat of blackmail all their lives.

We think there is great Homotheosis in the image of Nicantinous and Demetrius wrestling in an "unfair" match in which the "winner" is the "loser" and the "loser" possibly should have been the "winner". 

And we are convinced that this ill-fated wrestling match is a metaphor for the way most gay people "wrestle" with spirituality in a homophobic society. We wrestle against religion.

Let us, as Priests of Antinous, acknowledge both the triumph and the humiliation of both Demetrius (who should have won) and Nicantinous (who unfairly won). 

May their names shine as a beacon to all generations of Antinoians … illuminating our way along the narrow path between triumph and folly. 

May we embrace Nicantinous and admire the gold medal hanging round his neck ... may we kiss the gold medal ... may we embrace Nicantinous and take him to our hearts ... for he is us ... and we are him.

And may we embrace Demetrius in the same spirit of forgiveness and compassion for a youthful transgression …which happened long ago … and which now taints his name for all time.

In the Religion of ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD, we do not wrestle against the divine spirit of gay sexuality ... we become one with it ... HOMOTHEOSIS ... Gay-Man-Godliness-Becoming-The-Same ... Demetrius and Nicantinous are two aspects of a gay person's "struggle" with religion. Both are inseparable ... both are victors ... both are the vanquished ... and in the end they merge into one single spiritual entity ... spiritually inseparable.

Images: The Wrestlers (also known as The Two WrestlersThe Uffizi Wrestlers or The Pancrastinae) is a Roman marble sculpture after a lost Greek original of the 3rd Century BC It is now in the Uffizi collection in Florence, Italy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROMA!
By Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia




Mater Roma,
Thank you for saving me from perdition,
Thank you for giving my life meaning and purpose again
Today you have given me so much joy and mystery
I don't even know what to say sometimes
About the way you work your magic over my life
But I feel your power all around me.
You are with me where ever I go,
Where ever I am...You Are There.
Wolf Mother! 
My Latin forefathers flow through my blood
My allegiance to you will never die
I give my life, my strength, my courage to defend you
...and to restore your glory.
Happy Birthday Roma!

~ANTONIUS SUBIA

HADRIAN'S PANTHEON BECOMES A SUNDIAL
FOR THE FOUNDING OF THE CITY OF ROME



THE crowds of tourists at Hadrian's Pantheon saw a spectacular light show on April 21, 2,768th anniversary of the founding of Rome, when a ray of sunlight illuminated the temple portals.

The phenomenon, similar to one on the March Equinox, is one of the mysteries that have always surrounded what lies behind the unusual design of the Pantheon, the giant temple in the heart of Rome that was built by the Emperor Hadrian.

Now experts have come up with an intriguing theory – that the temple acted as a colossal sun dial, with a beam of light illuminating its enormous entrance at the precise moment that the emperor entered the building on the anniversary of the founding of the city of Rome each April 21.

Constructed on Hadrian's orders and completed in 128 AD, the Pantheon's hemispherical dome is punctured by a 30 foot-wide circular hole known as the 'oculus'.

It provides the interior of the building with its only source of natural light and allows in rain and – on rare occasions – snow.

Giulio Magli, a historian of ancient architecture from Milan Polytechnic, Italy, and Robert Hannah, a classics scholar from the University of Otago in New Zealand, have discovered that at precisely midday during the March equinox, a circular shaft of light shines through the oculus and illuminates the Pantheon's imposing entrance.

A similar effect is seen on April 21, which the Romans celebrated as the founding date of their city, when at midday the sun beam strikes a metal grille above the doorway, flooding the colonnaded courtyard outside with light.

The dramatic displays would have been seen by the Romans as elevating an emperor into the realm of the gods – a cosmological affirmation of his divine power as he entered the building, which was used as an audience hall as well as a place of worship.

He was in effect being "invited" by the sun to enter the Pantheon, which as its name suggests was dedicated to the most important deities of the Roman world.

"The emperor would have been illuminated as if by film studio lights," said Professor Magli.

"The Romans believed the relationship between the emperor and the heavens was at its closest during the equinoxes. It would have been a glorification of the power of the emperor, and of Rome itself." 

The sun had a special significance for the Romans, as it did for the ancient Egyptians.

The god Apollo was associated with the sun, and the emperor Nero was depicted as the Greek sun god Helios in a giant statue called the Colossus, which gave its name to the Colosseum.

One of antiquity's most remarkable examples of engineering, the Pantheon's fine state of preservation is thanks to the fact that it was converted into a church in the seventh century, when it was presented to the Pope by the Byzantine Emperor Phocas.

It retains its original bronze doors and marble columns, some of which were quarried in the Egyptian desert and transported by the ship down the Nile and across the Mediterranean to Rome at huge expense.