Sunday, May 1, 2016

EPISTLE ON THE BOAR HUNT
May 1st, 2016

By Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Nicias Subia



TODAY we celebrate the Sacred Boar Hunt of Antinous which was one of the few recorded events in the actual life of Antinous.

This wonderful, mysterious hunt represents the pinnacle of his life ... Antinous at the highest point of his brief mortal existence, full of youth, beauty and vitality ... mounted on horseback in the forest with his lover Hadrian, hunting a boar. 

That night there was sure to have been a big party, Roman style, with delicious boar meat, drinking, music, wild sex, and all the good things in life. This is what our festival means ... to enjoy life ... to take it all in right now and be glad that we are alive and well.

Take all your pain and disappointment of the past, unfulfilled wishes, regrets, embarrassment, mistakes ... Hopes and dreams that never came true ... Take a moment to set yourself free of their burden, they are of no use to you anymore. 

Instead, look to good things that you have now, the pleasures and beauties that surround you, the friends you hold close, the accomplishments you have earned, enjoy what the gods have given you ... eat, drink, fall in love, indulge in sexual desire ... in all the splendors of being alive, right now at this moment.

For as just like Antinous as he rode, strong, young, beautiful and free, we never know what fate has in store. One year after the Boar Hunting ... Antinous was dead.

We celebrate the Boar Hunt tonight as the high point in out liturgical year. In six months ... we will enter the Death and Deification of Antinous.


I offer my Blessing to All the people who love and believe in Antinous everywhere in the world on this occasion of the Sacred Boar Hunt. 

I ask Antinous to bless us as we begin the transition into this new phase of development. May the Companions of Antinous gather together in great numbers from all over the globe!

May the Meat of the Sacred Boar 
Feed the spirit of Homotheosis
In all our hearts!

Ave Antinous!

~Antonius Nicias Subia

Flamen Antinoalis

THE SACRED BOAR HUNT



ON May 1st the Religion of Antinous commemorates the Sacred Boar Hunt.

In our Liturgical Calendar, it is the day when Hadrian and Antinous arrive at the sacred city of Bithynium/Claudiopolis, the home of Antinous, in the late spring of the year 129 AD.

Imagine the jubilant welcome they must have received as the city's populace turned out en masse (including all of the extended family and acquaintances of Antinous) to see the imperial entourage with Hadrian and Antinous at the forefront.

The region is teeming with bountiful wildlife and so Hadrian and Antinous went on hunting forays while in Bithynium.

The Boar Hunt had deeply mystical symbolic meaning for Hadrian, as exemplified that it was elevated to mythic proportions for use in public monuments.


The image above shows Hadrian and Antinous (looking backwards) during the Sacred Boar Hunt, immortalized on the Arch of Constantine in Rome.

Flamen Antonyus Subia explains the mythic symbolism this way:
"This hunt takes place in the ancestral forests of Antinous, in Phrygia, and its meaning is closely connected to the Mysteries of Adonis, and Freyr. It represents the full vigor of his strength, courage and skill as a hunter.

"This festival is a commemoration of the joy of life, in celebration of indulgence and sensual fulfillment. It is the midpoint of the Antinoine year, in direct opposition to the Death of Antinous in October.

"The Sacred Boar Hunt represents the pinnacle of the life of Antinous."

Saturday, April 30, 2016

YOU'VE HEARD OF BELTANE AND MAY EVE
BUT WALPURGIS IS INCREASINGLY POPULAR



YOU all know about Beltane and May Eve, but few people today still remember Walpurgis Night ... which is still celebrated on a mountain top in central Germany. 

Up to 150,000 witches, pagans and the simply curious are converging for May Eve revelries on the summit of the highest peak in the Harz Mountains in central Germany Thursday night for the four-day May Day holiday weekend.
Children in spooky costumes will participate in parades and street fairs in villages on the slopes of the Brocken, the mountain immortalised in Alexander Borodin's "Night on Bald Mountain" orchestral suite.

Bonfires will light the nighttime skies on mountain tops in the Harz region as local communities held their own May Day Eve festivals marking the end of winter and the coming of summer.

In the town of Schierke, a four-hour Walpurgis Night open-air play is being held, tracing the history of the persecution of witches, with players performing writhing modern dances to Medieval music.


The day of the Saint Walburga is celebrated on May 1. 

But the night before, April 30 or May Day Eve (Beltane Eve), is called Walpurgis Night, formerly the date of the pagan festival marking the end of winter. 

Of course, its autumnal counterpart, six months later on October 31, is Halloween, Samhain.

Walpurgis Night is celebrated from the Mediterranean up to Scandinavia, but no where as much as in the forested mountains of central Germany where so many Brothers Grimm fairy tales are set.

According to Germanic legend, this festival has been associated with a witches' carnival, and on this night it was believed that witches met with the devil for one final night of revelry before being consigned to the underworld until they emerge again exactly six months later on October 31 ... Halloween.

The Harz Mountains region is the location of many German fairy tales featuring witches and goblins and the Brocken is the highest Harz peak at 1,142 metres.

For 40 years, the region was split down the middle by the fortified border between East and West Germany. 


But in the 25 years since unification in 1990, the region has regained its title as one of the most romantic fairy-tale areas ... and spookiest.

The mountain also features in the drama "Faust" about an alchemist nobleman who sells his soul to the devil … on Walpurgis Night.

Friday, April 29, 2016

WORKERS IN SPAIN FIND ROMAN COINS
WORTH MILLIONS OF DOLLARS



IN Spain construction workers have found 600 kilos (1,300 pounds) of ancient Roman coins while carrying out routine work on water pipes.

"It is a unique collection and there are very few similar cases," Ana Navarro, head of Seville’s archeology museum, which is looking after the find, told a news conference.

Dating back to the late third and early fourth centuries, the bronze coins were found on Wednesday inside 19 Roman amphoras, a type of jar, in the town of Tomares near Seville.

Navarro declined to give a precise estimate for the value of the haul, saying only that the coins were worth "certainly several million euros."

The coins are stamped with the inscriptions of emperors Maximian and Constantine, and they appeared not to have been in circulation as they show little evidence of wear and tear.

It is thought they were intended to pay the army or civil servants.

"The majority were newly minted and some of them probably were bathed in silver, not just bronze," said Navarro.

"I could not give you an economic value, because the value they really have is historical and you can’t calculate that."

Local officials have suspended the work on the water pipes and plan to carry out an archaeological excavation on the site.


The Romans conquered the Iberian Peninsula in 218 BC, ruling until the early fifth century, when they were ousted by the Visigoths.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

ANCIENT CLASSICAL HERO HERCULES
HAS A REALLY BIG PENIS PROBLEM



HE may have slain the Nemean Lion, stolen the apples from the Hesperides and captured the ferocious Cretan bull, but poor Hercules has a big problem holding on to his penis.

The penis from the statue of the ancient Greek hero in the seaside French town of Arcachon is a hot commodity.

Over the years, vandals would remove the penis ... some locals said it was a badge of honor to display Heracles' penis in your home ... and just as quickly, city officials would rush to replace it, not wanting to leave the Greek hero without his manliness.

A number of unsolved cases of thefts of the statue's penis have been reported in the area throughout the years and Mayor Yves Foulon decided it was time to put the "systematic" issue to rest.

"I wouldn't want anyone ... not even my worst enemies ... to go through what happens to this statue," he said.

The race to replace the penis every time it was stolen forced officials to outsmart the vandals and create a prosthetic, removable version that can be attached to the statue and removed ... and kept in safe storage for special occasions and city events at the park.

"Considering Heracles' fragile manhood we’ve chosen to give him a removable prosthetic that we can add to the statue before each ceremony," according to the town's deputy mayor Martine Phelippot.

"This is the best solution, otherwise you just end up constantly chasing after the anatomy of Heracles."

Their 9-foot-tall statue of Greek mythology’s divine hero was erected in the Parc Mauresque in 1948 and has been a contentious issue since.

The local sculptor Claude Bouscau was forced to "shorten" the penis ... twice ... because it was deemed "shockingly big" by some local women back in the late 1940s. 

Add to this the decades of vandalisms and thefts and it's safe to say, Hercules' penis has been a big matter in this small French town.

But the scandal comes with a long (excuse the pun) history, fit for any Greek hero.

Hercules was the son of Zeus and Alcmene, and turned heads in his time for killing the magical Nemean lion with his bare hands. 

As a matter of fact, it is the skin of this lion that covers the back of this particular Hercules statue, erected as a metaphor for France's resistance against Nazi forces.

Hercules was also known in Greek mythology to have slept with 50 women in one night … in addition to many youths and men ... so the metaphor of a prosthetic penis may not be that far off base, considering all of the wear and tear the real one got.

From now on, thanks to French ingenuity, Hercules' penis will be kept under lock and key and far away from would be penis thieves.

Lucky for Hercules.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

MARY BEARD'S LATEST DOCUMENTARY
TV SERIES AIRS ON THE BBC TONIGHT


THE British historian Mary Beard has a new, must-see BBC documentary series on Ancient Rome. 

It is a four-part series entitled "Mary Beard's Ultimate Rome: Empire Without Limit" and debuts 27 April at 9 p.m. British time on BBC2.

Outside Britain you can watch it on your computer.

Just calculate the time difference and click on FILMON.COM and do a search for "BBC2."

Mary Beard has come in for controversy lately because she rebuffs people who say she should get a style makeover and dye her hair.

She is currently embroiled in a controversy on Twitter because she said she does not believe universities should be a "safe place" for post-traumatic victims of abuse. 

For example, some people have urged that colleges and universities refrain from teaching Ovid's Metamorphoses (which are full of Zeus raping innocent mortals of both sexes) and from staging Shakespeare's plays (because of murder, incest, child abuse, etc.).

She says it would be nonsense to create "safe place" in educational institutions devoid of any mention of harmful and shocking things ... because history ... and art ... are full of harmful and shocking things.

Thousands of people have barraged her with criticism on Twitter, calling her "a fat old Tory Fascist pig" among other things ... and she reads each comment and responds ... and gets very upset.

So we have tweeted in support of her ... after all: Antinous is on Mary Beard's list of "Ten Best Ancient Romans." 

The blogger, TV host and scholar ranks Antinous at Number 7 ... below Caligula and Empress Livia, but above Ovid and Cicero. 

CLICK HERE for the full list and her reasons for choosing Antinous.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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.