Tuesday, November 25, 2014

YOU CAN COPY BRITISH MUSEUM
TREASURES THROUGH 3-D PRINTING



FOLLOWING in the footsteps of New York's Metropolitan Museum, London's British Museum is about to revolutionize the gift shop experience by allowing visitors to download and 3-D print replicas of its priceless antiques and artifacts.

Given the size of the museum's collection it will hopefully be posting hundreds of artifacts for visitors to download and 3D print. 


But for now there are just 14 3D models available on Sketchfab, including everything from a bust of Amenemhat III, an iconic Hoa Hakananai'a statue from Easter Island, and even an Egyptian granite sarcophagus—although you'll have to settle for a plastic version if you're making a copy at home with your 3D printer. [Sketchfab via SlashGear]

Monday, November 24, 2014

HOW THE ROMANS WORKED SILVER
ON VIEW AT THE GETTY VILLA



ANCIENT Roman silversmiths developed their craft to the highest levels of refinement and beauty. 

Applying fire and basic tools to the shaping of precious metals, many of their sophisticated techniques are still used today. 


This video illustrates the making of a stunning silver cup that has survived from the 1st Century AD.

This cup is on view at the GETTY VILLA in Malibu, California, from November 19, 2014, to August 17, 2015, in the exhibition "Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville": http://bit.ly/13Oxl7s

Subscribe NOW to the Getty Museum channel: http://bit.ly/gettymuseumyoutube

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

EXPERTS DECIPHER MAGICAL SPELL BOOK
FOUND NEAR ANTINOOPOLIS IN EGYPT



AN ancient Egyptian handbook containing magic spells in use in or near Antinoopolis has been deciphered by Australian scientists.

The Handbook of Ritual Power – as named by the researchers – explains how to cast love spells, exorcise evil spirits and treat 'black jaundice', a fatal infection still present today.

According to Live Science, the text is written in Coptic and the book is made of bound parchmentpapers. It is about 1,300 years old and was first acquired by Macquarie University in 1981 from antiques dealer Michael Fackelmann.

However, where Fackelmann first got the handbook from is unknown.

"The dialect suggests an origin in Upper Egypt, perhaps in the vicinity of Ashmunein/Hermopolis," which is directly across the Nile from Antinoopolis, researchers Malcolm Choat and Iain Gardner wrote in their book A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power.

Antinoopolis was always a place of "magic, sorcery and strange religious fervor " according to Royston Lambert in his authoritative book about Antinous, BELOVED AND GOD

We know that the priests of Antinous wrote a LOVE SPELL. Lambert notes that even to this day local villagers believe the place to be haunted.

The ancient Egyptian magic spell book starts with a long series of invocations, annotated with drawings and "words of power", they say.

"These are followed by a number of prescriptions or spells to cure possession by spirits and various ailments, or to bring success in love and business."

The book, which is 20 pages long, includes a spell about how to control someone. To do this, people must say a magical formula over two nails, then drive them into his doorstop: "One on the right side (and) one on the left."

At the time the book was written, Egyptians had become Christians and it contains several references to Jesus. However, there are also mentions of the Sethians – a group that held the third son of Adam and Eve (Seth) in high regard.

Church leaders thought Sethians to be heretics and by the time the book was written, they had been all but wiped out.

The authors believe the handbook could be a transitional text created before all the Sethian spells had been purged. They told LiveScience they believe the spells were originally from separate books, but were later combined to create a "single instrument of ritual power".

Discussing who might have used the book, Choat said: "It is my sense that there were ritual practitioners outside the ranks of the clergy and monks, but exactly who they were is shielded from us by the fact that people didn't really want to be labeled as a 'magician'."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

SORROWING HADRIAN WAITS
FOR THE COLOSSI OF MEMNON TO SING



WE commemorate the solemn visit of a very grief-stricken Emperor Hadrian to Thebes and the Colossi of Memnon less than a month after the demise of his Beloved Antinous.

Antinous had drowned at the end of October and Hadrian had issued decrees establishing the CITY OF ANTINOOPOLIS at the spot on the shores of the Nile where his Beloved had died. 


Hadrian probably left the body with priests before the Imperial Entourage continued its scheduled tour up the Nile to the historic city of Thebes.

The Colossi of Memnon stand at the entrance of what was a great temple for Amenophis III.

The Colossi of Memnon at Thebes were mistakenly identified as such by the Greeks. They were the giant statues of Amenhotep III at the entrance of his now destroyed Temple. 


Memnon (left above) was actually the "brazen-crested Memnon, a comely man" according to Odysseus, King of the Ethiopians (Susa in the East not Africa) who came with a great force to help Troy against the Achaean invaders, and was killed by Achilles. At his death his soldiers turned into birds.

By the time Emperor Hadrian arrived, the statues were in a ruinous state and emitted a wailing sound at dawn when the rising sun heated the stone. Greeks and Romans traveled from afar to hear the statues "speak" to them. Hadrian left graffiti here.

Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA writes:

"After the death of Antinous, the Imperial entourage visited the ancient city of Thebes in the Upper Nile, it was the furthest south that Hadrian ever journeyed. The court visited the two Colosoi of Memnon, which are monumental seated statues of Amenhotep III built in the 18th dynasty.

"It was said that a ringing sound was emitted by the statues in the early mourning, and that anyone who heard the statues speak was favored by the gods, as the belief was that the statues were of Memnon, the son of Aurora. Hadrian did not hear the sound, but the empress Sabina did.

"The God of Thebes was Amon, the ram-headed, who was equated with Jupiter. Julia Balbilla, poetess and companion of Sabina, who was with the court throughout the voyage and was present at the Death and Liberation of Antinous, wrote these words. These are the first words written after the death of Antinous. They were inscribed, like graffiti on the Colossus of Memnon.

"'I, Balbilla, when the rock spoke, heard the voice of the divine Memnon or Phamenoth. I came here with the lovely Empress Sabina. The course of the sun was in its first hour, in the fifteenth year of Hadrian's reign, on the twenty-fourth day of the month Hathor. I wrote this on the twenty-fifth day of the month Hathor'."

Rather more recently, in the 21st Century, while researching his novel about Antinous entitled THE LOVE GOD, author MARTIN CAMPBELL made a pilgrimage to the Colossi of Memnon in the footsteps of the Divine Hadrian. He filed this report via email from Thebes:

"The Nile is noiselessly rushing by my hotel only a hundred or so feet from where I am writing.

"I have stood at the Colossi of Memnon and seen where Sabina and Julia Balbilla wrote verses about Hadrian.

"I walked around Luxor temple where Hadrian would have officiated as pharaoh. I have looked at the ruins of the Roman barracks where he may have stayed while in Luxor (then Thebes). I have been to the Dendera temple where Trajan decorated a temple to childbirth which may later have been converted to a temple to Bes, possibly by Hadrian."

The truth is that we all follow in the footsteps of the Divine Hadrian as he attempts to work out his grief in the weeks following the death of his Beloved and just seven days before the Birthday of Antinous on November 27th.

Friday, November 21, 2014

QUENTIN CRISP
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON November 21st the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Quentin Crisp, who died on this day in 1999. He was born on Christmas Day in 1908. 

He became a gay icon in the 1970s after publication of his memoir, The Naked Civil Servant, his true-life account of his defiant exhibitionism and longstanding refusal to conceal his homosexuality.

John Hurt helped to make Quentin Crisp a media star in the movie adaptation of The Naked Civil Servant in the 1970s. In a sequel 30 years later Hurt made him a screen legend, very much in keeping with the lifelong ambition of Quentin Crisp.

In the second film, An Englishman In New York, Hurt portrayed the elderly Quentin Crisp as the New York gay icon based in Manhattan's funky-gritty Lower East Side in the 1980s and '90s.

At an age when most people would retire to a nursing home, Quentin Crisp left his native England and moved to New York City, where he pursued a career as a bon vivant and raconteur.

Asked by a BBC interview if he intended to die in New York, Saint Quentin emphatically said: "Oh no, I didn't come to New York to die. I came to New York to LIVE."

Arriving in New York in his 70s, he lived in his accustomed artistic squalor in a Lower East Side walk-up with a view through a grimy window pane of the next door neighbor's grimy bedroom window.

Every bit the considerate Englishman, he turned off his bare-bulb light at 11 p.m. and sat in the dark, lest the neighbor complain the glare from the 60-watt bulb (through two filthy window panes) kept him awake.

Saint Quentin experienced a meteoric rise after his cunning agent launched him into a career as a raconteur in an off-Broadway one-man show and he became a movie reviewer for a Christopher Street magazine.

But he experienced a meteoric fall from grace when, during one of his frequent TV talk-show appearances, he flippantly remarked that AIDS was "just a fad" which would soon be out of fashion, and the gay community viciously turned on him. Quentin, who had never apologized for anything in his life (and was not about to start apologizing), was perplexed when he was dropped by his agent and editor until his eyes were opened when he got to know young artist Patrick Angus, who later died of AIDS.

But in a Hollywood happy ending, Quentin was rescued by performance artist Penny Arcade, who put him back on stage, and Christopher Street re-hired him, paving the way for a glorious comeback and reconciliation with the gay community when he was in his 90s.

It is fitting that most people know Saint Quentin only through these two films. As might be expected, the best recommendation for the films comes from Quentin Crisp himself, who once famously said: "Any film, even the worst, is better than real life."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

KLAUS WITZELING
A "BLESSED" OF ANTINOUS



ON November 20th we honor a modern-day mortal whose loving support has been instrumental in establishing the Religion of Antinous in the 21st Century.

Klaus Witzeling, born on this day in 1944, spearheaded the effort to expand our religion from North America back to its roots in Europe.

Born in Graz, Austria, he was trained as an actor at the famed Max Reinhardt Institute in Vienna before moving to Hamburg, Germany, where he become a well-known drama and dance critic.

His open gayness and his tireless efforts to promote new talent were instrumental in the resurgence of modern dance and independent theatrical groups in the German-speaking world over the past 30 years.

He was known for his fair and unbiased critiques. And he was especially noted for promoting obscure dance troupes and unknown actors. His insistent emphasis on furthering new talent helped to make stars out of actors and dancers who otherwise might never have become well known.

Modest to the point of introversion, he wanted no funeral services or wake. But following his death on September 29th, 2013, scores of theatrical directors, actors, dancers, agents and fellow journalists spontaneously organized a gala evening at a theatre in Hamburg in his honor.

As a Blessed of Antinous, Klaus intercedes on behalf of those in the performing arts who know the angst of standing in the wings ... waiting for their cue to go out on stage. We offer this prayer to Antinous for Klaus to intercede on their behalf:

May Klaus Witzeling have the gift of unlimited 
Antinous heka magic ...

May he have the gift of unlimited Semen of the First God ...

That he intercedes for those who dedicate their lives 

To the performing arts

That they stride onto the stage of life

With confidence and audacity

That they generously open their hearts

To the Homotheosis of Antinous

Living it in the midst of the challenges

And demands of their calling

As a spotlight on the dark stage of mortal existence

Shining as a beacon for those sitting in the darkness

That they might also fulfill their gay spiritual potential

Through Antinous the Gay God

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

FLUSHED WITH PRIDE, WE OFFER
THE LATEST UPDATES ON WORLD TOILET DAY



TODAY November 19 is WORLD TOILET DAY and we are flushed with pride to have kept you on the edge of your seats for two years with headlines on what's new in ancient toilets.

We were the first to report the discovery by Philippe Charlier, a Parisian forensic expert, that Ancient Greek ceramic discs which hitherto had been thought to be gaming pieces may actually have been used as a form of ANCIENT TOILET PAPER.


Charlier (pictured here) presented among other things, a Greek proverb stating, "Three stones are enough to wipe one's arse," as evidence that such stones were used to clean up after going to the bathroom.

This blog also was among the first to report on the discovery of the world's oldest WOODEN TOILET SEAT (top of entry) in September 2014 at Vindolanda Roman Fort near Hadrian's Wall in northern England.


The Vindolanda experts also unearthed a WRITING TABLET (shown here) believed to be from 105-120 AD. The tablet was found just 12 inches (30 cm) from the wooden toilet seat. 

The tablet is one of 12 found at Vindolanda this year and one of seven found from the same building level.

Andrew Birley, head of the dig, stated he was "looking forward" to reading the tablet's text.

The site, near Hexham, has earlier revealed gold and silver coins and other artefacts of the Roman army.

Dr Birley stated : "If we are really lucky the person using the seat will have had verbal diarrhoea and we will be able to get their personal thoughts regarding life 1,900 years ago."

The Romans used wooden tablets covered with a layer of wax for writing. They would scratch words into the wax using a stylus.