Tuesday, April 30, 2013

BEFORE HADRIAN BUILT HIS WALL

ROME HAD A DEFENSE ZONE FURTHER NORTH


BEFORE Emperor Hadrian built his Wall across northern Britannia, the Romans had experimented half a century earlier with a much longer and more precarious defensive zone farther to the north, according to British archaeologists.

The experts are researching a huge 1st Century AD defense system which stretches 200 kilometers (120 miles) across modern-day Scotland.

A total of 14 forts and several fortlets, which formed part of a defensive network built in the AD 70s, have so far been investigated over the past decade by the team, led by Dr Birgitta Hoffmann and Dr David Wolliscroft, both of the University of Liverpool.

The structure is not believed to be a continuous wall or ditch, but instead consist of 20 forts, a dozen fortlets and up to 30 watchtowers in total, the BBC History Magazine has reported.

The network, which is thought to have run from Montrose or Stonehaven, south of Aberdeen, on the North Sea coast to the Firth or Clyde, was built some 50 years before Hadrian's Wall, and is an extra 20 years older than Antonine Wall which was built by Hadrian's successor, Emperor Antoninus Pius.

This map, courtesy of the DAILY MAIL, shows Hadrian's Wall and the later Antonine Wall and ... far to the north of both ... the conjectured course of the much earlier defensive zone.

The BBC has reported the defensive line was built by the Romans in an attempt to keep hold of the land they had invaded in around 69 or 70 Ad from hostile northern Caledonian tribes.

It also thought however that the fortress protected the friendly lowland tribes from cattle-raiders, fostering good relations which led to large civilian settlements being set up near the forts.


According to the BBC, these settlements could have been made up of merchants, craftsmen and possibly girlfriends of the troops.

When Emperor Hadrian built Hadrian's Wall nearly 2,000 years ago, it extended 73 miles coast to coast across northern England from the Solway Firth to Wallsend on the Tyne.

Standing 5 meters (16 feet)  high and up to 3.5 meters (12 feet) wide, it was an extraordinary feat of engineering which was completed in eight years.

It was built in AD 122 after Emperor Hadrian ordered his soldiers to build a barrier between Roman Britain and Scotland.

It is thought that Antinous may have accompanied Hadrian on a trip to Britannia to oversee construction of his Wall.

According to the Hadrian's Wall Trust, a chief function of the wall was probably frontier control, where the army enforced the regulations which determined access to the empire.

It is believed people could only enter the empire at certain points and would have been forced to travel unarmed and under military escort to markets or other specified places.

It is also believed to have helped to prevent raiding.

It was believed to have been the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain. The Antonine Wall, however, is the lesser known of the two because its physical remains are less evident.

As well as being a strong military fortification, it is believed the wall featured a number of gates which would have served as customs posts.

It is the largest monument from the ancient era in northern Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 

Monday, April 29, 2013

YOUR ONLINE ANTINOUS SHOP



ANTINOPHILES who have despaired of finding Antinous-related items for their homes, cars and work places can breathe a sigh of relief. 

One-stop shopping is just one click away at the online TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS SHOP

This shop features official Antinous articles selected and designed by FLAMEN ANTONYUS SUBIA personally.

If you admire the artwork of Antonyus, then order your own posters of his hand-picked favorite paintings and photographs.

A wide range of T-shirts is available, including classic "T", fitted "T", ringer "T", sleeveless, long-sleeve and baseball jersey — in up to nine colors, depending on the style and design you prefer.

The handy Antinous Tote Bag is a must-have as is a wide array of Antinous lapel buttons and refrigerator magnets in various sizes and designs.

Naturally, there are coffee mugs — and even an official Antinous beer stein appropriately adorned with the well-known Subian portrait of Antinous/Dionysus.

One of our favorites is the Antinous Keepsake Box, available in red-mahogany or black, with a tile cover portrait of the Louvre's breath-taking Ecouen Antinous. This roomy box is perfect for any home shrine or altar and is the perfect jewelry box.

And of course the ever-popular Antinous bumper sticker (at the top of this entry) provides the Beauteous Boy's blessings on any vehicle.

All items are ordered with safety and guaranteed efficiency through cafepress, which has a sound reputation for speedy delivery around the world, with secure payment in all major currencies.



Sunday, April 28, 2013

WE LOVE ANDRÉ DURAND!

 



HIS images are some of the most powerful and sublime paintings of the ancient gods that anyone has created since ancient times ... such as his "Pegasus" reproduced here with gracious permission from the gallery of ANDRÉ DURAND.

The mixture of ancient and modern themes, the vulgar and the beautiful, the agony and the sensuality of his images. 

This is a Great artist with whom we are very privileged to be acquainted. 

Many of us have seen and adored his images for years. For some of us, like myself, he is a great inspiration for what can be done with the medium of colors and canvas...a wonderful world of the mythic gods stretched out in stark reality...no one paints like this anymore...with this much reality mingled with absurdity and extreme eroticism.

Mr. Durand is a modern god of pagan art.

~Antonyus Nicius Subia
Flamen Antinoalis

Saturday, April 27, 2013

PYRAMID BUILDERS WERE PAMPERED

WITH LOTS OF MEAT, GOOD HEALTH CARE



THE thousands of men who built the Giza Pyramids were pampered with a high-protein diet plentiful in meat, and received good health care, according to findings from an ancient "catering" site adjacent to the Egyptian monuments.

Debunking the legend that the pyramid builders were slaves, the evidence shows that they were well fed and cared for ... and better off than the majority of rural villagers in Ancient Egypt.


To feed the army of workers, a massive catering operation served up thousands of kilos of meat to feed the builders, say archaeologists who found the ancient remains at a site believed to have been a village used to house workers just south of the Sphinx.

According to a report in , it is thought the workers, who occupied the site for around 35 years, were building the pyramid of pharaoh Menkaure, the third and last pyramid on the Giza plateau.

The site, which has been studied for several decades, is also known by its Arabic name, Heit el-Ghurab, and is sometimes called "the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders."

So far, researchers have discovered a nearby cemetery with bodies of pyramid builders, a corral with possible slaughter areas on the southern edge of the workers' town and piles of animal bones.

Based on animal bone findings, nutritional data, and other discoveries at this workers' town site, the archaeologists estimate that an average of more than 4,000lbs of cattle, sheep and goat meat were slaughtered every day to feed the pyramid builders.

This meat-rich diet, along with the apparent availability of medical care, shown by skeletons found with healed bones, show the workers enjoyed relatively good conditions.

Richard Redding, chief research officer at Ancient Egypt Research Associates, a group that has been excavating and studying the workers' town site for about 25 years, told LiveScience the builders were looked after.

"People were taken care of, and they were well fed when they were down there working, so there would have been an attractiveness to that," he said.

"They probably got a much better diet than they got in their village," he said.

Friday, April 26, 2013

BIRTH OF 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.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

THE ONLY IMAGE OF A GREAT PHARAOH
WAS FLUSHED DOWN THE TOILET


EXPERTS recently found the oldest papyrus document in Egypt, a scrap of papyrus with the name Khufu (Cheops) ... meaning the document is 4,500 years old ... written 2,000 years before the siege of Troy.

The only known portrait of Khufu (or Cheops), the 4th Dynasty pharaoh who (allegedly) built the Great Pyramid at Giza, is a very tiny ivory figurine only 7 centimeters (3 inches) tall.

It was discovered covered in dried feces in an ancient cesspit next to the temple of Seti at Abydos in Egypt. 


We can only assume that, thousands of years ago, some harried novice priest "flushed it away" during routine spring cleaning to clear out old statuary to make room for new items.

We like to think he was a rather awkward young priest who had been given the rather thankless task of ritually blessing and "desanctifying" old statues and burying them with special prayers. He probably had a whole bag of these little figurines from various olden dynasties.

There he is, toiling away at his rituals for these little objects, his stomach growling as the broiling sun hits midday. Another young priest sticks his head through the door and says, "What? You're still not finished? You'll miss lunch! Well, we can't wait, the rest of us are going now, slowpoke!"

So he did the unthinkable and dumped the rest of the little figures down the toilet, muttering hurried incantations and prayers for forgiveness for his sacrilege -- and scampered off to join his fellow novices for lunch. Among the objects was the little ivory figure of Khufu. He no doubt assumed it was insignificant and nobody would know ....

How ironic, then, that it was his sacrilegious act which in fact saved Khufu from the nameless death -- the second death so feared by Egyptians. Every other statue of Khufu vanished. That one tiny figurine, encased in compacted turds, survived to become one of the great treasures of the world ... the only image of him incised with his name.

And the priest? Most likely he cringed at what he had done, would wake up at night even years later, full of guilt and worry for his immortal soul. Surely his KA would refuse him at the hour of his death. His heart would betray him at the judgement. He would die the second death in the jaws of the Devourer ... for he had treated sacred images literally the same as shit!

Imagine the priest's flabbergasted surprise when Anubis led him to the scales and his heart was lighter than the Feather of Truth and the 42 sacred baboons sang his praises and the Divine Khufu himself was there to congratulate him and welcome him (and his overjoyed KA) aboard the king's own personal barque of eternity.

This tiny ivory figurine is symbolic of the course of human history. Imagine how Julius Caesar or Hadrian felt as they toured Egypt and saw all the looted tombs and perhaps stood before the rock-crystal sarcophagus of Alexander (if it hadn't been stolen by their time) and how they must have marveled with increasing dread at how  much had been lost to the vicissitudes of time. 


Hadrian collected everything he could get his hands on and put it on display at his villa -- treasures from around the world.

But Hadrian knew -- and history shows us -- that many of the "treasures" of our human heritage are in fact only the detritus and left-overs of earlier ages. 


Often enough, the truly splendid things were lost precisely because efforts were made to place them in a highly exposed place such as a museum or a great library or a temple vault.

Often enough, the things which survived are the junk which was considered not worth saving and so was dumped into storage rooms somewhere -- or even flushed down the toilet ....

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

GREECE WITHDRAWS ANCIENT STATUES

AFTER ARABS WANT TO COVER GENITALS


GREECE has withdrawn two ancient statues from an ongoing Olympic Games exhibition in the Arab emirate of Qatar after Islamic officials insisted on putting black posing strap G-strings over the male genitals, an Athens culture ministry source has disclosed.

"The statues have already returned to Greece," a culture ministry source told AFP news agency. 


"Organisers in Qatar wanted to cover up the statues' members with black cloth," he added. "So they were never put on display, they went back into storage and returned on April 19."

The statues -- a Classical Greek youth and a Roman-era copy of a Classical athlete -- are both nude, the manner in which Olympic athletes competed in antiquity.

Greece's junior minister for culture Costas Tzavaras had travelled to the Qatari capital of Doha for the opening of the exhibit on March 27, saying it opened a "bridge of friendship" between the two countries.

According to the culture ministry, Greece has contributed nearly 600 exhibits from the National Archaeological Museum, the Numismatic Museum and the Museum of Olympia, birthplace of the Games.

The Doha exhibit runs to June 30.

A similar exhibit had previously been hosted in Berlin.

Greece has long wooed Qatar to entice investment in its flagging economy from the energy-rich Gulf emirate.

In January it was announced during a visit by Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras that Qatar planned to invest up to a billion euros ($1.3 billion) in a joint fund with Athens to bolster the recession-hit Greek industry.

The emirate has also rejoined a public bidding competition to develop the former Athens airport, one of the prized sites of Greece's privatisation drive.

And last month it was reported that the emir of Qatar had purchased the privately-owned Ionian Sea islet of Oxia.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A MILLION BRITISH MEN
ARE DESCENDANTS OF THE ROMANS


A million British men may be directly descended from the Roman legions which came, saw and conquered England and Wales almost two thousand years ago, a DNA study suggests.

The Romans departed abruptly in the early 5th Century AD, leaving behind relics of their rule including Hadrian's Wall along with a host of towns, roads and encampments.

But, according to a report in THE TELEGRAPH, perhaps the most enduring sign of their legacy is in British genes, with an estimated million British men descending from the invading forces.

A genetic study of 5,000 people found that up to four million men in England and Wales carry distinctive genetic signatures which are most commonly found, and likely have their origin, in Italy, the newspaper report said.

Although it is impossible to prove whether any individual person's genes were introduced during the Roman occupation of Britain, and not before or after, researchers estimate that the influx of tens of thousands soldiers was responsible for at least a quarter of the total.

Following their arrival in 43 AD Romans are thought to have accounted for between four and eight per cent of all men in Britain – a much greater proportion than at any other point in history.

 The DNA markers are much rarer in Ireland, where there was no Roman invasion, and Scotland where the armies' presence was limited to a brief occupation of some southern regions.

Researchers examined DNA from the Y chromosome, which is only passed on by men, and identified five rare patterns which are unusually common among English, Welsh and particularly Italian men.

The figures, which will be announced at the Who Do You Think You Are? roadshow in London on Sunday, only represent men whose Roman descent has been passed down from father to son, so the true total must be even higher, the newspaper report added.

Monday, April 22, 2013

LOOKING ANTINOUS IN THE EYE



THE understanding of HOMOTHEOSIS ... Gay-Man-Godliness-Becoming-The-Same ...  is one of the most dangerous things in the world.

And for a person who cannot contain it, it's like putting a million volts through your smart phone. You blow your mind and it stays blown ... I am God ... God is me.

Now, if you go off in that way, you easily misunderstand what the Religion of Antinous is all about because, from the standpoint of Antinous the Gay God, there is no fundamental difference between the spiritual world and this everyday world.

HOMOTHEOSIS isn't about drifting off into dream land and never coming back. It isn't about going off into some ego-driven "I am God" delusion. It is about living ordinary everyday life to help other beings to see clearly too ... to look Antinous in the eye ... in the eyes of all gays.

You don't do this out of some sort of solemn duty to help mankind and all that kind of pseudo-pious nonsense. You do it because you see the two worlds are the same. You see all other gays as Antinous.

As G.K. Chesterton writes, "But now a great thing in the street, seems any human nod, where move in strange democracies the million masks of god."

And it's fantastic to look at people and see that they really, deep down, are divine ... They're faces of Antinous the Gay God.

And they look at you, and they say, "Oh no, but I'm not divine. I'm just ordinary little me."

You look at them in a funny way, and here you see Antinous looking out of their eyes, straight at you ... but saying he's not Antinous ... and saying it quite sincerely.

And that's why, when you meet someone like Flamen Antonyus Subia for the first time he has a funny look in his eyes.

When you say, "I have a problem, Antonyus. I'm really mixed up, I don't understand Homotheosis," he looks at you in this queer way.

And you think, "Oh my God, he's reading my most secret thoughts. He's seeing all the awful things I am, all my cowardice, all my shortcomings."

But he isn't doing anything of the kind. He isn't even interested in such things. He's looking at Antinous the Gay God looking back at him through your eyes. He is looking at Antinous and saying, "Oh my God, Antinous, who are you trying to fool?"

Sunday, April 21, 2013

THE EROTICON

WHEN ANTINOUS HUNTS A BEAR



ON April 21, as the Sun moves into the Sign of Taurus the Bull, we celebrate the ancient festival of THE EROTICON.

By Sacred Synchronicity, this year the Sun and the planet Mars are in conjunction alignment, both of them striding hand-in-hand into the fertility Sign of Taurus.

On this day we honor the great God of Love, Eros-Cupid, in his guise as Antinous-Phanes, the "radiant being of light who emerges from the egg of night". 


We also honor the Great God Priapus the divine phallus, the column of male virility, the bestower of the fertility of fields, vineyards, orchards and gardens. Priapus is the axis of the cosmos.

On this date we also commemorate the founding of the city of Rome, Natalis Urbis, personified by the Romans as Our Lady Roma. We celebrate the consecration of her sacred border, and of her birth, and eternal life, and remember that we are her children.

And also on this date we remember the Sacred Bear Hunt. While in Mysia in Asia Minor, in the year 129, the court engaged in a Bear Hunt near the city which Hadrian had founded (on an earlier trip) called Hadrianotherae, "Hadrian's hunting ground". It is the modern-day city of Balikesir in a lovely area of wooded forests and lakes in northwestern Turkey.

Hadrian loved animals and is known to have built tombs for his dogs and horses (according to Royston Lambert) and he loved to hunt. The Bear is the sacred animal of Diana-Artemis, and symbolizes the solitary, forest-roaming character of the Virgin Huntress. In the ferocity of the bear lies the secret of Diana's power, against which Hadrian and Antinous pitted themselves, as shown on the tondo from the Arch of Constantine.

The grand themes of the Eroticon are Love and Sex and Ferocious Anger. The Beast is always lurking inside of us. The mystery teaching surrounding the Bear Hunt involves getting to know your animal instincts -- sex and lust and rage -- and to become one with them and to turn them into powerful allies for your spiritual development.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia has expressed this mystical mystery meaning as follows:

"Antinous, under Hadrian's guidance, was an accomplished hunter, indeed it is perhaps his natural skill and bravery in the chase that elevated him to the absolute love and adoration of Hadrian. The Emperor was madly in love with hunters, and Antinous was one of the best. Antinous had perhaps been silently stalking and hunting the Emperor's favor for quite some time, and now, in Asia, in the sacred Hunting Grounds of Hadrian, Antinous closed in on the heart of his prey and captured the Emperor completely. In our commemoration of the Sacred Bear Hunt we recognize that Artemis and Antinous are twin deities, and we seek the Dianic-Artemis-Bear within ourselves."

Saturday, April 20, 2013

ANTINOUS IN APHRODISIAS

CITY OF SOME OF HIS FINEST SCULPTORS



ON April 20 the Religion of Antinous commemorates the visit of Hadrian and Antinous to the fabled city of Aphrodisias.

Named for Venus/Aphrodite, the beautiful city of Aphrodisias was an important stop in the province of Asia.

Built near a magnificent marble quarry, Aphrodisias was a stunning city of gleaming white marble.

Not surprisingly, it was famous for its school of art. Sculptors came to Aphrodisias to perfect their skill, and the foremost masters of the Roman world gathered here.

Hadrian being a devoted lover of art, spent a great deal of time in the studios, examining the progress, questioning the masters, and even offering his learned advice to the young students.


Flamen Antonyus Subia explains the importance of Aphrodisias:
It was at this time, while in Aphrodisias that the most important portraits of Antinous were produced. Our young god modeled for the masters whose hands produced the archetypal images that later, after the deification of Antinous, would be used as sacred examples for the reproduction of his image on a vast scale.

The artists of Aphrodisias were called upon to undertake the task of creating the sacred images of Antinous by the thousands, based on one or two portraits made during his life, portraits made in Aphrodisias, by Aphrodisians.

These artists had seen the living Antinous, had spoken to him and carefully observed the fine details of his face and body. They took notice of the subtle and loving gestures between the lovers Hadrian and Antinous, and they were able to capture in marble, the radiance beneath the skin that had so captivated the Emperor.

The artists of Aphrodisias were the first to see and worship the divinity of Antinous, through his image, and it is their vision that has come down to us through the ages. We commemorate the portrait carving of the living Antinous by the Masters, whose images have maintained the religion of Antinous for so many centuries.

Foremost of these, we remember St. Antoninianus of Aphrodisias, the only sculptor of Antinous to sign his work (the image of Antinous with a dog).

This day is sacred to him, to Venus and to the idolatry of Antinous.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A GOD FROM DRESDEN

HOW ANTINOUS SURVIVED THE THIRD REICH


THE elusive and mystery-shrouded statue known as the "Getty Antinous" has been seen by very few people and even museum curators are unsure what it originally looked like.

When it was finally unveiled to the public for the first time,
our own Flamen Antonyus Subia prayed in front of it for so long that a museum guard gently said, "You must really like Antinous." To which, Antonyus replied softly, "You have no idea."

He was one of the first to see it when it was unveiled at
the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa in Malibu, California, in a splendid exhibition that ran from December 18th, 2008, to June 1st, 2009. 


The statue is now back in Dresden, where it is said to be "in storage."

The story behind the Getty Antinous is a story of mystery and intrigue, of skullduggery and deception, of Nazi terrors and Cold War brinksmanship.

This statue offers a marvelous behind-the-scenes look at the investigative, forensic-like skills of museum conservationists as they attempt to strip away layers of botched and misleading "restoration" work from previous centuries in order to determine precisely who and what an ancient statue is supposed to represent -- or even whether a supposedly "ancient" statue is really ancient at all.

It all started sometime during the 17th Century AD when a monumental statue of a god was found in Italy. What was preserved of the original work was an imposing male figure, half-draped to reveal a masterfully carved torso. The arms, the head, and parts of the drapery were missing.

In keeping with the tastes of collectors at that time, the sculpture was restored to completeness with additional pieces of carved marble, including an ancient head from another work — creating a pastiche of ancient and modern stone that confused the original identity of the statue.


Over the next two centuries, the restorations were reinterpreted, removed, and replaced, and the figure assumed a variety of heads and identities including Alexander the Great, Dionysus/Bacchus the wine god, and the Great and Good Boy God Antinous in the guise of Dionysus/Bacchus.

The "Reconstructing Identity" exhibition at the Getty Museum explored the statue's rich restoration history and the roles that aesthetics, archaeology, and art history have played as the understanding of the statue has evolved over the centuries.

"Even in the 19th Century it was recognized that early restorations were sometimes incorrect and misleading, perhaps none more so than this statue," said Karol Wight, senior curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

"The difficult, though intriguing, question for us and our colleagues in Dresden is which of its past identities, if any, should the statue now assume?" she said.

Jens Daehner, the German-born assistant curator of antiquities at the Getty, told a colloquium at the museum that the statue was first displayed in Rome in 1704, when it carried an ancient female head (not original to it), probably a likeness of Athena but restored with a helmet so as to match an image of Alexander the Great seen on Greek coins.


Though this sounds dreadful by today's standards, during the Baroque era it was considered not only acceptable but essential for sculptures to be "restored" to wholeness.

After the statue was removed from Italy in 1733 by a Saxon prince and taken to Dresden, it was modified again to include a fig leaf and a spear, still identified as Alexander.

Then in 1804, according to a contemporary catalog of the museum's collection, it became Dionysus/Bacchus, a result of prevailing notions about its body type and drapery style, but retained the previous head and helmet associated with Alexander -- while losing the earlier restored right arm along with the fig leaf and spear.

In yet another twist by a "restorer" for the Dresden antiquities collection, the statue became "Antinous in the guise of Bacchus", with a new head made of plaster and a new plaster right arm attached.


Then, in 1894, a new director of the museum replaced that "Antinous" head with a plaster cast of another Antinous on display in the British Museum. The right arm was again removed.

And this was the state of the statue when it was placed in storage during the Dresden museum's closure due to World War II. Miraculously, it was not damaged during the Allied Bombing of Dresden in February 1945 which reduced the entire city overnight to smouldering rubble and killed tens of thousands of civilians. But in June 1945 it was shipped to Moscow along with the rest of the collection, regarded as the spoils of war.

By the time it was returned to Dresden by train in 1958, the statue had suffered extensive damage in transit and had broken into 158 pieces. It remained out of sight, stored in four wooden crates until those crates were air-freighted to the Getty for restoration.

Daehner said the statue's "high, wide chest" leads him to think it is indeed Antinous. But other experts at a week-long Getty Museum colloquium were unable to agree 100 per cent on identifying the statue. The only thing they could agree upon is the fact -- based on microscopic analysis of the marble -- that the statue is indeed 1,800 years old. So at least we know it is not a more modern replica.

The curators finally decided to place the statue on display at the Getty Villa in 2008 without a head or any of the earlier restorations of arms or accessories. 


However, those heads and the missing arm were also on view as part of the exhibition.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

MAGICAL AMBER GLADIATOR AMULET

UNEARTHED BY BRITISH ARCHAEOLOGISTS


A tiny amber amulet shaped like a gladiator’s helmet has been discovered in Britain by Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA).

Measuring just over 1 cm (0.4 of an inch) across, the object was found amongst the remains of a demolished Roman building, together with large amounts of pottery and animal bone. It is hoped that analysis of these will narrow down a possible date for the artefact.

Its distinctive visor and high crest marks it out as depicting part of the equipment of a murmillo, who wore a large enclosing helmet with a grille covering the face. Armed with a short sword or gladius and a rectangular shield called a scutum, he was normally paired against a thraex (Thracian).

"Gladiators were Roman superstars," said MOLA's Angela Wardle. "We know of many souvenir objects depicting them, from glass cups bearing their names to lamps shaped like helmets." 


She added, "Amber was an expensive, rare material, however, so this is more likely to be some kind of talisman. There is a small hole through the top of the helmet's crest which shows signs of wear, suggesting it was strung on a cord or fine wire – perhaps as a pendant or charm bracelet."

The Ancient Romans believed Baltic amber to be magical. Writing in his "Natural History," in the 1st Century AD, Pliny describes a range of benefits associated with amber, including healing, boosting fertility, and protecting children from illness.

"The big question is who would have worn it," Angela said. ‘It’s a very delicate object, so perhaps it belonged to a woman or a child. There is some tradition of amber talismans being worn by babies."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SAINT SOR JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ


ON April 17th the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 17th Century Mexican nun, scholar, poet, scientist, playwright, musician and lesbian.

She was exceptional not only for her intelligence and beauty, but also because she wrote literature centered on intellectual and sexual freedom.

In the poem "Redondillas" she defends a woman's right to be respected as a human being. "Hombres necios" (Stubborn men) criticizes the sexism of the society of her time, and pokes fun at men who publicly condemn prostitutes, among other things, but privately hire them.

She also has a philosophical approach to the relative immorality of prostitution. This was exemplified when she posed the question, "Who sins more, she who sins for pay or he who pays for sin?"

In the romantic comedy entitled "Los empeños de una casa" about a brother and a sister entangled in a web of love, she writes using two of her most prominent themes, love and jealousy.

She did not moralize, but rather, in the spirit of her lifetime interests, inquired of how these deeply emotional matters shaped and carved a woman's pursuit of liberty, knowledge, education and freedom to live her life in self-sovereignty.

Her revolutionary writings brought down upon her the ire of the Roman Catholic Church at the end of the 17th Century. She was ordered to tone down the sexuality of her writings. She did not.

However, powerful representatives from the Spanish court were her mentors and she was widely read in Spain, being called "The Tenth Muse". She was lauded as the most prominent poet of the post-conquest American Continent. Her work was printed by the first printing press of the American Continent in Mexico City.

She is believed to have penned 4,000 works, but only a few have survived. They were rescued by the Spanish Viceroy's wife, who was rumored to be her female lover. In April 1695, after ministering to the other sisters struck down by a rampant plague, she is said to have died at four in the morning on April 17th.

For her love of learning and her devotion to the beauty of sexuality and for her courage to write about controversial things in the face of the Spanish Inquisition, we honor Saint Sor Juana as a Prophet of Homoeros.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A BRILLIANT ARTIST

SHINING IN THE FIRMAMENT



I recently discovered the most wonderful treasure, a new favorite artist, with the most fabulous and dainty touch that I have seen in years and years…probably since the days of the Reformation.

It was completely by chance that I stumbled upon his magnificent illustrations, in the gallery of a Hellenic facebook page, there among the usual Greco-Roman images that one sees, I caught a glimpse of an extraordinary drawing of a winged blonde boy…the image was a gateway that opened a door to a wonderful, magical fantasy world of elegance and grace such as I have never encountered before.

This is the world of Milan Kovačević.

I realized that I had found a treasure of art, as if the sky had opened and a demi-god fell out of the clouds and spread his beautiful images of Arcadia and Nijinsky, and powdered ladies and gentlemen full of grace and courtly bird-people, and visions of Apollo and Dionysus.

I love this beautiful world that he has created, and I want to share it with the people of Antinous! 


He promises that in due time he will see what he can do with Antinous, whom he tells me that he loves. 

I can see a trace of Antinous in his works already, which he says in unintentional…but which I consider to be a ray of divine light shinning through.

Check out his galleries!

~ANTONYUS SUBIA

Monday, April 15, 2013

SAINT JEAN GENET

SAINT ARIAN AND THEOTYKHOS


ON April 15th the Religion of Antinous remembers two saints who lived in different ages and who lived in different cultures but who shared a belief that a man must be true to himself and must stick to his convictions, regardless what others demand of him.

St. Jean Genet

St. Arian, his Body-Guards and St. Theotykhos

Saint Jean Genet was one of the first and most modern gay poets, whose elegance and sordid love for the street life was unprecedented, and has never been matched.

Among his most fervent desires, expressed from the very beginning was that he should one day be elevated to Sainthood. We of the Religion of Antinous, fully and faithfully, take faith in the spirit of Saint Jean Genet, through whom the eternal voice of Antinous spoke with the most voluptuousness and vain-glory. Saint Jean Genet died on this day in Paris in1986.

Saint Arian was the governor of Antinoe, and oversaw the persecution of Christians under orders from Diocletian. He was the governor who ordered the deaths of Saints Apollonius and Philemon, whose martyrdom we observed last week. An executioner' s arrow aimed at Philemon ricocheted off his body, and shrapnel from the arrowhead blinded Arian. As he was dragged off to be drowned with his "dear friend" Apollonius, Philemon swore that Arian's eye would be restored to wholeness if he converted to Christianity at Philemon's grave and rubbed the martyr's ashes into the wound.

Arian was in fact healed and he did in fact convert to the Christian faith and was baptized together with all his household and bodyguards.

Diocletian heard of this and had Arian and his bodyguards arrested. For their faith and devotion, they voluntarily went to torture and were sentenced to death. They were cast into the river and drowned — an ironic ending for an official and his coterie who had lived in the Sacred City founded on the spot where Antinous drowned. Among the body-guards the eldest was the Martyr Theotykhos, remembered together with the other saints.

We of the Religion of Antinous recognize the mistaken zeal of the Governor Arian, who took the lives of so many Christians in our Holy City Antinoopolis.

St. Jean Genet and St. Arian were men who were prisoners of an unrelenting and intolerant age.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

SIR JOHN GIELGUD

SAINT OF ANTINOUS



ON April 14th the Religion of Antinous honors one of our most blessed thespian saints and martyrs, St. John Gielgud, who was born on this day in 1904.

The most terrible moment in John Gielgud's life -- on which he maintained a public silence for 50 years -- was the subject of a critically acclaimed play in the London West End.

The play, entitled "Plague Over England", was about the scandal which swept across Britain in 1953 when John Gielgud was arrested by an undercover policeman in a public toilet in London.

But the 2008 play was concerned with much more than Gielgud's arrest in on the charge of "importuning for immoral purposes". The play showed the plight of gay men in the 1950s Cold War atmosphere when gays were associated with Communist espionage. 

Its characters include the producer who nearly ended his career, the virulently anti-homosexual Lord Chief Justice Rayner Goddard, an American fleeing his own country's anti-Communist paranoia, and a doctor who claims to "cure" same-sex attraction with "Clockwork Orange"-style electric shock therapy.

Homosexuals had long been feared and hated in England as men who, it was believed, preyed on the innocent young, and were thus unfit to lead normal, happy lives. Until 1967, they risked prosecution for what the law called "acts of gross indecency between male persons", even in private, and could be arrested for merely showing -- in a police spy's opinion -- an intent to commit them.

Police throughout England were alert for any hints of homosexual behaviour. Just before Gielgud was arrested, two prominent high-class gay men had been uncovered as KGB spies, resulting in a further crackdown on all gay activities. The officer who arrested Gielgud was part of a Metropolitan Police squad established in 1930 that regularly lurked in central London toilets.

The year in which Gielgud came to grief in a Chelsea public convenience was a particularly dangerous one for homosexuals, as the increased frankness of the period allowed politicians, the police, and the press to profit by inflaming public hysteria, warning that a "plague" or "epidemic" of sodomy and Communism was sweeping the land.

The climate of fear was chilling to gay men who paid even the slightest attention to the news.

Gielgud, however, was, in his own words a "silly gubbins" who took no notice of anything outside of acting. On October 21, following the rehearsal for the play "A Day By the Sea", this supremely unworldly man, then 49, had a few drinks at a party and then visited a public lavatory popular with "cottagers" -- English gay slang for men who cruise toilets.

Arrested, and aware that he should give a false identity, he said he was a clerk called Arthur (his real name) Gielgud. The next day he appeared before a magistrate who did not know who he was, fined him 10 pounds, and ordered him, with the disdain and sexual ignorance of the period, to "see your doctor the moment you leave this court".

Unfortunately, a better-informed Evening Standard reporter was there, too. When that afternoon's paper hit the streets, he was on the front page.

You can imagine the shame and the terror with which Gielgud turned up at rehearsal (he had considered suicide) for the role of a bachelor diplomat whose mother worries that he is lonely and unloved.

But the company, led by his co-star, Dame Sybil Thorndike, in fact welcomed him with open arms. "Oh, John," she said, in one of the most magnificent double entendres of all time, "you HAVE been a silly bugger!"

The producer of "A Day By the Sea", however, the immensely powerful Binkie Beaumont, saw the newspaper articles and the hate mail, and worried that the public would stay away. Yet his thoughts of firing the star were thwarted by Gielgud's brother, Val, who applied a little judicious blackmail about Binkie's very own private life.

Although everyone was nervous that Gielgud might be greeted with silence, or even boos, on his first appearance at the play's opening, as the curtain came down he was cheered to the rafters.

Gielgud was known for having a penchant for anonymous bathroom sex -- It's one of the reasons his knighthood (just a few months before the arrest) was postponed for years. He even had a "cruising cap" for such forays, an attempt to disguise himself so as to avert detection by fans who might recognize him.

The arrest had important consequences, and not only for Gielgud, who was told by the British embassy in Washington to forget about a planned American production of "The Tempest". because he might prove "an embarrassment".

Afterwards, the floodgates opened as the public was confronted by the disturbing fact that an extremely distinguished and beloved artist was one of the people they, in theory, despised. The fuss contributed to the Wolfenden Commission, set up the following year to study prostitution, taking on homosexuality as well. Its recommendations eventually led to decriminalisation in Britain.

While the affair broke Gielgud emotionally, he put himself back together in a way that made him better suited to a theatre in a world of greater change and upheaval.

For his talent and for his courage, the Religion of Antinous honors Saint John Gielgud as a Prophet of Homoeros.

KENNETH WEISHUHN
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


WE honor Kenneth Weishuhn as a blessed Saint of Antinous because he killed himself at age 14 after bullies taunted him relentlessly for being gay.

April 14th, 2012, Kenneth James Weishuhn, of Primghar, Iowa, succumbed to the bullying he'd been receiving since coming out as a gay teen only a few short months earlier.  

He was a very happy young man.  Handsome and full of life.  He was loving to others.  More than that, he was loved by his friends and families.

Unfortunately, coming out of the closet cost him his young life.  The bullying was relentless and severe to the point where he couldn't take it any longer. 

Two of Kenneth's friends, Kristi and Brandi, made a YOUTUBE VIDEO TRIBUTE to their gone-too-soon friend.  


Antinous is the God of teens who suffer for being gay. Kenneth Weishuhn is in the embrace of Antinous the Gay God. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

OLDEST PAPYRUS SCROLLS FOUND IN EGYPT

WRITTEN 2,000 YEARS BEFORE SIEGE OF TROY



IN an amazing double discovery, archaeologists have unearthed the oldest papyrus scrolls ever found ... and they have discovered a Red Sea port dating to the time of the Great Pyramid ... 2,000 years before the siege of Troy.

The fragile papyrus documents were found a ruins of one of the world's oldest ports, dating back to the time of King Khufu (Cheops), builder of the Great Pyramid, said Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim.

The port was discovered in Wadi al-Garf, located on the Red Sea coast 180 km south of Suez.

Overshadowing the discovery of the port ruins was the discovery of 40 sheets of papyrus covered in hieroglyphic texts that shed light on the daily lives of ancient Egyptians. The papyrus allegedly were monthly reports on the number of workers at the port and detailed their daily activities.

An Egyptian-French mission discovered the site, which Ibrahim said was one of the most important ports of ancient Egypt. Ships transporting copper and other metals reportedly frequented this port in ancient times.

A cluster of stone quays was also discovered at the site.

The papyrus sheets were transferred to the Suez Museum immediately after their discovery so that archaeologists and historians could study and document them, Ibrahim said.

Adel Hussein, head of the Egyptian Antiquities sector, said the mission has also discovered the remains of the homes of port workers, 30 caves and several stone tools.

Friday, April 12, 2013

ANTINOUS EXPLORES THE SUBURA

THE "RED-LIGHT DISTRICT" OF ROME



EVERYONE can recognize the Roman Forum and major monuments of Ancient Rome. But can you recognize which part of Rome this is?

It is the notorious "Subura" ... the "red-light district" at the foot of the Esquiline Hill on the east side of the city ... looking west past the Colosseum towards the Temple of Jupiter atop the Capitoline Hill in the distance.

By daylight the whores (of all genders) are sleeping off the rigors of a long night's work.

People are doing laundry, repairing roof tiles, cleaning vomit and worse from their doorsteps ... acrid smoke from cooking fires stings your eyes.

But after dark was when the really Subura came to life. With a little luck, you could get ANYTHING in the Subura ... if you had the money.  And with bad luck, you could CATCH anything.


Any young man visiting Rome for the first time could not resist a night in the Subura ... getting drunk on love and cheap wine, spiked with knock-out drops as often as not. The air in the Subura was thick with the scent of love (besides being thick with less salubrious scents).

An innocent young blade from the provinces would be warned by Romans: "You must watch your heart in the Subura, young man." 

And he would also be well advised to watch his coin pouch in the Subura.

We can imagine wide-eyed young Antinous (fresh from the provinces) and the somewhat older Lucius (the "other favorite of Hadrian who lived only for luxury") exploring the sordid streets of the Subura ... well after dark ....

Thursday, April 11, 2013

THOUSANDS OF ROMAN ARTIFACTS

UNEARTHED IN THE HEART OF LONDON


BRITISH archaeologists at a soggy dig site in the heart of London have unearthed 10,000 objects from Roman times ... including writing tablets ... Baltic amber amulets ... a well with ritual deposits of pewter, coins and cow skulls ... thousands of pieces of pottery ... and the largest collection of lucky charms in the shape of phalluses ever found at a single site.

Sophie Jackson, of Museum of London Archaeology, told The Guardian newspaper: 


"The waterlogged conditions left by the Wallbrook stream have given us layer upon layer of Roman timber buildings, fences and yards, all beautifully preserved and containing amazing personal items, clothes and even documents – all of which will transform our understanding of the people of Roman London."

Amazingly, the boggy-soggy conditions resulted in startlingly good preservation of timber – including massive foundations for buildings, fencing still standing to shoulder height, and remains of a complex Roman drainage system.

Also, the site produced the largest collection of leather from any London Roman site, bone and even a straw basket, which would all have crumbled into dust centuries ago on a drier site, The Guardian reported.

The most puzzling object is an elaborately worked piece of leather, padded and stitched with an image of a gladiator fighting mythical creatures. The archaeologists believe it may have come from a chariot, but are only guessing since nothing like it has ever been found.

Other finds include an amber charm in the shape of a gladiator's helmet, which may have been a good luck charm for an actual gladiator; a horse harness ornament combining two lucky symbols, a fist and a phallus, plus clappers to make a jingling sound as the horse moved; and a set of fine-quality pewter bowls and cups, which were deliberately thrown into a deep well.

The site at Great Queen Street was at the heart of the Roman city of London. It is now being redeveloped as a new headquarters for Bloomberg.

But after World War II, when Victorian buildings were cleared for an office building, it became internationally famous when a buried Temple of Mithras was found. Crowds formed around the block to see the remains, which were preserved after a public outcry led to questions in parliament over the threat of their destruction.

The temple was reconstructed on top of a car parking lot, but as part of the present project is being moved back to its original site, where it and many of the finds will eventually be on display to the public.

Up to 60 archaeologists from Museum of London Archaeology worked on the site, digging by hand through 3,500 tons of soil. The site, which includes the longest surviving stretch of the Wallbrook, covers the entire period of Roman London, from very soon after the invasion to the 5th Century AD.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

APOLLONIUS AND PHILEMON

SAINTS AND MARTYRS OF ANTINOUS


ON April 10th the Religion of Antinous honors St. Apollonius and St. Philemon of Antinoopolis, two loving friends who died together as martyrs to religious persecution.

The Sacred City of Antinoopolis was built upon the bank where Antinous had fallen into the Nile. From its birth the city was enshrouded with the specter of death.

The Religion of Antinous under the Curia of Antinoopolis was a death cult. The city's two major temples, that of the Egyptian faction and the larger Antineion which is the second possible site of the Lost Tomb of Antinous, were places for the perpetual lamentation of the death of Antinous, and for the passing of all beauty and youth in the world.

Antinoopolis was the flower of Greek civilization deep in the desert of the Thebaid, and it was a haven for dispossessed and exiled thinkers and theological revolutionaries of all sorts. But there came a time when even liberal-minded Antinoopolis fell under the sway of the fear and violence that had swept across the world.

The Christian faith was suffering one of the bloodiest persecutions in its history. In the 4th Century CE, as Antinoopolis was in full flower, Emperor Diocletian had sought to curb the rising tide of Christianity with brutal violence. He issued decrees that all citizens should be compelled to demonstrate their piety to the Roman Gods by offering sacrifice. It was a direct challenge.

Any person who refused was not only insulting the Gods of Rome, but also showing disloyalty to the Emperor and to Rome herself. Such treason was punishable by death. This was a legal way to persecute Christians. It was not an attack on the Christian doctrine, or its practices, but demonstrated an unavoidable line that no Christian would cross.

It is interesting to note that, although many of the Christians were executed by beheading or by being shot through with arrows, some were executed by being drowned in the Nile. This similarity between their deaths and the death of Antinous must have been very moving to the Ancient Priests of Antinous.


And it is also curious that the authorities apparently were not sensitive to the nature of this form of execution in the sacred city of a boy who had become a god simply by drowning in the Nile.

Of these Martyrs, the most profoundly moving are Apollonius and Philemon. Apollonius was a Deacon of the Church, also called a reader. The story goes that he was ordered to make a pagan sacrifice at Antinoopolis in order to prove that he was not a practicing Christian. He couldn't bring himself to do that, so he asked his "dearest friend" Philemon to make the sacrifice for him, since Philemon was a pagan.

Philemon is said to have been a flute player, an occupation notoriously held by homosexuals. While one was a young Christian priest and the other a pagan, it is indeed noteworthy that Apollonius the priest would have the confidence and trust to ask Philemon to take his place, and that Philemon would risk his life to aid the young priest. The two must have had a very close friendship, the nature of which has escaped the attention of the Christian martyrologists.



In the end, of course, the ruse was found out and they both died together by being drowned after the manner of Antinous, in the Nile.

One key element of the story is the irrefutable fact that Philemon, though not a Christian himself, refused under torture to renounce his friendship. In other words, he would rather die with his friend than renounce him and live on without him.

The details of the story of their martyrdom are shrouded in legend. In one version, they were tortured separately and were to be executed by archers.

But the story goes that the arrows bounced off their bodies. And in one version, an arrow point ricocheted back at Arian himself, blinding him in one eye.

Saint Philemon predicted that, after his martyrdom, Arian would be healed at Philemon's tomb on condition that he became a Christian. Arian did so, was cured miraculously -- and subsequently was put to death himself for being a Christian.

After arrows failed to kill them, Apollonius and Philemon, bloody but alive, were chained together and placed in a sack and thrown into the river. In one version, they were thrown into the sea at Alexandria.

Their deaths occurred on April 10th in the year 305.

What would cause a man to link his fate with that of another man, the two of them residents of a city founded in honor of a man who linked his fate with that of another man?


As for Apollonius, he must have been regarded as a rebellious hothead and self-destructive with his talk about this martyred Hebrew carpenter boy being an alternative to Antinous -- right there in the Sacred City of Antinoopolis!

What thoughts went through Philemon's mind as he was being bound up in chains together with his beloved friend and they were shoved into the river?

They probably weren't very nice men. Remember that actor/musicians were considered scum in ancient Rome. One was an actor and the other was a rabble-rousing religious fanatic. Not nice men.

Theirs was not a very pretty story. But then, few of the saints of any religious canon were very "sweet and nice" people to actually be around. "Nice" people obey the rules. "Nice" people obey the rules. These people did not. They stood up against authority and convention. And their life stories generally are not very pretty.

But most of us are not very "sweet and nice" people, once you get past the smiling exteriors that most of us present to neighbors and co-workers. Most of our life stories are not particularly very pretty.

But "nice" people with pretty life stories don't become saints. Most saints are usually just ordinary people who were placed in an extraordinary situation and who did something extraordinary as a result. We read the lives of the saints because they shock us into facing the reality of our own not very nice selves and our own not very pretty little lives.

It is very fitting and appropriate that we remember Philemon and Apollonius, two friends from the Sacred City of Antinoopolis whose lives were linked by bonds of love and whose deaths were linked by bonds of chains.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ANTINOUS IN SARDIS
THE GLEAMING WHITE-MARBLE CITY



THE Religion of Antinous commemorates the arrival in the springtime of 129 AD of Antinous and Hadrian in the fabulous city of Sardis, a city of gleaming marble high in the mountains of the province of Lydia.

It was a powerful military bastion and it was famed for its splendid temples and the gymnasium, which has been partially reconstructed for the benefit of modern-day tourists who, like the ancient Romans, look upon the city as an example of civilization in a far-flung province.

The city of Sardis is one of the most ancient cities in Asia Minor, with a history that extends thousands of years back into pre-history.


It was the capital of the Kings of Lydia and was a tremendously wealthy city under its ancient King Croesus, who contributed large amounts of gold to the building of the Temple of Artemis at nearby Ephesus. The Persians defeated Croesus but they were never able to subjugate the Lydian people completely.

The Lydians were Greek allies, and quickly sided with Alexander when he invaded, opening their gates to him without resistance. After Alexander, Sardis was caught between the powerful Attalids of Pergamum and the Seleucids of Antioch, both kingdoms founded by generals of Alexander.

At the close of the Hellenistic period, during the war with Mithradites, the people of Sardis sided with Rome, for which they were rewarded. While Sardis was under the control of Antony, a cult worshipped him as the New Dionysus, but when Octavian overthrew him, a Temple to Augustus Caesar was constructed without hesitation.

The biblical Book of Revelation, which numbers Sardis as one of the Seven Churches, criticizes the citizens for being weak and lame worshipers of Jesus and for preferring the Cult of the Emperors.

It is against that pagan backdrop that Hadrian and Antinous arrived in the springtime of 129 AD.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus Subia says:

"While touring the Province of Asia, Hadrian and Antinous were received with jubilation and divine honor. Hadrian was received as a visiting god, more than as a ruler, and Antinous was treated with deepest respect and loving devotion. The Lydian people were devoted to Helios, the sun god, and to Artemis in her Asia aspect as Great Mother.

"So we dedicate the visitation of the Roman court to the Divine Hadrian as the life-giving Helios, and to Antinous as the male Artemis with his bow and arrow at the ready as he soars under the protective solar wing of the imperial eagle."

Monday, April 8, 2013

JOHN ADDINGTON SYMONDS

SAINT OF ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD


ON April 8th the Religion of Antinous honors St. John Addington Symonds, the English poet and literary scholar who shocked Victorian sensibilities by openly promoting the cause of same-sex love.

John Addington Symonds was born on 5 October 1840, to a wealthy middle-class family in Bristol England. His father was a liberally minded doctor with connections and close friendships with many of the most illustrious and forwards minds of the time.

It was this environment of Victorian middle-class sexual repression that caused John Addington Symonds to blossom into one of the first and most prolific proponents for the cause of love between men.

While teenager in school, he was awakened by Plato to the awareness of love between boys among his schoolmates and almost immediately and unhesitatingly came out of the closet, even to his father, who was initially dismayed but ultimately supportive.

From then on, Symonds devoted his entire life to the study of homosexuality through art and history. He was the most pronounced defender of the ancient and glorious legacy of love between men, and a champion of social change.

He was a deep admirer of Walt Whitman, and later worked closely with Edward Carpenter, and Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, co-founding the British Institute for Sexual Science, which advocated a methodical study to overturn the laws against homosexual love.

For his life-long work and devotion, and for his early recognition and exultation of his sexuality, John Addington Symonds is a canonized Saint of the Religion of Antinous.

The most sacred of his many contributions to the enlightenment of our freedom are the words that he wrote about Antinous, whose beauty he glorified with poetry and elegance in the language of a lover of the homosexual, erotic beauty of Our God. John Addington Symonds died in Rome on the 8th of April 1893.

WE HONOR VASLAV NIJINSKY

SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON April 8th the Religion of Antinous honors St. Vaslav Nijinsky, the greatest gay ballet dancer/choreographer of all time, who died on this day in 1950 in an insane asylum.

He was a living Antinous who innately understood our religion's idea of Homotheosis -- Gay-Man-Godliness-Becoming-the-Same.

Homotheosis can only be accomplished by a self-inflicted act of faith after the example of Antinous. 


One must deny this mortal existence of death and decay, which existence is rightfully called transient, and cast the mortal self into the rushing waters of the Nile that flows within the veins and arteries of our true, perfect, interior self. A body that is the same as and as beautiful as the marble flesh of Antinous the Gay God. 

This is not turning away from life, but turning to it for the very first time, and finding the light of the Unconquered Sun that has always shone within.

One of this religion's favorite Hadrian and Antinous stories is the tumultuous love affair between Vaslav Nijinsky and Sergei Diaghilev. Nijinsky completely changed ballet, inventing what we now consider to be modern dance. Of course he was out of his mind, and after his relationship with Diaghilev ended, he went certifiably insane and spent the rest of his life in an asylum.

Vaslav Fomich Nijinsky was born in Kiev on March 12th, 1888. Both his parents were ballet dancers, and Vaslav was introduced to the stage as a child. When he was a 18 he became the lover of Prince Paul Dmitrievitch who then introduced him to Sergei Diaghilev, the ballet impresario, whose lover he became in 1908.

Diaghilev took Vaslav to Paris where he was starting the famous Ballet Russe, an experimental production company that brought together the finest composers of the day with the most innovative scenery artists, costumers, and of course the greatest ballet dancers in the world.

The volatile relationship between the teenage Nijinsky and the 40-year-old Diaghilev led to the some of ballet's most profound and moving works. Nijinsky was the male star of the Ballet Russe, but he soon showed that his true talent lay in choreography. His debut as a choreographer came when he was 21 in the short piece entitled L'aprés-midi d'un Faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Fawn) with music by Claude Debussy, in which Nijinsky starred as the lustful faun trying in vain to seduce a group of nymphs.

The ballet caused a scandal when it premiered in Paris on May 29, 1912, because of the highly suggestive ending in which Nijinsky pantomimed masturbation and orgasm.

But that was nothing compared to the riots that broke out after his next choreography for the orgiastic Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring).

The style of Vaslav Nijinsky was far ahead of his day. He revolutionized the ballet and single-handedly invented what we call modern dance, rejecting the stylistic forms passed down by tradition in favor of sensuality, odd gestures and unnatural movement that was totally infused with the grace and power of the feel of music.

The relationship between Nijinsky and Diaghilev broke down over time and they separated. Nijinsky married a female fan he had only met once ... simply to spite Diaghilev. But he was slowly succumbing to mental illness, and would eventually lose his mind completely.



He wrote a bizarre diary in the few weeks before he was taken away to spend the rest of his life in various mental institutions. The genius of Vaslav Nijinsky, who was taken as a stupid person because of his shy and quiet demeanor, was revealed in his divine power of dance and in the sublimity of his strange diary.

Here is an excerpt, you'll notice the way that he rambles just barely able to communicate his wandering mind. Nijinsky was already leaving this world and becoming an immortal. He signed the last page, Nijinsky, the God.



"One day in the streets of Paris I pushed [Diaghelev] in order to show him that I was not afraid of him. Diaghelev hit me with his stick, as I wanted to go away from him. After this we lived for a long time together. I loved the Ballets Russes. I gave my whole heart to it. I worked like an ox. I lived like a martyr. I lived sadly and sorrowed alone. I wept alone. I loved my mother and wrote her letters every day. I was afraid of life, because I was very young. I could not go on composing the ballet 'Jeux.' It was a ballet about flirting and unsuccessful, as I had not feeling for it. The story of this ballet is about three young men making love to each other. I began to understand life when I was 22 years old. I composed this ballet alone, too. Debussy, the well-known composer, wanted the subject to be written down.

"Diaghelev likes to say that he created the ballet, because he likes to be praised. I do not mind if Diaghelev says that he composed the stories of 'Faune' and 'Jeux,' because when I created them, I was under the influence of 'my life' with Diaghelev. The Faune is me and Jeux is the life which Diaghelev dreamed. Diaghelev wanted to make love to two boys at the same time and wanted these boys to make love to him. In the ballet, the two girls represent the two boys, and the young man is Diaghelev. I changed the characters, as love between three men could not be represented on the stage'"

The Parisians called him the God of Dance, and toward the end of his diary, he signed his name, Nijinsky, the God. He died in a London clinic on April 8, 1950.

We consecrate him as a Saint and as a living incarnation of Antinous/Pan/Dionysus. St. Vaslav Nijinsky, who knew how to live Homotheosis every single blessed day of his life -- which means living daily the Divine Spirit of Being Gay -- and who knew how to express this ineffable spirit in dance as well.