Friday, September 30, 2016

A PHALLIC AMULET OR TALISMAN
KEPT DOCTOR AWAY IN ANCIENT ROME



IN ancient Roman religion and magic, the fascinus or fascinum was the embodiment of the divine phallus. 

Phallic imagery was everywhere in Ancient Rome: inscribed on paving stones, on pendants and jewelry and as decorative hangings, such as this terracotta fascinus found in Pompeii.

The deity Fascinus was tended by the Vestal Virgins who blessed phallus effigies, amulets and talismans, and spoke enchantments invoke his divine protection. 

Pliny calls it a medicus invidiae, a "doctor" or remedy for envy (invidia, a "looking upon") or the evil eye.

Tintinnabulum hanging wind chimes in gardens warded off insect pests and blights from plants.

A fascinus ring on a child's finger, or pendant around the child's neck served to protect the tot from harm.

Phallic emblems on paving stones were intended to keep away evil spirits who might cause traffic accidents.

A winged phallus whisked harm away with the beat of its wings.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

ARCHAEOLOGISTS BAFFLED BY ROMAN COINS
FOUND IN RUINS OF JAPANESE CASTLE



THE Romans were famous for their long roads which famously led right back to their imperial capital.

Now it has been suggested that the influence of the world’s most famous empire may have stretched further than any ancient workman could have imagined.

Astonished archaeologists have discovered an ancient cache of Roman coins on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

"I couldn't believe they'd found coins from the Roman empire in Kasturen castle,”Hiroyuki Miyagi of Okinawa International University told CNN.

"I thought that they were replicas that had been dropped there by tourists."

But the coins turned out to be genuine and dated back to between 300 and 400 AD.

Diggers discovered a total of 10 coins near Katsuren Castle in the town of Uruma, including some from the Ottoman Empire.

"We don't think that there is a direct link between the Roman empire and Katsuren castle, but the discovery confirms how this region had trade relations with the rest of Asia," said Masaki Yokou, a spokesperson from Uruma city’s Board of Education.

Archaeologists are now planning to examine the coins as well as the pottery found alongside them to understand why the currency turned up in such an unexpected place.

"The Chinese ceramics and coins that we found date back at least 600 to 700 years and we'd like to analyze those objects in tandem with these coins to work out how the coins may have ended up here," Miyagi added.

Of course, any regular reader of this blog knows that it is possible that Emperor Hadrian's favorite bath house architect slipped through a Space/Time worm hole in the drains of a Roman bath house ... and ended up in Japan.

Click HERE to see how those Roman coins REALLY ended up in Japan!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

THE FIRST MIRACLE OF ANTINOUS
INVOLVED A TRANSGENDER DEITY



ON September 28th the Ancient Egyptians celebrated the Feast of the Creation of the Nile Inundation as represented by the transgender deity HAPI.

It was through HAPI that Antinous worked his first miracle ... bringing about a bountiful Nile inundation which ended a long famine ... only a few months after he died and was deified.


Hapi is special to us especially because Hapi is transgender. With many other such deities, the gender division is down the middle of the body (like some Hindu deities) or the top half is one gender and the bottom half is the other.

But Hapi is very complex and the genders are mixed throughout his/her body. Male deities invariably have reddish-orange skin in Egyptian Art and female deities have yellowish skin. 

However, Hapi has bluish-green skin. Hapi has long hair like a female deity but has a square jaw and a beard. Hapi has broad shoulders yet has pendulous breasts like a nursing mother. 

Hapi has narrow hips and masculine thighs, but has a pregnant belly. Nobody knows what sort of genitals Hapi has, since they are covered by a strange garment reminiscent of a sumo wrestler's belt.

Hapi is both father and mother to the Egyptians. Hapi provides them with everything necessary for life. As Herodotus wrote, "Egypt is the gift of the Nile"

Hapi wears a fabulous headdress of towering water plants and she/he carries enormous offering trays laden with foodstuffs.

The Ancient Egyptians had no problem worshipping a mixed-gender deity. 

It is very important to draw the connection between Hapi and Antinous, especially since the First Miracle that Antinous performed as a god involved Hapi. The Egyptians accepted Antinous into their own belief system immediately and were among the most ardent followers of Antinous.

They had no problem worshipping a gay deity who had united himself with a transgender deity. 

It must have seemed very logical and credible to them.

It made sense to them and enriched their belief system, made it more personal since they could identify more easily with a handsome young man than with a hermaphrodite wearing a sumo belt (Hapi forgive me!).

Herodotus also said he once asked a very learned religious man in Egypt what the true source of the Nile was.

The learned man (speaking through an interpreter, since most Greeks never bothered to learn Egyptian) paused and finally told him the true source of the Nile is the thigh of Osiris.

We think of it as a strange answer. We think of the Nile as an "it" and the source as a "geographical location". 


But the Egyptians thought of the Nile as "us" and its true source as "heka" — the magical semen of the creator.

So, a learned Egyptian would have assumed that a learned Greek would understand what was meant: That Hapi is the equivalent of Dionysus, who was "incubated" in the inner thigh of Zeus after his pregnant mortal mother Semele perished when she could not bear the searing sight of her lover Zeus in all his divine panoply.

It's a very poetic way (a very Egyptian way) of saying that the "true source" of the Nile, which is to say Egypt itself, is the magical heka/semen from the loins of the original creator.

The grandest depiction of HAPI is a colossal statue found in the submerged ruins of HERACLEION at the mouth of the Nile ... this statue once flanked the portals of the Great Temple in that city before earthquakes and tsunamis sent it to the bottom of the sea. 


It was rediscovered by marine archaeologist Marck Goddio and is the highlight of a British Museum EXHIBITION ... as seen in the photo at left.

We will never know what happened during that journey up the Nile along the drought-parched fields with anxious Egyptian farmers looking to Hadrian for a miracle ... in September and October of the year 130 AD. 

All we know is that Antinous "plunged into the Nile" and into the arms of Hapi in late October of the year 130.

And then the following summer, Hapi the Inundation Deity provided a bountiful Nile flood which replenished the food stocks of Egypt — and the Roman Empire.

The First Miracle of Antinous the Gay God is enshrined in the hieroglyphic inscription on the OBELISK OF ANTINOUS which stands in Rome.

The East Face of the Obelisk, which is aligned to the rising sun Ra-Herakhte, speaks of the joy that fills the heart of Antinous since having been summoned to meet his heavenly father Ra-Herakhte and to become a god himself.

Then the inscription tells how Antinous intercedes with Ra-Herakhte to shower blessings upon Hadrian and the Empress Sabina Augusta.

And Antinous immediately calls upon Hapi ...

Hapi, progenitor of the gods,
On behalf of Hadrian and Sabina,
Arrange the inundation in fortuitous time
To make fertile and bountiful, the fields
Of Both Upper and Lower Egypt!
We joyfully celebrate this, the First Miracle of Antinous!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

ANTINOUS SAW DESERT GARDENS OF PETRA
NOW REDISCOVERED AFTER 2,000 YEARS



EXPERTS have made an astonishing find at Petra, the fabled caravan trade route crossroads city which Antinous and Hadrian visited on their way to a rendezvous with destiny in Egypt.

They have revealed a startlingly advanced irrigation system and water storage system that enabled the desert city's people to survive ... and to maintain a magnificent garden featuring fountains, ponds and a huge swimming pool.

The engineering feats and other luxuries attest to the ancient Nabatean capital's former splendor and wealth some 2,000 years ago.

Earlier this year a GIANT MONUMENTAL PLATFORM was discovered just a kilometer from the ruins of the city in Jordan. The archaeologists describe the unparalleled find as "a large rectangular platform" that measures 55 meters by 50 meters (184 feet by 160 feet) and was essentially "hiding in plain sight."

Petra is perhaps best known for its sandstone canyon that leads directly to Al Khazneh, The Treasury, seen in the climax to "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" where the heroes, played by Harrison Ford and Sean Connery, ride out of the canyon and into the Treasury in their quest for the Holy Grail.


However, 2,000 years ago, Petra was renowned for completely different reasons.

It was one of the most famous water stops in the Middle East, where camel caravan routes linked distant cities.

Now archaeologists are discovering the Nabataean capital, situated in the southwestern deserts of Jordan, once was adorned with an exquisite, artificially irrigated garden.

It featured paths likely shaded by vines, trees and date palms, and grasses, which were cultivated next to a huge, 44-meter wide swimming pool.

The Nabataeans’ ability to tame nature, and conspicuous consumption of a precious resource, water, was pure propaganda.

It was a means to display wealth and power, which they could do thanks to the ingenious hydraulic system they invented, which allowed the people not only to reserve enough water for their own needs, but to water the lavish garden with fountains and an open-air pool.


It had previously been unthinkable that water, a scarce resource in the desert wastes, would have been used for anything but necessity.

"The pool marks the terminus for an aqueduct that transported water from one of the springs, 'Ein Brak, located in the hills outside of Petra," Leigh-Ann Bedal, anthropologist from Penn State Behrend College, told Haaretz. "The pool’s monumental architecture and verdant garden served as a visual celebration of the Nabataeans' success at providing water to the city center."

Ongoing excavations in Petra have uncovered a shaft that appears to have led water more than 10 meters downward, from the aqueduct system to the pool level.

The archaeologists have also found underground channels that helped control runoff during the rainy season, revealing the true complexity of the system for the first time.


Occupied since prehistoric times, the lost Nabataean civilization made the part-carved, part-built city their capital and a major caravan center of trade from the 4th Century BC to the first century AD.

During Hellenistic and Roman times it became a major caravan centre for the incense of Arabia, the silks of China and the spices of India ... a crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia.

Hadrian and Antinous stopped at Petra on their way from Antioch to Alexandria.

Monday, September 26, 2016

RABBIT GOD TU ER SHEN
IS THE CHINESE DEITY OF GAYNESS



ON International Rabbit Day, September 26th, we honor the Chinese "Rabbit God" of homosexuality.

Just as Antinous the Gay God is being re-discovered in the West, Hu Tianbao alias Tu Er Shen the "Rabbit God" is being rediscovered by Chinese gay people. 

Incredibly, both deities involve young gay men who were in love with men of high standing ... and who died tragically ... and who became gods of the spiritual essence of homosexuality. 

Antinous is a true-life historical figure, of course, but his Chinese counterpart is shrouded in myth and legend ... involving rabbits.

According to Zi Bu Yu (子不語), a book written by Yuan Mei (袁枚, a Qing dynasty writer), Tu Er Shen (兔兒神 or 兔神) was a mortal man called Hu Tianbao (胡天保).

Hu Tianbao fell in love with a very handsome imperial inspector of Fujian Province. One day Hu Tianbao was caught peeping on the inspector through a toilet wall, at which point he came out to the other man. To save face, the imperial inspector had no choice but to have Hu Tianbao beaten to death.

One month after Hu Tianbao's death, he is said to have appeared to a man from his hometown in a dream, claiming that since his crime was one of love, the gods decided to right the injustice by appointing him the god and safeguarder of homosexual affections.


After his dream the man erected a shrine to Hu Tianbao, which became very popular in Fujian province, so much so that in late Qing times, the cult of Hu Tianbao was suppressed by the homophobic Qing government.

A slang term for homosexuals in late imperial China was Tuzi (兔子) (bunnies) which is why Hu Tianbao is referred to as the RABBIT GOD, although in fact he has nothing to do with rabbits and should not be confused with TU-ER-YE (兔儿爷) the famous "Rabbit in the Moon" which is the Chinese version of the "Man in the Moon".

However, the rabbit association stuck, and even today his devotees portray him with rabbit ears and make offerings of carrots to his altars. The handsome statuette in this image is lovingly clothed in a rabbit-fur cloak.

While no one knows if gays in mainland China worship him ... there is a temple in Yonghe city (永和市)in Taiwan that venerates Hu Tianbao, alias Tu Er Shen. The temple is known as the RABBIT TEMPLE (兔兒廟). The address is Taipei, Yonghe City, Yonghe Road Section 1, Alley 37, No 12.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A MUSEUM NEXT DOOR TO ANTINOOPOLIS
REOPENS 3 YEARS AFTER BEING LOOTED



THE Mallawi Museum, only a few miles from Antinoopolis in Egypt, reopened this week after being ransacked by looters three years ago. 

Most of the museum's 1,000-piece collection has also been recovered from looters and is back on display following a $1 million renovation.

The museum was ransacked in August 2013 during a period of violence in the country following the ousting of the former president Mohamed Morsi. 

The looters shot one member of the museum staff dead and stole almost all of the artefacts on display. Other items, too large to remove, were vandalised, destroyed or burned.

The objects stolen predominantly date to the Graeco-Roman Period and included jewellery, shabti figurines depicting workers in the afterlife, statues of the gods Osiris, Isis, Hathor and Thoth, pottery, papyri, gold coins and wooden coffins.

Shortly after the attack, a Red List of the looted artefacts was distributed by Unesco in Arabic and English.

Over the following years, the vast majority of these artefacts were recovered. 

A limestone statue of ANKHESENAMUN, Tutankhamun's wife, was seized in December 2013, after officials traced it to a bazaar in Cairo.

Meanwhile, a man was arrested in Giza after he tried to sell 13 artefacts taken from the museum. 

Many of the objects were returned by local people after Egyptian authorities promised a small reward and that no criminal charges would be brought against them.

The Mallawi National Museum in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya, adjacent to Antinoopolis, was severly damaged and looted by rioters as part of deadly clashes that erupted across the country.

Afterwards, police and volunteers managed to gather together the artefacts that had not been stolen and transferred them to a secure vault at nearby Al-Ashmunein ... ancient Hermopolis (called Shmunu by the Ancient Egyptians).


Hermopolis was the last city that Antinous saw before his death in October 130 AD. He died at a bend in the Nile a short distance from Hermopolis ... and that was where Antinoopolis was founded.

There has also been widespread blatant LOOTING AT ANTINOOPOLIS in recent years. 

The entire Assyut/Minya area is a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism. 

Ironically, the area has always been a region of religious fervor, dating back to Antinoopolis ... and even further back to the 18th Dynasty when "heretic" Pharaoh Akhenaten founded his capital city Akhetaten a few miles south of the site where Antinous would plunge into the Nile and his sacred city would be founded in the year 130 AD.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

CHINESE BONES IN ROMAN CEMETERY
REWRITE HISTORY OF ROMAN BRITAIN


THE history books will have to be rewritten now that 1,900-year-old Chinese skeletons have been unearthed among Roman skeletons at an ancient cemetery in London.

It was an otherwise unremarkable Roman cemetery at the site of ancient Roman Londinium, containing the bodies of ordinary people. They lived and died on the banks of the Thames, making a living in the poorer and dirtier districts of Roman Londinium.

When an analysis of the skeletons came through, no one expected a result that could change our view of the history of Europe and Asia. 

But that is what archaeologists seem to have found, because two of the skeletons, dated to between the 2nd and 4th Century AD, were Chinese.

The findings promise to rewrite the history of the Romans as it suggests these two great empires ... the Chinese Empire and the Roman Empire ... had far greater connections than previously believed.

While it is known that there was extensive trade between China and ancient Rome along what became known as the Silk Road, the two empires are thought to have viewed each other warily.

Accounts from the time suggest the Chinese were curious about the TALL AND VIRTUOUS PEOPLE far to the west, while the Romans found their rivals in the east mysterious but valued their silk cloth.

There is even a village in western China whose residents claim to be descendants of soldiers from a LOST ROMAN LEGION.

Despite the trade between the empires, however, only one person of Asian ancestry has ever been found on sites dating back to the Roman Empire ... an adult man unearthed at Vagnari in Italy.

But now research led by the Museum of London has revealed two more individuals of Asian ancestry, buried among the remains of other citizens of ancient Londinium.

According to the THE TIMES, while experts have not been able to identify their exact origins, it is likely these people had come from China.

Writing in the Journal of Archaeological Science, Dr Rebecca Redfern, an archaeologist at the Museum of London, said how they ended up there is a mystery.

She and her colleagues said: 'The expansion of the Roman Empire across most of western Europe and the Mediterranean, led to the assimilation and movement of many ethnically and geographically diverse communities.