Wednesday, August 16, 2017
THE "Maritime Theater" as they call it was definitely one of the most spectacular parts of Hadrian's Villa, and I was very pleased to have seen it with Priest Hernestus during my Sacred Pilgrimage to Rome.
The "Teatro Marittimo," as it is called in Italian, was closed for three years of renovations ... but it is now open again to the public, and you should make a point of seeing it.
Even in ruins you can see that it must have been an absolutely beautiful and enchanting building...almost insanely beautiful...a perfect circle surrounded by a high wall, with an inner colonnaded moat, with a little island and a little round Roman house on the inside...
That was Hadrian's private retreat from his grandiose world that surrounded him...in that magnificent, marble and gold encrusted Villa of sprawling palaces, the Emperor's private chambers were at once quaintly charming as they were wonderfully eccentric.
His private chambers, the little open-air office where he attended to the business of running the whole world, the private baths, the little lavatories...four lavatories in that tiny little house...but most intriguing of all are the two little bedchambers towards the back of the house...identical little rooms just big enough for a queen-size bed and maybe a table...
In one of the two rooms, Hadrian spent his nights with Antinous...and the other room...well, that must have been where Empress Sabina slept.
I just think it's the most wonderful thing...no grand huge master bedroom with a splendid view of Tibur...just two identical, "his & hers" rooms for the rulers of the world.
One thing I noticed is that they were at the rear of the little house, facing south, and must have had a big windows that let in the morning sun at all times of the year.
The sun would have poured in and sparkled over the water of the fountain-moat.
The constant clamor of the Imperial court outside would have been drowned out by the murmur of gurgling fountains.
It was a tiny little house, but it must have been beautifully decorated...walls covered in inlaid marble of exquisite color, draperies and columns and golden lamps and the finest of furniture from all over the Roman world ... and works of art by the very best ancient Greek artists...and a personal little library of Hadrian's most treasured books.
One thing I fail to locate is the closet space...I'm in the apartment business, so floor plans are everything to me ... there were no closets because servants brought Hadrian's daily robes from somewhere else!
The entrance caught my eye....if you include the colonnaded walkway between the outer wall and the fountain-moat, and also the little oval vestibule...then it was all about the entrance, which was pronouncedly about disbarment...
And then if you were so honored as to have been admitted into the Emperor's private chambers...which almost no one ever was, we can be sure...then you would find yourself in the beautiful little oval drawing room...where you would be asked to sit and wait for Emperor to summon you...
From there, you would be led into the Atrium...the center of the house, Hadrian's own private little garden, with its little fountain open to the air.
There you would find Hadrian's closest inner circle...members of his family perhaps, Sabina's handmaidens, the Emperor's personal assistants and house servants...perhaps Phlegon, his most trusted freedman, an officer of the guard standing at duty, and a musician playing soft chords on the cithara....
And there in a corner...playing with a new hunting puppy...would be Antinous himself...attended by an old Greek tutor trying in vain to teach Antinous the correct declension for his Latin verbs...
And there at the far end of the house, in the room they call he Tablinarium...obviously the most important room in the house..situated between the two main bed chambers...was Hadrian's office.
You might have found him sitting at a table reading personal wax tablets of private concerns...this was not where Hadrian conducted the official business of running his Empire...this was his private office...where he only attended to his private communications. There must have been a more formal office somewhere else in the villa where Hadrian conducted his official business of the Empire...
This was his private study, and I'm sure by the moat that he made a clear division between his private business and his personal space...
This was Hadrian's private office...and so to have been given admittance to proceed so far into his private space, you would have needed to have been considered family.
The biggest space in the house is he atrium...that's the living room...then there's the three bedrooms...and then there are the two rooms that are described as tricliniums..or dining rooms...these were for very private dinners....just you, the Emperor and one other person...probably Antinous...and the other dining room was probably for Sabina.
The last fifth of the little house was Hadrian's private baths...a full scale Roman bath on a tiny scale...which probably provided heat for the little house in the colder months.
I would assume that, in the summer months, Hadrian would have used the grand bath not far away rather than over-heat his private chambers.
This is where Antinous spent his time when he lived in the Villa...and what an Isle of the Blessed it must have been...like a tiny island paradise...when Antinous was alive...and then...when Hadrian returned from Egypt...and the war in Israel had broken out...the beautiful island must have become rather like a customized chamber of Hell...
Marguerite Yourcenar describes a sickly old Hadrian dictating his memoirs beneath an austere Osirian statue of Antinous overlooking his bedchamber...this is where these lost memoirs were dictated...
It is no wonder that Hadrian couldn't live there any more and eventually fled to Baie south of Rome where he died...
The Isle of the Blessed held too many memories...and Hadrian wanted to live forever and he knew that if stayed even one more night in the Villa that he would die...He should have stayed.
When Hernestus and I were there...I gathered a little handful of dirt from there, in the hope that perhaps Antinous might have stepped upon at least one grains of the sand of the rubble that remains...
And amongst the sand I found a chunk of brick that had fallen from the wall..and quite honestly...this little piece of Roman brick has become one of the most important and sacred "rocks" (crystals) that I have ever touched...because this is a wall that Antinous once looked upon..
Sure, there were layers of marble between Antinous and my little chunk of brick..
But that's pretty close. I've been so, so much further away from Antinous....
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
May you all be blessed
as we prepare for
THE SACRED LION HUNT
beneath the light of the
LUCIUS MOON OF BROTHERS.
~ANTONIUS N. SUBIA
Monday, August 14, 2017
THIS week our brothers and sisters in Mexico commemorate the accession of Hadrian as emperor of Rome with this hand-crafted bust.
The papier-mâché bust created by Carlos Oseguera Loranca is in the likeness of Mexican educator Antonio Salazar, nominated to become a saint of Antinous for his work in the Visual Documentation Workshop of UNAM.
Carlos, head of Epithimia Antínoo Mexíco, graciously guest authors the following blog article for us:
Salazar created in Mexico the Visual Documentation Workshop (TDV), cradled in the San Carlos Academy, of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
Its importance lay in the creation of leaflets, information cards and other printed materials, whose artistic roots worked to disseminate critical information on discrimination towards homosexuals, which was crossed by racism, classism, obligatory heterosexuality and the arrival of Epidemic of HIV / AIDS to the world.
The workshop came into being in 1984, only a couple of years after homosexual rights movements in other countries was beginning to be born and the HIV epidemic was making headlines.
Stigma and rejection of homosexuals were fueled by society's alarmist reactions to HIV, by considering that LGBT people were a "source of infection" or that the disease was a "divine punishment" sent by God.
"The workshop emerges in the effervescence of the homosexual liberation movement in our country, when marches, groups and protests take hold. It begins to generate a Mexican speech. From many points begin to join the struggle, one of them the Front of the Plastic Arts, whose greatest exponent is the Visual Documentation Workshop," said Salvador Irys, director of the International Festival for Sex Diversity (FIDS), in an interview for DISASTER.
The Front of the Plastic Arts was the first collective that began to address issues related to homosexuality in an artistic way.
Not all members of the workshop were openly homosexual, due to the social context, but under Salazar's leadership and steeped in communism, workshop participants created collective works that captured the concerns and problems of the LGBT population of that time.
"They said that art had to serve society and therefore not empower the artist, so they signed in a collective way, they released the rights of their works so that anyone could use them whenever and to promote these issues, there was A leading role. Their work focused on sexuality, class differences and religion, from which they created their discourse. "
"Their work was influenced by the arrival of HIV in Mexico, they were committed artists, they believed that art had a social purpose, if not, it was of no use. And as many of their friends start to become infected, they begin to create the first materials that have been made in this country about HIV, both artistic and broadcast, issues that were used to prevent and promote condom use."
Derogatorily called the pink cancer, due to the incidence of homosexual men cases, HIV broke into a gay community that found in sex a perfect refuge and a place of subversion before a society that criminalized, excluded and considered sick and sinful Their way of sexual and affective bonding.
Precisely, the importance of the Visual Documentation Workshop was that, faced with the panorama of disinformation and hate created around the epidemic, began to erect a visual discourse based on awareness and destigmatization.
"The workshop artists were among the first in Mexico to create a bridge between activism and art, they worked hand in hand with the gay liberation groups, there was a feedback. Some of the first signs of the marches were done by the TDV, some brochures of the organizations made them the workshop. They managed to articulate activism of homosexual liberation and art."
Sunday, August 13, 2017
DIANA the Divine Huntress was born August 13, according to the Lanuvium inscription which is consecrated to Antinous and Diana.
She is said to be the twin sister of Apollo, but our belief is that the virgin huntress is the female Antinous, his twin sister, goddess of lesbian beauty just as Antinous is the god of gay beauty.
Diana and Antinous are deities of the Moon.
As Antinous is often assimilated to Apollo, he therefore substitutes as the twin of Diana, though he can often be viewed as her male double, so that Antinous is Diana.
She is Helen of Troy to the Castor and Pollux of Antinous-Apollo, they share not only the attribute of hunters, and of the moon, but also as gods of magic and darkness.
Diana is often compared to Heckate, the supreme goddess of Theurgian magicians, who rose to prominence during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Antinous therefore is the male equivalent of Heckate.
We pray to Diana to guide us in our hunt and to illuminate our nights with the silver light of her sublime power. We recognize that the Moon of Diana is the Moon of Antinous.
On this night we venerate the Virgin, she who guides new life into the world, goddess of beasts, the mistress of the hounds, the archeress, the young Great Mother of Ephesus.
Saturday, August 12, 2017
ON August 11th 117 AD, the Legions proclaimed Hadrian as successor to Trajan to become Emperor of Rome ... a major turning poing in LGBT history.
While on campaign in Nikomedia, capital of Bithynia, Hadrian receives word that Trajan unexpectedly died on August 8th.
He learns that Trajan's "deathbed will" named him as the emperor's adopted son and successor. It is the de facto accession of Hadrian as emperor of Rome.
It is believed that Trajan's wife, the Empress Plotina (who adored Hadrian), forged the will of her husband, naming Hadrian as successor.
Whatever happened, the Legions proclaimed Hadrian emperor on August 11th.
The support of the army insured the validity of our Emperor's claim, ushering in the Sacred and Golden Age of the Antonines, the dynasty of peaceful and wise emperors which would end with Marcus Aurelius.
Our own FLAMEN ANTINOALIS ANTONIUS SUBIA explains what this means to gay men everywhere:
"Hadrian became Emperor over Rome at the pinnacle of her glory. Her boundaries stretched farther than ever before; farther than they ever would again. Millions of people were subject to his authority. As Emperor, Hadrian first made peace with the Parthians, surrendering some of the land that Trajan had occupied, and then began the work of consolidating the Empire from the inside. We celebrate the Accession of Hadrian as the miracle that might never have been, without which Antinous would never have been known, and our religion would never have been born. Hadrian is Our Father, Our Emperor and Our Capitoline God, we recognize on this day that the beginning of his age is the beginning of our own."On August 11th, please take a moment to remember the day on which Hadrian's long and heartfelt dreams and ambitions became reality and the path was paved for him to begin work on creating a civilization based on Hellenistic tolerance — and above-all his dream of founding the perfect religion based on love and beauty.
May the Divine Hadrian help us all achieve our heartfelt dreams and ambitions in this regard.
ON AUGUST 12th, we honor Hercules Invictus, the champion of homosexuality.
The Great God Hercules, defender of mankind against chaos, the son of Zeus, the strongest and mightiest man that has ever lived, was one of the first of the Greek gods to be worshipped by the Romans.
The Greeks of southern Italy introduced the Cult of Hercules at such an early date that the Romans were convinced that Hercules was indigenous. Indeed, he was admitted by Romulus into the sacred Pomeria, the spiritual protective wall of the city of Rome.
The cult of Hercules was centered at Tibur, where Hadrian built his magnificent Villa, and Hadrian is often compared to Hercules for his travels, his physical strength, courage, and his sexual prowess.
Hercules was driven mad by Hera and forced to murder his wife and children. In order to atone for his sin, he visited the oracle of Delphi and was instructed to submit to twelve labors.
Hercules accomplished them all, and many others including the release of Prometheus from bondage.
He was also a sexual champion and the number of his lovers is very long, and they include boys such as Abderus, Chonus, Haemon, Hylas, Iokastus, Iolaus, Nestor, Philoctetes, Polyphemus, Telamon, Abderus, Admetus, and Dryops.
Without question, Hercules was a champion of homosexuality, and a defender of mankind against the forces of evil.
For his benefit to mankind, he is venerated as a God and Protector of the Religion of Antinous.
(Illustration above of Hercules battling the Hydra by gay old-school beefcake artist George Quaintance.)
Friday, August 11, 2017
WE are proud to announce the most extensive collection of Antinous images in the world!
Flamen Antonius Subia spent nearly two years assembling the GALLERY OF ANTINOUS ICONS.
What initially was supposed to be one page of images became a massive library.
He says it turned out to entail "months of painful, agonizing, finger-crippling, endless catalogueing, and intricate photoshop enhancing and resizing of countless... countless. ..Antinous images!"
The endeavour proved to be not only a technical challenge but also something of a spiritual initiation.
Antonyus says, "I now feel that I am an expert in Antinous Iconography...as over the process, I have become deeply familiar with each and everyone of Antinous's wonderful, beautiful statues and busts and other images.
"I have to tell you that in the end...it has been the most meaningful, and intimate experience of getting to know Antinous on a level that I have never before felt.
"He is so astonishingly beautiful... I found myself treating each and every one of his images with particular, loving care and devotion.
"It's amazing...when you handle his beautiful image again and again...when you gaze upon him, and study him, and see example after example, they all seem to blur together until you are left with this cumulative impression of what he really must have looked like...like the sum total...as though I had layered translucent leaves of his face and body one over the other, each showing through to the next, cancelling out errors, cracks, chips, peculiarities, the hand of the artist, modern enhancements, slight differences...my own impression of what I always thought he looked like...all blurring together into a ghostly form of his true image...I see him now.
"But I am also deeply familiar with all the different variations...I know them all by name, location, origin, and bits of their history...I know the image of Antinous as I had never known it before."
Antonyus adds that the gallery is not complete and he has issued a call for readers to submit more images.
"My intent is to have the most complete collection of Antinous images in the world," he explains. "We are after all The Temple of Antinous, his modern religion. It is only right that we take his image into our possession and display his form for all to see....with reverance and piety...not as an object of art, or history, but as an object of worship."