Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN'S
SECRET HIDEAWAY

By Antonius Subia



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....


~ANTONIUS SUBIA

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

ANTINOUS WORSHIPERS IN MEXICO
HONOR HADRIAN AND A SAINT


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

THE BIRTH OF DIANA


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

LEGIONS PROCLAIM HADRIAN EMPEROR
A TURNING POINT IN LGBT HISTORY



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.

HERCULES INVICTUS


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

ANNOUNCING THE LARGEST GALLERY
OF ANTINOUS IMAGES IN THE WORLD



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."

LEGIONS PROCLAIM HADRIAN EMPEROR
A TURNING POINT IN LGBT HISTORY



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.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

MONTAGUE SUMMERS
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON AUGUST 10th, the Religion of Antinous honors the Reverend Montague Summers, saint of Antinous, who was a very upfront and openly gay member of the Sacred Band of Lover/Warriors at the turn of the last century and who published a book of Uranian poetry entitled Antinous.

Born April 10, 1880, the Rev. Montague Summers died at the age of 68 on this day in 1948. 

Here is a splendid contemporary description of him:

"During the year 1927, the striking and somber figure of the Reverend Montague Summers in black soutane and cloak, with buckled shoes — à la Louis Quatorze — and shovel hat could often have been seen entering or leaving the reading room of the British Museum, carrying a large black portfolio bearing on its side a white label, showing in blood-red capitals, the legend 'VAMPIRES'."
While everyone else in Late Victorian and Edwardian England was constrained by strictures of class and morals, Montague Summers thumbed his nose at all restrictions of any kind. Having studied theology to become an Anglican clergyman, he suddenly claimed he had received a visionary call to become a Roman Catholic priest. He donned self-styled priestly robes and called himself "Reverend Alphonsus Joseph-Mary Augustus Montague Summers" — when in fact he had not been ordained officially by anybody.

It was shocking enough in England to convert to Catholicism and become a priest. But to become a fake priest was even more scandalous. But there was more ....


All the while he was also seriously studying the Occult and became friends with the crowd of Occultists who hung out at Watkins Books just off Leicester Square in London's theatre district — still even today one of the "craftiest" places to see and be seen.

In the late 19th Century, Watkins was the only book shop in England (or perhaps in the world) which specialized in esoteric books and witchy things. It was frequented by Madame Blavatsky and Bram Stoker and Arthur E. Waite and Pamela Colman Smith and — of course — Aleister Crowley. Summers became friends with Crowley and they enjoyed playing off each other, claiming they were opposite "polarities" of magical craft.

When Crowley announced he was a modern-day wizard, Summers responded by announcing he was a modern-day Catholic witch hunter. He wrote his own Malleus Maleficarum which claimed to be an accurate account of witchcraft and of the methods necessary to combat it.

He also wrote a book on The History of Witchcraft and Demonology, saying:

"In the following pages I have endeavored to show the witch as she really was — an evil liver: a social pest and parasite: the devotee of a loathly and obscene creed: an adept at poisoning, blackmail, and other creeping crimes: a member of a powerful secret organization inimical to Church and State: a blasphemer in word and deed, swaying the villagers by terror and superstition: a charlatan and a quack sometimes: a bawd: an abortionist: the dark counselor of lewd court ladies and adulterous gallants: a minister to vice and inconceivable corruption, battening upon the filth and foulest passions of the age".
As with everything that Rev. Summers wrote, it is difficult to determine whether his intention was to condemn or to praise. He was so clearly fascinated by the Occult that one never knew quite whether he was "for it" or "against it."


There was no doubt, however, about his love of handsome youths. It was said that he had never been ordained because of rumours of improprieties with boys as a school teacher, teaching upper class English schoolboys the finer points of Latin.

Indeed, Summers was for a while part of the circle of the Uranian poets, who celebrated ancient Greco-Roman erastos/eromenos man-boy love. His first book, Antinous and Other Poems appeared in 1907 and was dedicated to male-male love.

He was fascinated by Classical male-male love, and by the lives of  the Catholic saints, especially Saint Catherine who was drawn and quartered and who lives on as the English teatime "Hot Cross Bun"  symbolizing the way Catherine was torn limb-from-limb into four gore-spewing pieces rather than give up her faith. Very tasty with tea and clotted cream.

Rev. Summers reveled it telling young boys that their favorite snack symbolized the brutal dismemberment of a lady of faith. All of it told alongside Latin grammar lessons and tales of vampires and werewolves.

After his books on witchcraft, he wrote authoritative books on vampires, including The Vampire: His Kith and Kin (1928) and The Vampire in Europe (1929), and later a definitive book on werewolves, The Werewolf (1933). The werewolf book influence a whole generation of movie-makers, especially the German writer Curt Siodmak who wrote the screenplay for the 1941 horror classic The Wolf Man starring Claude Rains and Lon Chaney Jr.

Nearly everything that you have seen in Hollywood werewolf movies (wolf bane, silver bullets, etc.) comes straight from Curt Siodmak's reading of Rev. Summers book back in the 1930s.

The main difference between Rev. Summer's books on vampires and werewolves and books by other experts was that the other experts referred to these beings as "folklore superstitions" or as "pathological psychoses" in deranged minds. But when you read Rev. Summers' books, you know that he believed in the real actual true-life existence of vampires and werewolves.


In the old Hollywood werewolf movies, when a character went to the bookshelf and pulled down a book on werewolves and turned to a page with a woodcut illustration of a man-wolf — that was a cinematic reference to the 1933 book by Rev. Summers which was in fact on the shelves of well-stocked scholarly libraries around the world.

Summers's work on the occult is notorious for his unusual and old-fashioned writing style, his display of erudition, and especially his undoubted belief in the reality of the subjects he treats.

He was also fascinated by 19th Century Gothic literature. The genre was best exemplified by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein early in the century and the genre came to a thrilling close at the end of the 19th Century with Bram Stoker's Dracula.


Uptight Victorian readers had read Gothic horror novels with a mixture of shock and delight and Summers recognized the art form of the Gothic novel as a symbol of a romantic backlash against urbanization and industrialization.

He knew that "horror" was here to stay as a part of popular culture — as indeed it is. Every book shop, every video/DVD store has a big "Horror" section.

He helped to make horror a serious study of academic research by writing The Gothic Quest: a History of the Gothic Novel (1938), A Gothic Bibliography (1940) and he published a collection of Gothic horror stories in The Supernatural Omnibus (1931) and Victorian Ghost Stories (1936).

Above all, Rev. Summers was very strange and eccentric. The Times of London called him "in every way a 'character' and in some sort a throwback to the Middle Ages". He was also unabashedly and openly homosexual in an age when others (such as St. Oscar Wilde) faced jail and ruination for being gay.

Summers was a member of the Order of Chaeronea, a secret society for gay men founded in 1897 by George Ives, which was named after the location of the battle where the Sacred Band of Thebes was finally annihilated in 338 BC. The Sacred Band consisted of 150 homosexual couples and the reason was that lovers would fight more fiercely and more cohesively at each other's sides than would heterosexual men who were "just buddies."


 Rev. Summers is a Blessed Prophet of Homoeros and a Dedicant and Messenger of Antinous among the Aula Sancti Ecclesiae Antinoi (our list of saints).

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

THIS 6-FOOT-TALL PHARAOH MAY BE
EARLIEST KNOWN HUMAN GIANT


THE Ancient Egyptians looked up to their kings, but this pharaoh truly was a giant amongst men.

The remains of Third Dynasty Pharaoh Sa-Nakht may be the oldest known human giant, a new study finds.

Myths abound with stories of giants, from the frost and fire giants of Norse legends to the Titans who warred with the gods in ancient Greek mythology.

However, giants are more than just myth; accelerated and excessive growth, a condition known as gigantism, can occur when the body generates too much growth hormone. This usually occurs because of a tumor on the pituitary gland of the brain.

As part of ongoing research into mummies, scientists investigated a skeleton found in 1901 in a tomb near Beit Khallaf in Egypt. Previous research estimated that the bones dated from the Third Dynasty of Egypt, about 2700 BC.

Prior work suggested that the skeleton of the man ... who would have stood at up to 6 feet 2 inches (186 cm) tall ... may have belonged to Sa-Nakht, a pharaoh during the Third Dynasty.

Previous research on ancient Egyptian mummies suggested the average height for men around this time was about 5 feet 8 inches (170 cm), said study co-author Michael Habicht, an Egyptologist at the University of Zurich's Institute of Evolutionary Medicine.

Ancient Egyptian kings were likely better fed and in better health than commoners of the era, so they could be expected grow taller than average.

Still, the over-6-foot-tall remains the scientists analyzed would have towered over Ramesses II, the tallest recorded ancient Egyptian pharaoh, who lived more than 1,000 years after Sa-Nakht and was only about 5 feet 9 inches (175 cm) tall, Habicht said.


In the new study, Habicht and his colleagues reanalyzed the alleged skull and bones of Sa-Nakht.

The skeleton's long bones showed evidence of "exuberant growth," which are "clear signs of gigantism," Habicht said.

These findings suggest that this ancient Egyptian probably had gigantism, making him the oldest known case of this disorder in the world, the researchers said. No other ancient Egyptian royals were known to be giants.

"Studying the evolutionary development of diseases is of importance for today's medicine," Habicht said.

In the early dynasties of Egypt, short statures were apparently preferred, with "many small people in royal service," Habicht said. "The reasons for this preference are not always certain."

Still, because the alleged remains of Sa-Nakht were buried in an elite tomb, there may have been no social stigma attached with gigantism at the time, the researchers said.

The scientists detailed their findings in the August issue of the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Originally published on LIVE SCIENCE.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

THE ACCESSION OF HADRIAN
AS EMPEROR OF ROME


ON August 8th 117 AD, Trajan died amidst doubts as to who would be his successor ... paving the way for Hadrian to succeed him as emperor. 

It would not be until August 11th that the situation would become clear and the Legions would proclaim Hadrian emperor.

Hadrian had been on tenterhooks for years wondering whether Trajan would formally adopt him as his heir. 

If Trajan died without the issue of succession being settled, it could result in civil war — or at least in the assassination of Hadrian by some other ambitious man.

Then finally, 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 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.

HAPPY WORLD CAT DAY
IS YOUR HOME A CAT TEMPLE TOO?


AUGUST 8th is World Cat Day ... so it's the purrr-fect day to look over the shoulders of archaeologists who have unearthed what appears to have been a major temple to the cat goddess Bastet in the royal quarter of ancient Alexandria.

The discovery represents the first trace of the true location of Alexandria's royal quarter, where the Ptolemies resided and which served as the home base for Roman visitors, such as Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius, and later Emperor Hadrian and his lover Antinous in 130 AD.

The temple was in use for centuries. Presumably it was still in use when Hadrian and Antinous arrived in Alexandria. In later centuries Christians and Moslems used it as a "quarry" for stone to build new structures.

Its ruins remained buried until an archaeological team, doing routine excavations near the Roman theatre in Alexandria, stumbled onto the temple foundations and a cache of 600 Ptolemaic statues, primarily of cats and the goddess Bastet.

The temple was built by Queen Berenike, wife of Ptolemy III (246-222 BC). The temple compound is believed to measure 60 metres by 15 metres and extends underneath the present Ismail Fahmi Street in the heart of Alexandria.

The team, which comprises 18 skilled excavators and restorers, unearthed a large collection of statues depicting the cat goddess Bastet, the goddess of protection and motherhood, which confirms that the temple was dedicated to this popular Delta goddess.

The Bastet statues were unearthed in three different areas of the site together with other limestone statues of unidentified women and children, according to Al Ahram newspaper. Clay pots as well as bronze and faience statues of various ancient Egyptian deities have also been uncovered, along with terracotta statues of the gods Harpocrates and Ptah.

The temple foundations definitely can be dated to the reign of Queen Berenike, making this the first Ptolemaic temple discovered in Alexandria to be dedicated to the goddess Bastet. It also indicates that the worship of the goddess Bastet continued in Egypt after the decline of the ancient Egyptian dynasties.

An inscribed base of a granite statue from the reign of Ptolemy IV was also unearthed. It bears an Ancient Greek inscription written in nine lines stating that the statue was commissioned by an official of high standing at the Ptolemaic court. Abdel-Maqsoud believes the inscription celebrates Egypt's victory over the Greeks during the Battle of Raphia in 217 BC.

Archaeologists also found a cluster of other ancient structures, including a Roman water cistern, a group of 14-metre-deep water wells, stone water channels, and the remains of a bath area, as well as a large number of clay pots and shards that can be dated as far back as the founding days of Alexandria in the 4th Century BC.


"This find is the first trace of the real location of Alexandria's royal quarter," the newspaper reported.

Monday, August 7, 2017

EGYPTIAN CHILD LOOTERS DYING
AMID RAMPANT ARTIFACT SMUGGLING



MORE than 25 children in Egypt died last year as they were forced to loot gold coins in underground shafts to be sold on the black market, and over $143 million worth of artifacts have been exported to the USA since 2011.

This is not new, as the two 2014 photos of ANTINOOPOLIS LOOTING on this page prove.

This story is not about Egyptian heritage; it's the story of mafia-like organisations taking the lives of Egyptian children to loot millions of dollars in ancient artifacts.

According to a report by Live Science, more than 25 children exploited by gangs reportedly died last year, as they were recruited to seek relics across underground shafts in Abusir el-Malek … relics which were eventually sold on the black market.

The investigative report, published on August 9th, states that over $143 million worth of artifacts were exported to the United States since 2011.

Most of them, gold coins looted from tombs and ancient sites, made their way into New York, but they were not taken to museums.

They were destined for personal or commercial use, as documents by the US Census Bureau indicate. However, it is very difficult to prove that a shipment of artifacts contains looted items, researchers and government officials told Live Science.

Egypt's Heritage Task Force, an initiative tracking lootings in Egypt, pointed out that children are being used, primarily to reach small burial shafts and tunnels.

"Unfortunately, many children have lost their lives in the process," said MONICA HANNA, one of the Egyptologists working with the group. The report also indicates that tomb guards were gunned down and mummies were looted and left to rot under the sun.

In only the first five months of 2016, nearly $26 million worth of artifacts were exported from Egypt to the United States, the Census Bureau documents say.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

"LITTLE POMPEII" IN FRANCE
YIELDS STUNNING MOSAICS



A “little Pompeii” is how French archaeologists are describing an entire ancient Roman neighbourhood uncovered on the outskirts of the southeastern city of Vienne, featuring remarkably preserved remains of luxury homes and public buildings.

“We’re unbelievably lucky. This is undoubtedly the most exceptional excavation of a Roman site in 40 or 50 years,” said Benjamin Clement, the archaeologist leading the dig on the banks of the Rhone river, about 18 miles (30km) south of Lyon.

The city of Vienne – famous for its Roman hippodrome (above) and theatre and temple – was an important hub on the route connecting northern Gaul with the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis in south-eastern France.

The site unearthed on land awaiting construction of a housing complex covers an area of nearly 7,000 square metres (75,000 sq ft) – an unusually large discovery in an urban area that has been labelled an “exceptional find” by the French culture ministry.


The neighbourhood, which contains homes dating to the 1st century AD, is believed to have been inhabited for 300 years before being abandoned after a series of fires.

Many of the objects in place when the inhabitants fled were conserved, transforming the area into a “real little Pompeii in Vienne”, according to Clement, referring to the Roman city-state that was largely preserved after being buried by volcanic ash.

Among the structures to have partly survived are an imposing home dubbed the Bacchanalian House after a tiled floor depicting a procession of maenads (female followers of the god of wine, known as Dionysus or Bacchus) and joyful half-man, half-goat creatures known as satyrs.


A blaze consumed the first floor, roof and balcony of the sumptuous home, which boasted balustrades, marble tiling, expansive gardens and a water supply system, but parts of the collapsed structure survived.

The archaeologists believe the house belonged to a wealthy merchant.


"We will be able to restore this house from the floor to the ceiling,” Clement said.

In another house, an exquisite mosaic depicts a bare-bottomed Thalia, muse and patron of comedy, being kidnapped by a lustful Pan, god of the satyrs.

The mosaics are being removed with infinite care and taken away to be restored, with a view to being exhibited in Vienne’s museum of Gallo-Roman civilisation in 2019.

Among the other finds are a large public building with a fountain adorned by a statue of Hercules, built at the site of a former market. Clement believes it may have housed a philosophy school.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

VIVACIOUS, ANDROGYNOUS PETE BURNS
IS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS



PETE BURNS, the vivacious and androgynous frontman for British pop and New Wave band Dead or Alive, is a saint of Antinous.

Born 5th August 1959, he died 22 October 2016 from cardiac arrest at age 57.

Dead or Alive's biggest hit was also its first ... "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" ... which charted around the world and peaked at No. 11 in the U.S. in 1985. 

The band, known as much for its proto-Goth style as its music, had a handful of lesser hits including "Brand New Lover" and "Something in My House."

Burns, who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006, went through extensive rounds of plastic surgery around that time and significantly altered his appearance.

He talked openly about his ever-changing looks in interviews and a television special. 

At one point he won a significant settlement from his surgeon for a lip procedure gone wrong.

Burns was married to Lynne Corlett in 1980, and the two separated in 2006. A short time later he married Michael Simpson, a union that lasted less than a year.

"He was a true visionary, a beautiful talented soul, and he will be missed by all who loved and appreciated everything he was and all of the wonderful memories the has left us with," said Priest Uendi in nominating him for sainthood.

"He was a visionary artist and all of his fans are devastated by the loss of this special star who will inspire millions forever," she added. "He never conformed to gender rules. He inspired a generation of people to be all that they could be and to settle for nothing less than their ultimate goal."

Friday, August 4, 2017

GERMAN SCIENTISTS
ARE AFRAID TO DECANT THIS BOTTLE
OF ANCIENT ROMAN RED WINE



SCIENTISTS in Germany would love to decant a bottle of Ancient Roman red wine which has been aging for more than 1,600 years ... but they are afraid to open the bottle.

The sealed glass bottle was found in a Roman tomb in 1867 and put on display at the Historical Museum of the Palatinate in the western German city of Speyer.

Museum directors fear that a moment's carelessness could shatter the bottle, destroying its priceless content. Though scientists would like to test it to figure out exactly how old the wine is and where it comes from, as well as perhaps seeing how it tastes – cracking it open is out of the question. 

"It's not clear what would happen if air gets into the wine," said Ludger Tekampe, who heads the department responsible for storing it. 

There's also the danger that, after all this time, it could have become poisonous, although scientists suspect the alcohol would not be dangerous, but just taste disgusting.

In any event, the ultra-old wine has survived a lot, including ancient drinkers, handling on its way to the museum, and two world wars, with nary a problem. 

Tekampe said he hasn't observed any changes in the wine or its container in his 25 years at the museum, the bottle appears to have been carefully constructed by the Romans to prevent the wine from decomposing.

"The content is remarkably stable," Tekampe said. 

Still he's the only one who handles the bottle. Everyone else is just too afraid.

"I held the bottle in my hand twice during renovations. It was a strange feeling," Tekampe said.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

SUPPLICIA CANUM IS THE DAY
WHEN ROMAN DOGS WERE PUNISHED



THE 3rd of August is the day when Ancient Romans would truss up a live dog spreadeagle on a cross and carry it through the streets of the Eternal City ... as an admonition to other dogs not to fall asleep on guard duty. In the same procession, geese were decked out in gold and purple, and carried in honor ... for saving Rome from the Gauls in 390 BC.

This was the "supplicia canum" ... roughly "let this be a lesson to all dogs."

Romans generally loved dogs and even erected tombs to them (see photo) but the Gallic Siege of Rome so traumatized Romans that they never forgot how guard dogs let them down ... and how a flock of sacred geese saved the city.

The Gauls had not only crossed the Rubicon, they had also defeated a Roman legion led by a swaggering but inept general ... and marched on Rome in June 390 BC.

Residents of the city fled in disarray ... all able-bodied residents, that is.

The elderly, invalids, the infirm and women heavy with child were led up the steep slope of the Capitoline Hill by the few brave soldiers who had stayed behind ... to the temples of Jupiter and Juno, where priests shared their accommodations and foodstuffs.

Among the huddled humanity atop the hill were the Vestal Virgins who ... of course ... were sworn never to leave the city lest the Sacred Flame go out.

Amidst the mad scramble up the hill ... the Gauls battering down the gates of the city ... the Vestal Virgins had maintained a modicum of decorum and had solemnly brought the Sacred Flame with them, chanting and burning incense as everyone else panicked.

The Gauls took their time sacking the city ... content in the knowledge that sooner or later the defenders atop the hill would relent from hunger and thirst ... upon which time the temple treasures would be theirs for the taking.

Indeed, food and water were quickly gone as the siege stretched into the final days of July 390 BC.

Everyone was dying of hunger and thirst ... except for the Sacred Flock of Geese at the Temple of Juno who continued to be pampered with grain and water by the priestesses.

The mob eyed the fat geese greedily ... but the priestesses stood firm ... reminding them that Juno would protect the city only as long as the city protected her Sacred Geese.

Things looked dire when, on the night before the 3rd of August 390 BC, the besieged refugees were so weak that they fell into a stupor ... they were dying ... and the Gauls saw that their chance had arrived.

The Gauls stealthily scaled the undefended Tarpeian Rock side of the hill ... content in the knowledge that the Roman guards and even the watch dogs had fallen asleep.

But the Gauls hadn't counted on the Sacred Geese ... who squawked loud enough to wake the dead ... and roused the guards, who quickly hurled the invaders from their siege ladders.

As dawn broke, the defenders saw clouds of dust on the horizon ... every available legion from the provinces was rushing to defend Mother Rome.

This time it was the Gauls who retreated in disarray ... dropping most of their loot and fleeing in disarray.

By nightfall, Roman soldiers had retaken the city and were feeding the starving residents ... and the Vestal Virgins were putting the Sacred Flame back into its temple niche in the Forum temple.

The defenders were henceforth heralded as heroes of Rome ....

... all except for the night watchmen and the guard dogs ... who were hurled from the Tarpeian Rock to their deaths.

Every August 3rd after that the Sacred Geese were honored ... and a dog was symbolically crucified.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A BROKEN ANTINOUS CALLS TO US
FROM A SHATTERED SYRIA

By Flamen Antonius Subia



WITH the beginning of August we enter the second year of the sacred peregrination cycle, which is a recurring 3-year cycle commemorating the journey of Antinous and Hadrian through the Eastern Provinces of the Roman Empire. 

It is at this time that we believe the Imperial Entourage arrived at the ancient city of Antioch, founded by Seleuces I Nicanor, one of Alexander's generals and the founder of the Hellenistic kingdom of Seleucia. 

Antioch was the greatest city in the province of Syria during the Roman age, and was the command center from which Trajan conducted his war against the Parthians. It is very likely that Hadrian would have based his court at Antioch during his visit to Syria making excursions throughout the province. 

Antioch is known as the cradle of Christianity, because it was where the majority of Hellenized Jews lived at the time, those who had embraced the Hellenic culture of the previous Seleucid empire, and then of the Romans, and had essentially created a culture with both Greek and Jewish influence, these were of course the first to embrace Christianity. 

This had taken place only over the course of 100 years before, so Antioch was a city full of mixed cultures and cults and beliefs, but it was in Antioch that Hadrian and Antinous may have first encountered significant opposition and ridicule to their relationship from the Christian factions. 

After traversing the deeply Hellenic provinces of Asia Minor, who loved and adored Hadrian, even proclaiming him to be the living Zeus, and lavishing adoration upon his beautiful young Ganymede, it must have come as a shock to be reviled and openly insulted by the Hellenized Jews and early Christians of Antioch. 

For us, Antioch represents the first serious encounter with Homophobia that they have even experienced. There was of course, so much more to come as they progressed deeper towards Jerusalem.

It is significant that now, Syria is in a state of total chaos and war, based on the very same ideological beliefs that were growing in Antioch at that time. The war in Syria has the potential to bring the entire world into global disaster, as if Trajan's conflict has never ended.

But Syria for us, for gay people, represents something new. Apart from the many horrors and atrocities that have been committed there, like genocide, mass executions, sex slavery, public burning alive, and stoning, there is a new form of execution reserved for gay people, which is throwing us from the top of a high building..and if that does not kill us, then we are to be killed with stones. 

This is new and it is happening now.

Antinous was there!

He walked upon the now contested ground of Syria where gay men are thrown from rooftops.

I am probably the least disturbed person by all the violence that is occurring now against our people across the world, because many years ago, in 2004 I think it was, Antinous revealed to me in a bath ceremony, that the greatest holocaust that gay people have ever known was coming. 

It began almost immediately afterwards, when they hung the two boys in Iran, but it has grown exponentially since then and we are only in the start of it...there will be much worse to come.

The irony is that it all began when Antinous set foot in Syria.

Recently there was an auction of an Antinous bust that sold for $28 million, one of the highest prices ever paid for an ancient bust...but of course it was for Antinous. And it was not just any Antinous, but the only image of Antinous with his name engraved upon it. 

The engraving says:

ANTINOO HEROON
M. LUCIUS FLACCUS

Or: Dedicated to Antinous the Hero by Marcus Lucius Flaccus

It was found in the now disputed Golan Heights region of Syria and has been owned by privately since the British occupation.

It made celebrity news for an antiquities sale, because of course it is Antinous.

Taken from the same land where so many gay people are being tortured and executed...with no realistic end in sight, the bust has vanished again into private hands...but it is one of the few Antinous images from the tumultuous middle-east, and even broken it is one of the most precious and significant, the one and only Antinous image with his name carved onto it and the name of the believer, our brother from ancient times who had it made!

This is what the beginning of the Second year of the Peregrination cycle means to us now:

It means entry into the darkness and suffering that we must not turn away from, but with the sign that Antinous was there, and that his believers were among the same people and that there is hope, there is even word of an LGBTQ group of soldiers who have banded together under the rainbow flag (photo above left).

May Antinous of Antioch be with them and with all of us in our struggle.

~ANTONIUS SUBIA
Flamen Antinoalis

YOU CAN COPY BRITISH MUSEUM
TREASURES THROUGH 3-D PRINTING



LONDON's British Museum is about to revolutionize the gift shop experience by allowing visitors to download and 3-D print replicas of its priceless antiques and artifacts ... including the famous Townley bust of Antinous as Dionysus shown above.

You can now buy a resin replica of the bust from the Museum's Grenville Shop or ONLINE for £300.

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

But for now there are just 14 3D models available in the first batch (pictured above).

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

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN ENTER
THE GOLDEN CITY OF ANTIOCH


ANTIOCH was called the "golden" city because of its wealth and gilded architecture and statuary.

On August 1st the Religion of Antinous commemorates the entry of Hadrian and Antinous into Antioch. It was founded by one of the generals of Alexander the Great, who reportedly had camped on the site and said it would be a good location for a great city.

Indeed it was, and Antioch rivaled Alexandria as the most important city in the Eastern Empire.

The emperors preferred Antioch. Julius Caesar visited the city. Tiberius and others showered favors on Antioch because it was far more strategically important than Alexandria.

Alexandria was between the desert and the sea. Antioch was at the crossroads of major trading routes and military roads.

Antioch was a pure Hellenistic city refounded by Augustus in 25 BC as a Roman colony. Hadrian felt very much at home here in this Hellenistic atmosphere.

Antioch was to be the base of Hadrian's Imperial administration until early spring of 130. This prolonged stay was spent visiting the regions of Syria. Starting with Antioch, the whole atmosphere of the Imperial Tour began to change. Antioch is a turning point.

Unlike the cities of Asia Minor, which had opened their hearts to Hadrian and proclaimed him a living god, the people of Antioch were cold and critical of Hadrian's policies.

The large Jewish population resisted the policies of Hellenization, which Hadrian promoted. They would not cooperate with the new religious order of unity, and condemned the whole effort as blasphemous.

The Christians were equally seditious, and defiant. They were disgusted by the presence of Antinous by the side of the Emperor, and called the whole affair an abomination. 


Antioch was the center of Christianity in the ancient Roman world. It had been the base from which Paul the Apostle operated, and was considered to be his seat. 

It was from Antioch that Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans that is now part of the Bible, which specifically forbids and condemns homosexuality, and thereby dictates the position of the Christian religion on same-sex love (a position never taken by Jesus).

Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA explains the significance of the visit to Antioch:

"Antioch represents the enemies of homosexuality as embodied by the Apostle Paul. It was here that Hadrian and Antinous first discovered that their love was considered to be unholy, a reality that was to over cloud the religion of Antinous and of same-sex love for centuries to come.

"We observe that when Antinous entered Antioch, the darkness of hatred for homosexuality was born. Our enemies in the Christian Church took inspiration from the beauty of Antinous and used his deification as a weapon for our destruction. It was in Antioch that homosexuality was crucified.

"We lament the misery brought against our kind, and we remember those countless souls who were brutalized and murdered for our cause, and for our form of Love. Through Antinous, upon whom the hatred of Antioch fell, we pray for salvation as we enter the second year of the Sacred Peregrination. "

Antioch today is a pile of ruins ... periodic earthquakes have taken their toll on the Roman forum and the beautiful marble palace where Hadrian and Antinous resided in August of the year 129. The tremors of their tour of the Eastern Empire sent shock waves which reverberate to this very day.