Saturday, May 31, 2014


SOME 3,000 years before Antinous, the Egyptians deified another mortal commoner ... the ancient "Renaissance Man" Imhotep ... Egyptian magician, physician, scribe, sage, architect, astronomer, vizier, and priest.

Imhotep's many talents and vast acquired knowledge had such an effect on the Egyptian people that he became the first individual of non-royal birth to be deified ... setting a precedent for Antinous to attain the status of a god.

 Imhotep, or "he who cometh in peace," was born in Ankhtowe, a suburb of Memphis, Egypt. 

The month and day of his birth are noted precisely as the sixteenth day of Epiphi, third month of the Egyptian harvest (corresponding to May 31) but the year is not definitely recorded. 

It is known that Imhotep was a contemporary (living in the same time period) of the Pharaoh, or king of Egypt, Zoser (also known as Neterikhet) of the Third Dynasty. But estimates of the era of his reign vary by as much as three hundred years, falling between 2980 and 2600 B.C.E.

Imhotep's father, Kanofer, a celebrated architect, was later known to be the first of a long line of master builders who contributed to Egyptian works through the reign of King Darius the First (522–486 B.C.E. ). His mother, Khreduonkh, who probably came from the province of Mendes, is known today for having been deified alongside her son, an Egyptian custom.

Vizier under King Zoser

The office of the vizier in politics was literally described as "supervisor of everything in this entire land." Only the best educated citizen could handle the range of duties of this position that worked closely with the Pharaoh, or king of Egypt.

The capital city was Mennefer (Memphis) called the city of the "White Walls" for the enormous walls around the Temple of Ptah compound (right).

As vizier, Imhotep was chief advisor to Zoser in both religious and practical matters, and he controlled the departments of the Judiciary (court system), Treasury, War, Agriculture, and the General Executive.

There are no historical records of Imhotep's acts as a political figure, but his wisdom as a religious advisor was widely recognized after he ended a terrible famine (a severe shortage of food) that dominated Egypt during seven years of Zoser's reign. It is said that the king was failing in his responsibility to please the god Khnum, and his neglect was causing the Nile to fall short of a flood level which would support Egyptian farms. 

Imhotep, having a vast knowledge of the proper traditions and methods of worship, was able to counsel Zoser on pleasing Hapi, the the god of the inundation, allowing the Nile to return to its usual flood level.

The first miracle attributed to Antinous was a bountiful Nile inundation in the year 131 AD. 

Architect of the famous pyramid at Sakkara

 The Step Pyramid at Sakkara is the only of Imhotep's achievements that can still be seen and appreciated today. Its reputation is largely based on Imhotep's accomplishments as the pyramid's inventor and builder. 

This pyramid for King Djoser, also called "Netjerikhet" (Incarnation of the Gods), was the first structure ever built of cut stone, and is by far the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the World, the seven structures of the ancient world that were astonishing accomplishments for their time. 

It took twenty years to complete—not very long, given the newness of the idea and the state of structural science in the Bronze Age (between 3000 B.C.E. and 1100 C. E.), the period of development where metals, particularly bronze, were used for the first time.

Imhotep wanted the tomb to accommodate the Pharaoh's rise into the heavens. To do this, he planned to improve upon the flat, rectangular mastabas, or built-in benches, which were the traditional tombal structures. 

The pyramid was raised on top of the base mastabas in five smaller steps, one on top of the other.

He added a passageway on the north side issuing upward within the structure from a sarcophagus chamber (where the stone coffin holding the mummy is kept) seventy-five feet below ground. 

The total height of the pyramid and base is just under two hundred feet, unimaginably large for a single structure before Imhotep's design.

The project at Sakkara was designed in its entirety as a way for the deceased to perform the rituals of the jubilee festival, or Hebsed. The complex consisted of many other buildings, as well as ornamental posts some thirty-seven feet high. 

The protection of the king and his burial gifts—about 36,000 vessels of alabaster, dolomite, aragonite, and other precious materials—was the other primary function of the burial site.

The entire complex was enclosed within a stone wall about thirty-five feet high. Imhotep added several false entrances to throw off possible tomb raiders. As a final measure, the king's treasure was lowered through vertical shafts around the tomb into a long corridor one hundred feet below ground. The digging of just this corridor without machines of any kind is an amazing accomplishment by modern standards.

When Antinous and Hadrian visited Egypt in the year 130 AD, they stood atop the plateau at Sakkara and marveled at the achievements of Imhotep.

It is likely that Imhotep was the architect and master builder of many other projects completed during a forty-year period of the Third Dynasty, though none of them compare in size or stylistic influence to the burial site at Sakkara. 

Imhotep was also the author of an encyclopedia of architecture that was used as a reference tool by Egyptian builders for thousands of years.

Physician-magician, God of medicine

As a god of medicine, Imhotep was beloved as a curer of everyday problems who could "provide remedies for all diseases," and "give sons to the childless."

Members of the cult of Imhotep in the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Dynasties (between 525 B.C.E. and 550 C. E.) would pay tribute to the God at his temple just outside Memphis. 

The temple also contained halls devoted to the teaching of medical methods, and to the preservation of the materia medica, which details the entirety of Egyptian medical knowledge which may actually have originated with Imhotep.

Imhotep's name was often grouped with such powerful deities as Thoth, God of Wisdom, Isis, the wonder-worker, and Ptah, a healer and the ancient God of Memphis. 

Although royal individuals were deified by the Egyptians, Imhotep is unique as the first non-royal man to be known by his own name as a god inferior in power only to Re (chief Sun-God). With that precedence in mind, the Egyptians had no objections to accepting Antinous as a God.

Imhotep was also a member of the great triad of Memphis, with Ptah, Imhotep's father among the gods, and Sekhmet, a goddess associated with childbirth.

It is a matter of debate today how much of Imhotep's reputation as a curer of disease stems from medical skill and how much comes from his command of magic and healing rituals.

More than 3,000 years before Antinous died in the Nile ... Imhotep set the precedent for deification of mortal non-royals in Egypt.

Friday, May 30, 2014


ON MAY 30th the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Joan of Arc who was burned as a heretic on this day in 1431.

She was a peasant girl who led the armies of the King of France against the occupying forces of the English. She claimed to have been chosen by God to drive the English from France and deliver the country to her King.

Joan of Arc said that she conversed daily with Saints Catherine and Margaret and St. Michael the Archangel. Her greatest victory was the liberation of Orleans, where Charles, then Dauphin, was crowned as King of France.

She was later captured by the English and subsequently tried by the Church and burned as a heretic. The focus of her trial was upon the nature of her visions, which the inquisitors condemned as Demonic, and upon her refusal to wear women's clothing.

Joan of Arc was in essence the most courageous of all transvestites, whose insistence upon male dress and hair style, and occupation as a warrior was the excuse used by the Church for her condemnation and subsequent burning as a heretic. The Church however reversed this decision in 1909 by beatifying her, and then finally consecrating her as a saint in 1920.

Though she is a saint of the Catholic Church and a devoted Christian, it is for her courage as a transvestite and possibly as a sacred lesbian that she is included as a Heroic Martyr Saint of the Religion of Antinous.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


ON MAY 29th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Saint James Whale (22 July 1889 — 29 May 1957), the openly gay British-born director of such films as Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, Bride of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man.

His movies were modern parables about the cruelty of "normal" people towards "monsters" in their midst. 

All of those 1930s films are recognized as classics of the genre. Whale directed over a dozen films in other genres, including what is considered the definitive 1936 film version of the musical Show Boat.

He became increasingly disenchanted with his association with horror, but many of his non-horror films have fallen into obscurity. Whale was openly gay throughout his career, something that was very unusual in the 1920s and 1930s.

He tended to use gay actors who were friends of his, including Colin Clive, Ernest Thesiger, Charles Laughton and Laughton's wife Elsa Lanchester, who played the "Bride". Thesiger has tea (below) in mad-scientist garb. 

Bride of Frankenstein, in particular, is widely interpreted as having a gay subtext and it has been claimed that Whale's refusal to remain in the closet led to the end of his career.

James Whale's true genius was in making movies which made the audience sympathize with the "monster" instead of the "normal" people, who invariably were portrayed as ridiculous, comic fools.

James Whale's soaring career was dashed by homophobic studio bosses who objected to having a "pansy" directing major movies. He spent the last decade of his life as an outcast in Hollywood.
He "accidentally" drowned in his own swimming pool in the mid-1950s after having become a chronic depressive following a stroke.

His life was brought to the screen in the award-winning movie Gods and Monsters, which is a masterful adaptation of a very wonderfully written gay novel entitled Father of Frankenstein by Christopher Bram.

The book and the movie are about his final weeks of life with flashbacks to his childhood in poverty in northern England and his traumatic experiences during World War I and to his heyday as the toast of Tinseltown, and his plunge into obscurity — and his final plunge into the watery arms of Antinous.

It is a great irony that the only out-and-proud Hollywood director of the 1930s is remembered as a man whose name is equated with monsters.

Sir Ian McKellen, who is also from conservative Northern England and is an openly gay star of stage and screen, was nominated for a Golden Globe and for an Academy Award for his role as James Whale in the 1998 movie Gods and Monsters.

Brendan Fraser also won critical acclaim in that film as Whale's yard boy who identifies with the Frankenstein monster. His compelling portrayal suggests to the audience that all of us are gods and monsters, to some degree. But then, even Antinous was a god to pagans — yet a monster to early Christians.

And Lynn Redgrave won a Golden Globe and got an Oscar nod for her scene-stealing performance as James Whale's disapproving Swedish housekeeper — a tongue-in-cheek characterization drawn from the real-life eccentrics who performed supporting roles in Whale's wonderfully campy old movies.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


THIS colorful 1,600-year-old glass goblet shows the Romans were experts at nanotechnology, according to scientists.

The glass chalice, known as the Lycurgus Cup because it bears a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, appears jade green when lit from the front but blood-red when lit from behind—a property that puzzled scientists for decades after the museum acquired the cup in the 1950s.

The mystery wasn't solved until researchers in England scrutinized broken fragments under a microscope and discovered that the Roman artisans were nanotechnology pioneers, according to a report in SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE.

They impregnated the glass with particles of silver and gold, ground down until they were as small as 50 nanometers in diameter, less than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt.

The exact mixture of the precious metals suggests the Romans knew what they were doing ... "an amazing feat," says one of the researchers, archaeologist Ian Freestone of University College London (UCL).

The ancient nanotech works something like this: When hit with light, electrons belonging to the metal flecks vibrate in ways that alter the color depending on the observer's position.

 Gang Logan Liu, an engineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who has long focused on using nanotechnology to diagnose disease, and his colleagues realized that this effect offered untapped potential.

"The Romans knew how to make and use nanoparticles for beautiful art," Liu says. "We wanted to see if this could have scientific applications."

When various fluids filled the cup, Liu suspected, they would change how the vibrating electrons in the glass interacted, and thus the color.

The original 4th Century AD Lycurgus Cup, probably taken out only for special occasions, depicts King Lycurgus ensnared in a tangle of grapevines, presumably for evil acts committed against Dionysus, the Greek god of wine.

If inventors manage to develop a new detection tool from this ancient technology, it'll be Lycurgus' turn to do the ensnaring.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


THE early Christians "demonized" Antinous and all other deities. In essence, we are all demon worshipers in the eyes of fundamentalist Christians.

In a perverse reversal of polarities, fanatical seekers of righteousness often become the very force of darkness and evil that they profess to fight. By identifying too strongly with one pole ("Good", "Righteousness") they call into being its opposite pole. They conjure up a "demon." 

We call these demonized individuals "Anti-Saints" ... people who, through no fault of their own, are demonized by self-righteous fanatics because they are outsiders.

The Religion of Antinous has one special "Anti-Saint" ... JAKOB "ZAUBERJACKL" KOLLER, the shape-shifting gay sorcerer of Salzburg. 

In one of the most horrific witch hunts of the 17th Century, 139 youths and pre-adolescent boys were put to death as werewolves and witches ... at the hands of religious fanatics determined to rid Salzburg of demons.

Orphans were common in the aftermath of the 30 Years War, and their begging and thivery became a nuisance to upstanding people of Salzburg, who "demonized" them as the apprentices of evil sorcerers ....

Zauberjackl (Magic Jake) was a 20-year-old man with red hair in the Salzburg area of Austria in the late 17th Century who "fancied the lads" and who had a reputation for hanging out with adolescents and teaching them the black arts.

Growing up in the chaos after the war, he lived on the streets under a cloud of suspicion after his mother (under torture for stealing) told investigators he was a sorcerer skilled in the black arts. But she claimed he was dead ... the authorities heaved a sigh of relief.

Then a few years later, in 1677, routine questioning of a 12-year-old crippled street urchin named Dionysus Feldner spawned a witch hunt.

Whether out of spite or fear or for whatever reason, little Dionysus claimed that the "Zauberer Jackl" (Sorcerer Jake) was very much alive. (Interrogation scene re-enacted in an Austrian TV documentary film about Zauberjackl.)

Dionysus said he had spent the previous three weeks in the company of Zauberjackl, who he claimed was engaged in very active instruction of scores of boys and young men in the arts of black magic.

Dionysus said Zauberjackl had a black cap which made him invisible. He said Zauberjackl could transform himself into a fox, wolf or any other animal at will. 

He said Zauberjackl could conjure up an infestation of mice, rats and other vermin to wipe out the crops and grain storage warehouses of anybody who crossed him.

News of Dionysus's testimony swept Salzburg like wildfire, creating a frenzy of hysteria in a town that was just beginning to recover from the ravages of the 30 Years War. 

Authorities began rounding up every homeless boy and young man for interrogation -- there were a lot of homeless war orphan refugees.

Any adolescent street waif or roustabout lad was immediately suspected of membership in the Zauberjackl gang.

The illustration shows boys and young men being interrogated for witchcraft in Salzburg. 

In particular, those who were physically or mentally disabled were thought to be in league with "demons" -- whose mark they bore on their bodies, if not on their souls.

Under torture, and given leading questions, sobbing boys gave their interrogators the most hair-raising stories of Zauberjackl' s occult exploits.

In all, over the next 15 years, 139 young people were rounded up and executed. Of that total, 113 were males. All but 21 were under age 21. And 39 of them were under the age of 10. One-third were classified as "infirm of mind or body". Most were garrotted and their bodies burned.

The youngest, in a show of mercy, were given a quick death: Rather than slowly strangling to death, they were beheaded and then their bodies were burned.

Zauberjackl himself was never apprehended. There were in fact no reported sightings of him. Ever. People from his village insisted he had died of natural causes years earlier, but the authorities assumed they were under his magical spell.

The fact that nobody had ever seen him only added to the phantom mystique surrounding Zauberjackl.

Those high-minded officials in Salzburg evoked the gay werewolf/wizard demon named Zauberjackl. And in doing so, he got out of their control and took on a life of his own.

This woodcut shows popular methods of executing witches in Salzburg.

 It's unimportant whether a 20-year-old, red-haired guy named Jakob Koller was ever actually a shape-shifting gay wizard who inculcated bad boys with the secrets of the black arts. 

The sad fact is that great evil was carried out and that scores of young lives were lost. The terrible irony is that this evil was done in the name of righteousness and in pursuit of a demonic force.

A demon did indeed stalk the streets of Salzburg in the last quarter of the 17th Century ... it murdered 139 homeless street boys.

Similarly, various horrific demons are still on the loose today, all of them inadvertently evoked by self-righteous people who are grimly convinced they are carrying out the will of Allah or Jesus.

Monday, May 26, 2014


ON MAY 26th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Reg "Regina Fong" Bundy, a blessed saint of Antinous, who was born on this day in 1941 and died on April 15, 2003. A brazenly gay cabaret artiste — she disliked being called a drag queen — she was a well-known AIDS charity host who influenced a generation of post-Stonewall gays in Britain with acerbic send-ups of politics and popular culture.

Regina Fong was not just a "queen", she was an "empress" — the last of the Russian Imperial Dynasty of the Romanoffs. Forget Anastasia (and Ingrid Bergman in a '50s film), Regina Fong was the REAL heir to Russian nobility. Like so many Russian aristocrats, she sought asylum in monarchical Britain after the Russian Revolution. There were indeed members of the Russian Imperial family who lived (albeit rather modestly) on the grounds of Windsor Castle during the 20th Century. Empress Regina lived (albeit rather immodestly) in London's West End.

Her Imperial Highness (HIH) Regina Fong did in fact become an Iconic cult figure on the European Cabaret stage. Known to friends as Reg (pronounced "Redge"), she lost her battle to cancer April 15, 2003.

But Reg, by creating Her Imperial Highness Regina Fong, a flame-red-wigged champion of gay rights, was insistently committed to being the knight in shining red armour who carried the banner of charities involved in transforming the AIDS epidemic from mortal tragedy into spiritual triumph. She reminded us all that gay cabaret, especially in London at that time, was (and continues to be) a central part of gay life.

After the "Gay Liberation" in the late '60s and '70s, drag queens and cabaret artistes were pushed to the back of the room, to more mainstream, homogenized images of gay life.

Regina Fong, and other Gay pioneers like Lily Savage, changed this forever and brought Gay Cabaret back to its rightful spot in the London Gay Scene. The Cabaret Tent at London Gay Pride events as the epicenter of Gay culture in good times and bad is the direct legacy of this valiant drag queen — er, ahm — cabaret artiste!

Our own Knight Stephanos personally knew Empress Regina Fong and conferred with her often in the legendary Black Cap gay bar in the heart of the West End Theatre District of London. And so it is fitting that Knight Stephanos (pictured right with Her Imperial Highness) explains her Sacred Significance to us:

"Reg Bundy and his creative spirit, through HIH Regina Fong, reminded us all that we mattered as gay people, that we mattered, and that being just who we were was were our strength laid as a culture.
"I knew Regina Fong between the years of 1989 and 1995, a time when contracting the HIV Virus was a virtual death sentence. We witnessed scores of wonderful gay men fall to aids. Regina Fong (and more importantly his non-drag persona Reg Bundy) was a pillar of hope with his sarcastically witty way of keeping up stiff-British-upper-lips during some incredibly dark times.
"If Reg could keep up a brave face in such a scary time, then all was not lost. I had many conversations with Reg in the old front bar at the Black Cap. Surrounded by the dregs, gutter street characters and top-notch West End talent that would congregate, Reg held court and parlayed the latest gossip and told stories of how it was to be gay in London before it was legal.
"He was a Romantic at heart, a Dreamer and a Bitch, who always left you with something to think about, cry about or laugh about. There are many things that are a fog to me about London in those far-off days. But Reg Bundy I always remember as clear as a bell. 
"I assumed Reg would live for ever. It is surreal to me that he is gone, But I know his spirit lives on, looking down from some corner of the Black Cap and many other pubs in London, and even right here in Hollywood, California, keeping watch and holding court, drinking vodka-and-tonic — being a beacon in dark times — and a Gay Saint Always."

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Announcing the 3rd Sacred Games of Antinous!
Submissions are now being accepted
for the Games to be held
August 21st, 2014
for more information

Saturday, May 24, 2014


THE STAR OF ANTINOUS is well known. And many people are aware that there is also an ANTINOUS ASTEROID ... but few people have heard of the ANTINOUS CRATER.

It is located on one of the moons of Saturn, the moon named for the Titan sea goddess Tethys, daughter of Uranus and Tellus/Gaea. The Antinous Crater is located at the bottom of this photo taken by the Cassini probe in a flyby. The bigger crater is Penelope.

This crater was named in 1982 after the "OTHER" Antinous — the infamous Antinous of Homer's Odyssey and the Iliad. That is obvious from the association with Penelope. It is highly possible that our God Antinous was in fact named for Homer's Antinous.

For the Ancients, names were not a matter of coincidence. A person's name MEANT something. Nomen est omen 
— a name is a sign. So why was Antinous given the name of someone who is generally considered to be a scoundrel?

Homer's Antinous was one of the "Suitors of Penelope," the group of moochers who showed up at her doorstep while her husband Odysseus was off fighting the Trojan wars and attempted to woo her and abscond with as much of Odysseus's fortune as they could before he returned 
— if he EVER returned. 

After all, he had been gone for years. Their argument was that he was a "dead beat" spouse and that he had abandoned Penelope and, at any rate, was most probably dead.

 Antinous was the craftiest of the suitors and plied Penelope with costly gifts. 

Then at last — at long last — Odysseus returned in the disguise of a beggar. 

Only his faithful dog recognized him. Penelope did not! 

Antinous did not recognize him either and, thinking he was just a homeless street schizo, attacked him with a chair to drive him off.

Later on, during an archery tournament, Odysseus "accidentally" shot Antinous and killed him.

As with much of the Odyssey and the Iliad, it is hard to tell who the "good guys" are and who the "bad guys" are. Homer's Antinous is not exactly a saint, but he in't really guilty of any crime either.

Penelope is the guilty one. As so often in Greek mythology, the women are treacherous and untrustworthy (just think of Pandora). One small detail which you probably did not learn in school was that Penelope had sex with Homer's Antinous and with ALL the other suitors. 

"And the resulting child from that pan-sexual tryst was born a little monstar with horns and hooves. He was called Pan because he was the son of Antinous and ALL the suitors. Penelope couldn't look at him, so she abandoned him, and he was taken in by Mercury, who absolutely adored the little monster.

"Ah yes, Penelope gave birth to Pan in Mantinea!"

Mantinea/Bithynia is the ancestral homeland of our own Antinous. So the name was of regional origin.

But that is not all because, in actual fact, Homer's Antinous was associated with magic. He was something of a wizard. 

According to legend, Homer's Antinous possessed the fabled Mirror of Vulcan/Hephaestus, which enabled him to peer into the past and the future.

So the name Antinous was always associated with myth and magic, even in ancient times. Hadrian, who was fascinated with all things Greek, would have recognized the association between young Antinous and the ancient Greek myth and magic.

As for the fabled Mirror of Vulcan/Hephaestus — that is the stuff of Antinoian myth and magic for a future blog entry ....

Friday, May 23, 2014


THE Sun aligns in Gemini today with Antinous ... or rather with Antinous the near-Earth asteroid which could one day pay us a visit ... with a bang.

The Antinous Asteroid … officially called "1863 Antinous," was discovered in 1948 by an American astronomer named Carl. A. Wirtanen. 

Astronomers had known for some time that asteroids were plentiful between Mars and Jupiter. But no one had expected to find any in the Inner Solar System ... certainly not near Earth.

But Wirtanen turned his Lick Observatory telescope inward and discovered eight asteroids in our own vicinity. 

These Inner Solar System bodies are called "Apollo Asteroids" all named for Classical deities, including of course Antinous.

Apollo Asteroids are collectively named after the first one to be discovered. The asteroid "1862 Apollo" was sighted in 1932 and then lost until 1973. 

Apollo asteroids are so small and faint that they are difficult to see except when close to the Earth.

Astronomers fear 1862 Apollo may one day strike Earth, however, they currently do not expect 1863 Antinous to hit Earth … assuming it does not stray from its current admittedly erratic orbit.

Antinous is about 2 km (1.2 miles) in length and spins on its axis one revolution every seven hours. It takes more than three years to orbit the sun.

Antinous Asteroid is a "Mars Crosser" and also an "Earth Crosser" or even "Earth Grazer" planetoid ... meaning it crosses the orbit of Mars and also the orbit of Earth ... and comes very close to Earth.

Antinous came close to the Earth in 1992 and 1999 ... 18 million miles (30 million km) and it is supposed to come past Earth again in the 21st Century ... but hopefully won't hit us! 

A collision with an "Apollo Group" asteroid 65 million years ago may have been one of the causes of the extinction of the dinosaurs. A closely related group, the "Amor Group" of asteroids, come close to Earth but do not cross its orbit.

The art of Asteroid Astrology is very arcane ... only a minority of astrologers employ "Astrals," as astrologers call these planetoids ... and then usually only a couple of major ones such as Chiron and Lilith. 

Quite honestly, they are so new that astrologers haven't quite agreed on what they mean.

The whole focus on asteroids got a boost when astronomers officially down-graded Pluto from a "planet" to a "minor planet" or "dwarf planet" ... the same category to which Chiron belongs.

So astronomers and astrologers alike are having to take another look at their definitions as humankind's knowledge of the cosmos grows by quantum leaps.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


ANTINOUS and Hadrian crossed the River Jordan and entered the city of Jerusalem in May of the year 130 AD to a decidedly mixed reception ... for a visit that 130 AD signaled a turning point in history.

In hindsight, Hadrian must have viewed Jerusalem as a bad omen enroute to what would tragically turn out be a fateful date with destiny in Egypt following a triumphal tour of Asia Minor. 

The glorious tour of the Eastern Provinces turned sour when Hadrian reached religious strife-torn Jerusalem ... where Jews were still incensed over the destruction of the Temple by Vespasian in 70 AD (illustration above by Raffaele Caruso).

In a few years, Hadrian himself would raze the city to the ground in rage at the Jewish rebellion, earning him the enmity of Jews forever more.

In a few weeks, the entourage would enter drought-stricken Egypt, where Hadrian would be confronted by despair and discontent.

And only six months hence, his beloved Antinous would be dead. The wise and cautious emperor would turn bitter and cruel without sweet Antonius at his side. The history of Western Civilization was about to change.

But on this day in the spring of 130 AD, Hadrian basked in the golden glow of adulation, sensing perhaps only vaguely that this glow was in fact the sunset of his reign.

Hadrian and Antinous crossed the Jordan river and entered Jerusalem on this day in 130. 

There they remained for much of summer of 130, while Hadrian immersed himself in the Jewish faith and attempted to convince Jewish leaders to compromise on religious matters. He soon realized that compromise was impossible.

Hadrian had two facets to his personality. One was the compassionate and wise seeker of knowledge who was open to new ideas, particularly when they pertained to spiritual matters.

But the other facet was the uncompromising warrior who could not allow an affront to Roman dignity and socio-economic order to go unpunished.

It was during this visit to Jerusalem that Hadrian realized the Jews would never be subsumed into Roman society. He began issuing controversial decrees, such as outlawing circumcision.

It may have been during this visit that Hadrian began drawing up plans to rebuild Jerusalem after the fashion of the Greeks, with major temples to Jupiter and Venus. 

He may even have begun work on the reconstruction of the Temple Mount, dedicating the new Temple to Jupiter Capitolinus, with a statue of Hadrian in front.

His actions and disregard for the Jewish religion led to the rebellion of Bar Kochba, and the protracted and very bloody Jewish war. 

The result of this war was that Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitolina, and all Jewish and Christian Churches were replaced with Temples to Venus and Adonis.

Israel was renamed Palestine, and the Jews were forbidden to enter Jerusalem except once a year on Passover.

This was the beginning of the Diaspora. It was the beginning of 18 centuries of rancor and strife over the issue of Judea-Israel-Palestine, and of who should live there. To this day, Hadrian's name is accursed among Jews.

This is where the glorious tour of the Eastern Provinces turned sour. 

But it is also where the glorious reign of Hadrian turned sour.

Until the year 130, Hadrian had surprised his critics with his even-handedness and his cautious wisdom and his patience in seeking peace and avoiding armed conflict wherever possible. 

His goal was to create a Hellenistic society based on tolerance and mutual benefit.

But the second half of the year 130 changed everything. 

By the end of the year Antinous would be dead and Hadrian would return to Rome a broken and embittered man. 

The man who loved to travel and spent half of his reign abroad would never leave the environs of Rome and his villa at Tivoli again. 

The remaining eight years of his life would be marked by capricious cruelty, vindictiveness, chronic pain and sickness. Above all, he would be remembered for a devastating war against the Jews — a war which left a sore which continues to fester 1,800 years later.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


ON May 21st the Religion of Antinous honors Plato, Saint of Antinous, because May 21st is Plato's birthday, and no worshipper of Antinous could possibly forget HIS birthday.

The greatest of all western mystics and philosophers was born on this day in the year 427 BC. He was originally named Aristocles, but was called Plato by one of his teachers because of the breadth of his shoulders and of his speech, and we might also say because of the magnitude of his legacy of wisdom.

He was a follower of Socrates and the majority of his works are written as Dialogues of Socrates, wherein Plato elaborates his vision of the Universe, the inner workings of mankind, the complexities of human relationships, and the virtues of civilization.

All we know about Socrates is in reality only what Plato has told us of his teacher. Out of loyalty, Plato gave all personal credit to the wisdom of his divine teacher.

Plato founded the Academy in Athens that was dedicated to the love of wisdom and to the perfection of the minds and souls of young men. The image above is a mosaic from Pompeii showing Plato and his academy assembled under his famous olive tree.

Plato studied Pythagoreanism in Italy and made further speculation into the mathematical mysticism of the first philosopher thereby creating the model upon which western monotheism is based. The Platonic system was essentially a unification of the social inquiry of Socrates with the cosmic ramifications of the teachings of Pythagoras.

Here is how Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explain's the significance of Saint Plato:

"In the vision of Love that Plato expounded, Venus Urania, Celestial Love, is glorified as highest form of human affection, above the earthly requirements of procreation. The love between two men, what is innocently called Platonic Love, was considered by Plato to be the most divine form of relationship.

"Hadrian, in all ways the most Platonic of all Emperors, the veritable manifestation of the Philosopher King as glorified by Plato in The Republic, was demonstrating the meaning of Venus Urania, for all the world to see, in his passion for Antinous.

"For the beautiful light in which Plato illuminated the inner nature of homosexual love, he is venerated as a divine Saint of the Religion of Antinous."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


TODAY the Sun enters the Sign of Gemini — the sign of the Twins Castor and Pollux, Gods of Homosexuality.  This is the zodiac sign which ushers in a special sacred time in the Religion of Antinous, for this is the time of year when the STAR OF ANTINOUS rises, after having been hidden below the horizon since the Death of Antinous at the end of October.

We honor the Dioscuri who were born as triplets with the beautiful Helen as their sister. The mother of the three was Leda who was seduced by Zeus who came to her in the form of a swan. Leda gave birth to an egg from which emerged Castor, Pollux and Helen. (Image by generous consent of ANDRÉ DURAND)

The identical brothers were inseparable, and had a deep affection for one another, for which reason they were often worshipped as gods of homosexuality. Helen was constantly being abducted and in need of rescue, which the brothers were usually successful in accomplishing, however, her beauty was eventually to lead to the Trojan War.

Castor was a skilled horseman, and Pollux was an unconquerable boxer. They took part in the voyage of the Argonauts, and with Orpheus they calmed a storm, for which reason they were worshipped as the protectors of sailors.

Later in the voyage, Castor was killed, and Pollux was so overwhelmed that he begged Zeus to accept his life in exchange for his brother's. 

Out of compassion, Zeus immortalized Castor and proclaimed that Pollux would spend half the year in the underworld and half the year in heaven with his brother. 

Together they were placed in the sky as the sign of Gemini.

The Divine Twins miraculously appeared in Rome to announce the victory of the Republic over the allies of the last king by watering their horses in the Fountain of Juturna in the Forum.

Flamen Antonius has this further insight into Castor and Pollux:

"The sacredness of the Twin Gods, with their third twin sister Helen is found in Norse Mythology as the Alcis and as the twins Frey and Skirnir with their third twin sister Freya.

"The symbolism of brotherly love, and of sacrificing one's life for the immortality of a brother is at the heart of the Religion of Antinous, and is an example of the sacrifice that Antinous is said to have committed for the prolongation of the life of Hadrian. The Dioscuri are Antinous and his "rival" Aelius Caesar, and they are also seen in the two brothers of Hadrian's court, Macedo and Statianus Caesernius, who were servants, protectors, confidants, lovers, friends, witnesses and first priests of Antinous.

"The Sacred Star of Antinous rises during the sign of the brothers Castor and Pollux."

Monday, May 19, 2014


ON May 19th, the Religion of Antinous honors our Saint Peter Wildeblood, a British journalist, novelist, playwright and gay-rights campaigner, who was born on this day in 1923.

He became one of the first men in Britain to declare publicly that he was gay, when he was arrested and put on trial in a headline-making case in 1954. 

He was sent to prison on a conviction of "conspiring to incite acts of gross indecency and buggery." 

His case created such an uproar that it helped to lead to the 1960s reform of anti-gay laws in the UK.

In the uptight post-war years of the early '50s, Wildeblood had made something of a name for himself in the theatre and as a roving reporter for a major newspaper, London's Daily Mail, when he happened to meet a 23-year-old RAF corporal named Eddie McNally in Piccadilly Circus. 

Although Eddie McNally was not Peter Wildeblood's type, they developed a relationship over time. In the summer of 1952 they arranged to go on holiday together at Edward Montagu's beach hut on the English coast. John Reynolds, who was also an airman and a friend of Eddie McNally, also joined them.

About 18 months later, on Saturday, January 9, 1954, Peter Wildeblood was arrested at his home and his house was searched. He was charged with conspiring with Edward Montagu and Michael Pitt-Rivers to incite Eddie McNally and John Reynolds to commit indecent acts.

The police tipped off the press and the story was headlined in all the Sunday newspapers the next day. Eddie McNally and John Reynolds became witnesses for the prosecution.

The media went on a feeding frenzy and his picture was plastered all over the front pages for weeks. One paper retouched his photos to make it appear that he was wearing lipstick. He was vilified in public. He later described one incident when a woman recognized him being driven past in a vehicle.

"That night, a woman spat at me," Wildeblood wrote later. "She was a respectable looking, middle-aged, tweedy person wearing a sensible felt hat. She was standing on the pavement as the car went by. I saw her suck in her cheeks, and the next moment a big blob of spit was running down the windscreen.  

"This shocked me very much. The woman did not look eccentric or evil; in fact she looked very much like the country gentlewomen with whom my mother used to take coffee when she has finished her shopping on Saturday mornings. She looked thoroughly ordinary, to me. But what did I look like to her? Evidently, I was a monster."

What so troubled the decent people of the day was not that homosexual practices went on — everybody knew they always had and always would — but that anybody would openly declare himself to be "a homosexual." 

He was in the news constantly until his conviction and sentencing to 18 months in prison. Because he was (understandably) depressed, he was considered suicidal and was transferred to a dire hospital for the criminally insane where the squalid conditions affected not only his mental health but also his physical health.

He was released after 12 months and immediately launched a personal crusade to overturn anti-gay sex laws in Britain. He lobbied in Parliament and wrote articles and a book entitled Against the Law which outlined how gay people can be entrapped and harassed in their own homes for consensual activity among adults which does not affect anyone else.

His three main points were: homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be illegal, that prison only encourages homosexuality, and that prison hospitals were inhumane.

While writing this he bought a small drinking club in Soho which attracted a mixture of types on the fringes of society. This provided material for his fictional autobiography about the club, A Way Of Life.

It was a surprise success and encouraged him to write more novels and plays which were hits on stage in London's West End in the late 1950s. In the '60s he became a well-known TV scriptwriter and producer. In the '70s he was lured by Canadian television with a lucrative contract, and emigrated to Canada, where he adopted Canadian citizenship and was responsible for numerous hit productions over the next 16 years.

When he retired in the 1980s, he went to live in a wooden Edwardian cottage in Victoria on the western coast of Canada which had a stunning view over the Juan de Fuca Straits to the Olympic Mountains above Seattle. He suffered a series of debilitating strokes in the mid-'90s which left him speechless and quadriplegic. He learned to communicate via a computer using movements of his chin. He suffered a final stroke and died November 13, 1999, at the age of 76.

In saluting Saint Peter Wildeblood, the Religion of Antinous honors the beacon of courage and hope which he represented in an age of darkness and despair for gay men everywhere. Everyone advised him to remain quiet, and yet he chose to speak out. He did not choose to be exposed but, placed at the mercy of events, he chose to become their master.

His book was a courageous act of defiance against the kind of injustice which the straight world called justice. 

"Very faintly," he wrote, "as though at the end of a tunnel, I could see what I must do. I would make a statement ... I would simply tell the truth about myself ... I would be the first homosexual to tell what it felt like to be an exile in one's own country. I might destroy myself, but perhaps I could help others." 

Sunday, May 18, 2014


A massive military camp has been found in eastern Germany … proving that the Romans did not fully retreat from Across-the-Rhine Germania after a disastrous defeat in 9 AD at the Teutoburg Forest (illustration by Raffaelo Caruso).

The find means 2,000 years of history will have to be rewritten … because until now it had been assumed the Rhine formed the definitive boundary between the civilized world of Rome and he barbarian world of the Germanic tribes.

The huge Roman military camp covering 18 hectares (45 acres) is in Thuringia in eastern Germany, hundreds of miles (kilometers) east of the Rhine.

It is located beyond the "Iron Curtain" in what used to be communist East Germany ... an area historians have always considered to be "off the map" as far as the Romans were concerned ... until now.

The compound is so large that it would have accommodated a legion of up to 5,000 troops, according to a news report in Science. 

The finding comes amid mounting evidence in recent years that the Romans maintained a large troop presence in Germany after their defeat against Germanic tribes.

Most likely, the troops were not intended to serve as the basis for colonization, but rather to prevent incursions by Germanic tribes into Roman territory. 

Researchers discovered the long-lost Roman military base near the town of Hachelbich in Thuringia, hundreds of kilometres deep in German territory. 

Its location suggests it was a stopover on the way to invade territory further east. 

As Rome expanded to the Rhine and Danube, it merged many societies into the Empire. 

The tribal lands beyond were collectively called Germania. 

In 9 AD a revolt of their Germanic subjects and surprise attack on the Romans at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest ended in Rome’s decisive defeat and the destruction of three Roman legions.

That resulted in the withdrawal of the Roman frontier to the Rhine. 

After this defeat, Rome largely abandoned hope of conquering the fractious German tribes east of the Rhine. 

Yet written Roman sources suggested that the Romans occasionally campaigned in Germany, probably to punish German tribes for raids on Roman territory. 

Nevertheless, this was largely dismissed as patriotic Roman bravado and mere rumor … until now.

Saturday, May 17, 2014



Friday, May 16, 2014


ANYONE who neglects to read Steven Saylor's RAIDERS OF THE NILE, which has just been released in Britain, will be soundly lashed, hung upside-down for three days and then fed to a crocodile.

At the very least!

Gordianus the Finder is back ... younger and more daring than ever ... in this prequel to the series of novels 20 years ago which featured Gordianus as a mature sleuth in the waning days of the Roman Republic ... and which established Saylor as a major writer.

A metamorphosis has occurred, befitting a Classical myth: A generation ago, Saylor was a young author writing about a middle-aged Gordianus who had an established reputation for solving inscrutable mysteries by means of his sage deductions. 

Now, Gordianus is a randy and somewhat naive 22-year-old who has a lot to learn ... and Saylor is the mature author with an established reputation for deftly guiding his readers through a tangle of clues as dense as any papyrus thicket in the marshes of the Nile Delta.

This superb historical novel works on so many levels ... as an adventure mystery yarn with the thrills and spills of any Indiana Jones flick ... and also as a brilliant literary spoof of Classical literature which will make scholars nod in recognition.

The story has all the elements of Greek tragicomedic literature: Lovers torn from each other's arms ... mistaken identities ... abductions ... pirates ... poisonings ... rapes ... cuckoldry ... buffoonish potentates ... smart-aleck slaves ... men dressed up as women .... 

Why, there's a Spielbergian cute kid who squeals and gives away secrets at the most inopportune times.

And there's even a cowardly lion whose uncharacteristic courage saves the day.

But this is a novel by Steven Saylor, after all, whose epic best-seller ROMA traced the history of Rome from its founding as a cluster of mud huts on the banks of the Tiber to the city of marble which would influence Western Civilization for all time.

His scholarship is no less meticulous for this novel, set in Ptolemaic Egypt in the chaotic days of the 1st Century BC just before Julius Caesar stepped in to "save" the Egyptians from themselves ... and end Egyptian sovereignty for 1,900 years to come.

As always, his characters are richly drawn and developed. The plot is writhing with villains and brigands, cut-throats and pirates. 

But in the best tradition of the Greek tragicomic novels Saylor used as the basis of this book, each character is more than what it appears to be at first glance. Good and evil dwell in every heart.

This is masterful writing by a master story-teller. 

Other successful writers become jaded and formulaic with success ... and age. But Saylor has rejuvenated not only his protagonist, but also his skills as a story-teller. 

In many ways Raiders of the Nile is the best book for first-time Saylor readers ... the book which best introduces a new reader not only to Gordianus the Finder, but also to Steven Saylor.