Happy New Year!

The Romans gave each other gifts to mark the New Year: coins, nuts and dried fruit, honey, and terracotta oil lamps. The oil lamps may have conveyed an implicit message of intellectual and philosophical illumination. Lamps like this one, with the image of the goddess Victory (Greek Nike), may have also implied a wish for…

Felix dies natalis Sol Invictus!

Felix dies natalis Sol Invictus! Hail to the Unconquered Sun! Today, December 25, marks the dies natalis  (anniversary) of the dedication of the temple of Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun, in Rome in 274 CE by the Emperor Aurelian. Sol Invictus was regarded as a special patron of Roman soldiers and of the Emperor, possibly…

Saturnalia

Wishing you a good Saturnalia! Saturnalia is a Roman religious festival honoring Saturn, who became a benevolent agricultural deity after his expulsion from Olympus by Jupiter and the other gods. The first documented Saturnalia was held in 497 BCE for the dedication of the Temple of Saturn in Rome. An annual festival commemorating the dies natalis (anniversary)…

Natalis Antinoi

Today, November 27, is the dies natalis (anniversary) of the birth of Antinous in the city of Claudiopolis, in the Roman province of Pontus Bithynia, most likely in the year 110 CE An inscription from 2nd century Ostia, the Roman harbor at the mouth of the Tiber River, recorded the charter of an association of…

Happy Halloween!

The word “Euphrosynos” means “Be merry, enjoy life!” I created the ‘Happy Halloween’ manip because I think this playful spirit epitomizes mood of the holiday. Wishing you a joyful Halloween! ✨💀✨🎃✨👻 ✨ 💀✨🎃✨👻 ✨ !Image description: A skeleton reclining on a cushion holds a kylix (drinking cup); to the skeleton’s right is a wine amphora…

Antinous Triumphant

Today, October 31, modern worshipers of Antinous celebrate his triumph over death! Ave, Ave Antinoe! Homo Deus, Victor, Pacis Imperator! ⊱ ··┄··┄··┄··┄··┄··┄··┄·· 𖥸 ·⋅ 🏛 ·⋅ 𖥸 ··┄··┄··┄··┄··┄··┄··┄·· ⊰ Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 4.0 Internationalait of Antinous as Antinous-Osiris, circa 130-138.. Discovered in 1740 at Hadrian’s Villa, now housed in the collection of the Vatican Museums,…

Foundation Day

Today, October 30, the modern cult of Antinous celebrates Foundation Day, the anniversary of the founding of the city of Antinoopolis by Hadrian on this date in 130 CE – and the founding of the modern cult of Antinous on this date in 2002. ⊱ ··┄··┄··┄··┄··┄··┄··┄·· 𖥸 ·⋅ 🏛 ·⋅ 𖥸 ··┄··┄··┄··┄··┄··┄··┄·· ⊰ Image information:…

Antinous in the Underworld

Today, October 29, modern worshipers of Antinous commemorate the descent of Antinous to the Underworld. Anyone, Egyptian or foreigner, known to have been carried off by a crocodile or drowned by the river itself, must by all means be embalmed and wrapped as attractively as possible and buried in a sacred coffin by the people…

The Death of Antinous

Today, 28 October, modern worshipers of Antinous commemorate his death on the Nile in 130 C.E. in Upper Egypt, near modern al-Minyā, along the north bank of the river. Antinous was a sort of real-life Ganymede. Ganymede was a prince of Troy, and Antinous was born in Bithynia in Asia Minor. Ganymede was abducted by Zeus,…

Wear a mask and get vaccinated!

This has been a public service announcement from Marcus Aurelius. The Antonine Plague descended upon the Roman world in 165 CE, possibly having originated in Central Asia. Soldiers the Roman army carried it with them from Mesopotamia and spread it as far west as Britannia. Presumed by many historians to have been smallpox, the pandemic…

Dies natalis of the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus

Today, September 13, marks the dies natalis (anniversary) of the dedication of the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus (also known as the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus) in Rome. This festival was partially observed with the Epulum Jovis, a lectisternium feast in which busts of Jupiter, Juno Regina, and Minerva (the Capitoline Triad) were placed on…

Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE

Today, August 24, has for many centuries been thought to have been the beginning of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE.(X) Tons of pumice, ash, and mud from the volcano buried the towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae, as well as hundreds of farms and villas in the surrounding countryside, over a period of…