Vesuvius 79 CE: Look for the helpers

The Herculaneum Boat Photo: © Division La Repubblica, October 31, 2017. (X) Today, August 24, marks the beginning of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. 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 25…

Antinous: Festival of the Red Lotus

Lotus and Palmette Plaque, Roman, 1st Century BCE – 1st Century AD. Molded glass; 3.3 cm sq/1 5/16 sq. Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts (X) Today, August 22, the modern cult of Antinous celebrates the Festival of the Red Lotus, which is said to have sprung from the blood of the Marousian Lion hunted by…

Antinous: The Lion Hunt

  Lion roundel detail, Arch of Constantine at Rome. © Steve Kershaw, licensed under (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0). Image source:  https://open.conted.ox.ac.uk/resources/images/arch-constantine Today, August 21, the modern cult of Antinous commemorates the hunt of the Marousian Lion by Hadrian and Antinous in the Libyan desert. Hadrian was well-known as a hunter. Although hunting was a common pastime among elites, he may…

The gods did not die

Featured Image: Woman pouring a libation Red-figure Calyx Krater attributed to the Graz Painter (Apulian workshop), circa 350 – 340 BCE. Height: 25.5 cm/10 in. Collection of the Museum of Cycladic Art. Photo: Ophelia2 via Wikimedia Commons (X). License: Public Domain. “…at last, many are beginning to realize that after the battle, the gods did not die. They are the…

Dies Natalis of Diana and Nemoralia

Today, August 13, is the dies natalis (anniversary) of the temple dedicated on the Aventine to the holy goddess Diana in the 6th century BCE. The date also marks the first day of the Nemoralia (Festival of Torches) held in her honor. The hunting or killing of any animal was forbidden on this day. Women and slaves were free of…

You have the right to remain silent about your religion

There is nothing wrong in not being open about one’s religion, especially when there is often a downside to doing so even where religious freedom is the law. Our religion has no mandate to spread our beliefs and practices, and there is no recognized spiritual benefit for suffering for our religion. No god is dishonored…