The Priesthood of Antinous
Emperor Hadrian Augustus inaugurated the Priesthood of Antinous on October 30th 130 AD, when he proclaimed the divinity of Antinous and ordered that temples and cult sanctuaries should be built across the Roman world. The Ancient Religion of Antinous was received by the gay population of the Roman Empire with deep devotion, the Religion of Antinous would outlive Hadrian by several hundred years. Many cities,e4specially in the Greek provinces received Antinous with enthusiasm, constructing Temples and issuing coins in honor of the new god. The similarity of the coins and the general theme of the temples suggests that the Religion of Antinous was well organized under the direction of a few individuals who diligently carried out the orders of Emperor Hadrian and carefully promoted the new religion to the far corners of the Roman world. These were the first Priests of Antinous.
Only a few of the ancient priests are recorded on the inscriptions that they left, among them:
Julius Fidus Aquila, Priest and Epistrategos
The Ancient Priesthood of Antinous has a glorious history, but it was destroyed by the Christians as part of the destruction of the classical world. Antinous was viciously targeted because of the homosexual implications of his religion, and so the Priesthood was eventually extinguished.
In 2002, the Priesthood of Antinous was re-established in the modern world. Priesthood of Antinous represents total, special and absolute devotion to Antinous as a God. To be a Priest of Antinous requires particular devotion to Antinous above and beyond all other gods, beyond all other notions of divinity...to worship Antinous as the fullness of one's spiritual being. A Priest of Antinous worships Antinous foremost above all other gods, all other concepts, and is willing to devote their life to Antinous beyond all other concerns. A Priest of Antinous is dedicated to the Religion of Antinous, and to the serve the community of Antinous believers in any way possible.
Membership in the Priesthood of Antinous is reserved for experienced Dedicants and Worshipers of Antinous, who have first undergone the basic ritual of Antinous Belief, and have been active members of Religio Antinoi for a significant period of time. One does not join the Religion of Antinous by becoming a Priest of Antinous, but must first join as a member of either an established Temple of group or as an indipendent believer and participant in the Religion and Faith of Antinous the god. After a period of time those who feel called and are both willing and able to serve as leaders of the faith may consider dedicating their life to his religion and undergoing the process of consecration. Priesthood should not be considered synonymous with membership in the religion, but rather as an indication of greater commitment and devotion exceeding the general level of belief that most people feel for Antinous as a god. A Priest of Antinous may also be devoted to other gods, but it is expected that they will give Antinous a principle or important role in their spirituality. Priesthood is expected to be a life-long commitment to Antinous and to his believers around the world. For this reason it is a role that should be taken seriously, responsibly and without any reservation. There is no oath of loyalty or obedience to the hierarchy of the religion, consecrated priests are considered equals and free agents of the Antinous faith, trusted to carry out our work however they feel they are able, in the way they feel serves Antinous best.
To become a Priest of Antinous:
1. A Believer must first undergo a period of candidacy lasting usually one year
2. The Candidate must write a formal request to be consecrated, stating why they wish to become a priest and what they hope to achieve with their priesthood, and also what it is they plan to do in order to be considered worthy of the consecration.
3. The Candidate must actively participate in Antinous ceremonies and activities during the period of candidacy
4. The Candidate must perform an extraordinary act or demonstration of faith. this can be anything they feel able to do as an expression of their belief and commitment to becoming a leader of the faith.
5. The Candidate must be willing to make a life-time commitment, or for the long-term foreseeable future.
The Priesthood of Antinous exists to Worship
and Venerate Antinous,