Ostia Antica

We have discovered a most interesting website, www.ostia-antica.org , devoted to the city of Ostia. Ostia was the port city for Rome, at the mouth of the Tiber River. Goods and people arriving at Rome by sea landed at Ostia and then proceeded to Rome via road or up the Tiber River via barge. Ostia was extremely important during the late Republic and Imperial eras, and extensive ruins of the city have survived to the present day. The site provides maps of the site and detailed information about many of the buildings, including building floor plans, photographs, building usage, and restoration drawings for some structures. Details for temples, shrines, houses, apartment buildings, shops, workhouses, warehouses, guild halls, baths, bars, restaurants, hotels, inns, stables, and monuments. This is fascinating stuff. I have been to Ostia a couple of times, somewhat melancholy visits during the rain. A whole city, tumbled down, empty and abandoned. Except for the occasional flock of tourists. There is a rather good, if small, modern museum at the site. Ostia had a varied religious life. Inscriptions attest to the presence of, among others, Jupiter, Hercules, Ceres, Silvanus, Mithras, the Lares, Venus, Fortuna, Spes, Neptune, Mars, the Discouri, Bona Dea, Magna Mater, Bellona, Attis, Sabazius, Sol, Caelestis, Tutela, Serapis, Isis, Bast, Roma, Augustus, Trajan, Hadrian, and Pertinax. Temples for some of these deities, but not all, have been identified in the ruins, and there are other temple buildings with no identifying inscriptions. Many houses and shops had private shrines. One of the interesting things about Ostia is that many, perhaps most, of its residents lived in multi story brick apartment buildings. The site also includes information about nearby Portus. Portus, with its storm resistant manmade harbors, eventually superceded Ostia as the administrative center for the area. Most of Ostia has been excavated today, but most of Portus now lies buried beneath the runways of Rome’s international airport. A fascinating website, well worth multiple visits.

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 1:07 am  Comments (1)  
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Antonine Flag Designs

The Antonine Imperium posseses an official flag as a symbol of its identity and of its claims to sovereignty. The design consists of the ancient 16 rayed Macedonian sunburst surrounded by a wreath, centered in a field of purple, red, or yellow. The emblem itself may be black or gold/yellow in color. The sunburst symbolizes ancient Greek culture and the wreath symbolizes ancient Roman culture. Official flags can be square or rectangular. Here are some examples of Antonine flags:

 

The original color images used for these designs look better in person than they do here, but this will give the viewer a general idea of what is desired. The intention is for a rich imperial purple, or bright yellow, or bright red. Purple in particular can be a tricky color to work with. It seems to undergo a transformation after being scanned, uploaded, and then downloaded, so that the resulting shade is never quite the same as the original. Flags can be enhanced with decorative elements such as border fringes and tassels, and can be very sumptuous when using materials such as silk or velvet tapstry.

Citizens of the Antonine Imperium are encouraged to use and display the Antonine flag as a symbol of their cultural and religious interests, in appropriate and respectful ways. The flag belongs to the people of the Empire! (Incidentally, since the Empire is not currently recognized by any other sovereign entity, the flag design is also copyrighted by the founder of Antoninia, as a way of reserving its use to the Empire and its citizens.)

Published in: on July 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Statues for Flora and Aphrodite

 

Flora with roses

Flora with roses

   Sometimes it can be difficult to find just the right image to offer to the Gods. I have been looking for a while for a statue of Aphrodite but couldn’t find anything I really liked except for a replica of the Venus Genetrix, which was “out of stock indefiinitely” at the shops to which I made inquiries. I was also looking for a statue of Flora, but the only two statues that I found that were identified as Flora were not at all suitable.

Then, quite by chance, I came across the two figurines shown here. They were identified as spirits of spring flowers, or fairies of spring. I looked at the pictures for a while and then decided that I had made a discovery. The figure with the roses would make a fine image of Flora, and after some consideration I thought that the figure with the lilies would be appropriate for Aphrodite. I don’t think that there are any ancient references that particularly associate Aphrodite with lilies, but now she has a new title (in my devotions anyway) “Aphrodite of the Lilies”. Roses are associated with both goddesses but I chose the figure with roses for Flora. Aphrodite has not been a major figure in my circle of deities in the past but she has been gently calling herself to my attention so I thought that I should do something. Flora used to be a major focus of devotion for me but over time that relationship gradually faded away. Well, Flora is back!
 
The style of the figures is Art Nouveau, after designs by Mucha. Not classical GraecoRoman exactly, but very nicely done.

Aphrodite with lilies

Aphrodite with lilies

Published in: on May 4, 2011 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A New Image of Antinous

A stunning picture, elegant and sensuous. I snatched this off the Internet a couple of years ago, I don’t remember where it came from. Who is Stefan the artist? I would like to see more of his work. And what is the Elixir of Antinous?

Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 3:01 am  Comments (2)  
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