Classical Numismatics Discussion
  Welcome Guest. Please login or register. Please look at the RECENT ADDITIONS and PRICE REDUCTIONS at the top and bottom of the page. All items are guaranteed authentic for eternity! Thanks for supporting Forum with your PURCHASES! Welcome Guest. Please login or register. Point your mouse to a coin in RECENT ADDITIONS or PRICE REDUCTIONS on this page to see the the price. All items are guaranteed authentic for eternity! Thanks for supporting Forum with your PURCHASES!


FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  History and Archeology (Moderator: David Atherton)  |  Topic: Sketches of my Armenia 2011 visit 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] Go Down Print
Author Topic: Sketches of my Armenia 2011 visit  (Read 1296 times)
Masis
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 769


Constantine IV


WWW
« on: December 22, 2012, 06:14:22 am »

You may recall a post here, earlier this year, by me, on my sketch of a fragmentary Roman plaque.
With thanks to an expert here the date was corrected from 117  to 116 A D, marking Trajan's conquest of Armenia.

That was one of a few sketches (photography being forbidden) I took down on my visit to the National Museum Of Armenia, in the summer of 2011.
Now with some time on my hands for the next few days I am able to give attention to the remaining sketches.

I will use this topic to post and update the work done.

The following is taken from another sketch of a Roman plaque, this was found in the old Arsacid town of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin) said to be made by Legionaries and the date given was 185 A D.
It is about 1.5 metres in length, and about 1 metre in width.

The following is taken from my sketch.

_ = where a sentence has been deliberately chisiled away, defaced.

IMPCAES ● M AVREL ANTO
NINO AVG _ GER
MN SARM MAX TRIB ● POT
IMPVII COS III P P VEX III
LES XV APOII SVB CAEIIOCM
VINO LEG AVG P P_
AGENIELLCIN LOS NIVRN EN OIPIB
MILEI AVRELIA BRA SEN EC EIV SOEM

From what I could find, the emperor stated is likely to be Marcus Aurelius, rather than the other "Marcus Aurelius Antoninus" otherwise known as Caracalla.

I learnt not to rely on the dates given by the museum, 185 A D is another way of saying "around about that era".

Lucius Verus campaigned into Armenia and Parthia from 161–166 A D, and the Legio XV Apollinaris, based at Satala in Cappadocia, took a major part in that campaign.

The sentences "CAEIIOCM
VINO LEG AVG P P_
AGENIELLCIN LOS NIVRN EN OIPIB
MILEI AVRELIA BRA SEN EC EIV SOEM
" really look indecipherable due to what I could see and sketch down.
I think some of the "I"s are "T"s, for example, that "OIPIB" maybe "O TRIB" and "MILEI" may be "MILET" but both mean "mile".
Logged

"He who gives himself airs of importance, exhibits the credentials of impotence". ~ Decimus Laberius, 46 BCE
Masis
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 769


Constantine IV


WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2012, 03:45:19 pm »

Checking the "Imperatorship" years for Marcus Aurelius, the seventh Imperatorship (IMP VII) was in the year 174 A D, so the plaque cannot date later than that.

The "Germanicus" (GERMNS) title he received also in the year 174 A D.
And so, I do not that there is a "Sarmaticus" title (SARM), which he received in 175 A D,  rather, that is "Armeniacus" (ARM), a title he received in  164 A D.

The "VEX III" I think is actually "VEXILL" and that the plaque notes the work of a Vexillationes (detachment) from the Legion XV Apollinaris.

Still trying to figure out the rest of the wording, though I wonder if the word "AVRELIA" may have been the Roman name for Vagharshapat.
The capital, Artaxata, was renamed to "Kaine Polis".

Of more interest is the last letters, which seem to name the Roman puppet king of Armenia, senator Gaius Julius Sohaemus.
"SEN EC EIV SOEM", the wording may be "SENE C E IV SOEM"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sohaemus_of_Armenia
Logged

"He who gives himself airs of importance, exhibits the credentials of impotence". ~ Decimus Laberius, 46 BCE
Masis
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 769


Constantine IV


WWW
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2012, 04:39:42 pm »

Below is my rendering from my sketch taken of a plaque in the Roman section of the National Museum Of Armenia, Yerevan, in 2011.
The text is taken from what I wrote and could see. Certain parts of the text have been worn off, but it looks more random, such as a fall, than deliberate chiseling off.
The plaque is in the typical Roman "notice board" style, so though the letters are Greek, it must date from Roman occupation of Armenia.
The museum description gave the location of its find as Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin) with a dating of 165 A D, and if it is a reliable date, that era would be the campaign of Lucius Verus.

The stone is Tufa, and of an orange colour, the length was about 1.5 metres.
Logged

"He who gives himself airs of importance, exhibits the credentials of impotence". ~ Decimus Laberius, 46 BCE
Masis
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 769


Constantine IV


WWW
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2012, 04:48:28 pm »

Below is my rendering from my sketch of the reverse of a plate in the National Museum Of Armenia, 2011.
The colour of the plate was Turquoise, and it glistened.
On the reverse was an inscription in Imperial Aramaic.
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/aramaic.htm
The plate was about 170 mm in diametre.
Logged

"He who gives himself airs of importance, exhibits the credentials of impotence". ~ Decimus Laberius, 46 BCE
Masis
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 769


Constantine IV


WWW
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2012, 07:31:47 am »

Below is my rendering from my sketch of a clay statuette said to be of the god Mihr.
All of the statuettes were about 150 mm in height, with no paint remaining on them, if they ever were painted.
The statuettes were stated to have been found at various sites in Armenia, from the cities of Artashat (Artaxata), Armavir and Vagharshapat.
The date given was 200 A D, though it is obviously a rough guess for a date.
The god Mihr, a Parthian equivalent to the Avestan  god Mithra, never gained as much popularity in ancient Armenia as the god Vahagn (Avestan: Verethragna) had.
And he, along with other deities, Urartuan, Semetic and Avestan (with their Hellenic equivalents) were worshipped long before 200 A D.

The body and the head are combined from two fragments, though all of the statuette heads wore this "hood".
A few of the statuette were riding a horse that was rearing up, whilst the god had his head turned to the right, facing and smiling.
On those statuettes the costume seemed to be a type of loose silk garment with many folds.
On those and the few statuettes of him standing, he wears this "hooded-coat".

The sleeve of the coat, I am not sure if it is a complete sleeve or a long flap, as seen in the traditional male costumes of Armenia and Georgia.

Also of note, the sword is positioned in the Roman Legionary manner, on the right hand side of the belt.
Logged

"He who gives himself airs of importance, exhibits the credentials of impotence". ~ Decimus Laberius, 46 BCE
Masis
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 769


Constantine IV


WWW
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2012, 11:29:03 am »

Below is my sketch of two sections of an Ionic column from the National Museum Of Armenia, followed by a photo I took in July 2011 of a block of Limestone in situ at old Artaxata (modern Khor Virap), the only visable fragment left of the old city.
Also a screen shot from Google Maps© where I have marked the location of that Limestone block in relation to the modern church site of Khor Virap.
Note also in the screenshot a rectalingular shape on the ground to the north of that block, below the walls of the church.

The column sections were about 70 cm in diametre, that block was about 60 x 60 cm and likely formed the foundation of a temple, if not the same temple the column sections came from.
Logged

"He who gives himself airs of importance, exhibits the credentials of impotence". ~ Decimus Laberius, 46 BCE
Masis
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 769


Constantine IV


WWW
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2012, 09:15:14 am »

My rendering of 1 of 5 statuettes of what was labelled as "Kibela/Artemis/Aphrodite" on display in the Roman section of the National Museum Of Armenia.
Two of them depicted her nursing an infant, as shown.
The statuettes were labelled as being found in three sites, Artashat (Artaxata), Armavir and Vagharshapat.
The dates given were 200 A D.
They were all around 180 mm in height.
Logged

"He who gives himself airs of importance, exhibits the credentials of impotence". ~ Decimus Laberius, 46 BCE
Masis
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 769


Constantine IV


WWW
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2012, 10:34:54 am »

My rendering of 1 of 2 Onyx fragments said to be from a statue of Victory, on display in the Roman section of the National Museum Of Armenia.
Said to have been found at Artashat (Artaxata) and given a date of 100 A D.
The colour of the Onyx is a "Tangerine" colour, and both fragments are similar, and are of each wing.
They are about 180 mm in length.
Logged

"He who gives himself airs of importance, exhibits the credentials of impotence". ~ Decimus Laberius, 46 BCE
Masis
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 769


Constantine IV


WWW
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2012, 10:25:38 am »

Below is my rendering from my sketch of a bust of a man, said to have been found in Yerevan and dated to 200 A D.
The stone was Tufa and of a purplish colour.
It was about 30 cm from the top of the head to the bottom of the neck.

What strikes me is the appearance it has to Antoninus Pius, particularly the eyes.

The clay statuettes I reckon are the work of Romans for Romans, occupying Armenia, at least during the time of Marcus Aurelius.
If this bust is meant to depict Antoninus Pius, it would make sense. Though Yerevan in that era did not exist, there were only the ruined Urartuan settlements of Erebuni, Garmir-Blur and Arinberd to the south-east and south.
However during the 1930's when the "Moscow Cinema" was built in Yerevan, two columns were found, underneath the church that was demolished to make way for the cinema.
So there was at least a temple in the Roman era, were Yerevan now is.
Logged

"He who gives himself airs of importance, exhibits the credentials of impotence". ~ Decimus Laberius, 46 BCE
Masis
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 769


Constantine IV


WWW
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2012, 05:17:44 pm »

Below is my rendering from my sketch of a silver gilt handle (1 of 2 on an intact silver vessel) in the form of a Cetus (Ketos).
The vessel was said to have been found at Artashat and given a date of 100 B C.

The handle was about 12 cm in length.
Logged

"He who gives himself airs of importance, exhibits the credentials of impotence". ~ Decimus Laberius, 46 BCE
Masis
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 769


Constantine IV


WWW
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2012, 07:31:24 am »


_ = where a sentence has been deliberately chisiled away, defaced.

IMPCAES ● M AVREL ANTO
NINO AVG _ GER
MN SARM MAX TRIB ● POT
IMPVII COS III P P VEX III
LES XV APOII SVB CAEIIOCM
VINO LEG AVG P P_
AGENIELLCIN LOS NIVRN EN OIPIB
MILEI AVRELIA BRA SEN EC EIV SOEM


With thanks to Dr. Michael Speidel of the MAVORS Institute for Ancient Military History, Switzerland.
http://www.mavors.org/index2.htm
And the list he provided me with of bibliography of Roman inscriptions that this is recorded in, some available to view online, such as the "Inscriptiones latinae selectae" by Hermann Dessau:
http://archive.org/stream/inscriptioneslat01dessuoft#page/n11/mode/2up

Below is my rendering of what the plaque states. Rather than Marcus Aurelius, it is in the name of his son, Commodus.
However, like all his monuments and inscriptions, it got "Damnatio Memoriae".
Logged

"He who gives himself airs of importance, exhibits the credentials of impotence". ~ Decimus Laberius, 46 BCE
Sharum
Guest
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2013, 09:47:10 am »

Hello Masis,
great job!
Just to add more amusement, I would try to contribute with some pieces to the inscription puzzle.
I can read two more roman names, and some other words:
CAELIO CALVINO (Decimus Caelius Calvinus Balbinus, who become emperor with the name of Pupienus in 238 A.C.) LEG. AVG. P.P. (Legatus Augusti Pro Tempore= governor of the province) CVRAM AGENTE (incharged) LICINIO SATURNINO (Saturninus is known for being proconsul under emperor Gallienus in 264) TRIB. MIL. (Tribunus Militum= army officer: at the time of the inscription Saturninus was still a young officer) ET (and) AVREL. LABRAS (may be the officer incharged of bringing the LABARUM of the Legio (or of the town AVRELIA).
At the end, EIVSDEM it means “Himself”, so it should not be the name of Sohaemus.
Best wishes
Filippo
Logged
Sharum
Guest
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2013, 10:08:06 am »

It seems that, if my reading is correct, the dating of the inscription has to be postponed of more than one century.
But, what about the emperors names? Maybe other officers with the same family names CAELIO CALVINO and LICINIO SATURNINO were already serving in the army at the Commodus time?
This an intriguing enigma for a roman history expert, not for myself (in fact, I'm a biochemist!).
Logged
Masis
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 769


Constantine IV


WWW
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 10:13:48 am »

Hello Filippo.
Thank you!

It is really enlightening to know about the other persons mentioned in the inscription and especially the latin terminology.

Yet rather than Pupienus, I am sure you mean the emperor Balbinus, being the son of Caelius Calvinus, who was the legate of Cappadocia in and around 184 A D.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balbinus

It is thought that the rebel "Saturninus" during the reign of Gallienus is fictitious.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturninus_(253-268)

Hermann Dessau notes for "LABRASE" as a "nomen corruptum". But your idea of it being for Labarum is really interesting.
See the screen shot below from "inscriptiones latinae selectae".

Certainly, alas, no mention of Sohaemus.
Not only a puppet ruler for Rome, but it seems not worthy of being mentioned in any inscriptions.
Logged

"He who gives himself airs of importance, exhibits the credentials of impotence". ~ Decimus Laberius, 46 BCE
Sharum
Guest
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 11:48:47 am »

Hi Masis,

sure, is Balbinus, while, on the Italian Wikipedia, about Saturninus there are other infos: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnino_(console)
He is described as Consul Posterior together with Gallienus in 264, and possibly an officer of emperor Aurelianus (see the inscription: TRIB. MIL. ET AVREL. LAB..Huh) or Legatus in Numidia... but, in roman history, there is plenty of Saturnini.
By the way, the latin word for the officer bringing the legion (emperor?) flag is labariferus.
Logged
Masis
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 769


Constantine IV


WWW
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2013, 12:04:10 pm »

Hi Masis,

sure, is Balbinus, while, on the Italian Wikipedia, about Saturninus there are other infos: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnino_(console)
He is described as Consul Posterior together with Gallienus in 264, and possibly an officer of emperor Aurelianus (see the inscription: TRIB. MIL. ET AVREL. LAB..Huh) or Legatus in Numidia... but, in roman history, there is plenty of Saturnini.
By the way, the latin word for the officer bringing the legion (emperor?) flag is labariferus.

Hello Filippo,

From what the museum has dated the plaque to, 185 A D, and Hermann Dessau has noted, a date from 184 - 185 A D, going from the Imperatorship year VII and the Consulship year IIII of Commodus. That the plaque has undergone "damnatio memoriae" with Commodus name removed at his death in 192 A D, would date this to Commodus.

Another point of interest is what Hermann has recorded (and a tremendous work indeed) does not entirely tally with the actual letters.

For example, he has recorded "Pr. Pr." when on the plaue it is only "P. P."
And more, he has "SATVRNINO TRIB. ET " instead of what is on the plaque, "SATVRNENO TRIB. MIL ET"

As you state, Saturninus is a common surname. But it is interesting to know that Balbinus' father is recorded on this plaque.
Also interesting to know that the latin word for the officer in charge of the legionary standard is the Labariferus. So then, "Labrase" would make some sense.
Logged

"He who gives himself airs of importance, exhibits the credentials of impotence". ~ Decimus Laberius, 46 BCE
Pages: [1] Go Up Print 
FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  History and Archeology (Moderator: David Atherton)  |  Topic: Sketches of my Armenia 2011 visit « previous next »
Jump to:  

Recent Price Reductions in Forum's Shop


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 3.72 seconds with 52 queries.