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132 viewsAn 18 tray cabinet with doors. This was one of five cabinets I built for this collector to house his collection of ancient electrum and gold.

www.CabinetsByCraig.net
cmcdon0923
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71 viewsAn 8 tray cabinet with 15 inch wide trays capable of holding items up to 1/2" thick. Built for a collector to house a collection of medals, he also requested brass carrying handles.


CabinetsByCraig.net
cmcdon0923
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Laodicea ad Mare; Antonius Pius21 viewsAntoninus Pius Æ 25mm of Laodicea ad Mare. Dated year 188=140-141 AD. AVTO KAI TI AILI ADPI ANTWNEINOC CEB, laureate & draped bust left / IOVLIEWN TWN KAI LAODIKEWN, bust of Tyche as city goddess left, wearing headdress of gateway, turret, lighthouse and walls; KO to left, HP P to right (date).ecoli
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98 viewsROME. Antoninus Pius. AD 138-161.
PB Tessera (22mm, 5.09 g, 11 h)
The Lighthouse of Portus
ANT
Rostowzew 64, fig. 2; Kircheriano 66

Possibly ex Trau collection.

The Lighthouse of Portus was restored during the reign of Antoninus Pius. This tessera was likely distributed during the ceremony.
1 commentsArdatirion
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85 viewsUNITED STATES, Trade Tokens. Belleville, New Jersey. Tobias D. Seaman, butcher
CU Token. Belleville (New Jersey) mint. Dies by Gibbs. Struck 1837.
T. D. SEAMAN BUTCHER./ * BELLEVILLE *. Bouquet.
* A FRIEND */ TO THE CONSTITUTION, Bull standing right; c/m: minute D above.
Rulau HT 204B; Low 155

Ex Don Miller Collection; William Dunham Collection (B. Max Mehl, 3 August 1941), lot 2713


Tobias Seaman was apparently not primarily engaged as a butcher, finding more success as a hotelier. He was the proprietor of Mansion House in Belleville and, later, of the Mechanic's Hotel in Newark circa 1845-1851, and the South Ward Hotel thereafter. For a brief time he was also the owner of a stage line to New York and, "a horseman of great noteriety."(W. Shaw, History of Essex and Hudson Counties, New Jersey. New York, 1884. p. 890-a)
Ardatirion
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47 viewsHAITI, Premier République. Jean Pierre Boyer. President, 1825-1843
Brass 50 Centimes (25.5mm, 4.26 g, 12h)
Contemporary counterfeit. Dated L'An 25 of the Republic (AD 1828/9)
J * BOYER * PRESIDENTE *, AN 25
Bust left
REPUBLIQUE D'HAITI */ 50 * C
Palm tree flanked by cannon and banners
KM 20a; cf. Arroyo 105 (for official issue); Lissade 96; iNumis 25, lot 1352

On 1 June 1835, local officials arrested engraver Joseph Gardner of Belleville on charges of counterfeiting. When searching his house, officials discovered dies for Spanish 8 reales in various states of completion, coining implements, a bag of gold dust, and several bags of "spurious Haytien coppers." Yet Gardner was not the only individual striking illicit Haitian coins. James Bishop of neighboring Bloomfield, New Jersey had been arrested several months before, and a third person was responsible for the issue brought to Haiti by Jeremiah Hamilton.

Today, two distinct issues of counterfeits can be identified: a group of 25 and 50 Centimes, clearly related in fabric, and two different dates of 100 Centimes. The smaller denominations are most often found lacking a silver plating, while the plating year 26 100 Centimes is fine enough to deceive the likes of NGC and Heritage. Additionally, there are a handful year 27 100 centimes overstruck on US large cents. While I have not yet found a regular strike from these dies, they are the most likely candidate for Belleville's production.
Ardatirion
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20 viewsUNITED STATES, Trade Tokens. Wooster, Ohio. Archer House. Circa 1878-1966
AL Twenty-five Cent Token (24mm, 1.48 g, 11h)
ARCHER HOUSE -:- around central hole
GOOD FOR/ 25¢/ IN TRADE

Archer House hotel was constructed in 1878 on the corner of Buckeye and Liberty Streets, on the site of the earlier wood frame Washington House tavern. The founders, tailor E.B. Connelly and his sister-in-law Melinda, named the establishment after Melinda's deceased son, Archer. Melinda Connelly later remarried to A.M. Parrish, with whom she would operate the hotel until her death. The property passed to heir great-grandson, on who's behalf it was sold to Dr. Alonzo Smith in 1923. Archer House was finally purchased by Robert Freeman in 1964, and was razed in 1966. Today, a two story professional building stands on the spot.
Ardatirion
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21 viewsUNITED STATES, Trade Tokens. Wooster, Ohio. Archer House. Circa 1878-1966.
AL Ten Cent Token (22.5mm, 1.28 g, 2h)
ARCHER HOUSE -:- around central hole
GOOD FOR/ 10¢/ IN TRADE
Lipscomb WO 8051; TC 226639

Archer House hotel was constructed in 1878 on the corner of Buckeye and Liberty Streets, on the site of the earlier wood frame Washington House tavern. The founders, tailor E.B. Connelly and his sister-in-law Melinda, named the establishment after Melinda's deceased son, Archer. Melinda Connelly later remarried to A.M. Parrish, with whom she would operate the hotel until her death. The property passed to heir great-grandson, on who's behalf it was sold to Dr. Alonzo Smith in 1923. Archer House was finally purchased by Robert Freeman in 1964, and was razed in 1966. Today, a two story professional building stands on the spot.
Ardatirion
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16 viewsUNITED STATES, Trade Tokens. Wooster, Ohio. Archer House. Circa 1878-1966.
AL Five Cent Token (21.5mm, 1.16 g, 8h)
ARCHER HOUSE -:- around central hole
GOOD FOR/ 5¢/ IN TRADE

Archer House hotel was constructed in 1878 on the corner of Buckeye and Liberty Streets, on the site of the earlier wood frame Washington House tavern. The founders, tailor E.B. Connelly and his sister-in-law Melinda, named the establishment after Melinda's deceased son, Archer. Melinda Connelly later remarried to A.M. Parrish, with whom she would operate the hotel until her death. The property passed to heir great-grandson, on who's behalf it was sold to Dr. Alonzo Smith in 1923. Archer House was finally purchased by Robert Freeman in 1964, and was razed in 1966. Today, a two story professional building stands on the spot.
Ardatirion
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(0138) ANTONINUS PIUS22 views138 - 161 AD
AE 23 mm; 8.11 g
O:Laureate head right
R: Bust of Tyche as city goddess left, wearing headdress of gateway, turret, lighthouse and walls
Syria, Laodicea ad Mare
laney
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(0138) ANTONINUS PIUS13 views138-161 AD
Struck 140 – 141 AD
AE 24.5 mm, 9.54 g
O: Laureate and draped bust left.
R:Bust of Tyche as city goddess left, wearing headdress of gateway, turret, lighthouse and walls; KO to left, HP P to right (date).
SYRIA, Seleucis and Pieria, Laodikea ad Mare mint; cf BMC 64
laney
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000b. Pompey the Great54 viewsThe Pompeians. Sextus Pompey. 37/6 BC. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.49 g, 9h). Uncertain Sicilian mint, possibly Catana. Bare head of Pompey the Great right; capis to left, lituus to right / Neptune, holding aplustre and resting right foot on prow, standing left between the Catanaean brothers Anapias and Amphinomus running in opposite directions, bearing their parents on their shoulders. Crawford 511/3a; CRI 334; Sydenham 1344; RSC 17 (Pompey the Great). Fine, lightly toned, bankers’ marks on obverse.

AMPHINOMUS and ANAPIS (or Anapias), two brothers, of Silicy, respecting whom it is related that they saved their parents, at the peril of their own lives, from the flames of Etna, at the moment when an eruption of that volcano threatened their immediate destruction. This was a favourite subject with the ancients, in symbolising filial piety; and is often represented on Greek coins of Catana (Catania), where this noble action is alleged to have been performed. Of these two Sicilian brothers, types of that devoted love, which is ever cherished by good children towards the earthly anthors of their being, Cornelius Severus, alluding to Mount Edna, thus expresses himself: "Amphinomus and his brother, both equally courageous in the performance of a duty, whilst the flames murmured their threats against the neighbouring houses, rescue their decrepid father, and their aged mother."
1 commentsecoli
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002b. Livia48 viewsLivia, as history most often knows her, was the wife of Augustus for over fifty years, from 38 BC until his death in AD 14 , an astonishingly long time in view of life expectancy in ancient Rome. Although certainty about their inner lives and proof for what we would consider a loving relationship is necessarily lost to us, we can infer genuine loyalty and mutual respect between the two. They remained married despite the fact that she bore him no child. Livia's position as first lady of the imperial household, her own family connections, her confident personality and her private wealth allowed her to exercise power both through Augustus and on her own, during his lifetime and afterward. All the Julio-Claudian emperors were her direct descendants: Tiberius was her son; Gaius (Caligula), her great-grandson; Claudius, her grandson; Nero, her great-great-grandson.

Tiberius and Livia- Thessalonica, Macedonia/Size: 22.5mm/Reference: RPC 1567
Obverse: TI KAISAR SEBASTOS, bare head of Tiberius right Reverse: QESSALONIKEWN SEBASTOU, draped bust of Livia right.

Ex-Imperial Coins
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002d. Julia and Livia, Pergamon, Mysia43 viewsBronze AE 18, RPC I 2359, SNG Cop 467, aF, weight 3.903 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, obverse ΛIBIAN HPAN CAPINOΣ, draped bust of Livia right; reverse IOYΛIAN AΦPO∆ITHN, draped bust of Julia right; ex Forum, ex Malter Galleries

Julia was Augustus' only natural child, the daughter of his second wife Scribonia. She was born the same day that Octavian divorced Scribonia, to marry Livia.

Julia's tragic destiny was to serve as a pawn in her father's dynastic plans. At age two, she was betrothed to Mark Antony's ten-year-old son, but the fathers' hostility ended the engagement. At age 14, she was married to her cousin but he died two years later. In 21 B.C., Julia married Agrippa, nearly 25 years her elder, Augustus' most trusted general and friend. Augustus had been advised, "You have made him so great that he must either become your son-in-law or be slain." Agrippa died suddenly in 12 B.C. and Julia was married in 11 B.C. to Tiberius.

During her marriages to Agrippa and Tiberius Julia took lovers. In 2 B.C., Julia was arrested for adultery and treason. Augustus declared her marriage null and void. He also asserted in public that she had been plotting against his own life. Reluctant to execute her, Augustus had her exiled, with no men in sight, forbidden even to drink wine. Scribonia, Julia's mother, accompanied her into exile. Five years later, she was allowed to move to Rhegium but Augustus never forgave her. When Tiberius became emperor, he cut off her allowance and put her in solitary confinement in one room in her house. Within months she died from malnutrition.
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005b. Britannicus126 viewsBritannicus (son of Claudius) AE17. Ionia, Smyrna

Britannicus (41 - 55 A.D.) was the son of the Roman emperor Claudius and his third wife Messalina. His original name was "Germanicus" but was changed in honor of his father's conquest of Britain in 43 AD.

Nobody is sure why Claudius made Nero his successor and not Britannicus, although the fact that Britannicus may have been Caligula's son is a factor. Britannicus was killed by (partisans of) his step-brother (and brother-in-law) Nero so that Nero could become emperor of Rome.

His sister Octavia is the heroine of the play written at some time after the death of Nero. It's title is titled her name, but its central message is the wrong done to the Claudian house because of the wrong done to its last male member and its last hope.

Britannicus. Before 54 AD. AE 17mm (4.31 g), Minted at Ionia, Smyrna. Bare head right 'ZMYP' below bust / Nike flying right. cf S(GIC) 516. Scarce. Some dirt and patina chipping.

ecoli73
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005d. Agrippina II89 viewsLYDIA, Hypaepa. Agrippina Jr., mother of Nero. Augusta, 50-59 AD. Æ 14mm (2.33 gm). Draped bust of Agrippina right / Cult statue of Artemis. RPC I 2541; SNG Copenhagen -.

Julia Vipsania Agrippina Minor or Agrippina Minor (Latin for "the younger") (November 7, AD 15 – March 59), often called "Agrippinilla" to distinguish her from her mother, was the daughter of Germanicus and Agrippina Major. She was sister of Caligula, granddaughter and great-niece to Tiberius, niece and wife of Claudius, and the mother of Nero. She was born at Oppidum Ubiorum on the Rhine, afterwards named in her honour Colonia Agrippinae (modern Cologne, Germany).

Agrippina was first married to (1st century AD) Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus. From this marriage she gave birth to Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, who would become Roman Emperor Nero. Her husband died in January, 40. While still married, Agrippina participated openly in her brother Caligula's decadent court, where, according to some sources, at his instigation she prostituted herself in a palace. While it was generally agreed that Agrippinilla, as well as her sisters, had ongoing sexual relationships with their brother Caligula, incest was an oft-used criminal accusation against the aristocracy, because it was impossible to refute successfully. As Agrippina and her sister became more problematic for their brother, Caligula sent them into exile for a time, where it is said she was forced to dive for sponges to make a living. In January, 41, Agrippina had a second marriage to the affluent Gaius Sallustius Crispus Passienus. He died between 44 and 47, leaving his estate to Agrippina.

As a widow, Agrippina was courted by the freedman Pallas as a possible marriage match to her own uncle, Emperor Claudius, and became his favourite councillor, even granted the honor of being called Augusta (a title which no other queen had ever received). They were married on New Year's Day of 49, after the death of Claudius's first wife Messalina. Agrippina then proceeded to persuade Claudius to adopt her son, thereby placing Nero in the line of succession to the Imperial throne over Claudius's own son, Brittanicus. A true Imperial politician, Agrippina did not reject murder as a way to win her battles. Many ancient sources credited her with poisoning Claudius in 54 with a plate of poisened mushrooms, hence enabling Nero to quickly take the throne as emperor.

For some time, Agrippina influenced Nero as he was relatively ill-equipped to rule on his own. But Nero eventually felt that she was taking on too much power relative to her position as a woman of Rome. He deprived her of her honours and exiled her from the palace, but that was not enough. Three times Nero tried to poison Agrippina, but she had been raised in the Imperial family and was accustomed to taking antidotes. Nero had a machine built and attached to the roof of her bedroom. The machine was designed to make the ceiling collapse — the plot failed with the machine. According to the historians Tacitus and Suetonius, Nero then plotted her death by sending for her in a boat constructed to collapse, intending to drown Agrippina. However, only some of the crew were in on the plot; their efforts were hampered by the rest of the crew trying to save the ship. As the ship sank, one of her handmaidens thought to save herself by crying that she was Agrippina, thinking they would take special care of her. Instead the maid was instantly beaten to death with oars and chains. The real Agrippina realised what was happening and in the confusion managed to swim away where a passing fisherman picked her up. Terrified that his cover had been blown, Nero instantly sent men to charge her with treason and summarily execute her. Legend states that when the Emperor's soldiers came to kill her, Agrippina pulled back her clothes and ordered them to stab her in the belly that had housed such a monstrous son.

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02 Octavian RIC I 26633 viewsOctavian. AR Denarius. Italian Mint, possibly Rome. Autumn 30- summer 29 B.C. (3.45g, 19.8mm, 2h). Obv: Bare head right. Rev: IMP CAESAR on architrave of the Roman Senate House (Curia Julia), with porch supported by four short columns, statue of Victory on globe surmounting apex of roof, and statues of standing figures at the extremities of the architrave. CRI 421; RIC I 266; RSC 122.. Ex Andrew McCabe.1 commentsLucas H
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040 Claudius39 viewsClaudius Æ As. TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, bare head left / LIBERTAS AVGVSTA S-C, Libertas standing facing, with pileus and extending left hand. Cohen 47.




"Claudius was born at Lugdunum, in the consulship of Iullus Antonius and Fabius Africanus, on August 1st, 10 B.C., the very day when the first altar was dedicated there to Augustus the God; and he was given the name Tiberius Claudius Drusus. Subsequently he assumed the surname Germanicus after his brother had been admitted into the Julian House as Tiberius's adopted son."
Randygeki(h2)
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0a Abduction of the Sabines21 viewsL Titurius Sabinus, moneyer
90-85 BC

Head of Tativs, right, SABIN behind
Two Roman soldiers bearing women

Seaby, Tituria 1

When the hour for the games had come, and their eyes and minds were alike riveted on the spectacle before them, the preconcerted signal was given and the Roman youth dashed in all directions to carry off the [Sabine] maidens who were present. The larger part were carried off indiscriminately, but some particularly beautiful girls who had been marked out for the leading patricians were carried to their houses by plebeians told off for the task. One, conspicuous amongst them all for grace and beauty, is reported to have been carried off by a group led by a certain Talassius, and to the many inquiries as to whom she was intended for, the invariable answer was given, "For Talassius." Hence the use of this word in the marriage rites. Alarm and consternation broke up the games, and the parents of the maidens fled, distracted with grief, uttering bitter reproaches on the violators of the laws of hospitality and appealing to the god to whose solemn games they had come, only to be the victims of impious perfidy. The abducted maidens were quite as despondent and indignant. Romulus, however, went round in person, and pointed out to them that it was all owing to the pride of their parents in denying right of intermarriage to their neighbours. They would live in honourable wedlock, and share all their property and civil rights, and - dearest of all to human nature - would be the mothers of freemen. He begged them to lay aside their feelings of resentment and give their affections to those whom fortune had made masters of their persons. An injury had often led to reconciliation and love; they would find their husbands all the more affectionate, because each would do his utmost, so far as in him lay, to make up for the loss of parents and country. These arguments were reinforced by the endearments of their husbands, who excused their conduct by pleading the irresistible force of their passion - a plea effective beyond all others in appealing to a woman's nature.

The feelings of the abducted maidens were now pretty completely appeased, but not so those of their parents.

Livy, History of Rome 1.9-1.10
1 commentsBlindado
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0aa Defeat of Hannibal on Sicily, 222 BC11 viewsCn. Lentulus, moneyer
90-85 BC

Quinarius

Laureled head of Jupiter, right
Victory crowning trophy, CN LENT in ex

Seaby, Cornelia 51

Possibly a reference to this event: [Q. Fabius Maximus, afterwards called Cunctator] broke up his camp at Suessula and decided to begin by an attack on Arpi. . . . Now at last the enemy was roused; there was a lull in the storm and daylight was approaching. Hannibal's garrison in the city amounted to about 5000 men, and the citizens themselves had raised a force of 3000. These the Carthaginians put in front to meet the enemy, that there might be no attempt at treachery in their rear. The fighting began in the dark in the narrow streets, the Romans having occupied not only the streets near the gate but the houses also, that they might not be assailed from the roofs. Gradually as it grew light some of the citizen troops and some of the Romans recognised one another, and entered into conversation. The Roman soldiers asked what it was that the Arpinians wanted, what wrong had Rome done them, what good service had Carthage rendered them that they, Italians-bred and born, should fight against their old friends the Romans on behalf of foreigners and barbarians, and wish to make Italy a tributary province of Africa. The people of Arpi urged in their excuse that they knew nothing of what was going on, they had in fact been sold by their leaders to the Carthaginians, they had been victimised and enslaved by a small oligarchy. When a beginning had been once made the conversations became more and more general; at last the praetor of Arpi was conducted by his friends to the consul, and after they had given each other mutual assurances, surrounded by the troops under their standards, the citizens suddenly turned against the Carthaginians and fought for the Romans. A body of Spaniards also, numbering something less than a thousand, transferred their services to the consul upon the sole condition that the Carthaginian garrison should be allowed to depart uninjured. The gates were opened for them and they were dismissed, according to the stipulation, in perfect safety, and went to Hannibal at Salapia. Thus Arpi was restored to the Romans without the loss of a single life, except in the case of one man who had long ago been a traitor and had recently deserted. The Spaniards were ordered to receive double rations, and the republic availed itself on very many occasions of their courage and fidelity.

Livy, History of Rome, 24.46-47
Blindado
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104a. Faustina Sr 27 viewsIn Roman mythology, Pietas was the goddess of duty to one's state, gods and family.

Pietas was also one of the Roman virtues, along with gravitas and dignitas. Pietas is usually translated as "duty" or "devotion," and it simultaneously suggests duty to the gods and duty to family (which is expanded to duty to the community and duty to the state thanks to the analogy between the family and the state, conventional in the ancient world – see, for example, Plato's Crito). Vergil's hero Aeneas embodies this virtue, and is particularly emblematic of it in book II of the Aeneid when he flees burning Troy bearing his father on his back and carrying his household gods.

Faustina Sr Æ As. DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right / AETERNITAS, SC in field, Pietas standing left, by altar, right hand raised, holding incense box in left hand.

RIC 1161, Cohen 43, BMC 1558

Check
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12th Century Handwritten Vellum Leaf of the Talmud13 viewsThis page of the Talmud predates publication of the first complete edition of the Talmud in 1540 by Daniel Bomberg. Bomberg employed rabbis, scholars, and apostates at his Venetian publishing house, and was responsible for the first Rabbinic Bible, as well as the first complete Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds. It was once customary for Jews to use old manuscripts as binding material for their newly printed and bound books. This piece is an example of that practice

Ex Living Torah Museum collection
Quant.Geek
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12th Century Handwritten Vellum Leaf of the Talmud18 viewsThis page of the Talmud predates publication of the first complete edition of the Talmud in 1540 by Daniel Bomberg. Bomberg employed rabbis, scholars, and apostates at his Venetian publishing house, and was responsible for the first Rabbinic Bible, as well as the first complete Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds. It was once customary for Jews to use old manuscripts as binding material for their newly printed and bound books. This piece is an example of that practice

Ex Living Torah Museum collection
Quant.Geek
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1307 - 1327, EDWARD II, AR Penny, Struck 1311 - 1316 at Durham, England21 viewsObverse: + EDWAR ANGL DNS hYB. Crowned and draped bust of Edward II facing within circle of pellets. Cross pattee in legend.
Reverse: CIVITAS DVNELM. Long cross, the upper limb of which is in the form of a bishop's crozier, dividing legend into quarters, trefoil in each quarter of inner circle.
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 1.2gms | Die Axis: 7
Rare
SPINK: 1469

Undated Penny, Class 11a, struck under Bishop Kellawe. Bishop Kellawe was enthroned as Bishop of Durham in 1311 but he died in 1316 so this coin was struck during the five years between those two dates. These coins were sometimes called “poker pennies” because the shape of the crozier on the reverse is reminiscent of an old iron fireside poker. It's an unfortunate nickname considering the reputed manner of the King's death.

Edward II
Edward II was crowned King of England when his father, Edward I, died in 1307. However Edward II caused discontent among the barons by his close relationship with Piers Gaveston and in 1311 the barons pressured the King into agreeing to wide-ranging reforms which included Gaveston being banished. Angered, Edward responded by revoking the reforms and recalling his favourite, but in 1312 a group of barons, led by the Earl of Lancaster, seized and executed Gaveston.
The war with Scotland was not going well either, the English forces were pushed back and in 1314 Edward was decisively defeated by the Scottish King, Robert the Bruce, at the Battle of Bannockburn.
When this was followed by a widespread famine in England opposition to Edward II's reign grew until, in 1325, when Edward's wife, Isabella, was sent to France to negotiate a peace treaty she turned against Edward, allied herself with the exiled Roger Mortimer, and refused to return. In 1326, Mortimer and Isabella invaded England with a small army. Edward's regime collapsed and he fled into Wales, but he was soon captured and in January 1327 he was forced to relinquish his crown in favour of his fourteen-year-old son, Edward III. Edward II died in Berkeley Castle on 21 September the same year, reputedly horrifically murdered on the orders of the new regime by having a red hot poker inserted into his rectum.

Bishop Kellawe, Bishop of Durham
Richard de Kellawe was sub-prior at St. Cuthbert's, Durham, and on the death of Antony Bek in 1311, Kellawe was chosen to replace him as Bishop of Durham by the monks. The palatinate of Durham was at this time in a deplorable condition owing to the Scottish wars, and in 1312 Kellawe even received a papal dispensation for not attending the council at Vienne in consideration of the state of his province. Troubles with the Scots continued after Bannockburn and the Palatinate was now so exhausted that it could not even provide for its own defence and Bishop Kellawe had to purchase peace with a levy of fifteen hundred men and a gift of one thousand marks.
On 10th October 1316, at Middleham, Bishop Kellawe died. He was buried in the chapter-house at Durham. His grandly adorned tomb was destroyed when the chapter house was demolished in 1796.
2 comments*Alex
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1308b, Licinius I, 308 - 324 A.D. (Siscia)59 viewsLicinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D. Bronze follis, RIC 4, F, Siscia, 3.257g, 21.6mm, 0o, 313 - 315 A.D. Obverse: IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; Reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG NN, Jupiter standing left holding Victory on globe and scepter, eagle with wreath in beak left, E right, SIS in exergue.



De Imperatoribus Romanis : An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Licinius (308-324 A.D.)

Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

Licinius' Heritage

Valerius Licinianus Licinius, more commonly known as Licinius, may have been born ca. 265. Of peasant origin, his family was from Dacia. A close friend and comrade of arms of the Emperor Galerius, he accompanied him on his Persian expedition in 297. When campaigns by Severus and Galerius in late 306 or early 307 and in the summer of 307, respectively, failed to dislodge Maxentius who, with the luke warm support of his father Maximianus Herculius, was acclaimed princeps on 28 October 306, he was sent by the eastern emperor to Maxentius as an ambassador; the diplomatic mission, however, failed because the usurper refused to submit to the authority of his father-in-law Galerius. At the Conference of Carnuntum which was held in October or November of 308, Licinius was made an Augustus on 11 November 308; his realm included Thrace, Illyricum, and Pannonia.

Licinius' Early Reign

Although Licinius was initially appointed by Galerius to replace Severus to end the revolt of Maxentius , Licinius (perhaps wisely) made no effort to move against the usurper. In fact, his first attested victory was against the Sarmatians probably in the late spring, but no later than the end of June in 310. When the Emperor Galerius died in 311, Licinius met Maximinus Daia at the Bosporus during the early summer of that year; they concluded a treaty and divided Galerius' realm between them. It was little more than a year later that the Emperor Constantine defeated Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge on 28 October 312. After the defeat of the usurper, Constantine and Licinius met at Mediolanum (Milan) where Licinius married the former's sister Constantia; one child was born of this union: Valerius Licinianus Licinius. Licinius had another son, born of a slave woman, whose name is unknown. It appears that both emperors promulgated the so-called Edict of Milan, in which Constantine and Licinius granted Christians the freedom to practice their faith without any interference from the state.

As soon as he seems to have learned about the marital alliance between Licinius and Constantine and the death of Maxentius, who had been his ally, Daia traversed Asia Minor and, in April 313, he crossed the Bosporus and went to Byzantium, which he took from Licinius after an eleven day siege. On 30 April 313 the armies of both emperors clashed on the Campus Ergenus; in the ensuing battle Daia's forces were routed. A last ditch stand by Daia at the Cilician Gates failed; the eastern emperor subsequently died in the area of Tarsus probably in July or August 313. As soon as he arrived in Nicomedeia, Licinius promulgated the Edict of Milan. As soon as he had matters in Nicomedeia straightened out, Licinius campaigned against the Persians in the remaining part of 313 and the opening months of 314.

The First Civil War Between Licinius and Constantine

Once Licinius had defeated Maximinus Daia, the sole rulers of the Roman world were he and Constantine. It is obvious that the marriage of Licinius to Constantia was simply a union of convenience. In any case, there is evidence in the sources that both emperors were looking for an excuse to attack the other. The affair involving Bassianus (the husband of Constantius I's daughter Anastasia ), mentioned in the text of Anonymus Valesianus (5.14ff), may have sparked the falling out between the two emperors. In any case, Constantine' s forces joined battle with those of Licinius at Cibalae in Pannonia on 8 October 314. When the battle was over, Constantine prevailed; his victory, however, was Pyrrhic. Both emperors had been involved in exhausting military campaigns in the previous year and the months leading up to Cibalae and each of their realms had expanded so fast that their manpower reserves must have been stretched to the limit. Both men retreated to their own territory to lick their wounds. It may well be that the two emperors made an agreement, which has left no direct trace in the historical record, which would effectively restore the status quo.

Both emperors were variously engaged in different activities between 315 and 316. In addition to campaigning against the Germans while residing in Augusta Treverorum (Trier) in 315, Constantine dealt with aspects of the Donatist controversy; he also traveled to Rome where he celebrated his Decennalia. Licinius, possibly residing at Sirmium, was probably waging war against the Goths. Although not much else is known about Licinius' activities during this period, it is probable that he spent much of his time preparing for his impending war against Constantine; the latter,who spent the spring and summer of 316 in Augusta Treverorum, was probably doing much the same thing. In any case, by December 316, the western emperor was in Sardica with his army. Sometime between 1 December and 28 February 317, both emperors' armies joined battle on the Campus Ardiensis; as was the case in the previous engagement, Constantine' s forces were victorious. On 1 March 317, both sides agreed to a cessation of hostilities; possibly because of the intervention of his wife Constantia, Licinius was able to keep his throne, although he had to agree to the execution of his colleague Valens, who the eastern emperor had appointed as his colleague before the battle, as well as to cede some of his territory to his brother-in-law.

Licinius and the Christians

Although the historical record is not completely clear, Licinius seems to have campaigned against the Sarmatians in 318. He also appears to have been in Byzantium in the summer of 318 and later in June 323. Beyond these few facts, not much else is known about his residences until mid summer of 324. Although he and Constantine had issued the Edict of Milan in early 313, Licinius turned on the Christians in his realm seemingly in 320. The first law that Licinius issued prevented bishops from communicating with each other and from holding synods to discuss matters of interest to them. The second law prohibited men and women from attending services together and young girls from receiving instruction from their bishop or schools. When this law was issued, he also gave orders that Christians could hold services only outside of city walls. Additionally, he deprived officers in the army of their commissions if they did not sacrifice to the gods. Licinius may have been trying to incite Constantine to attack him. In any case, the growing tension between the two rulers is reflected in the consular Fasti of the period.

The Second Civil War Between Licinius and Constantine and Licinius' Death

War actually broke out in 321 when Constantine pursued some Sarmatians, who had been ravaging some territory in his realm, across the Danube. When he checked a similar invasion of the Goths, who were devastating Thrace, Licinius complained that Constantine had broken the treaty between them. Having assembled a fleet and army at Thessalonica, Constantine advanced toward Adrianople. Licinius engaged the forces of his brother-in-law near the banks of the Hebrus River on 3 July 324 where he was routed; with as many men as he could gather, he headed for his fleet which was in the Hellespont. Those of his soldiers who were not killed or put to flight, surrendered to the enemy. Licinius fled to Byzantium, where he was besieged by Constantine. Licinius' fleet, under the command of the admiral Abantus, was overcome by bad weather and by Constantine' s fleet which was under the command of his son Crispus. Hard pressed in Byzantium, Licinius abandoned the city to his rival and fled to Chalcedon in Bithynia. Leaving Martinianus, his former magister officiorum and now his co-ruler, to impede Constantine' s progress, Licinius regrouped his forces and engaged his enemy at Chrysopolis where he was again routed on 18 September 324. He fled to Nicomedeia which Constantine began to besiege. On the next day Licinius abdicated and was sent to Thessalonica, where he was kept under house arrest. Both Licinius and his associate were put to death by Constantine. Martinianus may have been put to death before the end of 324, whereas Licinius was not put to death until the spring of 325. Rumors circulated that Licinius had been put to death because he attempted another rebellion against Constantine.

Copyright (C) 1996, Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
Licin1AEFolJupiAlex.jpg
1308c, Licinius I, 308-324 A.D. (Alexandria)66 viewsLicinius I, 308-324 A.D. AE Follis, 3.60g, VF, 315 A.D., Alexandria. Obverse: IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG - Laureate head right; Reverse: IOVI CONS-ERVATORI AVGG - Jupiter standing left, holding Victory on a globe and scepter; exergue: ALE / (wreath) over "B" over "N." Ref: RIC VII, 10 (B = r2) Rare, page 705 - Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, Scotland.


De Imperatoribus Romanis : An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Licinius (308-324 A.D.)

Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

Licinius' Heritage

Valerius Licinianus Licinius, more commonly known as Licinius, may have been born ca. 265. Of peasant origin, his family was from Dacia. A close friend and comrade of arms of the Emperor Galerius, he accompanied him on his Persian expedition in 297. When campaigns by Severus and Galerius in late 306 or early 307 and in the summer of 307, respectively, failed to dislodge Maxentius who, with the luke warm support of his father Maximianus Herculius, was acclaimed princeps on 28 October 306, he was sent by the eastern emperor to Maxentius as an ambassador; the diplomatic mission, however, failed because the usurper refused to submit to the authority of his father-in-law Galerius. At the Conference of Carnuntum which was held in October or November of 308, Licinius was made an Augustus on 11 November 308; his realm included Thrace, Illyricum, and Pannonia.

Licinius' Early Reign

Although Licinius was initially appointed by Galerius to replace Severus to end the revolt of Maxentius , Licinius (perhaps wisely) made no effort to move against the usurper. In fact, his first attested victory was against the Sarmatians probably in the late spring, but no later than the end of June in 310. When the Emperor Galerius died in 311, Licinius met Maximinus Daia at the Bosporus during the early summer of that year; they concluded a treaty and divided Galerius' realm between them. It was little more than a year later that the Emperor Constantine defeated Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge on 28 October 312. After the defeat of the usurper, Constantine and Licinius met at Mediolanum (Milan) where Licinius married the former's sister Constantia; one child was born of this union: Valerius Licinianus Licinius. Licinius had another son, born of a slave woman, whose name is unknown. It appears that both emperors promulgated the so-called Edict of Milan, in which Constantine and Licinius granted Christians the freedom to practice their faith without any interference from the state.

As soon as he seems to have learned about the marital alliance between Licinius and Constantine and the death of Maxentius, who had been his ally, Daia traversed Asia Minor and, in April 313, he crossed the Bosporus and went to Byzantium, which he took from Licinius after an eleven day siege. On 30 April 313 the armies of both emperors clashed on the Campus Ergenus; in the ensuing battle Daia's forces were routed. A last ditch stand by Daia at the Cilician Gates failed; the eastern emperor subsequently died in the area of Tarsus probably in July or August 313. As soon as he arrived in Nicomedeia, Licinius promulgated the Edict of Milan. As soon as he had matters in Nicomedeia straightened out, Licinius campaigned against the Persians in the remaining part of 313 and the opening months of 314.

The First Civil War Between Licinius and Constantine

Once Licinius had defeated Maximinus Daia, the sole rulers of the Roman world were he and Constantine. It is obvious that the marriage of Licinius to Constantia was simply a union of convenience. In any case, there is evidence in the sources that both emperors were looking for an excuse to attack the other. The affair involving Bassianus (the husband of Constantius I's daughter Anastasia ), mentioned in the text of Anonymus Valesianus (5.14ff), may have sparked the falling out between the two emperors. In any case, Constantine' s forces joined battle with those of Licinius at Cibalae in Pannonia on 8 October 314. When the battle was over, Constantine prevailed; his victory, however, was Pyrrhic. Both emperors had been involved in exhausting military campaigns in the previous year and the months leading up to Cibalae and each of their realms had expanded so fast that their manpower reserves must have been stretched to the limit. Both men retreated to their own territory to lick their wounds. It may well be that the two emperors made an agreement, which has left no direct trace in the historical record, which would effectively restore the status quo.

Both emperors were variously engaged in different activities between 315 and 316. In addition to campaigning against the Germans while residing in Augusta Treverorum (Trier) in 315, Constantine dealt with aspects of the Donatist controversy; he also traveled to Rome where he celebrated his Decennalia. Licinius, possibly residing at Sirmium, was probably waging war against the Goths. Although not much else is known about Licinius' activities during this period, it is probable that he spent much of his time preparing for his impending war against Constantine; the latter,who spent the spring and summer of 316 in Augusta Treverorum, was probably doing much the same thing. In any case, by December 316, the western emperor was in Sardica with his army. Sometime between 1 December and 28 February 317, both emperors' armies joined battle on the Campus Ardiensis; as was the case in the previous engagement, Constantine' s forces were victorious. On 1 March 317, both sides agreed to a cessation of hostilities; possibly because of the intervention of his wife Constantia, Licinius was able to keep his throne, although he had to agree to the execution of his colleague Valens, who the eastern emperor had appointed as his colleague before the battle, as well as to cede some of his territory to his brother-in-law.

Licinius and the Christians

Although the historical record is not completely clear, Licinius seems to have campaigned against the Sarmatians in 318. He also appears to have been in Byzantium in the summer of 318 and later in June 323. Beyond these few facts, not much else is known about his residences until mid summer of 324. Although he and Constantine had issued the Edict of Milan in early 313, Licinius turned on the Christians in his realm seemingly in 320. The first law that Licinius issued prevented bishops from communicating with each other and from holding synods to discuss matters of interest to them. The second law prohibited men and women from attending services together and young girls from receiving instruction from their bishop or schools. When this law was issued, he also gave orders that Christians could hold services only outside of city walls. Additionally, he deprived officers in the army of their commissions if they did not sacrifice to the gods. Licinius may have been trying to incite Constantine to attack him. In any case, the growing tension between the two rulers is reflected in the consular Fasti of the period.

The Second Civil War Between Licinius and Constantine and Licinius' Death

War actually broke out in 321 when Constantine pursued some Sarmatians, who had been ravaging some territory in his realm, across the Danube. When he checked a similar invasion of the Goths, who were devastating Thrace, Licinius complained that Constantine had broken the treaty between them. Having assembled a fleet and army at Thessalonica, Constantine advanced toward Adrianople. Licinius engaged the forces of his brother-in-law near the banks of the Hebrus River on 3 July 324 where he was routed; with as many men as he could gather, he headed for his fleet which was in the Hellespont. Those of his soldiers who were not killed or put to flight, surrendered to the enemy. Licinius fled to Byzantium, where he was besieged by Constantine. Licinius' fleet, under the command of the admiral Abantus, was overcome by bad weather and by Constantine' s fleet which was under the command of his son Crispus. Hard pressed in Byzantium, Licinius abandoned the city to his rival and fled to Chalcedon in Bithynia. Leaving Martinianus, his former magister officiorum and now his co-ruler, to impede Constantine' s progress, Licinius regrouped his forces and engaged his enemy at Chrysopolis where he was again routed on 18 September 324. He fled to Nicomedeia which Constantine began to besiege. On the next day Licinius abdicated and was sent to Thessalonica, where he was kept under house arrest. Both Licinius and his associate were put to death by Constantine. Martinianus may have been put to death before the end of 324, whereas Licinius was not put to death until the spring of 325. Rumors circulated that Licinius had been put to death because he attempted another rebellion against Constantine.

Copyright (C) 1996, Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
CrispusRIC17.jpg
1404a, Crispus, Caesar 317 - 326 A.D. 38 viewsBronze AE 3, RIC 17, aEF, Cyzicus mint, 3.196g, 19.9mm, 315o, 321 - 324 A.D.; Obverse: D N FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: IOVI CONSERVATORI, Jupiter standing left holding Victory on globe in right and scepter in left, eagle with wreath in beak to left, X / IIG and captive right, SMKD in exergue; scarce (RIC R3). Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis;
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families

Crispus Caesar (317-326 A.D.)

Hans Pohlsander
SUNY Albany

Crispus was the oldest son of the emperor Constantine I and played a fairly important role in the political and military events of the early fourth century. The regular form of his full name is Flavius Iulius Crispus, although the forms Flavius Claudius Crispus and Flavius Valerius Crispus also occur. His mother was a woman named Minervina, with whom Constantine had a relationship, probably illegitimate, before he married Fausta in 307. When Minervina died or when Constantine put her aside we do not know. Nor do we know when she gave birth to Crispus; we may assume, of course, that it was before 307. Some modern authorities, on good grounds, think that it was in 305. Crispus' place of birth must have been somewhere in the East, and it is not known when he was brought to Gaul and when, where, or under what circumstances he was separated from his mother.

Constantine entrusted the education of his son to the distinguished Christian scholar Lactantius, thereby giving a clear sign of his commitment to Christianity. We are not told when Lactantius assumed his duties, but a date before 317 seems likely. Nor do we know how successful he was in instilling Christian beliefs and values in his imperial pupil. No later than January of 322 Crispus must have married a woman named Helena -- not to be confused with Constantine's mother or daughter by the same name- and this woman bore him a child in October of 322. Constantine, we learn, was pleased.

Crispus' official career began at an early age and is well documented. On March 1 of 317, at Serdica (modern Sofia), his father appointed him Caesar. The consulship was his three times, in 318, 321, and 324. While nominally in charge of Gaul, with a prefect at his side, he successfully undertook military operations against the Franks and Alamanni in 320 and 323.

In 324, during the second war between Constantine and Licinius, he excelled as commander of Constantine's fleet in the waters of the Hellespont, the Propontis, and the Bosporus, thus making a significant contribution to the outcome of that war. The high points of his career are amply reflected in the imperial coinage. In addition to coins, we have his portrait, with varying degrees of certainty, in a number of sculptures, mosaics, cameos, etc. Contemporary authors heap praises upon him. Thus the panegyrist Nazarius speaks of Crispus' "magnificent deeds," and Eusebius calls him "an emperor most dear to God and in all regards comparable to his father."

Crispus' end was as tragic as his career had been brilliant. His own father ordered him to be put to death. We know the year of this sad event, 326, from the Consularia Constantinopolitana, and the place, Pola in Istria, from Ammianus Marcellinus. The circumstances, however, are less clear. Zosimus (6th c.) and Zonaras (12th c.) both report that Crispus and his stepmother Fausta were involved in an illicit relationship. There may be as much gossip as fact in their reports, but it is certain that at some time during the same year the emperor ordered the death of his own wife as well, and the two cases must be considered together. That Crispus and Fausta plotted treason is reported by Gregory of Tours, but not very believable. We must resolutely reject the claim of Zosimus that it was Constantine's sense of guilt over these deeds which caused him to accept Christianity, as it alone promised him forgiveness for his sins. A similar claim had already been made by Julian the Apostate. We must also, I think, reject the suggestion of Guthrie that the emperor acted in the interest of "dynastic legitimacy," that is, that he removed his illegitimate first-born son in order to secure the succession for his three legitimate younger sons. But Crispus must have committed, or at least must have been suspected of having committed, some especially shocking offense to earn him a sentence of death from his own father. He also suffered damnatio memoriae, his honor was never restored, and history has not recorded the fate of his wife and his child (or children).

Copyright (C) 1997, Hans A. Pohlsander. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis;An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families:
http://www.roman-emperors.org/crispus.htm


What If?

St. Nectarios, in his book, The Ecumenical Synods, writes "Hellenism spread by Alexander paved the way for Christianity by Emperor Constantine the Great."

Constantine's upward gaze on his "Eyes to Heaven" coins recall the coin portraits of Alexander the Great (namely coins struck by the Diodochi), which served as prototypes for the divine ruler portraiture of much of the Hellenistic age. The diadem, of which this is the most elaborate type, was adopted by Constantine and the members of his house as a new symbol of sovereignty.

In the Greek Orthodox Church, Constantine the Great is revered as a Saint.

Is it just possible? Constantine, knowing what happened (or thinking that he does) to Phillip II of Macedon—assassinated on the eve of his greatness, in a plot that most likely involved his wife—and possibly his son. . . isn’t it just possible that Constantine is growing obsessively jealous of his ever more successful and adulated son? Imagine the Constantine who has proven time and again (think: Licinius) that he is a completely self-serving liar and a murderer, decides to murder again? Why "must we resolutely reject the claim of Zosimus that it was Constantine's sense of guilt over these deeds which caused him to accept Christianity, as it alone promised him forgiveness for his sins [?] (see: above). A similar claim had already been made by Julian the [Philosopher]."

Perhaps it is time to cease being apologists for the sometime megalomaniacal Constantine. As Michael Grant notes, "It is a mocking travesty of justice to call such a murderer Constantine the Great . . ." (Grant, Michael. The Emperor Constantine. London: Phoenix Press, 1998. 226).


Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.


Cleisthenes
crispus_votV.jpg
1404b, Crispus, Caesar 317 - 326 A.D. (Thessalonica)35 viewsBronze AE 3, RIC 118, VF, Thessalonica mint, 2.740g, 18.0mm, 180o, 320 - 321 A.D. Obverse: FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust left; Reverse: CAESARVM NOSTRORVM, VOT V in wreath, TSDVI in exergue.

Flavius Julius Crispus was the son of Constantine I by his first wife. A brilliant soldier, Crispus was well loved by all until 326 A.D., when Constantine had him executed. It is said that Fausta, Crispus stepmother, anxious to secure the succession for her own sons falsely accused Crispus of raping her. Constantine, learning of Fausta`s treachery, had her executed too.


De Imperatoribus Romanis;
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families

Crispus Caesar (317-326 A.D.)

Hans Pohlsander
SUNY Albany

Crispus was the oldest son of the emperor Constantine I and played a fairly important role in the political and military events of the early fourth century. The regular form of his full name is Flavius Iulius Crispus, although the forms Flavius Claudius Crispus and Flavius Valerius Crispus also occur. His mother was a woman named Minervina, with whom Constantine had a relationship, probably illegitimate, before he married Fausta in 307. When Minervina died or when Constantine put her aside we do not know. Nor do we know when she gave birth to Crispus; we may assume, of course, that it was before 307. Some modern authorities, on good grounds, think that it was in 305. Crispus' place of birth must have been somewhere in the East, and it is not known when he was brought to Gaul and when, where, or under what circumstances he was separated from his mother.

Constantine entrusted the education of his son to the distinguished Christian scholar Lactantius, thereby giving a clear sign of his commitment to Christianity. We are not told when Lactantius assumed his duties, but a date before 317 seems likely. Nor do we know how successful he was in instilling Christian beliefs and values in his imperial pupil. No later than January of 322 Crispus must have married a woman named Helena -- not to be confused with Constantine's mother or daughter by the same name- and this woman bore him a child in October of 322. Constantine, we learn, was pleased.

Crispus' official career began at an early age and is well documented. On March 1 of 317, at Serdica (modern Sofia), his father appointed him Caesar. The consulship was his three times, in 318, 321, and 324. While nominally in charge of Gaul, with a prefect at his side, he successfully undertook military operations against the Franks and Alamanni in 320 and 323.

In 324, during the second war between Constantine and Licinius, he excelled as commander of Constantine's fleet in the waters of the Hellespont, the Propontis, and the Bosporus, thus making a significant contribution to the outcome of that war. The high points of his career are amply reflected in the imperial coinage. In addition to coins, we have his portrait, with varying degrees of certainty, in a number of sculptures, mosaics, cameos, etc. Contemporary authors heap praises upon him. Thus the panegyrist Nazarius speaks of Crispus' "magnificent deeds," and Eusebius calls him "an emperor most dear to God and in all regards comparable to his father."

Crispus' end was as tragic as his career had been brilliant. His own father ordered him to be put to death. We know the year of this sad event, 326, from the Consularia Constantinopolitana, and the place, Pola in Istria, from Ammianus Marcellinus. The circumstances, however, are less clear. Zosimus (6th c.) and Zonaras (12th c.) both report that Crispus and his stepmother Fausta were involved in an illicit relationship. There may be as much gossip as fact in their reports, but it is certain that at some time during the same year the emperor ordered the death of his own wife as well, and the two cases must be considered together. That Crispus and Fausta plotted treason is reported by Gregory of Tours, but not very believable. We must resolutely reject the claim of Zosimus that it was Constantine's sense of guilt over these deeds which caused him to accept Christianity, as it alone promised him forgiveness for his sins. A similar claim had already been made by Julian the Apostate. We must also, I think, reject the suggestion of Guthrie that the emperor acted in the interest of "dynastic legitimacy," that is, that he removed his illegitimate first-born son in order to secure the succession for his three legitimate younger sons. But Crispus must have committed, or at least must have been suspected of having committed, some especially shocking offense to earn him a sentence of death from his own father. He also suffered damnatio memoriae, his honor was never restored, and history has not recorded the fate of his wife and his child (or children).

Copyright (C) 1997, Hans A. Pohlsander. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis;An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families:
http://www.roman-emperors.org/crispus.htm


What If?

St. Nectarios, in his book, The Ecumenical Synods, writes "Hellenism spread by Alexander paved the way for Christianity by Emperor Constantine the Great."

Constantine's upward gaze on his "Eyes to Heaven" coins recall the coin portraits of Alexander the Great (namely coins struck by the Diodochi), which served as prototypes for the divine ruler portraiture of much of the Hellenistic age. The diadem, of which this is the most elaborate type, was adopted by Constantine and the members of his house as a new symbol of sovereignty.

In the Greek Orthodox Church, Constantine the Great is revered as a Saint.

Is it just possible? Constantine, knowing what happened (or thinking that he does) to Phillip II of Macedon—assassinated on the eve of his greatness, in a plot that most likely involved his wife—and possibly his son. . . isn’t it just possible that Constantine is growing obsessively jealous of his ever more successful and adulated son? Imagine the Constantine who has proven time and again (think: Licinius) that he is a completely self-serving liar and a murderer, decides to murder again? Why "must we resolutely reject the claim of Zosimus that it was Constantine's sense of guilt over these deeds which caused him to accept Christianity, as it alone promised him forgiveness for his sins [?] (see: above). A similar claim had already been made by Julian the [Philosopher]."

Perhaps it is time to cease being apologists for the sometime megalomaniacal Constantine. As Michael Grant notes, "It is a mocking travesty of justice to call such a murderer Constantine the Great . . ." (Grant, Michael. The Emperor Constantine. London: Phoenix Press, 1998. 226).


Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Julian2VotXConstantinople.jpg
1409a, Julian II "the Philosopher," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.143 viewsJulian II, A.D. 360-363; RIC 167; VF; 2.7g, 20mm; Constantinople mint; Obverse: DN FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, helmeted & cuirassed bust right, holding spear & shield; Reverse: VOT X MVLT XX in four lines within wreath; CONSPB in exergue; Attractive green patina. Ex Nemesis.


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Julian the Apostate (360-363 A.D.)

Walter E. Roberts, Emory University
Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University

Introduction

The emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus reigned from 360 to 26 June 363, when he was killed fighting against the Persians. Despite his short rule, his emperorship was pivotal in the development of the history of the later Roman empire. This essay is not meant to be a comprehensive look at the various issues central to the reign of Julian and the history of the later empire. Rather, this short work is meant to be a brief history and introduction for the general reader. Julian was the last direct descendent of the Constantinian line to ascend to the purple, and it is one of history's great ironies that he was the last non-Christian emperor. As such, he has been vilified by most Christian sources, beginning with John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzus in the later fourth century. This tradition was picked up by the fifth century Eusebian continuators Sozomen, Socrates Scholasticus, and Theodoret and passed on to scholars down through the 20th century. Most contemporary sources, however, paint a much more balanced picture of Julian and his reign. The adoption of Christianity by emperors and society, while still a vital concern, was but one of several issues that concerned Julian.

It is fortunate that extensive writings from Julian himself exist, which help interpret his reign in the light of contemporary evidence. Still extant are some letters, several panegyrics, and a few satires. Other contemporary sources include the soldier Ammianus Marcellinus' history, correspondence between Julian and Libanius of Antioch, several panegyrics, laws from the Theodosian Code, inscriptions, and coinage. These sources show Julian's emphasis on restoration. He saw himself as the restorer of the traditional values of Roman society. Of course much of this was rhetoric, meant to defend Julian against charges that he was a usurper. At the same time this theme of restoration was central to all emperors of the fourth century. Julian thought that he was the one emperor who could regain what was viewed as the lost glory of the Roman empire. To achieve this goal he courted select groups of social elites to get across his message of restoration. This was the way that emperors functioned in the fourth century. By choosing whom to include in the sharing of power, they sought to shape society.

Early Life

Julian was born at Constantinople in 331. His father was Julius Constantius, half-brother of the emperor Constantine through Constantius Chlorus, and his mother was Basilina, Julius' second wife. Julian had two half-brothers via Julius' first marriage. One of these was Gallus, who played a major role in Julian's life. Julian appeared destined for a bright future via his father's connection to the Constantinian house. After many years of tense relations with his three half-brothers, Constantine seemed to have welcomed them into the fold of the imperial family. From 333 to 335, Constantine conferred a series of honors upon his three half-siblings, including appointing Julius Constantius as one of the consuls for 335. Julian's mother was equally distinguished. Ammianus related that she was from a noble family. This is supported by Libanius, who claimed that she was the daughter of Julius Julianus, a Praetorian Prefect under Licinius, who was such a model of administrative virtue that he was pardoned and honored by Constantine.

Despite the fact that his mother died shortly after giving birth to him, Julian experienced an idyllic early childhood. This ended when Constantius II conducted a purge of many of his relatives shortly after Constantine's death in 337, particularly targeting the families of Constantine's half-brothers. ulian and Gallus were spared, probably due to their young age. Julian was put under the care of Mardonius, a Scythian eunuch who had tutored his mother, in 339, and was raised in the Greek philosophical tradition, and probably lived in Nicomedia. Ammianus also supplied the fact that while in Nicomedia, Julian was cared for by the local bishop Eusebius, of whom the future emperor was a distant relation. Julian was educated by some of the most famous names in grammar and rhetoric in the Greek world at that time, including Nicocles and Hecebolius. In 344 Constantius II sent Julian and Gallus to Macellum in Cappadocia, where they remained for six years. In 351, Gallus was made Caesar by Constantius II and Julian was allowed to return to Nicomedia, where he studied under Aedesius, Eusebius, and Chrysanthius, all famed philosophers, and was exposed to the Neo-Platonism that would become such a prominent part of his life. But Julian was most proud of the time he spent studying under Maximus of Ephesus, a noted Neo-Platonic philospher and theurgist. It was Maximus who completed Julian's full-scale conversion to Neo-Platonism. Later, when he was Caesar, Julian told of how he put letters from this philosopher under his pillows so that he would continue to absorb wisdom while he slept, and while campaigning on the Rhine, he sent his speeches to Maximus for approval before letting others hear them. When Gallus was executed in 354 for treason by Constantius II, Julian was summoned to Italy and essentially kept under house arrest at Comum, near Milan, for seven months before Constantius' wife Eusebia convinced the emperor that Julian posed no threat. This allowed Julian to return to Greece and continue his life as a scholar where he studied under the Neo-Platonist Priscus. Julian's life of scholarly pursuit, however, ended abruptly when he was summoned to the imperial court and made Caesar by Constantius II on 6 November 355.

Julian as Caesar

Constantius II realized an essential truth of the empire that had been evident since the time of the Tetrarchy--the empire was too big to be ruled effectively by one man. Julian was pressed into service as Caesar, or subordinate emperor, because an imperial presence was needed in the west, in particular in the Gallic provinces. Julian, due to the emperor's earlier purges, was the only viable candidate of the imperial family left who could act as Caesar. Constantius enjoined Julian with the task of restoring order along the Rhine frontier. A few days after he was made Caesar, Julian was married to Constantius' sister Helena in order to cement the alliance between the two men. On 1 December 355, Julian journeyed north, and in Augusta Taurinorum he learned that Alamannic raiders had destroyed Colonia Agrippina. He then proceeded to Vienne where he spent the winter. At Vienne, he learned that Augustudunum was also under siege, but was being held by a veteran garrison. He made this his first priority, and arrived there on 24 June 356. When he had assured himself that the city was in no immediate danger, he journeyed to Augusta Treverorum via Autessioduram, and from there to Durocortorum where he rendezvoused with his army. Julian had the army stage a series of punitive strikes around the Dieuse region, and then he moved them towards the Argentoratum/Mongontiacum region when word of barbarian incursions reached him.

From there, Julian moved on to Colonia Agrippina, and negotiated a peace with the local barbarian leaders who had assaulted the city. He then wintered at Senonae. He spent the early part of the campaigning season of 357 fighting off besiegers at Senonae, and then conducting operations around Lugdunum and Tres Tabernae. Later that summer, he encountered his watershed moment as a military general. Ammianus went into great detail about Julian's victory over seven rogue Alamannic chieftains near Argentoratum, and Julian himself bragged about it in his later writing. After this battle, the soldiers acclaimed Julian Augustus, but he rejected this title. After mounting a series of follow-up raids into Alamannic territory, he retired to winter quarters at Lutetia, and on the way defeated some Frankish raiders in the Mosa region. Julian considered this campaign one of the major events of his time as Caesar.

Julian began his 358 military campaigns early, hoping to catch the barbarians by surprise. His first target was the Franks in the northern Rhine region. He then proceeded to restore some forts in the Mosa region, but his soldiers threatened to mutiny because they were on short rations and had not been paid their donative since Julian had become Caesar. After he soothed his soldiers, Julian spent the rest of the summer negotiating a peace with various Alamannic leaders in the mid and lower Rhine areas, and retired to winter quarters at Lutetia. In 359, he prepared once again to carry out a series of punitive expeditions against the Alamanni in the Rhine region who were still hostile to the Roman presence. In preparation, the Caesar repopulated seven previously destroyed cities and set them up as supply bases and staging areas. This was done with the help of the people with whom Julian had negotiated a peace the year before. Julian then had a detachment of lightly armed soldiers cross the Rhine near Mogontiacum and conduct a guerilla strike against several chieftains. As a result of these campaigns, Julian was able to negotiate a peace with all but a handful of the Alamannic leaders, and he retired to winter quarters at Lutetia.

Of course, Julian did more than act as a general during his time as Caesar. According to Ammianus, Julian was an able administrator who took steps to correct the injustices of Constantius' appointees. Ammianus related the story of how Julian prevented Florentius, the Praetorian Prefect of Gaul, from raising taxes, and also how Julian actually took over as governor for the province of Belgica Secunda. Hilary, bishop of Poitiers, supported Ammianus' basic assessment of Julian in this regard when he reported that Julian was an able representative of the emperor to the Gallic provincials. There is also epigraphic evidence to support Julian's popularity amongst the provincial elites. An inscription found near Beneventum in Apulia reads:
"To Flavius Claudius Julianus, most noble and sanctified Caesar, from the caring Tocius Maximus, vir clarissimus, for the care of the res publica from Beneventum".

Tocius Maximus, as a vir clarissimus, was at the highest point in the social spectrum and was a leader in his local community. This inscription shows that Julian was successful in establishing a positive image amongst provincial elites while he was Caesar.

Julian Augustus

In early 360, Constantius, driven by jealousy of Julian's success, stripped Julian of many troops and officers, ostensibly because the emperor needed them for his upcoming campaign against the Persians. One of the legions ordered east, the Petulantes, did not want to leave Gaul because the majority of the soldiers in the unit were from this region. As a result they mutinied and hailed Julian as Augustus at Lutetia. Julian refused this acclamation as he had done at Argentoratum earlier, but the soldiers would have none of his denial. They raised him on a shield and adorned him with a neck chain, which had formerly been the possession of the standard-bearer of the Petulantes and symbolized a royal diadem. Julian appeared reluctantly to acquiesce to their wishes, and promised a generous donative. The exact date of his acclamation is unknown, but most scholars put it in February or March. Julian himself supported Ammianus' picture of a jealous Constantius. In his Letter to the Athenians, a document constructed to answer charges that he was a usurper, Julian stated that from the start he, as Caesar, had been meant as a figurehead to the soldiers and provincials. The real power he claimed lay with the generals and officials already present in Gaul. In fact, according to Julian, the generals were charged with watching him as much as the enemy. His account of the actual acclamation closely followed what Ammianus told us, but he stressed even more his reluctance to take power. Julian claimed that he did so only after praying to Zeus for guidance.

Fearing the reaction of Constantius, Julian sent a letter to his fellow emperor justifying the events at Lutetia and trying to arrange a peaceful solution. This letter berated Constantius for forcing the troops in Gaul into an untenable situation. Ammianus stated that Julian's letter blamed Constantius' decision to transfer Gallic legions east as the reason for the soldiers' rebellion. Julian once again asserted that he was an unwilling participant who was only following the desire of the soldiers. In both of these basic accounts Ammianus and Julian are playing upon the theme of restoration. Implicit in their version of Julian's acclamation is the argument that Constantius was unfit to rule. The soldiers were the vehicle of the gods' will. The Letter to the Athenians is full of references to the fact that Julian was assuming the mantle of Augustus at the instigation of the gods. Ammianus summed up this position nicely when he related the story of how, when Julian was agonizing over whether to accept the soldiers' acclamation, he had a dream in which he was visited by the Genius (guardian spirit) of the Roman state. The Genius told Julian that it had often tried to bestow high honors upon Julian but had been rebuffed. Now, the Genius went on to say, was Julian's final chance to take the power that was rightfully his. If the Caesar refused this chance, the Genius would depart forever, and both Julian and the state would rue Julian's rejection. Julian himself wrote a letter to his friend Maximus of Ephesus in November of 361 detailing his thoughts on his proclamation. In this letter, Julian stated that the soldiers proclaimed him Augustus against his will. Julian, however, defended his accession, saying that the gods willed it and that he had treated his enemies with clemency and justice. He went on to say that he led the troops in propitiating the traditional deities, because the gods commanded him to return to the traditional rites, and would reward him if he fulfilled this duty.

During 360 an uneasy peace simmered between the two emperors. Julian spent the 360 campaigning season continuing his efforts to restore order along the Rhine, while Constantius continued operations against the Persians. Julian wintered in Vienne, and celebrated his Quinquennalia. It was at this time that his wife Helena died, and he sent her remains to Rome for a proper burial at his family villa on the Via Nomentana where the body of her sister was entombed. The uneasy peace held through the summer of 361, but Julian concentrated his military operations around harassing the Alamannic chieftain Vadomarius and his allies, who had concluded a peace treaty with Constantius some years earlier. By the end of the summer, Julian decided to put an end to the waiting and gathered his army to march east against Constantius. The empire teetered on the brink of another civil war. Constantius had spent the summer negotiating with the Persians and making preparations for possible military action against his cousin. When he was assured that the Persians would not attack, he summoned his army and sallied forth to meet Julian. As the armies drew inexorably closer to one another, the empire was saved from another bloody civil war when Constantius died unexpectedly of natural causes on 3 November near the town of Mopsucrenae in Cilicia, naming Julian -- the sources say-- as his legitimate successor.

Julian was in Dacia when he learned of his cousin's death. He made his way through Thrace and came to Constantinople on 11 December 361 where Julian honored the emperor with the funeral rites appropriate for a man of his station. Julian immediately set about putting his supporters in positions of power and trimming the imperial bureaucracy, which had become extremely overstaffed during Constantius' reign. Cooks and barbers had increased during the late emperor's reign and Julian expelled them from his court. Ammianus gave a mixed assessment of how the new emperor handled the followers of Constantius. Traditionally, emperors were supposed to show clemency to the supporters of a defeated enemy. Julian, however, gave some men over to death to appease the army. Ammianus used the case of Ursulus, Constantius' comes sacrum largitionum, to illustrate his point. Ursulus had actually tried to acquire money for the Gallic troops when Julian had first been appointed Caesar, but he had also made a disparaging remark about the ineffectiveness of the army after the battle of Amida. The soldiers remembered this, and when Julian became sole Augustus, they demanded Ursulus' head. Julian obliged, much to the disapproval of Ammianus. This seems to be a case of Julian courting the favor of the military leadership, and is indicative of a pattern in which Julian courted the goodwill of various societal elites to legitimize his position as emperor.

Another case in point is the officials who made up the imperial bureaucracy. Many of them were subjected to trial and punishment. To achieve this goal, during the last weeks of December 361 Julian assembled a military tribunal at Chalcedon, empanelling six judges to try the cases. The president of the tribunal was Salutius, just promoted to the rank of Praetorian Prefect; the five other members were Mamertinus, the orator, and four general officers: Jovinus, Agilo, Nevitta, and Arbetio. Relative to the proceedings of the tribunal, Ammianus noted that the judges, " . . . oversaw the cases more vehemently than was right or fair, with the exception of a few . . .." Ammianus' account of Julian's attempt at reform of the imperial bureaucracy is supported by legal evidence from the Theodosian Code. A series of laws sent to Mamertinus, Julian's appointee as Praetorian Prefect in Italy, Illyricum, and Africa, illustrate this point nicely. On 6 June 362, Mamertinus received a law that prohibited provincial governors from bypassing the Vicars when giving their reports to the Prefect. Traditionally, Vicars were given civil authority over a group of provinces, and were in theory meant to serve as a middle step between governors and Prefects. This law suggests that the Vicars were being left out, at least in Illyricum. Julian issued another edict to Mamertinus on 22 February 362 to stop abuse of the public post by governors. According to this law, only Mamertinus could issue post warrants, but the Vicars were given twelve blank warrants to be used as they saw fit, and each governor was given two. Continuing the trend of bureaucratic reform, Julian also imposed penalties on governors who purposefully delayed appeals in court cases they had heard. The emperor also established a new official to weigh solidi used in official government transactions to combat coin clipping.

For Julian, reigning in the abuses of imperial bureaucrats was one step in restoring the prestige of the office of emperor. Because he could not affect all elements of society personally, Julian, like other Neo-Flavian emperors, decided to concentrate on select groups of societal elites as intercessors between himself and the general populace. One of these groups was the imperial bureaucracy. Julian made it very clear that imperial officials were intercessors in a very real sense in a letter to Alypius, Vicar of Britain. In this letter, sent from Gaul sometime before 361, the emperor praises Alypius for his use of "mildness and moderation with courage and force" in his rule of the provincials. Such virtues were characteristic of the emperors, and it was good that Alypius is representing Julian in this way. Julian courted the army because it put him in power. Another group he sought to include in his rule was the traditional Senatorial aristocracy. One of his first appointments as consul was Claudius Mamertinus, a Gallic Senator and rhetorician. Mamertinus' speech in praise of Julian delivered at Constantinople in January of 362 is preserved. In this speech, Claudius presented his consular selection as inaugurating a new golden age and Julian as the restorer of the empire founded by Augustus. The image Mamertinus gave of his own consulate inaugurating a new golden age is not merely formulaic. The comparison of Julian to Augustus has very real, if implicit, relevance to Claudius' situation. Claudius emphasized the imperial period as the true age of renewal. Augustus ushered in a new era with his formation of a partnership between the emperor and the Senate based upon a series of honors and offices bestowed upon the Senate in return for their role as intercessor between emperor and populace. It was this system that Julian was restoring, and the consulate was one concrete example of this bond. To be chosen as a consul by the emperor, who himself had been divinely mandated, was a divine honor. In addition to being named consul, Mamertinus went on to hold several offices under Julian, including the Prefecture of Italy, Illyricum, and Africa. Similarly, inscriptional evidence illustrates a link between municipal elites and Julian during his time as Caesar, something which continued after he became emperor. One concrete example comes from the municipal senate of Aceruntia in Apulia, which established a monument on which Julian is styled as "Repairer of the World."

Julian seems to have given up actual Christian belief before his acclamation as emperor and was a practitioner of more traditional Greco-Roman religious beliefs, in particular, a follower of certain late antique Platonist philosophers who were especially adept at theurgy as was noted earlier. In fact Julian himself spoke of his conversion to Neo-Platonism in a letter to the Alexandrians written in 363. He stated that he had abandoned Christianity when he was twenty years old and been an adherent of the traditional Greco-Roman deities for the twelve years prior to writing this letter.

(For the complete text of this article see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/julian.htm)

Julian’s Persian Campaign

The exact goals Julian had for his ill-fated Persian campaign were never clear. The Sassanid Persians, and before them the Parthians, had been a traditional enemy from the time of the Late Republic, and indeed Constantius had been conducting a war against them before Julian's accession forced the former to forge an uneasy peace. Julian, however, had no concrete reason to reopen hostilities in the east. Socrates Scholasticus attributed Julian's motives to imitation of Alexander the Great, but perhaps the real reason lay in his need to gather the support of the army. Despite his acclamation by the Gallic legions, relations between Julian and the top military officers was uneasy at best. A war against the Persians would have brought prestige and power both to Julian and the army.

Julian set out on his fateful campaign on 5 March 363. Using his trademark strategy of striking quickly and where least expected, he moved his army through Heirapolis and from there speedily across the Euphrates and into the province of Mesopotamia, where he stopped at the town of Batnae. His plan was to eventually return through Armenia and winter in Tarsus. Once in Mesopotamia, Julian was faced with the decision of whether to travel south through the province of Babylonia or cross the Tigris into Assyria, and he eventually decided to move south through Babylonia and turn west into Assyria at a later date. By 27 March, he had the bulk of his army across the Euphrates, and had also arranged a flotilla to guard his supply line along the mighty river. He then left his generals Procopius and Sebastianus to help Arsacius, the king of Armenia and a Roman client, to guard the northern Tigris line. It was also during this time that he received the surrender of many prominent local leaders who had nominally supported the Persians. These men supplied Julian with money and troops for further military action against their former masters. Julian decided to turn south into Babylonia and proceeded along the Euphrates, coming to the fortress of Cercusium at the junction of the Abora and Euphrates Rivers around the first of April, and from there he took his army west to a region called Zaitha near the abandoned town of Dura where they visited the tomb of the emperor Gordian which was in the area. On April 7 he set out from there into the heart of Babylonia and towards Assyria.

Ammianus then stated that Julian and his army crossed into Assyria, which on the face of things appears very confusing. Julian still seems to be operating within the province of Babylonia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The confusion is alleviated when one realizes that,for Ammianus, the region of Assyria encompassed the provinces of Babylonia and Assyria. On their march, Julian's forces took the fortress of Anatha, received the surrender and support of several more local princes, and ravaged the countryside of Assyria between the rivers. As the army continued south, they came across the fortresses Thilutha and Achaiachala, but these places were too well defended and Julian decided to leave them alone. Further south were the cities Diacira and Ozogardana, which the Roman forces sacked and burned. Soon, Julian came to Pirisabora and a brief siege ensued, but the city fell and was also looted and destroyed. It was also at this time that the Roman army met its first systematic resistance from the Persians. As the Romans penetrated further south and west, the local inhabitants began to flood their route. Nevertheless, the Roman forces pressed on and came to Maiozamalcha, a sizable city not far from Ctesiphon. After a short siege, this city too fell to Julian. Inexorably, Julian's forces zeroed in on Ctesiphon, but as they drew closer, the Persian resistance grew fiercer, with guerilla raids whittling at Julian's men and supplies. A sizable force of the army was lost and the emperor himself was almost killed taking a fort a few miles from the target city.
Finally, the army approached Ctesiphon following a canal that linked the Tigris and Euphrates. It soon became apparent after a few preliminary skirmishes that a protracted siege would be necessary to take this important city. Many of his generals, however, thought that pursuing this course of action would be foolish. Julian reluctantly agreed, but became enraged by this failure and ordered his fleet to be burned as he decided to march through the province of Assyria. Julian had planned for his army to live off the land, but the Persians employed a scorched-earth policy. When it became apparent that his army would perish (because his supplies were beginning to dwindle) from starvation and the heat if he continued his campaign, and also in the face of superior numbers of the enemy, Julian ordered a retreat on 16 June. As the Roman army retreated, they were constantly harassed by guerilla strikes. It was during one of these raids that Julian got caught up in the fighting and took a spear to his abdomen. Mortally wounded he was carried to his tent, where, after conferring with some of his officers, he died. The date was 26 June 363.

Conclusion

Thus an ignominious end for a man came about who had hoped to restore the glory of the Roman empire during his reign as emperor. Due to his intense hatred of Christianity, the opinion of posterity has not been kind to Julian. The contemporary opinion, however, was overall positive. The evidence shows that Julian was a complex ruler with a definite agenda to use traditional social institutions in order to revive what he saw as a collapsing empire. In the final assessment, he was not so different from any of the other emperors of the fourth century. He was a man grasping desperately to hang on to a Greco-Roman conception of leadership that was undergoing a subtle yet profound change.
Copyright (C) 2002, Walter E. Roberts and Michael DiMaio, Jr. Used by permission.

In reality, Julian worked to promote culture and philosophy in any manifestation. He tried to reduce taxes and the public debts of municipalities; he augmented administrative decentralisation; he promoted a campaign of austerity to reduce public expenditure (setting himself as the example). He reformed the postal service and eliminated the powerful secret police.
by Federico Morando; JULIAN II, The Apostate, http://www.forumancientcoins.com/NumisWiki/view.asp?key=Julian%20II

Flavius Claudius Iulianus was born in 331 or maybe 332 A.D. in Constantinople. He ruled the Western Empire as Caesar from 355 to 360 and was hailed Augustus by his legions in Lutetia (Paris) in 360. Julian was a gifted administrator and military strategist. Famed as the last pagan emperor, his reinstatement of the pagan religion earned him the moniker "the Apostate." As evidenced by his brilliant writing, some of which has survived to the present day, the title "the Philosopher" may have been more appropriate. He died from wounds suffered during the Persian campaign of 363 A.D. Joseph Sermarini, FORVM.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.




2 commentsCleisthenes
Henry_V_AR_Penny_of_York.JPG
1413 - 1422, Henry V, AR Penny struck at York, England2 viewsObverse: + HENRICVS REX ANGLIE. Crowned facing bust of Henry V, mullet (left) and trefoil (right) at each side of crown, all within circle of pellets. Pierced cross in legend.
Reverse: CIVITAS ‡ EBORACI. Long cross pattée dividing legend around inner circle of pellets into quarters, trefoil in each quarter of circle, incuse quatrefoil in centre of cross.
York, Class F (Local dies)
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 0.8gms | Die Axis: 10
SPINK: 1788

Henry V was King of England from 1413 until his sudden death on 31st August 1422. He is thought to have died from dysentery contracted during the siege of Meaux in France. He was 36 years old and had reigned for nine years. He was the second English monarch of the House of Lancaster.
During the reign of his father, King Henry IV, Henry had acquired an increasing share in England's government due to his father's declining health. After his father's death in 1413, Henry assumed control of the country and asserted the pending English claim to the French throne.
In 1415, Henry embarked on war with France in the ongoing Hundred Years' War between the two countries. Despite his relatively short reign, Henry's outstanding military successes, most notably in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe.
*Alex
1421_Henry_V_AR_Double-Turnois.JPG
1413 - 1422, Henry V, Billon Niquet (Double Tournois) struck in 1421 at Rouen, France26 viewsObverse: + H REX ANGL HERES FRANC. Crowned lion passant facing left, fleur-de-lis above. Pellet mintmark below first letter of legend = Rouen mint.
Reverse: + SIT NOME DNI BENEDICTV. Cross pattée with lis in angles and lombardic 'h' in centre.
Diameter: 24mm | Weight: 1.9gms | Die Axis: 9
SPINK: 8162 | Duplessy: 441

This Anglo-Gallic coin, colloquially called a “leopard” after its obverse design, bears the titles of Henry V as king of England and heir to the French kingdom.

Henry V was King of England from 1413 until his sudden death on 31st August 1422. He is thought to have died from dysentery contracted during the siege of Meaux in France. He was 36 years old and had reigned for nine years. He was the second English monarch of the House of Lancaster.
During the reign of his father, King Henry IV, Henry had acquired an increasing share in England's government due to his father's declining health. After his father's death in 1413, Henry assumed control of the country and asserted the pending English claim to the French throne.
In 1415, Henry embarked on war with France in the ongoing Hundred Years' War between the two countries. Despite his relatively short reign, Henry's outstanding military successes, most notably in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe.
In 1420, after months of negotiation with Charles VI of France, the Treaty of Troyes was signed recognising Henry V as regent and heir apparent to the French throne. To seal the pact Henry married Charles' daughter, Catherine of Valois. Henry's sudden death however, prevented the prospect of the English King taking the French throne from ever taking place.
Immortalised in the plays of Shakespeare, Henry V is known and celebrated as one of the great warrior kings of medieval England.
2 comments*Alex
James_III_AE_Crux_Pellit_Threepenny_Penny.JPG
1460 – 1488, JAMES III, AE Threepenny Penny struck c.1470–1480 at an unidentified mint, Scotland9 viewsObverse: + IACOBVS ‡ DEI ‡ GRA ‡ REX ‡ . Orb with rosette at centre, tilted upwards, within pelleted circle. Cross hummetty in legend.
Reverse: + CRVX ‡ PELLIT ‡ OIE ‡ CRI (Crux pellit omne crimen = The cross drives away all sin). Latin cross within quatrefoil with trefoils on cusps, within pelleted circle. Cross hummetty in legend.
Diameter: 20mm | Weight: 1.9gms | Die Axis: 9
SPINK: 5311 Type III
Very Rare

Once regarded as Ecclesiastical and connected to Bishop James Kennedy of St Andrews by earlier scholars, these coins are now, after extensive research in the second half of the twentieth century by J E L Murray of the British Numismatic Society, believed to have been a regal issue whose place of mintage has not as yet been certainly identified. During his reign James III took an interest in the coinage and introduced several new denominations. The thistle-head made its first appearance as a Scottish emblem on coins during his reign and a further innovation of his coinage were coins bearing a likeness of the king himself in the new renaissance style which predated similarly styled English coins by several years.
The 'Crux pellit' coins are often known as ‘Crossraguel’ issues, so called after a hoard containing 51 of them was found in a drain at Crossraguel Abbey, Ayrshire in 1919. J E L Murray identified these coins with those referred to in contemporary documents as “three-penny pennies” or “Cochrane's Placks”, which appear to have been greatly devalued in 1482. Cochrane's Placks comes from Robert Cochrane, one of James III's main favourites. Cochrane played a major part in the government during the 1470's and he is said to have advised the king to debase the coinage in order to raise cash.

James III was crowned at Kelso Abbey in 1460 at the age of 9, he was the son of James II and Mary of Guelders. During his childhood, the government was led by successive factions until 1469 when he began to rule for himself. That same year he married Princess Margaret of Denmark. Margaret's father, King Christian I of Denmark and Norway was unable to raise the full amount of her dowry so pledged his lands and rights in Orkney and Shetland as security for the remainder. But Christian I was never able to redeem his pledge, and Orkney and Shetland have remained Scottish possessions ever since.
Soon after his marriage, James faced great difficulties in restoring a strong central government. His preference for the company of scholars, architects and artists coupled with his extravagance and partiality to favourites alienated him from the loyalty of his nobles. Even his own brothers, Alexander, Duke of Albany and John, Earl of Mar regarded him with jealousy verging on hatred. In 1479, James' brothers were arrested on suspicion of conspiring against the Crown. John Stewart, the Earl of Mar, died in suspicious circumstances, whilst Alexander Stewart, the Duke of Albany, escaped and fled to England.
The ever-present English threat had been temporarily solved by a truce with Edward IV in 1463 but James' estrangement from his brothers and a strong faction within the Scottish nobility led to the final loss of Berwick.
Although James had tried to settle his differences with Alexander, Duke of Albany, his brother again tried to take his throne in a coup after Edward IV recognised him as Alexander IV of Scotland in 1482. Some minor members of James III's household were hanged, including Robert Cochrane, the king's favourite. But James was removed to Edinburgh Castle where he survived and Alexander was exiled to France.
After his queen's death in 1486, James lived in increasing isolation amidst the growing resentment of the nobility. Finally, in 1488, the Scottish nobles seized James' eldest son, also called James, placed him at their head, and rose against the king. At the Battle of Sauchieburn, three miles from Stirling, James III, defeated, was thrown from his horse as he fled from the field. He was carried into a nearby cottage where he was set upon and stabbed to death.
James III was buried at Cambuskenneth Abbey near Stirling and his son, the figurehead of the revolt against him, was hailed as James IV.
1 comments*Alex
14th_Century_Torah_Front.jpg
14th Century Handwritten Vellum Leaf of the Torah 18 viewsThis page of the Talmud predates publication of the first complete edition of the Talmud in 1540 by Daniel Bomberg. Bomberg employed rabbis, scholars, and apostates at his Venetian publishing house, and was responsible for the first Rabbinic Bible, as well as the first complete Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds. It was once customary for Jews to use old manuscripts as binding material for their newly printed and bound books. This piece is an example of that practice.

Ex Living Torah Museum collection
Quant.Geek
1542_-1548_MARY_Queen_of_Scots_AR_Bawbee.JPG
1542 - 1567, Mary I “Queen of Scots”, AR billon Bawbee (sixpence), Struck 1542 - 1558 at Edinburgh, Scotland20 viewsObverse: +MARIA•D•G•R•SCOTORVM. Crowned thistle, M to left, R to right, beaded circles and legend surrounding. Greek cross in legend.
Reverse: OPPIDVM•EDINBVRGI, retrograde N in legend. Crown over voided saltire cross, cinquefoil on either side, beaded circles and legend surrounding, fleur-de-lis within legend above.
Diameter: 22mm | Weight: 1.8gms | Die Axis: 10
SPINK: 5433

First period issue, before Mary's marriage to the French Dauphin, Francis. The cinquefoils refer to the Earl of Arran who acted as Regent until Mary came of age.

Mary I is one of the most well known, romantic and tragic figures in Scottish history. She was the only surviving child of King James V of Scotland and became queen on the death of her father when she was only six or seven days old. Mary was brought up in the Catholic faith and educated in France along with the French royal children, while Scotland was ruled in her name by regents, principally the Earl of Arran. In 1558 Mary married the French Dauphin, Francis, and following his accession in 1559 she became Queen consort of France and he King consort of Scotland. However, when Francis died in 1560 Mary was devastated and in 1561 she returned to Scotland. Four years later, in 1565, she married her half-cousin, Lord Darnley and the following year she bore him a son, who would later become James I of England. When in 1567, Darnley's house in Edinburgh was destroyed by an explosion and he was found murdered in the grounds, suspicion implicated Mary and her favourite, the Earl of Bothwell. When later that same year Mary married Bothwell those suspicions were not allayed, and following an uprising against her, she was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle and forced to abdicate in favour of her one year old son. After an unsuccessful attempt to regain her throne and defeat at the battle of Langside in 1568, Mary fled south to England, only to be imprisoned by Elizabeth I who perceived her as a threat to the throne of England. For over eighteen years Elizabeth had Mary confined in various castles and manor houses throughout England until, in 1587, after being accused of numerous intrigues and plots against Elizabeth, Mary was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle.
3 comments*Alex
James_I_AR_Sixpence.JPG
1603 - 1625, JAMES I (JAMES VI of Scotland), AR Sixpence struck in 1605 at London2 viewsObverse: IACOBVS•D:G:MAG:BRIT:FRA:ET•HIB:REX. Crowned and armoured bust of James I of England facing right, VI in field behind bust and mintmark (Rose) in legend above.
Reverse: •QUAE•DEVS•CONIVNXIT•NEMO•SEPARET• Square topped shield bearing the arms of England, Scotland and Ireland; 1605 above. Mintmark (rose) in legend.
Second coinage (1604 – 1619) and fourth bust with long square cut beard.
Diameter: 26mm | Weight: 2.8gms | Die Axis: 10
SPINK: 2658

The sixpence was first introduced during the reign of Edward VI in 1551, it had a facing portrait of the king with a rose to the left and the denomination VI to the right.
With the accession of James VI of Scotland to the throne of England, reigning there as James I, the royal titles and the coat of arms were altered on the coinage. The Scottish lion rampant and the Irish harp now made their appearance in the second and third quarters of the royal coat of arms of the newly formed United Kingdom and, from 1604, MAG BRIT replaced ANG SCO in the King's titles.

The infamous “Gunpowder Plot” took place on November the fifth in the year this coin was struck. The plot, to blow up the English Houses of Parliament, was foiled when a Justice of the Peace, Sir Thomas Knyvet, was secretly informed of a Catholic plot and, after giving orders for a search of the area, discovered Guy Fawkes in a cellar below the Parliament building. Thirty-six barrels of gunpowder were found and Guy Fawkes was arrested for treason and charged with trying to kill King James along with the members of Parliament who were scheduled to sit together next day.
Guy Fawkes, also known as Guido Fawkes, was tortured and questioned over the next few days and eventually confessed. He was sentenced to being hung, drawn and quartered. However, immediately before his execution on the 31st of January 1606 he fell from the scaffold where he was about to be hanged and broke his neck, so avoiding the agony of the mutilation that followed.
Guy Fawkes has become synonymous with the Gunpowder Plot which has been commemorated in Britain on the 5th of November ever since. His effigy is traditionally burned on a bonfire, usually accompanied by a fireworks display.
When I was young, on the run-up to “bonfire night”, children used to make their own “Guy” and then tout it through the streets with cries of “Penny for the Guy” something like today's Hallowe'en “trick or treat”. But this has pretty much died out now having been replaced by officially staged events.
*Alex
1791_HULL_HALFPENNY.JPG
1791 AE Halfpenny Token. Hull, Yorkshire.40 viewsObverse: GULIELMUS TERTIUS REX •. Equestrian statue of King William III facing right; in exergue, MDCLXXXIX.
Reverse: HULL HALFPENNY. Coat of Arms of Hull (a shield bearing three crowns vertically) between sprigs of oak, 1791 above.
Edge: PAYABLE AT THE WAREHOUSE OF IONATHAN GARTON & Co • X •.
Diameter 29mm | Die Axis 6
Dalton & Hamer: 19

This token was issued by Jonathan Garton who was a linen draper with a business in the market place in Hull.
There is slight die damage, a common feature of 18th century tokens, visible at the horse's breast on the obverse.

The “three crowns” have been used as Hull’s coat of arms since the early 1400s. A depiction of the shield in stained glass in St Mary’s Church Lowgate dates from the reign of Richard III (1483-85) and is among the earliest versions to survive.
The equestrian statue of William III depicted on this token is one of Hull's key landmarks, it has been standing in the centre of the city square since 1734.
*Alex
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1791 AE Halfpenny Token. Leeds, Yorkshire.36 viewsObverse: ARTIS NOSTRÆ CONDITOR •. Standing figure of Bishop Blaize (patron saint of woolcombers) holding a wool comb in his raised right hand and a book and crosier in his left; at his feet, to right, a lamb facing right with it's head turned to left.
Reverse: LEEDS HALFPENNY 1791. Coat of arms of the City of Leeds consisting of a shield containing three stars and a hanging fleece, crested by an owl. The date, 17 - 91, bisected by the base of the shield.
Edge: “PAYABLE AT THE WAREHOUSE OF RICHARD PALEY •XX•".
Diameter: 29mm | Axis: 6
Dalton & Hamer: 45 | Conder: 20 (Yorkshire)

This token was issued by Richard Paley, a freeholder, maltster, soap-boiler and chandler with a business in a locality known as the “Calls” in Leeds. The token was manufactured by Matthew Bolton at his SOHO Mint in Birmingham, the dies were engraved by Henry Brownbill.

Bishop Blaise, also known as Saint Blasius, was a well-known martyr from Armenia, who as the price of his faith, back in the 4th century, had been put to death by being raked with red-hot rakes. Later he was adopted as the Patron Saint of Woolcombers and, appropriately, his effigy is usually shown holding a rake. On this token, however, Bishop Blaise is shown holding the traditional bishop's crosier.
*Alex
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1791 AE Halfpenny Token. Rochdale, Lancashire.27 viewsObverse: ROCHDALE / 1791. Sheep facing left, being weighed suspended in a sling round it's waist.
Reverse: HALFPENNY. Detailed view from behind of a weaver, sitting half-right, working at a loom.
Edge: PAYABLE AT THE WAREHOUSE OF IOHN KERSHAW • X •.
Diameter 30mm | Die Axis 6
Dalton & Hamer: 140

This token was engraved and manufactured by J.G.Hancock in Birmingham.
It was issued by John Kershaw who appears to have been a mercer and draper with a business in Rochdale, and who is also thought to have been connected with a woollen mill in the town.

Rochdale's recorded history begins with an entry in the Domesday Book of 1086 under Recedham Manor. The ancient parish of Rochdale was a division of the hundred of Salford and one of the largest ecclesiastical parishes in England comprising several townships. By 1251, Rochdale had become important enough to have been granted a Royal charter. Subsequently, the town flourished into a centre of northern England's woollen trade, and by the early 18th century was described as being "remarkable for many wealthy merchants".
During the 19th century, Rochdale rose to prominence as a major mill town and centre for textile manufacture. It was amongst the first ever industrialised towns during the Industrial Revolution and the Rochdale Canal was a highway of commerce during this time, being used for the haulage of cotton, wool and coal.
*Alex
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1792 AE Halfpenny Token. Rochdale, Lancashire.37 viewsObverse: No legend. View of a male weaver, seated facing right, working in his loom.
Reverse: ROCHDALE HALFPENNY. Coat of Arms of the Clothworker's Company with a Ram Crest above and 1792 below.
Edge: PAYABLE AT THE WAREHOUSE OF IOHN KERSHAW • X •.
Diameter 30mm | Die Axis 6
Dalton & Hamer: 143

This token was manufactured by Peter Kempson in Birmingham and the dies were engraved by Thomas Wyon.
It was issued by John Kershaw who appears to have been a mercer and draper with a business in Rochdale, and who is also thought to have been connected with a woollen factory in the town.

The Clothworkers' arms were granted in 1530 by Thomas Benolt, Clarenceux King of Arms, two years after the foundation of the Company. It consists of a shield with a chevron containing five teasel heads between two habicks above and a teasel plant beneath. The habicks and the teasel represent essential tools for the clothworkers' craft. The habicks were the hooks used to attach the fabric to the forms on which it was stretched for teaselling. The teasels were used to raise the nap of the fabric prior to shearing.
*Alex
1792_YARMOUTH_HALFPENNY.JPG
1792 AE Halfpenny Token. Yarmouth, Norfolk.24 viewsObverse: LET YARMOUTH FLOURISH :. Coat of Arms of Yarmouth over crossed sprigs of oak. Small incuse rosette countermark in field to right of shield. The Coat of Arms combines three lion's heads from the Royal Arms with the tails of three silver herrings, believed to come from the original arms of Yarmouth.
Reverse: YARMOUTH HALFPENNY. Three masted ship sailing right; 1792, in panel below.
Edge: PAYABLE AT THE GLASS WAREHOUSE OF W. ABSOLON • X •.
Diameter 29mm | Die Axis 6
Dalton & Hamer: 52

This token was issued by William Absolon (1751 – 1815), a British ceramist who, from 1784, sold English and foreign china and glass but also later offered gilding, enameling and painting services at his shop, No 4, at the lower end of Market Row in Yarmouth.
Absolon bought in wares from the Wedgewood, Davenport, Turner and Staffordshire factories, which he then decorated. He painted dessert services with botanical subjects with the Latin name of the plant inscribed on the plate or dish and also his mark; Absolon Yarm and No 25. He also decorated Turner Ware and Cream Ware Jugs adding mottoes, such as; a Trifle from Yarmouth, or Success to the Trade. Absolon died in 1815 and although his business continued, the quality declined. Today, his work attracts high prices at auction.
*Alex
JOHN_OF_GAUNT_1794-circa__LANCASTER_HALFPENNY.JPG
1794 (?) Undated AE Halfpenny. Lancaster, Lancashire.41 viewsObverse: IOHN OF GAUNT DUKE OF LANCASTER ★. Bust of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, facing left.
Reverse: SUCCESS TO THE COMMERCE OF BRITAIN. Britannia standing on the shore facing left, holding a spray of leaves in her outstretched right hand, and a shield and spear in her left; three ships at sea to the left in front of her and another vessel in the distance behind her; two men ploughing the ground behind her to the right. Below, in exergue, lion facing right and sprig of three leaves.
Edge: Plain.
Diameter: 29mm
Dalton & Hamer: 54
RARE

This token was probably manufactured by Peter Kempson in Birmingham, the dies were engraved by J.G.Hancock.
In the 18th century, token manufacturers often used their dies to their own advantage by striking “mules”, solely with the object of creating rare varieties which were sold to the collectors of the day.
The Britannia design has been copied from a silver medal commemorating the Treaty of Utrecht by John Croker which was originally struck under Queen Anne in 1713

JOHN OF GAUNT
John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, was a member of the House of Plantagenet, he was the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. He was called "John of Gaunt" because he was born in Ghent, then anglicised as Gaunt.
John of Gaunt's legitimate male heirs, the Lancasters, included Kings Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI. John fathered five children outside marriage, one early in life by a lady-in-waiting to his mother, and four surnamed "Beaufort" (after a former French possession) by Katherine Swynford, Gaunt's long-term mistress and third wife. The Beaufort children, three sons and a daughter, were legitimised by royal and papal decrees after John and Katherine married in 1396; a later proviso that they were specifically barred from inheriting the throne was inserted with dubious authority by their half-brother Henry IV. The three succeeding houses of English sovereigns from 1399, the Houses of Lancaster, York and Tudor, were descended from John through Henry Bolingbroke, Joan Beaufort and John Beaufort, respectively.
John of Gaunt's eldest son and heir, Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford, was exiled for ten years by King Richard II in 1398. When John of Gaunt died at the age of 58 on 3rd February, 1399, his estates and titles were declared forfeit to the crown because King Richard II named Henry Bolingbroke a traitor and sentenced him to exile for life, but Henry returned from exile to reclaim his inheritance and depose Richard. Henry Bolingbroke then reigned as King Henry IV of England from 1399 to 1413, the first of the descendants of John of Gaunt to hold the throne of England.
John of Gaunt, due to his land grants, was one of the wealthiest men to have ever lived, his estates are estimated to have been worth a modern equivalent of $110 billion.
*Alex
1794_Chichester___Portsmouth_Halfpenny.JPG
1794 AE Halfpenny Token. Chichester and Portsmouth, Sussex.29 viewsObverse: IOHN HOWARD F•R•S PHILANTHROPIST•. Bust of John Howard facing left.
Reverse: CHICHESTER AND PORTSMOUTH • / HALFPENNY; Arms of the town of Portsmouth; the sun and moon over a triple-towered castle, with the arms of Chichester above the gateway below the central tower, 1794 in exergue.
Edge: PAYABLE AT SHARPS PORTSMOUTH AND CHALDECOTTS CHICHESTER.
Diameter 29mm | Die Axis 12
Dalton & Hamer: 19

This token was probably manufactured by Peter Kempson in Birmingham and the dies were engraved by Thomas Wyon. The issuers of this token were John Chaldecott, a silversmith and cutler in Chichester and Thomas Sharp, a mercer in Portsmouth. Chaldecott was also a partner in the Chichester Old Bank and the Portsmouth, Portsea and Hampshire Bank. The two men were probably relations or close friends and they issued joint tokens in both Portsmouth and Chichester in the 18th century.

This token was struck in the name of John Howard who was born in Lower Clapton, London the son of a wealthy upholsterer. After the death of his father in 1742, he received a sizeable inheritance. Since he was wealthy and had no true vocation, in 1748 Howard left England and began to travel. However, while in Hanover he was captured by French privateers and imprisoned. It was this experience that made him consider the conditions in which prisoners were held.
In 1758 Howard returned to England and settled in Cardington, Bedfordshire. As a landowner he was philanthropic and enlightened, ensuring that his estate housing was of good standard and that the poor houses under his management were well run.
In 1773 he became High Sheriff of Bedfordshire. On his appointment he began a tour of English prisons which led to two Acts of Parliament in 1774, making gaolers salaried officers and setting standards of cleanliness.
In April 1777, Howard's sister died leaving him £15,000 and her house. He used this inheritance and the revenue from the sale of her house to further his work on prisons. In 1778 he was examined by the House of Commons, who were this time inquiring into prison ships, or “hulks”. Two days after giving evidence, he was again travelling Europe, beginning in the Dutch Republic.
His final journey took him into Eastern Europe and Russia. Whilst at Kherson, in what is now Ukraine, Howard contracted typhus on a prison visit and died. He was buried on the shores of the Black Sea in a walled field at Dophinovka (Stepanovka), Ukraine. Despite requesting a quiet funeral without pomp and ceremony, the event was elaborate and attended by the Prince of Moldovia.
Howard became the first civilian to be honoured with a statue in St Paul's Cathedral, London. A statue was also erected in Bedford, and another one in Kherson. John Howard's bust can still be seen as a feature in the architecture of a number of Victorian prisons across the UK.
*Alex
1794_COVENTRY_CROSS_HALFPENNY.JPG
1794 AE Halfpenny Token. Coventry, Warwickshire.27 viewsObverse: PRO BONO PUBLICO. Lady Godiva riding side-saddle on horse to left; in exergue, 1794.
Reverse: COVENTRY HALFPENNY. Representation of Coventry's old town cross with COV CROSS in small letters at base.
Edge: PAYABLE AT THE WAREHOUSE OF ROBERT REYNOLDS & CO.
Diameter 29.5mm | Axis 12
Dalton & Hamer: 249
RARE

This token was manufactured by William Lutwyche and the dies were engraved by William Mainwaring.
It was issued by Robert Reynolds & Co., who were ribbon weavers with a business in Coventry.

The original Coventry Cross stood at the place where Broadgate met Cross Cheaping, near Spicer Stoke, a very short row which led through from Broadgate to Butcher Row and Trinity church. Though it is likely that a cross had been standing in this place since the 13th century, the first actual record for the building of a cross was on 1st July 1423 when the Mayor, Henry Peyto, officially sanctioned that a new cross should be built. Although it was quite a substantial structure, within a century it was rather the worse for wear, and by 1506 discussions had begun about replacing it.
In 1541, the former mayor of London, Sir William Hollis, left £200 in his will toward the building of a new cross, and by 1544 the 57 foot high cross was completed. As well as being brightly painted, the cross was also covered with much gold and it was renowned for its fame and beauty. It was built in four sections, with statues in the top three storeys: the lower of these holding statues of Henry VI, King John, Edward I, Henry II, Richard I and Henry. Above these were Edward III, Henry II, Richard III, St Michael and St George. The top storey held statues of St Peter, St James, St Christopher and two monks, with representations of Liberty and Justice at the highest point. In 1608 repairs were carried out to the cross during which the figure of Christ was replaced with one of Lady Godiva. Possibly the obverse of this token is based on this statue since there is no record of there being any other Lady Godiva memorial statues before 1949.
After standing gloriously for two centuries, decay once more set into the cross and, in 1753 and 1755, the top two stages were removed to avoid the danger of collapse. By 1771 the cross was declared to be in too ruinous a state to retain, and it's demolition was authorised. The remains stood for a short while longer though, at least until after 1778 when a visitor to Coventry wrote that the decayed cross "...has no longer anything to please".
This token is dated 1794, but must depict the cross as it was in it's heyday before it was totally demolished and it's parts reused. Two of the statues from the cross now reside at St. Mary's Guildhall.
A modern replica of the cross was unveiled in 1976, it is situated about 100 metres away from the site of the original one.
*Alex
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1795 AE Halfpenny, Glamorgan, South Wales.65 viewsObverse: JESTYN • AP • GWRGAN • TYWYSOG • MORGANWG • 1091•. Crowned and robed bust of Jestyn ap Gwrgan facing left, wearing a small shield bearing the St George's cross suspended on a chain round his neck.
Reverse: Y • BRENHIN • AR • GYFRAITH •. Britannia facing left, seated on a globe, her right hand pointing to a ship, her left supporting a shield and a spear; behind her a cippus with a crown on top and a laurel branch leaning against it; in exergue, 1795.
Edge: "GLAMORGAN HALFPENNY" in raised letters, followed by three leaves.
Diameter: 29mm
Dalton & Hamer:3b (Glamorganshire)

This token is thought to have been engraved and manufactured by John Stubbs Jordan, a Birmingham ironfounder for his father, William Jordan, who had returned to South Wales, possibly to Merthyr Tydfil. The Jordens were of Welsh descent and had come to Staffordshire earlier in the century. The father, William Jorden, a victualler from Weaman Street, Birmingham, retired and moved back to South Wales in the early 1780s and in 1794 his son, John Stubbs Jorden, who had remained back in Birmingham, made this Welsh token for his father as a private piece.
This is the only eighteenth century token with Welsh legends.

Jestyn ap Gwrgan, or Gwrgant, was the last Prince and Lord of Glamorgan of British blood. He was of the royal house of Morganwg, which had a lineage stretching back over five centuries to Tewdrig (c.550-584 C.E.). The members of this royal house had links to the other royal houses of Wales through marriage, and were descendants of the celebrated Rhodri Mawr. Jestyn ap Gwrgan's base is believed to have been at Dinas Powis, south of Cardiff. He probably ruled Glamorgan for a little less than a decade around 1081-1090 C.E.
The popular version of historical events is that Jestyn, following a dispute with his rival Einion ap Collwyn, invited the Norman ruler Robert Fitzhamon, lord of Gloucester, and his twelve knights into the region to settle the matter. Once invited in, the Normans refused to leave, Jestyn was deposed and Fitzhamon, having established a lordship based in Cardiff, subsequently conquered the lowlands of Glamorgan, which was parcelled out to his followers. The undesirable mountainous parts of Glamorgan Fitzhamon left in Welsh control. However this story, dating from at least the 15th century, where it touches known historical facts, is demonstrably wrong.
Nowadays there are many people living in South Wales with the surname of Williams who claim to be descended from Jestyn ap Gwrgan. This is not impossible because Jestyn ap Gwrgan had a large family. Notable people who may have been descended from Jestyn ap Gwrgan are the Tudor Monarchs of England, Oliver Cromwell (whose real surname was Williams) and also, being of Welsh descent, Winston Churchill, Princess Diana and several Presidents of The United States of America.
1 comments*Alex
1795_John_Howard_Halfpenny.JPG
1795 AE Halfpenny, Portsmouth, Hampshire.73 viewsObverse: IOHN HOWARD F.R.S. PHILANTHROPIST •. Bust of John Howard facing left.
Reverse: RULE BRITANNIA. Britannia facing left, seated on globe, her right hand holding spear, her left arm holding laurel-branch and resting on shield at her side; in exergue, 1795.
Edge: “CURRENT EVERY WHERE ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦”
Diameter: 29mm
Dalton & Hamer: 57b

The dies for this token were likely engraved by Thomas Wyon and it was probably manufactured by Peter Kempson at his mint in Birmingham.
The Fitzwilliam Museum regards Liverpool as an alternative possibility for the place of issue.
These 18th century tokens are often generically referred to as “Conder” tokens, the name originating from James Conder, a linen draper from Tavern Street in Ipswich. Conder was an ardent collector of tokens and the author of the standard work on the subject until it was superseded by that of Atkins in 1892.

John Howard was born in Lower Clapton, London the son of a wealthy upholsterer. After the death of his father in 1742, he received a sizeable inheritance. Since he was wealthy and had no true vocation, in 1748 Howard left England and began to travel. However, while in Hanover he was captured by French privateers and imprisoned. It was this experience that made him consider the conditions in which prisoners were held.
In 1758 Howard returned to England and settled in Cardington, Bedfordshire. As a landowner he was philanthropic and enlightened, ensuring that his estate housing was of good standard and that the poor houses under his management were well run.
In 1773 he became High Sheriff of Bedfordshire. On his appointment he began a tour of English prisons which led to two Acts of Parliament in 1774, making gaolers salaried officers and setting standards of cleanliness.
In April 1777, Howard's sister died leaving him £15,000 and her house. He used this inheritance and the revenue from the sale of her house to further his work on prisons. In 1778 he was examined by the House of Commons, who were this time inquiring into prison ships, or “hulks”. Two days after giving evidence, he was again travelling Europe, beginning in the Dutch Republic.
His final journey took him into Eastern Europe and Russia. Whilst at Kherson, in what is now Ukraine, Howard contracted typhus on a prison visit and died. He was buried on the shores of the Black Sea in a walled field at Dophinovka (Stepanovka), Ukraine. Despite requesting a quiet funeral without pomp and ceremony, the event was elaborate and attended by the Prince of Moldovia.
Howard became the first civilian to be honoured with a statue in St Paul's Cathedral, London. A statue was also erected in Bedford, and another one in Kherson. John Howard's bust can still be seen as a feature in the architecture of a number of Victorian prisons across the UK.
*Alex
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1797 AE Halfpenny Token. Perth, Scotland.24 viewsObverse: PRO REGE LEGE ET GREGE (For King, Law and Flock). Coat of Arms of the City of Perth consisting of double-headed eagle with shield, displaying lamb holding saltire flag.
Reverse: PERTH • HALFPENNY • • • •. A hank of yarn above a package of dressed flax; 17 - 97 across field.
Edge: Incuse legend “PAYABLE AT THE HOUSE OF PAT. K MAXWELL X X".
Diameter: 29mm.
Dalton & Hamer: 9
SCARCE

This token was issued by Patrick Maxwell, a grocer and spirit dealer on the High Street in Perth. In later years this business became known as Maxwell & Son. The hank of yarn and bale of flax refers to the linen trade in the town which was its main industry at the time of this token’s issue.
This token was engraved and manufactured by Joseph Kendrick at his works in Birmingham, England.
*Alex
1812_HULL_LEAD_WORKS_PENNY.JPG
1812 AE Penny Token. Hull, Yorkshire.23 viewsObverse: No legend. View of Hull lead works with smoking chimneys in background; 1812 in exergue.
Reverse: PAYABLE IN BANK OF ENG.D OR HULL NOTES BY I.K.PICARD • around ONE PENNY / HULL / LEAD / WORKS in four lines with ornament below.
Edge: Grained.
Diameter 34mm | Die Axis 7
Davis: 82

The dies for this token were engraved by Thomas Halliday and it was manufactured by Edward Thomason.
The token was issued by John Kirby Picard, who had practised as an attorney-at-law in Trinity House-lane, become a barrister and been chosen as a Deputy-Recorder of Hull before he entered into the lead business of his father. He was a man of considerable wealth and frequently visited London on business and for pleasure. He mixed with the 'high' society of the period but became addicted to gambling. Picard used his tokens for the gambling parties he held in his house and after they gained the attention of the Prince Regent, the later George IV, he was invited to show them at court.
No mention of Picard has been found in any of the London Directories, but the 'London Gazette', on February 13th, 1827, announced that J. K. Pickard (sic), white lead merchant, Russell Street, Covent Garden, had been declared bankrupt. Picard died in reduced circumstances in 1843.

The legend “PAYABLE IN BANK OF ENGLAND NOTES” was placed on this token due to an Act of Parliament which was passed in 1809 requiring issuers of local tokens to meet claims for repayment in Bank of England notes. The government having seen the widespread use of private coinage in the form of tokens realised how much money was not being controlled by it, so by passing this act it effectively made these tokens into defacto currency.
*Alex
Coin_cabinet_medal.JPG
1843 "BENJAMIN NIGHTINGALE" AE Halfpenny Token. London, Middlesex19 viewsObverse: VILIUS EST ARGENTUM AURO, VIRTUTIBUS AURUM. Female, leaning on books behind her, holding a cornucopia from which coins are spilling, seated facing right in front of an open coin cabinet; in exergue, tudor rose on shield between two branches.
Reverse: BENJAMIN NIGHTINGALE LONDON * PRIVATE TOKEN * 1843 surrounding “BN” monogram in script.
Edge: Plain.
Diameter: 30mm | Weight: 14.2gms | Die Axis: 12
Bell (Middlesex) A3
VERY RARE (Only 72 of these bronzed copper halfpenny tokens were struck)

Privately issued in London by Benjamin Nightingale, the die sinker for this token was William Joseph Taylor (whose initials WJT can be seen to the left below the books on the obverse), following a similar design for halfpennies that he had produced for Matthew Young, a British merchant. Taylor was born in Birmingham in 1802 and was apprenticed to Thomas Halliday in 1818 as the first die-sinker to be trained by him. He set up his own business as a die-sinker, medallist and engraver at 5 Porter Street, Soho, London in 1829, later moving to 3 Lichfield Street, Birmingham. In 1843 the business moved to 33 Little Queen Street and finally, in 1869, to 70 Red Lion Street where, in 1885, Taylor died.
The Soho Mint at Birmingham (founded by Matthew Boulton) closed in 1848, and it's plant and equipment was sold via auction in April 1850. Taylor purchased many of the Soho Mint's hubs and dies from this auction and used them to restrike many of the coins & patterns that the Soho Mint had struck between the 1790's and the 1840's, though he nearly always re-polished or re-engraved elements of the original dies before re-using them.

Benjamin Nightingale was a wine and spirit merchant who lived at 17 Upper Stamford Street, Blackfriars Road in London. He was born in 1806 and died on March 9th, 1862. He was a well known Antiquarian and was a member of the Numismatic Society of London.
In 1863, after his death, Benjamin Nightingale's collection, consisting of 359 lots, was sold over a two day period by Sotheby's. This is from the February 13, 1863 edition of the London Daily News (page 8, column 6).

THE VALUABLE CABINET of COINS and MEDALS of the late BENJAMIN NIGHTINGALE, Esq.
MESSRS S. LEIGH SOTHEBY and WILKINSON, auctioneers of literary property and works illustrative of the fine arts, will SELL BY AUCTION, at their house, No. 13 (late 3), Wellington-street, Strand, W.C., on WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25, and following day, at 1 precisely, the valuable CABINET OF COINS and MEDALS of the late Benjamin Nightingale, Esq.; comprising a few Roman coins in gold, silver, and copper, in the highest state of preservation; a most valuable collection of English medals in all metals; rare and curious jetons, including a very perfect set of those struck to illustrate the history of the low countries; a few remarkable foreign medals, a choice library of numismatic books, several well-made cabinets, & c. – May be viewed two days previous, and catalogues had on receipt of two stamps.

According to Manville and Robertson, prior to his death, Benjamin Nightingale had sold off part of his collection at an auction by Sotheby's on 29th Nov. 1855.
"Benjamin NIGHTINGALE" in ANS copy; Greek, Roman, Tavern Tokens, Town Pieces, 17-18c Tokens, English and Foreign Medals, Books; 165 lots. -Curtis Clay.

The inspiration for these tokens might have been Pye's 1797 halfpenny (Warwickshire 223) which is of a similar design.
*Alex
ChambersSomersetHouseMedal~0.JPG
1857. Sir William Chambers and Somerset House. Taylor 52a.77 viewsObv. Bust of William chambers to right. CHAMBERS 1725-1796 Signed B WYON AFTER WESTMACOTT
Rev. Elevation of Somerset House to the Strand, featuring nine bayed entrance block. SOMERSET HOUSE 1781 SIR WILLIAM CHAMBERS RA ARCHITECT. Signed B WYON. Edge inscription: ART UNION OF LONDON 1857.
AE55. Taylor 52a.

Issued as one of the Art Union series. The medal gives an incorrect date of birth to chambers, 725 as opposed to 1723. The portrait is based on a bust displayed at the Royal Academy in 1797 by Sir Richard Westmacott, this is now in Sir John Soanes museum.
Built under an act of 1775, as a great new administrative centre to house official and academic bodies. Designed by Sir William Chambers, the Surveyor- General, and completed in the nineteenth century by Sir Robert Smirke (eastern extension to Kings College) and Sir James Pennethorne (western extension to Waterloo Bridge). Chambers decided on a central courtyard, approached through a block of narrow frontage, which was to house the learned societies, including the Royal Academy and Society of Antiquaries. It is the Strand façade of this entrance block which is shown on the medal, it was complete by 1781 and incorporated sculpture by fellow Academicians Bacon, Carlini and Wilton.
LordBest
1860_Victoria_Farthing.JPG
1860 VICTORIA BRONZE "BUN HEAD" FARTHING38 viewsObverse: VICTORIA D:G: BRITT:REG:F:D: "Bun head" bust of Queen Victoria with youthful features facing left.
Reverse: FARTHING. Britannia seated facing right, her right hand resting on shield, her left holding a trident; in left background, a lighthouse and in right background, a ship; 1860 in exergue.
SPINK: 3958

Victoria's "bun head" portrait was designed by Leonard Charles Wyon (1826 - 1891), he was the eldest son of William Wyon, who had previously designed the "young head" portrait of the Queen. The letters L C WYON are incuse amongst the ornamentation of the Queen's dress.
*Alex
Victoria_BH_halfpence_1862.JPG
1862 VICTORIA BRONZE "BUN HEAD" HALFPENNY4 viewsObverse: VICTORIA D:G: BRITT:REG:F:D: "Bun head" bust of Queen Victoria with youthful features facing left.
Reverse: HALF PENNY. Britannia seated facing right, her right hand resting on shield, her left holding a trident; in left background, a lighthouse and in right background, a ship; 1862 in exergue.
Diameter 25mm
SPINK: 3956

Victoria's "bun head" portrait was designed by Leonard Charles Wyon (1826 - 1891), he was the eldest son of William Wyon, who had previously designed the "young head" portrait of the Queen. The letters L C WYON are incuse amongst the ornamentation of the Queen's dress.
*Alex
1875H_VICTORIA_BUN_HEAD_FARTHING_.JPG
1875 "H" VICTORIA BRONZE "BUN HEAD" FARTHING35 viewsObverse: VICTORIA D:G: BRITT:REG:F:D: "Bun head" bust of Queen Victoria with elderly features facing left.
Reverse: FARTHING. Britannia seated facing right, her right hand resting on shield, her left holding a trident; in left background, a lighthouse and in right background, a ship; 1875, small "H" below, in exergue.
Diameter: 20mm
SPINK: 3959

Victoria's "bun head" portrait was designed by Leonard Charles Wyon (1826 - 1891), he was the eldest son of William Wyon, who had previously designed the "young head" portrait of the Queen. The letters L C WYON are incuse amongst the ornamentation of the Queen's dress.

On 1st April 1850 the auction was announced of equipment from the defunct Soho Mint, created by Matthew Boulton around 1788. At the auction, on 29th April, Ralph Heaton II bought Boulton's four steam-powered screw presses and six planchet presses for making blanks from strip metal. These were installed at Heaton's Bath Street works, and his Birmingham Mint began to strike trade tokens for use in Australia. In 1851 copper planchets were made for the Royal Mint to make into pennies, halfpennies, farthings, half-farthings and quarter-farthings.
In 1853 the Royal Mint was overwhelmed with producing silver and gold coins and so Ralph Heaton and Sons won their first contract to strike finished coins for Britain, these coins had no mintmark to identify them as from Birmingham.
In 1860 the firm bought a 1-acre plot on Icknield Street and constructed a three storey red brick factory. Completed in 1862 and employing 300 staff, it was at this time the largest private mint in the world.
From 1874 the Birmingham Mint began striking bronze pennies, halfpennies and farthings for the Royal Mint. This time though, the Birmingham Mint issues are distinguished by an H (for Heaton) mintmark below the date on the reverse. Victorian British coins bearing the H mintmark were produced in 1874, 1875, 1876, 1881 and 1882.
*Alex
Victoria_Halfpenny_1876H.JPG
1876 "H" VICTORIA BRONZE "BUN HEAD" HALFPENNY6 viewsObv: VICTORIA D:G: BRITT:REG:FID:DEF: "Bun head" bust of Queen Victoria with elderly features facing left.
Rev: HALF PENNY. Britannia seated facing right, her right hand resting on shield, her left holding a trident; in left background, a lighthouse and in right background, a ship; 1876, small H below, in exergue.
SPINK: 3957

Victoria's "bun head" portrait was designed by Leonard Charles Wyon (1826 - 1891), he was the eldest son of William Wyon, who had previously designed the "young head" portrait of the Queen. The letters L C WYON are incuse amongst the ornamentation of the Queen's dress.

On 1st April 1850 the auction was announced of equipment from the defunct Soho Mint, created by Matthew Boulton around 1788. At the auction, on 29th April, Ralph Heaton II bought Boulton's four steam-powered screw presses and six planchet presses for making blanks from strip metal. These were installed at Heaton's Bath Street works, and his Birmingham Mint began to strike trade tokens for use in Australia. In 1851 copper planchets were made for the Royal Mint to make into pennies, halfpennies, farthings, half-farthings and quarter-farthings.
In 1853 the Royal Mint was overwhelmed with producing silver and gold coins and so Ralph Heaton and Sons won their first contract to strike finished coins for Britain, these coins had no mintmark to identify them as from Birmingham.
In 1860 the firm bought a 1-acre plot on Icknield Street and constructed a three storey red brick factory. Completed in 1862 and employing 300 staff, it was at this time the largest private mint in the world.
From 1874 the Birmingham Mint began striking bronze pennies, halfpennies and farthings for the Royal Mint. This time though, the Birmingham Mint issues are distinguished by an H (for Heaton) mintmark below the date on the reverse. Victorian British coins bearing the H mintmark were produced in 1874, 1875, 1876, 1881 and 1882.
*Alex
1876H_Victoria_Penny.JPG
1876 "H" VICTORIA BRONZE "BUN HEAD" PENNY10 viewsObv: VICTORIA D:G: BRITT:REG:FID:DEF: "Bun head" bust of Queen Victoria with elderly features facing left.
Rev: ONE PENNY. Britannia seated facing right, her right hand resting on shield, her left holding a trident; in left background, a lighthouse and in right background, a ship; 1876, small H below, in exergue.
SPINK: 3955

Victoria's "bun head" portrait was designed by Leonard Charles Wyon (1826 - 1891), he was the eldest son of William Wyon, who had previously designed the "young head" portrait of the Queen. The letters L C WYON are incuse amongst the ornamentation of the Queen's dress.

On 1st April 1850 the auction was announced of equipment from the defunct Soho Mint, created by Matthew Boulton around 1788. At the auction, on 29th April, Ralph Heaton II bought Boulton's four steam-powered screw presses and six planchet presses for making blanks from strip metal. These were installed at Heaton's Bath Street works, and his Birmingham Mint began to strike trade tokens for use in Australia. In 1851 copper planchets were made for the Royal Mint to make into pennies, halfpennies, farthings, half-farthings and quarter-farthings.
In 1853 the Royal Mint was overwhelmed with producing silver and gold coins and so Ralph Heaton and Sons won their first contract to strike finished coins for Britain, these coins had no mintmark to identify them as from Birmingham.
In 1860 the firm bought a 1-acre plot on Icknield Street and constructed a three storey red brick factory. Completed in 1862 and employing 300 staff, it was at this time the largest private mint in the world.
From 1874 the Birmingham Mint began striking bronze pennies, halfpennies and farthings for the Royal Mint. This time though, the Birmingham Mint issues are distinguished by an H (for Heaton) mintmark below the date on the reverse. Victorian British coins bearing the H mintmark were produced in 1874, 1875, 1876, 1881 and 1882.
*Alex
1886_VICTORIA_FARTHING.JPG
1886 VICTORIA BRONZE "BUN HEAD" FARTHING31 viewsObverse: VICTORIA D:G: BRITT:REG:F:D: "Bun head" bust of Queen Victoria with elderly features facing left.
Reverse: FARTHING. Britannia seated facing right, her right hand resting on shield, her left holding a trident; in left background, a lighthouse and in right background, a ship; 1886 in exergue.
SPINK: 3958

Victoria's "bun head" portrait was designed by Leonard Charles Wyon (1826 - 1891), he was the eldest son of William Wyon, who had previously designed the "young head" portrait of the Queen. The letters L C WYON are incuse amongst the ornamentation of the Queen's dress.
From 1881 heraldic colouring was added to Britannia's shield on the reverse.
*Alex
Victoria_Penny_1891.JPG
1891 VICTORIA BRONZE "BUN HEAD" PENNY4 viewsObv: VICTORIA D:G: BRITT:REG:FID:DEF: "Bun head" bust of Queen Victoria with elderly features facing left.
Rev: ONE PENNY. Britannia seated facing right, her right hand resting on shield, her left holding a trident; in left background, a lighthouse and in right background, a ship; 1891 in exergue.
SPINK: 3954

Victoria's "bun head" portrait was designed by Leonard Charles Wyon (1826 - 1891), he was the eldest son of William Wyon, who had previously designed the "young head" portrait of the Queen. The letters L C WYON are incuse amongst the ornamentation of the Queen's dress.
From 1881 heraldic colouring was added to Britannia's shield on the reverse.
*Alex
Clipboard055.jpg
1892 Victoria Penny95 viewsLaureate bust of Victoria left, bun head

VICTORIA D:G: BRITT:REG:F:D:

Britannia seated right, holding trident and shield, lighthouse behind, ship under sail to right, H (Heaton) below date

ONE PENNY

1892 in exe.

30.81mm, 9.4500g

S3954
Will Hooton
1893_Victoria_Halfpenny.JPG
1893 VICTORIA BRONZE "BUN HEAD" HALFPENNY4 viewsObverse: VICTORIA D:G: BRITT:REG:F:D: "Bun head" bust of Queen Victoria with elderly features facing left.
Reverse: HALF PENNY. Britannia seated facing right, her right hand resting on shield, her left holding a trident; in left background, a lighthouse and in right background, a ship; 1893 in exergue.
Diameter 25mm
SPINK: 3956

Victoria's "bun head" portrait was designed by Leonard Charles Wyon (1826 - 1891), he was the eldest son of William Wyon, who had previously designed the "young head" portrait of the Queen. The letters L C WYON are incuse amongst the ornamentation of the Queen's dress.
From 1881 heraldic colouring was added to Britannia's shield on the reverse.
*Alex
George_6_1947_Penny.JPG
1947 GEORGE VI AE PENNY7 viewsObverse: GEORGIVS VI D:G:BR:OMN:REX F:D:IND:IMP: . Bare head of George VI facing left.
Reverse: ONE PENNY. Britannia seated facing right, right hand resting on shield, left hand holding trident, lighthouse in background to left; 1947 in exergue.
SPINK: 4114

George VI's portrait was designed by Thomas Humphrey Paget (1893 - 1974), this is marked by a small "HP" below the King's neck.
*Alex
George_6_1949_Penny.JPG
1949 GEORGE VI AE PENNY8 viewsObverse: GEORGIVS VI D:G:BR:OMN:REX FIDEI DEF. Bare head of George VI facing left.
Reverse: ONE PENNY. Britannia seated facing right, right hand resting on shield, left hand holding trident, lighthouse in background to left; 1949 in exergue.
SPINK: 4117

George VI's portrait was designed by Thomas Humphrey Paget (1893 - 1974), this is marked by a small "HP" below the King's neck.
*Alex
Elizabeth_2_Penny_1953.JPG
1953 ELIZABETH II AE PENNY6 viewsObverse: + ELIZABETH.II.DEI.GRA:BRITT:OMN:REGINA F:D:. Laureate bust of Elizabeth II facing right.
Reverse: ONE PENNY. Britannia seated facing right, right hand resting on shield, left hand holding trident, lighthouse in background to left; 1953 in exergue.
SPINK: 4154

Elizabeth II's "young head" portrait was designed by Mary Gillick (1881 - 1965), this is marked by a small "MG" below the bust.
Demand for pennies was low on the accession of Queen Elizabeth II, so the only pennies issued were in the coin sets made in time for the Coronation. These sets were often broken up, so 1953 pennies could occasionally be found in change. The next year (1954) all the other denominations were re-designed with a revised inscription which omitted BRITT.OMN, but no more pennies were struck for circulation until 1961.
*Alex
Elizabeth_2_Penny_1967.JPG
1967 ELIZABETH II AE PENNY7 viewsObverse: + ELIZABETH.II.DEI.GRATIA.REGINA.F:D:. Laureate bust of Elizabeth II facing right.
Reverse: ONE PENNY. Britannia seated facing right, right hand resting on shield, left hand holding trident, lighthouse in background to left; 1967 in exergue.
SPINK: 4157

Elizabeth II's "young head" portrait was designed by Mary Gillick (1881 - 1965), this is marked by a small "MG" below the Queen's bust.
This was the last year of issue of the "Britannia" penny (other than a proof version dated 1970) prior to the introduction of decimal coinage in Britain in 1971. It was struck in enormous numbers to satisfy the large, mainly speculative, demand for the coin.
*Alex
Elizabeth_2_Penny_1970.JPG
1970 ELIZABETH II AE PENNY9 viewsObverse: + ELIZABETH.II.DEI.GRATIA.REGINA.F:D:. Laureate bust of Elizabeth II facing right.
Reverse: ONE PENNY. Britannia seated facing right, right hand resting on shield, left hand holding trident, lighthouse in background to left; 1970 in exergue.
SPINK: 4157 PROOF

Elizabeth II's "young head" portrait was designed by Mary Gillick (1881 - 1965), this is marked by a small "MG" below the Queen's bust.
This coin, dated 1970, is a proof issue struck from polished dies, no pennies were issued for general circulation after 1967.
*Alex
PCrassusDenAmazon.jpg
1ab Marcus Licinius Crassus172 viewsFormed First Triumvirate with Caesar and Pompey in 60 BC, killed at Carrhae in Parthia in 53 BC.

Denarius, minted by son, P Licinius Crassus, ca 54 BC.
Bust of Venus, right, SC behind
Amazon with horse, P CRASSVS MF.

These coins were probably minted to pay Crassus' army for the invasion of Parthia. The reverse figure is sometimes described as a warrior or Gaulish horseman, but this example clearly accords with those who identify the figure as a woman! Member of the first triumvirate, 59-53 BC.

Seaby, Licinia 18

Plutarch wrote of Crassus: People were wont to say that the many virtues of Crassus were darkened by the one vice of avarice, and indeed he seemed to have no other but that; for it being the most predominant, obscured others to which he was inclined. The arguments in proof of his avarice were the vastness of his estate, and the manner of raising it; for whereas at first he was not worth above three hundred talents, yet, though in the course of his political life he dedicated the tenth of all he had to Hercules, and feasted the people, and gave to every citizen corn enough to serve him three months, upon casting up his accounts, before he went upon his Parthian expedition, he found his possessions to amount to seven thousand one hundred talents; most of which, if we may scandal him with a truth, he got by fire and rapine, making his advantages of the public calamities. . . . Crassus, however, was very eager to be hospitable to strangers; he kept open house, and to his friends he would lend money without interest, but called it in precisely at the time; so that his kindness was often thought worse than the paying the interest would have been. His entertainments were, for the most part, plain and citizen-like, the company general and popular; good taste and kindness made them pleasanter than sumptuosity would have done. As for learning he chiefly cared for rhetoric, and what would be serviceable with large numbers; he became one of the best speakers at Rome, and by his pains and industry outdid the best natural orators. . . . Besides, the people were pleased with his courteous and unpretending salutations and greetings, for he never met any citizen however humble and low, but he returned him his salute by name. He was looked upon as a man well-read in history, and pretty well versed in Aristotle's philosophy. . . . Crassus was killed by a Parthian, called Pomaxathres; others say by a different man, and that Pomaxathres only cut off his head and right hand after he had fallen. But this is conjecture rather than certain knowledge, for those that were by had not leisure to observe particulars. . . .
2 commentsBlindado
PCrassusDenAmazon2.jpg
1ab_2 Marcus Licinius Crassus34 viewsFormed First Triumvirate with Caesar and Pompey in 60 BC, killed at Carrhae in Parthia in 53 BC.

Denarius, minted by son, P Licinius Crassus, ca 54 BC.
Bust of Venus, right, SC behind
Amazon with horse, P CRASSVS MF.

Seaby, Licinia 18

These coins were probably minted to pay Crassus' army for the invasion of Parthia. My synthesis of reviewing 90 examples of this issue revealed a female warrior wearing a soft felt Scythian cap with ear flaps (visible in this example); a fabric garment with a decorated skirt to the knees; probably trousers; an ornate war belt; a baldric; a cape, animal skin, or shoulder cord on attached to the left shoulder; and decorated calf-high boots. She matches the historically confirmed garb of the real amazons—Scythian horsewomen—and of course holds her steed. The horse’s tack is consistent with archeological discoveries of tack in use by Scythians and Romans.

Adrienne Mayor writes that amazon imagery on Greek vases suddenly appeared in 575-550 BC, initially depicting them in Greek-style armor. By the end of the century, as the Greeks learned more through direct and indirect contact with Scythians, they began to appear wearing archeologically confirmed Scythian-Sarmatian-Thracian patterned attire. (Adrienne Mayor, The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2014, 199-200). To this, artists added their own creative ideas regarding colors, fabric patterns, and decorations. “They dressed the warrior women in body-hugging ‘unitards’ or tunics, short chitons or belted dresses, sometimes over leggings or trousers. . . . In paintings and sculpture, pointed or soft Scythian caps with earflaps or ties (kidaris) soon replaced the Greek helmets, and the women wear a variety of belts, baldrics (diagonal straps), corselets, shoulder cords or bands, and crisscrossing leather straps attached to belt loops like those worn by the archer huntress Artemis. . . . Amazon footgear included soft leather moccasin-like shoes, calf-high boots (endromides), or taller laced boots (embades) with scallops or flaps and lined with felt or fur.” (Mayor, 202)
The artists apparently had detailed knowledge of gear used by real Scythian horsewomen to equip their imagined Amazons. “Archeological discoveries of well-preserved sets of clothing confirm that real horsewomen of ancient Scythian lands dressed much as did those described in Greek texts and illustrated in Scythian and Greek artwork.” (Mayor, 203)

Plutarch wrote of Crassus: People were wont to say that the many virtues of Crassus were darkened by the one vice of avarice, and indeed he seemed to have no other but that; for it being the most predominant, obscured others to which he was inclined. The arguments in proof of his avarice were the vastness of his estate, and the manner of raising it; for whereas at first he was not worth above three hundred talents, yet, though in the course of his political life he dedicated the tenth of all he had to Hercules, and feasted the people, and gave to every citizen corn enough to serve him three months, upon casting up his accounts, before he went upon his Parthian expedition, he found his possessions to amount to seven thousand one hundred talents; most of which, if we may scandal him with a truth, he got by fire and rapine, making his advantages of the public calamities. . . . Crassus, however, was very eager to be hospitable to strangers; he kept open house, and to his friends he would lend money without interest, but called it in precisely at the time; so that his kindness was often thought worse than the paying the interest would have been. His entertainments were, for the most part, plain and citizen-like, the company general and popular; good taste and kindness made them pleasanter than sumptuosity would have done. As for learning he chiefly cared for rhetoric, and what would be serviceable with large numbers; he became one of the best speakers at Rome, and by his pains and industry outdid the best natural orators. . . . Besides, the people were pleased with his courteous and unpretending salutations and greetings, for he never met any citizen however humble and low, but he returned him his salute by name. He was looked upon as a man well-read in history, and pretty well versed in Aristotle's philosophy. . . . Crassus was killed by a Parthian, called Pomaxathres; others say by a different man, and that Pomaxathres only cut off his head and right hand after he had fallen. But this is conjecture rather than certain knowledge, for those that were by had not leisure to observe particulars. . . .
1 commentsBlindado
FulviaQuinariusLion.jpg
1ae2 Fulvia45 viewsFirst wife of Marc Antony

ca 83-40 BC

AR Quinarius
Bust of Victory right with the likeness of Fulvia, III VIR R P C
Lion right between A and XLI; ANTONI above, IMP in ex

RSC 3, Syd 1163, Cr489/6

Fulvia was the first Roman non-mythological woman to appear on Roman coins. She gained access to power through her marriage to three of the most promising men of her generation, Publius Clodius Pulcher, Gaius Scribonius Curio, and Marcus Antonius. All three husbands were politically active populares, tribunes, and supporters of Julius Caesar. Fulvia married Mark Antony in 47 or 46 BC, a few years after Curio's death, although Cicero suggested that Fulvia and Antony had had a relationship since 58 BC. According to him, while Fulvia and Antony were married, Antony once left a military post to sneak back into Rome during the night and personally deliver a love letter to Fulvia describing his love for her and how he had stopped seeing the famous actress Cytheris. Cicero also suggested that Antony married Fulvia for her money. At the time of their marriage, Antony was an established politician. He had already been tribune in 49 BC, commanded armies under Caesar and was Master of the Horse in 47 BC. As a couple, they were a formidable political force in Rome, and had two sons together, Marcus Antonius Antyllus and Iullus Antonius.

Suetonius wrote, "[Antony] took a wife, Fulvia, the widow of Clodius the demagogue, a woman not born for spinning or housewifery, nor one that could be content with ruling a private husband, but prepared to govern a first magistrate, or give orders to a commander-in-chief. So that Cleopatra had great obligations to her for having taught Antony to be so good a servant, he coming to her hands tame and broken into entire obedience to the commands of a mistress. He used to play all sorts of sportive, boyish tricks, to keep Fulvia in good-humour. As, for example, when Caesar, after his victory in Spain, was on his return, Antony, among the rest, went out to meet him; and, a rumour being spread that Caesar was killed and the enemy marching into Italy, he returned to Rome, and, disguising himself, came to her by night muffled up as a servant that brought letters from Antony. She, with great impatience, before received the letter, asks if Antony were well, and instead of an answer he gives her the letter; and, as she was opening it, took her about the neck and kissed her."

After Julius Caesar was assassinated, Antony became the most powerful man in Rome. Fulvia was heavily involved in the political aftermath. After Caesar's death, the senate realized his popularity and declared that they would pass all of Caesar's planned laws. Antony had attained possession of Caesar's papers, and with the ability to produce papers in support of any law, Fulvia and Antony made a fortune and gained immense power. She allegedly accompanied Antony to his military camp at Brundisium in 44 BC. Appian wrote that in December 44 and again in 41 BC, while Antony was abroad and Cicero campaigned for Antony to be declared an enemy of the state, Fulvia attempted to block such declarations by soliciting support on Antony's behalf.

Antony formed the second triumvirate with Octavian (the future emperor Augustus) and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus on 43 BC and began to conduct proscriptions. To solidify the political alliance, Fulvia's daughter Clodia was married to the young Octavian. Appian and Cassius Dio describe Fulvia as being involved in the violent proscriptions, which were used to destroy enemies and gain badly needed funds to secure control of Rome. Antony pursued his political enemies, chief among them being Cicero, who had openly criticized him for abusing his powers as consul after Caesar's assassination. Though many ancient sources wrote that Fulvia was happy to take revenge against Cicero for Antony's and Clodius' sake, Cassius Dio is the only ancient source that describes the joy with which she pierced the tongue of the dead Cicero with her golden hairpins, as a final revenge against Cicero's power of speech.

In 42 BC, Antony and Octavian left Rome to pursue Julius Caesar's assassins, Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. Fulvia was left behind as the most powerful woman in Rome. According to Cassius Dio, Fulvia controlled the politics of Rome. Dio wrote that "the following year Publius Servilius and Lucius Antonius nominally became consuls, but in reality it was Antonius and Fulvia. She, the mother-in‑law of Octavian and wife of Antony, had no respect for Lepidus because of his slothfulness, and managed affairs herself, so that neither the senate nor the people transacted any business contrary to her pleasure."

Shortly afterwards, the triumvirs then distributed the provinces among them. Lepidus took the west and Antony went to Egypt, where he met Cleopatra VII. When Octavian returned to Rome in 41 BC to disperse land to Caesar's veterans, he divorced Fulvia's daughter and accused Fulvia of aiming at supreme power. Fulvia allied with her brother-in-law Lucius Antonius and publicly endorsed Mark Antony in opposition to Octavian.

In 41 BC, tensions between Octavian and Fulvia escalated to war in Italy. Together with Lucius Antonius, she raised eight legions in Italy to fight for Antony's rights against Octavian, an event known as the Perusine War. Fulvia fled to Greece with her children. Appian writes that she met Antony in Athens, and he was upset with her involvement in the war. Antony then sailed back to Rome to deal with Octavian, and Fulvia died of an unknown illness in exile in Sicyon, near Corinth, Achaea.
Blindado
AugustusDenC_LCaesar.jpg
1ak Augustus/ Caius and Lucius Caesars41 viewsCaius and Lucius died in 4 and 2 AD, respectively

Denarius
Laureate head, right, CAESAR AVGVSTVS DIVI F PATER PATRIAE
Gaius and Lucius Caesars, C L CAESARES AVGVSTI F COS DESIG

According to Suetonius, "Gaius and Lucius [Augustus] adopted into his House (in 17BC), ‘buying’ them from Agrippa by means of a token sale, initiating them in public affairs while they were young, and granting them command in the provinces while still only consuls-elect."

RIC 207
Blindado
CaligulaAsVesta.jpg
1ao Caligula30 views37-41

As
Bare head, left, C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT
Vesta std, VESTA SC

RIC 38

The son of Germanicus, modern research suggests, was not as bad a ruler as history generally supposes, but the winners write the history, and Caligula had the dubious honor of being the first loser to die in the purple at the hand of assassins.

Suetonius recorded: Gaius Caesar (Caligula) was born on the 31st of August AD12, in the consulship of his father, Germanicus, and Gaius Fonteius Capito. The sources disagree as to his place of birth. Gnaeus Lentulus Gaetulicus claims it was Tibur (Tivoli), Pliny the Elder, says it was among the Treveri in the village of Ambitarvium, above Confluentes (the site of Koblenz) at the junction of the Moselle and Rhine. . . . His surname Caligula (‘Little Boot’) was bestowed on him affectionately by the troops because he was brought up amongst them, dressed in soldier’s gear.

Caligula accompanied his father, Germanicus, to Syria (in AD 19). On his return, he lived with his mother, Agrippina the Elder until she was exiled (in 29 AD), and then with his great-grandmother Livia. When Livia died (in 29 AD), he gave her eulogy from the rostra even though he was not of age. He was then cared for by his grandmother Antonia the Younger, until at the age of eighteen Tiberius summoned him to Capreae (Capri, in AD 31). On that day he assumed his gown of manhood and shaved off his first beard, but without the ceremony that had attended his brothers’ coming of age.

On Capraea, though every trick was tried to lure him, or force him, into making complaints against Tiberius, he ignored all provocation, . . . behaving so obsequiously to his adoptive grandfather, Tiberius, and the entire household, that the quip made regarding him was well borne out, that there was never a better slave or a worse master.

Even in those days, his cruel and vicious character was beyond his control, and he was an eager spectator of torture and executions meted out in punishment. At night, disguised in wig and long robe, he abandoned himself to gluttony and adulterous behaviour. He was passionately devoted it seems to the theatrical arts, to dancing and singing, a taste in him which Tiberius willingly fostered, in the hope of civilizing his savage propensities.

And came near to assuming a royal diadem at once, turning the semblance of a principate into an absolute monarchy. Indeed, advised by this that he outranked princes and kings, he began thereafter to claim divine power, sending to Greece for the most sacred or beautiful statues of the gods, including the Jupiter of Olympia, so that the heads could be exchanged for his own. He then extended the Palace as far as the Forum, making the Temple of Castor and Pollux its vestibule, and would often present himself to the populace there, standing between the statues of the divine brothers, to be worshipped by whoever appeared, some hailing him as ‘Jupiter Latiaris’. He also set up a special shrine to himself as god, with priests, the choicest sacrificial victims, and a life-sized golden statue of himself, which was dressed each day in clothes of identical design to those he chose to wear.

He habitually committed incest with each of his three sisters, seating them in turn below him at large banquets while his wife reclined above. . . . His preferred method of execution was by the infliction of many slight wounds, and his order, issued as a matter of routine, became notorious: ‘Cut him so he knows he is dying.’
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1ao3 Julia Drusilla33 viewsAE 20 of Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey)
Laureate head of Caligula, right, ΓAION KAICAPA EΠI AOYIOΛA
Drusilla as Persephone seated left, poppies between two stalks of grain in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, ∆POYCIΛΛAN ZMYPNAIΩN MHNOΦANHC

Caligula’s sister

Klose XXVIII, 27 (Vs4/Rs10); RPC I 2472; SNG Cop 1343; SNGvA 2202; BMC Ionia p. 269, 272

According to Suetonius’ salacious account: Germanicus had married Agrippina the Elder, daughter of Marcus Agrippa and Julia the Elder, and she had borne him nine children. Two died in infancy, another in early childhood. . . .

The other children survived their father: three girls, Agrippina the Younger, Drusilla and Livilla, born in successive years; and three boys, Nero, Drusus, and Gaius Caesar (Caligula). . . . [Caligula] habitually committed incest with each of his three sisters, seating them in turn below him at large banquets while his wife reclined above. It is believed that he violated Drusilla’s virginity while a minor, and been caught in bed with her by his grandmother Antonia, in whose household they were jointly raised. Later, when Drusilla was married to Lucius Cassius Longinus, an ex-consul, he took her from him and openly treated her as his lawful married wife. When he fell ill he made her heir to his estate and the throne.

When Drusilla died (in 38AD) he declared a period of public mourning during which it was a capital offense to laugh, or bathe, or to dine with parents, spouse or children. Caligula himself was so overcome with grief that he fled the City in the middle of the night, and travelled through Campania, and on to Syracuse, returning again with the same degree of haste, and without cutting his hair or shaving. From that time forwards whenever he took an important oath, even in public or in front of the army, he always swore by Drusilla’s divinity.
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1ar Nero52 views54-68

As

Bare head, right, IMP NERO CAESAR AVG P MAX TR P P P
Genius, GENIO AVGVSTI

RIC 86

Suetonius wrote: Nero was born nine months after the death of Tiberius, at Antium, at sunrise on the 15th of December (AD 37). . . . While he was still a young stripling he took part in a successful performance of the Troy Game in the Circus, in which he exhibited great self-possession. At the age of twelve or so (sometime in AD 50), he was adopted by Claudius, who appointed Annaeus Seneca, already a member of the Senate, as his tutor. The following night, it is said, Seneca dreamed that his young charge was really Caligula, and Nero soon proved the dream prophetic by seizing the first opportunity to reveal his cruel disposition. . . . After Claudius’s death (AD 54) had been announced publicly, Nero, who was not quite seventeen years old, decided to address the Guards in the late afternoon, since inauspicious omens that day had ruled out an earlier appearance. After being acclaimed Emperor on the Palace steps, he was carried in a litter to the Praetorian Camp where he spoke to the Guards, and then to the House where he stayed until evening. He refused only one of the many honours that were heaped upon him, that of ‘Father of the Country’, and declined that simply on account of his youth.

Eutropius summarized: To him succeeded NERO, who greatly resembled his uncle Caligula, and both disgraced and weakened the Roman empire; he indulged in such extraordinary luxury and extravagance, that, after the example of Caius Caligula, he even bathed in hot and cold perfumes, and fished with golden nets, which he drew up with cords of purple silk. He put to death a very great number of the senate. To all good men he was an enemy. At last he exposed himself in so disgraceful a manner, that he danced and sung upon the stage in the dress of a harp-player and tragedian. He was guilty of many murders, his brother, wife, and mother, being put to death by him. He set on fire the city of Rome, that he might enjoy the sight of a spectacle such as Troy formerly presented when taken and burned.

In military affairs he attempted nothing. Britain he almost lost; for two of its most noble towns4 were taken and levelled to the ground under his reign. The Parthians took from him Armenia, and compelled the Roman legions to pass under the yoke. Two provinces however were formed under him; Pontus Polemoniacus, by the concession of King Polemon; and the Cottian Alps, on the death of King Cottius.

15 When, having become detestable by such conduct to the city of Rome, and being deserted at the same time by every one, and declared an enemy by the senate, he was sought for to be led to punishment (the punishment being, that he should be dragged naked through the streets, with a fork placed under his head,5 be beaten to death with rods, and then hurled from the Tarpeian rock), he fled from the palace, and killed himself in a suburban villa of one of his freed-men, between the Salarian and Nomentane roads, at the fourth milestone from the city. He built those hot baths at Rome, which were formerly called the Neronian, but now the Alexandrian. He died in the thirty-second year of his age, and the fourteenth year of his reign; and in him all the family of Augustus became extinct.

Having successfully dispatched his scheming mother Agrippina in 59 and survived a decade on the throne, Nero must have felt like a genius when this was minted ca 64 AD!
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1bo Crispina25 viewsWife of Commodus

As

Draped bust, right, CRISPINA AVGVSTA
Juno, IVNO LVCINA

RIC 680

We know little about Crispina. The Historia Augusta notes, "[W]hen Commodus married Crispina, custom demanded that the front seat at the theater be assigned to the empress. Lucilla found this difficult to endure. . . . His wife, whom he caught in adultery, he drove from his house, then banished her, and later put her to death."
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1cj Balbinus20 views238

Sestertius

Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust, right, seen from front, right, IMP CAES D CAEL BALBINVS AVG
Felicitas standing facing, head left, holding caduceus in right hand, PM TR P COS II PP SC

RIC 18

Herodian wrote, continuing the story of the rebellions against Maximinus: When the death of the elder Gordian was reported at Rome, . . . the senate therefore thought it best to meet and consider what should be done. Since they had already cast the die, they voted to issue a declaration of war and choose two men from their own ranks to be joint emperors. . . . Other senators received votes, but on the final count [Pupienus] Maximus and Balbinus were elected joint emperors by majority opinion. . . .

[Pupienus] had held many army commands; appointed prefect of Rome, he administered the office with diligence and enjoyed among the people a good reputation for his understanding nature, his intelligence, and his moderate way of life. Balbinus, an aristocrat who had twice served as consul and had governed provinces without complaint, had a more open and frank nature. After their election, the two men were proclaimed Augusti, and the Senate awarded them by decree all the imperial honors.

While these actions were being taken on the Capitoline Hill, the people, whether they were informed by Gordian's friends and fellow countrymen or whether they learned it by rumor, filled the entire street leading up to the Capitol. The huge mob was armed with stones and clubs, for they objected to the Senate's action and particularly disapproved of [Pupienus]. The prefect ruled the city too strictly for the popular taste, and was very harsh in his dealings with the criminal and reckless elements of the mob. In their fear and dislike of [Pupienus], they kept shouting threats to kill both emperors, determined that the emperor be chosen from the family of Gordian and that the title remain in that house and under that name.

Balbinus and [Pupienus] surrounded themselves with an escort of swordsmen from the young equestrians and the discharged soldiers living in Rome, and tried to force their way from the Capitol. The mob, armed with stones and clubs, prevented this until, at someone's suggestion, the people were deceived. There was in Rome at that time a little child, the son of Gordian's daughter, who bore his grandfather's name.

The two emperors ordered some of their men to bring the child to the Capitol. Finding the lad playing at home, they lifted him to their shoulders and brought him to the Capitol through the midst of the crowd. Showing the boy to the people and telling them that he was the son of Gordian, they called him "Gordian," while the mob cheered the boy and scattered leaves in his path. The senate appointed him caesar, since he was not old enough to be emperor. The mob, placated, allowed the imperial party to proceed to the palace.

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1dh Tetricus II25 views270-273

Son of Tetricus

AE antoninianus

Radiate draped bust, right, C P E TETRICVS CAES
Sacr. Implements, PIETAS AVGVSTOR

RIC 259

According to the Historia Augusta: He,1 when a little lad, received the name of Caesar from Victoria when she herself had been entitled by the army Mother of the Camp. He was, furthermore, led in triumph along with his father, but later he enjoyed all the honours of a senator ; nor was his inheritance diminished, and, indeed, he passed it on to his descendants, and was ever, as Arellius Fuscus reports, a man of distinction. . . . The house of the Tetrici is still standing to-day. . . , and in it Aurelian is depicted bestowing on both the Tetrici the bordered toga and the rank of senator and receiving from them a scepter, a chaplet, and an embroidered robe. This picture is in mosaic, and it is said that the two Tetrici, when they dedicated it, invited Aurelian himself to a banquet.
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1ds Diocletian13 views284-305

AE antoninianus

Radiate, draped, cuirassed bust, right, IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG
Zeus and Diocletian, CONCORDIA MILITVM

RIC 284B

According to the Historia Augusta, after the death of Numerian: Then a huge assembly was held and a tribunal, too, was constructed. And when the question was asked who would be the most lawful avenger of Numerian and who could be given to the commonwealth as a good emperor, then all, with a heaven-sent unanimity, conferred the title of Augustus on Diocletian. . . . He was at this time in command of the household-troops, an outstanding man and wise, devoted to the commonwealth, devoted to his kindred, duly prepared to face whatever the occasion demanded, forming plans that were always deep though sometimes over-bold, and one who could by prudence and exceeding firmness hold in check the impulses of a restless spirit. This man, then, having ascended the tribunal was hailed as Augustus, and when someone asked how Numerian had been slain, he drew his sword and pointing to Aper, the prefect of the guard, he drove it through him, saying as he did so, "It is he who contrived Numerian's death.''

Eutropius summarized a long and important reign: DIOCLETIAN, a native of Dalmatia, [was] of such extremely obscure birth, that he is said by most writers to have been the son of a clerk, but by some to have been a freedman of a senator named Anulinus. . . . He soon after overthrew Carinus, who was living under the utmost hatred and detestation, in a great battle at Margum, Carinus being betrayed by his own troops, for though he had a greater number of men than the enemy, he was altogether abandoned by them between Viminacium and mount Aureus. He thus became master of the Roman empire; and when the peasants in Gaul made an insurrection, giving their faction the name of Bagaudae, and having for leaders Amandus and Aelianus, he despatched Maximian Herculius, with the authority of Caesar, to suppress them. Maximian, in a few battles of little importance, subdued the rustic multitude, and restored peace to Gaul. . . .

Diocletian promoted MAXIMIAN HERCULIUS from the dignity of Caesar to that of emperor, and created Constantius and Maximian Galerius Caesars, of whom Constantius is said to have been the grand-nephew of Claudius by a daughter, and Maximian Galerius to have been born in Dacia not far from Sardica. That he might also unite them by affinity, Constantius married Theodora the step-daughter of Herculius, by whom he had afterwards six children, brothers to Constantine; while Galerius married Valeria, the daughter of Diocletian; both being obliged to divorce the wives that they had before. . . .

Diocletian, meanwhile, besieging Achilleus in Alexandria, obliged him to surrender about eight months after, and put him to death. He used his victory, indeed, cruelly, and distressed all Egypt with severe proscriptions and massacres. Yet at the same time he made many judicious arrangements and regulations, which continue to our own days. . . .

Diocletian was of a crafty disposition, with much sagacity, and keen penetration. He was willing to gratify his own disposition to cruelty in such a way as to throw the odium upon others; he was however a very active and able prince. He was the first that introduced into the Roman empire a ceremony suited rather to royal usages than to Roman liberty, giving orders that he should be adored, whereas all emperors before him were only saluted. He put ornaments of precious stones on his dress and shoes, when the imperial distinction had previously been only in the purple robe, the rest of the habit being the same as that of other men. . . .

But when Diocletian, as age bore heavily upon him, felt himself unable to sustain the government of the empire, he suggested to Herculius that they should both retire into private life, and commit the duty of upholding the state to more vigorous and youthful hands. With this suggestion his colleague reluctantly complied. Both of them, in the same day, exchanged the robe of empire for an ordinary dress, Diocletian at Nicomedia, Herculius at Milan, soon after a magnificent triumph which they celebrated at Rome over several nations, with a noble succession of pictures, and in which the wives, sisters, and children of Narseus were led before their chariots. The one then retired to Salonae, and the other into Lucania.

Diocletian lived to an old age in a private station, at a villa which is not far from Salonae, in honourable retirement, exercising extraordinary philosophy, inasmuch as he alone of all men, since the foundation of the Roman empire, voluntarily returned from so high a dignity to the condition of private life, and to an equality with the other citizens. That happened to him, therefore, which had happened to no one since men were created, that, though he died in a private condition, he was enrolled among the gods.
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1du Constantius I17 views305-306

Quarter Follis

Laureate head, right, IMP CONSTANTIVS P F AVG
Genius standing left, modius on head, naked except for chlamys over left shoulder, holding patera and cornucopiae. Mintmark: SIS, GENIO POPVLI ROMANI

Also known as Constantius Chlorus.

RIC 167

After being names Caesar, according to Eutropius: A battle was fought by Constantius Caesar in Gaul, at Lingonae, where he experienced both good and had fortune in one day; for though he was driven into the city by a sudden onset of the barbarians, with such haste and precipitation that after the gates were shut he was drawn up the wall by ropes, yet, when his army came up, after the lapse of scarcely six hours, he cut to pieces about sixty thousand of the Alemanni. . . .

CONSTANTIUS and GALERIUS were made emperors; and the Roman world was divided between them in such a manner, that Constantius had Gaul, Italy, and Africa; Galerius Illyricum, Asia, and the East; two Caesars being joined with them. [Zosimus adds: Three years after Dioclesian died, and the reigning emperors, Constantius and Maximianus Gallerius declared Severus and Maximinus (who was nephew to Gallerius), the Caesars, giving all Italy to Severus, and the eastern provinces to Maximinus.] Constantius, however, content with the dignity of emperor, declined the care of governing Africa. He was an excellent man, of extreme benevolence, who studied to increase the resources of the provinces and of private persons, cared but little for the improvement of the public treasury, and used to say that "it was better for the national wealth to be in the hands of individuals than to be laid up in one place of confinement." So moderate was the furniture of his house, too, that if, on holidays, he had to entertain a greater number of friends than ordinary, his dining-rooms were set out with the plate of private persons, borrowed from their several houses. By the Gauls1 he was not only beloved but venerated, especially because, under his government, they had escaped the suspicious prudence of Diocletian, and the sanguinary rashness of Maximian. He died in Britain, at York, in the thirteenth year of his reign, and was enrolled among the gods.
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1er Procopius18 views365-366

AE3

Diademed, draped & cuirassed bust left, D N PROCOPIVS P F AVG
Procopius standing facing, head right, holding labarum in right hand, left resting on shield set on the ground; Chi-rho in upper right field & unidentified object in left at foot; mintmark CONS Gamma.

RIC 17a

Zosimus tells us: On [Valens'] departure from Constantinople, the rebellion of Procopius commenced. This person had been intrusted by Julian, being one of his relations, with a part of his forces, and had been charged to march with Sebastianus through Adiabene, and to meet Julian, who took another route. Permission, moreover, was given him to wear a purple robe, for a reason which no other person was acquainted with. But the deity being pleased to ordain it otherwise, and Jovian having succeeded to the imperial dignity, Procopius immediately delivered up the imperial robe which he had received from Julian, confessing why it had been given to him, and entreating the emperor to absolve him from his military oath, and to allow him to live in retirement, and to attend to agriculture and his own private affairs. Having obtained this, he went with his wife and children to Caesarea in Cappadocia, intending to reside in that place, where he possessed a valuable estate. During his abode there, Valentinian and Valens being made emperors, and being suspicious of him, sent persons to take him into custody. In that they found no difficulty, for he surrendered himself voluntarily; and desired them to carry him wherever they pleased, if they would suffer him first to see his children. To this they consented, and he prepared an entertainment for them. When he perceived them to be intoxicated, he and his family fled towards the Taurica Chersonesus. Having remained there for some time, he found the inhabitants to he a faithless race, and was apprehensive lest they should deliver him to his persecutors. He, therefore, put himself and his family on board a trading vessel, and arrived in the night at Constantinople. He there resided in the house of an old acquaintance, and making observations on the state of the city after the departure of the emperor, he attempted to raise himself to the empire, and formed his design on the following incident.

A eunuch, named Eugenius, had not long before been discharged from the court, who entertained but little friendship for the emperors. Procopius therefore won this man to his interest. . . . Their first attempt was to bribe the court guards, which consisted of two legions. Then arming the slaves, and collecting with ease a considerable multitude, chiefly volunteers, they sent them in the night into the city, and occasioned a general commotion; the people issuing from their houses, and gazing on Procopiusas on a king made in a theatre. But the city being in general confusion, and no person being sufficiently collected in mind by reason of the surprise to know how to act, Procopius imagined his design to be still undiscovered, and that he might secure the empire if the enterprise were no further revealed. Having then seized on Cesarius, whom the emperors had made prefect of the city, and on Nebridius, who was appointed to succeed Sallustius in tbe prefecture of the court, he compelled them to write to the subjects of the empire whatever he wished. He also kept them separate, that they might not consult with each other. Having formed these projects, he proceeded in a splendid manner towards the palace. Ascending a tribunal before the gate, he gave the people great hopes and promises. He then entered the palace to provide for the remainder of his affairs.

The new emperors having divided the army between them, Procopius determined to send persons to the soldiers, who were as yet in confusion, and went by the command of the emperors from place to place without any order. He thus hoped to seduce some of them to his party. Nor did he fail of accomplishing his purpose with ease by distributing money amongst the soldiers and their officers; by which means he collected a considerable force, and prepared to make an open attack on the enemy. Procopius then sent Marcellus into Bithynia with an army against Serenianus and the imperial cavalry that was under his command, in hope of cutting them to pieces. This force having fled to Cyzicus, Marcellus, whose army was superior to theirs both by sea and land, took possession of that town; and having taken Serenianus, who fled into Lydia, put him to death. Procopius was so elevated by this fortunate commencement, that his forces considerably augmented, many being of opinion that he was able to contend with the emperors. Both the Roman legions and the Barbarian troops now flocked to his standard. Besides the reputation of being related to Julian, and of having accompanied him in all the wars he had ever been engaged in, attracted many partizans. He likewise sent ambassadors to the chief of Scythia beyond the Ister, who sent to his assistance ten thousand men. The other Barbarian nations likewise sent auxiliaries to share in the expedition. Procopius however considered that it would be imprudent in him to engage with both emperors together, and therefore thought it best to advance against him who was nearest, and afterwards deliberate on what course to pursue.

Thus was Procopius employed; while the emperor Valens, who heard of this insurrection at Galatia in Phrygia, was filled with consternation at the news. Arbitrio having encouraged him not to despair, he prepared the troops that were with him for war, and sent to his brother to inform him of the designs of Procopius. Valentinian however was little disposed for sending auxiliaries to one who was incapable of defending the empire committed to his charge. Valens was therefore under the necessity of. preparing for war, and appointed Arbitrio to the command of his army. When the armies were ready to engage, Arbitrio circumvented Procopius by a stratagem, and thereby seduced from him a great number of his men, from whom he received previous information of the designs of Procopius. On the advance of the emperor and Procopius towards each other, the two armies met near Thyatira. Procopius at first appeared to have the advantage, by which he would have gained the supreme authority, Hormisdas in the engagement having overpowered the enemy. But Gomarius, another of the commanders of Procopius, imparting his intention to all the soldiers of Procopius who were attached to the emperor, in the midst of the battle cried out Augustus, and gave a signal for them to imitate his example. Thus the most of the troops of Procopius went over to Valens.

After having obtained this victory, Valens marched to Sardes, and from thence into Phrygia, where he found Procopius in a town called Nacolia. Affairs having been ordered for the advantage of the emperor by Naplo, an officer of Procopius, Valens again prevailed, and took him prisoner, and soon afterwards Marcellus, both of whom he put to death.
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2009-Germany - The Walhalla16 viewsThe Walhalla is a hall of fame for "famous personalities in German history – politicians, sovereigns, scientists and artists" housed in a neo-classical building above the Danube River east of Regensburg.
This picture shows the back of the Walhalla Temple.
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201a. Julia Domna11 viewsVesta

Vesta was introduced in Rome by King Numa Pompilius. She was a native Roman deity (some authors suggest received from the Sabine cults), sister of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera and Demeter, and presumably the daughter of Saturn and Ops (or Rea). However, the similarity with the cult of Greek Hestia is notable. Vesta too protected familial harmony and the res publica. Apollo and Neptune had asked for her in marriage, but she refused both, preferring to preserve her virginity, whose symbol was the perpetually lit fire in her circular fane next to the Forum which the Romans always distinguished from a temple by calling it her "house".

As Goddess of the Hearth she was the symbol of the home, around which a newborn child must be carried before it could be received into the family. Every meal began and ended with an offering to her:

Vesta, in all dwellings of men and immortals
Yours is the highest honor, the sweet wine offered
First and last at the feast, poured out to you duly.
Never without you can gods or mortals hold banquet.

Landscape with Vesta temple in Tivoli, Italy, c. 1600.Each city too had a public hearth sacred to Vesta, where the fire was never allowed to go out. If a colony was to be founded, the colonists carried with them coals from the hearth of the mother-city with which to kindle the fire on the new city's hearth.

The fire was guarded by her priestesses, the Vestales. Every March 1 the fire was renewed. It burned until 391, when the Emperor Theodosius I forbade public pagan worship. One of the Vestales was Rea Silvia, who with Mars conceived Romulus and Remus (see founding of Rome).

3070. Silver denarius, RIC 538, RSC 221, VF, 2.30g, 17.5mm, 0o, Rome mint, 193-196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right; reverse VESTA, Vesta seated left, holding palladium and scepter. Ex Forum
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201b. Clodius Albinus232 viewsBy the time Severus made it back from the east in 196, the breach with Albinus was beyond repair. The emperor's son Caracalla had been displayed to the army as Caesar and heir. Albinus had been proclaimed emperor and gone into open revolt, crossed the English Channel and gained the support of many aristocrats from Gaul and Spain. Lyon became Albinus' headquarters, from which he minted coins that wishfully hinted at reconciliation. Albinus had taken the title of Augustus, but he still kept the name Septimius.

Albinus was unable to expand his control eastward despite achieving a victory against the governor of Lower Germany. By the middle of the year 196, his momentum had stalled. Gaul was drenched in the blood of Roman soldiers as the two sides repeatedly engaged in indecisive battles.[[8]] The ever increasing chaos in the region even allowed an opportunist to raise his own army to harass Albinus' troops.[[9]]

Time was running out for Albinus. His troops were defeated early in 197 at Tournus, on the river Saône 65 miles north of Lyon.[[10]] Severus could now sweep his armies into Gaul. Albinus retreated to Lyon, where he prepared for one final stand. The battle, one of the fiercest in Roman history, took place 19 February 197 and involved more than 100,000 men.[[11]] In the initial fighting, Albinus' troops forced the Severans into retreat, during which Severus fell off his horse. But Albinus' success was shortlived. The Severan cavalry appeared, and Albinus' army was routed. The battlefield was strewn with bodies, and Severus' victorious troops were allowed to vent their anger by sacking Lyon. Albinus, who was trapped in a house along the river Rhône, committed suicide. Heis wife and children were be ordered killed by Severus, who also had Albinus' head cut off and sent to Rome for display.

Clodius Albinus had the breeding and upbringing to have been a popular emperor among the senatorial aristocracy, but he lacked the cunning and daring of his erstwhile ally and eventual rival Severus. Albinus would never be included among the canonical list of emperors, and his defeat finally ended the period of instability and civil war that originated with the death of Commodus.

CLODIUS ALBINUS, as Caesar. 193-195 AD. AR Denarius (17mm, 3.14 gm). Rome mint. Bare head right / Roma seated left on shield, holding Victory and reversed spear. RIC IV 11b; RSC 61a. VF. Ex - CNG
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201b. Clodius Albinus20 viewsClodius Albinus

Governor of Britain at the death of the emperor Pertinax, Decimus Clodius Albinus attempted to seize the throne but ended up as Caesar in alliance with another imperial contender, Septimius Severus. After Severus defeated two other rivals, the now expendable Albinus was forced into another attempt at usurpation, an attempt that came to an end at the bloody battle of Lyon. Albinus, defeated and was trapped in a house along the river Rhine, committed suicide. Heis wife and children were be ordered killed by Severus, who also had Albinus' head cut off and sent to Rome for display.

AR Denarius. D CLOD SEPT ALBIN CAES, bare head right / FELICITAS COS II, Felicitas standing, head left, holding caduceus and scepter. RSC 15 var. Ex-Flan
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201c. Pescennius Niger128 viewsGaius Pescennius Niger was governor of Syria in the year 193 when he learned of the emperor Pertinax's murder. Niger's subsequent attempt to claim the empire for himself ended in failure in Syria after roughly one year. His life before becoming governor of Syria is not well known. He was born in Italy to an equestrian family. He seems to have been older than his eventual rival Septimius Severus, so his birth should perhaps be placed ca. AD 135-40. Niger may have held an important position in the administration of Egypt. He won renown, along with Clodius Albinus, for participation in a military campaign in Dacia early in Commodus' reign. Although Niger could have been adlected into the senate before the Dacian campaign, he was by now pursuing a senatorial career and must have been held in high esteem by Commodus. Niger was made a suffect consul, probably in the late 180s, and he was sent as governor to the important province of Syria in 191.

Niger was a well-known and well-liked figure to the Roman populace. After Pertinax became emperor at the beginning of 193, many in Rome may have hoped that the elderly Pertinax would adopt Niger as his Caesar and heir, but Pertinax was murdered without having made succession plans. When Didius Julianus arrived at the senate house on 29 March 193, his first full day as emperor, a riot broke out among the Roman crowd. The rioters took over the Circus Maximus, from which they shouted for Niger to seize the throne. The rioters dispersed the following day, but a report of their demonstration may well have arrived in the Syrian capital, Antioch, with the news that Pertinax had been murdered and replaced by Julianus.

Spurred into action by the news, Niger had himself proclaimed emperor in Antioch. The governors of the other eastern provinces quickly joined his cause. Niger's most important ally was the respected proconsul of Asia, Asellius Aemilianus, and support began to spread across the Propontis into Europe. Byzantium welcomed Niger, who now was preparing further advances. Niger took the additional cognomen Justus, "the Just." Justice was promoted as the theme of his intended reign, and personifications of Justice appeared on his coins.

Other provincial governors, however, also set their sights on replacing Julianus. Albinus in Britain and Septimius Severus in Upper Pannonia (western Hungary) had each aspired to the purple, and Severus was marching an army on Rome. Severus was still 50 miles from the city when the last of Julianus' dwindling authority disappeared. Julianus was killed in Rome 1 June 193.

Niger sent messengers to Rome to announce his acclamation, but those messengers were intercepted by Severus. A deal was struck between Severus and Albinus that kept Albinus in Britain with the title of Caesar. The larger armies of the western provinces were now united in their support for Severus. Niger's support was confined to the east. Severus had Niger's children captured and held as hostages, and a legion was sent to confront Niger's army in Thrace.

The first conflict between the rival armies took place near Perinthus. Although Niger's forces may have inflicted greater casualties on the Severan troops, Niger was unable to secure his advance; he returned to Byzantium. By the autumn of 193, Severus had left Rome and arrived in the region, though his armies there continued to be commanded by supporters. Niger was offered the chance of a safe exile by Severus, but Niger refused.

Severan troops crossed into Asia at the Hellespont and near Cyzicus engaged forces supporting Niger under the command of Aemilianus. Niger's troops were defeated. Aemilianus attempted to flee but was captured and killed. Not long after, in late December 193 or early January 194, Niger was defeated in a battle near Nicaea and fled south to Antioch. Eastern provincial governors now switched their loyalty to Severus, and Niger faced revolts even in Syria. By late spring 194, the Severan armies were in Cilicia preparing to enter Syria. Niger and his army met the Severan troops near Issus. The battle was a decisive defeat for Niger, who fled back to Antioch. The Syrian capital that only one year earlier had cheered as Niger was proclaimed emperor now waited in fear for the approach of its new master. Niger prepared to flee once more, but outside Antioch he was captured and killed.

Despite his popularity with the Roman mob, Pescennius Niger lacked both the strong loyalty of other senatorial commanders and the number of soldiers that his rival Severus enjoyed. Niger was ultimately unable to make himself the true avenger of Pertinax, and his roughly one-year control of the eastern provinces never qualified him to be reckoned a legitimate emperor.

BITHYNIA, Caesarea. Pescennius Niger. AD 193-194. Æ 22mm (6.35 g). Laureate head right / KAICAREIAC GERMANIKHC, coiled serpent left. RG p. 282, 9, pl. XLIV, 8 (same dies); SNG Copenhagen -; SNG von Aulock -. Near VF, brown patina, rough surfaces. Very rare. Ex-CNG
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205. Severus Alexander27 viewsSeverus Alexander

A child when chance brought him to the principate, with only two recommendations, that he was different from Elagabalus and that he was part of the Severan family, he proved to be inadequate for the challenges of the time. Military experience was the prime attribute of an emperor now, which Alexander did not have, and that lack ultimately cost him his life. Guided by his mother and employing the services of distinguished men, he returned dignity to the imperial household and to the state. He did the best he could, but that best was not good enough in the early decades of the third century A.D., with the great threats from east and north challenging Rome's primacy and, indeed, existence.

Denarius. IMP SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate head right / VICTORIA AVG, Victory standing left with wreath. RSC 556.
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2142A IONIA, Miletus. Hadrian Ae 36 Zeus standing23 viewsReference.
BMC - ;SNG von Aulock- ;SNG Copenhagen -; SNG France- ;RPC - ; RPC III, 2142A.

Obv. AΔPIANOC KAICAP ΟΛΥΜΠΙΟC
Laureate head right.

Rev: POVΦOV TO B ΜΙΛΗ- CΙΩΝ ΕΠΙ
Zeus standing right, wearing chlamys, holding thunderbolt, and resting hand on hip.

26.25 gr
36 mm
6h

Note.
The worship of Hadrian as 'Zeus Olympios' in the east of the empire was also practiced in Miletus. A proof of this is this coinage, which the emperor explicitly names as 'ΟΛΙΜΠΙΟC'. In addition, the archaeological excavations in Miletus have been used to discover a large number of household altars who had been consecrated to Hadrian, who had inscriptions such as "The Caesar Trajan Hadrian Sebastos Zeus Olympios" (Friesen, Imperial Cults, p. 177)
2 commentsokidoki
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379/1. Procilia - denarius (80 BC)8 viewsAR Denarius (Rome, 80 BC)
O/ Laureate head of Jupiter right; S C downwards behind.
R/ Juno Sospita standing right, holding shield and hurling spear; snake before; L PROCILI/F downwards behind.
3.57g
Crawford 379/1 (104 obverse dies/116 reverse dies)

* Lucius Procilius:

The life of Procilius is sparsely known. Besides, he is the only recorded member of the gens Procilia for the Republic and the lack of a cognomen further indicates a humble origin. Dictionaries often record two different Procilius (a historian and a politician), but they were possibly the same person. Since there are 35 years between this denarius and the dated events of Procilius' life, the moneyer could have been the father of the politician and historian.

Regarding Procilius the historian, none of his writings has survived, even as fragments, but he is quoted by Varro about the origin of the Lacus Curtius on the Forum (Latin Language, v. 148), Pliny the Elder on a text related to Pompey (Natural History, viii. 2), and Cicero alludes that he wrote on Greek constitutions (Atticus, ii. 2). The scope of his works must have therefore been quite extensive. In the aforementioned letter, Cicero shows his dislike for Procilius, which is perhaps related to Procilius' political role.

Indeed, in other letters, Cicero mentions that Procilius was also a Tribune of the Plebs in 56, and that he was allied to Gaius Porcius Cato (Cato the Younger's cousin) and Marcus Nonius Sufenas, also Tribunes that year. They supported Publius Clodius Pulcher, Tribune in 59 and Aedile in 56, who -- as Tribune -- had banned Cicero from Rome for his repression of the Catiline Conspiracy, hence the animosity of Cicero towards Procilius. In 56, Pulcher and the three tribunes, including Procilius, prevented the elections from taking place, in order to force an interregnum, so that Crassus and Pompey could be chosen consuls for 55 (Cassius Dio, Roman History, xxxix. 27-33).

They used violence and bribery to prevent this election and were therefore sued. Cato and Sufenas were acquitted, but Procilius was found guilty on 4 July 54 (Cicero, Atticus, iv. 15). Apparently, he was not condemned for the complete illegality of his deeds, but because he had killed a man in his house; and Cicero complains that 22 judges on 49 still wanted to absolve him. In the following letter to Atticus (ii. 16), Cicero adds that there are rumors about Sufenas and his judges, possibly about corruption, but does not give more details.

The use of Juno Sospita refers to the town of Lanuvium, where she was worshiped, probably the hometown of Procilius.

Joss
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406. Galerius40 viewsChristians had lived in peace during most of the rule of Diocletian. The persecutions that began with an edict of February 24, 303, were credited by Christians to the influence of Galerius. Christian houses of assembly were destroyed, for fear of sedition in secret gatherings.

Detail of the Arch of Galerius in Thessaloniki.In 305, on the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, he at once assumed the title of Augustus, with Constantius his former colleague, and having procured the promotion to the rank of Caesar of Flavius Valerius Severus, a faithful servant, and (Maximinus II Daia), his nephew, he hoped on the death of Constantius to become sole master of the Roman world. Having Constantius' son Constantine as guest at Galerius' court in the east helped to secure his position.

His schemes, however, were defeated by the sudden elevation of Constantine at Eboracum (York) upon the death of his father, and by the action of Maximianus and his son Maxentius, who were declared co-Augusti in Italy.

After an unsuccessful invasion of Italy in 307, he elevated his friend Licinius to the rank of Augustus, and moderating his ambition, he retired to the city Felix Romuliana (near present day Gamzigrada,Serbia/Montenegro)built by him to honor his mother Romula, and devoted the few remaining years of his life "to the enjoyment of pleasure and to the execution of some works of public utility."

It was at the instance of Galerius that the last edicts of persecution against the Christians were published, beginning on February 24, 303, and this policy of repression was maintained by him until the appearance of the general edict of toleration, issued from Nicomedia in April 311, apparently during his last bout of illness, in his own name and in those of Licinius and Constantine. Lactantius gives the text of the edict in his moralized chronicle of the bad ends to which all the persecutors came, De Mortibus Persecutorum ("On the Deaths of the Persecutors", chapters 34, 35). This marked the end of official persecution of Christians.

Galerius as Caesar, 305-311AD. GENIO POPVLI ROMANI reverse type with Genius standing left holding scales and cornucopia
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407. Severus II35 viewsFlavius Valerius Severus was of humble origin and from Illyricum. Early in his career he had held a military command. When Diocletian, at Nicomedeia, and Maximianus Herculius, at Mediolanum, divested themselves of the purple (Milan) on 1 May 305, they appointed Constantius I and Galerius as Augusti in their place, with Severus and Maximinus Daia as the new Caesars. Both Caesars were Galerius' creatures and received their appointment at his hands. Constantius I and Severus ruled the west, while Galerius and Daia controlled the east.

When Galerius learned of the death of Constantius I in August 306 and the acclamation of Constantine to the purple, he raised Severus to the rank of Augustus to replace the dead Augustus. Matters went from bad to worse for Galerius when Maxentius, the son of Maximianus Herculius, was proclaimed emperor at Rome on 28 October 306. Galerius was disturbed when he heard the news of Maxentius' revolt because the usurper seized Rome, then part of Severus' realm. Galerius sent Severus from Mediolanum (Milan) to fight the enemy. Severus took a large field army which had formerly been that of Maximianus and proceeded toward Rome.

When Maxentius learned about the advance of Severus, he sent his own father the purple and offered to make him Augustus again to win Severus' army to his side; Maximianus accepted his offer. Meanwhile, Severus and his army reached Rome and began to besiege the city; Maxentius, however, bribed Severus' soldiers and, at a set signal, the Augustus' forces joined the usurper. Severus fled ro Ravenna with a few remaining soldiers. Maximianus went to Ravenna and, with false promises of safety, convinced Severus to surrender. He took this action because he realized that Severus' position was impregnable. Under house arrest Severus was brought to Rome and imprisoned at Tres Tabernae. Severus was put to death in 307 under clouded circumstances, when Galerius invaded Italy

Severus II AD 305-306 AE Follis "Genius Serdica" "The genius of the people of Rome." Obv: FL VAL SEVERVS NOB C - Laureate head right Rev: GENIO POPVLI ROMANI - Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopia. Exe: SIS Siscia mint: AD 305-306 = RIC VI, p. 475, 170a Rare (r)
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410. Licinius I43 viewsFlavius Galerius Valerius Licinianus Licinius (c. 250 - 325) was Roman emperor from 308 to 324.

Of Dacian peasant origin, born in Moesia Superior, Licinius accompanied his close friend the Emperor Galerius on the Persian expedition in 297. After the death of Flavius Valerius Severus, Galerius elevated Licinius to the rank of Augustus in the West on November 11, 308. He received as his immediate command the provinces of Illyricum, Thrace and Pannonia.

On the death of Galerius, in May 311, Licinius shared the entire empire with Maximinus Daia, the Hellespont and the Bosporus being the dividing line.

In March 313 he married Flavia Julia Constantia, half-sister of Constantine, at Mediolanum (now Milan), the occasion for the jointly-issued "Edict of Milan" that restored confiscated properties to Christian congregations though it did not "Christianize" the Empire as is often assumed, although it did give Christians a better name in Rome. In the following month (April 30), Licinius inflicted a decisive defeat on Maximinus at Battle of Tzirallum, after Maximinus had tried attacking him. He then established himself master of the East, while his brother-in-law, Constantine, was supreme in the West.

In 314 his jealousy led him to encourage a treasonable enterprise in favor of Bassianus against Constantine. When his actions became known, a civil war ensued, in which he was first defeated at the battle of Cibalae in Pannonia (October 8, 314), and next some 2 years later (after naming Valerius Valens co-emperor) in the plain of Mardia (also known as Campus Ardiensis) in Thrace. The outward reconciliation left Licinius in possession of Thrace, Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt, but he later added numerous provinces to Constantine's control.

In 324 Constantine, tempted by the "advanced age and unpopular vices" of his colleague, again declared war against him, and, having defeated his army at the battle of Adrianople (July 3, 324), succeeded in shutting him up within the walls of Byzantium. The defeat of the superior fleet of Licinius by Flavius Julius Crispus, Constantine’s eldest son, compelled his withdrawal to Bithynia, where a last stand was made; the battle of Chrysopolis, near Chalcedon (September 18), resulted in his final submission. He was interned at Thessalonica under a kind of house arrest, but when he attempted to raise troops among the barbarians Constantine had him and his former co-emperor Martinianus assassinated.

O: IMP LICINIVS AVG; Emperor, facing left, wearing imperial mantle, holding mappa and globe.
R: IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG; Jupiter standing left holding Victory; palm to left, epsilon in right field, SMN in exergue. Sear 3804, RIC Nicomedia 24 (Scarce), Failmezger #278. Remarkable detail on this nicely silvered Late Roman bronze, ex Crisp Collection.

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Bruti.jpg
48 BC D. Junius Brutus Albinus118 viewsPIETAS
Head of Pietas right

ALBINVS BRVTI F
Clasped hands holding winged caduceus

3.1g

Rome
48 BC

Sear 427,

Decimus Junius Brutus was a distant relative of Marcus Brutus. He was known as one of Caesar's "most intamate associates" and a friend of Mark Antony. Albinus had served under Caesar in both the Gallic Wars and the Civil War. He participated in the siege of Massilia (Marseilles) that held out against Caesar for months. He also commanded a Caesarian fleet.

Plutarch considered Albinus "of no great courage," but Albinus was a faithful and loyal supporter of Caesar. He was to be Consul in 42 BC along with Lucius Plancus. While awaiting the consulship Albinus was to become Governor of Cisalpine Gaul when the post became available in the spring of 44BC

Albinus was approached by Cassius and Labeo to involve him in the conspiracy to murder Caesar. Albinus wanted to make sure Marcus Brutus was involved before agreeing to the plot. After meeting with Brutus he agreed. Both Brutus and Albinus received notification of a meeting of the Senate on March 15th and Albinus agreed to use an exhibition of his Gladiators after the meeting as protection in case things got out of hand after the murder had taken place. Caesar's retired legionaries were all around the city and none of the conspirators knew how they would react at Caesar's death.

At a dinner at the house of Marcus Lepidus on the night of March 14, 44BC Caesar was in attendence along with Decimus Brutus. Towards the end of the night Caesar's secretary approached for him to sign some letters. As he was signing Albinus posed a philosophical question to him: "What sort of death is best?" Caesar answered "A sudden one"

The next morning the Senate awaited Caesar to arrive. Caesr's wife Calpurnia and the auspeces warned Caesar not to attend the meeting. When Caesar delayed the conspirator's sent Albinus to Caesar's house. Albinus convinced Caesar to at least postpone the meeting in person. Antony was against this idea. Caesar was then murered by the conspirators in the Theater of Pompey in the Campus Martius, Albinus being a key player in the conspiracy.
3 commentsJay GT4
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501. Constantine I Alexandria Posthumous23 viewsAlexandria

The city passed formally under Roman jurisdiction in 80 BC, according to the will of Ptolemy Alexander but after it had been previously under Roman influence for more than a hundred years. Julius Caesar dallied with Cleopatra in Alexandria in 47 BC, saw Alexander's body (quipping 'I came to see a king, not a collection of corpses' when he was offered a view of the other royal burials) and was mobbed by the rabble. His example was followed by Marc Antony, for whose favor the city paid dearly to Octavian, who placed over it a prefect from the imperial household.

From the time of annexation onwards, Alexandria seems to have regained its old prosperity, commanding, as it did, an important granary of Rome. This fact, doubtless, was one of the chief reasons which induced Augustus to place it directly under imperial power. In AD 215 the emperor Caracalla visited the city and for some insulting satires that the inhabitants had directed at him, abruptly commanded his troops to put to death all youths capable of bearing arms. This brutal order seems to have been carried out even beyond the letter, for a general massacre ensued.

Even as its main historical importance had formerly sprung from pagan learning, now Alexandria acquired fresh importance as a centre of Christian theology and church government. There Arianism was formulated and where also Athanasius, the great opponent of both Arianism and pagan reaction, triumphed over both, establishing the Patriarch of Alexandria as a major influence in Christianity for the next two centuries.

As native influences began to reassert themselves in the Nile valley, Alexandria gradually became an alien city, more and more detached from Egypt and losing much of its commerce as the peace of the empire broke up during the 3rd century AD, followed by a fast decline in population and splendour.

In the late 4th century, persecution of pagans by Christians had reached new levels of intensity. Temples and statues were destroyed throughout the Roman empire: pagan rituals became forbidden under punishment of death, and libraries were closed. In 391, Emperor Theodosius I ordered the destruction of all pagan temples, and the Patriarch Theophilus, complied with his request. It is possible that the great Library of Alexandria and the Serapeum was destroyed about this time. The pagan mathematician and philosopher Hypathia was a prominent victim of the persecutions.

The Brucheum and Jewish quarters were desolate in the 5th century, and the central monuments, the Soma and Museum, fell into ruin. On the mainland, life seemed to have centred in the vicinity of the Serapeum and Caesareum, both which became Christian churches. The Pharos and Heptastadium quarters, however, remained populous and left intact.

veiled head only
DV CONSTANTI-NVS PT AVGG
RIC VIII Alexandria 32 C3

From uncleaned lot; one of the nicer finds.
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501. Constantine I Ostia Sol16 viewsOstia
Although Ostia was probably founded for the sole purpose of military defence — since through the Tiber's mouths armies could eventually reach Rome by water — in time the port became a commercial harbour, and a very important one too. Many of the goods that Rome received from its colonies and provinces passed through Ostia. In this role, Ostia soon replaced Pozzuoli (Puteoli, near Naples).

In 87 BC, the town was razed by Marius, and again in 67 BC it was sacked by pirates. After this second attack, the town was re-built and provided with protective walls by Cicero. The town was then further developed during the 1st century AD, mainly under the influence of Tiberius, who ordered the building of the first Forum. The town was also soon enriched by the construction of a new harbour on the northern mouths of the Tiber (which reaches the sea with a larger mouth in Ostia, Fiumara Grande, and a narrower one near to the current Fiumicino international airport). The new harbour, not surprisingly called Portus, was excavated from the ground at the orders of the emperor Claudius; it has an hexagonal form, in order to reduce the waves strength. The town was provided with all the services a town of the time could require; in particular, a famous lighthouse. Archaeologists also discovered the public latrinas, organised for collective use as a series of seats that lets us imagine today that the function was also a social moment. In addition, Ostia had a large theatre, public baths and a fire fighting service. You can still see the mosaic floors of the baths near today's entrance to the town.

Trajan too, required a widening of the naval areas, and ordered the building of another harbour, again pointing towards the north. It must be remembered that at a relatively short distance, there was also the harbour of Civitavecchia (Centum Cellae), and Rome was starting to have a significant number of harbours, the most important remaining Portus.

Ostia grew to 50,000 inhabitants in the 2nd century AD and in time focused its naval activities on Portus. With the end of the Roman Empire, Ostia fell slowly into decay, and was finally abandoned in the 9th century due to the fall of the Roman empire in combination with repeated invasions and sackings by Arab pirates; the inhabitants moved to Gregoriopolis. In the Middle Ages, bricks from buildings in Ostia were used for several other occasions. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was entirely built of material originally belonging to Ostia. A "local sacking" was carried out by baroque architects, who used the remains as a sort of marble store for the palazzi they were building in Rome. Soon after, foreign explorers came in search of ancient statues and objects. The Papacy started organising its own investigations with Pope Pius VII and the research still continues today. It has been estimated that two thirds of the ancient town have currently been found.

001. Constantine I Ostia

RIC VI Ostia 85 S

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503. Constans25 viewsFlavius Julius Constans (320 - January 18, 350), was a Roman Emperor who ruled from 337 to 350. Constans was the third and youngest son of Constantine the Great and Fausta, Constantine's second wife.

From 337, he was a joint ruler with his brothers Constantius II and Constantine II. Constantine II attempted to take advantage of his youth and inexperience by invading Italy in 340, but Constans defeated Constantine II at Aquileia, where the older brother died.

The writer Julius Firmicus Maternus mentioned that Constans visited Britain in the early months of 343, but did not explain why. The speed of his trip, paired with the fact he crossed the English Channel during the dangerous winter months, suggests it was in response to a military emergency of some kind.

In 350, the general Magnentius declared himself emperor with the support of the troops on the Rhine frontier, and later the entire Western portion of the Roman Empire. Constans lacked any support beyond his immediate household, and was forced to flee for his life. Magnentius' supporters cornered him in a fortification in southeastern Gaul, where he was killed.

Constans, AE3. 340-348 AD. DN CONSTANS P F AVG, diademed draped bust right / VICTORIAE DD AVGG Q NN, two Victories standing facing each other, each holding wreath & palm.
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504. Constantius II Campgate Nicomedia18 viewsNicomedia

Titular see of Bithynia Prima, founded by King Zipoetes. About 264 B.C. his son Nicodemes I dedicated the city anew, gave it his name, made it his capital, and adorned it with magnificent monuments. At his court the vanquished Hannibal sought refuge. When Bithynia became a Roman province Nicomedia remained its capital. Pliny the Younger mentions, in his letters to Trajan, several public edifices of the city — a senate house, an aqueduct which he had built, a forum, the temple of Cybele, etc. He also proposed to join the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmora by a canal which should follow the river Sangarius and empty the waters of the Lake of Sabandja into the Gulf of Astacus. A fire then almost destroyed the town. From Nicomedia perhaps, he wrote to Trajan his famous letter concerning the Christians. Under Marcus Aurelius, Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, addressed a letter to his community warning them against the Marcionites (Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl.", IV, xxiii). Bishop Evander, who opposed the sect of the Ophites (P.L., LIII, 592), seems to have lived at the same time. Nicomedia was the favorite residence of Diocletian, who built there a palace, a hippodrome, a mint, and an arsenal. In 303 the edict of the tenth persecution caused rivers of blood to flow through the empire, especially in Nicomedia, where the Bishop Anthimus and a great many Christians were martyred. The city was then half Christian, the palace itself being filled with them. In 303, in the vast plain east of Nicomedia, Diocletian renounced the empire in favour of Galerius. In 311 Lucian, a priest of Antioch, delivered a discourse in the presence of the judge before he was executed. Other martyrs of the city are numbered by hundreds. Nicomedia suffered greatly during the fourth century from an invasion of the Goths and from an earthquake (24 Aug., 354), which overthrew all the public and private monuments; fire completed the catastrophe. The city was rebuilt, on a smaller scale. In the reign of Justinian new public buildings were erected, which were destroyed in the following century by the Shah Chosroes. Pope Constantine I visited the city in 711. In 1073 John Comnenus was there proclaimed emperor and shortly afterwards was compelled to abdicate. In 1328 it was captured by the Sultan Orkhan, who restored its ramparts, parts of which are still preserved.

RIC VII Nicomedia 158 R2

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512. Procopius151 viewsProcopius (326 - May 27, 366), was a Roman usurper against Valentinian I, and member of the Constantinian dynasty.

According to Ammianus Marcellinus, Procopius was a native of Cilicia. On his mother's side, Procopius was cousin of Emperor Julian.

Procopius took part in the emperor Julian's campaign against the Persian Empire in 363. He was entrusted of leading 30,000 men towards Armenia, joining King Arsaces, and later return to Julian camp. At the time of Julian's death, there were rumors that he had intended Procopius to be his successor, but when Jovian was elected emperor by the Roman army, Procopius went into hiding to preserve his life. The ancient historians differ on the exact details of Procopius' life in hiding, but agree that he returned to public knowledge at Chalcedon before the house of the senator Strategius suffering from starvation and ignorant of current affairs.

By that time, Jovianus was dead, and Valentinian I shared the purple with his brother Valens. Procopius immediately moved to declare himself emperor. He bribed two legions that were resting at Constantinople to support his efforts, and took control of the imperial city. Shortly after this he proclaimed himself Emperor on September 28, 365, and quickly took control of the provinces of Thrace, and later Bithynia.

Valens was left with the task of dealing with this rebel, and over the next months struggled with both cities and units that wavered in their allegiance. Eventually their armies met at the Battle of Thyatira, and Procopius' forces were defeated. He fled the battlefield, but was betrayed to Valens by two of his remaining followers. Valens had all three executed May 27, 366.


Procopius - Usurper in the east, 365-6 , AE-3, Nicomedia mint


2.90g

Obv: Bust of Procopius, beared left "DN PROCOPIVS PF AVG"

Rev: Procopius standing head right, foot resting on a prow and leaning on a shield. "REPARATIO FEL TEMP" "SMNG" in the exergue.

RIC 10
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6233 EGYPT, Alexandria. Hadrian Hemidrachm 136-37 AD Pharos lighthouse59 viewsReference.
Dattari-Savio Pl. 95, 1935 (this coin). RPC III, 6233.5; Emmett 1103.21

Issue L KA = year 21

Obv. ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙС ΤΡΑΙΑΝ - ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟС СƐΒ
Laureate draped and cuirassed bust of Hadrian, r., seen from rear

Rev. L KA
Pharos lighthouse surmounted by two Tritons, each blowing a trumpet, between a lantern surmounted by a statue, holding situla and scepter; entryway below.

11.31 gr
30 mm
12h
2 commentsokidoki
AugustusAE19Sardeis.jpg
702a, Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.37 viewsAugustus, 27 BC - 14 AD. AE 19mm (5.98 gm). Lydia, Sardeis. Diodoros Hermophilou. Obverse: head right. Reverse: Zeus Lydios standing facing holding scepter and eagle. RPC I, 489, 2986; SNG von Aulock 3142. aVF. Fine portrait. Ex Tom Vossen.

De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers

AUGUSTUS (31 B.C. - 14 A.D.)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

In the course of his long and spectacular career, he put an end to the advancing decay of the Republic and established a new basis for Roman government that was to stand for three centuries. This system, termed the "Principate," was far from flawless, but it provided the Roman Empire with a series of rulers who presided over the longest period of unity, peace, and prosperity that Western Europe, the Middle East and the North African seaboard have known in their entire recorded history. Even if the rulers themselves on occasion left much to be desired, the scale of Augustus's achievement in establishing the system cannot be overstated. Aside from the immense importance of Augustus's reign from the broad historical perspective, he himself is an intriguing figure: at once tolerant and implacable, ruthless and forgiving, brazen and tactful. Clearly a man of many facets, he underwent three major political reinventions in his lifetime and negotiated the stormy and dangerous seas of the last phase of the Roman Revolution with skill and foresight. With Augustus established in power and with the Principate firmly rooted, the internal machinations of the imperial household provide a fascinating glimpse into the one issue that painted this otherwise gifted organizer and politician into a corner from which he could find no easy exit: the problem of the succession.

(For a very detailed and interesting account of the Age of Augustus see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/auggie.htm)

Death and Retrospective

In his later years, Augustus withdrew more and more from the public eye, although he continued to transact public business. He was getting older, and old age in ancient times must have been considerably more debilitating than it is today. In any case, Tiberius had been installed as his successor and, by AD 13, was virtually emperor already. In AD 4 he had received grants of both proconsular and tribunician power, which had been renewed as a matter of course whenever they needed to be; in AD 13, Tiberius's imperium had been made co-extensive with that of Augustus. While traveling in Campania, Augustus died peacefully at Nola on 19 August, AD 14. Tiberius, who was en route to Illyricum, hurried to the scene and, depending on the source, arrived too late or spent a day in consultation with the dying princes. The tradition that Livia poisoned her husband is scurrilous in the extreme and most unlikely to be true. Whatever the case about these details, Imperator Caesar Augustus, Son of a God, Father of his Country, the man who had ruled the Roman world alone for almost 45 years, or over half a century if the triumviral period is included, was dead. He was accorded a magnificent funeral, buried in the mausoleum he had built in Rome, and entered the Roman pantheon as Divus Augustus. In his will, he left 1,000 sesterces apiece to the men of the Praetorian guard, 500 to the urban cohorts, and 300 to each of the legionaries. In death, as in life, Augustus acknowledged the true source of his power.

The inscription entitled "The Achievements of the Divine Augustus" (Res Gestae Divi Augustae; usually abbreviated RG) remains a remarkable piece of evidence deriving from Augustus's reign. The fullest copy of it is the bilingual Greek and Latin version carved into the walls of the Temple of Rome and Augustus at Ancyra in Galatia (for this reason the RG used to be commonly referred to as the Monumentum Ancyranum). Other evidence, however, demonstrates that the original was inscribed on two bronze pillars that flanked the entrance to the Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome. The inscription remains the only first-person summary of any Roman emperor's political career and, as such, offers invaluable insights into the Augustan regime's public presentation of itself.

In looking back on the reign of Augustus and its legacy to the Roman world, its longevity ought not to be overlooked as a key factor in its success. People had been born and reached middle age without knowing any form of government other than the Principate. Had Augustus died earlier (in 23 BC, for instance), matters may have turned out very differently. The attrition of the civil wars on the old Republican aristocracy and the longevity of Augustus, therefore, must be seen as major contributing factors in the transformation of the Roman state into a monarchy in these years. Augustus's own experience, his patience, his tact, and his great political acumen also played their part. All of these factors allowed him to put an end to the chaos of the Late Republic and re-establish the Roman state on a firm footing. He directed the future of the empire down many lasting paths, from the existence of a standing professional army stationed at or near the frontiers, to the dynastic principle so often employed in the imperial succession, to the embellishment of the capital at the emperor's expense. Augustus's ultimate legacy, however, was the peace and prosperity the empire was to enjoy for the next two centuries under the system he initiated. His memory was enshrined in the political ethos of the Imperial age as a paradigm of the good emperor; although every emperor adopted his name, Caesar Augustus, only a handful earned genuine comparison with him.

Copyright © 1999, Garrett G. Fagan.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Augustus (the first Roman emperor, in whose reign Jesus Christ was born) is without any doubt one of the most important figures in Roman history.

It is reported that when he was near death, Augustus addressed those in attendance with these words, "If I have played my part well, applaud!"

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr
Cleisthenes
TiberiusTributePennyRICI30RSCII16aSRCV1763.jpg
703a, Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Tribute Penny of Matthew 22:20-2148 viewsSilver denarius, RIC I 30, RSC II 16a, SRCV 1763, gVF, Lugdunum mint, 3.837g, 18.7mm, 90o, 16 - 37 A.D.; obverse TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF MAXIM, Pax/Livia seated right holding scepter and branch, legs on chair ornamented, feet on footstool; toned. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Tiberius (A.D. 14-37)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

Introduction
The reign of Tiberius (b. 42 B.C., d. A.D. 37, emperor A.D. 14-37) is a particularly important one for the Principate, since it was the first occasion when the powers designed for Augustus alone were exercised by somebody else. In contrast to the approachable and tactful Augustus, Tiberius emerges from the sources as an enigmatic and darkly complex figure, intelligent and cunning, but given to bouts of severe depression and dark moods that had a great impact on his political career as well as his personal relationships.

. . . .

Early life (42-12 B.C.)
Tiberius Claudius Nero was born on 16 November 42 B.C. to Ti. Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. Both parents were scions of the gens Claudia which had supplied leaders to the Roman Republic for many generations. . . [I]n 39 B.C., his mother Livia divorced Ti. Claudius Nero and married Octavian, thereby making the infant Tiberius the stepson of the future ruler of the Roman world. Forever afterward, Tiberius was to have his name coupled with this man, and always to his detriment.

. . . .

Accession and Early Reign (A.D. 14 - 23)
The accession of Tiberius proved intensely awkward. After Augustus had been buried and deified, and his will read and honored, the Senate convened on 18 September to inaugurate the new reign and officially "confirm" Tiberius as emperor. Such a transfer of power had never happened before, and nobody, including Tiberius, appears to have known what to do. Tacitus's account is the fullest. . . Rather than tactful, he came across to the senators as obdurate and obstructive. He declared that he was too old for the responsibilities of the Principate, said he did not want the job, and asked if he could just take one part of the government for himself. The Senate was confused, not knowing how to read his behavior. Finally, one senator asked pointedly, "Sire, for how long will you allow the State to be without a head?" Tiberius relented and accepted the powers voted to him, although he refused the title "Augustus."

. . . .

Tiberius allowed a trusted advisor to get too close and gain a tremendous influence over him. That advisor was the Praetorian Prefect, L. Aelius Sejanus, who would derail Tiberius's plans for the succession and drive the emperor farther into isolation, depression, and paranoia.

Sejanus (A.D. 23-31)
Sejanus hailed from Volsinii in Etruria. He and his father shared the Praetorian Prefecture until A.D. 15 when the father, L. Seius Strabo, was promoted to be Prefect of Egypt, the pinnacle of an equestrian career under the Principate. Sejanus, now sole Prefect of the Guard, enjoyed powerful connections to senatorial houses and had been a companion to Gaius Caesar on his mission to the East, 1 B.C. - A.D. 4. Through a combination of energetic efficiency, fawning sycophancy, and outward displays of loyalty, he gained the position of Tiberius's closest friend and advisor.

. . . .

[I]n a shocking and unexpected turn of events, [a] letter sent by Tiberius from Capri initially praised Sejanus extensively, and then suddenly denounced him as a traitor and demanded his arrest. Chaos ensued. Senators long allied with Sejanus headed for the exits, the others were confused -- was this a test of their loyalty? What did the emperor want them to do? -- but the Praetorian Guard, the very troops formerly under Sejanus's command but recently and secretly transferred to the command of Q. Sutorius Macro, arrested Sejanus, conveyed him to prison, and shortly afterwards executed him summarily. A witch-hunt followed. . . All around the city, grim scenes were played out, and as late as A.D. 33 a general massacre of all those still in custody took place.

Tiberius himself later claimed that he turned on Sejanus because he had been alerted to Sejanus's plot against Germanicus's family. This explanation has been rejected by most ancient and modern authorities, since Sejanus's demise did nothing to alleviate that family's troubles.

. . . .

The Last Years (A.D. 31-37)
The Sejanus affair appears to have greatly depressed Tiberius. A close friend and confidant had betrayed him; whom could he trust anymore? His withdrawal from public life seemed more complete in the last years. Letters kept him in touch with Rome, but it was the machinery of the Augustan administration that kept the empire running smoothly. Tiberius, if we believe our sources, spent much of his time indulging his perversities on Capri.

. . . .

Tiberius died quietly in a villa at Misenum on 16 March A.D. 37. He was 78 years old. There are some hints in the sources of the hand of Caligula in the deed, but such innuendo can be expected at the death of an emperor, especially when his successor proved so depraved. The level of unpopularity Tiberius had achieved by the time of his death with both the upper and lower classes is revealed by these facts: the Senate refused to vote him divine honors, and mobs filled the streets yelling "To the Tiber with Tiberius!" (in reference to a method of disposal reserved for the corpses of criminals).

Tiberius and the Empire
Three main aspects of Tiberius's impact on the empire deserve special attention: his relative military inertia; his modesty in dealing with offers of divine honors and his fair treatment of provincials; and his use of the Law of Treason (maiestas).

. . . .

Conclusion
. . . Tiberius's reign sporadically descended into tyranny of the worst sort. In the right climate of paranoia and suspicion, widespread denunciation led to the deaths of dozens of Senators and equestrians, as well as numerous members of the imperial house. In this sense, the reign of Tiberius decisively ended the Augustan illusion of "the Republic Restored" and shone some light into the future of the Principate, revealing that which was both promising and terrifying.

[For the entire article please refer to http://www.roman-emperors.org/tiberius.htm]

Copyright © 1997, Garrett G. Fagan. Used by permission.

"Some of the things he did are hard to believe. He had little boys trained as minnows to chase him when he went swimming and to get between his legs and nibble him. He also had babies not weaned from their mother breast suck at his chest and groin . . . "
(Suetonius. The Twelve Caesars. Trans. Robert Graves. London: Penguin Books, 1979. XLIV).

Jesus, referring to a "penny" asked, "Whose is this image and superscription?" When told it was Caesar, He said, ''Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:20-21). Since Tiberius was Caesar at the time, this denarius type is attributed by scholars as the "penny" referred to in the Bible(Joseph Sermarini).


Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
TiberiusHierapolis.jpg
703b, Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia107 viewsBronze AE 16, RPC I 2966 (1 specimen), F, Phrygia, Hierapolis, 3.300g, 15.6mm, 0o; Obverse: TIBEPIOC KAISAR, laureate head right; Reverse: IERAPOLEITWN ZOSIMOS [...], Apollo Archegetes (Lairbenos) standing left, playing lyre; reverse countermarked with star of six rays, in oval punch, 2.5 x 3.5 mm, Howgego 445 (3 pcs, 1 of which from this magistrate); dark patina; very rare. Ex FORVM.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

TIBERIUS (A.D. 14-37)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

The reign of Tiberius Claudius Nero (b. 42 B.C., d. A.D. 37, emperor A.D. 14-37) is a particularly important one for the Principate, since it was the first occasion when the powers designed for Augustus alone were exercised by somebody else. In contrast to the approachable and tactful Augustus, Tiberius emerges from the sources as an enigmatic and darkly complex figure, intelligent and cunning, but given to bouts of severe depression and dark moods that had a great impact on his political career as well as his personal relationships. His reign abounds in contradictions. Despite his keen intelligence, he allowed himself to come under the influence of unscrupulous men who, as much as any actions of his own, ensured that Tiberius's posthumous reputation would be unfavorable; despite his vast military experience, he oversaw the conquest of no new region for the empire; and despite his administrative abilities he showed such reluctance in running the state as to retire entirely from Rome and live out his last years in isolation on the island of Capri. His reign represents, as it were, the adolescence of the Principate as an institution. Like any adolescence, it proved a difficult time.

. . . .

It is all but inevitable that any historical assessment of Tiberius will quickly devolve into a historiographical assessment of Tacitus. So masterful is Tacitus's portrayal of his subject, and so influential has it been ever since, that in all modern treatments of Tiberius, in attempting to get at the man, must address the issue of Tacitus's historiographical methods, his sources, and his rhetoric. The subject is too vast to address here, but some points are salient. Tacitus's methods, especially his use of innuendo and inference to convey notions that are essentially editorial glosses, makes taking his portrayal of Tiberius at face value inadvisable. Further, his belief in the immutable character of people -- that one's character is innate at birth and cannot be changed, although it can be disguised -- prevents him from investigating the possibility that Tiberius evolved and developed over his lifetime and during his reign. Instead, Tacitus's portrayal is one of peeling back layers of dissimulation to reach the "real" Tiberius lurking underneath.

Overall, Tiberius's reign can be said to show the boons and banes of rule by one man, especially a man as dark, awkward, and isolated as Tiberius. For the people of the provinces, it was a peaceful and well-ordered time. Governors behaved themselves, and there were no destructive or expensive wars. In the domestic sphere, however, the concentration of power in one person made all the greater the threat of misbehavior by ambitious satellites like Sejanus or foolish friends like Piso. Furthermore, if the emperor wished to remain aloof from the mechanics of power, he could do so. Administrators, who depended on him for their directions, could operate without his immediate supervision, but their dealings with a man like Sejanus could lead to disaster if that man fell from grace. As a result, although he was not a tyrant himself, Tiberius's reign sporadically descended into tyranny of the worst sort. In the right climate of paranoia and suspicion, widespread denunciation led to the deaths of dozens of Senators and equestrians, as well as numerous members of the imperial house. In this sense, the reign of Tiberius decisively ended the Augustan illusion of "the Republic Restored" and shone some light into the future of the Principate, revealing that which was both promising and terrifying.

[For the complete article please refer to http://www.roman-emperors.org/tiberius.htm]

By Garrett G. Fagan, Pennsylvania State University.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.


Hierapolis in History

Usually said to be founded by Eumenes II, king of Pergamum (197-159 BC), Hierapolis may actually have been established closer to the 4th century BC by the Seleucid kings.

The name of the city may derive from Hiera, the wife of Telephus (son of Hercules and grandson of Zeus), the mythical founder of Pergamum. Or it may have been called the "sacred city" because of the temples located at the site. (The name Pamukkale is sometimes used just to refer to the white terraces, but the modern name of the whole area is also Pamukkale.)

With Colossae and Laodicea, Hierapolis became part of the tri-city area of the Lycus River valley. Hierapolis was located across the river from the other two cities and was noted for its textiles, especially wool. The city was also famous for its purple dye, made from the juice of the madder root.

The hot springs at Hierapolis (which still attract visitors today) were believed to have healing properties, and people came to the city to bathe in the rich mineral waters in order to cure various ailments.

Hierapolis was dedicated to Apollo Lairbenos, who was said to have founded the city. The Temple of Apollo that survives in ruins today dates from the 3rd century AD, but its foundations date from the Hellenistic period.

Also worshipped at Hierapolis was Pluto, god of the underworld, probably in relation to the hot gases released by the earth (see the Plutonium, below). The chief religious festival of ancient Hierapolis was the Letoia, in honor of the the goddess Leto, a Greek form of the Mother Goddess. The goddess was honoured with orgiastic rites.

Hierapolis was ceded to Rome in 133 BC along with the rest of the Pergamene kingdom, and became part of the Roman province of Asia. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 60 AD but rebuilt, and it reached its peak in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.

Famous natives of Hierapolis include the Stoic philosopher Epictetus (c.55-c.135 AD) and the philosopher and rhetorician Antipater. Emperor Septimus hired Antipater to tutor his sons Caracalla and Geta, who became emperors themselves.

Hierapolis had a significant Jewish population in ancient times, as evidence by numerous inscriptions on tombs and elsewhere in the city. Some of the Jews are named as members of the various craft guilds of the city. This was probably the basis for the Christian conversion of some residents of Hierapolis, recorded in Colossians 4:13.

In the 5th century, several churches as well as a large martyrium dedicated to St. Philip (see "In the Bible," below) were built in Hierapolis. The city fell into decline in the 6th century, and the site became partially submerged under water and deposits of travertine. It was finally abandoned in 1334 after an earthquake. Excavations began to uncover Hierapolis in the 19th century.

Hierapolis in the Bible

Hierapolis is mentioned only once in the Bible, when St. Paul praises Epaphras, a Christian from Colossae, in his letter to the Colossians. Paul writes that Epaphras "has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis" (Colossians 4:12-13). Epaphras was probably the founder of the Christian community at Hierapolis.

Ancient tradition also associates Hierapolis with a biblical figure, reporting that Philip died in Hierapolis around 80 AD. However, it is not clear which Philip is menat. It could be Philip the Apostle, one of the original 12 disciples, who is said to have been martyred by upside-down crucifixion (Acts of Philip) or by being hung upside down by his ankles from a tree.

Or Philip could be Philip the Evangelist, a later disciple who helped with administrative matters and had four virgin-prophetess daughters (Acts 6:1-7; 21:8-9). Early traditions say this Philip was buried in Hierapolis along with his virgin daughters, but confusingly call him "Philip the Apostle"! In any case, it seems a prominent person mentioned in Acts did die in Hierapolis.
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/hierapolis-pamukkale.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
CaligulaSmyrnaRPC2473.jpg
704a, Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D.101 viewsCaligula, 37 - 41 AD, Ionia, Smyrna. AE 17mm. Klose, Smyrna 27a. RPC 2473. 2.89 gm. Fine. Menophanes, Aviola, Procos, 37-38 AD. Obverse: AION, laureate head right; Reverse: Nike holding wreath right. Ex Tom Vossen.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

GAIUS (CALIGULA) (A.D. 37-41)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (Caligula) was born on 31 August, A.D. 12, probably at the Julio-Claudian resort of Antium (modern Anzio), the third of six children born to Augustus's adopted grandson, Germanicus, and Augustus's granddaughter, Agrippina. Caligula was the Roman Emperor between A.D. 37-41). Unfortunately, his is the most poorly documented reign of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. The literary sources for these four years are meager, frequently anecdotal, and universally hostile.[[1]] As a result, not only are many of the events of the reign unclear, but Gaius himself appears more as a caricature than a real person, a crazed megalomaniac given to capricious cruelty. Although some headway can be made in disentangling truth from embellishment, the true character of the youthful emperor will forever elude us.

As a baby he accompanied his parents on military campaigns in the north and was shown to the troops wearing a miniature soldier's outfit, including the hob-nailed sandal called caliga, whence the nickname by which posterity remembers him. His childhood was not a happy one, spent amid an atmosphere of paranoia, suspicion, and murder. Instability within the Julio-Claudian house, generated by uncertainty over the succession, led to a series of personal tragedies.

When Tiberius died on 16 March A.D. 37, Gaius was in a perfect position to assume power, despite the obstacle of Tiberius's will, which named him and his cousin Tiberius Gemellus joint heirs. (Gemellus's life was shortened considerably by this bequest, since Gaius ordered him killed within a matter of months.) Backed by the Praetorian Prefect Q. Sutorius Macro, Gaius asserted his dominance. He had Tiberius's will declared null and void on grounds of insanity, accepted the powers of the Principate as conferred by the Senate, and entered Rome on 28 March amid scenes of wild rejoicing. His first acts were generous in spirit: he paid Tiberius's bequests and gave a cash bonus to the Praetorian Guard, the first recorded donativum to troops in imperial history.

The ancient sources are practically unanimous as to the cause of Gaius's downfall: he was insane. The writers differ as to how this condition came about, but all agree that after his good start Gaius began to behave in an openly autocratic manner, even a crazed one. The sources describe his incestuous relations with his sisters, laughable military campaigns in the north, the building of a pontoon bridge across the Bay at Baiae, and the plan to make his horse a consul. Their unanimous hostility renders their testimony suspect, especially since Gaius's reported behavior fits remarkably well with that of the ancient tyrant, a literary type enshrined in Greco-Roman tradition centuries before his reign. Further, the only eye-witness account of Gaius's behavior, Philo's Embassy to Gaius, offers little evidence of outright insanity, despite the antagonism of the author, whom Gaius treated with the utmost disrespect.

The conspiracy that ended Gaius's life was hatched among the officers of the Praetorian Guard, apparently for purely personal reasons. It appears also to have had the support of some senators and an imperial freedman. As with conspiracies in general, there are suspicions that the plot was more broad-based than the sources intimate, and it may even have enjoyed the support of the next emperor Claudius, but these propositions are not provable on available evidence. On 24 January A.D. 41 the praetorian tribune Cassius Chaerea and other guardsmen caught Gaius alone in a secluded palace corridor and cut him down. He was 28 years old and had ruled three years and ten months.

Whatever damage Tiberius's later years had done to the carefully crafted political edifice created by Augustus, Gaius multiplied it a hundredfold. When he came to power in A.D. 37 Gaius had no administrative experience beyond his honorary quaestorship, and had spent an unhappy early life far from the public eye. He appears, once in power, to have realized the boundless scope of his authority and acted accordingly. For the elite, this situation proved intolerable and ensured the blackening of Caligula's name in the historical record they would dictate. The sensational and hostile nature of that record, however, should in no way trivialize Gaius's importance. His reign highlighted an inherent weakness in the Augustan Principate, now openly revealed for what it was -- a raw monarchy in which only the self-discipline of the incumbent acted as a restraint on his behavior. That the only means of retiring the wayward princes was murder marked another important revelation: Roman emperors could not relinquish their powers without simultaneously relinquishing their lives.

Copyright © 1997, Garrett G. Fagan.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Ancient Smyrna

The 5,000 year-old city of Izmir is one of the oldest cities of the Mediterranean basin. The original city was established in the third millennium BC (at present day Bayraklı), at which time it shared with Troy the most advanced culture in Anatolia.


Greek settlement is attested by the presence of pottery dating from about 1000 BC. In the first millennium BC Izmir, then known as Smyrna, ranked as one of the most important cities of the Ionian Federation. During this period, it is believed that the epic poet Homer resided here.

Lydian conquest of the city around 600 BC brought this golden age to an end. Smyrna was little more than a village throughout the Lydian and subsequent sixth century BC Persian rule. In the fourth century BC a new city was built on the slopes of Mt. Pagos (Kadifekale) during the reign of Alexander the Great. Smyrna's Roman period, beginning in the first century BC, was its second great era.

In the first century AD, Smyrna became one of the earliest centers of Christianity and it was one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Both Revelation and the Martyrdom of Polycarp indicate the existence of a Jewish community in Smyrna as early as the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. The letter to the church at Smyrna in Revelation indicates that the Christians were spiritually "rich" and apparently in conflict with the Jews (2:9).

The origins of the Christian community there, which was established in the 1st century, are unknown. Ignatius of Antioch stopped at Smyrna on his way to martyrdom in Rome in 107 AD, and he sent a letter back to the Christians there from later in his journey. Smyrna's bishop, Polycarp, was burned at the stake in Smyrna's stadium around 156 AD.

Byzantine rule came in the fourth century and lasted until the Seljuk conquest in 11th century. In 1415, under Sultan Mehmed Çelebi, Smyrna became part of the Ottoman Empire.

The city earned its fame as one of the most important port cities of the world during the 17th to 19th centuries. The majority of its population were Greek but merchants of various origins (especially Greek, French, Italian, Dutch, Armenian, Sephardi and Jewish) transformed the city into a cosmopolitan portal of trade. During this period, the city was famous for its own brand of music (Smyrneika) as well as its wide range of products it exported to Europe (Smyrna/Sultana raisins, dried figs, carpets, etc.).

Today, Izmir is Turkey's third largest city and is nicknamed "the pearl of Aegean." It is widely regarded as the most Westernized city of Turkey in terms of values, ideology, gender roles, and lifestyle.
© 2005-08 Sacred Destinations. All rights reserved.
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/izmir-history.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
GalbaAEAs.jpg
707a, Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.66 viewsGalba AE As, 68-69 AD; cf. SRC 727, 729ff; 27.85mm, 12g; Rome: Obverse: GALBA IMP CAESAR…, Laureate head right; Reverse: S P Q R OB CIV SER in oak wreath; gF+/F Ex. Ancient Imports.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Galba (68-69 A.D.)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary


Introduction
The evidence for the principate of Galba is unsatisfactory. The sources either concentrate on the personality of the man, thereby failing to offer a balanced account of his policies and a firm chronological base for his actions; or, they focus on the final two weeks of his life at the expense of the earlier part of his reign. As a result, a detailed account of his principate is difficult to write. Even so, Galba is noteworthy because he was neither related to nor adopted by his predecessor Nero. Thus, his accession marked the end of the nearly century-long control of the Principate by the Julio-Claudians. Additionally, Galba's declaration as emperor by his troops abroad set a precedent for the further political upheavals of 68-69. Although these events worked to Galba's favor initially, they soon came back to haunt him, ending his tumultuous rule after only seven months.

Early Life and Rise to Power
Born 24 December 3 BC in Tarracina, a town on the Appian Way, 65 miles south of Rome, Servius Galba was the son of C. Sulpicius Galba and Mummia Achaica. Galba's connection with the noble house of the Servii gave him great prestige and assured his acceptance among the highest levels of Julio-Claudian society. Adopted in his youth by Livia, the mother of the emperor Tiberius, he is said to have owed much of his early advancement to her. Upon her death, Livia made Galba her chief legatee, bequeathing him some 50 million sesterces. Tiberius, Livia's heir, reduced the amount, however, and then never paid it. Galba's marriage proved to be a further source of disappointment, as he outlived both his wife Lepida and their two sons. Nothing else is known of Galba's immediate family, other than that he remained a widower for the rest of his life.

Although the details of Galba's early political career are incomplete, the surviving record is one of an ambitious Roman making his way in the Emperor's service. Suetonius records that as praetor Galba put on a new kind of exhibition for the people - elephants walking on a rope. Later, he served as governor of the province of Aquitania, followed by a six-month term as consul at the beginning of 33. Ironically, as consul he was succeeded by Salvius Otho, whose own son would succeed Galba as emperor. Over the years three more governorships followed - Upper Germany (date unknown), North Africa (45) and Hispania Tarraconensis, the largest of Spain's three provinces (61). He was selected as a proconsul of Africa by the emperor Claudius himself instead of by the usual method of drawing lots. During his two-year tenure in the province he successfully restored internal order and quelled a revolt by the barbarians. As an imperial legate he was a governor in Spain for eight years under Nero, even though he was already in his early sixties when he assumed his duties. The appointment showed that Galba was still considered efficient and loyal. In all of these posts Galba generally displayed an enthusiasm for old-fashioned disciplina, a trait consistent with the traditional characterization of the man as a hard-bitten aristocrat of the old Republican type. Such service did not go unnoticed, as he was honored with triumphal insignia and three priesthoods during his career.

On the basis of his ancestry, family tradition and service to the state Galba was the most distinguished Roman alive (with the exception of the houses of the Julii and Claudii) at the time of Nero's demise in 68. The complex chain of events that would lead him to the Principate later that year began in March with the rebellion of Gaius Iulius Vindex, the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis. Vindex had begun to sound out provincial governors about support for a rebellion perhaps in late 67 or early 68. Galba did not respond but, because of his displeasure with Neronian misgovernment, neither did he inform the emperor of these treasonous solicitations. This, of course, left him dangerously exposed; moreover, he was already aware that Nero, anxious to remove anyone of distinguished birth and noble achievements, had ordered his death. Given these circumstances, Galba likely felt that he had no choice but to rebel.

In April, 68, while still in Spain, Galba "went public," positioning himself as a vir militaris, a military representative of the senate and people of Rome. For the moment, he refused the title of Emperor, but it is clear that the Principate was his goal. To this end, he organized a concilium of advisors in order to make it known that any decisions were not made by him alone but only after consultation with a group. The arrangement was meant to recall the Augustan Age relationship between the emperor and senate in Rome. Even more revealing of his imperial ambitions were legends like LIBERTAS RESTITUTA (Liberty Restored), ROM RENASC (Rome Reborn) and SALUS GENERIS HUMANI (Salvation of Mankind), preserved on his coinage from the period. Such evidence has brought into question the traditional assessment of Galba as nothing more than an ineffectual representative of a bygone antiquus rigor in favor of a more balanced portrait of a traditional constitutionalist eager to publicize the virtues of an Augustan-style Principate.
Events now began to move quickly. In May, 68 Lucius Clodius Macer, legate of the III legio Augusta in Africa, revolted from Nero and cut off the grain supply to Rome. Choosing not to recognize Galba, he called himself propraetor, issued his own coinage, and raised a new legion, the I Macriana liberatrix. Galba later had him executed. At the same time, 68, Lucius Verginius Rufus, legionary commander in Upper Germany, led a combined force of soldiers from Upper and Lower Germany in defeating Vindex at Vesontio in Gallia Lugdunensis. Verginius refused to accept a call to the emperorship by his own troops and by those from the Danube, however, thereby creating at Rome an opportunity for Galba's agents to win over Gaius Nymphidius Sabinus, the corrupt praetorian prefect since 65. Sabinus was able to turn the imperial guard against Nero on the promise that they would be rewarded financially by Galba upon his arrival. That was the end for Nero. Deposed by the senate and abandoned by his supporters, he committed suicide in June. At this point, encouraged to march on Rome by the praetorians and especially by Sabinus, who had his own designs on the throne, Galba hurriedly established broad-based political and financial support and assembled his own legion (subsequently known as the legio VII Gemina). As he departed from Spain, he abandoned the title of governor in favor of "Caesar," apparently in an attempt to lay claim to the entire inheritance of the Julio-Claudian house. Even so, he continued to proceed cautiously, and did not actually adopt the name of Caesar (and with it the emperorship) until sometime after he had left Spain.

The Principate of Galba
Meanwhile, Rome was anything but serene. An unusual force of soldiers, many of whom had been mustered by Nero to crush the attempt of Vindex, remained idle and restless. In addition, there was the matter concerning Nymphidius Sabinus. Intent on being the power behind the throne, Nymphidius had orchestrated a demand from the praetorians that Galba appoint him sole praetorian prefect for life. The senate capitulated to his pretensions and he began to have designs on the throne himself. In an attempt to rattle Galba, Nymphidius then sent messages of alarm to the emperor telling of unrest in both the city and abroad. When Galba ignored these reports, Nymphidius decided to launch a coup by presenting himself to the praetorians. The plan misfired, and the praetorians killed him when he appeared at their camp. Upon learning of the incident, Galba ordered the executions of Nymphidius' followers. To make matters worse, Galba's arrival was preceded by a confrontation with a boisterous band of soldiers who had been formed into a legion by Nero and were now demanding legionary standards and regular quarters. When they persisted, Galba's forces attacked, with the result that many of them were killed.
Thus it was amid carnage and fear that Galba arrived at the capital in October, 68, accompanied by Otho, the governor of Lusitania, who had joined the cause. Once Galba was within Rome, miscalculations and missteps seemed to multiply. First, he relied upon the advice of a corrupt circle of advisors, most notably: Titus Vinius, a general from Spain; Cornelius Laco, praetorian prefect; and his own freedman, Icelus. Second, he zealously attempted to recover some of Nero's more excessive expenditures by seizing the property of many citizens, a measure that seems to have gone too far and to have caused real hardship and resentment. Third, he created further ill-will by disbanding the imperial corps of German bodyguards, effectively abolishing a tradition that originated with Marius and had been endorsed by Augustus. Finally, he seriously alienated the military by refusing cash rewards for both the praetorians and for the soldiers in Upper Germany who had fought against Vindex.

This last act proved to be the beginning of the end for Galba. On 1 January 69 ("The Year of the Four Emperors"), the troops in Upper Germany refused to declare allegiance to him and instead followed the men stationed in Lower Germany in proclaiming their commander, Aulus Vitellius, as the new ruler. In response, Galba adopted Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus to show that he was still in charge and that his successor would not be chosen for him. Piso, although an aristocrat, was a man completely without administrative or military experience. The choice meant little to the remote armies, the praetorians or the senate, and it especially angered Otho, who had hoped to succeed Galba. Otho quickly organized a conspiracy among the praetorians with the now-familiar promise of a material reward, and on 15 January 69 they declared him emperor and publicly killed Galba; Piso, dragged from hiding in the temple of Vesta, was also butchered.

Assessment
In sum, Galba had displayed talent and ambition during his lengthy career. He enjoyed distinguished ancestry, moved easily among the Julio-Claudian emperors (with the exception of Nero towards the end of his principate), and had been awarded the highest military and religious honors of ancient Rome. His qualifications for the principate cannot be questioned. Even so, history has been unkind to him. Tacitus characterized Galba as "weak and old," a man "equal to the imperial office, if he had never held it." Modern historians of the Roman world have been no less critical. To be sure, Galba's greatest mistake lay in his general handling of the military. His treatment of the army in Upper Germany was heedless, his policy towards the praetorians short sighted. Given the climate in 68-69, Galba was unrealistic in expecting disciplina without paying the promised rewards. He was also guilty of relying on poor advisors, who shielded him from reality and ultimately allowed Otho's conspiracy to succeed. Additionally, the excessive power of his henchmen brought the regime into disfavor and made Galba himself the principal target of the hatred that his aides had incited. Finally, the appointment of Piso, a young man in no way equal to the challenges placed before him, further underscored the emperor's isolation and lack of judgment. In the end, the instability of the post-Julio-Claudian political landscape offered challenges more formidable than a tired, septuagenarian aristocrat could hope to overcome. Ironically, his regime proved no more successful than the Neronian government he was so eager to replace. Another year of bloodshed would be necessary before the Principate could once again stand firm.

Copyright (C) 1999, John Donahue.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.


Cleisthenes
VespasianPax_RICii10.jpg
710a, Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.135 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, 10, aVF, 3.5 g, 18mm, Rome mint, 69-71 AD; Obverse: IMP CAESA[R] VESPASIANV[S AV]G - Laureate head right; Reverse: COS ITER [T]R POT - Pax seated left holding branch and caduceus. Ex Imperial Coins.


De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 69-79)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (b. A.D. 9, d. A.D. 79, emperor A.D. 69-79) restored peace and stability to an empire in disarray following the death of Nero in A.D. 68. In the process he established the Flavian dynasty as the legitimate successor to the Imperial throne. Although we lack many details about the events and chronology of his reign, Vespasian provided practical leadership and a return to stable government - accomplishments which, when combined with his other achievements, make his emperorship particularly notable within the history of the Principate.

Early Life and Career

Vespasian was born at Falacrina near Sabine Reate on 17 November, A.D. 9, the son of T. Flavius Sabinus, a successful tax collector and banker, and Vespasia Polla. Both parents were of equestrian status. Few details of his first fifteen years survive, yet it appears that his father and mother were often away from home on business for long periods. As a result, Vespasian's early education became the responsibility of his paternal grandmother, Tertulla. [[1]] In about A.D. 25 Vespasian assumed the toga virilis and later accepted the wearing of the latus clavus, and with it the senatorial path that his older brother, T. Flavius Sabinus, had already chosen. [[2]] Although many of the particulars are lacking, the posts typically occupied by one intent upon a senatorial career soon followed: a military tribunate in Thrace, perhaps for three or four years; a quaestorship in Crete-Cyrene; and the offices of aedile and praetor, successively, under the emperor Gaius. [[3]]

It was during this period that Vespasian married Flavia Domitilla. Daughter of a treasury clerk and former mistress of an African knight, Flavia lacked the social standing and family connections that the politically ambitious usually sought through marriage. In any case, the couple produced three children, a daughter, also named Flavia Domitilla, and two sons, the future emperors Titus and Domitian . Flavia did not live to witness her husband's emperorship and after her death Vespasian returned to his former mistress Caenis, who had been secretary to Antonia (daughter of Marc Antony and mother of Claudius). Caenis apparently exerted considerable influence over Vespasian, prompting Suetonius to assert that she remained his wife in all but name, even after he became emperor. [[4]]

Following the assassination of Gaius on 24 January, A.D. 41, Vespasian advanced rapidly, thanks in large part to the new princeps Claudius, whose favor the Flavians had wisely secured with that of Antonia, the mother of Germanicus, and of Claudius' freedmen, especially Narcissus. [[5]] The emperor soon dispatched Vespasian to Argentoratum (Strasbourg) as legatus legionis II Augustae, apparently to prepare the legion for the invasion of Britain. Vespasian first appeared at the battle of Medway in A.D. 43, and soon thereafter led his legion across the south of England, where he engaged the enemy thirty times in battle, subdued two tribes, and conquered the Isle of Wight. According to Suetonius, these operations were conducted partly under Claudius and partly under Vespasian's commander, Aulus Plautius. Vespasian's contributions, however, did not go unnoticed; he received the ornamenta triumphalia and two priesthoods from Claudius for his exploits in Britain. [[6]]

By the end of A.D. 51 Vespasian had reached the consulship, the pinnacle of a political career at Rome. For reasons that remain obscure he withdrew from political life at this point, only to return when chosen proconsul of Africa about A.D. 63-64. His subsequent administration of the province was marked by severity and parsimony, earning him a reputation for being scrupulous but unpopular. [[7]] Upon completion of his term, Vespasian returned to Rome where, as a senior senator, he became a man of influence in the emperor Nero's court. [[8]] Important enough to be included on Nero's tour of Greece in A.D. 66-67, Vespasian soon found himself in the vicinity of increasing political turbulence in the East. The situation would prove pivotal in advancing his career.

Judaea and the Accession to Power

In response to rioting in Caesarea and Jerusalem that had led to the slaughter in the latter city of Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers, Nero granted to Vespasian in A.D. 66 a special command in the East with the objective of settling the revolt in Judaea. By spring A.D. 67, with 60,000 legionaries, auxiliaries, and allies under his control, Vespasian set out to subdue Galilee and then to cut off Jerusalem. Success was quick and decisive. By October all of Galilee had been pacified and plans for the strategic encirclement of Jerusalem were soon formed. [[9]] Meanwhile, at the other end of the empire, the revolts of Gaius Iulius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, and Servius Sulpicius Galba , governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, had brought Nero's reign to the brink of collapse. The emperor committed suicide in June, A.D. 68, thereby ensuring chaos for the next eighteen months, as first Galba and then Marcus Salvius Otho and Aulus Vitellius acceded to power. Each lacked broad-based military and senatorial support; each would be violently deposed in turn. [[10]]

Still occupied with plans against Jerusalem, Vespasian swore allegiance to each emperor. Shortly after Vitellius assumed power in spring, A.D. 69, however, Vespasian met on the border of Judaea and Syria with Gaius Licinius Mucianus, governor of Syria, and after a series of private and public consultations, the two decided to revolt. [[11]] On July 1, at the urging of Tiberius Alexander, prefect of Egypt, the legions of Alexandria declared for Vespasian, as did the legions of Judaea two days later. By August all of Syria and the Danube legions had done likewise. Vespasian next dispatched Mucianus to Italy with 20,000 troops, while he set out from Syria to Alexandria in order to control grain shipments for the purpose of starving Italy into submission. [[12]] The siege of Jerusalem he placed in the hands of his son Titus.

Meanwhile, the Danubian legions, unwilling to wait for Mucianus' arrival, began their march against Vitellius ' forces. The latter army, suffering from a lack of discipline and training, and unaccustomed to the heat of Rome, was defeated at Cremona in late October. [[13]] By mid-December the Flavian forces had reached Carsulae, 95 kilometers north of Rome on the Flaminian Road, where the Vitellians, with no further hope of reinforcements, soon surrendered. At Rome, unable to persuade his followers to accept terms for his abdication, Vitellius was in peril. On the morning of December 20 the Flavian army entered Rome. By that afternoon, the emperor was dead. [[14]]

Tacitus records that by December 22, A.D. 69, Vespasian had been given all the honors and privileges usually granted to emperors. Even so, the issue remains unclear, owing largely to a surviving fragment of an enabling law, the lex de imperio Vespasiani, which conferred powers, privileges, and exemptions, most with Julio-Claudian precedents, on the new emperor. Whether the fragment represents a typical granting of imperial powers that has uniquely survived in Vespasian's case, or is an attempt to limit or expand such powers, remains difficult to know. In any case, the lex sanctioned all that Vespasian had done up to its passing and gave him authority to act as he saw fit on behalf of the Roman people. [[15]]

What does seem clear is that Vespasian felt the need to legitimize his new reign with vigor. He zealously publicized the number of divine omens that predicted his accession and at every opportunity he accumulated multiple consulships and imperial salutations. He also actively promoted the principle of dynastic succession, insisting that the emperorship would fall to his son. The initiative was fulfilled when Titus succeeded his father in A.D. 79.[[16]]

Emperorship

Upon his arrival in Rome in late summer, A.D. 70, Vespasian faced the daunting task of restoring a city and a government ravaged by the recent civil wars. Although many particulars are missing, a portrait nevertheles emerges of a ruler conscientiously committed to the methodical renewal of both city and empire. Concerning Rome itself, the emperor encouraged rebuilding on vacated lots, restored the Capitol (burned in A.D. 69), and also began work on several new buildings: a temple to the deified Claudius on the Caelian Hill, a project designed to identify Vespasian as a legitimate heir to the Julio-Claudians, while distancing himself from Nero ; a temple of Peace near the Forum; and the magnificent Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre), located on the site of the lake of Nero 's Golden House. [[17]]

Claiming that he needed forty thousand million sesterces for these projects and for others aimed at putting the state on more secure footing, Vespasian is said to have revoked various imperial immunities, manipulated the supply of certain commodities to inflate their price, and increased provincial taxation. [[18]] The measures are consistent with his characterization in the sources as both obdurate and avaricious. There were occasional political problems as well: Helvidius Priscus, an advocate of senatorial independence and a critic of the Flavian regime from the start, was exiled after A.D. 75 and later executed; Marcellus Eprius and A. Alienus Caecina were condemned by Titus for conspiracy, the former committing suicide, the latter executed in A.D. 79.
As Suetonius claims, however, in financial matters Vespasian always put revenues to the best possible advantage, regardless of their source. Tacitus, too, offers a generally favorable assessment, citing Vespasian as the first man to improve after becoming emperor. [[19]] Thus do we find the princeps offering subventions to senators not possessing the property qualifications of their rank, restoring many cities throughout the empire, and granting state salaries for the first time to teachers of Latin and Greek rhetoric. To enhance Roman economic and social life even further, he encouraged theatrical productions by building a new stage for the Theatre of Marcellus, and he also put on lavish state dinners to assist the food trades. [[20]]

In other matters the emperor displayed similar concern. He restored the depleted ranks of the senatorial and equestrian orders with eligible Italian and provincial candidates and reduced the backlog of pending court cases at Rome. Vespasian also re-established discipline in the army, while punishing or dismissing large numbers of Vitellius ' men. [[21]]
Beyond Rome, the emperor increased the number of legions in the East and continued the process of imperial expansion by the annexation of northern England, the pacification of Wales, and by advances into Scotland and southwest Germany between the Rhine and the Danube. Vespasian also conferred rights on communities abroad, especially in Spain, where the granting of Latin rights to all native communities contributed to the rapid Romanization of that province during the Imperial period. [[22]]

Death and Assessment

In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79, after contracting a brief illness. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!" [[23]] In fact, public deification did follow his death, as did his internment in the Mausoleum of Augustus alongside the Julio-Claudians.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability ro rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for the "good emperors" of the second century.

Bibliography

Since the scholarship on Vespasian is more comprehensive than can be treated here, the works listed below are main accounts or bear directly upon issues discussed in the entry above. A comprehensive modern anglophone study of this emperor is yet to be produced.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Flaviani, 2 vols. Rieti, 1983.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Vespasianei, 2 vols. Rieti, 1981.

Bosworth, A.B. "Vespasian and the Provinces: Some Problems of the Early 70s A.D." Athenaeum 51 (1973): 49-78.

Brunt, P. A. "Lex de imperio Vespasiani." JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

D'Espèrey, S. Franchet. "Vespasien, Titus et la littérature." ANRW II.32.5: 3048-3086.

Dudley, D. and Webster, G. The Roman Conquest of Britain. London, 1965.

Gonzalez, J. "The Lex Irnitana: A New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

Grant, M. The Roman Emperors: A Biographical Guide to the Rulers of Rome, 31 B.C. - A.D. 476. New York, 1985.

Homo, L. Vespasien, l'Empereur du bons sens (69-79 ap. J.-C.). Paris, 1949.

Levi, M.A. "I Flavi." ANRW II.2: 177-207.

McCrum, M. and Woodhead, A. G. Select Documents of the Principates of the Flavian Emperors Including the Year of the Revolution. Cambridge, 1966.

Nicols, John. Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae. Wiesbaden, 1978.

Scarre, C. Chronicle of the Roman Emperors. The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome. London, 1995.

Suddington, D. B. The Development of the Roman Auxiliary Forces from Caesar to Vespasian, 49 B.C. - A.D. 79. Harare: U. of Zimbabwe, 1982.

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

Wardel, David. "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol." Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

Wellesley, K. The Long Year: A.D. 69. Bristol, 1989, 2nd ed.


Notes

[[1]] Suet. Vesp. 2.1. Suetonius remains the major source but see also Tac. Hist. 2-5; Cass. Dio 65; Joseph. BJ 3-4.

[[2]] Suetonius (Vesp. 2.1) claims that Vespasian did not accept the latus clavus, the broad striped toga worn by one aspiring to a senatorial career, immediately. The delay, however, was perhaps no more than three years. See J. Nicols, Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae (Wiesbaden, 1978), 2.

[[3]] Military tribunate and quaestorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3; aedileship: ibid., 5.3, in which Gaius, furious that Vespasian had not kept the streets clean, as was his duty, ordered some soldiers to load him with filth;,they complied by stuffing his toga with as much as it could hold. See also Dio 59.12.2-3; praetorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3, in which Vespasian is depicted as one of Gaius' leading adulators, an account consistent with Tacitus' portrayal (Hist 1.50.4; 2.5.1) of his early career. For a more complete discussion of these posts and attendant problems of dating, see Nicols, Vespasian, 2-7.

[[4]] Marriage and Caenis: Suet. Vesp. 3; Cass. Dio 65.14.

[[5]] Nicols, Vespasian, 12-39.

[[6]] Suet. Vesp. 4.1 For additional details on Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see D. Dudley and G. Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain (London, 1965), 55 ff., 98.

[[7]] Concerning Vespasian's years between his consulship and proconsulship, see Suet. Vesp. 4.2 and Nicols, Vespasian, 9. On his unpopularity in Africa, see Suet. Vesp. 4.3, an account of a riot at Hadrumentum, where he was once pelted with turnips. In recording that Africa supported Vitellius in A.D. 69, Tacitus too suggests popular dissatisfaction with Vespasian's proconsulship. See Hist. 2.97.2.

[[8]] This despite the fact that the sources record two rebukes of Vespasian, one for extorting money from a young man seeking career advancement (Suet. Vesp. 4.3), the other for either leaving the room or dozing off during one of the emperor's recitals (Suet. Vesp. 4.4 and 14, which places the transgression in Greece; Tac. (Ann. 16.5.3), who makes Rome and the Quinquennial Games of A.D. 65 the setting; A. Braithwaite, C. Suetoni Tranquilli Divus Vespasianus, Oxford, 1927, 30, who argues for both Greece and Rome).

[[9]] Subjugation of Galilee: Joseph. BJ 3.65-4.106; siege of Jerusalem: ibid., 4.366-376, 414.

[[10]] Revolt of Vindex: Suet. Nero 40; Tac. Ann. 14.4; revolt of Galba: Suet. Galba 10; Plut. Galba, 4-5; suicide of Nero: Suet. Nero 49; Cass. Dio 63.29.2. For the most complete account of the period between Nero's death and the accession of Vespasian, see K. Wellesley, The Long Year: A.D. 69, 2nd. ed. (Bristol, 1989).

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

[[12]] Troops in support of Vespasian: Suet. Vit. 15; Mucianus and his forces: Tac. Hist. 2.83; Vespasian and grain shipments: Joseph. BJ 4.605 ff.; see also Tac. Hist. 3.48, on Vespasian's possible plan to shut off grain shipments to Italy from Carthage as well.

[[13]] On Vitellius' army and its lack of discipline, see Tac. Hist. 2.93-94; illness of army: ibid., 2.99.1; Cremona: ibid., 3.32-33.

[[14]] On Vitellius' last days, see Tac. Hist. 3.68-81. On the complicated issue of Vitellius' death date, see L. Holzapfel, "Römische Kaiserdaten," Klio 13 (1913): 301.

[[15]] Honors, etc. Tac. Hist. 4.3. For more on the lex de imperio Vespasiani, see P. A. Brunt, "Lex de imperio Vespasiani," JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

[[16]] Omens: Suet. Vesp. 5; consulships and honors: ibid., 8; succession of sons: ibid., 25.

[[17]] On Vespasian's restoration of Rome, see Suet. Vesp. 9; Cass. Dio 65.10; D. Wardel, "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol," Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

[[19]] Ibid.; Tac. Hist. 1.50.

[[20]] Suet. Vesp. 17-19.

[[21]] Ibid., 8-10.

[[22]] On Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see esp. Tac., Agricola, eds. R. M. Ogilvie and I. A. Richmond (1967), and W. S. Hanson, Agricola and the Conquest of the North (1987); on the granting of Latin rights in Spain, see, e.g., J. Gonzalez, "The Lex Irnitana: a New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

[[23]] For this witticism and other anecdotes concerning Vespasian's sense of humor, see Suet. Vesp. 23.

Copyright (C) 1998, John Donahue. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, an Online Encyplopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/vespasia.htm
Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.





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TitusCommColosseum.jpg
711a, Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D. 110 viewsTITUS AUGUSTUS AR silver denarius. Struck at Rome, 80 AD. IMP TITVS CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG PM, laureate head right. Reverse - TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII PP, elephant walking left. Fully legible legends, about Very Fine, nice golden toning. Commemmorates the completion and dedication of the Colosseum and the opening of games. SCARCE. RCV 2512, valued at $544 in EF. 17mm, 3.1g. Ex Incitatus.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 79-81)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Titus Flavius Vespasianus was born on December 30, 39 A.D. He was the oldest of the three children of the founder of the Flavian Dynasty, Vespasian. Beginning in the year 70 Titus was named Cæsar and coregent; he was highly educated and a brilliant poet and orator in both Latin and Greek. He won military fame during the Jewish Revolt of 69-70. In April, 70, he appeared before the walls of Jerusalem, and conquered and destroyed the city after a siege of five months. He wished to preserve the Temple, but in the struggle with the Jews who rushed out of it a soldier threw a brand into the building. The siege and taking of the city were accompanied by barbarous cruelties. The next year Titus celebrated his victory by a triumph; to increase the fame of the Flavian dynasty the inscription on the triumphal arch represented the overthrow of the helpless people as a heroic achievement. Titus succeeded his father as Emperor in 79.

Before becoming emperor, tradition records that Titus was feared as the next Nero, a perception that may have developed from his association with Berenice, his alleged heavy-handedness as praetorian prefect, and tales of sexual debauchery. Once in office, however, both emperor and his reign were portrayed in universally positive terms. The suddenness of this transformation raises immediate suspicions, yet it is difficult to know whether the historical tradition is suspect or if Titus was in fact adept at taking off one mask for another. What is clear, however, is that Titus sought to present the Flavians as the legitimate successors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Proof came through the issuing of a series of restoration coins of previous emperors, the most popular being Augustus and Claudius. In A.D. 80 Titus also set out to establish an imperial cult in honor of Vespasian. The temple, in which cult (the first that was not connected with the Julio-Claudians) was housed, was completed by Domitian and was known as the Temple of Vespasian and Domitian.
Legitimacy was also sought through various economic measures, which Titus enthusiastically funded. Vast amounts of capital poured into extensive building schemes in Rome, especially the Flavian Amphitheater, popularly known as the Colosseum. In celebration of additions made to the structure, Titus provided a grand 100-day festival, with sea fights staged on an artificial lake, infantry battles, wild beast hunts, and similar activities. He also constructed new imperial baths to the south-east of the Amphitheater and began work on the celebrated Arch of Titus, a memorial to his Jewish victories. Large sums were directed to Italy and the provinces as well, especially for road building. In response to the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79, Titus spent large sums to relieve distress in that area; likewise, the imperial purse contributed heavily to rebuilding Rome after a devastating fire destroyed large sections of the city in A.D. 80. As a result of these actions, Titus earned a reputation for generosity and geniality. For these reasons he gained the honourable title of "amor et deliciæ generis humani" (the darling and admiration of the human race). Even so, his financial acumen must not be under-estimated. He left the treasury with a surplus, as he had found it, and dealt promptly and efficiently with costly natural disasters. The Greek historian of the third-century A.D., Cassius Dio, perhaps offered the most accurate and succinct assessment of Titus' economic policy: "In money matters, Titus was frugal and made no unnecessary expenditure." In other areas, the brevity of Titus' reign limits our ability to detect major emphases or trends in policy. As far as can be discerned from the limited evidence, senior officials and amici were well chosen, and his legislative activity tended to focus on popular social measures, with the army as a particular beneficiary in the areas of land ownership, marriage, and testamentary freedom. In the provinces, Titus continued his father's policies by strengthening roads and forts in the East and along the Danube.

Titus died in September, A.D. 81 after only 26 months in office. Suetonius recorded that Titus died on his way to the Sabine country of his ancestors in the same villa as his father. A competing tradition persistently implicated his brother and successor, Domitian, as having had a hand in the emperor's demise, but the evidence is highly contradictory and any wrongdoing is difficult to prove. Domitian himself delivered the funeral eulogy and had Titus deified. He also built several monuments in honor of Titus and completed the Temple of Vespasian and Titus, changing the name of the structure to include his brother's and setting up his cult statue in the Temple itself.

Titus was the beneficiary of considerable intelligence and talent, endowments that were carefully cultivated at every step of his career, from his early education to his role under his father's principate. Cassius Dio suggested that Titus' reputation was enhanced by his early death. It is true that the ancient sources tend to heroicize Titus, yet based upon the evidence, his reign must be considered a positive one. He capably continued the work of his father in establishing the Flavian Dynasty and he maintained a high degree of economic and administrative competence in Italy and beyond. In so doing, he solidified the role of the emperor as paternalistic autocrat, a model that would serve Trajan and his successors well. Titus was used as a model by later emperors, especially those known as the Five Good Emperors (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius).

Copyright (C) 1997, John Donahue.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Catholic Encyclopedia, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14746b.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Titus_Colosseum_Commem_AR_denarius.jpg
711a, Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D.136 viewsTitus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D. AR denarius, RCV 2512, aVF, struck at Rome, 80 A.D., 17.5mm, 3.4g. Obverse: IMP TITVS CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG PM, laureate head right; Reverse: TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII PP, elephant walking left. Fully legible legends; nice golden toning. This coin was struck in order to commemorate the completion and dedication of the Flavian Amphitheatre (the Colosseum) and its opening games. Very scarce. Ex Incitatus; photo courtesy Incitatus.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 79-81)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Titus Flavius Vespasianus was born on December 30, 39 A.D. He was the oldest of the three children of the founder of the Flavian Dynasty, Vespasian. Beginning in the year 70 Titus was named Cæsar and coregent; he was highly educated and a brilliant poet and orator in both Latin and Greek. He won military fame during the Jewish Revolt of 69-70. In April, 70, he appeared before the walls of Jerusalem, and conquered and destroyed the city after a siege of five months. He wished to preserve the Temple, but in the struggle with the Jews who rushed out of it a soldier threw a brand into the building. The siege and taking of the city were accompanied by barbarous cruelties. The next year Titus celebrated his victory by a triumph; to increase the fame of the Flavian dynasty the inscription on the triumphal arch represented the overthrow of the helpless people as a heroic achievement. Titus succeeded his father as Emperor in 79.

Before becoming emperor, tradition records that Titus was feared as the next Nero, a perception that may have developed from his association with Berenice, his alleged heavy-handedness as praetorian prefect, and tales of sexual debauchery. Once in office, however, both emperor and his reign were portrayed in universally positive terms. The suddenness of this transformation raises immediate suspicions, yet it is difficult to know whether the historical tradition is suspect or if Titus was in fact adept at taking off one mask for another. What is clear, however, is that Titus sought to present the Flavians as the legitimate successors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Proof came through the issuing of a series of restoration coins of previous emperors, the most popular being Augustus and Claudius. In A.D. 80 Titus also set out to establish an imperial cult in honor of Vespasian. The temple, in which cult (the first that was not connected with the Julio-Claudians) was housed, was completed by Domitian and was known as the Temple of Vespasian and Domitian.
Legitimacy was also sought through various economic measures, which Titus enthusiastically funded. Vast amounts of capital poured into extensive building schemes in Rome, especially the Flavian Amphitheater, popularly known as the Colosseum. In celebration of additions made to the structure, Titus provided a grand 100-day festival, with sea fights staged on an artificial lake, infantry battles, wild beast hunts, and similar activities. He also constructed new imperial baths to the south-east of the Amphitheater and began work on the celebrated Arch of Titus, a memorial to his Jewish victories. Large sums were directed to Italy and the provinces as well, especially for road building. In response to the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79, Titus spent large sums to relieve distress in that area; likewise, the imperial purse contributed heavily to rebuilding Rome after a devastating fire destroyed large sections of the city in A.D. 80. As a result of these actions, Titus earned a reputation for generosity and geniality. For these reasons he gained the honourable title of "amor et deliciæ generis humani" (the darling and admiration of the human race). Even so, his financial acumen must not be under-estimated. He left the treasury with a surplus, as he had found it, and dealt promptly and efficiently with costly natural disasters. The Greek historian of the third-century A.D., Cassius Dio, perhaps offered the most accurate and succinct assessment of Titus' economic policy: "In money matters, Titus was frugal and made no unnecessary expenditure." In other areas, the brevity of Titus' reign limits our ability to detect major emphases or trends in policy. As far as can be discerned from the limited evidence, senior officials and amici were well chosen, and his legislative activity tended to focus on popular social measures, with the army as a particular beneficiary in the areas of land ownership, marriage, and testamentary freedom. In the provinces, Titus continued his father's policies by strengthening roads and forts in the East and along the Danube.

Titus died in September, A.D. 81 after only 26 months in office. Suetonius recorded that Titus died on his way to the Sabine country of his ancestors in the same villa as his father. A competing tradition persistently implicated his brother and successor, Domitian, as having had a hand in the emperor's demise, but the evidence is highly contradictory and any wrongdoing is difficult to prove. Domitian himself delivered the funeral eulogy and had Titus deified. He also built several monuments in honor of Titus and completed the Temple of Vespasian and Titus, changing the name of the structure to include his brother's and setting up his cult statue in the Temple itself.

Titus was the beneficiary of considerable intelligence and talent, endowments that were carefully cultivated at every step of his career, from his early education to his role under his father's principate. Cassius Dio suggested that Titus' reputation was enhanced by his early death. It is true that the ancient sources tend to heroicize Titus, yet based upon the evidence, his reign must be considered a positive one. He capably continued the work of his father in establishing the Flavian Dynasty and he maintained a high degree of economic and administrative competence in Italy and beyond. In so doing, he solidified the role of the emperor as paternalistic autocrat, a model that would serve Trajan and his successors well. Titus was used as a model by later emperors, especially those known as the Five Good Emperors (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius).

Copyright (C) 1997, John Donahue.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Catholic Encyclopedia, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14746b.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
3 commentsCleisthenes
73-William-III.jpg
73. William III.19 viewsShilling, 1697.
Obverse: GVLIELMVS III DEI GRA / Laureate bust, right.
Reverse: MAG BR FRA ET HIB REX 1698 Four crowned shields, rampant lion from the arms of the House of Orange at center.
6.20 gm., 26 mm.
Seaby #3505.
Callimachus
sabinas.jpg
Abduction of the Sabine women.384 viewsAR denarius. 89 BC. 3,65 grs. Bare-headed, bearded head of King Tatius righ. TA (ligate) below chin. SABIN behind / Two Roman soldiers, each carrying off a sabine woman in his arms. L TITVRI in exergue.
Crawford 344/1a. RSC Tituria 1.

Livy. History of Rome. 1.9.
The Roman state had become strong enough to hold its own in war with all the peoples along its borders, but a shortage of women meant that its greatness was fated to last for a single generation, since there was no prospect of offspring at home nor any prospect of marriage with their neighbours. Then, in accordance with the decision of the senate, Romulus sent messengers to the neighbouring peoples to ask for alliance and the right of marriage for the new people: cities, like everything else, start small but later if their own excellence and the gods assist them, they grow in strength and in fame. It was certain that at the beginning of Rome the gods had been propitiated and that it would not lack in valour. Therefore, men should not disdain to join blood and family ties with other men.
But nowhere were the emissaries given a fair hearing. Some scorned, others feared the great power growing in their midst, both for themselves and for their descendants. In more than one place the emissaries were asked, even as they were being sent packing, why they hadn't offered asylum to women (criminals) too: that way they'd have had their marriage and with others of their own rank! The youth of Rome took this insult badly and began to think seriously about the use of force. Romulus, to gain time till he found the right occasion, hid his concern and prepared to celebrate the Consualia, the solemn games in honour of equestrian Neptune. He then ordered that the spectacle be announced to the neighbouring peoples. He gave the event great publicity by the most lavish means possible in those days. Many people came, some simply out of curiosity to see the new city, and especially the nearest neighbours, from Caenina, Crustuminum and Antemnae; the entire Sabine population came, wives and children included. Received with hospitality in the houses, after having seen the position of the city, its walls, and the large number of buildings, they marvelled that Rome had grown so fast. When it was time for the show, and everybody was concentrating on this, a prearranged signal was given and all the Roman youths began to grab the women. Many just snatched the nearest woman to hand, but the most beautiful had already been reserved for the senators and these were escorted to the senators' houses by plebeians who had been given this assignment. The story goes that one woman, far and away the most beautiful, was carried off by the gang of a certain Thalassius, and because many wanted to know where they were taking her, they repeatedly shouted that they were taking her to Thalassius, and that it how the nuptial cry came to be.

The party was over, and the grieving parents of the girls ran away, accusing the Romans of having violated the laws of hospitality and invoking the god who was supposed to have been honoured at that day's festival. Nor did the girls themselves hold much hope. But Romulus went among them in person to assure them that none of this would have happened if their fathers hadn't been so inflexible in not letting them marry their neighbours. But now they would have the status of wives with all the material rewards and civil rights of citizenship and they would have children, than which nothing is dearer. They should cool their anger and give their hearts to the men who had already taken their bodies. A good relationship often begins with an offence, he said. And their husbands would treat them with extra kindness in hope of making up for the parents and country they so missed. The men added their blandishments, saying that they'd been motivated by love and passion, entreaties which are very effective with women.

benito
Lincoln_1963_NYU_Hall_of_Fame.JPG
Abraham Lincoln 1963 NYU Hall of Fame Medal17 viewsObv: LINCOLN above, 1809 - 1865 behind bust of Abraham Lincoln facing right, "With malice toward none ...with charity for all." A. Lincoln in script.

Rev: A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF CANNOT STAND, a frieze of huddled slaves in foreground, with raised, shackled hands in center; EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION around the disk of the sun. THE HALL OF FAME OF GREAT AMERICANS AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY 1963, in exergue.

Note: Commemorates the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Engraver: Anthony DeFrancisci, Mint: Medallic Art Company

Bronze, Diameter: 44.4 mm, Axis: 0°
Matt Inglima
Lincoln_1963_NYU_Hall_of_Fame~0.JPG
Abraham Lincoln, 1963 NYU Hall of Fame Medal14 viewsObv: LINCOLN above, 1809 - 1865 behind bust of Abraham Lincoln facing right, "With malice toward none ...with charity for all." A. Lincoln in script.

Rev: A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF CANNOT STAND, a frieze of huddled slaves in foreground, with raised, shackled hands in center; EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION around the disk of the sun. THE HALL OF FAME OF GREAT AMERICANS AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY 1963, in exergue.

Note: Commemorates the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Engraver: Anthony DeFrancisci, Mint: Medallic Art Company

Bronze, Diameter: 44.4 mm, Axis: 0°
Matt Inglima
alxmecu.jpg
Alexander the Great13 viewsPortrait of Alexander the Great done in mosaic that is housed at the Museo Nazionale, Naples, Italy. Dated from the late 2nd century. B.C., copy of a painting dated to c. 300 B.C.

Traditionally this scene reresents the turning-point at Issus when Darius fled the battle; but Philoxenus, the artist from whose painting the mosaic was copied, may have incorporated elements from other battles. Alexander's personal moment of peril seems borrowed from the Granicus, and the confrontation also has echoes of Gaugamela.

This mosaic depicts a battle between Alexander the Great and the Persian king Darius, probably the Battle of the Issus River in November of 333 B.C. It is in opus vermiculatum, with over one and a half million tesserae, none larger than 4 mm., in four colors: white, yellow, red, and black. The minuteness of the tesserae enables incredibly fine detail and painterly effects, including remarkable portraits of Alexander and Darius.

See:http://www.hackneys.com/alex_web/pages/alxphoto.htm
Cleisthenes
Alexandria.jpg
Alexandria11 viewsAlexandria was one of the most famous cities in the world. It was founded around a small pharaonic town c. 331 BC by Alexander the Great. It remained Egypt's capital for nearly a thousand years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (Fustat was later absorbed into Cairo). Alexandria was known because of its Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its library (the largest library in the ancient world); and the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, and during the Ptolemaic dynasty.ancientone
_1BesAmulet.JPG
Amulet of Bes62 views1st century BC - 1st century AD
1.25" tall

A small terracotta amulet of the god Bes, from Roman Egypt.

Bes was an apotropaic deity, the protector of the home. As such He is often depicted on everyday household items such as chairs, pottery, or even on the walls of the house itself.
Shown here wearing His plumed headdress and panther skin, Bes (possibly from the Nubian “Besa“, or ‘Protector‘) may have originally been a cat god. Why He evolved into a dwarf is not known.

Update;
This item donated to the Hallie Ford museum in Salem Oregon.

Enodia
Angusshire_10.jpg
Angusshire 1020 viewsObv: DUNDEE HALF-PENNY 1795, the ancient tower of Dundee, OLD TOWER FOUNDED 1189, in exergue.

Rev: COMMERCE AUGMENTS DUNDEE, a view of a harbor, with a ship alongside a quay, DEI DONUM arms supporters and motto below, WRIGHT DELIN, at the sides.

Edge: PAYABLE AT THE WAREHOUSE OF ALEXR. MOLISON

Half Penny Conder Token

Dalton & Hamer, Angusshire, Dundee 10
SPQR Coins
109b.jpg
Anthemius AE490 views467-472 AD. Æ 8mm (0.66 g). Rome mint.
Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right (weak)
Monogram (2), Chi-Rho above; all within wreath. RIC X 2858.
Fair/Fine
Brown surfaces, obverse weak with a pit and rough, clear monogram. Housed in an NGC slab where graded Fine, 2/3.
Very Rare (R4)
2 commentsMark Z
1000-30-106.jpg
Antoninius Pius 8 views
Egypt, Alexandria. Antoninus Pius. AD 138-161. Æ Drachm 34.7 mm. 23.80 gm. Dated RY 12 (AD 148/9). Obv: Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right. Rev: Isis Pharia standing right, holding sistrum and billowing sail with “S.” (or serpent) on sail; Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria to right, L ΔωΔ KAT OV (date) around. Köln 1605; Dattari (Savio) 2677-8; K&G 35.436. Emmett 1592.
Ancient Aussie
Augustus_temple_(800x387).jpg
Antoninus Pius 7 viewsAntoninus Pius Sestertius temple of Augustus and Livia
Catalog: Temple of Divus Augustus
weight 28,6gr. | bronze Ø 32mm.
obv. Laureate head right ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P XXII
rev. Octastyle temple of Divus Augustus, containing cult-statues of Augustus
and Livia TEMPLVM DIVI AVG REST COS IIII S C

The Temple of Divus Augustus was a major temple originally built to commemorate the deified first Roman emperor, Augustus. It was built between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, behind the Basilica Julia, on the site of the house that Augustus had inhabited before he entered public life in the mid-1st century BC. The temple′s construction took place during the 1st century AD, having been vowed by the Roman Senate shortly after the death of the emperor in AD 14. It is known from Roman coinage that the temple was originally built to an Ionic hexastyle design. However, its size, physical proportions and exact site are unknown. During the reign of Domitian the Temple of Divus Augustus was destroyed by fire but was rebuilt and rededicated in 89/90 with a shrine to his favourite deity, Minerva. The temple was redesigned as a memorial to four deified emperors, including Vespasian and Titus. It was restored again in the mid 150s by Antonius Pius, and that was the reason for this coinage. The last known reference to the temple was on 27 May 218 | at some point thereafter it was completely destroyed and its stones were presumably quarried for later buildings. Its remains are not visible and the area in which it lay has never been excavated.

Cohen 805 | RIC 1004 | BMC 2063 | Sear 4235 R
vf
1 commentsAncient Aussie
ap_laodicea_k.jpg
Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161.10 viewsSYRIA, Laodicea ad Mare.
Æ25, 10.5g, 12h; Dated year 190 = 142/143.
Obv.: AVTO KAI TI AIΛI AΔPI ANTΩNEINOC CEB; Laureate head right.
Rev.: IOVΛIEΩN TΩN KAI ΛAOΔIKEΩN; Draped bust of Tyche as city goddess left, wearing headdress of gateway, turret, lighthouse and walls; KPA before neck, ϘP (year 190) behind
Reference: SNG Cop 350; BMC Galatia p. 256, 70 / 17-287-90
John Anthony
antose63~0.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 623, Sestertius of AD 141-144 (Temple of Venus and Roma)45 viewsÆ sestertius (25.11, 6h) Rome mint. Struck AD 141-144.
ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right
ROMAE AETERNAE (around) S C (in field below) ornamented dekastyle temple with the statue of Roma inside; tympanum adorned with high relief statues; quadriga (suggested) at top and statues at each side.
RIC 623 (scarce); Cohen 703 (12 Fr.); BMCRE 1279; Strack 849; Banti (I Grandi Bronzi Imperiali III) 336 (4 spec.); Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 125:24a
ex CNG EAuction 52 (2002)

The temple of Roma was designed by Hadrian (himself) in AD 121 and completed by Antoninus Pius in 141. It stood facing the forum, and was built back to back with the temple of Venus, which faced the Flavian Amphitheater. The two temples in one building were referred to as the Temple of Venus and Roma ("Templum Veneris et Romae"). Hadrian had to have the colossal statue of Nero removed in order to make room for the temples, which were built on the site of the vestibule of Nero's golden house. (He had Nero's statue placed near the entrance to the Ampitheater, and this provided the nickname, "Colloseum".) Their ruins prove both temples consisted of ten colums, and the coins suggest many decorative details.
Charles S
AntoSe63-2.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 623, Sestertius of AD 141-144 (Temple of Venus and Roma)35 viewsÆ sestertius (25.11g, 31.5mm 6h) Rome mint. Struck AD 141-144.
ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right
ROMAE AETERNAE (around) S C (ex.) ornamented dekastyle temple with the statue of Roma inside; tympanum adorned with high relief statues; quadriga (suggested) at top and statues at each side.
RIC 623 (scarce); Cohen 703 (12 Fr.); BMCRE 1279; Strack 849; Banti (I Grandi Bronzi Imperiali II-3) 336 (4 spec.); Sear(Roman Coins and their Values II) 4212 var. (rev. no figure of Roma); Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 125:24a
ex CNG EAuction 52 (2002)

The temple of Roma was designed by Hadrian (himself) in AD 121 and completed by Antoninus Pius in 141. It stood facing the forum, and was built back to back with the temple of Venus, which faced the Flavian Amphitheater. The building with the two temples was referred to as the Temple of Venus and Roma ("Templum Veneris et Romae"). Hadrian had to have the colossal statue of Nero (Colossus) removed in order to make room for the temples, which were built on the site of the vestibule of Nero's golden house. (He had the Colossus placed near the entrance to the amphitheater, and this provided the nickname, "Colosseum".) The ruins show that both temples consisted of ten colums, and the coins suggest many decorative details.
1 commentsCharles S
82000559.jpg
ARGOLIS, Argos33 viewsA Neolithic settlement was located near the central sanctuary of Argois, removed 45 stadia (8 km; 5 miles) from Argos, closer to Mycenae. The temple was dedicated to "Argivian Hera". The main festival of that temple was the Hekatombaia, one of the major festivals of Argos itself. Walter Burkert (Homo necans, p. 185) connected the festival to the myth of the slaying of Argus Panoptes by Hermes ("shimmering" or "quick"), and only secondarily associated with mythological Argus (or the toponym).

Argos was a major stronghold of Mycenaean times, and along with the neighbouring acropolis of Mycenae and Tiryns became a very early settlement because of its commanding positions in the midst of the fertile plain of Argolis.

During Homeric times it belonged to a follower of Agamemnon and gave its name to the surrounding district; the Argolid which the Romans knew as Argeia. The importance of Argos was eclipsed by nearby Sparta after the 6th century BC.[dubious – discuss]

Because of its refusal to fight or send supplies in the Graeco-Persian Wars, Argos was shunned by most other city-states.[citation needed] Argos remained neutral or the ineffective ally of Athens during the 5th century BC struggles between Sparta and Athens.

The Mythological kings of Argos are (in order): Inachus, Phoroneus, Argus, Triopas, Agenor, Iasus, Crotopus, Pelasgus (aka Gelanor), Danaus, Lynceus, Abas, Proetus, Acrisius, Perseus, Megapénthês, Argeus, and Anaxagoras. An alternative version (supplied by Tatiānus[2]) of the original 17 consecutive kings of Argōs includes Apis, Argios, Kriasos, and Phorbas between Argus and Triopas, explaining the apparent unrelation of Triopas to Argus.

After the original 17 kings of Argos, there were three kings ruling Argos at the same time (see Anaxagoras), one descended from Bias, one from Melampus, and one from Anaxagoras. Melampus was succeeded by his son Mantius, then Oicles, and Amphiaraus, and his house of Melampus lasted down to the brothers Alcmaeon and Amphilochus.

Anaxagoras was succeeded by his son Alector, and then Iphis. Iphis left his kingdom to his nephew Sthenelus, the son of his brother Capaneus.

Bias was succeeded by his son Talaus, and then by his son Adrastus who, with Amphiaraus, commanded the disastrous Seven Against Thebes. Adrastus bequethed the kingdom to his son, Aegialeus, who was subsequently killed in the war of the Epigoni. Diomedes, grandson of Adrastus through his son-in-law Tydeus and daughter Deipyle, replaced Aegialeus and was King of Argos during the Trojan war. This house lasted longer than those of Anaxagoras and Melampus, and eventually the kingdom was reunited under its last member, Cyanippus, son of Aegialeus, soon after the exile of Diomedes.

Argos played a role in the Peloponnesian war and beyond.

ARGOLIS, Argos. Circa 90-50 BC. AR Triobol (2.16 g, 1h). Trypis, magistrate. Forepart of wolf at bay right / Large A; T-PY/ΠI-C in two lines around, piloi of the Dioskouroi below crossbar; all within incuse square. BCD Peloponnesos 1169. VF, darkly toned.

Ex BCD Collection (not in previous BCD sales).

Ex-CNG eAuction 82, Lot: 559 110/150

ecoli
Diana_of_Ephesus_-_Claudius_AR_Tetradrachm.jpg
Artemis, (Diana of Ephesus), in her Temple139 viewsTI. CLAVD CAES AVG. Claudius bare head, facing left. / DIAN-EPHE Cult statue of Diana (Artemis) of Ephesus inside a tetra style temple, set on three tiered base; pediment decorated by figures flanking three windows.
RIC I 118; RPC I 2222; BMCRE 229; RSC 30; Sear Millennium 1839. Ephesus ca. 41-42 AD.
(25 mm, 11.14 g, 6h)

The statue of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Depicted on this coin, which was minted shortly after Claudius’ accession to the throne, there remains no trace of the statue, or the temple that housed it, other than some recently stacked column remnants to mark the location. Pliny The Elder described the temple as 115 meters in length, 55 meters in width, made almost entirely of marble; consisting of 127 Ionic style columns 18 meters in height. The original temple, which stood on the site from about 550 BC, was destroyed by arson in 356 BC. It was rebuilt around 330 BC in the form depicted on the coin, only to be destroyed by the Goths in 262 AD. Again rebuilt it was destroyed for the final time by Christians in 401 AD. The columns and marble of the temple were used to construct other buildings. Some of the columns found their way into the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (Istanbul).

The site of the temple was rediscovered in 1869 by an expedition sponsored by the British Museum, but little remains to be seen today. A Christian inscription found at Ephesus reads Destroying the delusive image of the demon Artemis, Demeas has erected this symbol of Truth, the God that drives away idols, and the Cross of priests, deathless and victorious sign of Christ. This Christian zeal explains why so little remains of the site despite its repute in the ancient pre-Christian world.

This coin is rare with a few dozen examples known. In contrast to most examples, which show a four tiered temple base, the reverse of this coin shows a three-tiered temple base. The rectangles on the pediment of the temple are frequently identified as tables, or altars. However, it is more likely that these are windows in the pediment to facilitate lighting of the statue in the interior of the temple. The Ionic style of the columns, as described by Pliny, is clearly visible in the reverse image.
1 commentsLloyd T
athena_clean.JPG
Athens Tetradrachm110 viewsTetradrachm (AR), 17.05g, 28mm, 6h. Ca. 449-404. Berry 66. Flament pl. 26, 8.

After Minos' suggestion I investigated the deposit in Athena's ear and below the earring. Under 12.5X it seemed to be some kind of waxy deposit rather than horn silver as I thought. Removed with a coctail toothpick under magnification with really smooth moves. I believe this was remains of wax somebody used to protect (?) the coin. I am astonished that previous owner + auction houses didn't try to clean it as it clearly made the coin look a bit odd. All in all, I am even happier with my Athena now.
1 commentspaparoupa
PtolemyREX.jpg
AUGUSTUS & PTOLEMY OF NUMIDIA AE semis176 viewsAVGVSTVS DIVI F
bare head of Augustus right

C LAETILIVS APALVS II V Q, REX PTOL (Ptolemy, King) within diadem

Carthago Nova, Spain, under sole 'duovir quinqunennales' C Laetilius Apalus.

18.5mm, 5.3g.
RPC 172.

Ex-Incitatus

Ptolemy of Numidia was the son of King Juba II of Numidia and Cleopatra Selene II. He was also the grandson of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII on his mohter's side. He was named in honor of the memory of Cleopatra VII, the birthplace of his mother and the birthplace of her relatives. In choosing her son's name, Cleopatra Selene II created a distinct Greek-Egyptian tone and emphasized her role as the monarch who would continue the Ptolemaic dynasty. She by-passed the ancestral names of her husband. By naming her son Ptolemy instead of a Berber ancestral name, she offers an example rare in ancient history, especially in the case of a son who is the primary male heir, of reaching into the mother's family instead of the father's for a name. This emphasized the idea that his mother was the heiress of the Ptolemies and the leader of a Ptolemaic government in exile.

Through his parents he received Roman citizenship and was actually educated in Rome. Amazingly he grew up in the house of his maternal aunt, and Antony's daughter Antonia Minor, the youngest daughter of Mark Antony and the youngest niece of Augustus. Antonia was also a half-sister of Ptolemy's late mother, also a daughter of Mark Antony. Antonia Minor's mother was Octavia Minor, Mark Antony's fourth wife and the second sister of Octavian (later Augustus). Ptolemy lived in Rome until the age of 21, when he returned to the court of his aging father in Mauretania.

Ptolemy was a co-ruler with his father Juba II until Juba's death and was the last semi-autonomous ruler of Africa. On a visit to Rome in 40 AD he was seen by the Emperor Caligula in an amphitheather wearing a spectacular purpal cloak. A jealous Caligula had him murdered for his fashionable purple cloak.

Sold to Calgary Coin Feb 2017
2 commentsJay GT4
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Austria, Vienna (Vindobona) - remains of Roman house from 2nd - 4th century528 viewsWien - Michaelerplatz Johny SYSEL
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Austria, Vienna (Vindobona) - remains of Roman house from 2nd - 4th century474 viewsWien - Michaelerplatz Johny SYSEL
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Austria. Frederich the Handsome, Duke of Austria and Styria (1308-1330). 29 viewsLuschin/Szego 159.

AR Pfennig, Wiener Neustadt mint, 15-16 mm.

Obv: Austrian shield inside six-petalled rose.

Rev: Shield of Austria between two panthers.

“Until the 12th century, coins were needed above all for exports; daily transactions were generally barter transactions. As the economy began to operate increasingly on the principle of the division of labor and as cities began to grow, money started to acquire more and more importance for regional trade. Municipal records show that even in Austria under Babenberg rule, money payments to feudal lords began to replace payments in kind. The growing monetarization of society ushered in a new phase in the history of coins. Monetary systems became regionalized. The denar, formerly used for external trade and exports, was replaced by the regional pfennig. New monetary borders came into existence, within which the rulers with coinage rights tried to enforce the compulsory, exclusive use of their own coins. Under Babenberg rule, the Vienna pfennig was accorded the role of regional money used in Austria. The Vienna pfennig came into its own when the mint was moved from Krems to Vienna at the end of the 12th century. It served as a means of payment for daily monetary transactions and remained a monetary unit even when large foreign coins were used to settle the growing volume of trade transactions – gold coins such as the Venetian or Florentine ducat and large silver coins like the Prague groschen. In the course of the 14th century, it became established as a currency in nearly the entire area covered by modern-day Austria, with the exception of Tyrol and Vorarlberg.” (“Money and Trade during the Era of the Silver Pfennig.” Oesterreichische Nationalbank

“It is assumed that most of the 13th and 14th century reverses are not legible at all. This is entirely normal as the obverses were usually struck after the reverses.” (Szego, at 52).

Frederick the Handsome (Friedrich der Schöne), from the House of Habsburg, was Duke of Austria and Styria from 1308 as Frederick I as well as King of Germany (King of the Romans) from 1314 (antiking until 1325) as Frederick III until his death.
Stkp
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B & S. Steinhouse/Nachlass Zkainim Home For the Aged (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)198 viewsAE token, 34 mm., 15.78 gr., undated (but probably minted ca. 1927).

Obv: B & S.S & N.Z. HOME FOR THE AGED, and • MONTREAL •, within border around rim, 25¢ to left and right of building in center, SOUVENIR below building.

Rev: KEEP ME and GOOD LUCK within border in upper and lower rim, “תשליכנו / לצת זקנה אל„ [Do not cast us off in our old age. (Psalm 71:9)] and DO NOT CAST US / OFF AT OUR OLD AGE, in center, between profiles of elderly man and woman facing left and right, respectively.

Ref: Randolph, Marc A. “Jewish Homes for the Aged Tokens,” The Shekel, XXXVI No. 3 (May-June 2003) 14-19, Figure 2.

Note: The B & S. Steinhouse Old People’s Home opened in Montreal in 1923 and soon merged with the Nachlass Zkainim Home. In 1927, encouraged by the newly formed Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Montreal, the combined B & S. Steinhouse/Nachlass Zkainim Home For the Aged amalgamated with the Montreal Hebrew Sheltering Home, a/k/a Moshav Zkainim (which was founded in 1910, and then housed six residents on Evans Street). The institution raised funds for the construction of a larger building on land owned by the Montreal Sheltering Home on Esplanade Street. By 1945, the average age of new residents was over eighty, and increased medical and nursing staff were required. The institution changed its name to Maimonides Hospital and Home for the Aged to reflect this expanded role. The institution still exists, as the Maimonides Geriatric Center of McGill University.

Note: The token was issued sometime between 1923 (when B & S. Steinhouse Old People’s Home opened) and 1945 (when the amalgamated institution changed its name to Maimonides Hospital and Home for the Aged), and probably no later than 1927 (when the combined B & S. Steinhouse/Nachlass Zkainim Home For the Aged) amalgamated with the Montreal Hebrew Sheltering Home, a/k/a Moshav Zkainim). It may even have been issued in connection with the fund drive that was initiated in 1927 to build the larger building on Esplanade Street.
Stkp
Lyre_snake_BCC_Lt42.jpg
BCC LT4232 viewsLead Tessera BCC LT42
Roman, 1st-4th cent CE?
Obv: Lyre or other stringed instrument.
Rev: Serpent to right. To left: "A"
Pb 14 x 13 x 2mm. Wt: 1.68gm.
cf. Anit Hamburger #66-71.
Hamburger suggests that this type, found 6
times in her corpus, was used in relation
to private marriage festivities. The stringed
instrument, perhaps a lyre, was used in the
procession to the house of the newlyweds.
"The single serpent might then be understood
as the house snake, Agathodaimon, bringer of
fortune to the house of the newlyweds".
Ref: Anit Hamburger, Surface-Finds From
Caesarea Maritima - Tesserae, In : Excavations
at Caesarea Maritima 1975, 1976, 1979 - Final
Report Lee Levine / Ehud Netzer. Israel -
Jerusalem : The Institute of Archaeology,
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
1986. - p.187-204
v-drome
BCC_LT56_Crescent_Star.jpg
BCC LT5614 viewsLead Tessera
Caesarea Maritima
Obv: Crescent and Star.
Rev: Uncertain object and axis.
Lighthouse?, obelisk?, Galley?
Any ideas are welcome.
11 x 8.5 x 1.25mm. 0.90gm.
cf. Hamburger #123
cf. BCC LT23
J. Berlin Caesarea Collection
v-drome
GeorgeIIICentenary1814.JPG
BHM 0780. Centenerary of the Accession of the House of Brunswick, 1814.134 viewsObv. Head right THE ILLUST* HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK ASC* THE THRONE OF THE BRITISH AUG 1ST 1714
Rev. Text within wreath THE CENTENARY OF THE ACC* OF THE HOSUE OF BRUNSWICK TO THE THRONE OF GREAT BRITAIN WAS CELEBRATED IN THE CITY OF CORK ON THE 1ST 2ND AND 3RD OF AUG* 1814 IN THE 54TH YR OF THE REIGN OF GEORGE THE 3D SR DAVID PERRIER MAYOR.
AE 50mm
LordBest
Mudie Princess Charlotte.JPG
BHM 0940. Death of Princess Charlotte 1817. Mudie.164 viewsObv. Draped bust of Princess Charlotte with roses in her hair, three-quarters right HRH PRINCESS CHARLOTTE AUGUSTA
Rev. Britannia seated left weeping, British lion at her feet, urn and broken column behind DIED NOV VI MDCCCXVII in Ex: WEEP BRITAIN THOUGH HAS LOST THE EXPECTANCY AND ROSE OF THE FAIR STATE
BHM 940, Eimer 1097.
AE49 by T Webb & G Mills. Struck by Mudie, not part of his National Series.

The Princess was the only child of George Prince of Wales (later Prince Regent then George IV) and Caroline of Brunswick, born on 7th January 1796. She married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg on 2nd May 1816 at Carlton House, but died in childbirth on 6th November the following year.
1 commentsLordBest
BithyniaCius(PrusiasAdMare)Gordian-III-Hygieia_1a.jpg
Bithynia, Cius. Gordian III (AD 238–244). Potentially unpublished.21 viewsBithynia, Cius. Gordian III (AD 238–244). Æ 24mm, 7.26 g, ~1h.
Obverse: [Μ] ΑΝΤ ΓΟΡΔΙΑΝΟC Α[VΓ?], radiate, draped and cuirassed bust left, seen from behind, holding spear and shield.
Reverse: ΚΙΑ – Ν – [Ω]Ν;, Hygieia standing right, feeding a serpent in her arms from a patera held in her right hand.
References: None found, although another example of the same type (and probably dies) is housed in the British Museum (BM 1975-411-66). Also cf. Rec 108 (Tranquillina).
Ex Zlatina Gospodinova, 8-26-2015.
Mark Fox
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BOEOTIA, Thebes171 viewsIn the late 6th century BC the Thebans were brought for the first time into hostile contact with the Athenians, who helped the small village of Plataea to maintain its independence against them, and in 506 repelled an inroad into Attica. The aversion to Athens best serves to explain the unpatriotic attitude which Thebes displayed during the Persian invasion of Greece (480–479 BC). Though a contingent of 700 was sent to Thermopylae and remained there with Leonidas until just before the last stand when they surrendered to the Persians[1], the governing aristocracy soon after joined King Xerxes I of Persia with great readiness and fought zealously on his behalf at the battle of Plataea in 479 BC. The victorious Greeks subsequently punished Thebes by depriving it of the presidency of the Boeotian League, and an attempt by the Spartans to expel it from the Delphic amphictyony was only frustrated by the intercession of Athens.

In 457 Sparta, needing a counterpoise against Athens in central Greece, reversed her policy and reinstated Thebes as the dominant power in Boeotia. The great citadel of Cadmea served this purpose well by holding out as a base of resistance when the Athenians overran and occupied the rest of the country (457–447). In the Peloponnesian War the Thebans, embittered by the support which Athens gave to the smaller Boeotian towns, and especially to Plataea, which they vainly attempted to reduce in 431, were firm allies of Sparta, which in turn helped them to besiege Plataea and allowed them to destroy the town after its capture in 427 BC. In 424 at the head of the Boeotian levy they inflicted a severe defeat upon an invading force of Athenians at the Battle of Delium, and for the first time displayed the effects of that firm military organization which eventually raised them to predominant power in Greece.

After the downfall of Athens at the end of the Peloponnesian War the Thebans, finding that Sparta intended to protect the states which they desired to annex, broke off the alliance. In 404 they had urged the complete destruction of Athens, yet in 403 they secretly supported the restoration of its democracy in order to find in it a counterpoise against Sparta. A few years later, influenced perhaps in part by Persian gold, they formed the nucleus of the league against Sparta. At the battles of Haliartus (395) and Coronea (394) they again proved their rising military capacity by standing their ground against the Spartans. The result of the war was especially disastrous to Thebes, as the general settlement of 387 stipulated the complete autonomy of all Greek towns and so withdrew the other Boeotians from its political control. Its power was further curtailed in 382, when a Spartan force occupied the citadel by a treacherous coup-de-main. Three years later the Spartan garrison was expelled, and a democratic constitution definitely set up in place of the traditional oligarchy. In the consequent wars with Sparta the Theban army, trained and led by Epaminondas and Pelopidas, proved itself the best in Greece. Some years of desultory fighting, in which Thebes established its control over all Boeotia, culminated in 371 in a remarkable victory over the pick of the Spartans at Leuctra. The winners were hailed throughout Greece as champions of the oppressed. They carried their arms into Peloponnesus and at the head of a large coalition permanently crippled the power of Sparta. Similar expeditions were sent to Thessaly and Macedon to regulate the affairs of those regions.

However the predominance of Thebes was short-lived; the states which she protected refused to subject themselves permanently to her control, and the renewed rivalry of Athens, which had joined with Thebes in 395 in a common fear of Sparta, but since 387 had endeavoured to maintain the balance of power against her ally, prevented the formation of a Theban empire. With the death of Epaminondas at Mantinea in 362 the city sank again to the position of a secondary power. In a war with the neighbouring state of Phocis (356–346) it could not even maintain its predominance in central Greece, and by inviting Philip II of Macedon to crush the Phocians it extended that monarch's power within dangerous proximity to its frontiers. A revulsion of feeling was completed in 338 by the orator Demosthenes, who persuaded Thebes to join Athens in a final attempt to bar Philip's advance upon Attica. The Theban contingent lost the decisive battle of Chaeronea and along with it every hope of reassuming control over Greece. Philip was content to deprive Thebes of her dominion over Boeotia; but an unsuccessful revolt in 335 against his son Alexander was punished by Macedon and other Greek states by the severe sacking of the city, except, according to tradition, the house of the poet Pindar.

BOEOTIA, Thebes. Circa 395-338 BC. AR Stater (21mm, 11.98 gm). Boeotian shield / Amphora; magistrate AM-FI. Hepworth, "The 4th Century BC Magistrate Coinage of the Boiotian Confederacy," in Nomismatika Xronika (1998), 2; BMC Central Greece -. Fine.

Ex-Cng eAuction 105, Lot: 34 225/200

2 commentsecoli
Ornamental Pediment.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, The Temple31 viewsThe Temple at Bath is one of only two truly classical temples known from Roman Britain. It was where the the cult statue of the goddess Sulis Minerva was thought to have been housed. Parts of the ornamental pediment survives and are displayed in the Baths Museum.maridvnvm
Venta Silurum Site Map.jpg
Britain, Caerwent, Venta Silurum, 01, Site Map107 viewsVenta Silurum (modern village of Caerwent, Wales, UK) was a Roman city founded sometime after A.D. 75. It lies on the Roman Road between Caerleon and Gloucester. It was the largest roman civilian settlement in Wales, covering some 44 acres and was created in an attempt to pacify the Silures tribe who had been battling with the Romand for some 25 years. It had an grid system design and whilst initially comprised of a scattered settlement of buildings it evolved and became enclosed c. A.D. 200. Further evolution occurred through to A.D. 350.
The site is now the modern village of Caerwent with many of the houses being build on top of the Roman remains.
maridvnvm
Venta Silurum Artist Impression.jpg
Britain, Caerwent, Venta Silurum, 02, Artistic Impression95 viewsVenta Silurum (modern village of Caerwent, Wales, UK) was a Roman city founded sometime after A.D. 75. It lies on the Roman Road between Caerleon and Gloucester. It was the largest roman civilian settlement in Wales, covering some 44 acres and was created in an attempt to pacify the Silures tribe who had been battling with the Romand for some 25 years. It had an grid system design and whilst initially comprised of a scattered settlement of buildings it evolved and became enclosed c. A.D. 200. Further evolution occurred through to A.D. 350.
The site is now the modern village of Caerwent with many of the houses being build on top of the Roman remains.
maridvnvm
Venta Silurum remains shops and houses 1.jpg
Britain, Caerwent, Venta Silurum, 11, Shops and houses28 viewsVenta Silurum (modern village of Caerwent, Wales, UK) was a Roman city founded sometime after A.D. 75.
The site is open to the public to walk round.

Excavated houses and shops that can have their evolution traced between A.D> 150 and A.D. 350
maridvnvm
Venta Silurum remains shops and houses 2.jpg
Britain, Caerwent, Venta Silurum, 12, Shops and houses28 viewsVenta Silurum (modern village of Caerwent, Wales, UK) was a Roman city founded sometime after A.D. 75.
The site is open to the public to walk round.

Excavated houses and shops that can have their evolution traced between A.D> 150 and A.D. 350
maridvnvm
AlexiosJohnAsen.jpg
Bulgaria: Alexios and John Asen (ca. 1356-1366) Æ Trachy (CNG E-288, lot 599; Numismatik Naumann Auction 75, Lot 872)10 viewsObv: Two crowned figures standing facing, holding scepters; clouds above, three stars between
Rev: Brockage
Dim: 18mm, 2.01 g

Alexios and John Asen were scions of the Bulgarian royal house, who held a section of the Thracian coast as an independent fief during the turbulent reign of the Byzantine emperor John V. Site finds indicate these coins were struck in that area, and are not imperial Byzantine issues. Tentatively Attributed based on the following references:

Georganteli, E., A Palaiologan Trachion from the Dioikitiriou Square Excavation, Νομισματικα Ξρονικα 20
Bendall, S., The Dioikitirion Square Trachion Reconsidered, Νομισματικα Ξρονικα 21
Bendall, S., A Further Note on the ‘Dioikitirion Square’ Trachy, Νομισματικα Ξρονικα 23

Note that Dumbarton Oaks considers this "token" uncertain: https://www.doaks.org/resources/coins/catalogue/BZC.1960.88.4989
Quant.Geek
AlexiosJohnAsen(1).jpg
Bulgaria: Alexios and John Asen (ca. 1356-1366) Æ Trachy (CNG E-288, lot 599; Numismatik Naumann Auction 75, Lot 872)10 viewsObv: St. Demetrios, orans, standing between two short columns topped by stars
Rev: Two crowned figures standing facing, holding scepters; clouds above, three stars between
Dim: 19mm, 1.40 g

Alexios and John Asen were scions of the Bulgarian royal house, who held a section of the Thracian coast as an independent fief during the turbulent reign of the Byzantine emperor John V. Site finds indicate these coins were struck in that area, and are not imperial Byzantine issues. Tentatively Attributed based on the following references:

Georganteli, E., A Palaiologan Trachion from the Dioikitiriou Square Excavation, Νομισματικα Ξρονικα 20
Bendall, S., The Dioikitirion Square Trachion Reconsidered, Νομισματικα Ξρονικα 21
Bendall, S., A Further Note on the ‘Dioikitirion Square’ Trachy, Νομισματικα Ξρονικα 23

Note that Dumbarton Oaks considers this "token" uncertain: https://www.doaks.org/resources/coins/catalogue/BZC.1960.88.4989
Quant.Geek
C_Fonteius.jpg
C. Fonteius struck - AR Denarius9 viewsRome
²112 BC
¹114-113 BC
laureate Janiform heads of Dioscuri
T _ (XVI)
war galley left, acrostolium, ram and deck house at prow, three sailors and five oars amidships; deck house, gubernator, rudder, and apluster at stern
C·FO(NT)
ROMA
¹Crawford 290/1, SRCV I 167, RSC I Fonteia 1, Sydenham 555
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
3,9g
ex Aureo and Calico

"The janiform head has been identified as the Dioscuri, because the Fonteia gens came from Tusculum, the religious center of the cult of Castor and Pollux. The reverse depicts the arrival by sea of Telegonus' the son of Odysseus and Circe, and the mythological founder of Tusculum." ForumAncientCoins note Moneyer probably served as legate in 91 BC at the beginning of Civil war and was killed by rebels in Asculum
Johny SYSEL
Caligula_RIC_16.jpg
Caligula RIC 001678 viewsSH86638. Silver denarius, RIC I 16 (R2, Rome), RSC I 2, Lyon 167, BnF II 21, BMCRE I 17, cf. SRCV I 1807 (aureus), VF, toned, attractive portraits, bumps and marks, some pitting, lamination defects, ex jewelry, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, weight 3.443g, maximum diameter 18.2mm, die axis 180o, 2nd emission, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR POT (counterclockwise from lower right), laureate head of Caligula right; reverse DIVVS AVG PATER PATRIAE (counterclockwise from lower right), radiate head of Divus Augustus right; ex Classical Numismatic Group, e-auction 69 (23 July 2003), lot 90
Ex: Forum Ancient coins, March 2, 2018.


This is my second denarius of Gaius. I was extremely happy to get this one. I know the surfaces are a bit rough, but it is still a VF example of a rare coin. Denarii of Caligula do not show up for sale very often outside of large auction houses. When they do appear they are often very expensive. I waited for about 2 1/2 years for a coin like this to show up. As soon as it did I bought it.

I want to share a quick word about where I bought this coin. It was a purchase from Forum Ancient Coins. Coins are guaranteed authentic for eternity, and the service is second to none. Forum is also an incredible source of information concerning ancient coins. If you have a question about ancient coins, chances are that question has been asked and answered on Forum Ancient Coins. Many experts frequent this site and they are always willing to share their expertise.

Anyone trying to assemble a set of the 12 Caesars in silver will need to find a denarius of Gaius. His is one of the most difficult to add along with denarii of Claudius and Otho. It has also been suggested by some that it is the fault of 12 Caesars collectors that drives the prices so high. While true that there is a lot of competition for these coins when they appear, it is also true that there are alternatives to the denarii of Gaius. One popular choice is the Vesta As. These are quite common and can be had in nice condition for reasonable prices.

On the obverse we have the typical portrait of Gaius, while on the reverse we see a portrait of his great grandfather Augustus. Augustus is depicted as a Divus or god. The reverse legend "Pater Patriae" refers to Augustus as the father of the country. One reason Augustus was on the reverse was to remind the people of Rome of their emperor's connection to the Julio-Claudian ruling dynasty.

Why are denarii of Gaius so scarce? One explanation is has to do with Gresham's law or bad money drives out good money. The theory is that the monetary reforms of Nero, which debased to coinage in both weight and fineness, caused people to hoard the older more valuable coins of emperors like Caligula and Claudius. The problem with this explanation is that there are plenty of "tribute penny" denarii of Tiberius. The other possibility is that perhaps smaller numbers of Gaius' denarii were originally minted. Maybe there was already enough silver coinage circulating and therefore fewer were needed. Whatever the real reason, we are unlikely to ever get a satisfactory answer.
5 commentsorfew
Paduan_Caligula.JPG
Caligula, 37 - 41 AD148 viewsObv: C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG PM TRP IIII PP, laureate head of Caligula facing left.

Rev: AGRIPPINA DRVSILLA IVLIA, The three sisters of Caligula, standing side by side; on the left, Agrippina (personified as Securitas) with head turned right, holds cornucopia, resting right hand on column, left hand on Drusilla’s shoulder; in center Drusilla (personified as Concordia), with head turned left, holding patera in right hand and cornucopia in left; on right Julia (personified as Fortuna Augusta), with head turned left, holding rudder in right hand and cornucopia in left; SC in exergue.

20.1 grams, 35 mm

This coin is a copy of a medallion made my Giovanni da Cavino of Padua, Italy. Though it's not an "ancient forgery" I would estimate it's manufacture to be sometime in the mid to late 19th Century. There appears to be genuine wear on the coin's surface along with a waxy residue visible in the lettering above Caligula's head leading me to believe this coin might have been used as a host to cast other fakes. It appears to be a direct copy of the Paduan housed in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. It is pictured in Imitations and Inventions of Roman Coins by Zander H. Klawans as Caligula 1.

RIC 41, Klawans Caligula 1
SPQR Coins
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Carnyx players on the Gundestrup Cauldron71 viewsDetail of antlered figures with animal-headed horns depicted on the cauldron found at Gundestrup, Himmerland, Jutland, Denmark. The Gundestrup cauldron is housed at the National Museum of Denmark.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Figures_with_horns_on_the_Gundestrup_Cauldron.jpg
Joe Sermarini
9965.jpg
Carrhae in Mesopotamia, Septimius Severus, AE 24, Lindgren 2557122 viewsCarrhae in Mesopotamia, Septimius Severus, AE 24, 193-211 AD
Av.: CEΠTIMIOC [CE]OY.... , naked (laureate?) bust of Septimius Severus right
Rv.: ..Λ]OY KAPPH ΛKA... , front view of a tetrastyle temple, the temple of the moon god Sin, in the middle a sacred stone on tripod, on top of stone: crescent, standards (with crescents on top) on both sides inside the building; another crescent in the pediment.
Lindgren 2557 ; BMC p. 82, #4

The city and the region played an important role in roman history.

Carrhae / Harran, (Akkadian Harrânu, "intersecting roads"; Latin Carrhae), an ancient city of strategic importance, an important town in northern Mesopotamia, famous for its temple of the moon god Sin, is now nothing more than a village in southeastern Turkey with an archeological site.
In the Bible it is mentioned as one of the towns where Abraham stayed on his voyage from Ur to the promised land. Abraham's family settled there when they left Ur of the Chaldeans (Genesis 11:31-32).
Inscriptions indicate that Harran existed as early as 2000 B.C. In its prime, it controlled the point where the road from Damascus joins the highway between Nineveh and Carchemish. This location gave Harran strategic value from an early date. It is frequently mentioned in Assyrian inscriptions about 1100 BC, under the name Harranu, or "Road" (Akkadian harrānu, 'road, path, journey' ).
During the fall of the Assyrian Empire, Harran became the stronghold of its lasts king, Ashur-uballit II, being besiged and conquered by Nabopolassar of Babylon at 609 BC. Harran became part of Median Empire after the fall of Assyria, and subsequently passed to the Persian Achaemenid dynasty.
The city remained Persian untill in 331 BC when the soldiers of the Macedonian king Alexander the Great entered the city.
After the death of Alexander on 11 June 323 BC, the city was claimed by his successors: Perdiccas, Antigonus Monophthalmus and Eumenes. These visited the city, but eventually, it became part of the Asian kingdom of Seleucos I (Nicator), the Seleucid empire, and capital of a province called Osrhoene (the Greek term for the old name Urhai).
The Seleucids settled Macedonian veterans at Harran. For a century-and-a-half, the town flourished, and it became independent when the Parthian dynasty of Persia occupied Babylonia. The Parthian and Seleucid kings both needed the buffer state of Osrhoene which was part of the larger Parthian empire and had nearby Edessa as its capital. The dynasty of the Arabian Abgarides, technically a vassal of the Parthian "king of kings" ruled Osrhoene for centuries.

Carrhae was the scene of a disastrous defeat of the Roman general Crassus by the Parthians. In 53 BC. Crassus, leading an army of 50.000, conducted a campaign against Parthia. After he captured a few cities on the way, he hurried to cross the Euphrates River with hopes of receiving laurels and the title of “Emperor”. But as he drove his forces over Rakkan towards Harran, Parthian cavalry besieged his forces in a pincers movement. In the ensuing battle, the Roman army was defeated and decimated. The battle of Carrhae was the beginning of a series of border wars with Parthia for many centuries. Numismatic evidence for these wars or the corresponding peace are for instance the "Signis Receptis" issues of Augustus and the “Janum Clusit” issues of Nero.
Later Lucius Verus tried to conquer Osrhoene and initially was successful. But an epidemic made an annexation impossible. However, a victory monument was erected in Ephesus, and Carrhae/Harran is shown as one of the subject towns.
Septimius Severus finally added Osrhoene to his realms in 195. The typical conic domed houses of ancient Harran can be seen on the Arch of Septimius Severus on the Forum Romanum.
Harran was the chief home of the moon-god Sin, whose temple was rebuilt by several kings. Sin was one of the great gods of the Assurian-Babylonian pantheon.
Caracalla gave Harran the status of a colonia (214 AD) and visited the city and the temple of the moon god in April 217. Meanwhile the moon god (and sacred stones) had become a part of the Roman pantheon and the temple a place to deify the roman emperors (as the standards on both sides of the temple indicate).

Caracalla was murdered while he was on his way from Temple to the palace. If this had been arranged by Macrinus - the prefect of the Praetorian guard who was to be the new emperor – is not quite clear. On the eighth of April, the emperor and his courtiers made a brief trip to the world famous temple of the moon god. When Caracalla halted to perform natural functions, he was assassinated by one of his bodyguards, Julius Martialis, who had a private grudge against the ruler, because he had not been given the post of centurion.

In 296 AD Roman control was again interrupted when nearby Carrhae the emperor Galerius was defeated by the king Narses / the Sasanid dynasty of Persia. The Roman emperor Julianus Apostata sacrificed to the moon god in 363 AD, at the beginning of his ill-fated campaign against the Sassanid Persians. The region continued to be a battle zone between the Romans and Sassanids. It remained Roman (or Byzantine) until 639, when the city finally was captured by the Muslim armies.

At that time, the cult of Sin still existed. After the arrival of the Islam, the adherents of other religions probably went to live in the marshes of the lower Tigris and Euphrates, and are still known as Mandaeans.
The ancient city walls surrounding Harran, 4 kilometer long and 3 kilometer wide, have been repaired throughout the ages (a.o. by the Byzantine emperor Justinian in the sixth century), and large parts are still standing. The position of no less than 187 towers has been identified. Of the six gates (Aleppo gate, Anatolian, Arslanli, Mosul, Baghdad, and Rakka gate), only the first one has remained.

A citadel was built in the 14th century in place of the Temple of Sin. This lies in the south-west quarter of the ancient town. Its ruin can still be visited.

my ancient coin database
1 commentsArminius
s Coat of Arms.jpg
Chulalongkorn Coat of Arms16 viewsChulalongkorn (Rama V--Chakri Dynasty) Coat of Arms

Origin/Meaning:
The arms of the Kingdom of Siam were created during the reign of King Chulalongkorn the Great, Rama V, when the Kingdom was exposed to Western traditions, ideas, and also European threat of colonialism. King Chulalongkorn, who visited Europe twice, modernized Siam and adopted many of the European traditions to his court, including the use of heraldry.

On the top of the coat of arms is the Great Victory Crown of Thailand, the most important royal regalia and the symbol of kingship. Under the crown is the symbol of the Royal House of Chakri, the King's royal family, which is a disc intersected with a trident. The royal multi-tiered umbrellas of state are also present on either side of the crown. To both sides of the coat of arms are the other regalia, the royal sword and the royal baton. In the background is the draped robe - either the Royal robe of the King or the robe of the Order of Chulachomklao - an order created by the King. The supporters are two (again) mythical creatures, one is the Royal Lion, rajasiha, and the other is Elephant Lion, gaja-siha.

The shield itself is partitioned into three parts, signifying the Thai part of the Kingdom (the 3-headed elephant) on the top, the Laotian suzerainty (another elephant), and the Malay suzerainty (two "kris", or Malayan short swords).

The chain under the Arms is a necklace that is a part of the Order of Chulachomklao.
The ribbon under the Arms is inscribed with the motto (in Pali, the language of the Buddhist canon) which may be translated as "Unity brings happiness".

When the present seal (the Garuda) was made the State symbol, King Chulalongkorn's great arms were no longer used as a State symbol, however, it still adorns the hats of Thai police officers to this day.
Literature : Information provided by Apirat Sugondhabhirom
________________________________________
Sitemap © Ralf Hartemink 1996, -
Cleisthenes
100006.jpg
CITY-GATE, Antoninus Pius, Laodiceia ad Mare194 viewsob: AVTO KAI TI AIΛI AΔPI
ANTΩNEINO NC

re: IOVΛIEΩNTΩN
KAI ΛAOΔIKEΩN
E(?) left field, QP right field

Antoninus Pius
Laodiceia ad Mare, Syria
Turretted bust of Tyche as city goddess
Gateway with turrets, lighthouse and walls
AE 25
141-142 AD
BMC 67-8
Sear 1497
2 commentsdougdann
Civil_War_Letter.jpg
Civil War Era Letter131 viewsI have copied the letter verbatim, so the misspellings are as they were originally written. I got this letter from an abandoned farmhouse in Kansas that belonged to my paternal grandfather's father. No one I asked was able to give me information as to who these people were. Perhaps they are related to me, but I have yet to corroborate this. The letter was in the original envelope.

Treasurer’s Office, Wood County, Ohio
Perrysburg, March 12, 1864

Cousin Dwight,
Dear Sir
I have expressed you this day
at New Haven one hundred and
Twenty five dollars to apply
on Charles Smiths note.
He would like to hold the
balance for another year, should
it suit you, We have been very
much afflickted for the past
three weeks, three of our children
having the Scarlet fever, in its worst
form. The two babies two and a ½
years old, and your name sake
Dwight who is five and a ½ years old.
Two of them are much better (Dwight
and Mary) Howard we have but
little hope of at this time, he is
very sick. You will please acknowle(dge)
the amount received and Ably yours
John A. Norster
5 commentsNoah
claudius_38.jpg
Claudius RIC I, 38792 viewsClaudius, AD 41 - 54
AV - Aureus, 7.71g, 18mm
Rome 46/47
obv. TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG PM TRP VI IMP XI
laureate head r.
rev. PACI AVGVSTAE
Pax/Nemesis walking r., holding with l. hand caduceus
and point with it at snake at her feet; holding fold of the
robe before her chin
RIC I, 38; C.57; von Kaenel 628 (this specimen!)
R2; about VF
One of my favorite coins due to its pedigree:
ex. coll. Moritz Simon, Berlin
ex. Glandining & Co., London 1929, Nr.666
ex. Cahn, Ffm. 1930, Nr.232
ex. M&M, Basel

from Curtis Clay: Herbert Cahn, one of the greatest
German coin houses, had to flee from the Nazis to Switzerland

1 NEMESIS, Goddess of rightful distribution
2 CADUCEUS, holding caduceus to snake = welfare
3 The interpretation of N.'s gesture, holding fold of the robe to the chin as spitting in the neck and symbol for happiness, is doubtful. Rossbach thinks it may be a gesture of modesty!
This all stands for the politics of Claudius!
15 commentsJochen
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Constantinople CONSS66 viewsConstantine had altogether more ambitious plans. Having restored the unity of the empire, now overseeing the progress of major governmental reforms and sponsoring the consolidation of the Christian church, Constantine was well aware that Rome had become an unsatisfactory capital for several reasons. Located in central Italy, Rome lay too far from the eastern imperial frontiers, and hence also from the legions and the Imperial courts. Moreover, Rome offered an undesirable playground for disaffected politicians; it also suffered regularly from flooding and from malaria.

It seemed impossible to many that the capital could be moved. Nevertheless, Constantine identified the site of Byzantium as the correct place: a city where an emperor could sit, readily defended, with easy access to the Danube or the Euphrates frontiers, his court supplied from the rich gardens and sophisticated workshops of Roman Asia, his treasuries filled by the wealthiest provinces of the empire.

Constantine laid out the expanded city, dividing it into 14 regions, and ornamenting it with great public works worthy of a great imperial city. Yet initially Constantinople did not have all the dignities of Rome, possessing a proconsul, rather than a prefect of the city. Furthermore, it had no praetors, tribunes or quaestors. Although Constantinople did have senators, they held the title clarus, not clarissimus, like those of Rome. Constantinople also lacked the panoply of other administrative offices regulating the food supply, police, statues, temples, sewers, aqueducts or other public works. The new program of building was carried out in great haste: columns, marbles, doors and tiles were taken wholesale from the temples of the empire and moved to the new city. Similarly, many of the greatest works of Greek and Roman art were soon to be seen in its squares and streets. The emperor stimulated private building by promising householders gifts of land from the imperial estates in Asiana and Pontica, and on 18 May 332 he announced that, as in Rome, free distributions of food would be made to citizens. At the time the amount is said to have been 80,000 rations a day, doled out from 117 distribution points around the city.

Constantinople was a Greek Orthodox Christian city, lying in the most Christianised part of the Empire. Justinian ordered the pagan temples of Byzantium to be deconstructed, and erected the splendid Church of the Holy Wisdom, Sancta Sophia (also known as Hagia Sophia in Greek), as the centrepiece of his Christian capital. He oversaw also the building of the Church of the Holy Apostles, and that of Hagia Irene.

Constantine laid out anew the square at the middle of old Byzantium, naming it the Augusteum. Sancta Sophia lay on the north side of the Augusteum. The new senate-house (or Curia) was housed in a basilica on the east side. On the south side of the great square was erected the Great Palace of the emperor with its imposing entrance, the Chalke, and its ceremonial suite known as the Palace of Daphne. Located immediately nearby was the vast Hippodrome for chariot-races, seating over 80,000 spectators, and the Baths of Zeuxippus (both originally built in the time of Septimius Severus). At the entrance at the western end of the Augusteum was the Milion, a vaulted monument from which distances were measured across the Eastern Empire.

From the Augusteum a great street, the Mese, led, lined with colonnades. As it descended the First Hill of the city and climbed the Second Hill, it passed on the left the Praetorium or law-court. Then it passed through the oval Forum of Constantine where there was a second senate-house, then on and through the Forum of Taurus and then the Forum of Bous, and finally up the Sixth Hill and through to the Golden Gate on the Propontis. The Mese would be seven Roman miles long to the Golden Gate of the Walls of Theodosius.

Constantine erected a high column in the middle of the Forum, on the Second Hill, with a statue of himself at the top, crowned with a halo of seven rays and looking towards the rising sun.

RIC VII Constantinople 61 C1
ecoli
Constantius_II_Centenionalis.jpg
Constantius II Centenionalis Fel Temp Reparatio hut61 viewsAE Centenionalis
Constantius II, 337-361 CE
Diameter: 21 mm, Weight: 3.97 grams, Die axis: 1h

Obverse: D N CONSTANTIVS PF AVG
Diadem, draped, and cuirassed bust to left, holding globe.

Reverse: FEL TEMP REPARATIO
Soldier advancing right, dragging young barbarian from hut beneath tree.

Mint: TRS: Trier, second mint house

Notes:
- ‘FELix TEMPorvm REPARATIO’ = Happy times restored.
- This type was issued at 13 different mints, each using a different tree, shrub or plant.
- The Fel Temp reform coinage began around 348 CE and initially had a target weight of 5.5 grams and a diameter of 23 mm, with a silver content of 2-3%. From circa 351 the series was gradually debased in both weight and size until it was finally discontinued circa 357 CE. The weight and diameter of this piece indicate it was struck between 351 and 354 CE.
- This coin has a deep glossy green patina; I guess it was found in a sealed container. Only the high points show wear suggesting contact with other coins in a sealed environment.

Ex Central City Coins Brisbane, 2002
3 commentsPharsalos
Atheny~0.jpg
Countermark on Athens - AR tetradrachm 182 views431-393 BC
head of Athena right - almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll
owl standing right, head facing, olive sprig and crescent left
AΘE right
Phoenician contermark
bēth yōdh (yōdh~hand; bēth~house
(Type C), Sear 2526
RARE CONTERMARK
16,5 g 22 mm
Johny SYSEL
424G372Sulpicia.png
Cr 312/1 AR Denarius C. Sulpicius C.f. Galba21 views Rome, 106 BCE
o: Jugate heads of Dei Penates left, DPP before
r: Two soldiers swearing oath over sow, L above, C SVLPICI. C F in ex.
Crawford 312/1. Sulpicia 1
Serrated, 3.85g. (12h)
Penates were both personal and public gods, and this obverse emphasizes that these are the public form, "Publici", as it would be quite unusual to emphasize the private aspect of household gods. The oath scene on reverse likely refers to the founding myth of the white sow at Alba Longa in the Aeneid. The Sulpicii gens eventually culminated (and terminated) with the emperor Galba.
1 commentsPMah
10142v.jpg
Crawford 312/1, Roman Republic, C. Sulpicius Galba, Denarius serratus87 viewsRoman Republic (Rome mint 106 BC.), C. Sulpicius Galba.
AR Denarius serratus (3.90 g, 18-19 mm).
Obv.: D.P.P (abbreviation of Dei Penates Publici) , before jugate, laureate heads of Dei Penates l. .
Rev.: C. SVLPICI. C. F. Two male figures (the Dei Penates) standing facing each other, each holding spear in l. hand and with r. hand pointing at sow which lies between them; above, control mark C.
Crawford 312/1 . Syd. 572 . Bab. Sulpicia 1 .

Crawford interprets this type as Aeneas landing in Lanuvium (home of Sulpicia gens) with the Penates and the subsequent miracle of the white sow that foretold the founding of Alba Longa. (David Sear, RCV 2000).

The reverse of this coin shows the sow that led Aeneas to the place, where he founded Lavinium, the mother city of Alba Longa. The cult of the Penates was closely connected with Lavinium as the Romans believed that these godheads were brought first to Lavinium by Aeneas before they came to Rome. The Penates belonged to the original gods of Rome and were not imported from the Etruscans or Greeks. The original Roman religion personified all events connected with growing, harvesting and processing the products of the field. The Penates were responsible for protecting the larder in the house of every family. There also existed Penates for the whole of Rome. They were kept at the temple of Vesta together with the palladium, the statue of Athena coming from Troy, and the holy fire. Only once a year, on June 9, the married women in Rome were allowed to see them. They came barefoot on that day to sacrifice fruits and cake.

my ancient coin database
2 commentsArminius
Crispus_Ae4_vot_x.jpg
Crispus Ae311 viewsAE 3
Crispus, Caesar 316-326 CE
Diameter: 19 mm, Weight: 3.06 grams, Die axis: 7h

Obverse: IVL CRISPVS NOB C
Laureate bust to right.

Reverse: CAESARVM NOSTRORVM VOT X
Laurel wreath encircling VOT X.

Mint: STR U: Trier, second mint house

Notes:
- The German region of Treveri takes its name from a Celtic tribe who occupied the area.

Ex Boswell Books & Coins Brisbane, 2003
Pharsalos
AF1B49CA-A2DA-4A4B-B2AD-25F11C78DF1E.jpeg
Crusader. Rhodes. Order of St. John . Emery d'Amboise (1503-1512) AR denier.23 viewsCrusader. Rhodes. Order of St. John . Emery d'Amboise (1503-1512) AR denier.
0.6 g.
EMERIC....AMBO... Arms of the House of Amboise
ECCE•AG....DEIECC..V.. St. John the Baptist standing facing ,holding the symbolic lamb with his right hand and a long cross in left .
Schlumberger Pl.XI - 10
Extremely Rare .
Vladislav D
6457683D-2D3D-4A0C-999C-616F0BA7B281.jpeg
Crusader. Rhodes. Order of St. John . Emery d'Amboise (1503-1512) AR denier.24 viewsCrusader. Rhodes. Order of St. John . Emery d'Amboise (1503-1512) AR denier.
0.5 g.
E.....DAMBOISE•MA Arms of the House of Amboise
E.....DEI.....V St. John the Baptist standing facing ,holding the symbolic lamb with his right hand and a long cross in left .
Schlumberger Pl.XI - 10
Extremely Rare .
Vladislav D
15.jpg
Crusaders. Mytilene (Lesbos) under the house of Gattilusio. Francesco II Gattilusio (1396-1400). AE-denier46 viewsCrusaders. Mytilene (Lesbos) under the house of Gattilusio. Francesco II Gattilusio (1396-1400). AE-denier.

Obverse: +FRANCISCUS GATILUXI, arms of the Gattilusi

Reverse: +DOMINUS METELINI, cross with four letters B

Ref.: Schlumberger Pl. XVI, 1-3.; Metcalf cf. 1165; Lunardi G 9 (p. 258)
Vladislavs D
oOk73RoACvSA.jpg
Crusaders. Mytilene (Lesbos) under the house of Gattilusio. Francesco II Gattilusio (1396-1400). AE-denier41 viewsCrusaders. Mytilene (Lesbos) under the house of Gattilusio. Francesco II Gattilusio (1396-1400). AE-denier.

Obverse: +FRANCISCUS GATILUXI, arms of the Gattilusi

Reverse: +DOMINUS METELINI, cross with four letters B

Ref.: Schlumberger Pl. XVI, 1-3.; Metcalf cf. 1165; Lunardi G 9 (p. 258)
Vladislavs D
14.jpg
Crusaders. Mytilene (Lesbos) under the house of Gattilusio. Francesco II Gattilusio (1396-1400). AE-denier. 49 viewsCrusaders. Mytilene (Lesbos) under the house of Gattilusio. Francesco II Gattilusio (1396-1400). AE-denier.

Reverse: +DOMINUS METELINI, cross with four letters B

Obverse: +FRANCISCUS GATILUXI, arms of the Gattilusi


Ref.: Schlumberger Pl. XVI, 1-3.; Metcalf cf. 1165; Lunardi G 9 (p. 258)
Vladislavs D
cyprus 2.JPG
Cyprus, Pafos, Roman Mosaic in "The House of the Century"1256 viewsMosaic in "The House of the Century"1 commentsJeroen
cyprus 1.JPG
Cyprus, Pafos, Roman Mosaic in "The House of the Century" (Detail)947 viewsDetailJeroen
Edgar_Allan_Poe_Hall_of_Fame.JPG
Edgar Allan Poe, 1963 NYU Hall of Fame Medal23 viewsObv: THE HALL OF FAME FOR GREAT AMERICAN EDGAR ALLAN POE above a bust of Poe facing left. AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY 1809 - 1849, depictions of a Raven and a Gold Bug alluding to Poe's writings.

Rev: "NEVERMORE" depictions of Poe's fiction: the Angel Israfel, Lenore, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death, The Black Cat, MS. Found in the Bottle, The Pit and the Pendulum. The Pegasus, symbolic of poetry and art, unfolds a nightmare of dreams and death.

Designer: Michael Lantz, Mint: Medallic Art Company

Bronze, 44.48 mm
Matt Inglima
alexandria_antonin_pius_Emmett1590.jpg
Egypt, Alexandria, Antoninus Pius, Milne 192148 viewsAntoninus Pius, AD 138-161
AE - drachm, 35.5mm, 29.29g
Alexandria, AD 146/147 (year 10)
obv. AVT KT AIL ADR - ANTWNEINOC CEB EVC
Bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. L DEK - ATOV
Isis Pharia, in long chiton, wearing lotus flower on her head, advancing r.,
holding with two hand billowing sail and sistrum.
Milne 1921; Emmett 1590; Geissen 1550VF, nice red-brown patina

Isis had a temple of the island of Pharos (with the famous lighthouse!) in front of Alexandria. Hence her name Isis Pharia. It was worshipped mainly by sailors.
Jochen
897205.jpg
Elagabalus38 viewsElagabalus. AD 218-222. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.07 g, 7h). Uncertain Eastern mint. Struck AD 219-220. IMP ΛNTO NINVS ΛVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / SΛNCT DEO S OL I/ELΛGΛBΛL·, four horses advancing right, drawing chariot containing Stone of Emesa, surmounted by eagle and surrounded by four parasols. RIC IV 144 var. (not cuirassed); Thirion 362a; RSC 266 var. (same); Gemini VII, lot 805 (same dies). VF. Very rare type with the eastern mint’s second obverse legend; less than eight specimens known to Curtis Clay.

At the age of fourteen, Varius Avitus Bassianus (Elagabalus) inherited the office of high priest of the sun-god Elagabalus at Emesa in Syria. The cult of his sun god was represented by a sacred stone, and in AD 219 when he moved from Emesa to Rome, he took the stone, probably a meteorite, with him. This coin type commemorates this event. During his reign, Elagabalus devoted his efforts to the promotion of his cult god, building a lavish temple to house the stone.
2 commentsTLP
Elagabalus_(218-222)_denarius_(AR).png
Elagabalus (218-222) denarius (AR)14 viewsObv.: IMP ANTONINVS AVG (Laureate bust of emperor) Rev.: TEMPORVM FELICITAS (Felicitas std. holding caduceus and cornucopia) Diameter: 19,30 mm Weight: 2,12 g RIC 150

Elagabalus is a most fascinating figure. A scion of the Severan line, Elagabalus was the high priest of the cult of Ilāh hag-Gabal (Elagabalus, hence the emperor's nickname), patron deity of Emesa, who was worshipped in the form of a stone. This stone was brought to Rome with great festivities - even coinage was issued to celebrate the event- and was placed in its own temple called the Elagabalium. Elagabalus then proceeded to house the most important religious artifacts of the Romans in this temple, like the flame of Vesta and the Palladium, as if to subordinate them to his deity or in order to create a sort of syncretist religion. He also performed strange dancing rites around the stone in front of the Senate. Whatever the case, he was removed from power by his own grandmother in favour of Severus Alexander. Elagabalus' role as high priest is a recurrent theme on his coinage.
Nick.vdw
ElagStarRightSm.jpg
Elagabalus aka Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus aka Varius Avitus Bassianus166 viewsElagabalus denarius
O: Laureate bust of Elagabalus, draped, horn. "IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG"
R: Elagabalus standing left holding patera over altar. Club in left hand, star in right field."SACRED DEI SOLIS ELAGAB" - RSC 252

ExKunker auction 136, lot 1118; Ex Auktion Auctiones A. G. 23, Basel 1993, Nr. 535.


This is the rare, initial, SACERD DEI SOLIS ELAGABAL type, with the emperor sacrificing left not right, and with the star erroneously behind him rather than before him. The star apparently stood for his sun god, to whom the emperor was depicted sacrificing, and therefore it should have been placed before him, above his patera and the altar.

We know that the star behind the emperor was wrong, because on quite a few dies of all four emperor-sacrificing types the star was eradicated from behind the emperor and re-engraved in front of him. Note that on the obverse Elagabalus is still unbearded, confirming the early date (c. summer 221).

The normal type, emperor sacrificing right, star before him, was represented by 181 specimens in the Reka Devnia hoard, compared to 3 specimens for this early variety. (Thanks to CClay for these details.)

At the age of fourteen, Elagabalus became high priest of the sun-god Elagabalus at Emesa in Syria. The cult was represented by a sacred stone, and in AD 219 when he moved from Emesa to Rome, he took the stone, probably a meteorite, with him. During his reign, Elagabalus devoted his efforts to the promotion of his cult god, building a lavish temple to house the stone. The reverse type and legend promote his position as high priest of the sun-god Elagabalus.
5 commentsNemonater
Elagab.jpg
Elagabalus aka Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus aka Varius Avitus Bassianus211 viewsElagabalus 221-222 AD. (3.23 g 20 mm) Rome mint. O: IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped (Hornless) bust right right. R: SACERD DEI SOLIS ELAGAB, Elagabalus sacrificing right over lighted altar, holding palm, star in right field. RIC 131; RSC246a.

At the age of fourteen, Elagabalus became high priest of the sun-god Elagabalus at Emesa in Syria. The cult was represented by a sacred stone, and in AD 219 when he moved from Emesa to Rome, he took the stone, probably a meteorite, with him. During his reign, Elagabalus devoted his efforts to the promotion of his cult god, building a lavish temple to house the stone. The reverse type and legend on the present coin promote his position as high priest of the sun-god Elagabalus.
4 commentsNemonater
60319LG.jpg
Elis, Olympia192 viewsOlympia (Greek: Ολυμπία Olympí'a or Ολύμπια Olýmpia, older transliterations, Olimpia, Olimbia), a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis, is known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, comparable in importance to the Pythian Games held in Delphi. Both games were held every olympiad (i.e. every four years), the Olympic Games dating back possibly further than 776 BC. In 394 emperor Theodosius I, or possibly his grandson Theodosius II in 435, abolished them because they were reminiscent of paganism.

The sanctuary itself consists of an unordered arrangement of various buildings. To the north of the sanctuary can be found the prytaneion and the Philippeion, as well as the array of treasuries representing the various city states. The metroon lies to the south of these treasuries, with the Echo Stoa to the East. To the south of the sanctuary is the South Stoa and the Bouleuterion, whereas the West side houses the palaistra, the workshop of Pheidias, the Gymnasion and the Leonidaion. Enclosed within the temenos are the temples of Hera and Zeus, the Pelopion and the area of the altar, where the sacrifices were made. The hippodrome and later stadium were also to the East.

Olympia is also known for the gigantic ivory and gold statue of Zeus that used to stand there, sculpted by Pheidias, which was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Antipater of Sidon. Very close to the temple of Zeus (see photo of ruins below) which housed this statue, the studio of Pheidias was excavated in the 1950s. Evidence found there such as sculptor's tools, corroborates this opinion.

Excavation of the Olympia temple district and its surroundings began with a French expedition in 1829. German archaeologists continued the work in the latter part of the 19th century. The latter group uncovered, intact, the Hermes of Praxiteles statue, among other artifacts. In the middle of the 20th Century, the stadium where the running contests took place was excavated.

The Olympic flame of the modern-day Olympic Games is lit by reflection of sunlight in a parabolic mirror at the restored Olympia stadium and then transported by a torch to the place where the games are held.

When the modern Olympics came to Athens in 2004, the men's and women's shot put competition was held at the restored stadium.

The ancient ruins sits north of the Alfeios River and lies next to Cronius or Kronios hill (the hill of Kronos, or Saturn). Kladeos, a tributary of Alfeios, flows around the area.

The town has a school and a square (plateia). Tourism is popular throughout the late-20th century. The city has a train station and is the easternmost terminus of the line of Olympia-Pyrgos (Ilia). The train station which the freight yard is west of it is about 300 m east of the town centre.

It is linked by GR-74 and the new road was opened in the 1980s, the next stretch N and NE of Olympia will open in around 2005. Distance from Pyrgos is 20 km E(old: 21 km), about 50 km SW of Lampeia, W of Tripoli and Arcadia and 4 km north of Krestena and N of Kyparissia and Messenia. The highway passed north of the ancient ruins.

A reservoir is located 2 km southwest damming up the Alfeios river and has a road from Olympia and Krestena which in the late-1990s has been closed.

The area is hilly and mountainous, most of the area within Olympia is forested.

Elis, Olympia. After ca. 340/30-late 3rd century B.C. Æ unit (20 mm, 5.99 g). Laureate head of Zeus right / FA above, horse trotting right; [L]U below. BCD 339.3 (this coin). Near VF, dark brown patina.
Ex BCD Collection. Ex-John C Lavender G18
ecoli73
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Elizabeth I6 viewsBritish, House of Tudor. Elizabeth I. 1558-1603. AR sixpence (25.81 mm, 2.94 g, 11 h). Third Issue, 1561-77. struck 1565. ELIZABETH · D · G · ANG · FR · ET · HI · REGINA, crowned bust left, behind, rose; mintmark, crown / POSVI | DEV · AD | IVTORE | M · MEV. / 1565, date atop arms of England divided by cross moline, all within dotted circle; mintmark, crown . SCE 2561. aVF, original toning.ecoli
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England, County of Kent, Dover: Roman Lighthouse97 viewsA visit to Dover on 20 March 2016, the Roman Lighthouse still stands within Dover Castle, which is still an important port of Britain by the English Channel. The upper 1/3 is a mix of Medieval (when it was used as a Bell Tower) and 19th century restoration (when the Church of Saint Mary, next to it, was also restored). The Lighthouse stands on the "eastern heights". There was another on the "western heights", they both guarded the entrance into the Roman harbour of Dubris (Dover) which was also an important base for the "Classis Britannica".Masis
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England, House of Tudor, Queen Elizabeth I, Silver Penny, 6th Issue. Metal Detecting find from Yorkshire.1 viewsTower 1595-98 A.D. 0.46g - 13.7mm, Axis 1h.

Obv: E • D • G • ROSA • SINE • SPINA - (Key Mintmark) Crowned bust left.

Rev: CIVITAS LONDON - Long cross fourchee over quartered shield of arms.

Spink 2680.
Christian Scarlioli
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France (Feudal): Duchy of Brittany. John I, “the Red” (1237-1286)36 viewsRoberts 4611 var., Poey d'Avant 356 var. (plate 11, no. 14), Boudeau 36-37 var. , Duplessy 73 var. (apparently no pellet on obverse after the X in the sources)

AR denier, Vannes mint [?], ca. 1250 [?], 19 mm.

Obv: + IOhANNES•DVX•, central cross.

Rev: + B-RIT-ANI-E, triangular shield of the house of Dreux in Brittany consisting of three spots and field of ermine.

John I (c. 1217/18–1286), known as John the Red due to the color of his beard, was the son of Duke Peter I, Duke of Brittany jure uxoris and Alix of Thouars, hereditary Duchess of Brittany. He was hereditary duke from 1221, upon his mother’s death, but his father ruled as regent until he reached adulthood. He experienced a number of conflicts with the Bishop of Nantes and the Breton clergy. In 1240, he issued an edict expelling Jews from the duchy and cancelling all debts to them. He joined Louis IX of France in the Eighth Crusade (1270), and survived the plague that killed the king. The duchy of Brittany experienced a century of peace, beginning with John I and ending with Duke John III's reign in 1341.
1 commentsStkp
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France (Feudal): Marquisate of Provence. Raymond VI (1156-1222)6 viewsRoberts 4356, Boudeau 785, Poey d'Avant 3723 LXXXI, 17, Duplessy 1604A

AR denier, Pont-de-Sorgues mint, struck 1200-1220; 74 g., 16.59 mm. max., 0°

Obv: + R • COMES (=Raymond, count; beginning at 6 o'clock), sun between two pellets, crescent moon below.

Rev: D-V-X-M (=Duke, marquis), Toulouse cross dividing legend.

To accommodate the longstanding claims of the count of Toulouse, in 1125 Provence was divided along the Durance River. Lands north of the river constituted the Marquisate of Provence, ruled by Toulouse, and south of the river was the county proper, ruled by the House of Barcelona. Raymond VI (1156-1222) was Count of Toulouse, Duke of Narbonne, Marquis of Provence, Count of Quercy and Albi.
Stkp
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France, Paris, Roman Baths60 viewsThe Roman Baths of Cluny, Paris. Dated to the 3rd century AD, thought to have been paid for by the guild of "Lutetian Boatmen". The complex is now incorporated into the National Museum of the Middle Ages. Photo taken by me in May 2014.Masis
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France, St Romain-en-Gal195 viewshousesvacationchick
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France. Jeton of Anne-Marie-Louise D'Orleans, of Dombes19 viewsFeuardent 10870, Corre 3721, Florange 1/169

CU Jeton dated 1637, during reign of Anne-Marie-Louise D'Orleans (1657-1693), of Dombes, 7.98 g., 28.32 mm. max., 180°

Obv: VBI FIDES -- IBI AMOR (= Where there is faith there is love), Praying hands clasping two palms and two doves looking at each other, •1637• in exergue.

Rev: • TOT SEDES VNICA FIRMA (=One crown strengthens so many thrones), Pomegranate crowned between two laurel branches; •1635• in exergue.

Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans (1627-1693), Duchess of Montpensier, known as La Grande Mademoiselle, was the daughter and heir of Gaston, Duke of Orléans (the only surviving brother of then-King Louis XIII of France) and Marie de Bourbon, Duchess of Montpensier (the only member of the Montpensier branch of the House of Bourbon). One of the greatest heiresses in history, she died unmarried and childless.

This jeton is comprised of the reverse of a jeton of Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans dated 1635 (Feuardent 10869) and another dedicated to Noël Quillerier, the King's painter, dated 1637 (Feaurdent 2959). As the jeton is not rare, it would not appear to have been struck in error. The pomegranate on the reverse, with its many grains, symbolizes the wealth of the princess, sole heiress of the Houses of Montpensier and Orleans.
1 commentsStkp
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George Westinghouse, 1963 NYU Hall of Fame Medal13 viewsMatt Inglima
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Gordian III, Moesia Inferior, Marcianopolis, AE268 viewsAD 238 - 244
9.67 grams
Obv.: AVT K M ANT GORDIANOC AVG, laureate, draped & cuirassed bust right, seen from behind
Rev.: MARKIANOPOLITWN, Homonoia standing left, wearing kalathos, holding patera & cornucopiae, altar (or baetyl?) at foot to left.
Moushmov 770, Paris 1097 I don't understand this but Wildwinds shows two coins with these exact attributions but with different obverse and reverse legends. Typically different legends would necessitate different attributions.
NGC Ch XF Strike: 5/5 Surface: 3/5, lt. smoothing
This coin was purchased from eBay at the same time the seller also had this coin listed on his Vcoins website. The surface score of 3/5 is a result of this coin having light smoothing which is a condition that was not been stated in either the seller's two listings. I have found that failure to mention surface smoothing is typical and is something practiced by largest of auction houses down to the smallest of dealers.
Richard M10
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Greece, Athens - The Gate of Schliemann's House - Athens237 viewsNot exactly an ancient site but as the home of the Greek Numismatic Museum it houses one of the great collections of ancient coins .... a must see on any visit to Athens.

This is photo is of one of the wrought iron gates of Schliemann’s Athenian mansion constructed in 1878/9. The swastika motif derives from his Trojan excavations and borders a design of winged sphinxes and acanthus leaves capped by an owl with spread wings.
Lloyd T
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Greece, Athens, Heinrich Schliemanns house.47 viewsReverse die of an Athenian Tetradrachm Heinrich Schliemanns house Grant H
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Greece, Athens, Heinrich Schliemanns house.46 viewsHeinrich Schliemanns coin cabinet at his family home,Athens Greece,where the national numismatic collection is housed.Grant H
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Greece, Delos - household well238 viewsWater supply was a problem on the dry island of Delos. The solution was found in a mix of cisterns and wells. Cisterns retained the water from the sparse winter rains, while small wells are to be found frequently in residences as illustrated by this example.Lloyd T
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GREEK, Kos, Caria, AR Drachm19 views63328. , cf. BMC Caria p. 198, 44 ff., SNG Cop 636 ff., SNGvA 2756 - 2757, SNG Keckman 293 - 294, Fine/Fair,
3.120 g,
14.1 mm,
Cos mint, c. 357 - 166 B.C.;
obverse bearded head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse KWION, crab, magistrates name and club below, all within square dot border; (Ex FORVM)


"Herakles was travelling by sea when Hera, who hated him, sent a storm, sinking his boats. Hercules and only a few friends survived, swimming to Kos. Once ashore they asked a shepherd for food and shelter. The shepherd refused and insulted Hercules and they fought. People from nearby Antimachia joined the fight against Hercules. Hercules and his friends slipped into a house, disguised as women, and escaped. Another town welcomed Hercules and declared war on Antimachia. Hercules killed the king of Antimachia and married the newly elected king's sister, Halkiopi. Their son, Thessalos, would later be the king of Kos and Nisyros."
superflex
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GREEK, Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312-281 BC, AR Hemidrachm - Babylonia, Uncertain Mint 6A 115 viewsHead of Herakles right wearing lion skin.
AΛΕΞANΔPOY Zeus Aetophoros seated left, inverted anchor to left, EP beneath throne.
SC 70.1; HGC 9, 42; Price 3442 (Marathus); Müller 1493; Houghton Group III, Series A, 127.
Issued by Seleukos in the name of Alexander from Babylonia Uncertain Mint 6A, 311-305 BC.
(13 mm, 2.15 g, 7h)

Judge this coin remembering it is a hemidrachm of 13 mm diameter. It does not possess the large palette of a tetradrachm!

This coin is the best of four known examples of this emission and the only one known outside of a museum. It is an obverse die match to an example from the Hersh Collection, now housed in in the British Museum (BM 2002,0101.796). The progression of the die break on Herakles neck indicates that this coin was struck after the Hersh coin.
4 commentsLloyd T
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HARBOUR, NERO, AE Sestertius (Portus Claudii)140 viewsÆ sestertius (22.54g, maximum Ø34.24mm, 6h), Lugdunum mint, struck AD 66.
Obv.: IMP NERO CAESAR AVG P MAX TR P P P, laureate head of Nero right, globe below tip of bust.
Rev.: PORT AVG (below) S C (above), aerial view of the harbour of Ostia, showing pier, breakwaters, lighthouse surmounted by the statue of Neptune, seven ships, and the figure of Tiber reclining left in foreground, holding rudder and dolphin.
Mac Dowall (The western Coinages of Nero, ANS SSN 161) 476; RIC 586 (R2); BMCRE 323 var. (different obv. legend); Cohen 253 var. (emperor's head to left); CBN 74 var. (different obv. legend); Sear (RCV) 1953var.

Rome's original harbour was Ostia, situated at the mouth of the Tiber. It could not easily handle large sea-going vessels such as those of the grain fleet. Therefore, Claudius initiated the construction of a new all-weather harboru at Portus, about 4 km north of Ostia. The project was completed under Nero who renamed the harbour "Portus Augusti".

It was a huge project enclosing an area of 69 hectares, with two long curving moles projecting into the sea, and an artificial island, bearing a lighthouse, in the centre of the space between the moles. The foundation of this lighthouse was provided by filling with concrete and sinking one of the massive ships that Caligula had used to transport an obelisk from Egypt for the Circus Maximus. These giant ships had a length of around 100m and displaced a minimum of 7400 tons. The harbour opened directly to the sea on the northwest and communicated with the Tiber by a channel on the southeast. However, it was very exposed to the weather and under Trajan was superseded by a new land-locked inner basin linked to the Tiber by a canal.
3 commentsCharles S
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HARBOUR, TRAJAN, AE Sestertius (Portus Trajani)175 viewsPortus Trajani
Æ Sestertius (26.66g, Ø35mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 104-111.
Obv.: IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P laureate draped bust of Trajan facing right.
Rev.: (PORTVM TRAIANI around, S C in ex.), Basin of Trajan's harbour (Portus Traiani), near Ostia, surrounded by warehouses, ships in centre.
RIC 471 (R2); Cohen 305; BMC 770A; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 104:59
ex Jean Elsen Auction 95; ex coll. A. Senden: "L'architecture des monnaies Romaines".

Due to the vulnarability of Portus Claudii, witness the events of 62 AD when a violent storm destroyed some 200 ships in the port, Trajan built a second one farther inland behind the port of Claudius. The work was carried out in the years 100-112 AD, and included improvements of the Claudian harbour. It was a hexagonal basin enclosing an area of 39 hectares, and communicating by canals with the harbour of Claudius, with the Tiber directly, and with the sea. The capacity of the harbour was much enlarged, and many new warehouses were built around it, remains of which may still be seen: The fineness of the brickwork of which they are built is remarkable. The sides of the hexagonal basin were over 350 m, the maximum diameter more than 700 m., and 5m deep. The bottom was covered with stones, at the north end gradually sloping upwards, to reach a depth of only one meter at the edge of the basin.

The basin could contain more than 100 ships that did not moor alongside the quays, but at a straight angle. It was surrounded by a few wide treads (total width c. 6 m.). On the quays was a wall, with five narrow doorways (1.80) on each side of the hexagon. The doorways are too narrow for wagons. Apparently the goods were unloaded and carried by slaves. This can also be seen on several reliefs and mosaics. The wall facilitated the control of the flow of goods, for the Customs Service and the levying of import duties (the portorium).

The hexagon may have been designed by Apollodorus of Damascus, the architect of Trajan's Market in Rome. No other harbours are known with this shape, suggesting that it was chosen not only for practical purposes, but also for aesthetic reasons.

Portus was the main port of ancient Rome for more than 500 years and provided a conduit for everything from glass, ceramics, marble and slaves to wild animals caught in Africa and shipped to Rome for spectacles in the Colosseum.
3 commentsCharles S
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Henry II - London, England112 viewsHenry II Curtmantle (1133-1189). King of England 1154-1189, House of Plantagenet. AR (20 mm, 1.45 g) short cross penny minted in London by moneyer Reinald.
Obverse: HENRICVS REX.
Reverse: REINALD M O LVN.
Reference: Sear 1344 Class 1b1.
Jan (jbc)
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Hercules. The Nemean lion.172 viewsAntoninianus. 287-289 AD. Lugdunum. 3 off. 5 ems. Radiate, helmeted, and cuirassed bust right . IMP MAXIMIANVS AVG. / Hercules standing right, strangling lion; club thrown behind him at feet. VIRTVTI AVGG. RIC V 456.Lyon 227.
First Labor of Hercules - Nemean Lion
From Apollodorus. " When Hercules heard that, he went to Tiryns and did as he was bid by Eurystheus. First, Eurystheus ordered him to bring the skin of the Nemean lion; now that was an invulnerable beast begotten by Typhon. On his way to attack the lion he came to Cleonae and lodged at the house of a day-laborer, Molorchus; and when his host would have offered a victim in sacrifice, Hercules told him to wait for thirty days, and then, if he had returned safe from the hunt, to sacrifice to Saviour Zeus, but if he were dead, to sacrifice to him as to a hero. And having come to Nemea and tracked the lion, he first shot an arrow at him, but when he perceived that the beast was invulnerable, he heaved up his club and made after him. And when the lion took refuge in a cave with two mouths, Hercules built up the one entrance and came in upon the beast through the other, and putting his arm round its neck held it tight till he had choked it; so laying it on his shoulders he carried it to Cleonae. And finding Molorchus on the last of the thirty days about to sacrifice the victim to him as to a dead man, he sacrificed to Saviour Zeus and brought the lion to Mycenae. Amazed at his manhood, Eurystheus forbade him thenceforth to enter the city, but ordered him to exhibit the fruits of his labours before the gates. They say, too, that in his fear he had a bronze jar made for himself to hide in under the earth, and that he sent his commands for the labours through a herald, Copreus, son of Pelops the Elean. This Copreus had killed Iphitus and fled to Mycenae, where he was purified by Eurystheus and took up his abode."

1 commentsbenito
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House of Hanover, King George II, Silver 1 Shilling.3 viewsRoyal Mint London 1745 A.D. 5.94g - 25.9mm, Axis 6h.

Obv: GEORGIVS·II· - DEI·GRATIA· - LIMA - Old laureate and draped bust left.

Rev: M·B·F·ET· - H·REX·F·D·B· - ET·L·D·S·R·I· - A·T·ET·E· 17-45 - Four crowned shields arranged to form a cross, Star of the Garter at the centre.

Spink 3703.

In 1745 a great treasure of silver coins had been seized in the North Atlantic by two British privateers, the Duke and the Prince Frederick, from two French treasure ships that had come from Peru. This booty was transported in forty-five wagon loads from the port of Bristol to the mint in London. As the booty principally consisted of 'piece of eight' bearing the Lima mintmark it was requested that coins taken from these prizes might bear the name 'Lima' to celebrate the exploit.
Christian Scarlioli
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House of Lancaster: Henry VI (1422-1461) 1st Reign, AR Groat, Calais Mint (North-1424; SCBC-1836)24 viewsObv: HENRIC DI GRA REX ANGLIE Z FRANC; Crowned facing bust within tressure of arches; lis at lower cusps; annulets flanking neck
Rev: POSVI DEVM ADIVTORE MEVM; VILLA CALISIE; Long cross pattée with trefoil of pellets in each quarter; annulets in second and third trefoils



1 commentsSpongeBob
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IPSWICH HALF-PENNY TOKEN22 viewsIPSWICH HALF-PENNY TOKEN - Cu 1/2-Penny Token, Ipswich, Suffolk, England; 1794. Obv.: Ancient market cross; IPSWICH CROSS, 1794 in exurge. Rev.: PAYABLE AT CONDER'S DRAPERY WAREHOUSE, IPSWICH. Reference: D&H-35, Conder-38.dpaul7
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ISLAMIC, Delhi Sultanate, Muhammed Bin Tughlaq, AV Dinar75 viewsDelhi Sultanate, Muhammed Bin Tughlaq, AV Dinar, 10.9g, In the name of Caliph al-Mustakfi, Daulatabad mint, AH 745 / 1345 AD, Ref: GG D-425

Obv: fi zaman al-imam al-mustakfi billah amir al-mu'minin abu' rabi sulaiman khallada allah khilafatahu
(In the time/reign of the Caliph al-Mustakfi billah, Commander of the Faithful, Father of the Victorious, May God Perpetuate his Kingdom)

Rev: duriba hadha al-dinar al-khalifati fi daulatabad shahr sana kham'sa wa arba'oun wa sa'bamia
(was struck this Dinar of the Caliphate in the city of Daulatabad in the year five and forty and seven hundred)


The coins Muhammad Bin Tughlaq (MBT) struck in the name of Abbasid caliphs of Egypt instead of his own name are called the Khilafat or Caliphate issues. Just as the Prophet is the viceregent of God and the Caliph is the viceregent of the Prophet, the monarch is viceregent of the Caliph. No Muslim king could hold the title of Sultan unless there be a covenant between him and the Caliph. The recognition of the supremacy of the Caliph was therefore paramount.

In AH 740 / 1339 AD ie the later part of his rule, MBTs reign was faltering with the Delhi Sultanate facing multiple rebellions across the country. In the south, MBT had lost control of the Deccan with both Vijayanagar Kingdom and Bahamani Sultanate established independent of Delhi Sultanate's control. Besides loss of territory and the fragmentation of the Sultanate, MBT was also struck with doubt about the legitimacy of his reign. MBT therefore sought out the whereabouts of the Caliph and did not rest content until he had made the discovery of the presence of the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mustakfi in exile at Cairo, and applied to him for royal investiture. However, unknown to MBT, the Caliph al-Mustakfi had died in that very same year ie AH 740. Meanwhile, anticipating such investiture and to reflect his subservience to the Caliph, MBT struck Gold Dinars in the name of Caliph al-Mustakfi Billah in AH 741. Four years after Caliph al-Mustakfi's death, when the new Caliph al-Hakim II’s envoy reached MBT conveying him with the Caliphal edict, robe of honour and conferring him the title of nasir amir al-mu'minin, MBT at once struck coins in the name of al-Hakim.

MBTs religious devotion to the Caliph and emotional behaviour towards the Caliph's envoys were so ludicurous as to call forth a contemptuous comment from the contemporary chronicler Ziyauddin Barani. So great was the faith of the Sultan in the Abbasid Khalifas, says he, that he would have sent all his treasures in Delhi to Egypt, had it not been for the fear of robbers. But the Sultan must have sent a substantial amount, because when Ghiyasuddin, who was only a descendant of the extinct Caliphal house of Baghdad, visited India, Muhammad's bounty knew no bounds. He gave him a million tanka's (400,000 dinars), the fief of Kanauj, and the fort of Siri, besides such valuable articles as gold and silver wares, pages and slave girls. One thousand dinars were given for head-wash, a bath-tub of gold, and three robes on which in place of knots or buttons there were pearls as large as big hazel nuts. If this was given to a scion of a house which had become defunct, how much more was sent to the living Caliph at Cairo can only be surmised.

As can be expected on Caliphate issues, great care and attention was taken in the style and design of these coins as these reflected the high reverence, esteem and devotion of MBT towards the Caliph. The calligraphy on the coin is exquisite and breath takingly beautiful. The date on the coin (AH 745) indicates this was the last year when Gold Dinar's were struck in the name of Caliph al-Mustakfi Billah as soon thereafter, following the arrival of Caliph's envoy and confirmation of death of Caliph al-Mustakfi, coins were struck in the name of the new Caliph, al-Hakim. Although the coin legend states the coin as a dinar, the weight standard is that of a tanka. The Gold Dinar's in the name of Caliph al-Mustakfi Billah were struck from only 2 mints - Daulatabad and Dehli, with Daulatabad issue classified as Rare by Goron & Goenka.
mitresh
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Israel, Herodion212 viewsThe Herodion (Har Hordos) was Herod the Great’s summer palace near Jerusalem and – according to Josephus – the place of his burial. (A possible royal sarcophagus was discovered in 2007 but the identification with Herod is not certain.) There are two distinct parts: the Upper Herodion, a fortress complex set within a mountain top, and the Lower Herodion, the palace proper with several ancillary buildings (bath house, stadium, etc.) In the photograph, the Upper Herodion hill dominates the background, while the foreground shows part of a substantial colonnaded pool (70m x 45m) with a gazebo-like structure set at its centre. The area now in use as a car park would have been a formal garden in Herod’s day. Abu Galyon
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istrusvarb6582 viewsElagabalus
Istrus, Thrace

Obv: AVT K M AVPH ANTΩNEINOC. laureate draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: ICTPIH-NΩN, E in left field. River god reclining left holding fish and branch; light house behind; urn from which water flows right.
27 mm, 12.94 gms

Varbanov 658
Charles M
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Italy, Aquileia - Roman house238 viewsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Herculaneum, House of Argus13 viewsThe peristyle in the House of Argus

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, House of Argus10 viewsThe House of Argus contains some strikingly decorated rooms. The decoration consists of red panels on a red ground incorporating geometric and architectural themes. The central panel on each of the walls contains a mythological scene.

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, House of the Great Portal14 viewsOne detail that caught my eye in the House of the Great Portalwas this wall decorationof a bird pecking at cherries.

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, House of the Neptune mosaic17 viewsThe House of the Neptune mosaic is named after the stunning mosaic that dominates the centre of the back wall. The mosaic shows Neptune and Amphitrite surrounded by a decorative motif.

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, House of the Neptune mosaic - nymphaeum13 viewsOn the far end wall of the court of the House of the Neptune mosaic is a nympheum. It is surmounted by the head of Silenus accompanied by two marble theatrical masks.

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, House of the Relief of Telephus19 viewsOn the south wall of the atrium is a copy of a neo-Attic relief depicting an episode from the myth of Telephus. The relief, which was found in in the house, depicts Achilles in the presence of his mother Thetis, treating the wound of the Mysian king, Telephus in return for the king showing the Achaeans the way to Troy.

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, House of the Relief of Telephus15 viewsA marble disc showing a hippocamp

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, House of the Skeleton14 viewsNymphaeum consisting of two rectangular basins with a decorative rear wall in inlaid limestone.

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, House of the Skeleton13 viewsThe triclinium is decorated in reds and orange with architecture and views of distant landscapes above a red decorative frieze. On the north wall is an large alcove illustrated here.

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, House of the Skeleton17 viewsAdjoining the triclinium is a small courtyard containing a mosaic lararium

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, House of the Skeleton11 viewsThe triclinium is decorated in reds and orange with architecture and views of distant landscapes above a red decorative frieze.

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, House of the Skeleton19 viewsAbove the nymphaeum is a decorative frieze composed of seven panels, of which only three originals remain (the central three are modern copies).

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Monza, Serpero Museum, Duomo di Monza.47 viewsIvory diptych of Stilicho, Roman General (magister militum), Patrician and Consul of the Western Roman Empire. The diptych depicts Stilicho, on the right and, on the left, his wife Serena standing with his son, Eucherius.

The Duomo di Monza is the main religious building of Monza. Although known in English as Monza Cathedral, the building is not in fact a cathedral, as Monza is part of the Diocese of Milan. The church is also known as the Basilica of San Giovanni Battista from its dedication to John the Baptist. In the right transept is the entrance to the Serpero Museum which houses the treasury.
*Alex
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Italy, Ostia - house near forum187 viewsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Ostia - house near forum186 viewsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Ostia - House of Amor and Psyche534 viewsPosted by Strength And Honour.
Photo taken by my friend Hebe.
Strength And Honour
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Italy, Pompeii239 viewsA well-known mosaic in an entryway of an affluent household, but it still never fails to please :-) July 2008Mark Zema
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Italy, Pompeii - bath257 viewsInside the public bathhouse. Much like the "Occulus" in the Pantheon, the window to the upper left is the only light source in the room.Mark Zema
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Italy, Pompeii - House of Menander 14 viewsHouse of Menander .

From my visit to Pompeii in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Rome, Column of Antoninus Pius, Cortile della Pigna, Vatican Museums36 viewsAbove are the four sides of the base of the Column of Antoninus Pius (Columna Antonini Pii) which was erected in the Campus Martius in memory of Antoninus Pius by Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus c.A.D.158 on the twentieth anniversary of his reign. Constructed of red granite, the column was 14.75 metres high and 1.90m in diameter, unlike the otherwise similar column of Trajan it had no decorating reliefs. The masons' inscription shows that it was quarried out in A.D.106 and architecturally it belonged to the Ustrinum which was 25m north of it on the same orientation. It was surmounted by a statue of Antoninus Pius. Previous to the 18th century the base was completely buried, but the lower part of the shaft projected about 6m above the ground. In 1703, when some buildings were demolished in the area of Montecitorio, the rest of the column and the base were discovered and excavated. The base still survives and is now housed in the Cortile della Pigna in the Vatican Museums.*Alex
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Italy, Rome, Curia Iulia, Forum Romanum124 viewsCuria Julia (Latin: Curia Iulia, Italian: Curia Iulia) is the third named Curia, or Senate House, in the ancient city of Rome. It was built in 44 BC when Julius Caesar replaced Faustus Cornelius Sulla’s reconstructed Curia Cornelia, which itself had replaced the Curia Hostilia. Caesar did this in order to redesign both spaces within the Comitium and Forum Romanum. The alterations within the Comitium reduced the prominence of the senate and cleared the original space. The work, however, was interrupted by Caesar's assassination at the Theatre of Pompey where the Senate had been meeting temporarily while the work was completed. The project was eventually finished by Caesar’s successor Augustus in 29 BC. The Curia Julia is one of only a handful of Roman structures to survive to the modern day mostly intact, due to its conversion into the basilica of Sant'Adriano al Foro in the 7th century and several later restorations. However the roof, together with the upper elevations of the side walls and rear façade, are modern. These parts date from the remodeling of the deconsecrated church in the 1930s.Joe Sermarini
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Italy, Rome, Temple of Vesta in the Forum Romanum.74 viewsTemple of Vesta in the Forum Romanum in Rome. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_Vesta. All temples to Vesta were round, and had entrances facing east to symbolize connection between Vesta’s fire and the sun as sources of life. The Temple of Vesta represents the site of ancient cult activity as far back as 7th century BCE. Numa Pompilius is believed to have built this temple along with the original Regia and House of the Vestal Virgins in its original form. Around the Temple stood The Sacred Grove, in which also there was a graveyard for the priests and virgins. It was one of the earliest structures located in the Roman Forum although its present reincarnation is the result of subsequent rebuilding. Instead of a cult statue in the cella there was a hearth which held the sacred flame. The temple was the storehouse for the legal wills and documents of Roman Senators and cult objects such as the Palladium. The Palladium was a statue of Athena (Roman Minerva) believed to have been brought by Aeneas from Troy; the statue was felt to be one of the Pignora Imperii, or pledges of imperium, of Ancient Rome. According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, the Romans believed that the Sacred fire of Vesta was closely tied to the fortunes of the city and viewed its extinction as a portent of disaster. The sacred flame was put out in 394 by Theodosius I after he won the Battle of the Frigidus, defeating Eugenius and Arbogast. The Temple of Vesta remained reasonably intact until the Renaissance. However, in 1549 the building was completely demolished and its marble reused in churches and papal palaces. The section standing today was reconstructed in the 1930s during the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini.

By Wknight94, 26 April 2008. Source:
Joe Sermarini
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Italy, Sicily, View of Solanto from the ruins of Soluntum (aka Solus, Solous, and Kefra)64 viewsView of Solanto from the ruins of Soluntum (aka Solus, Solous, and Kefra), Sicily

Solus (or Soluntum, near modern Solanto) was an ancient city on the north coast of Sicily, one of the three chief Phoenician settlements on the island, about 16 kilometers (10 miles) east of Panormus (modern Palermo). It lay 183 meters (600 ft) above sea level, on the southeast side of Monte Catalfano 373 meters (1,225 ft), in a naturally strong situation, and commanding a fine view. The date of its founding is unknown. Solus was one of the few colonies that the Phoenicians retained when they withdrew to the northwest corner of the island before the advance of the Greek colonies in Sicily. Together with Panormus and Motya, it allied with the Carthaginians. In 396 B.C. Dionysius took the city but it probably soon broke away again to Carthage and was usually part of their dominions on the island. In 307 B.C. it was given to the soldiers and mercenaries of Agathocles, who had made peace with the Carthage when abandoned by their leader in Africa. During the First Punic War it was still subject to Carthage, and it was not until after the fall of Panormus that Soluntum also opened its gates to the Romans. It continued to under Roman dominion as a municipal town, but apparently one of no great importance, as its name is only slightly and occasionally mentioned by Cicero. But it is still noticed both by Pliny and Ptolemy, as well as at a later period by the Itineraries. Its destruction probably dates from the time of the Saracens.

Excavations have brought to light considerable remains of the ancient town, belonging entirely to the Roman period, and a good deal still remains unexplored. The traces of two ancient roads, paved with large blocks of stone, which led up to the city, may still be followed, and the whole summit of Monte Catalfano is covered with fragments of ancient walls and foundations of buildings. Among these may be traced the remains of two temples, of which some capitals and portions of friezes, have been discovered. An archaic oriental Artemis sitting between a lion and a panther, found here, is in the museum at Palermo, with other antiquities from this site. An inscription, erected by the citizens in honor of Fulvia Plautilla, the wife of Caracalla, was found there in 1857. With the exception of the winding road by which the town was approached on the south, the streets, despite the unevenness of the ground, which in places is so steep that steps have to be introduced, are laid out regularly, running from east to west and from north to south, and intersecting at right angles. They are as a rule paved with slabs of stone. The houses were constructed of rough walling, which was afterwards plastered over; the natural rock is often used for the lower part of the walls. One of the largest of them, with a peristyle, was in 1911, though wrongly, called the gymnasium. Near the top of the town are some cisterns cut in the rock, and at the summit is a larger house than usual, with mosaic pavements and paintings on its walls. Several sepulchres also have been found.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soluntum

Photo by Allie Caulfield from Germany.
Joe Sermarini
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Italy- Forum Romanum- Basilica Emilia- Frisco with everyday life89 viewsThe Basilica Julia was built in 54-48 BCE by Julius Caesar as a part of his reorganisation of the Forum Romanum, where it replaced the Basilica Sempronia. It is located on the S. side of the main square of the Forum Romanum, between the Temple of Saturn and the Temple of Castor and Pollux.

Julius Caesar started construction in 54 BCE, but it was still unfinished at his death. It was built on the site of the Basilica Sempronia and a series of shops, the tabernae veteres, that were all demolished.

Augustus finished the building after Caesar's death, but had to reconstruct it again shortly after, due to its destruction by fire in 9 BCE. It was dedicated again in 2 BCE, this time in the name of Gaius Caesar and Lucius Caesar, Augustus' designated heirs at the time.

The basilica was later damaged much by the fire in 283 CE, and restored a few years after by Diocletian. It was again destroyed when Alaric sacked the city in 410 CE.

The Basilica Julia was of huge proportions. The basilica rested on a low podium, seven steps high on the E. side and just one on the W. side, due to the sloping terrain. Of outer dimensions 101×49m, the central nave of the basilica was 82×18m. The four lateral aisles, two on each side, were two storeys high, with vaulted ceiling and arches decorated by semi-columns. The central nave was three storeys high.

A series of shops stood behind the basilica towards the Velabrum. A Temple of Augustus was also built in the area behind the basilica by Tiberius.

The function of the Basilica Julia was to house tribunals and other activities from the Forum when weather didn't permit outdoor meetings. The central nave probably divided in four by wooden removable structures to allow the hearing of more cases at a time. The basilica also housed some administrative offices of the city.

Game boards and graffiti are incised in the steps and in the pavement of the side aisles by idling visitors to the Forum. Some of this can still be seen on the side of the main square of the forum.

The building was in ruin already in late Antiquity, and subsequently stripped of all reusable material, i.e., almost everything.

Very little of the building remains now. The basic floor plan can be seen, and some parts of brick walls remain towards the Temple of Saturn, some bases of statues still in their original position, and the four step podium remain. The brick column bases are reconstructions of the 19th century.
John Schou
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Italy- Forum Romanum- The basilica of Majencius front and back100 viewsThe Basilica of Maxentius (Basilica Maxentii) or the Basilica of Constantine (Basilica Constantini) was the last of the great civilian basilicas on the Roman Forum. The ruins of the basilica is located between the Temple of Amor and Roma and the Temple of Romulus, on the Via Sacra.

The construction of the basilica was initiated by Maxentius in 308 CE, and finished by Constantine after he had defeated Maxentius in the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 CE. As other similar buildings, it was destined for commercial and administrative activities. It is likely that the basilica housed the offices of the Prefect of the City, the highest imperial official in late antiquity.

The site chosen for the basilica was on the Velia, a low ridge connecting the Esquiline Hill and the Palatine Hill. Large parts of the Velia was levelled in preparation for the construction of the basilica. Literary sources tell that earlier the site was occupied by the Horrea Piperatica, the central market and storage facility for pepper and spices, built in the time of Domitian. Also on the site was a sanctuary of the penates publici which had to be moved.

The Basilica of Maxentius is built with arches, which is very atypical. All the other public basilicas had flat ceilings supported by wooden beams. The construction techniques used borrowed more from the great imperial baths than from the traditional basilica.
The basilica is one of the most impressive buildings on the Forum Romanum. The ground plan is rectangular, oriented E.-W., covering an area of 100×65m divided into a central nave and to lateral aisles and an atrium on the E. side where the original entrance was.

The central nave measured 80×25m and was covered by three groin vaults with a maximum height of 35m, supported by eight monolithic Corinthian columns of 14.5m. Each of the two aisles was made up of three interconnected coffered vaults, 20.5m wide and 24m high, communicating with the central nave by three huge openings.

Light was provided by two rows of three large windows in five of the six lateral vaults, and by windows in the sides of the now collapsed cross vaults over the central nave. The windows in two of the vaults in the surviving N. side of the building give a good idea of the amount of light inside the building.

The floor in both the central and the lateral spaces were a geometric pattern of squares with circles and lozenges of multi-coloured marble, similar to the floor in the Pantheon.

The walls were in opus latericium, originally with a marble veneer. The vaults were in opus caementicium with a gilded stucco finish. The roof was covered with gilded bronze tiles.

The entrance of the original project of Maxentius was to the east, from a branch of the old Via Sacra behind the Temple of Amor and Roma. It lead into an elongated atrium, connected to the central nave and the lateral aisles by five gateways.

In the W. end was a huge apse, 20m in diameter, where a colossal seated statue of Maxentius stood. This statue was later changed to look like Constantine. The statue was an acrolith (the head, hands and feet were of marble, while the rest was of other materials), and the remains of the statue were found in 1486 in the apse.

Constantine changed the plan when he took over the unfinished basilica. He had a another entrance added on the S. side, on the Via Sacra, where a monumental stairway led to a porch of four porphyry columns and via three double doorways into the central part of the S. aisle. In front of this new entrance, in the central vault of the N. aisle, another apse was added, smaller than the apse in the W. end. In back of this apse a niche held a standing statue of Constantine, and smaller, square-headed niches, two rows of four niches on each side, which might have housed a gallery of Constantine's relatives and lieutenants. This room could be closed by wooden doors, and it is likely the central part of the office of the Prefect of the City was there.

Of the original building only the three vaults of the N. aisle remain, devoid of all decorations. The vaults of the S. and central nave probably collapsed under an earthquake in c. 847. The floor plan is clearly visible, however, and the remaining structures give a vivid impression of the grandeur of the original edifice.

The remains of the Colossal Statue of Constantine I are in the courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Campidoglio, and one of the columns from the central nave was moved to the Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore in 1614. The remaining columns have disappeared. The bronze tiles from the roof were reused for the first Basilica of Saint Peter.

John Schou
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Italy- Forum Romanum- The Forum of Trajan58 viewsThe Forum of Trajan has a more complicated foundation than the other Imperial Forums. The piazza is closed, with the Basilica Ulpia. At the back of this the Trajan column was elevated between the two Libraries, and it was believed that the complex concluded with the Temple dedicated to Divo Trajan. One entered the piazza through a curved arch passageway, a type of arch of triumph, in the center of a convex wall decorated with jutting columns.
An equestrian statue of Trajan occupied the center of the piazza, which was bordered by porticos with decorated attics-similar to the Forum of Augustus but with Caryatids instead of Daci. Spacious covered exedras opened up behind the porticos. The facade of the basilica, that closed the piazza, also had an attic decorated with Daci statues. The inside of the Basilica had 5 naves with columns along the short sides and apses at both ends; the very spacious central nave had two floors.
The Trajan Column was closed in a small courtyard, bordered by porticos opposite of the Library's facade. These were constituted of large rooms with niches in the walls and decorated with two types of columns.
The temple was probably of an enormous dimension and probably closed by a fenced portico. Today's archeological excavations in the Forum of Trajan have demonstrated that the Temple of Trajan's position is not what it was hypothesized to be in the past. Archeological evidence has clarified the findings in the area to be Insulae- remains of houses rather than those from a temple structure. These findings lie underneath what is today the Province headquarters- the palazzo of Valentini, next to the Column's location.
Rather, the temple was probably situated exactly in the middle of the forum area, where excavation is now taking place.

The Forum of Trajan was utilized as a splendid area of representation for public ceremonies. We know, for example, that in 118 A.D. Adriano publicly burned tables with citizen's debts in the piazza, as a statement to the treasury.
Also, in the late epoch, exedras behind the lateral porticos were used to host poetry readings and conferences.
Court hearings and ceremonies for the freedom of slaves were probably held in the apses of the Basilica.
The Library was probably used as a sort of historical archive of the Roman state and also conserved republican annals.
The sculptural decorations in the various Forum spaces transmitted messages of imperial propaganda of Trajan.
Above all was the celebration of the Daci conquest and the victorious army with focus on the achievement of peace. The representation was sculpted into the walls with images of the conquests.
Images of cupids watering griffins on the entrance wall allude again to the peacefulness of the Empire's power.
The expansion and growth of the Empire, completed with the campaign towards the Orient and interrupted by the death of the Emperor, would have allowed Trajan to consider himself the new founder of Rome.
His representation as a hero is justified in his sepulcher in the base of the Column, in the heart of the city.

Forum of Trajan
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107 A.D. - Dacia (Romania) conquered and work begins;
January 15th 112 A.D. – Inauguration of the Forum and the Basilica Ulpia;
May 18th 113 A.D. – Inauguration of the Trajan Column;
117 A.D. – Trajan dies and the arch of triumph is ordered by the Senate;
125-138 A.D. – Probable dedication to the temple on behalf of Adrian.

Complex Area: 300x180 meters
uncovered piazza area: 120x90 meters

Area of the Basilica Ulpia: 180x60 meters
Height of Trajan's Column: 39.81 meters
John Schou
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Italy- Napoli- Mount_vesuvius67 viewsOn August 24 of 79 A.D., the area around Mount Vesuvius shook with a huge earthquake. The mountain's top split open and a monstrous cloud raced upward. The inhabitants of Pompeii were showered with ash, stones, and pumice. A river of mud was beginning to bury the city of Herculaneum. The uncle of Pliny the Younger, known as Pliny the Elder, was a commander of a fleet of war ships at Misenum (see map). He decided to use his ships to rescue people close to the volcano. The nephew describes the huge cloud towering over the area (Radice, 1969):

. . . its general appearance can best be expressed as being like a pine rather than any other tree, for it rose to a great height on a sort of trunk and then split off into branches, I imagine because it was thrust upwards by the first blast and then left unsupported as the pressure subsided, or else it was borne down by its own weight so that it spread out and gradually dispersed. Sometimes it looked white, sometimes blotched and dirty, according to the amount of soil and ashes it carried with it. (p. 427)

Pliny the Elder's ship approached the shore near Pompeii.

Ashes were already falling, hotter and thicker as the ships drew near, followed by bits of pumice and blackened stones, charred and cracked by the flames . . . Meanwhile on Mount Vesuvius broad sheets of fire and leaping flames blazed at several points, their bright glare emphasized by the darkness of night. (pp. 429, 431)

But they could not land because the shore was blocked by volcanic debris, so they sailed south and landed at Stabiae. Hoping to quiet the frightened people, the uncle asked to be carried to the bath house. Afterward he lay down and ate. Next, hoping to quiet the inhabitants, he went to bed. The volcano did not do likewise, however.

By this time the courtyard giving access to his room was full of ashes mixed with pumice-stones, so that its level had risen, and if he had stayed in the room any longer he would never had got out. . . . They debated whether to stay indoors or take their chance in the open, for the buildings were now shaking with violent shocks, and seemed to be swaying to and fro as if they were torn from their foundations. Outside on the other hand, there was the danger of falling pumice-stones, even though these were light and porous. . . . As a protection against falling objects they put pillows on their heads tied down with cloths. (pp. 431, 433)

Finally, the uncle decided to leave. The level of ash and pumice-stone had risen to the point that a hasty departure seemed the best option.

. . . the flames and smell of sulphur which gave warning of the approaching fire drove the others to take flight and roused him to stand up . . . then [he] suddenly collapsed, I imagine because the dense fumes choked his breathing by blocking his windpipe which was constitutionally weak and narrow and often inflamed . . . his body was found intact and uninjured, still fully clothed and looking more like sleep than death. (p. 433)

Later, Pliny the Younger and his mother leave Misenam to escape from the approaching volcanic conflagration. They travel across country to avoid being trampled by the crowds of people on the road.

We also saw the sea sucked away and apparently forced back by the earthquake: at any rate it receded from the shore so that quantities of sea creatures were left stranded on dry sand. On the landward side a fearful black cloud was rent by forked and quivering bursts of flame, and parted to reveal great tongues of fire, like flashes of lightning magnified in size. . . . We had scarcely sat down to rest when darkness fell, not the dark of a moonless or cloudy night, but as if the lamp had been put out in a closed room. You could hear the shrieks of women, the wailing of infants, and the shouting of men; some were calling their parents, others their children or their wives, trying to recognize them by their voices. People bewailed their own fate or that of their relatives, and there were some who prayed for death in their terror of dying
John Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- Bakery with its grain mill85 viewsBAKERY Strada Stabiana Pompeii
These are some mill-wheels which ground the flour in the bakery or pistrinum. The top part rotates around the bottom stationary stone.

HOUSE OF THE BAKER (VI,3,3)
This dates from the 2nd cent. BC, but the remodelling after the 62 AD earthquake converted the ground floor of the house into workrooms, while the residential function moved to the top floor, reached by the stairs to the right of the atrium entrance: it appears that work was not yet complete at the time of the eruption (79 AD). For a long time this was the only large bakery brought to light in Pompeii, among the 35 now known. The hortus (garden) contained the machinery for grinding wheat and for preparing and baking bread: the water basins, the vaulted oven, four millstones of lava rock on a base in opus incertum. In the open room on the right, two stone blocks supported the table on which the bread rested before baking, while the room to the left of the tablinum was the kitchen. The feed bin was against the wall of the stalls, which open onto the garden and Vico di Modesto: here it seems that a fully harnessed mule skeleton was found.
John Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- Big House and house with drain in the corner33 viewsWhat strikes you most about Pompeii - and also Herculaneum for that matter - is that they are both very neatly laid-out cities, very elegant and very orderly. There was running water in the houses, as the numerous indoor fountains would testify. There were public baths - Roman style - with separate entrances for men and women; while the walls of both were decorated with terracotta statues, the women's baths were much more elegant with exquisite floral mosaics. There were separate dressing rooms called apodyterium, cold bath - frigidairium - warm bath - tepidarium - and hot bath - calidarium. The calidarium was heated by a system of double walls and a hollow floor, which provided circulation for hot air and steam. The large cold water basin has inscriptions with names of the donors who funded its construction. There was also the palaestra or the gymnasium and separate areas for ablutions. There were public latrines with running water channels. In fact, the baths take up quite a bit of space in Pompeii and Herculaneum, pointing to the fastidiousness of early Romans when it came to personal hygiene. In Herculaneum, there is even a bronze bath-tub that is still intact.

John Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- Brothel59 viewsSome of the most fascinating clues about the lives of the ancient peoples who made their lives in Pompeii can be found in the numerous brothels in the city. It is an indication of the prosperity of the city -- people had money to burn. Here is one example of the Pompeian "houses of ill repute". I chose this one because of its unusual architecture and fine frescoes.

Ancient Pompeii was full of erotic or pornographic frescoes, symbols, inscriptions, and even household items. The ancient Roman culture of the time was much more sexually permissive than most present-day cultures.

When the serious excavation of Pompeii began in the 18th century, a clash of the cultures was the result. A fresco on a wall that showed the ancient god of sex and fertility, Priapus with his extremely enlarged penis, was covered with plaster and only rediscovered because of rainfall in 1998.[1] In 1819, when king Francis I of Naples visited the exhibition at the National Museum with his wife and daughter, he was so embarrassed by the erotic artwork that he decided to have it locked away in a secret cabinet, accessible only to "people of mature age and respected morals." Re-opened, closed, re-opened again and then closed again for nearly 100 years, it was made briefly accessible again at the end of the 1960s (the time of the sexual revolution) and has finally been re-opened in the year 2000. Minors are not allowed entry to the once secret cabinet without a guardian or a written permission.As previously mentioned, some of the paintings and frescoes became immediately famous because they represented erotic, sometimes explicit, sexual scenes. One of the most curious buildings recovered was in fact a Lupanare (brothel), which had many erotic paintings and graffiti indicating the services available -- patrons only had to point to what they wanted. The Lupanare had 10 rooms (cubicula, 5 per floor), a balcony, and a latrina. It was one of the larger houses, perhaps the largest, but not the only brothel. The town seems to have been oriented to a warm consideration of sensual matters: on a wall of the Basilica (sort of a civil tribunal, thus frequented by many Roman tourists and travelers), an immortal inscription tells the foreigner, If anyone is looking for some tender love in this town, keep in mind that here all the girls are very friendly (loose translation).

The function of these pictures is not yet clear: some authors say that they indicate that the services of prostitutes were available on the upper floor of the house and could perhaps be a sort of advertising, while others prefer the hypothesis that their only purpose was to decorate the walls with joyful scenes (as these were in Roman culture). The Termae were, however, used in common by males and females, although baths in other areas (even within Pompeii) were often segregated by sex.

John Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- Entrance PORTA MARINA AND THE CITY WALLS36 viewsPORTA MARINA AND THE CITY WALLS
Similar to a bastion, facing west, together with Porta Ercolano it is the most imposing of the seven gates of Pompeii. It takes its name from the fact that its road led to the sea. It has two barrel arches (round arch opening), later combined into a single, large barrel vault in opus caementicium. The ring of the walls visible today, already present in the 6th cent. BC, is over 3200 m long: it is generally a solid ring of wall, protected on the outside by a moat and inside by an embankment, atop which runs the patrol walkway. Twelve towers to the north, where the flat ground made Pompeii most vulnerable, also ensured its defense. Pompeii's definitive entry into the Roman orbit (with the Sullan colonization: 80 BC) reduced the importance of the walls, which were occasionally reused or destroyed to make room for houses and baths.

THE CITY WALLS
Pompeii rests on a plateau of Vesuvian lava, whose walls represented a solid natural protection, just the wall to the north were more vulnerable.
The ring of walls was 3220 m. long. Seven identified gates opened in the walls, while the existence of an eighth (Porta Capua) one was uncertain.
The materials used for the walls were mostly: Sarno stone and grey Nucerian tufo. At the beginning the walls were made of Vesuvian lava or ‘pappamonte’ blocks, later made of a double parallel row, than filled with stones and ground.
During the Samnite wars were built the fortifications with the ‘ad aggere’ system, with an embankment inner the city.
During the 3rd century B.C. was probably built an inner calcareous and tufo row, with buttresses and round the top of the walls ran a patrol walkway.
The last phase of construction of the fortifications was dated about the age before Sulla’s conquest: on the more vulnerable side of the walls guard towers in opus incertum were built, with regular distance.
John Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- Entrance to the house of Fauno39 viewsHOUSE OF THE FAUN (VI,12,2)
With its 3000m² it is the largest house in Pompeii: built over a previous dwelling at the beginning of the 2nd century BC, its current form is the result of subsequent alterations. The entrance on the left leads directly into the public section, the door on the right to the private rooms: an atrium whose roof is supported by four columns, stalls, latrine, baths, kitchen. In the entrance is the Latin message HAVE. The ‘first style’ decoration, the floors of sectile opus, and the mosaic threshold (now at the Naples Museum) highlight the dignity of this house, more similar to the aristocratic Roman domus than local upper class dwellings. In the center of the impluvium is a bronze statue of the ‘faun’ (2nd cent. BC: original in Naples); around it are rooms that held mosaic paintings on the floor and ‘first style’ decorations on the walls. Between the two porticoed gardens is the exedra, the core of the dwelling, with Corinthian columns, stuccoed and painted capitals, a splendid mosaic (now at the N
aples Museum) depicting the victory of Alexander the Great over Darius, King of Persia, which has helped to suggest a connection between the Macedonian ruler and the unknown, educated, and wealthy owner of the
FLOOR PLAN OF THE HOUSE OF THE FAUN Pompeii 2nd Century Courtesy of Professor Barbette Spaeth, Tulane University (Excerpted from Professor Spaeth's accompanying text) This house was among the largest and most elegant of the houses of Pompeii. It took up an entire city block (c. 80 m. long by 35 m. wide or 315 by 115 ft.) and was filled with beautiful works of art, including the famous mosaic depicting Alexander the Great at the Battle of Issus, and wall paintings of the First, Second and Fourth Styles. The decoration of the house is heavily influenced by Hellenistic models. The House of the Faun was originally built in the early second century. In this period, the house was focused around two atria, one a large Tuscan atrium (3), and the other a smaller tetrastyle atrium (10), while the back of the house had a large kitchen garden. The two-atria plan represented an attempt to separate the formal functions of the atrium, i.e., the reception of clients and conduct of business by the patron of the house, from its private functions, i.e., the course of everyday family life. This type of plan is an intermediate step between the simple atrium house, with a single atrium complex, and the atrium and peristyle house. Apparently, the two-atria plan did not prove ultimately satisfactory for the owners of the House of the Faun. In the late second century B.C. they added a peristyle (8) to the north of the original two-atria nucleus, along with a service quarter to the eastern side (12-16), and reception rooms to the north. The rear of the house contained the kitchen garden. To this later period of the house belong its wall decorations in First Style and its famous mosaics. Finally, another peristyle was added around the time of the Early Roman Colony (20), that is, in the early first century B.C. This peristyle included more reception rooms along the south side (17 & 18), and smaller rooms, perhaps for servants, to the north (22) . The center of the new peristyle was occupied by the kitchen garden (19). With these renovations, the house acquired a new focus around the peristyles. The peristyles represented a private retreat for the family, a place where they could relax and entertain special guests. The front part of the house was kept for more formal occasions. The addition of service quarters reflects a further differentiation of function in the house, again separating the daily life of the family from the more public reception areas. The House of the Faun, with its elaborate decoration and extensive plan, represents one of the most important examples of Roman domus architecture of the second to first century B.C.
John Schou
Italy- Pompeii- Entrance to the house of Fauno 1.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- Entrance to the house of Fauno 141 viewsHouse of the Faun. Fauces

FLOOR PLAN OF THE HOUSE OF THE FAUN Pompeii 2nd Century Courtesy of Professor Barbette Spaeth, Tulane University (Excerpted from Professor Spaeth's accompanying text) This house was among the largest and most elegant of the houses of Pompeii. It took up an entire city block (c. 80 m. long by 35 m. wide or 315 by 115 ft.) and was filled with beautiful works of art, including the famous mosaic depicting Alexander the Great at the Battle of Issus, and wall paintings of the First, Second and Fourth Styles. The decoration of the house is heavily influenced by Hellenistic models. The House of the Faun was originally built in the early second century. In this period, the house was focused around two atria, one a large Tuscan atrium (3), and the other a smaller tetrastyle atrium (10), while the back of the house had a large kitchen garden. The two-atria plan represented an attempt to separate the formal functions of the atrium, i.e., the reception of clients and conduct of business by the patron of the house, from its private functions, i.e., the course of everyday family life. This type of plan is an intermediate step between the simple atrium house, with a single atrium complex, and the atrium and peristyle house. Apparently, the two-atria plan did not prove ultimately satisfactory for the owners of the House of the Faun. In the late second century B.C. they added a peristyle (8) to the north of the original two-atria nucleus, along with a service quarter to the eastern side (12-16), and reception rooms to the north. The rear of the house contained the kitchen garden. To this later period of the house belong its wall decorations in First Style and its famous mosaics. Finally, another peristyle was added around the time of the Early Roman Colony (20), that is, in the early first century B.C. This peristyle included more reception rooms along the south side (17 & 18), and smaller rooms, perhaps for servants, to the north (22) . The center of the new peristyle was occupied by the kitchen garden (19). With these renovations, the house acquired a new focus around the peristyles. The peristyles represented a private retreat for the family, a place where they could relax and entertain special guests. The front part of the house was kept for more formal occasions. The addition of service quarters reflects a further differentiation of function in the house, again separating the daily life of the family from the more public reception areas. The House of the Faun, with its elaborate decoration and extensive plan, represents one of the most important examples of Roman domus architecture of the second to first century B.C.

John Schou
Italy- Pompeii- House and street.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- House and street38 viewsJohn Schou
Italy- Pompeii- House of Fauno with bronze statuette of Fauno and nice mosaic floor.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- House of Fauno with bronze statuette of Fauno and nice mosaic floor54 viewsFLOOR PLAN OF THE HOUSE OF THE FAUN Pompeii 2nd Century Courtesy of Professor Barbette Spaeth, Tulane University (Excerpted from Professor Spaeth's accompanying text) This house was among the largest and most elegant of the houses of Pompeii. It took up an entire city block (c. 80 m. long by 35 m. wide or 315 by 115 ft.) and was filled with beautiful works of art, including the famous mosaic depicting Alexander the Great at the Battle of Issus, and wall paintings of the First, Second and Fourth Styles. The decoration of the house is heavily influenced by Hellenistic models. The House of the Faun was originally built in the early second century. In this period, the house was focused around two atria, one a large Tuscan atrium (3), and the other a smaller tetrastyle atrium (10), while the back of the house had a large kitchen garden. The two-atria plan represented an attempt to separate the formal functions of the atrium, i.e., the reception of clients and conduct of business by the patron of the house, from its private functions, i.e., the course of everyday family life. This type of plan is an intermediate step between the simple atrium house, with a single atrium complex, and the atrium and peristyle house. Apparently, the two-atria plan did not prove ultimately satisfactory for the owners of the House of the Faun. In the late second century B.C. they added a peristyle (8) to the north of the original two-atria nucleus, along with a service quarter to the eastern side (12-16), and reception rooms to the north. The rear of the house contained the kitchen garden. To this later period of the house belong its wall decorations in First Style and its famous mosaics. Finally, another peristyle was added around the time of the Early Roman Colony (20), that is, in the early first century B.C. This peristyle included more reception rooms along the south side (17 & 18), and smaller rooms, perhaps for servants, to the north (22) . The center of the new peristyle was occupied by the kitchen garden (19). With these renovations, the house acquired a new focus around the peristyles. The peristyles represented a private retreat for the family, a place where they could relax and entertain special guests. The front part of the house was kept for more formal occasions. The addition of service quarters reflects a further differentiation of function in the house, again separating the daily life of the family from the more public reception areas. The House of the Faun, with its elaborate decoration and extensive plan, represents one of the most important examples of Roman domus architecture of the second to first century B.CJohn Schou
Italy- Pompeii- House of Fauno with nice mosaic floor.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- House of Fauno with nice mosaic floor61 viewsFLOOR PLAN OF THE HOUSE OF THE FAUN Pompeii 2nd Century Courtesy of Professor Barbette Spaeth, Tulane University (Excerpted from Professor Spaeth's accompanying text) This house was among the largest and most elegant of the houses of Pompeii. It took up an entire city block (c. 80 m. long by 35 m. wide or 315 by 115 ft.) and was filled with beautiful works of art, including the famous mosaic depicting Alexander the Great at the Battle of Issus, and wall paintings of the First, Second and Fourth Styles. The decoration of the house is heavily influenced by Hellenistic models. The House of the Faun was originally built in the early second century. In this period, the house was focused around two atria, one a large Tuscan atrium (3), and the other a smaller tetrastyle atrium (10), while the back of the house had a large kitchen garden. The two-atria plan represented an attempt to separate the formal functions of the atrium, i.e., the reception of clients and conduct of business by the patron of the house, from its private functions, i.e., the course of everyday family life. This type of plan is an intermediate step between the simple atrium house, with a single atrium complex, and the atrium and peristyle house. Apparently, the two-atria plan did not prove ultimately satisfactory for the owners of the House of the Faun. In the late second century B.C. they added a peristyle (8) to the north of the original two-atria nucleus, along with a service quarter to the eastern side (12-16), and reception rooms to the north. The rear of the house contained the kitchen garden. To this later period of the house belong its wall decorations in First Style and its famous mosaics. Finally, another peristyle was added around the time of the Early Roman Colony (20), that is, in the early first century B.C. This peristyle included more reception rooms along the south side (17 & 18), and smaller rooms, perhaps for servants, to the north (22) . The center of the new peristyle was occupied by the kitchen garden (19). With these renovations, the house acquired a new focus around the peristyles. The peristyles represented a private retreat for the family, a place where they could relax and entertain special guests. The front part of the house was kept for more formal occasions. The addition of service quarters reflects a further differentiation of function in the house, again separating the daily life of the family from the more public reception areas. The House of the Faun, with its elaborate decoration and extensive plan, represents one of the most important examples of Roman domus architecture of the second to first century B.CJohn Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- House with nice delphin mosaic47 viewsJohn Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- House with nice garden39 viewsJohn Schou
Italy- Pompeii- House with nice mosaic.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- House with nice mosaic34 viewsJohn Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- House with nice mosaic 146 viewsJohn Schou
Italy- Pompeii- House with nice mosaic and fountain.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- House with nice mosaic and fountain38 viewsJohn Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- House with nice mosaic and fountain 169 viewsFOUNTAIN
House of the Small Fountain Pompeii Another fountain with mosaic decorations, including abstract and geometric designs, fish, shells, and other sea life.
John Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- House with remains of painting and street33 viewsJohn Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- Street and a house45 viewsJohn Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- Street and a house 154 viewsJohn Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- Street and a houses38 viewsINTERSECTION Pompeii After 80 B.C.
This is a typical intersection. Wheeled traffic passed over and around the pedestrian stepping stones.
John Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- Street and a wall with a fallos in the top left47 viewsINTERSECTION Pompeii After 80 B.C.
This is a typical intersection. Wheeled traffic passed over and around the pedestrian stepping stones.
House with a fallos in the top left corner
John Schou
Italy- Pompeii- Street and the Arch of Caligula.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- Street and the Arch of Caligula33 viewsINTERSECTION Pompeii After 80 B.C.
This is a typical intersection. Wheeled traffic passed over and around the pedestrian stepping stones.

The Arch of Caligula
Pompeii. The arch of Caligula leading to the House of Mercurio at the top of the street. The Arch of Caligula with a view of Mt. Vesuvius in the background. The gaps in the stone barrier were meant for chariot wheels to pass through.
John Schou
Italy- Pompeii- The Forum 1.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- The Forum 163 viewsThe Forum
ENTRANCE TO THE FORUM Forum of Pompeii After 80 B.C. One of the two arches originally covered with marble which flank the Temple of Jupiter and are the main entrances to the forum. The temple was built under the Samnites in the second century B.C.
FORUM OF POMPEII After 80 B.C. The Forum of Pompeii has a central rectangular space, 466 feet long by 124 feet wide, surrounded by the most important public buildings in the city. Like other forums, it is set up on an axial plan. A colonnade lines three sides. In the center of the fourth side, visible in the distance, is the Temple of Jupiter, known as the Capitolium. The forum was paved with travertine stone and only pedestrians were permitted in its precinct. Situated on an old site, it was largely rebuilt after 80 B.C. when Pompeii became a Roman colony. The forum was again in the process of rebuilding after the earthquake of 62 AD. It was buried under the eruption of Vesuvius seen in the distance in 79.

FORUM (VII,8)
The first monumental arrangement dates from the 2nd cent. BC, with a few buildings and the porticos with their double row of tufa columns, replaced with white limestone in the imperial age, when the site was repaved and buildings added on the east side where shops had previously stood. Located at the intersection between the two main streets of the original urban center, the Forum was the city's main square, where cart traffic was forbidden: it was surrounded on all sides by religious, political, and business buildings. In the 1st cent. AD the Forum highlighted the celebratory intention of the imperial house, where the monumental bases for commemorative statues were placed on the south side, in front of the city's administrative buildings, while those of illustrious citizens stood along the porticos : the sculptures have not been found, perhaps because they were removed by the people of Pompeii who returned after the eruption to take whatever they could. In the center of the western side stands an orators' tribune.
MEMORIAL ARCHES
In opus latericium, at one time covered with marble, these elegantly enclose the Forum to the north, in celebration of the imperial family. Of the two built on either side of the Temple of Jupiter, the one to the west is attributed to Augustus, the east to Nero, perhaps demolished following the death (68 AD) and sentencing of the emperor, or simply to avoid blocking the view of the other arch behind it, at the north entrance to the Forum. This has two niches on one side that once held statues of Nero and Drusus, on the other side two fountains; an equestrian statue (perhaps of the emperor Tiberius) topped this arch. The other arch, in the back at the start of Via di Mercurio, is called the Caligula Arch because an equestrian statue was found nearby, that may have depicted the emperor Caligula and probably stood on the arch.
John Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- The Forum columns 136 viewsThe Forum
ENTRANCE TO THE FORUM Forum of Pompeii After 80 B.C. One of the two arches originally covered with marble which flank the Temple of Jupiter and are the main entrances to the forum. The temple was built under the Samnites in the second century B.C.
FORUM OF POMPEII After 80 B.C. The Forum of Pompeii has a central rectangular space, 466 feet long by 124 feet wide, surrounded by the most important public buildings in the city. Like other forums, it is set up on an axial plan. A colonnade lines three sides. In the center of the fourth side, visible in the distance, is the Temple of Jupiter, known as the Capitolium. The forum was paved with travertine stone and only pedestrians were permitted in its precinct. Situated on an old site, it was largely rebuilt after 80 B.C. when Pompeii became a Roman colony. The forum was again in the process of rebuilding after the earthquake of 62 AD. It was buried under the eruption of Vesuvius seen in the distance in 79.

FORUM (VII,8)
The first monumental arrangement dates from the 2nd cent. BC, with a few buildings and the porticos with their double row of tufa columns, replaced with white limestone in the imperial age, when the site was repaved and buildings added on the east side where shops had previously stood. Located at the intersection between the two main streets of the original urban center, the Forum was the city's main square, where cart traffic was forbidden: it was surrounded on all sides by religious, political, and business buildings. In the 1st cent. AD the Forum highlighted the celebratory intention of the imperial house, where the monumental bases for commemorative statues were placed on the south side, in front of the city's administrative buildings, while those of illustrious citizens stood along the porticos : the sculptures have not been found, perhaps because they were removed by the people of Pompeii who returned after the eruption to take whatever they could. In the center of the western side stands an orators' tribune.

John Schou
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Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and The Arch of Septimo Severo 140 viewsThe Arch of Septimus Severus was built in AD 203 to celebrate his victories over the Parthians. The original inscription dedicated the arch to Severus and his two sons Geta and Caracalla. However, following Severus' death in AD 211 Caracalla had Geta murdered and his name was erased from all public buildings. On the arch, Caracalla had the words Optimis Fortissimique Princibus inscribed to replace Geta's name. The Arch is highly decorated with panels depicting scenes from the Parthian campaigns and the following triumph

The reign of Septimius provides an interesting example of the persecution meted out to Christians under the Roman Empire. Septimius made no new laws against Christians, but allowed the enforcement of laws already long-established. There is no evidence of systematic persecution, and there is much evidence that not only was the Emperor not personally hostile to the Christians, but he even protected them against the populace. There were doubtless Christians in his own household, and in his reign the Church at Rome had almost absolute peace. On the other hand, individual officials availed themselves of the laws to proceed with rigor against the Christians. Naturally the emperor, with his strict conception of law, did not hinder such partial persecution, which took place in Egypt and the Thebaid, as well as in proconsular Africa and the East. Christian martyrs were numerous in Alexandria (cf. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, ii. 20; Eusebius, Church History, V., xxvi., VI., i.). No less severe were the persecutions in Africa, which seem to have begun in 197 or 198 (cf. Tertullian's Ad martyres), and included the Christians known in the Roman martyrology as the martyrs of Madaura. Probably in 202 or 203 Felicitas and Perpetua suffered for their faith. Persecution again raged for a short time under the proconsul Scapula in 211, especially in Numidia and Mauritania. Later accounts of a Gallic persecution, especially at Lyons, are legendary. In general it may thus be said that the position of the Christians under Septimius Severus was the same as under the Antonines; but the law of this Emperor at least shows clearly that the rescript of Trajan had failed to execute its purpose.

John Schou
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Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and the Basilica of Majencio38 viewsThe Basilica of Maxentius (Basilica Maxentii) or the Basilica of Constantine (Basilica Constantini) was the last of the great civilian basilicas on the Roman Forum. The ruins of the basilica is located between the Temple of Amor and Roma and the Temple of Romulus, on the Via Sacra.

The construction of the basilica was initiated by Maxentius in 308 CE, and finished by Constantine after he had defeated Maxentius in the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 CE. As other similar buildings, it was destined for commercial and administrative activities. It is likely that the basilica housed the offices of the Prefect of the City, the highest imperial official in late antiquity.

The site chosen for the basilica was on the Velia, a low ridge connecting the Esquiline Hill and the Palatine Hill. Large parts of the Velia was levelled in preparation for the construction of the basilica. Literary sources tell that earlier the site was occupied by the Horrea Piperatica, the central market and storage facility for pepper and spices, built in the time of Domitian. Also on the site was a sanctuary of the penates publici which had to be moved.

The Basilica of Maxentius is built with arches, which is very atypical. All the other public basilicas had flat ceilings supported by wooden beams. The construction techniques used borrowed more from the great imperial baths than from the traditional basilica.
The basilica is one of the most impressive buildings on the Forum Romanum. The ground plan is rectangular, oriented E.-W., covering an area of 100×65m divided into a central nave and to lateral aisles and an atrium on the E. side where the original entrance was.

The central nave measured 80×25m and was covered by three groin vaults with a maximum height of 35m, supported by eight monolithic Corinthian columns of 14.5m. Each of the two aisles was made up of three interconnected coffered vaults, 20.5m wide and 24m high, communicating with the central nave by three huge openings.

Light was provided by two rows of three large windows in five of the six lateral vaults, and by windows in the sides of the now collapsed cross vaults over the central nave. The windows in two of the vaults in the surviving N. side of the building give a good idea of the amount of light inside the building.

The floor in both the central and the lateral spaces were a geometric pattern of squares with circles and lozenges of multi-coloured marble, similar to the floor in the Pantheon.

The walls were in opus latericium, originally with a marble veneer. The vaults were in opus caementicium with a gilded stucco finish. The roof was covered with gilded bronze tiles.

The entrance of the original project of Maxentius was to the east, from a branch of the old Via Sacra behind the Temple of Amor and Roma. It lead into an elongated atrium, connected to the central nave and the lateral aisles by five gateways.

In the W. end was a huge apse, 20m in diameter, where a colossal seated statue of Maxentius stood. This statue was later changed to look like Constantine. The statue was an acrolith (the head, hands and feet were of marble, while the rest was of other materials), and the remains of the statue were found in 1486 in the apse.

Constantine changed the plan when he took over the unfinished basilica. He had a another entrance added on the S. side, on the Via Sacra, where a monumental stairway led to a porch of four porphyry columns and via three double doorways into the central part of the S. aisle. In front of this new entrance, in the central vault of the N. aisle, another apse was added, smaller than the apse in the W. end. In back of this apse a niche held a standing statue of Constantine, and smaller, square-headed niches, two rows of four niches on each side, which might have housed a gallery of Constantine's relatives and lieutenants. This room could be closed by wooden doors, and it is likely the central part of the office of the Prefect of the City was there.

Of the original building only the three vaults of the N. aisle remain, devoid of all decorations. The vaults of the S. and central nave probably collapsed under an earthquake in c. 847. The floor plan is clearly visible, however, and the remaining structures give a vivid impression of the grandeur of the original edifice.

The remains of the Colossal Statue of Constantine I are in the courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Campidoglio, and one of the columns from the central nave was moved to the Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore in 1614. The remaining columns have disappeared. The bronze tiles from the roof were reused for the first Basilica of Saint Peter.

John Schou
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum Basilica Julia.jpg
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum Basilica Julia97 viewsThe Basilica Julia was built in 54-48 BCE by Julius Caesar as a part of his reorganisation of the Forum Romanum, where it replaced the Basilica Sempronia. It is located on the S. side of the main square of the Forum Romanum, between the Temple of Saturn and the Temple of Castor and Pollux.

Julius Caesar started construction in 54 BCE, but it was still unfinished at his death. It was built on the site of the Basilica Sempronia and a series of shops, the tabernae veteres, that were all demolished.

Augustus finished the building after Caesar's death, but had to reconstruct it again shortly after, due to its destruction by fire in 9 BCE. It was dedicated again in 2 BCE, this time in the name of Gaius Caesar and Lucius Caesar, Augustus' designated heirs at the time.

The basilica was later damaged much by the fire in 283 CE, and restored a few years after by Diocletian. It was again destroyed when Alaric sacked the city in 410 CE.

The Basilica Julia was of huge proportions. The basilica rested on a low podium, seven steps high on the E. side and just one on the W. side, due to the sloping terrain. Of outer dimensions 101×49m, the central nave of the basilica was 82×18m. The four lateral aisles, two on each side, were two storeys high, with vaulted ceiling and arches decorated by semi-columns. The central nave was three storeys high.

A series of shops stood behind the basilica towards the Velabrum. A Temple of Augustus was also built in the area behind the basilica by Tiberius.

The function of the Basilica Julia was to house tribunals and other activities from the Forum when weather didn't permit outdoor meetings. The central nave probably divided in four by wooden removable structures to allow the hearing of more cases at a time. The basilica also housed some administrative offices of the city.

Game boards and graffiti are incised in the steps and in the pavement of the side aisles by idling visitors to the Forum. Some of this can still be seen on the side of the main square of the forum.

The building was in ruin already in late Antiquity, and subsequently stripped of all reusable material, i.e., almost everything.

Very little of the building remains now. The basic floor plan can be seen, and some parts of brick walls remain towards the Temple of Saturn, some bases of statues still in their original position, and the four step podium remain. The brick column bases are reconstructions of the 19th century.



John Schou
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Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum Cloaca Maxima163 viewsDoor leading to the Cloaca Maxima, situated in the eastern stairs of the Basilica Julia at the Roman Forum. Here, you can sometimes hear (and smell) the sewer.

The outlet of the Cloaca maxima ("greatest sewer"). This drain was built as a canal through the Forum Romanum in the sixth century and its construction is generally attributed to king Tarquinius Priscus. In the second century BCE, the canal was covered.

The Cloaca Maxima was one of the world's earliest sewage systems. Constructed in ancient Rome in order to drain local marshes and remove the waste of one of the world's most populous cities, it carried effluent to the River Tiber, which ran beside the city.

The name literally means Great Sewer. According to tradition it may have been initially constructed around 600 BC under the orders of the king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus.

This public work was largely achieved through the use of Etruscan engineers and large amounts of semi-forced labour from the poorer classes of Roman citizens.

Although Livy describes it as being tunnelled out beneath Rome, he was writing a great deal after the event. From other writings and from the path that it takes, it seems more likely that it was originally an open drain, formed from streams from three of the neighbouring hills, that were channeled through the main Forum and then on to the Tiber. This open drain would then have been gradually built over, as building space within the city became more valuable. It is possible that both theories are correct, and certainly some of the lower parts of the system suggest that they would have been below ground level even at the time of the supposed construction.

There were many branches off from the main sewer, but all seem to be 'official' drains that would have served public toilets, bath-houses and other public buildings. Private residences in Rome, even of the rich, would have relied on some sort of cess-pit arrangement for sewage.

The Cloaca Maxima was well maintained throughout the life of the Roman Empire and there is evidence to suggest it was still working long after the traditional fall of the Western Empire. In 33 BC it is known to have received an inspection and overhaul from Agrippa, and archaeology reveals several building styles and material from various ages, suggesting that the systems received regular attention. In more recent times, the remaining passages have been connected to the modern-day sewage system, mainly to cope with problems of backwash from the river.

The Cloaca Maxima was thought to be presided over by the goddess Cloacina.

The Romans are recorded — the veracity of the accounts depending on the case — to have dragged the bodies of a number of people to the sewers rather than give them proper burial, among them the emperor Elagabalus and Saint Sebastian: the latter scene is the subject of a well-known artwork by Lodovico Carracci.

The outfall of the Cloaca Maxima into the river Tiber is still visible today near the bridge Ponte Rotto, and near Ponte Palatino. There is a stairway going down to it visible next to the Basilica Julia at the Forum.

It is often said that it is still in use; this is not untrue, but the whole truth is that only a trickle of water flows through the age-old sewer. The exit shown on this picture is just south of the ancient Roman bridge now known as Ponte Rotto.


1 commentsJohn Schou
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and the temple of Vesta and the Basilica of Majencio.jpg
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum The Basilica of Majencio and the temple of Castors46 viewsThe Basilica of Maxentius (Basilica Maxentii) or the Basilica of Constantine (Basilica Constantini) was the last of the great civilian basilicas on the Roman Forum. The ruins of the basilica is located between the Temple of Amor and Roma and the Temple of Romulus, on the Via Sacra.

The construction of the basilica was initiated by Maxentius in 308 CE, and finished by Constantine after he had defeated Maxentius in the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 CE. As other similar buildings, it was destined for commercial and administrative activities. It is likely that the basilica housed the offices of the Prefect of the City, the highest imperial official in late antiquity.

The site chosen for the basilica was on the Velia, a low ridge connecting the Esquiline Hill and the Palatine Hill. Large parts of the Velia was levelled in preparation for the construction of the basilica. Literary sources tell that earlier the site was occupied by the Horrea Piperatica, the central market and storage facility for pepper and spices, built in the time of Domitian. Also on the site was a sanctuary of the penates publici which had to be moved.

The Basilica of Maxentius is built with arches, which is very atypical. All the other public basilicas had flat ceilings supported by wooden beams. The construction techniques used borrowed more from the great imperial baths than from the traditional basilica.
The basilica is one of the most impressive buildings on the Forum Romanum. The ground plan is rectangular, oriented E.-W., covering an area of 100×65m divided into a central nave and to lateral aisles and an atrium on the E. side where the original entrance was.

The central nave measured 80×25m and was covered by three groin vaults with a maximum height of 35m, supported by eight monolithic Corinthian columns of 14.5m. Each of the two aisles was made up of three interconnected coffered vaults, 20.5m wide and 24m high, communicating with the central nave by three huge openings.

Light was provided by two rows of three large windows in five of the six lateral vaults, and by windows in the sides of the now collapsed cross vaults over the central nave. The windows in two of the vaults in the surviving N. side of the building give a good idea of the amount of light inside the building.

The floor in both the central and the lateral spaces were a geometric pattern of squares with circles and lozenges of multi-coloured marble, similar to the floor in the Pantheon.

The walls were in opus latericium, originally with a marble veneer. The vaults were in opus caementicium with a gilded stucco finish. The roof was covered with gilded bronze tiles.

The entrance of the original project of Maxentius was to the east, from a branch of the old Via Sacra behind the Temple of Amor and Roma. It lead into an elongated atrium, connected to the central nave and the lateral aisles by five gateways.

In the W. end was a huge apse, 20m in diameter, where a colossal seated statue of Maxentius stood. This statue was later changed to look like Constantine. The statue was an acrolith (the head, hands and feet were of marble, while the rest was of other materials), and the remains of the statue were found in 1486 in the apse.

Constantine changed the plan when he took over the unfinished basilica. He had a another entrance added on the S. side, on the Via Sacra, where a monumental stairway led to a porch of four porphyry columns and via three double doorways into the central part of the S. aisle. In front of this new entrance, in the central vault of the N. aisle, another apse was added, smaller than the apse in the W. end. In back of this apse a niche held a standing statue of Constantine, and smaller, square-headed niches, two rows of four niches on each side, which might have housed a gallery of Constantine's relatives and lieutenants. This room could be closed by wooden doors, and it is likely the central part of the office of the Prefect of the City was there.

Of the original building only the three vaults of the N. aisle remain, devoid of all decorations. The vaults of the S. and central nave probably collapsed under an earthquake in c. 847. The floor plan is clearly visible, however, and the remaining structures give a vivid impression of the grandeur of the original edifice.

The remains of the Colossal Statue of Constantine I are in the courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Campidoglio, and one of the columns from the central nave was moved to the Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore in 1614. The remaining columns have disappeared. The bronze tiles from the roof were reused for the first Basilica of Saint Peter.

John Schou
Italy- Rome- Part of the city wall.jpg
Italy- Rome- Part of the city wall38 viewsRome is the city in the world with the longest set of ancient walls still partly standing.
This unique relic of roman history, though, is somewhat neglected by the thousands of tourist who visit the city every day: very few of them pay attention to these massive structures, as their interest is mainly caught by famous buildings and sites such as the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, or the Colosseum.
Certainly less beautiful than these gems, the walls proved more useful to the city than any other well-known monument or building. And still today they stand as an important memory of the city's ancient boundaries.

The several restoration works carried out through the ages, in order to keep them strong and steady, give reason for the good state of preservation of the set of walls built in the 3rd century AD: unlike other ancient buildings, they mantained their original function until the end of the 1800s. Many of the original gates are still in place, as well, and some of them have witnessed important historical facts.
Besides their importance during wartime, the city walls enabled the local authorities to keep under control the many people who every day entered or left Rome, as the only way in or out was through the gates: the doors were usually kept under sentry during daylight, and closed after dusk. And since a tax was usually imposed on people and goods entering the city, the gates yielded also a considerable income for the municipality.
Since its foundation, Rome has always adopted defensive means, to prevent the several populations surrounding the original nucleus from invading the city.
They are not one single structure, but several walls belonging to many periods. They were built with different techniques, according to the different weapons they had to face, from early enemies' stones, to catapults, to more powerful cannon balls.
Each of them will be therefore dealt with separately, as individual structures.
All of them are conventionally named after the ruler (king, emperor or pope) who had them built.
ROMULUS' WALLS
We know little about the very first defensive structures that protected Rome's original nucleus, over 2700 years ago; the top of two adjoining hills, the Capitolium and the Palatine, was enclosed by two separate walls; the one on the Palatine was probably rebuilt over a pre-roman structure, and protected Romulus's House, claimed to be the dwelling site of the mythical founder and first king of Rome.
Only few visible traces, both of the Palatine's and of the Capitolium's wall, now survive (the latter is shown on the left). Therefore, these are the only walls not dealt with by the following pages.
SERVIAN WALLS
(or REPUBLICAN WALLS)
They are named after Rome's sixth king Servius Tullius: by tradition, he was the first ruler to order the construction of an early defensive structure around the city. Also in this case it is impossible to state a precise date. According to reliable sources, by the 6th century BC the city of Rome could indeed rely on some sort of protection; nevertheless, there is enough proof that an actual wall was not built until the late 4th century BC (during Rome's republic, whence the other name). And a further extension, beyond the left banks of the river Tiber up to the top of the Janiculum hill, was built two centuries later.
Therefore, the evolution of this set of walls must have been rather complicated.The older defensive technique probably consisted of a sort of mound dug in the ground; the earth coming from the latter was simply used to make a long heap on the inside, as a further protection.
Later in time, a real set of walls was built in place of this primitive boundary. But along the north-eastern part of its perimeter, a deep mound with earth and stones piled by the inner base of the wall was still in use: this structure was called an agger (from the Latin ad gerere, "to bring, move towards").
The actual wall was built according to the dry-stone technique, i.e. without any mortar, large blocks were piled one on top of the other, in multiple rows. The porous stone is tufa (which in Rome was used for the making of buildings up to the early 1930s!).
Unfortunately, of these walls no more than a few fragments scattered in various parts of the city is now left.
Further data based on historical sources and archaeological excavations have enabled to define more or less precisely their full perimeter: by the end of the 4th century BC, the city boundaries enclosed the famous seven hills, or Septimontium, over which the city was originally built: the Capitolium and the Palatine (i.e. the early nucleus), the Aventine, the Esquiline, the Quirinal, the Viminal and the Coelian.
John Schou
Italy- Rome- Part of the city wall 2.jpg
Italy- Rome- Part of the city wall 261 viewsRome is the city in the world with the longest set of ancient walls still partly standing.
This unique relic of roman history, though, is somewhat neglected by the thousands of tourist who visit the city every day: very few of them pay attention to these massive structures, as their interest is mainly caught by famous buildings and sites such as the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, or the Colosseum.
Certainly less beautiful than these gems, the walls proved more useful to the city than any other well-known monument or building. And still today they stand as an important memory of the city's ancient boundaries.

The several restoration works carried out through the ages, in order to keep them strong and steady, give reason for the good state of preservation of the set of walls built in the 3rd century AD: unlike other ancient buildings, they mantained their original function until the end of the 1800s. Many of the original gates are still in place, as well, and some of them have witnessed important historical facts.
Besides their importance during wartime, the city walls enabled the local authorities to keep under control the many people who every day entered or left Rome, as the only way in or out was through the gates: the doors were usually kept under sentry during daylight, and closed after dusk. And since a tax was usually imposed on people and goods entering the city, the gates yielded also a considerable income for the municipality.
Since its foundation, Rome has always adopted defensive means, to prevent the several populations surrounding the original nucleus from invading the city.
They are not one single structure, but several walls belonging to many periods. They were built with different techniques, according to the different weapons they had to face, from early enemies' stones, to catapults, to more powerful cannon balls.
Each of them will be therefore dealt with separately, as individual structures.
All of them are conventionally named after the ruler (king, emperor or pope) who had them built.
ROMULUS' WALLS
We know little about the very first defensive structures that protected Rome's original nucleus, over 2700 years ago; the top of two adjoining hills, the Capitolium and the Palatine, was enclosed by two separate walls; the one on the Palatine was probably rebuilt over a pre-roman structure, and protected Romulus's House, claimed to be the dwelling site of the mythical founder and first king of Rome.
Only few visible traces, both of the Palatine's and of the Capitolium's wall, now survive (the latter is shown on the left). Therefore, these are the only walls not dealt with by the following pages.
SERVIAN WALLS
(or REPUBLICAN WALLS)
They are named after Rome's sixth king Servius Tullius: by tradition, he was the first ruler to order the construction of an early defensive structure around the city. Also in this case it is impossible to state a precise date. According to reliable sources, by the 6th century BC the city of Rome could indeed rely on some sort of protection; nevertheless, there is enough proof that an actual wall was not built until the late 4th century BC (during Rome's republic, whence the other name). And a further extension, beyond the left banks of the river Tiber up to the top of the Janiculum hill, was built two centuries later.
Therefore, the evolution of this set of walls must have been rather complicated.The older defensive technique probably consisted of a sort of mound dug in the ground; the earth coming from the latter was simply used to make a long heap on the inside, as a further protection.
Later in time, a real set of walls was built in place of this primitive boundary. But along the north-eastern part of its perimeter, a deep mound with earth and stones piled by the inner base of the wall was still in use: this structure was called an agger (from the Latin ad gerere, "to bring, move towards").
The actual wall was built according to the dry-stone technique, i.e. without any mortar, large blocks were piled one on top of the other, in multiple rows. The porous stone is tufa (which in Rome was used for the making of buildings up to the early 1930s!).
Unfortunately, of these walls no more than a few fragments scattered in various parts of the city is now left.
Further data based on historical sources and archaeological excavations have enabled to define more or less precisely their full perimeter: by the end of the 4th century BC, the city boundaries enclosed the famous seven hills, or Septimontium, over which the city was originally built: the Capitolium and the Palatine (i.e. the early nucleus), the Aventine, the Esquiline, the Quirinal, the Viminal and the Coelian.
John Schou
Italy- Rome- The Pantheon of Marco V Agripa and Hadrian.jpg
Italy- Rome- The Pantheon of Marco V Agripa and Hadrian45 viewsPantheon
The Pantheon is a building in Rome which was originally built as a temple to all the gods of the Roman state religion, but has been a Christian church since the 7th century AD. It is the only building from the Greco-Roman world which is completely intact and which has been in continuous use throughout its history.

History
The original Pantheon was built in 27 BC under the Roman Republic, during the third consulship of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, and his name is inscribed on the portico of the building. The inscription reads M·AGRIPPA·L·F·COS·TERTIUM·FECIT, "Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, consul for the third time, built this."

In fact, Agrippa's Pantheon was destroyed by fire in AD 80, and the Pantheon was completely rebuilt in about AD 125, during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian, as date-stamps on the bricks reveal. It was totally reconstructed, with the text of the original inscription (referring to Agrippa) added to the new facade, a common practice in Hadrian's rebuilding projects all over Rome.

Hadrian was a cosmopolitan emperor who travelled widely in the east and was a great admirer of Greek culture. He seems to have intended the Pantheon, a temple to all the gods, to be a sort of ecumenical or syncretist gesture to the subjects of the Roman Empire who did not worship the old gods of Rome, or who (as was increasingly the case) worshipped them under other names.

In AD 609 the Byzantine emperor Phocas gave the building to Pope Boniface IV, who reconsecrated it as a Christian church, the Church of Mary and all the Martyr Saints (Santa Maria ad Martyres), which title it retains.

The building's consecration as a church saved it from the abandonment and spoliation which befell the majority of ancient Rome's buildings during the early mediaeval period. The only loss has been the external sculptures, which adorned the pediment above Agrippa's inscription. The marble interior and the great bronze doors have survived, although the latter have been restored several times.

During the reign of Pope Urban VIII, the Pope ordered the bronze ceiling of the Pantheon's portico melted down. Most of the bronze was used to make bombards for the fortification of Castel Sant'Angelo, with the remaining amount used by the Apostolic Chamber for various other works. (It is also said that the bronze was used by Bernini in creating the baldachin above the main altar of St. Peter's Basilica, but according to at least one expert, the Pope's accounts state that about 90% of the bronze was used for the cannon, and that the bronze for the baldachin came from Venice.[1]) This led to the Latin proverb, "Quod non fecerunt barbari, fecerunt Barberini" ("What the barbarians did not do, the Barberinis [family name of Urban VIII] did").

Since the Renaissance the Pantheon has been used as a tomb. Among those buried there are the painters Raphael and Annibale Caracci, the architect Baldassare Peruzzi and two kings of Italy: Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, as well as Vittorio Emanuele's Queen, Margharita.

Although Italy has been a republic since 1946, volunteer members of Italian monarchist organisations maintain a vigil over the royal tombs in the Pantheon. This has aroused protests from time to time from republicans, but the Catholic authorities allow the practice to continue, although the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage [2] is in charge of the security and maintenance. The Pantheon is still a church and Masses are still celebrated in the church, particularly for weddings.

Structure
The building is circular with a portico of three ranks of huge granite Corinthian columns (8 in the first rank and 16 in total) under a pediment opening into the rotunda, under a coffered, concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus), open to the sky. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same (43 metres), so the whole interior would fit exactly within a cube (alternatively, the interior could house a sphere 43 metres in diameter). The dome is the largest surviving from antiquity, and was the largest dome in western Europe until Brunelleschi's dome of the Duomo of Florence was completed in 1436.

It may well be noted that the proportions of the building are in discord with respect to the classical ideal. Most evident is the rather large pediment, which appears far too "heavy" for the columns supporting it. The reason for this was the expectation that the building would be much taller than it actually is, which would effect larger columns. However, by the time the pediment was built, it was realised that the proposed height was unrealistic, and so the builders had to settle with a building somewhat out of proportion.

The composition of the Roman concrete used in the dome remains a mystery. An unreinforced dome in these proportions made of modern concrete would hardly stand the load of its own weight, since concrete has very low tensile strength, yet the Pantheon has stood for centuries. It is known from Roman sources that their concrete is made up of a pasty hydrate lime; pozzolanic ash from a nearby volcano; and fist-sized pieces of rock. In this, it is very similar to modern concrete. The high tensile strength appears to come from the way the concrete was applied in very small amounts and then was tamped down to remove excess water at all stages. This appears to have prevented the air bubbles that normally form in concrete as the material dries, thus increasing its strength enormously.

As the best preserved example of monumental Roman architecture, the Pantheon was enormously influential on European and American architects from the Renaissance to the 19th century. Numerous city halls, universities and public libraries echo its portico-and-dome structure. Examples of notable buildings influenced by the Pantheon include Thomas Jefferson's Rotunda at the University of Virginia, Low Library at Columbia University, New York, and the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.

John Schou
James_Garfield_1880_Medal.JPG
James Garfield 1880 Campaign Medal27 viewsObv: JAMES A. GARFIELD, bust of Garfield facing left.

Rev: Above, a representation of the White House, center, a scene depicting a boy on horseback towing a boat in a canal; CANAL BOY 1845, PRESIDENT 1881 in exergue.

Note: This medal was produced for Garfield's Presidential campaign. It was holed for suspension.

Diameter: 25 mm

DeWitt JG 1880-8 (brass)
Matt Inglima
JCT_Jewish_Old_Folks_Home.JPG
Jewish Old Folks Home (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)74 viewsAE token, 34 mm., undated.

Obv: JEWISH OLD FOLKS HOME, and • TORONTO •, within border around rim, 25¢ to left and right of building in center, CONTRIBUTION above building, THE ONLY JEWISH HOME / FOR THE AGE / IN / ONTARIO, in four lines, below building.

Rev: KEEP ME and GOOD LUCK within border in upper and lower rim, UP / AND / YOU / WILL / HAVE, in five rows in center, between profiles of elderly man and woman facing left and right, respectively.

Ref: Randolph, Marc A. “Jewish Homes for the Aged Tokens,” The Shekel, XXXVI No. 3 (May-June 2003) 14-19, Figure 3.

Note: Founded in 1918 when the women of the Ezras Noshem Society collected money door-to-door and opened an old age home in a semi-detached house on Cecil Street. By 1954, the building had become too crowded and the building was beyond repair. The insitution purchased a 25-acre site on Bathurst Street, in North York, Ontario, and built the Jewish Home for the Aged. The institution still exists as the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care.
Stkp
John_ab.jpg
John - London, England54 viewsJohn Lackland (1166-1216). King of England 1199-1216, House of Plantagenet. AR (19 mm, 1.40 g) short cross penny minted in London by moneyer Ilger.
Obverse: HENRICVS REX.
Reverse: ILGER ON LVNDE.
Reference: Sear 1351 Class 5b2.

Jan (jbc)
Petra1.jpg
Jordan, Petra - The Treasury781 viewsI visited the ancient city of Petra in 1999, it is located in Jordan.
The Nabateers "build" this city in the dessert, all the temples and houses are carved in the soft rock.
When you have passed the Siq, the first temple you see is the Al-Khazneh Farun, or The Treasury.
3 commentspax
Juba.JPG
Juba I84 viewsObverse: Diademed, draped bust of King Juba right, with pointed beard and hair in formal curls, scepter at shoulder, REX IVBA before
Reverse: Octastyle temple, Neo-Punic legend on either side (Yubai hammamleket).
Mint : North Africa-Numidia
Date : BC 60-46
Reference : Sear GCV, Vol II, 6607
Grade : VF
Denom: Denarius
Metal : Silver
Acquired: 07/07/04

Comments: The temple shown on the reverse is possibly a mix of Greek and Punic architecture with the flat roof with pediment a Punic style.

One of the last kings of Numidia (c. 60–46 BC), Juba supported the Pompeian side in the Roman civil war between Pompey and Julius Caesar. The kingdom fell in 46 BC at the Battle of Thapsus and was formed into a new province, Africa Nova. Caesar had Juba’s young son, Juba II, taken to Rome to be brought up in his household.
1 commentsBolayi
image~19.jpg
Julia Domna39 viewsJulia Domna. Augusta, AD 193-217. Æ As (27mm, 9.59 g, 11h). Rome mint. Struck under Caracalla, circa AD 214. Diademed and draped bust right / Four Vestal Virgins sacrificing over altar in front of the Temple of Vesta. RIC IV 607a (Caracalla). Near VF, dark green patina with light earthen highlights and touches of red, a few cleaning marks.

During the last five years of her life, following the murder of her younger son Geta in AD 212, Julia Domna virtually ran the government while Caracalla embarked on various military adventures. The emperor was much troubled by illness throughout his sole reign. On his way to the Parthian War in AD 214, he even visited the great shrine of Aesculapius at Pergamum in the hopes of finding a cure, an occasion marked by the striking of a remarkable series of medallic bronzes at the city.

This rare and attractive As of Julia Domna, issued at Rome in AD 214, is on the same theme and records vows for the health of Caracalla undertaken by the Vestal Virgins in a ceremony before the Temple of Vesta. The four Vestals are accompanied by two children and the sanctuary itself appears as a small domed structure in the background. Over the centuries no fewer than seven temples of Vesta occupied the site in the Forum at the northern corner of the house of Vestals. Most were the victims of fire, the sixth temple having been destroyed late in the reign of Commodus (AD 191). Julia Domna herself built the seventh, and the partially reconstructed ruins of this building are still to be seen today.

Description from CNG
1 commentsecoli
AlbinusBrutus.jpg
Junius Brutus Albinus41 viewsHead of Pietas right

ALBINVS BRVTI F
Clasped hands holding winged caduceus

3.1g

Rome
48 BC

Sear 427; Crawford 450/2; Sydenham 942; RBW 1577

Decimus Junius Brutus was a distant relative of Marcus Brutus. He was known as one of Caesar's "most intamate associates" and a friend of Mark Antony. Albinus had served under Caesar in both the Gallic Wars and the Civil War. He participated in the siege of Massilia (Marseilles) that held out against Caesar for months. He also commanded a Caesarian fleet.

Plutarch considered Albinus "of no great courage," but Albinus was a faithful and loyal supporter of Caesar. He was to be Consul in 42 BC along with Lucius Plancus. While awaiting the consulship Albinus was to become Governor of Cisalpine Gaul when the post became available in the spring of 44BC

Albinus was approached by Cassius and Labeo to involve him in the conspiracy to murder Caesar. Albinus wanted to make sure Marcus Brutus was involved before agreeing to the plot. After meeting with Brutus he agreed. Both Brutus and Albinus received notification of a meeting of the Senate on March 15th and Albinus agreed to use an exhibition of his Gladiators after the meeting as protection in case things got out of hand after the murder had taken place. Caesar's retired legionaries were all around the city and none of the conspirators knew how they would react at Caesar's death.

At a dinner at the house of Marcus Lepidus on the night of March 14, 44BC Caesar was in attendence along with Decimus Brutus. Towards the end of the night Caesar's secretary approached for him to sign some letters. As he was signing Albinus posed a philosophical question to him: "What sort of death is best?" Caesar answered "A sudden one"

The next morning the Senate awaited Caesar to arrive. Caesr's wife Calpurnia and the auspeces warned Caesar not to attend the meeting. When Caesar delayed the conspirator's sent Albinus to Caesar's house. Albinus convinced Caesar to at least postpone the meeting in person. Antony was against this idea. Caesar was then murered by the conspirators in the Theater of Pompey in the Campus Martius, Albinus being a key player in the conspiracy.
2 commentsJay GT4
aksumOR.jpg
Kings of Aksum, Ezanas (Struck after his conversion to Christianity in 330 A.D.), BMC Aksum 9060 viewsKings of Aksum, Ezanas (Struck after his conversion to Christianity in 330 A.D.) c 330-350 A.D. AE, 0.60g 12mm, Munro-Hay 52; BMC Aksum 90
O: BACI ΛEΨC, draped bust right wearing headcloth
R: +TOV TO APECH TH XWPA (May This [the cross] Please the Country), small cross in circle (generally the interiors of the circle and cross were gilt with gold, but none is evident on this example)

Aksum was the first civilization anywhere to use the cross of Christ on its coins (Pankhurst 27), even before the Romans. King Ezana (also known as Abreha) was the first to do so around 330 CE (Pankhurst 27). Ezana became king sometime between 320-325 CE and as a child, he and his court, were converted to Christianity by Frumentius (Prouty and Rosenfeld 65). Ezana began to use the coins as propaganda to spread his religion by replacing the crescent symbols with the cross. Later rulers from late 4th and 5th centuries incorporated on the coins phrases such as ‘By the grace of God’ and ‘Christ is with us (Munro-Ray 190-2).’

The establishment of Christianity in Aksum saw the beginning of an active pilgrimage traffic between Ethiopia and the Holy Land. Pilgrims traveled down the Nile valley and then across to Palestine and Jerusalem. The pilgrims of course brought their coins with them, and the overt Christian symbolism appealed to the local communities through which they passed. As a result, Axumite bronze coins and local imitations of them saw considerable circulation in Egypt and Palestine. They have been found at numerous 4th to 6th century sites, circulating alongside the regular Roman and Byzantine nummi. A settlement of Coptic Ethiopian monks remains in Jerusalem to this day, their main shrine being on the roof of the Holy Sepulchre church, the only location permitted them by the more numerous Christian sects.

Aksum is the purported home of the Ark of the Covenant. According to regional tradition, the Ark is housed in the Church of Mary of Zion. The Ark, according to legends, was brought to Aksum by King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba's son and placed under guard. No one but the one guard priest is allowed in, and thus no one can verify the Ark's existence. According to the Kebra Nagast, when Menelik, came to visit his father in Jerusalem, his father gave him a copy of the Ark, and commanded the first-born sons of the elders of his kingdom to go to Ethiopia and settle there. The sons of the elders did not want to live away from the presence of the Ark, so they switched the copy with the original and smuggled the Ark out of the country. Menelik only learned that the original was with his group during the journey home.
2 commentscasata137ec
Krannon,_Thessaly,_Greece,_c__400_-_350_B_C_.jpg
Krannon, Thessaly, Greece, c. 400 - 350 B.C.54 viewsBronze AE 15, Rogers Thessaly 182, SNG Cop 39, BMC Thessaly 7 corr. (Zeus, 300 - 190 B.C.), F, Krannon mint, weight 4.169g, maximum diameter 18.5mm, die axis 315o, c. 400 - 350 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Poseidon right; reverse KPA, horseman galloping right, wearing petasos and chlamys, trident below.


Found nr. Pelinna, July 97, Sfr. 35.-
Ex FORVM Auction House
*With my sincere thank and appreciation , Photo and Description courtesy of FORVM Ancient Coins Staff.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
2 commentsSam
coins53.JPG
LATIUM, Rome14 viewsThe semuncia (Latin half-ounce) was an ancient Roman bronze coin valued at one-twenty-fourth of an as produced during the Roman Republic. It was made during the beginning of Roman cast bronze coinage as the lowest valued denomination. The most common obverse types were a bust of Mercury or an acorn (occasionally marked with Σ), and the most common reverse types were a prow or a caduceus. It was issued until ca. 210 BC, at about the time the same time as the denarius was introduced.

LATIUM, Rome. Anonymous. 217-215 BC. Æ Semuncia. Head of Mercury right, wearing winged petasos / Prow of galley right, club on boat house; ROMA above. Crawford 38/7; Sydenham 87; BMCRR 129
ecoli
Saturninus_P.jpg
Lucius Appuleius Saturninus - AR denarius9 viewsRome
²101 BC
¹104 BC
helmeted head of Roma left
Saturn in quadriga right holding harpa and reins
.
·P
L·SATVRN
¹Crawford 317/3a, SRCV I 193, Sydenham 578, RSC I Appuleia 1
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
3,66g 19-17mm

According Richard Schaefer it's the first known example of these dies. Dies differ from ·P thus there, most probably, is dot above P although unfortunately off flan.

As quaestor Saturninus superintended the imports of grain at Ostia, but had been removed by the Roman Senate (an unusual proceeding), and replaced by Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, one of the chief members of the Optimates. Standard view is that injustice of his dismissal drove him into the arms of the Populares. In 103 BC he was elected tribune. Marius, on his return to Rome after his victory over the Cimbri, finding himself isolated in the senate, entered into a compact with Saturninus and his ally Gaius Servilius Glaucia, and the three formed a kind of triumvirate, supported by the veterans of Marius and many of the common people. By the aid of bribery and assassination Marius was elected (100 BC) consul for the sixth time, Glaucia praetor, and Saturninus tribune for the second time. Marius, finding himself overshadowed by his colleagues and compromised by their excesses, thought seriously of breaking with them, and Saturninus and Glaucia saw that their only hope of safety lay in their retention of office. Saturninus was elected tribune for the third time for the year beginning December 10, 100, and Glaucia, although at the time praetor and therefore not eligible until after the lapse of 2 years, was a candidate for the consulship. Marcus Antonius Orator was elected without opposition; the other Optimate candidate, Gaius Memmius, who seemed to have the better chance of success, was beaten to death by the hired agents of Saturninus and Glaucia, while the voting was actually going on. This produced a complete revulsion of public feeling. The Senate met on the following day, declared Saturninus and Glaucia public enemies, and called upon Marius to defend the State. Marius had no alternative but to obey. Saturninus, defeated in a pitched battle in the Roman Forum (December 10), took refuge with his followers in the Capitol, where, the water supply having been cut off, they were forced to capitulate. Marius, having assured them that their lives would be spared, removed them to the Curia Hostilia, intending to proceed against them according to law. But the more impetuous members of the aristocratic party climbed onto the roof, stripped off the tiles, and stoned Saturninus and many others to death. Glaucia, who had escaped into a house, was dragged out and killed. (wikipedia)
Johny SYSEL
Saturninus_T~0.jpg
Lucius Appuleius Saturninus - AR denarius18 viewsRome
²101 BC
¹104 BC
helmeted head of Roma left
Saturn in quadriga right holding harpa and reins
·T·
L·SATVRN
¹Crawford 317/3a, SRCV I 193, Sydenham 578, RSC I Appuleia 1
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
3,44g 19,5-18,5mm

As quaestor Saturninus superintended the imports of grain at Ostia, but had been removed by the Roman Senate (an unusual proceeding), and replaced by Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, one of the chief members of the Optimates. Standard view is that injustice of his dismissal drove him into the arms of the Populares. In 103 BC he was elected tribune. Marius, on his return to Rome after his victory over the Cimbri, finding himself isolated in the senate, entered into a compact with Saturninus and his ally Gaius Servilius Glaucia, and the three formed a kind of triumvirate, supported by the veterans of Marius and many of the common people. By the aid of bribery and assassination Marius was elected (100 BC) consul for the sixth time, Glaucia praetor, and Saturninus tribune for the second time. Marius, finding himself overshadowed by his colleagues and compromised by their excesses, thought seriously of breaking with them, and Saturninus and Glaucia saw that their only hope of safety lay in their retention of office. Saturninus was elected tribune for the third time for the year beginning December 10, 100, and Glaucia, although at the time praetor and therefore not eligible until after the lapse of 2 years, was a candidate for the consulship. Marcus Antonius Orator was elected without opposition; the other Optimate candidate, Gaius Memmius, who seemed to have the better chance of success, was beaten to death by the hired agents of Saturninus and Glaucia, while the voting was actually going on. This produced a complete revulsion of public feeling. The Senate met on the following day, declared Saturninus and Glaucia public enemies, and called upon Marius to defend the State. Marius had no alternative but to obey. Saturninus, defeated in a pitched battle in the Roman Forum (December 10), took refuge with his followers in the Capitol, where, the water supply having been cut off, they were forced to capitulate. Marius, having assured them that their lives would be spared, removed them to the Curia Hostilia, intending to proceed against them according to law. But the more impetuous members of the aristocratic party climbed onto the roof, stripped off the tiles, and stoned Saturninus and many others to death. Glaucia, who had escaped into a house, was dragged out and killed. (wikipedia)
Johny SYSEL
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Lucius Caesius. 112-111 BC79 viewsLares (pl.) (also called Genii loci or, more archaically, Lases) were Roman deities protecting the house and the family - household gods. See also Genius, Larvae, Di Penates, Manes.

Lares are presumed sons of Hermes and Lara, and deeply venerated by ancient Romans through small statues, usually put in higher places of the house, far from the floor, or even on the roof (but some statues were also on some crossings of roads). Of the Lares proper, there are only two, and they had inferior power. Over time, their power was extended over houses, country, sea, cities, etc., as the Lares became conflated with other Roman deities and protective spirits.

The Genius loci was presumed taking part in all that happened inside the house, and a statue was also put on the table during the meals.

In the early Roman times, in every house there was at least one little statue. Later, a sort of confusion connected their figure with those of Mani, deities of Hades (and the most virtuous dead persons of the family). Finally the confusion included the Penates too (other minor deities).

Lucius Caesius. 112-111 BC. AR Denarius (20mm, 3.84 g). Bust of Vejovis left, seen from behind, hurling thunderbolt; monogram behind / The two Lares seated right with a dog between them; head of Vulcan and tongs above. Crawford 298/1; Sydenham 564; Caesia 1. Ex-CNG
ecoli
Trajan_37.jpg
M167 viewsTrajan AR Denarius

Attribution: RIC II, 128, Rome
Date: AD 103-111
Obverse: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P, laureate head r.,
slight drapery on l. shoulder
Reverse: COS V P P S P Q R OPTIMO PRINC, Victory stg. l., half draped,
wreath in r. hand, palm in l.
Size: 18 mm
Weight: 3.50 grams
(Image of Trajan courtesy of Pat Lawrence: British Museum, London)

“His association with the people was marked by affability and his intercourse with the senate by dignity, so that he was loved by all and dreaded by none save the enemy.” - Cassius Dio Roman History LXVIII.15

Pliny’s Panegyric provides evidence that Trajan had senatorial approval. Due to his prowess as a conqueror, the legions also extended their support to the popular emperor. The reverse of this coin is fitting for Trajan. His campaigns against Dacia are perhaps the highlight of his entire reign; so much so, that the senate erected Trajan’s column to commemorate the victory. This impressive stone column (100 ft. high) contains a spiral frieze retelling the glorious Dacian campaign against the “barbarian” ruler Decebalus. Trajan overcame several obstacles, but achieved success through the capture of Sarmizegethusa where the Dacian royal house was plundered. Decebalus escaped, but was pursued relentlessly. He eventually committed suicide rather than risk capture by the “ruthless" Romans. His severed head was recovered and exhibited on the steps leading up to the Capitol in Rome. Upon Trajan’s death in AD 117, a precedent was set which all rulers following him would be measured against.
9 commentsNoah
AntPiusSestBetrothal.jpg
MAFJ1 The Betrothal of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior38 viewsAntoninus Pius

Sestertius
ca 140

Laureate head of Antoninus Pius, right, ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TRP COS III
CONCORDIAE - Antoninus Pius standing right on left, holding Concordia, shaking hands with Faustina I to right; Marcus Aurelius and Faustina below in center, also shaking hands.

RIC 601

Marcus Annius Verus was born in Rome in 121. He was first betrothed to the daughter of Aelius Caesar, but after Aelius' death, Antoninus Pius adopted him. He took the name Marcus Aelius Aurelius Verus.

The Historia Augusta records: Marcus Antoninus was a man who devoted himself to philosophy throughout his life and he excels all the principles in purity of character. His father was Annius Verus, who died during his praetorship. . . . His mother was Domitia Lucilla, daughter of the consul Calvisius Tullus. . . .He was brought up partly in the place where he was born and partly in the house of his grandfather Verus, next to the Lateran Palace. He was to marry his first cousin, Annia Faustina. . . . He assumed the toga of manhood in his fifteenth year [134] and at once was betrothed, at Hadrian's wish, to the daughter of Lucius Commodus. . . . After Hadrian's death, Pius immediately got his wife to ask Marcus if he would break off his betrothal to the daughter of Lucius Commodus and marry their own daughter Faustina (whom Hadrian had wanted to marry Commodus' son, even though he was badly matched in age). After thinking the matter over, Marcus replied he was willing. When this was arranged, Pius designated Marcus to be consul with himself [139]. . . and gave him the name of Caesar.

Marcus, at least, was given a choice, and would already have known Faustina well. One can imagine that Faustina, if she was old enough to grasp the implications, was relieved at the prospect of marrying the studious young man rather than someone far older than her.
1 commentsBlindado
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Mark Antony Legionary PRAETORIARVM140 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C
galley r. mast with banners at prow

CHORTIVM PRAETORIARVM
Legionary Eagle between two standards

Patrae mint 32-31BC

3.08g
Imperators 385, Sydenham 1213, BMCRR East 184, Cohen 7

Ex-Incitatus

Scarce/rare

An important and historical coin!

The Praetorian cohorts had their origins in the small escorts which accompanied the generals on campaign. The name derives from the commander's tent (praetorium), a name which was later applied to the commandant's house in a permanent fort. At the time of Actium Antony probably had at least four praetorian cohorts. In the years following Actium Augustus established a permanent body of nine praetorian cohorts, three in Rome, the remainder dispersed among neighboring towns. They were regarded as elite troops and this was reflected in their living conditions and pay (more than three times the rate for legionaries). The praetorian prefects, first appointed by Augustus in 2 BC were to exercise enormous political power in Rome in the centuries to follow.

4 commentsJay GT4
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Massachusetts, H. M. & E. I. Richards10 viewsObv: LAFAYETTE, A FRIEND TO AMERICA & FREEDOM. DIED MAY 20 | 1834, the Marquis de Lafayette standing.

Rev: HM & EI • RICHARDS | MANUFACTURERS | OF | JEWELRY | NEAR THE | UNION HOUSE | ATTLEBORO | MASSHM & EI • RICHARDS | MANUFACTURERS | OF | JEWELRY | NEAR THE | UNION HOUSE | ATTLEBORO | MASS

Date: 1834

HT 150
Matt Inglima
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Maximinus II IOVI CONSERVATORI Thessalonica149 viewsThessalonica

Thessalonica was located at the intersection of two major Roman roads, one leading from Italy eastward (Ignatia Way) and the other from the Danube to the Aegean. Thessalonica’s location and use as a port made it a prominent city. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of the second district of Macedonia and later it was made the capital and major port of the whole Roman province of Macedonia (146 B.C.). In 42 B.C., after the battle at Philippi, Thessalonica was made a free city.

Very little has been uncovered at ancient Thessalonica because Thessaloniki sits atop the remains. The area pictured above and at right was formerly a bus station; when it was moved in 1962, this 1st or 2nd century A.D. forum was revealed. Excavators found a bathhouse and mint dating to the 1st century A.D. below pavement surrounding an odeum. An inscription (30 B.C. to 143 A.D.) from the Vardar gate bears the word politarches, the word Luke used in reference to the officials of the city before whom Jason was brought by the mob (Acts 17:6). The word does not appear in any other Greek literature but does match the archaeology of the site.

Paul (with Silas and Timothy) came to Thessalonica from Philippi on his second missionary journey, stopping in Amphipolis and Apollonia before arriving here (Acts 17). He preached in the city’s synagogue, the chief synagogue of the region, for at least three weeks. His ministry was strong, and he established a Jewish-Gentile church, although it was more heavily Gentile (1 Thes. 1:9). When Paul faced great persecution at the hands of the mob, he fled to Berea, but Thessalonians eventually forced him to leave there also (Acts 17:13-14).

IMP C MAXIMINVS PF AVG
IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG NN
dot TS dot B dot
RIC VI Thessalonica 61a

ecoli
frenchmelqueilofMaguelone18mm_79g.jpg
Melgorien of Maquelonne11 viewsVarient of the O++O design of King Odo
Coins of Narbonne were widely circulated
Obverse: RAMVNDS, (LÉGENDE DÉGÉNÉRÉE).
Reverse: NAIDONA, (LÉGENDE DÉGÉNÉRÉE).
Mint:
Date: 11-12c
18mm
.79g
Roberts 4336


Languedoc - COUNTY Melgueil - BISHOPS MAGUELONNE - ANONYMOUS
(XI - XII centuries)
City Maguelonne, founded by the Visigoths, was ruined by the Franks in 737. The bishops took refuge on the site Subtantion which has now disappeared. Maguelonne was raised by Bishop Arnaud (1030-1060). In 1172 the County Melgueil passed to the house of Toulouse. The privilege of manufacture belonged to the Counts of Melgueil which ruined, ceded their rights to Pope Innocent III who inféoda to Bishop William III Autignac (1204-1216) April 14, 1215. Therefore County Melgueil was in the hands of the bishops of Maguelonne. These bishops were faced with the rise of the house of Aragon, who had just come into possession of Montpellier. From 1293, Philip IV installed a workshop Sommières which was transferred to Montpellier in 1356. The bishopric was suppressed in 1536 and he settled in Montpellier.
wileyc
R4336_Frenchmelgorianofmarquelonne_20mm_100g.jpg
Melgorien of Maquelonne15 viewsVarient of the O++O design of King Odo
Coins of Narbonne were widely circulated
Obverse: RAMVNDS, (LÉGENDE DÉGÉNÉRÉE).
Reverse: NAIDONA, (LÉGENDE DÉGÉNÉRÉE).
Mint:
Date: 11-12c
20 mm
1.00g
Roberts 4336


Languedoc - COUNTY Melgueil - BISHOPS MAGUELONNE - ANONYMOUS
(XI - XII centuries)
City Maguelonne, founded by the Visigoths, was ruined by the Franks in 737. The bishops took refuge on the site Subtantion which has now disappeared. Maguelonne was raised by Bishop Arnaud (1030-1060). In 1172 the County Melgueil passed to the house of Toulouse. The privilege of manufacture belonged to the Counts of Melgueil which ruined, ceded their rights to Pope Innocent III who inféoda to Bishop William III Autignac (1204-1216) April 14, 1215. Therefore County Melgueil was in the hands of the bishops of Maguelonne. These bishops were faced with the rise of the house of Aragon, who had just come into possession of Montpellier. From 1293, Philip IV installed a workshop Sommières which was transferred to Montpellier in 1356. The bishopric was suppressed in 1536 and he settled in Montpellier.
wileyc
Middlesex_1063.jpg
Middlesex 106313 viewsObv: ROBERT ORCHARD GROCER & TEA DEALER NO. 34 GREEK ST. CORNER CHURCH ST. SOHO LONDON 1804, bust facing right.

Rev: ROBERT • ORCHARD • TEA • WAREHOUSE • CORNER OF CHURCH ST • AND • AT SAW BRIDGEWORTH HARTS, front view of Orchard's warehouse.

Edge: Plain

Farthing Conder Token

Dalton & Hamer: Middlesex, Orchard's 1063
SPQR Coins
Middlesex_1098.jpg
Middlesex 109897 viewsObv: EVEN FELLOWS, The faces of a man (Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger) and a demon conjoined.

Rev: END OF P(•)T, A man hanging with implements of torture on the ground below him, a ladder leans against the gallows, a house flying a banner in the distance.

Edge: Milled

Thomas Spence, Farthing Conder token

Dalton & Hamer: Middlesex 1098
SPQR Coins
Middlesex_317.jpg
Middlesex 31715 viewsObv: MRS. NEWSHAM THE WHITE NEGRESS, a woman standing half left.

Rev: TO BE HAD AT THE CURIOSITY HOUSE CITY ROAD • NEAR FINSBURY SQUARE LONDON 1795

Edge: Plain

Note: Hall's Curiosity House in London boasted many "oddities" of the day. There were animals, people with deformities, and an albino woman from Africa. Many of Hall's "curiosities" appeared on tokens advertising his business.

Half Penny Conder Token

Dalton & Hamer: Middlesex 317
SPQR Coins
Middlesex_892.jpg
Middlesex 89290 viewsObv: TREE OF LIBERTY, Four men dancing around a pole, surmounted by a head radiated (supposedly the head is that of Prime Minister William Pitt).

Rev: HALFPENNY, a guillotine and part of a house.

Edge: Plain

Thomas Spence, Halfpenny Conder token

Dalton & Hamer: Middlesex 892
SPQR Coins
Oliver_Cromwell_AR_Shilling_1658_50.jpg
MODERN MILLED (up to 19th Century), England, Oliver Cromwell, 1658 CE17 viewsAR Shilling, milled, dies engraved by Thomas Simon, Pierre Blondeau's Drury House, London mint, dated 1658 CE.

Obverse: draped and laureate bust of the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell left, legend: OLIVAR• D• G• R P• ANG SCO HIB &c PRO around.

Reverse: crowned coat-of-arms of the Protectorate, date in legend above, legend: PAX• QVÆRITVR• BELLO ( peace is sought by war ) around.

ESC 1005, SCBC 3228, North 2745, Lessen J28, KM A207

Acquired: OTC, October 1991, Londinium - The Coin Store, North York
Scribonius Probus
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MOESIA, Istros175 viewsMOESIA, Istros. Circa 4th Century BC. AR Drachm (5.86 gm).

Histria or Istros (Ancient Greek: Ἰστρίη, Thracian river god, Danube), was a Greek colony or polis (πόλις, city) near the mouths of the Danube (known as Ister in Ancient Greek), on the western coast of the Black Sea. Established by Milesian settlers in order to facilitate trade with the native Getae, it is considered the oldest urban settlement on Romanian territory. Scymnus of Chios (ca 110 BC), dated its founding to 630 BC, while Eusebius of Caesarea set it during the time of the 33rd Olympic Games (657 – 656 BC). The earliest documented currency on Romanian territory was an 8-gram silver drachma, issued by the city around 480 BC.

Archaeological evidence seems to confirm that all trade with the interior followed the foundation of Histria. Traders reached the interior via Histria and the Danube valley, demonstrated by finds of Attic black-figure pottery, coins, ornamental objects, an Ionian lebes and many fragments of amphoras. Amphoras have been found in great quantity at Histria, some imported but some local. Local pottery was produced following establishment of the colony and certainly before mid-6th century. During the archaic and classical periods, when Histria flourished, it was situated near fertile arable land. It served as a port of trade soon after its establishment, with fishing and agriculture as additional sources of income. By 100 AD, however, fishing had become the main source of Istrian revenue.

Around 30 AD, Histria came under Roman domination. During the Roman period from the 1st to 3rd centuries AD, temples were built for the Roman gods, besides a public bath and houses for the wealthy. Altogether, it was in continuous existence for some 14 centuries, starting with the Greek period up to the Roman-Byzantine period. The Halmyris bay where was the city founded was closed by sand deposits and access to the Black Sea gradually was cut. Trade continued until the 6th century AD. The invasion of the Avars and the Slavs in the 7th century AD almost entirely destroyed the fortress, and the Istrians dispersed; the name and the city disappeared.

Facing male heads, the left inverted / Sea-eagle left, grasping dolphin with talons; H between wing and tail, D below dolphin. SNG BMC Black Sea 245; Pick 431. EF.
Ex-Barry Murphy g30
2 commentsecoli
Lixus_in_Morocco.jpg
Morocco, Lixus64 viewsLixus is the site of an ancient Roman city located in Morocco just north of the modern seaport of Larache on the bank of the Loukkos River. The location was one of the main cities of the Roman province of Mauretania Tingitana .

Ancient Lixus is located on Tchemmich Hill on the right bank of the Loukkos River (other names: Oued Loukous; Locus River), just to the north of the modern seaport of Larache. The site lies within the urban perimeter of Larache, and about three kilometers inland from the mouth of the river and the Atlantic ocean. From its 80 meters above the plain the site dominates the marshes through which the river flows. To the north, Lixus is surrounded by hills which themselves are bordered to the north and east by a forest of cork oaks.

Among the ruins there are Roman baths, temples, 4th century walls, a mosaic floor, a Christian church and the intricate and confusing remains of the Capitol Hill.

Lixus was first settled by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC and was later annexed by Carthage. Lixus was part of a chain of Phoenician/Carthaginian settlements along the Atlantic coast of modern Morocco; other major settlements further to the south are Chellah (called Sala Colonia by the Romans) and Mogador. When Carthage fell to Ancient Rome, Lixus, Chellah and Mogador became imperial outposts of the Roman province Mauretania Tingitana.

The ancient sources agree to make of Lixus a counter Phoenician, which is confirmed by the archaeological discovery of material dating from 8th century BC. It gradually grew in importance, later coming under Carthaginian domination. After the destruction of Carthage, Lixus fell to Roman control and was made an imperial colony, reaching its zenith during the reign of the emperor Claudius I (AD 41-54).

Some ancient Greek writers located at Lixus the mythological garden of the Hesperides, the keepers of the golden apples. The name of the city was often mentioned by writers from Hanno the Navigator to the Geographer of Ravenna, and confirmed by the legend on its coins and by an inscription. The ancients believed Lixus to be the site of the Garden of the Hesperides and of a sanctuary of Hercules, where Hercules gathered gold apples, more ancient than the one at Cadiz, Spain. However, there are no grounds for the claim that Lixus was founded at the end of the second millennium BC.

Lixus flourished during the Roman Empire, mainly when Claudius established a Roman Colonia with full rights for the citizens. Lixus was one of the few Roman cities in Berber Africa that enjoyed an amphitheater: the amphitheater at Lixus. In the third century Lixus become nearly fully Christian and there are even now the ruins of a paleochristian church overlooking the archeological area. The Arab invasions destroyed the Roman city. Some berber life was maintained there nevertheless until one century after the Islamic conquest of North Africa by the presence of a mosque and a house with patio with the covered walls of painted stuccos.

The site was excavated continuously from 1948 to 1969. In the 1960s, Lixus was restored and consolidated. In 1989, following an international conference which brought together many scientists, specialists, historians and archaeologists of the Mediterranean around the history and archaeology of Lixus, the site was partly enclosed. Work was undertaken to study the Roman mosaics of the site, which constitute a very rich unit. In addition to the vestiges interesting to discover the such mosaics whose one of sixty meters representing Poseidon. Lixus was on a surface of approximately 75 hectares (190 acres). The excavated zones constitute approximately 20% of the total surface of the site.

This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on July 1, 1995 in the Cultural category.
Joe Sermarini
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Morocco, Volubilis mosaic 46 viewsmosaic of the house of the acrobat, acrobat riding a donkeyFranz-Josef M
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Nero, Denarius 360 viewsRome mint, AD 64/65
NERO CAESAR, laureate head of Nero right
AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS, Nero standing facing, holding branch and victory on globe
3,32 gr
Ref : RCV #1941, Cohen #45, RIC # 47
The following comment, from NFA, auction XX catalog, # 118 :
Nero's coinage reform of A.D. 64 saw a reduction in the weight standard of both the aureus and denarius denominations. A whole new range of reverse types was introduced with an unmistakably imperial flavor, in marked contrast to the senatorial types of the pre-reform coinage. This coin depicts a standing figure of the emperor, wearing the radiate crown of the sun god Sol, holding a branch of peace and a small figure of Victory. An allusion to the settlement of the Parthian question, following Corbulo's successes in Armenia in A.D. 63, seems unmistakable. It is tempting to identify this reverse type with the statue of the sun god, with the facial features of the emperor, erected by Nero in front of his Domus Aurea (Golden House), which was one of the principal features of the reconstruction following the Great Fire of Rome in A.D. 64. The Flavian Amphitheatre (Colosseum) was later erected on the site of the Domus Aurea's ornamental lake, and received its popular name from its close proximity to Nero's statue
7 commentsPotator II
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Nero, RIC 586, Sestertius of AD 66 (Portus Augusti)72 viewsÆ sestertius (22.54g, maximum Ø34.24mm, 6h), Lugdunum mint, struck AD 66.
Obv.: IMP NERO CAESAR AVG P MAX TR P P P, laureate head of Nero right, globe below tip of bust.
Rev.: PORT AVG (below) S C (above), aerial view of the harbor of Ostia, showing pier, breakwaters, lighthouse surmounted by the statue of Neptune, seven ships, and the figure of Tiber reclining left in foreground, holding rudder and dolphin.
Mac Dowall (The western Coinages of Nero, ANS SSN 161) 476; RIC 586 (R2); BMCRE 323 var. (different obv. legend); Cohen 253 var. (emperor's head to left); CBN 74 var. (different obv. legend); Sear (RCV) 1953var.

Certificate of Authenticity: David R Sear / A.C.C.S. Ref. 100CR/RI/C/V (January 6, 2015): "Grade: F and very rare, one of the most interesting types of Nero's sestertius series "

Extract of Sear's Historical and Numismatic Note: "This example commemorates the completion of the great harbor project to serve the needs of the imperial capital initiated by Claudius and completed under Nero. Ostia is situated at the mouth of the Tiber, but could not easily handle large sea-going vessels such as those of the grain fleet. Accordingly, Claudius initiated the construction of a new all-weather harbor at Portus, about two miles along the coast line to the north. This was a huge project, involving the construction of two great moles jutting out into the sea. The lighthouse erected at the end of one of these moles was built on foundations formed by sinking a large ship that Caligula had used to transport an obelisk from Egypt. This harbor, however, was very exposed to the weather and under Trajan was superseded by a new land-locked inner basin linked to the Tiber by a canal (cf. P.Connolly and H.Hodge, The Ancient City. Life in Classical Athens and Rome, pp. 128-30)"
3 commentsCharles S
[901a]_NervaAntiochAE26.jpg
Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D., Antioch, Syria195 viewsBronze AE 26, BMC Syria, p. 182, 261, aVF, Antioch mint, weight 13.524g, maximum diameter 25.0mm, die axis 0o, Jan - Sep 97 A.D.; Obverse: IMP CAESAR NERVA AVG III COS, laureate head right; Reverse: large S C in wreath, D below; unbelievable portrait. Ex FORVM. Photo courtesy FORVM.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families
Nerva (96-98 A.D.)

David Wend

Introduction
Although short, the reign of Marcus Cocceius Nerva (A.D. 96-98) is pivotal. The first of Edward Gibbon's so-called "Five Good Emperors," Nerva is credited with beginning the practice of adopting his heir rather than selecting a blood relative. Claimed as an ancestor by all the emperors down to Severus Alexander, he has traditionally been regarded with much good will at the expense of his predecessor, Domitian.

Ancestry
Nerva could claim eminent ancestry on both sides of his family. On the paternal side, his great-grandfather, M. Cocceius Nerva, was consul in 36 B.C.; his grandfather, a distinguished jurist of the same name, accompanied Tiberius on his retirement to Capri in 26 A.D. On his mother's side an aunt, Rubellia Bassa, was the great-granddaughter of Tiberius. In addition, a great-uncle, L. Cocceius Nerva, played a part in the negotiations that secured a treaty between Octavian and Antony in 40 B.C

Early Career and Life under Domitian
Nerva was born on 8 November, 30 A.D. Little is known of his upbringing beyond the fact that he belonged to a senatorial family and pursued neither a military nor a public speaking career. On the other hand, he did hold various priesthoods and was a praetor-designate. More importantly, as praetor designate in 65, Nerva was instrumental in revealing the conspiracy of Piso against the emperor Nero.

As a result, he received triumphal ornaments and his statue was placed in the palace. Following Nero's fall in 68, Nerva must have realized that support of Vespasian and the Flavian cause was in his best interests. In 71 his loyalty was rewarded with a joint consulship with the emperor, the only time that Vespasian ever held the office without his son Titus. It was under the reign of Vespasian's other son, Domitian, that Nerva's political fortunes were ultimately determined, however. He shared the ordinary consulship with Domitian in 90, an honor that was perhaps the result of his alerting the emperor about the revolt of Antonius Saturninus, the governor of Upper Germany, in 89. Even so, like so many others of the senatorial class, Nerva came under scrutiny in the final years of Domitian's reign, when the emperor was unwilling to tolerate any criticism.

Whether or not Nerva was forced to withdraw from public life during Domitian's final years remains an open question. What is not in dispute is that he was named emperor on the same day that Domitian was assassinated in September, 96. Indeed, in some respects the accession was improbable, since it placed the Empire under the control of a feeble sexagenarian and long-time Flavian supporter with close ties to the unpopular Domitian. On the other hand, Nerva had proven to be a capable senator, one with political connections and an ability to negotiate. Moreover, he had no children, thereby ensuring that the state would not become his hereditary possession.

Imperial Initiatives
Upon taking office, Nerva made immediate changes. He ordered the palace of Domitian to be renamed the House of the People, while he himself resided at the Horti Sallustiani, the favorite residence of Vespasian. More significantly, he took an oath before the senate that he would refrain from executing its members. He also released those who had been imprisoned by Domitian and recalled exiles not found guilty of serious crimes. Nevertheless, Nerva still allowed the prosecution of informers by the senate, a measure that led to chaos, as everyone acted in his own interests while trying to settle scores with personal enemies.

In the area of economic administration Nerva, like Domitian, was keen on maintaining a balanced budget. In early 97, after appointing a commission of five consular senators to give advice on reducing expenditures, he proceeded to abolish many sacrifices, races, and games. Similarly, he allowed no gold or silver statues to be made of himself. Even so, there was some room for municipal expenditure. For the urban poor of Italy he granted allotments of land worth 60 million sesterces, and he exempted parents and their children from a 5% inheritance tax. He also made loans to Italian landowners on the condition that they pay interest of 5% to their municipality to support the children of needy families. These alimentary schemes were later extended by Trajan, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius.

Because he reigned only briefly, Nerva's public works were few. By early 98 he dedicated the forum that Domitian had built to connect the Forum of Augustus with the Forum of Peace. It became known as the Forum of Nerva, or the Forum Transitorium. Nerva also built granaries, made repairs to the Colosseum when the Tiber flooded, and continued the program of road building and repairs inaugurated under the Flavians. In addition, pantomime performances, supressed by Domitian, were restored.

In the military realm, Nerva established veterans' colonies in Africa, a practice that was continued by the emperor Trajan. Normal military privileges were continued and some auxiliary units assumed the epithet Nervia or Nerviana. We are not well informed beyond these details, and any military action that may have occurred while Nerva was emperor is known sketchy at best.

Nature of Nerva's Government
Nerva's major appointments favored men whom he knew and trusted, and who had long served and been rewarded by the Flavians. Typical was Sextus Julius Frontinus. A consul under Vespasian and governor of Britain twenty years earlier, Frontinus came out of retirement to become curator of the water supply, an office that had long been subject to abuse and mismanagement. He helped to put an end to the abuses and published a significant work on Rome's water supply, De aquis urbis Romae. As a reward for his service, Frontinus was named consul for the second time in 98. Similarly, the emperor's own amici were often senators with Flavian ties, men who, by virtue of their links to the previous regime, were valuable to Nerva for what they knew. Thus do we find the likes of A. Didius Gallus Fabricius Veiiento, one of Domitian's ill-reputed counselors, seated next to Nerva at an imperial dinner. Nerva was less willing to consult the Senate as a whole. In many cases he preferred the opinions of his own consilium, and was less submissive than many senators would have liked. This attitude may have been responsible for hostile discontent among several senators.

Mutiny of the Praetorians and the Adoption of Trajan
It was not long before the assassination of Domitian came to work against the new emperor. Dissatisfied that Domitian had not been deified after his death, the praetorian guards mutinied under Casperius Aelianus in October 97. Taking the emperor as hostage, they demanded that Nerva hand over Domitian's murderers. The emperor not only relented, but was forced to give a public speech of thanks to the mutineers for their actions. His authority compomised, Nerva used the occasion of a victory in Pannonia over the Germans in late October, 97 to announce the adoption of Marcus Ulpius Traianus, governor of Upper Germany, as his successor. The new Caesar was immediately acclaimed imperator and granted the tribunicia potestas. Nerva's public announcement of the adoption settled succession as fact; he allowed no time to oppose his decision. From the German victory, Nerva assumed the epithet Germanicus and conferred the title on Trajan as well. He also made Trajan his consular colleague in 98.

Death and Deification
On January 1, 98, the start of his fourth consulship, Nerva suffered a stroke during a private audience. Three weeks later he died at his villa in the Gardens of Sallust. From his headquarters at Cologne, Trajan insisted that Nerva's ashes be placed in the mausoleum of Augustus and asked the senate to vote on his deification. We are further told that he dedicated a temple to Nerva, yet no trace of it has ever been found. Nor was a commemorative series of coins issued for the Deified Nerva in the wake of his death, but only ten years later.

Conclusion
Nerva's reign was more concerned with the continuation of an existing political system than with the birth of a new age. Indeed, his economic policies, his relationship with the senate, and the men whom he chose to govern and to offer him advice all show signs of Flavian influence. In many respects, Nerva was the right man at the right time. His immediate accession following Domitian's murder prevented anarchy and civil war, while his age, poor health and moderate views were perfect attributes for a government that offered a bridge between Domitian's stormy reign and the emperorships of the stable rulers to follow.

Copyright (C) 1998, David Wend.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
560_large_4c29983d26c06c4cbc8c12a42a771dc9.jpg
Octavian5 viewsCuria Julia senate house denarius 29 BC, Octavian. 3.5gm.Ancient Aussie
Papiria_1.JPG
Papiria 130 viewsPapiria 7 (122BC) moneyer Cn. Papirius Carbo cos. 113BC

Denarius
Ob: Helmeted head of Roma with curl on shoulder; behind X, border of dots
Rev: Jupiter in quadriga holding reigns and scepter in left hand and hurling fulmen in right (fulminans); below CARBO in exergue ROMA. Line border

BMCRR II 449

Sydenham 415

Crawford 279

Ex: Colesseum Coin Exchange 2006; toned

Northumberland refers to this incredibly informative letter:

Ad Fam IX 21 to TO PAPIRIUS PAETUS (AT NAPLES) 46BC

Well, but letting that pass, how did it come into your head, my dear Paetus, to say that there never was a Papirius who was not a plebeian? For, in fact, there were patrician Papirii, of the lesser houses, of whom the first was L. Papirius Mugillanus, censor with L. Sempronius Atratinus--having already been his colleague in the consulship--in the 312th year of the city. But in those days they were called Papisii. After him thirteen sat in the curule chair before L. Papirius Crassus, who was the first to drop the form Papisius. This man was named dictator, with L. Papirius Cursor as Master of the Horse, in the 415th year of the city, and four years afterwards was consul with Kaeso Duilius. Cursor came next to him, a man who held a very large number of offices; then comes L. Masso, who rose to the aedileship; then a number of Massones. The busts of these I would have you keep--all patricians. Then follow the Carbones and Turdi. These latter were plebeians, whom I opine that you may disregard. For, except the Gaius Carbo who was assassinated by Damasippus, there has not been one of the Carbones who was a good and useful citizen. We knew Gnaeus Carbo and his brother the wit: were there ever greater scoundrels? About the one who is a friend of mine, the son of Rubrius, I say nothing. There have been those three brothers Carbo-Gaius, Gnaeus, Marcus. Of these, Marcus, a great thief, was condemned for malversation in Sicily on the accusation of Publius Flaccus: Gaius, when accused by Lucius Crassus, is said to have poisoned himself with cantharides; he behaved in a factious manner as tribune, and was also thought to have assassinated Publius Africanus. As to the other, who was put to death by my friend Pompey at Lilybaeum, there was never, in my opinion, a greater scoundrel. Even his father, on being accused by M. Antonius, is thought to have escaped condemnation by a dose of shoemaker's vitriol. Wherefore my opinion is that you should revert to the patrician Papirii: you see what a bad lot the plebeians were. (trans. Evelyn Shuckburgh)
Petrus Elmsley
Pergamonacrop.jpg
Pergamon54 viewsThe oldest section of Pergamon, the acropolis or upper city, sits on an impressive steep ridge between two tributaries of the Caicus river. The ridge is naturally fortified on all but the S side which slopes down to the Caicus valley floor. The Caicus valley provides access from Pergamon to the Aegean coast and the port town of Elaea in the W and the Persian Royal Road to the E.

The upper city, which was fortified in the 4th or 3rd century B.C. contains the 3rd century Sanctuary of Athena, the oldest cult center of the city as well as palace quarters, barracks, and arsenals. In the 2nd century B.C. the 10,000 seat theater, the library adjacent to the Sanctuary of Athena, and the Great Altar of Zeus and Athena were added. In the 2nd century A.D. the monumental Trajaneum was erected on what must have been an earlier unknown cult center. From the upper agora a paved main street leads S and downslope to the middle city.

The city of Pergamon began to extend down the S slope in the 3rd century B.C. and during the 2nd century a massive building program completely transformed the entire lower slope. The major construction in the area was the gigantic gymnasium complex which extended down three large terraces linked by vaulted stairways and passages. The complex encorporated three open training courts, a covered track or xystus, a small theater or odeum, several shrines, and two large baths. Other major sections of the middle city included the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore and, below the gymnasium along the main street leading to the Eumenes' Gate, the lower agora. North and E of the gymnasium massive terraces support the streets and houses of the residential quarter. In the first half of the 2nd century B.C. Eumenes II strengthened the entire fortification system of Pergamon and enclosed all of the middle city, which extended almost to the base of the south slope, within the new walls.

During the Roman Imperial period the city continued to expand southward and spread over the plain and the area occuppied by modern Bergama. The large Sanctuary of the Egyptian Gods (the "Kizil Avlu"), numerous bridges, and remains of the Roman stadium, theater, and amphitheater remain visible today.

Pergamon emerged as a power during the struggle for territorial control following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. By the middle of the 3rd century Pergamon had been established as an independent state under the leadership of the Attalid dynasty. The power of the Attalids and the city grew as a result of successful battles against the Gauls of central Anatolia and careful political alliances with Rome.

The peak period of Pergamene power and achievement was reached during the reign of Eumenes II (197-159 B.C.). The kingdom had grown to include most of western Anatolia and was rich in agriculture and industry. Noted industrial exports included textiles, fine pottery, and "Pergamene paper" or parchment. The last industry developed when Ptolemy, reportedly jealous of the growing fame of the library in Pergamon, prohibited the export of papyrus from Egypt. Eumenes II enlarged the city of Pergamon to include all of the southern slope and enclosed the city with a new and stronger fortification wall. In addition to the major new constructions in the lower city Eumenes also commissioned the Great Altar of Zeus and Athena, the theater, and the new library in the upper city.

In the 2nd century B.C. Pergamon rivalled Athens and Alexandria as centers of Hellenic culture. The city possessed one of the greatest libraries of antiquity, monumental gymnasia, and numerous religious sanctuaries, including the Asklepion outside the city walls. Pergamon was a haven for noted philosophers and artists and was the center of a major movement in Hellenistic sculpture. The Attalids supported the arts and learning in Pergamon and elsewhere and made major donations, such as the Stoa of Attalos II in Athens.

The last Attalid ruler, Attalos III, bequeathed the kingdom of Pergamon to Rome in 133 B.C. During Roman rule the prosperity of Pergamon continued and the city had a period of commercial expansion. The city itself expanded to the plain S and W of the acropolis across the flat land now occuppied by modern Bergama.

See: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/siteindex?lookup=Pergamon

Cleisthenes
NektaneboMed.jpg
PHARONIC KINGS OF EGYPT, Nektanebo II, 360-343 BC40 viewsAE
15 mm (4 mm thick), 4.4 gm
Obv: Ram leaping left, head reverted.
Rev: Scales of Ma'at; countermark with helmeted bust right.
Ref: Weiser 1

A few months ago a friend, upon hearing that I was collecting ancient coins, said he would like to have a coin issued by a pharaoh. Hmm. "I don't think there are any", I replied. I hadn't come across any in my whirlwind but voluminous searching, although I hadn't been searching for such a coin.

Turns out there are some. Nektanebo II, the last native pharaoh of Egypt, issued coins in bronze, gold, and perhaps silver. Prior to that, Egypt did produce some coins for the purpose of international trading-- imitations of Athens, Attica tets, for instance-- but Nektanebo appears to be the first pharaoh to issue coins for local use. Maybe.

Per auction house sales information from half a decade ago, it seems these bronzes were extremely rare. I wonder if a small horde was recently found because the prices have fallen and there are currently six specimens in retail e-stores and at least two more were auctioned off recently.

There is not universal agreement regarding the issuer, purpose, and location of circulation of these coins. Sellers tout it as the "sole pharonic issue"-- I'm sure that boosts desirability-- but it may not be accurate. Hope it is though.

CNG, in the description of this coin (one similar to mine),

Nekht-her-hebet, or Nektanebo II as he was known to the Greeks, was the nephew of Pharaoh Tachos (Djed-her). Placed in command of the Egyptian army in Syria during the Satrapal Revolt, he turned his troops against his own king and took Egypt by force. In 351-350 BC he repelled a Persian invasion but was driven from his throne in 344-343 BC by a second assault. He fled Egypt, found refuge in Ethiopia, and retained control of Upper Egypt for another few years. As the last pharaoh, Alexander sought to connect himself with Nektanebo after conquering Egypt, allowing the rumor that he was in fact his son to spread. Alexander’s connection to the pharaoh lasted, and for years the sarcophagus of Nektanebo II, now in the British Museum, was considered to be Alexander’s own.

The traditional attribution of this issue to Nektanebo, however enticing, has been increasingly contested. Finds of the coins have been consistently noted outside of Egypt. Kevin Butcher has placed the bronzes at Antioch circa 1st century BC, where the leaping ram imagery would fit well.

I wanted this coin for several reasons.

First, well… a pharaoh's coin? That's just cool.

Second, it depicts the Scales of Ma'at. Such a device was used in Jitterbug Perfume, a book by Tom Robbins, one of my favorite authors. In it, at a limbo-like way station, the newly dead have their hearts weighed against a feather. The heart must be light as a feather to move on. I was unaware until seeing this coin that the scene was taken directly from Egyptian mythology.

Third, it is for an almost-finished themed collection I've been working on.

Nektanebo II (translated from Egyptian "Nakhthorheb (meryhathor)" or "Nekht-her-hebet" or "Nekht-harhebi" ; alternate spelling Nectanebo), the last native Egyptian pharaoh, part of the 30th dynasty. His 17 year reign spanned from 360 to 343 BC.
Birth name: Nakht-hor-heb (mery-hathor) “Strong is His Lord Horus, Beloved of Hathor”
Throne name: Snedjem-ib-re Setep-en-inhur “Pleasing to the Heart of Re, Chosen of Onuris”

Additional biographic information about Nektanebo II
http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/nectanebo1.htm

About Ma'at, the Scales of Ma'at, and the weighing of hearts:
http://www.egyptartsite.com/judgement.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maat
http://www.aldokkan.com/religion/hall_maat.htm

4 commentsTIF
phillip-I_AD246_AR-antoninianus_felicitas_4_51gr_00.JPG
Philip I AR Antoninianus - ' FELICITAS TEMP ' - Rome Mint40 viewsPhilip I AR Antoninianus.
Struck 246 AD, Rome Mint.

obv: IMP M JUL PHILIPPUS AUG - Radiate bust right, draped and cuirassed.
rev: FELICITAS TEMP - Felicitas standing holding cornucopiae and caduceus.

4.51gr.

ex Ancient Auction House (AAH)
rexesq
Phliasia,_Phlious_AE_Chalkous_-_ex_BCD,_Brand___Weber.jpg
Phliasia, Phlious, ca. 400-350 BC, Æ Chalkous 37 viewsBull butting left, head lowered and turned to face viewer.
Large Φ with two pellets.

HGC 5, 177; BCD Peloponnesos 129; Weber 3882 (this coin); MacIsaac Issue 2, G.

(14 mm, 1.60 g, 3h).
CNG Classical Numismatic Review XXXIX, 1, April 2014, 834574; ex- BCD Collection (not in LHS sale); ex- Virgil M. Brand Collection (Part 7, Sotheby’s, 25 October 1984), lot 306 (part of); ex- Sir Hermann Weber Collection, no. 3882 purchased from W.C. Thieme, Leipzig, 1888.

Provenance Notes:
Sir Hermann David Weber (1823-1918) was a German physician who had a very distinguished lifetime career in medicine in England, including that of being a doctor to the royal family. Collecting from the late 1870’s, he amassed one of the largest private collections of ancient Greek coins of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It consisted of over 8,500 coins in total. Weber purchased this humble Phlious chalkous in 1888 from the dealer W.C. Thieme, Leipzig. Spink and Son purchased the collection from the executors of Weber’s estate, with the condition that the firm undertake the publication of the collection. This was duly completed by the mid-1920’s in a four-volume work that remained a standard reference for ancient Greek coinage throughout much of the twentieth century. Spink and Son dispersed the Weber collection, from whence this coin found its way into the collection of the prominent American collector Virgil M Brand.

Virgil M. Brand (1862-1926), born into a wealthy American brewing family in Chicago, developed an interest in coin collecting in 1889 and amassed one of the greatest private collections of all time, consisting of 386,000 ancient and modern coins including 68,000 gold coins. Each coin in the collection was documented by an entry in what became a thirty-volume set of descriptive ledgers. A lifetime bachelor and somewhat eccentric character, Brand chose to live modestly in a small apartment above his brewery in Chicago, shunning ostentation and devoting his time to the pursuit of his collecting, reading and local charity. He spent over $3 million on coins during his life. The collection was housed in cigar boxes that were packed into leather satchels, hidden behind his book collection. Virgil M. Brand died intestate and amongst various probate disputes his two brothers began to sell off the most prominent pieces from the collection in the 1930’s. Eventually, Jane Brand Allen, a niece of Virgil M. Brand, inherited the remains of the collection. These coins were sold in a series of auctions conducted by Sotheby’s, Bowers and Merena and Spink and Son during the 1980’s.

By this means the coin came into the collection of BCD the pre-eminent collector of mainland Greek coins during the last half of the twentieth century. BCD disposed of the coins of the Peloponnesos from his collection in 2006 at which time this coin passed into the inventory of the Classical Numismatic Group from whom it was purchased after its listing in the first edition of the newly revived Classical Numismatic Review produced by the company in April 2014.
2 commentsn.igma
image00426.jpg
Phoenicia, Arados. Uncertain king. Circa 420-350 BC.9 viewsAR Shekel

18.5 mm, 10.45 g

Obverse: Laureate head of Ba'al-Arwad? right, with frontal eye

Reverse: Galley right above waves with row of shields along the bulwark; M A (in Aramaic) above;

E&E-A Group III.1.1; HGC 10, 28.

Settled in the 2nd millennium BC by the Phoenicians, Arados (Greek name) was located three kilometers off the Syrian shore between Lattaquie and Tripolis. Under Phoenician control, it became an independent kingdom called Arvad or Jazirat (the latter term meaning "island"). The island was a barren rock covered with fortifications and houses several stories in height. Just 800m long by 500m wide, it was surrounded by a massive wall with an artificial harbor constructed on the east toward the mainland.

Like most of the Phoenician cities on this coast, it developed into a trading city. Arados had a powerful navy, and its ships are mentioned in the monuments of Egypt and Assyria. In ancient times, it was in turn subject to the Egyptians, Assyrians, and then Persians (539 BC). But local dynasts were maintained until Straton, son of Gerostratos, king of Arados, submitted to Alexander the Great in 333 B.C.

The earliest coins of Arados (430-410 BC) depict a marine deity, human to the waist, bearded with plaited hair, with the lower body of a fish. Scholars aren't sure exactly who this deity is. Some believe the merman is Dagôn, associated with being the god of grain in the middle Euphrates and old Babylonia. Another option is Yamm (Yam), an ancient god from the semitic word meaning sea. He was worshipped by the semitic religions including Phoenicia and the Canaanites. Today, Elavi and Elayi's (2005) identification of the deity as Ba’al Arwad - a local manifestation of the ubiquitous Semitic god of weather and fertility - seems to be the most commonly accepted interpretation. In later Aradian coinage (like the example above) a Hellenized depiction of the deity’s head replaces the half-man, half-fish figure.

Most Aradian coins bear the same two Phoenician letters mem (M) and aleph (A or ´). In addition, during the first half of the fourth century (until 333 BC), the inscription M A was followed by a letter, some eight or nine in total. The most logical option is that this third letter represents different Aradian kings. This, plus parallels with contemporary Salaminian coinage, suggests that M A stands for “King” of Arwad rather than “Kingdom” (the more common interpretation). Because the coin above lacks a third letter designating a specific king, it’s most likely an earlier example. On the other hand, the more Hellenized portrait argues for a later date.
Nathan P
SeptimiusPisidiaAntiochAE22.jpg
Pisidia, Antioch. Septimius Severus. 198-217 AD. 105 viewsPisidia, Antioch. Septimius Severus. 198-217 AD. AE 22mm (5.21 gm). Obverse: Laureate, head left. Reverse: Mên standing facing, head right, foot on bucranium, holding sceptre and Nike on globe; cock at feet left. SNG France 3, 1118. Cleaning scratches, very fine. Ex Tom Vossen.

De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

Introduction
Lucius Septimius Severus restored stability to the Roman empire after the tumultuous reign of the emperor Commodus and the civil wars that erupted in the wake of Commodus' murder. However, by giving greater pay and benefits to soldiers and annexing the troublesome lands of northern Mesopotamia into the Roman empire, Septimius Severus brought increasing financial and military burdens to Rome's government. His prudent administration allowed these burdens to be met during his eighteen years on the throne, but his reign was not entirely sunny. The bloodiness with which Severus gained and maintained control of the empire tarnished his generally positive reputation.

Severus' Early Life and Acclamation
Severus was born 11 April 145 in the African city of Lepcis Magna, whose magnificent ruins are located in modern Libya, 130 miles east of Tripoli. Septimius Severus came from a distinguished local family with cousins who received suffect consulships in Rome under Antoninus Pius. The future emperor's father seems not to have held any major offices, but the grandfather may have been the wealthy equestrian Septimius Severus commemorated by the Flavian-era poet Statius.

The future emperor was helped in his early career by one of his consular cousins, who arranged entry into the senate and the favor of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Life as a senator meant a life of travel from one government posting to another. Moorish attacks on his intended post of Baetica (southern Spain) forced Severus to serve his quaestorship in Sardinia. He then traveled to Africa as a legate and returned to Rome to be a tribune of the plebs. Around the year 175 he married Paccia Marciana, who seems also to have been of African origin. The childless marriage lasted a decade or so until her death.

Severus' career continued to flourish as the empire passed from Marcus to Commodus. The young senator held a praetorship, then served in Spain, commanded a legion in Syria and held the governorships of Gallia Lugdunensis (central France), Sicily and Upper Pannonia (easternmost Austria and western Hungary). While in Gallia Lugdunensis in 187, the now-widowed future emperor married Julia Domna, a woman from a prominent family of the Syrian city of Emesa. Two sons quickly arrived, eleven months apart: Bassianus (known to history as Caracalla) in April of the year 188, and Geta in March 189.

News of Pertinax's assassination 28 March 193 in an uprising by the praetorian guard quickly reached Pannonia, and only twelve days later on 9 April 193, Severus was proclaimed emperor. Septimius Severus had the strong support of the armies along the Rhine and Danube, but the loyalty of the governor of Britain, Clodius Albinus, was in doubt. Severus' envoys from Pannonia offered Albinus the title of Caesar, which he accepted.

The Civil Wars with Albinus, Niger, and Didius Julianus
In the city of Rome, Didius Julianus gained the support of the praetorian troops and was promoted as the successor to Pertinax. Although Julianus' authority did not extend much beyond Italy, Severus understood that legitimacy for a Roman emperor meant having one's authority accepted in Rome. He and his army began a swift march to the city. They met practically no resistance on their advance from Pannonia into northern Italy, as Julianus' supporters defected. By the beginning of June when Severus reached Interamna, 50 miles north of Rome, even the praetorian guard stationed in the capital switched sides. Didius Julianus was declared a public enemy and killed. Septimius Severus entered Rome without a fight.

Civil war was not yet over. Another provincial governor also had his eyes on the throne. In Syria, Pescennius Niger had been proclaimed emperor on news of Pertinax's death, and the eastern provinces quickly went under his authority. Byzantium became Niger's base of operations as he prepared to fight the armies of the west loyal to Severus.

Niger was unable to maintain further advances into Europe. The fighting moved to the Asian shore of the Propontis, and in late December 193 or early January 194, Niger was defeated in a battle near Nicaea and fled south. Asia and Bithynia fell under Severus' control, and Egypt soon recognized Severus' authority. By late spring, Niger was defeated near Issus and the remainder of his support collapsed. Syria was pacified. Niger was killed fleeing Antioch. Byzantium, however, refused to surrender to Severan forces. Niger's head was sent to the city to persuade the besieged citizens to give up, but to no avail. The Byzantines held out for another year before surrender. As punishment for their stubbornness, the walls of their city were destroyed.

Severus' Eastern Campaigns
During the fighting, two of the peoples of upper Mesopotamia -- the Osrhoeni and the Adiabeni -- captured some Roman garrisons and made an unsuccessful attack on the Roman-allied city of Nisibis. After the defeat of Niger, these peoples offered to return Roman captives and what remained of the seized treasures if the remaining Roman garrisons were removed from the region. Severus refused the offer and prepared for war against the two peoples, as well as against an Arabian tribe that had aided Niger. In the spring of 195, Severus marched an army through the desert into upper Mesopotamia. The native peoples quickly surrendered, and Severus added to his name the victorious titles Arabicus and Adiabenicus. Much of the upper third of Mesopotamia was organized as a Roman province, though the king of Osrhoene was allowed to retain control of a diminished realm.

The tottering Parthian empire was less and less able to control those peoples living in the border regions with Rome. Rome's eastern frontier was entering a period of instability, and Severus responded with an interventionist policy of attack and annexation. Some senators feared that increased involvement in Mesopotamia would only embroil Rome in local squabbles at great expense. The emperor, however, would remain consistent in his active eastern policy.

Legitimization of the Severan Dynasty
Severus also took steps to cement his legitimacy as emperor by connecting himself to the Antonine dynasty. Severus now proclaimed himself the son of Marcus Aurelius, which allowed him to trace his authority, through adoption, back to the emperor Nerva. Julia Domna was awarded the title "Mother of the Camp" (mater castrorum), a title only previously given to the empress Faustina the Younger, Marcus' wife. Bassianus, the emperor's elder son, was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and given the title Caesar. It was this last step that marked a decisive break with Albinus.

Albinus had remained in Britain as governor during the struggles between Severus and Niger. Although Albinus had not attempted open revolt against the emperor, he seems to have been in communication with senators about future moves. By the end of 195, Albinus was declared a public enemy by Severus. The governor of Britain responded by proclaiming himself emperor and invading Gaul.

A weary Roman populace used the anonymity of the crowd at the chariot races to complain about renewed civil war, but it was Gaul that bore the brunt of the fighting. Albinus and his supporters were able to inflict losses on the occasion of the initial attacks, but disorder was so great that opportunistic soldiers could easily operate on their own within the lands under Albinus' nominal control.

The tide began to turn early in 197, and after a Severan victory at Tournus, Albinus found himself and his army trapped near Lyon. A battle broke out 19 February 197. In the initial fighting, Albinus' troops forced the Severans into retreat, during which Severus fell off his horse. When the Severan cavalry appeared, however, Albinus' army was routed. Lyon was sacked and Albinus, who was trapped in a house along the river Rhône, committed suicide. Severus ordered Albinus' head to be cut off and sent to Rome for display. Many of Albinus' supporters were killed, including a large number of Spanish and Gallic aristocrats. Albinus' wife and children were killed, as were many of the wives of his supporters. Tradition also told of the mutilation of bodies and denial of proper burial. The emperor revealed a penchant for cruelty that troubled even his fervent supporters. A purge of the senate soon followed. Included among the victims was Pertinax's father-in-law, Sulpicianus.

Severus and the Roman Military
Severus brought many changes to the Roman military. Soldiers' pay was increased by half, they were allowed to be married while in service, and greater opportunities were provided for promotion into officer ranks and the civil service. The entire praetorian guard, discredited by the murder of Pertinax and the auctioning of their support to Julianus, was dismissed. The emperor created a new, larger praetorian guard out of provincial soldiers from the legions. Increases were also made to the two other security forces based in Rome: the urban cohorts, who maintained order; and the night watch, who fought fires and dealt with overnight disturbances, break-ins and other petty crime. These military reforms proved expensive, but the measures may well have increased soldiers' performance and morale in an increasingly unsettled age.

One location that remained unsettled was the eastern frontier. In 197 Nisibis had again been under siege, and the emperor prepared for another eastern campaign. Three new legions were raised, though one was left behind in central Italy to maintain order. The Roman armies easily swept through upper Mesopotamia, traveling down the Euphrates to sack Seleucia, Babylon and Ctesiphon, which had been abandoned by the Parthian king Vologaeses V. On 28 January 198 -- the centenary of Trajan's accession -- Severus took the victorious title Parthicus Maximus and promoted both of his sons: Caracalla to the rank of Augustus and Geta to the rank of Caesar.

Before embarking on the eastern campaign, the emperor had named Gaius Fulvius Plautianus as a praetorian prefect. Plautianus came from the emperor's home town of Lepcis, and the prefect may even have been a relative of the emperor. The victories in Mesopotamia were followed by tours of eastern provinces, including Egypt. Plautianus accompanied Severus throughout the travels, and by the year 201 Plautianus was the emperor's closest confidant and advisor. Plautianus was also praetorian prefect without peer after having arranged the murder of his last colleague in the post.

Upon the return to Rome in 202, the influence of Plautianus was at its height. Comparisons were made with Sejanus, the powerful praetorian prefect under the emperor Tiberius. Plautianus, who earlier had been adlected into the senate, was now awarded consular rank, and his daughter Plautilla was married to Caracalla. The wealth Plautianus had acquired from his close connection with the emperor enabled him to provide a dowry said to have been worthy of fifty princesses. Celebrations and games also marked the decennalia, the beginning of the tenth year of Severus' reign. Later in the year the enlarged imperial family traveled to Lepcis, where native sons Severus and Plautianus could display their prestige and power.

The following year the imperial family returned to Rome, where an arch, still standing today, was dedicated to the emperor at the western end of the Forum. Preparations were also being made for the Secular Games, which were thought to have originated in earliest Rome and were to be held every 110 years. Augustus celebrated the Secular Games in 17 B.C., and Domitian in A.D. 88, six years too early. (Claudius used the excuse of Rome's 800th year to hold the games in A.D. 47.) In 204 Severus would preside over ten days of ceremonies and spectacles.

By the end of 204, Plautianus was finding his influence with the emperor on the wane. Caracalla was not happy to be the husband of Plautilla. Julia Domna resented Plautianus' criticisms and investigations against her. Severus was tiring of his praetorian prefect's ostentation, which at times seemed to surpass that of the emperor himself. The emperor's ailing brother, Geta, also denounced Plautianus, and after Geta's death the praetorian prefect found himself being bypassed by the emperor. In January 205 a soldier named Saturninus revealed to the emperor a plot by Plautianus to have Severus and Caracalla killed. Plautianus was summoned to the imperial palace and executed. His children were exiled, and Caracalla divorced Plautilla. Some observers suspected the story of a plot was merely a ruse to cover up long-term plans for Plautianus' removal.

Severus and Roman Law
Two new praetorian prefects were named to replace Plautianus, one of whom was the eminent jurist Papinian. The emperor's position as ultimate appeals judge had brought an ever-increasing legal workload to his office. During the second century, a career path for legal experts was established, and an emperor came to rely heavily upon his consilium, an advisory panel of experienced jurists, in rendering decisions. Severus brought these jurists to even greater prominence. A diligent administrator and conscientious judge, the emperor appreciated legal reasoning and nurtured its development. His reign ushered in the golden age of Roman jurisprudence, and his court employed the talents of the three greatest Roman lawyers: Papinian, Paul and Ulpian.

The order Severus was able to impose on the empire through both the force of arms and the force of law failed to extend to his own family. His now teenaged sons, Caracalla and Geta, displayed a reckless sibling rivalry that sometimes resulted in physical injury. The emperor believed the lack of responsibilities in Rome contributed to the ill-will between his sons and decided that the family would travel to Britain to oversee military operations there. Caracalla was involved in directing the army's campaigns, while Geta was given civilian authority and a promotion to joint emperor with his father and brother.

Severus was now into his 60s. Chronic gout limited his activities and sapped his strength. The emperor's health continued to deteriorate in Britain, and he became ever more intent on trying to improve the bitter relationship between his two sons. He is reported to have given his sons three pieces of advice: "Get along; pay off the soldiers; and disregard everyone else." The first piece of advice would not be heeded.

Severus died in York on 4 February 211 at the age of 65. His reign lasted nearly 18 years, a duration that would not be matched until Diocletian. Culturally and ideologically Septimius Severus connected his reign to the earlier Antonine era, but the reforms he enacted would eventually alter the very character of Roman government. By creating a larger and more expensive army and increasing the influence of lawyers in administration, Severus planted the seeds that would develop into the highly militaristic and bureaucratic government of the later empire.

Copyright (C) 1998, Michael L. Meckler. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/sepsev.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
POLAND_-_2010_KAYN_2_ZL.jpg
POLAND - 2010 Katyn Massacre Commemorative78 viewsPOLAND - 2010 2-Zloty, Aluminum-copper-zinc alloy. Commemorative coin '70th Anniversary of the Katyń Crime'.
Obverse: An image of the Eagle established as the State Emblem of the Republic of Poland. On the sides of the Eagle, the notation of the year of issue: 20 – 10. Below the Eagle, an inscription: ZŁ 2 ZŁ in the rim, an inscription: RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA, preceded and followed by six pearls. The Mint’s mark: M/W, under the Eagle’s left leg. Reverse: Centrally, an inscription: KATYŃ. Below, a stylized image of the military forage cap with the Polish military Eagle. At the top, a semicircular inscription: 70. ROCZNICA ZBRODNI KATYŃSKIEJ (70 TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE KATYN MASSACRE). Diameter – 27 mm, weight – 8.15 g., edge plain with the inscription, NBP, repeated eight times, every second one inverted by 180 degrees, separated by stars.
Put in circulation since April 8, 2010. Mintage: 1 000 000. The coin was struck at the National Bank of Poland.
In light of the recent tragedy of Poland losing her president and top leaders, this coin is sold out in Poland, I have been told.
On September 17, 1939 the Red Army invaded the territory of Poland from the east. This invasion took place while Poland had already sustained serious defeats in the wake of the German attack on the country that started on September 1, 1939; thus Soviets moved to safeguard their claims in accordance with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
In the wake of the Red Army's quick advance that met little resistance, between 250 000 and 454 700 Polish soldiers had become prisoners and were interned by the Soviets. About 250 000 were set free by the army almost on the spot, while 125 000 were delivered to the internal security services (the NKVD).
The NKVD in turn quickly released 42 400 soldiers. The approximately 170 000 released were mostly soldiers of Ukrainian an