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coin633.jpg
26 viewsIt is a copper lion of Mary Queen of Scots.
It is also known as a "hardhead", they were issued
1555-1560. It contains about 10% silver. they
were valued at three halfpence Scots, and were
equal in value to the french denier. The coin carries
the monogram FM, which appeared on her coinage
after her husband, the Dauphin, became Francis II
of France, on 10th July 1559. Francis died in 1560,
so this was issued within that period. Coin #633

cars100
5514.jpg
005d. Agrippina II89 viewsLYDIA, Hypaepa. Agrippina Jr., mother of Nero. Augusta, 50-59 AD. Ć 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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011a. Julia Titi56 viewsJulia Flavia (17 September 64 - 91) was the only child to the Emperor Titus from his second marriage to the well-connected Marcia Furnilla. Titus divorced Furnilla after Julia's birth. Julia was born in Rome.

When growing up, Titus offered her in marriage to his brother Domitian, but he refused because of his infatuation with Domitia Longina. Later she married her second cousin Titus Flavius Sabinus, brother to consul Titus Flavius Clemens, who married her first cousin Flavia Domitilla. By then Domitian had seduced her.

When her father and husband died, she became Emperor Domitian’s mistress. He openly showed his love. Falling pregnant, Julia died of a forced abortion. Julia was deified and her ashes her mixed with Domitian by an old nurse secretly in the Temple of the Flavians.

AEOLIS, Temnus. Julia Titi. Augusta, AD 79-91. Ć 16mm (2.18 gm). Draped bust right / EPI AGNOU THMNIT, Athena standing left, holding palladium and scepter, shield resting on ground. RPC II 981. Near VF, dark green patina, small flan crack. Ex-CNG

From the Garth R. Drewry Collection. Ex Classical Numismatic Group 51 (15 September 1999), lot 875; Marcel Burstein Collection.
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102155.jpg
012a. Domitia101 viewsDomitia, wife of Domitian. Augusta, 82-96 AD.

In 70, Domitia was married to Lucius Aelius Lamia, but she attracted the attention of Domitian, son of emperor Vespasian. Shortly afterwards she was taken from her husband and remarried with the future emperor. They had a son in the next year and a daughter in 74, both died young. Domitian was very fond of his wife and carried her in all his travels. In 83, Domitia Longina's affair with the actor Paris was disclosed. Paris was executed and Domitia received her letter of divorce from Domitian. She was exiled, but remained close to Roman politics and to Domitian.

CILICIA, Epiphanea. Ć 21mm (7.18 gm). Dated year 151 (83/84 AD). Draped bust right / Athena standing left, righ hand extended, left resting on shield; ANP (date) left. RPC I 1786; SNG Levante 1813; SNG France -; SNG Copenhagen -. VF, dark green patina, some smoothing. Very rare, only 1 specimen (the Levante specimen), recorded in RPC. Ex-CNG
ecoli73
FaustinaI_denar.jpg
025 - Faustina I (138-141 AD), commemorative denarius - RIC 35835 viewsObv: DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right
Rev: AVGVSTA, Ceres standing right, holding scepter and grain ears.
Minted in Rome 148-161 AD.

Commemorative issues were struck in huge quantitis under the husband Antoninus Pius after Faustinas death in 141 AD.
pierre_p77
Lotharingiai_Ferenc_(_-1765_AD),_1kr,_1758,_U-1298a_H-1821_K-B_Q-001_0h_15,0mm_0,75g-s.jpg
055 Ferenc of Lotharingia, (Franc I. Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty), Husband of Maria Theresa (Qeen of Hungary), ( -1765 AD A.D.), AR-1 Kreuzer, U-1298a, H-1821, K-B/1758, #01112 views055 Ferenc of Lotharingia, (Franc I. Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty), Husband of Maria Theresa (Qeen of Hungary), ( -1765 AD A.D.), AR-1 Kreuzer, U-1298a, H-1821, K-B/1758, #01
Franc I. was also a Holy Roman Emperor and King in Germany.
avers: FRANC•D:G•R•I• S•A•GE•IER•REX•, Emperor bust right, border of dots.
revers: IN TE DOMINE• -1- SPERAVI •1758•, Crowned two-headed eagle, shield on chest, mint-mark on each side, mark of value "1" below, border of dots.
diameter: 15,0mm, weight: 0,75g, axis: 0h,
mint: Hungary, mint mark: K/B//1, Körmöcbánya, (Kremnitz, today Slovakia: Kremnica),
date: 1758 A.D., ref: Unger-3 1298a/1758, Huszar 1821/1758,
Q-001
quadrans
Lotharingiai_Ferenc_(_-1765_AD),_3kr,_1765,_U-1296a_H-1815_K-B_Q-001_0h_20,0mm_1,67g-s.jpg
055 Ferenc of Lotharingia, (Franc I. Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty), Husband of Maria Theresa (Qeen of Hungary), ( -1765 AD A.D.), AR-3 Kreuzer, U-1296a, H-1815, K-B/1765, #01110 views055 Ferenc of Lotharingia, (Franc I. Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty), Husband of Maria Theresa (Qeen of Hungary), ( -1765 AD A.D.), AR-3 Kreuzer, U-1296a, H-1815, K-B/1765, #01
Franc I. was also a Holy Roman Emperor and King in Germany.
avers: FRANC•D:G•R•I•S•A•GE•IER•R•LO•B•M•H•D, Emperor bust right, border of dots.
revers: IN THE DOMINE• -3- SPERAVI •1765• X, Crowned two-headed eagle, shield on chest, mint-mark on each side, mark of value "3" below; border of dots.
diameter: 20,0mm, weight: 1,67g, axis: 0h,
mint: Hungary, mint mark: K/B//3, Körmöcbánya, (Kremnitz, today Slovakia: Kremnica),
date: 1765 A.D., ref: Unger-3 1296a/1765, Huszar 1815/1765,
Q-001
quadrans
Lotharingiai_Ferenc_(_-1765_AD),_XVIIkr,_1765,_U-1291b_H-1803_K-B_Q-001_0h_28,0mm_5,92g-s.jpg
055 Ferenc of Lotharingia, (Franc I. Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty), Husband of Maria Theresa (Qeen of Hungary), ( -1765 AD A.D.), AR-XVII Kreuzer, U-1291b, H-1803, K-B/1765, #01107 views055 Ferenc of Lotharingia, (Franc I. Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty), Husband of Maria Theresa (Qeen of Hungary), ( -1765 AD A.D.), AR-XVII Kreuzer, U-1291b, H-1803, K-B/1765, #01
Franc I. was also a Holy Roman Emperor and King in Germany.
avers: FRANC•D:G•R•I•S•A•GE•IER•R•LO•B•M•H•D•, Emperor bust right, border of dots.
revers: IN THE DOMINE• -XVII- SPER AVI •1765• X, Crowned two-headed eagle, shield on chest, mint-mark on each side, mark of value XVII below; border of dots.
diameter: 28,0mm, weight: 5,92g, axis: 0h,
mint: Hungary, mint mark: K/B//XVII, Körmöcbánya, (Kremnitz, today Slovakia: Kremnica),
date: 1765 A.D., ref: Unger-3 1291b/1765, Huszar 1803/1765,
Q-001
quadrans
Faustina-Sr-RIC-394a.jpg
057. Faustina Senior.16 viewsDenarius, after 141 AD, Rome mint.
Obverse: DIVA AVG FAVSTINA / Bust of Faustina.
Reverse: PIETAS AVG / Pietas veiled, standing, dropping incense on altar, and holding a box.
3.59 gm., 18.5 mm.
RIC #394a; Sear #4598.

Faustina died early on in the reign of her husband. Most of her coinage is from the extensive memorial coinage issued in the years after her death. The portrait on this particular coin is exceptionally elegant and dignified.

Visible on the reverse (lower right edge) of this coin is an inclusion of copper that did not get melted and mixed with the silver when the planchet was made. That this coin is probably not a fouree is evidenced by the fact that it weighs a bit more than other denarii of the period.
Callimachus
Tituria1DenSabines.jpg
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
60304LG.jpg
102a. Plotina136 viewsPlotina, wife of Trajan.

Under Trajan, his female relations played enormously important roles in the empire's public life, and received honors perhaps unparalleled. Trajan's wife, Pompeia Plotina, is reported to have said, when she entered the imperial palace in Rome for the first time, that she hoped she would leave it the same person she was when she entered. She received the title Augusta no later than 105. She survived Trajan, dying probably in 121, and was honored by Hadrian with a temple, which she shared with her husband, in the great forum which the latter had built.

Ć trial strike of denarius dies (23 mm, 7.42 g). Rome. [PL]OTINA AVG IMP TRAIANI, diademed and draped bust right, hair in queue down neck / CAES AVG GERMA [D]A[C] COS V[I P P], Vesta seated left, holding palladium in right hand, sceptre in left. Cf. RIC 730 (Trajan); cf. BMC 526 (Trajan); cf. RSC 3. VF, rough green patina. Very unusual and probably unique. Ex Spink 160 (9-10 October 2002), 852.
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coin224.JPG
103a. Sabina25 viewsSabina

Vibia Sabina was born in 86 CE was the daughter of Salonia Matidia, daughter of Trajan's sister Marciana, and her first husband Lucius Vibius Sabinus. Hence she was a grand niece of emperor Trajan. By the intervention of Trajan's wife Plotina she married Hadrian in 100 CE, thus reinforcing Hadrian's claim to the throne.

The marriage was not happy and she didn't bear him any children. She did, however, follow Hadrian on his many travels, and she received the title of Augusta in 128 CE. She died in 136 or 137 CE and was dutifully deified after her death

AR denarius. SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AVG Diademed and draped bust right, hair in plait behind / VES TA Vesta seated left, holding Palladium and scepter. RIC 410, RSC 81.
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coin285.JPG
104a. Faustina 32 viewsFaustina I

Annia Galeria Faustina, "the Elder", was the wife of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, an aunt of Marcus Aurelius, and mother of Faustina the Younger. She was the daughter of the consul Marcus Annius Verus, and married Antoninus around 110 AD. They had two sons and two daughters. She became Augusta upon the accession of her husband. Although Augustan History impugned her character, criticizing her for "excessive frankness" and "levity", she and Antoninus seem to have been happily married until her death in 140 or 141

obv: DIVA FAVSTINA (diademed & draped bust right)
rev: AVGVSTA (Pietas standing left with raised hand, altar at foot left)
ref: RIC III 374 (Ant.Pius), RSC 124 (2frcs)

Corrected attribute...
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coin194.JPG
106a. Crispina48 viewsCrispina married the sixteen year-old, Commodus in the summer of 178 and brought him, as a dowry, a large number of estates. These, when added to the Imperial holdings, gave him control of a substantial part of Lucanian territory. The actual ceremony was modest but was commemorated on coinage and largesse was distributed to the people. An epithalamium for the occasion was composed by the sophist Julius Pollux.

Upon her marriage, Crispina received the title of Augusta, and thus, became Empress of the Roman Empire as her husband was co-emperor with her father-in-law at the time. The previous empress and her mother-in-law, Faustina the Younger, having died three years prior to her arrival.

Like most marriages of young members of the nobiles, it was arranged by paters: in Crispina's case by her father and her father-in-law, Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Crispina probably meant little to her egocentric husband though she was a beautiful woman. The other possible reason being that Commodus was known to prefer the company of men. Crispina is described as being a graceful person with a susceptible heart, but there is no medal extant of her.

As Augusta, Crispina was extensively honoured with public images, during the last two years of her father-in-law's reign and the initial years of her husband's reign. She did not seem to have any significant political influence over her husband during his bizarre reign. However, she was not exempted from court politics either as her sister-in-law, Lucilla, was an ambitious woman and was reportedly jealous of Crispina, the reigning empress, due to her position and power.

Crispina's marriage failed to produce an heir due to her husband's inability, which led to a dynastic succession crisis. In fact, both Anistius Burrus (with whom Commodus had share his first consulate as sole ruler) and Gaius Arrius Antoninus, who were probably related to the imperial family, were allegedly put to death 'on the suspicion of pretending to the throne'.

After ten years of marriage, Crispina was falsely charged with adultery by her husband and was banished to the island of Capri in 188, where she was later executed. After her banishment, Commodus did not marry again but took on a mistress, a woman named Marcia, who was later said to have conspired in his murder.

Crispina, wife of Commodus, 177-192, AE Dupondius or As (24x25mm), aVF. Sear RCV 6018. Obv. CRISPINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right. Rev. IVNO LVCINA S C, Juno standing left holding patera and scepter. The coin is brown and green, on a squarish flan.
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MaxHercRIC5iiRome.jpg
1302a, Maximian, 285 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.47 viewsMaximianus AE Antoninianus. RIC V Part II 506 Bust Type C. Cohen 355; VF; Minted in Rome A.D. 285-286. Obverse: IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right; Rverse: IOVI CONSERVAT AVGG, Jupiter standing left holding thunderbolt & scepter, XXIZ in exergue. Ex maridvnvm.

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

Maximian, 285-305, 306-308, and 310 A.D.

Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

Perhaps born ca. 249/250 A.D. in Sirmium in the area of the Balkans, Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus, more commonly known as Maximianus Herculius (Maximian), had been a soldier before he put on the purple. A fellow soldier with the Emperor Diocletian, he had served in the military during the reigns of Aurelian and Probus.

When the Emperor Diocletian determined that the empire was too large for one man to govern on his own, he made Maximian his Caesar in 285/6 and elevated him to the rank of Augustus in perhaps the spring of 286. While Diocletian ruled in the East, Maximian ruled in the West. In 293, in order to maintain and to strengthen the stability of the empire, Diocletian appointed Constantius I Chlorus to serve Maximian as a Caesar in the West, while Galerius did the same job in the East. This arrangement, called the "Tetrarchy", was meant not only to provide a stronger foundation for the two emperors' rule, but also to end any possible fighting over the succession to the throne once the two senior Augusti had left the throne--a problem which had bedeviled the principate since the time of the Emperor Augustus. To cement the relationship between Maximian and his Caesar, Constantius married Maximian's elder daughter Theodora. A decade later, Constantius' son Constantine would marry Maximia's younger daughter Fausta.

On 1 May 305 Diocletian, at Nicomedeia, and Maximian, at Mediolanum, divested themselves of the purple. Their resignations seem largely due to the almost fatal illness that Diocletian contracted toward the end of 304. Diocletian seems to have forced his colleague to abdicate. In any case, Herculius had sworn an oath at the temple of Capitoline Jupiter to carry out the terms of the abdication. Constantius and Galerius were appointed as Augusti, with Maximinus Daia and Severus as the new Caesars. The retired emperors then returned to private life. Diocletian's retirement was at Salonae in Dalmatia, while Herculius' retreat was either in Lucania or Campania.

Maximian's retirement, however, was of short duration because, a little more than a year later on 28 October 306, his son Maxentius was proclaimed emperor at Rome. To give his regime an aura of legitimacy, Maximian was forced to affirm his son's acclamation. When Galerius learned of Maxentius' rebellion, he sent Severus against him with an army that had formerly been under his father's command. Maxentius invested his father with the purple again to win over his enemy's troops, a ruse which succeeded. Perhaps to strengthen his own position, in 307 Maximian went to Gaul and married his daughter Fausta to Constantine. When Constantine refused to become embroiled in the civil war between Galerius and Maxentius, Maximian returned to Rome in 308 and attempted to depose his son; however, he did not succeed. When Maximian was unable to convince Diocletian to take up the purple again at a meeting in Carnuntum in late 308, he returned to his son-in-law's side in Gaul.

Although Maximian was treated with all of the respect due a former emperor, he still desired to be more than a figurehead. He decided to seize the purple from Constantine when his son-in-law least expected it. His opportunity came in the summer of 310 when the Franks revolted. When Constantine had taken a small part of his army into enemy territory, Maximian proclaimed himself again emperor and paid the soldiers under his command a donative to secure their loyalty. As soon as Constantine received news about Maximian's revolt in July 310, he went south and reached Arelate before his father-in-law could mount a defense of the city. Although Maximian fled to Massilia, his son-in-law seized the city and took Maximian prisoner. Although he was deprived of the purple, he was granted pardon for his crimes. Unable to endure the humiliation of his defeat, he attempted to have Constantine murdered in his bed. The plot failed because he tried to get his daughter Fausta's help in the matter; she chose to reveal the matter to her husband. Because of this attempt on his son-in-law's life Maximian was dead by the end of July either by his own hand or on the orders of his intended victim.

Eutropia was of Syrian extraction and her marriage to Maximian seems to have been her second. She bore him two children: Maxentius and Fausta. An older daughter, Theodora, may have been a product of her first marriage. Fausta became the wife of Constantine I , while her sister Theodora was the second spouse of his father Constantius I Chlorus . Eutropia apparently survived all her children, with the possible exception of her daughter Fausta who seems to have died in 326. Eutropia is also said to have become a Christian.

By Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University
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
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1302b, Maximian, 285-305, 306-308, and 310 A.D., commemorative issued by Constantine the Great (Siscia)55 viewsMaximian, 285-305, 306-308, and 310 A.D., commemorative issued by Constantine the Great. Bronze AE3, RIC 41, VF, Siscia, 1.30g, 16.1mm, 0o, 317-318 A.D. Obverse: DIVO MAXIMIANO SEN FORT IMP, laureate and veiled head right; Reverse: REQVIES OPTIMO-RVM MERITORVM, Emperor seated left on curule chair, raising hand and holding scepter, SIS in exergue; scarce (R3).


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

Maximian, 285-305, 306-308, and 310 A.D.

Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

Perhaps born ca. 249/250 A.D. in Sirmium in the area of the Balkans, Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus, more commonly known as Maximianus Herculius (Maximian), had been a soldier before he put on the purple. A fellow soldier with the Emperor Diocletian, he had served in the military during the reigns of Aurelian and Probus.

When the Emperor Diocletian determined that the empire was too large for one man to govern on his own, he made Maximian his Caesar in 285/6 and elevated him to the rank of Augustus in perhaps the spring of 286. While Diocletian ruled in the East, Maximian ruled in the West. In 293, in order to maintain and to strengthen the stability of the empire, Diocletian appointed Constantius I Chlorus to serve Maximian as a Caesar in the West, while Galerius did the same job in the East. This arrangement, called the "Tetrarchy", was meant not only to provide a stronger foundation for the two emperors' rule, but also to end any possible fighting over the succession to the throne once the two senior Augusti had left the throne--a problem which had bedeviled the principate since the time of the Emperor Augustus. To cement the relationship between Maximian and his Caesar, Constantius married Maximian's elder daughter Theodora. A decade later, Constantius' son Constantine would marry Maximia's younger daughter Fausta.

On 1 May 305 Diocletian, at Nicomedeia, and Maximian, at Mediolanum, divested themselves of the purple. Their resignations seem largely due to the almost fatal illness that Diocletian contracted toward the end of 304. Diocletian seems to have forced his colleague to abdicate. In any case, Herculius had sworn an oath at the temple of Capitoline Jupiter to carry out the terms of the abdication. Constantius and Galerius were appointed as Augusti, with Maximinus Daia and Severus as the new Caesars. The retired emperors then returned to private life. Diocletian's retirement was at Salonae in Dalmatia, while Herculius' retreat was either in Lucania or Campania.

Maximian's retirement, however, was of short duration because, a little more than a year later on 28 October 306, his son Maxentius was proclaimed emperor at Rome. To give his regime an aura of legitimacy, Maximian was forced to affirm his son's acclamation. When Galerius learned of Maxentius' rebellion, he sent Severus against him with an army that had formerly been under his father's command. Maxentius invested his father with the purple again to win over his enemy's troops, a ruse which succeeded. Perhaps to strengthen his own position, in 307 Maximian went to Gaul and married his daughter Fausta to Constantine. When Constantine refused to become embroiled in the civil war between Galerius and Maxentius, Maximian returned to Rome in 308 and attempted to depose his son; however, he did not succeed. When Maximian was unable to convince Diocletian to take up the purple again at a meeting in Carnuntum in late 308, he returned to his son-in-law's side in Gaul.

Although Maximian was treated with all of the respect due a former emperor, he still desired to be more than a figurehead. He decided to seize the purple from Constantine when his son-in-law least expected it. His opportunity came in the summer of 310 when the Franks revolted. When Constantine had taken a small part of his army into enemy territory, Maximian proclaimed himself again emperor and paid the soldiers under his command a donative to secure their loyalty. As soon as Constantine received news about Maximian's revolt in July 310, he went south and reached Arelate before his father-in-law could mount a defense of the city. Although Maximian fled to Massilia, his son-in-law seized the city and took Maximian prisoner. Although he was deprived of the purple, he was granted pardon for his crimes. Unable to endure the humiliation of his defeat, he attempted to have Constantine murdered in his bed. The plot failed because he tried to get his daughter Fausta's help in the matter; she chose to reveal the matter to her husband. Because of this attempt on his son-in-law's life Maximian was dead by the end of July either by his own hand or on the orders of his intended victim.

Eutropia was of Syrian extraction and her marriage to Maximian seems to have been her second. She bore him two children: Maxentius and Fausta. An older daughter, Theodora, may have been a product of her first marriage. Fausta became the wife of Constantine I , while her sister Theodora was the second spouse of his father Constantius I Chlorus . Eutropia apparently survived all her children, with the possible exception of her daughter Fausta who seems to have died in 326. Eutropia is also said to have become a Christian.

By Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University
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
Lcnius1.jpg
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
Faust.jpg
137 BC Sextus Pompeius57 viewsHelmeted head of Roma right, X below chin, jug behind

FOSTLVS SEX POM
ROMA in Ex.
She-wolf standing rightsuckling the twins Romulus and Remus, fig tree in background with three birds, the shepherd Faustulus standing right behind

Rome 137 BC
Sear 112
CRR 461

ex-ANE

This moneyer was the husband of Lucilia (sister of the poet C. Lucilius) and father to Cn. Pompeius Sex. f Strabo, and grandfather of Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great). He may also have been praetor in 119 BC.
2 commentsJay GT4
faustina_I_RIC343.jpg
138-161 AD - FAUSTINA Senior AR denarius - struck 150 AD41 viewsobv: DIVA FAVSTINA (draped bust right)
rev: AED DIV FAVSTINAE (front view of temple of six columns on five steps, fencing before, statue of Faustina within)
ref: RIC III 343 (S) (AntPius), RSC 1 (10frcs), BMC 339
3.34gms, 18mm,
Scarce

This coin represents the aedes, or templum, with which, after her death, the elder Faustina was honoured by Antoninus Pius. According to Capitolinus, it was situated in the Via Sacra, and was at first dedicated to Faustina alone. But, after the decease of the husband, religious rites were paid therein to him also. A nice coin with an image of a building which still stands today in Rome.
berserker
Henry_VI_AR_Halfpenny.JPG
1422 - 1461, HENRY VI (First Reign), AR Halfpenny, Struck 1430 - 1434 at Calais, France30 viewsObverse: HENRICVS (pinecone) REX (mascle) ANGL. Crowned facing bust of Henry VI within circle of pellets. Mintmark: Cross patonce in legend.
Reverse: VIL(mascle)LA CALISIE (pinecone). Long cross pattée dividing legend around inner circle of pellets into quarters, trefoil in each quarter of circle.
Diameter: 15mm | Weight: 0.45gms
SPINK: 1885

This issue of coins is known as the pinecone-mascle issue because these symbols are incorporated in the obverse and reverse legends. This issue was struck between 1430 and 1434 at the mints of London and Calais.

Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471. The only child of Henry V, he succeeded to the English throne at the age of nine months when his father died.
This was during the period of the long-running Hundred Years' War (1337–1453) and Henry is the only English monarch to also have been crowned King of France (as Henri II), in 1431. During his early reign several people were ruling for him and by the time Henry was declared fit to rule in 1437 he found his realm in a difficult position, faced with setbacks in France and divisions among the nobility at home. Henry is described as timid, shy, passive, well-intentioned, and averse to warfare and violence; he was also at times mentally unstable. Partially in the hope of achieving peace, Henry married the ambitious and strong-willed Margaret of Anjou in 1445. The peace policy failed and the war recommenced with France taking the upper hand such that by 1453 Calais was Henry's only remaining territory on the continent.
With Henry effectively unfit to rule, Queen Margaret took advantage of the situation to make herself an effective power behind the throne. Starting around 1453 Henry began suffering a series of mental breakdowns and tensions mounted between Margaret and Richard of York, not only over control of the incapacitated king's government, but over the question of succession to the throne. Civil war broke out in 1459, leading to a long period of dynastic conflict, now known as the Wars of the Roses. Henry was deposed on 29th March 1461 after a crushing defeat at the Battle of Towton by Richard of York's son, who took the throne as Edward IV. Margaret continuing to resist Edward, but Henry was captured by Edward's forces in 1465 and imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Queen Margaret, who was first exiled in Scotland and then in France, was still determined to win back the throne on behalf of her husband and son. So, when Edward IV fell out with two of his main supporters, Richard Neville the Earl of Warwick and George the Duke of Clarence, Margaret formed a secret alliance with them backed by Louis XI of France. Warwick returned with an army to England, forced Edward IV into exile, and restored Henry VI to the throne on 30th October 1470, though Henry's position was nominal as Warwick and Clarence effectively ruled in his name.
But Henry's return to the throne lasted less than six months. Warwick overreached himself by declaring war on Burgundy, whose ruler responded by giving Edward IV the assistance he needed to win back his throne by force. Edward retook power in 1471, killing Warwick at the Battle of Barnet and Henry's only son at the Battle of Tewkesbury. Henry was again imprisoned in the Tower where, during the night of 21st May he died, possibly killed on Edward's orders.
2 comments*Alex
1488-1513_JAMES_IV_PLACK.JPG
1488 - 1513, James IV, Billon Plack (Groat), Struck 1488 - 1513 at Edinburgh, Scotland24 viewsObverse: + IACOBVS ★ 4 : DEI ★ GRACIA ★ REX ★ SCOTTO. Crowned shield bearing lion rampant within a tressure of four arcs, crown on each side of the shield and fleur-de-lis in all the spandrels. Star stops and old English lettering in legend.
Reverse: + VILLA ★ DE EDINBVRG. Floriate cross fourchée with a saltire in the centre. Crown in each quarter of the cross. Star stops and old English lettering in legend.
Type IV issue. Scarce
Diameter: 25mm | Weight: 2.4gm | Die Axis: 3
SPINK: 5352

James IV was the King of Scotland from June 1488 until his death in battle at the age of 40 on the 9th September, 1513.
James IV's mother, Margaret of Denmark, was more popular than his father, James III, and though somewhat estranged from her husband she raised their sons at Stirling Castle until she died in 1486. Two years later, a rebellion broke out, where the rebels set up the 15-year-old Prince James as their nominal leader. The rebels fought James III at the Battle of Sauchieburn where, on 11th June 1488, the king was killed. Prince James assumed the throne as James IV and was crowned at Scone on 24th of June. However he continued to bear an intense guilt for the indirect role which he had played in the death of his father.
James maintained Scotland's traditional good relations with France, and this occasionally created diplomatic problems with England, but James recognised nonetheless that peace between Scotland and England was in the interest of both countries, and established good diplomatic relations with England as well. First he ratified the Treaty of Ayton in 1497, then, in 1502 James signed the Treaty of Perpetual Peace with Henry VII which was sealed by his marriage to Henry's daughter Margaret Tudor the next year. Anglo-Scottish relations generally remained stable until the death of Henry VII in 1509.
James saw the importance of building a fleet that could provide Scotland with a strong maritime presence, he founded two new dockyards and acquired a total of 38 ships for the Royal Scots Navy. These including the “Great Michael” which, built at great expense, was launched in 1511 and was at that time the largest ship in the world.
When war broke out between England and France, James found himself in a difficult position as an ally by treaty to both countries. But relations with England had worsened since the accession of Henry VIII, and when Henry invaded France, James reacted by declaring war on England.
James sent the Scottish navy, including the “Great Michael”, to join the ships of Louis XII of France and, hoping to take advantage of Henry's absence at the siege of Thérouanne, he himself led an invading army southward into Northumberland. However, on 9th September 1513 at the disastrous Battle of Flodden James IV was killed, he was the last monarch in Great Britain to be killed in battle. His death, along with many of his nobles including his son the archbishop of St Andrews, was one of the worst military defeats in Scotland's history and the loss of such a large portion of the political community was a major blow to the realm. James IV's corpse was identified after the battle and taken to Berwick, where it was embalmed and placed in a lead coffin before being transported to London. Catherine of Aragon, wife of Henry VIII, sent the dead king's slashed, blood-stained surcoat to Henry, who was fighting in France, with the recommendation that he use it as a war banner.
James IV's son, James V, was crowned three weeks after the disaster at Flodden, but he was not yet two years old, and his minority was to be fraught with political upheaval.
2 comments*Alex
faustina2 RIC744(M.Aurelius).jpg
161-176 AD - FAUSTINA Junior AR denarius - struck 176-180 AD27 viewsobv: DIVA FAV-STINA PIA (draped bust right)
rev: CONSEC-RATIO (peacock standing right)
ref: RIC III 744 (M.Aurelius), C.71
3.12gms, 18mm

History: Faustina junior accompanied her husband, Aurelius on his journey to the east in 175, and died at Halala, a village at the foot of the Taurus Mountains.
berserker
septsev_RIC32.jpg
194 AD - SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS AR denarius39 viewsobv: L SEPT SEV PERT - AVG IMP III (laureate head right)
rev: LIBERO PATRI (Bacchus [Liber] standing left, holding oenochoe [wine-cup] over panther on left and thyrsus in other hand)
ref: RIC IVi, 32 (S), RSC 301 (5frcs)
mint: Rome
2.89 gms, 17 mm
Rare

In Roman mythology, Liber was originally associated with husbandry and crops, but then was assimilated with Dionysos. He is the consort of Ceres and the father of the goddess Libera. His festival, the Liberalia, was on 17 March when young men celebrated the arrival of manhood.
1 commentsberserker
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.
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1ai Augustus25 views27 BC-14 AD

Denarius
Laureate head left, AVGVSTVS DIVI F
Apollo stg. Right, IMP XII

Van Meter notes that after about 15 BC, Augustus moved the production of gold and silver to Lugdunum and underscored the end of the moneyer issues by using "IMP" on the reverse.

RIC 180

Suetonius summarized Augusts' life in these words: He lost his father at the age of five (58BC). At twelve he delivered a funeral oration in honour of his grandmother Julia, Julius Caesar’s sister (51BC). At sixteen, having assumed the toga, he was decorated by Caesar during the African triumph (46BC) even though he had been too young to fight. When Caesar went to conquer Pompey’s sons in Spain (in 46BC), Augustus followed, despite still being weak from severe illness, and despite being shipwrecked on the way, with a minimal escort, over roads menaced by the enemy, so endearing himself greatly to Caesar, who quickly formed a high opinion of Augustus’ character, beyond merely his energetic pursuit of the journey.
After recovering the Spanish provinces, Caesar planned an expedition against the Dacians, to be followed by an attack on Parthia, and sent Augustus ahead (in 45BC) to Apollonia in Illyria, where he spent his time studying. When news came of Caesar’s assassination (in 44BC), and that the will named him as the main heir, Augustus considered seeking protection from the legions quartered there. However he decided it would be rash and premature, and chose to return to Rome, and enter on his inheritance, despite the doubts expressed by his mother, and strong opposition from his stepfather, the ex-consul Marcius Philippus.

Augustus went on to levy armies and rule the State; firstly for a twelve-year period (from 43BC to 30BC), initially with Mark Antony and Lepidus and then (from 33BC) with Antony alone; and later by himself for a further forty-four years (to his death in AD14).

In his youth he was betrothed to Servilia, the daughter of Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus, but on his reconciliation with Mark Antony following their first dispute, the troops begged them to become allied by some tie of kinship, and he married (in 43BC) Claudia, Antony’s stepdaughter, born to Fulvia and Publius Clodius Pulcher, even though Claudia was barely of marriageable age. However he quarrelled with Fulvia, and divorced Claudia before the marriage had been consummated.

Not long afterwards (in 40BC), he married Scribonia, whose previous husbands had been ex-consuls, and to one of whom she had borne a child. He divorced her also ‘tired’, he wrote, ‘of her shrewish ways,’ and immediately took Livia Drusilla from her husband Tiberius Nero though she was pregnant at the time (38BC), loving and esteeming her alone to the end.
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1am Drusus22 viewsHeir to throne until assassination by Sejanus in 23

As

Bare head, left, DRVSVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N
PONTIF TRIBVN POTEST ITER SC

RIC 45

Nero Claudius Drusus, later adopted as Drusus Julius Caesar (13BC - 23AD), called Drusus the Younger, was the only child of Tiberius and his first wife, Vipsania Agrippina. Tiberius and Drusus delivered the only two eulogies for Augustus in front of the temple to the god Julius. In 14, after the death of Augustus, Drusus suppressed a mutiny in Pannonia. In 15 he became consul. He governed Illyricum from 17 to 20. In 21 he was again consul, while in 22 he received tribunicia potestas (tribunician power), a distinction reserved solely for the emperor or his immediate successor. Drusus married his paternal cousin Livilla in 4. Their daughter Julia was born shortly after. Their son Tiberius Gemellus (his twin brother Germanicus Gemellus died in infancy) was born in 19. By 23 Drusus, who made no secret of his antipathy towards Sejanus, looked likely to succeed Tiberius as emperor. Sources concur that with Livilla as his accomplice Sejanous poisoned her husband Drusus.

Suetonius says, "He lacked affection not only for his adopted son Germanicus, but even for his own son Drusus the Younger, whose vices were inimical to him, Drusus indeed pursing loose and immoral ways. So inimical, that Tiberius seemed unaffected by his death (in 23AD), and quickly took up his usual routine after the funeral, cutting short the period of mourning. When a deputation from Troy offered him belated condolences, he smiled as if at a distant memory, and offered them like sympathy for the loss of their famous fellow-citizen Hector!"
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1ax2 Julia Titi15 viewsDupondius

Draped bust right, hair in bun at back of head, IVLIA IMP T AVG F AVGVSTA
S-C either side of Vesta enthroned left holding Victory, VESTA in ex

RIC 398

The daughter of Titus and Marcia Furnilla, she lived with her uncle Domitian for a time as his wife. Suetonius records, "He had been offered marriage with his niece, Julia, Titus’s daughter, while she was still a young girl, but refused her repeatedly because of his infatuation with Domitia Longina, yet he seduced Julia shortly afterwards, while Titus was still alive, and when she was newly married to Flavius Sabinus. After the deaths of her father and husband, he loved her ardently and openly, and indeed caused her death by forcing her to abort a child by him." When Domitian died at the age of 44, his nurse cremated his body and "secretly carried [the ashes] to the Flavian Temple and there mingled them with those of his niece Julia, Titus’s daughter whom she had also nurtured."
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1bm Lucilla164 viewsWife of Lucius Verus, executed 182 AD

Sestertius
Draped bust, right, LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F
Venus standing facing left holding apple, drawing out robe, VENUS

RIC 1767

Daughter of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior, she married Lucius Verus in 164.

According to Herodian: For the present, however, the memory of his father and his respect for his advisers held Commodus in check. But then a disastrous stroke of ill fortune completely altered his previously mild, moderate disposition. It happened this way. The oldest of the emperor's sisters was Lucilla. She had formerly been married to Lucius Verus Caesar. . . . But after Lucius died, Lucilla, who retained all the privileges of her imperial position, was married by her father to Pompeianus.

Commodus, too, allowed his sister to retain the imperial honors; she continued to occupy the imperial seat at the theaters, and the sacred fire was carried before her. But when Commodus married Crispina, custom demanded that the front seat at the theater be assigned to the empress. Lucilla found this difficult to endure, and felt that any honor paid to the empress was an insult to her; but since she was well aware that her husband Pompeianus was devoted to Commodus, she told him nothing about her plans to seize control of the empire. Instead, she tested the sentiments of a wealthy young nobleman, Quadratus, with whom she was rumored to be sleeping in secret. Complaining constantly about this matter of imperial precedence, she soon persuaded the young man to set in motion a plot which brought destruction upon himself and the entire senate.

Quadratus, in selecting confederates among the prominent senators, prevailed upon Quintianus, a bold and reckless young senator, to conceal a dagger beneath his robe and, watching for a suitable time and place, to stab Commodus; as for the rest, he assured Quintianus that he would set matters straight by bribes.

But the assassin, standing in the entrance to the amphitheater (it was dark there and he hoped to escape detection), drew his dagger and shouted at Commodus that he had been sent by the Senate to kill him. Quintianus wasted time making his little speech and waving his dagger; as a result, he was seized by the emperor's bodyguards before he could strike, and died for his stupidity in revealing the plot prematurely.

This was the initial reason for the young emperor's hatred of the Senate. He took Quintianus' words to heart and, ever mindful of what his attacker had said, now considered the entire Senate his collective enemy.

This incident also gave Perennis sufficient excuse for taking action, for he was always advising the emperor to eliminate and destroy the prominent men. By confiscating their property, Perennis easily made himself the richest man of his time. After the attempt at assassination had been thoroughly investigated by the prefect, Commodus without mercy put to death his sister, all those actually involved in the plot, and any who were under the slightest suspicion as well.
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1di Claudius Gothicus26 views268-270

AE antoninianus

Radiate cuirassed bust right, IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG
Liberlitas stg, LIBERALITAS AVG

RIC 57

Zosimus recorded: When the troops were calmed by their commanders, Claudius was chosen emperor, having previously been designed for that dignity by general consent. Aureolus, who had for a long time kept himself out of the hands of Gallienus, presently sent agents to Claudius, to effect a peace. Surrendering himself, he was killed by the guards of the emperor, who still remembered the hatred they bore against him for his treachery.

The Scythians were by this time so elated by their former success, that they appointed a place of meeting with the Heruli, Peucae, and Gothi, near the river Tyra, which empties itself into the Pontus; where having built six thousand vessels, and put on board them three hundred and twenty thousand men, they sailed across the Pontus, and made an attempt on Tomes, a fortified town, but were repulsed from it. From thence they proceed to Marcianopolis, a city of Mysia, but failing there likewise in their attack on it, they took the opportunity of a favourable wind and sailed forward. . . . they passed through the Hellespont, and arrived at Mount Athos. Having there refitted and careened their vessels, they laid siege to Cassandria and Thessalonica, which they were near taking by means of machines which they raised against the walls. But hearing that the emperor was advancing with an army, they went into the interior, plundering all the neighbourhood of Doberus and Pelagonia. There they sustained a loss of three thousand men, who were met with by the Dalmatian cavalry, and with the rest of their force engaged the army of the emperor. Great numbers were slain in this battle on both sides, but the Romans, by a pretended flight, drew the Barbarians into an ambuscade and killed more than fifty thousand of them.

Egypt being thus reduecd by the Palmyrenians, the Barbarians, who survived the battle of Naissus between Claudius and the Scythians, defending themselves with their carriages which went before them, marched towards Macedon, but were so distressed by the want of necessaries, that many of them and of their beasts perished with hunger. They were met likewise by the Roman cavalry, who having killed many of them, drove the rest towards Mount Haemus; where being surrounded by the Roman army, they lost a vast number of men. But a quarrel ensuing between the Roman horse and foot soldiers, the emperor wishing the foot to engage the Barbarians, the Romans, after a smart engagement, were defeated with considerable loss, but the cavalry, coming up immediately, redeemed in some degree the miscarriage of the infantry. After this battle, the Barbarians proceeded on their march, and were pursued by the Romans. The pirates who cruized about Crete and Rhodes retired without doing any thing worthy of mention; and being attacked by the plague on their way home, some of them died in Thrace and some in Macedon. All that survived were either admitted into the Roman legions, or had lands assigned for them to cultivate and so become husbandmen. Nor was the plague confined to the Barbarians alone, but began to infest the Romans, many of whom died, and amongst the rest Claudius, a person adorned with every virtue. His death was a severe loss to his subjeets, and was consequently much regretted by them.
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1dt Maximianus22 views286-305, 306-308, 310

Quarter Follis

Laureate head, right, IMP C M A MAXIMIANVS P F AVG
Genius standing left, with modius on head, cornucopia & patera, GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, SIS in exergue

RIC 146

Eutropius records: [Diocletian] 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. . . . While disorder thus prevailed throughout the world, while Carausius was taking arms in Britain and Achilleus in Egypt, while the Quinquegentiani were harassing Africa, and Narseus was making war upon the east, Diocletian promoted MAXIMIAN HERCULIUS from the dignity of Caesar to that "of emperor, and created Constantius and Maximian Galerius Caesars. . . .

Maximian the emperor, brought the war to an end in Africa, by subduing the Quinquegentiani, and compelling them to make peace. . . .

Herculius was undisguisedly cruel, and of a violent temper, and showed his severity of disposition in the sternness of his looks. Gratifying his own inclination, he joined with Diocletian in even the most cruel of his proceedings. 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.

But after the death of Constantius, CONSTANTINE, his son by a wife of obscure birth, was made emperor in Britain, and succeeded his father as a most desirable ruler. In the meantime the praetorian guards at Rome, having risen in insurrection, declared MAXENTIUS, the son of Maximian Herculius, who lived in the Villa Publica not far from the city, emperor. At the news of this proceeding, Maximian, filled with hopes of regaining the imperial dignity, which he had not willingly resigned, hurried to Rome from Lucania. . . , and stimulated Diocletian by letters to resume the authority that he had laid down, letters which Diocletian utterly disregarded. Severus Caesar, being despatched to Rome by Galerius to suppress the rising of the guards and Maxentius, arrived there with his army, but, as he was laying siege to the city, was deserted through the treachery of his soldiers.

The power of Maxentius was thus increased, and his government established. Severus, taking to flight, was killed at Ravenna. Maximian Herculius, attempting afterwards, in an assembly of the army, to divest his son Maxentius of his power, met with nothing but mutiny and reproaches from the soldiery. He then set out for Gaul, on a planned stratagem, as if he had been driven away by his son, that he might join his son-in-law Constantine, designing, however, if he could find an opportunity, to cut off Constantine, who was ruling in Gaul with great approbation both of the soldiers and the people of the province, having overthrown the Franks and Alemanni with great slaughter, and captured their kings, whom, on exhibiting a magnificent show of games, he exposed to wild beasts. But the plot being made known by Maximian's daughter Fausta, who communicated the design to her husband, Maximian was cut off at Marseilles, whence he was preparing to sail to join his son, and died a well-deserved death. . . .
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201a. JULIA DOMNA139 viewsJULIA DOMNA, mother of Caracalla.

When Septimius Severus claimed the empire after Didius Julianus had succeeded Pertinax in 193, two serious rivals challenged him, Pescennius Niger in the East and Clodius Albinus in the West. Julia accompanied her husband in the campaign against Pescennius, having been honored with the title mater castrorum. After this successful campaign, there was another campaign in the East, against the Parthians, in 197. Afterwards, she was with Severus on a journey to Egypt and other parts of the empire. She was widely honored with inscriptions throughout this period, and numerous coin issues emphasized her imperial position.

She opposed Plautianus, the praetorian prefect and father-in-law of Caracalla, and was partially responsible for his downfall and his daughter Plautilla's disgrace. She was often accused of adultery; nonetheless, the emperor chose to ignore these charges, if true, and the marriage continued. Among her passions were literature and philosophy; she gathered writers and philosophers in a kind of salon, and urged Philostratus to write the life of Apollonius of Tyana.

In 212, Caracalla murdered Geta while he sought succor in his mother's arms; covered with his blood, she was forbidden by Caracalla to grieve. Her relationship with Caracalla during the six years of his reign was mixed. She had some public duties but largely devoted herself to philosophy. She accompanied Caracalla to the east on campaign against the Parthians in 217; when she learned, in Antioch, that he had been assassinated, she resolved upon death, which followed her refusal to take food.

AR Denarius
(19mm, 2.86 gm). IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG, draped
bust right / VESTA, Vesta, veiled, seated left,
holding simpulum and sceptre. RIC IV 391 (Caracalla); BMCRE 31 (same); RSC 226. EF. Ex-CNG
1 commentsecoli73
severina ant01-.jpg
274-275 AD - SEVERINA AE antoninianus 23 viewsobv: SEVERINAE.AVG (diademed, draped bust right on crescent)
rev: CONCORDIAE.MILITVM / - (Concordia standing left with two ensigns)
ref:?
mint: no mint-marks (by obverse ex the mint was Ticinum or Siscia)
3.29gms, 22mm
not in RIC
Severina was the wife of Aurelian and was made Augusta c.274. After her husband's death she ruled, if only nominally, during the interregnal period before Tacitus.
1 commentsberserker
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501a. Fausta47 viewsFausta Flavia Maxima was the daughter of the Roman Emperor Maximianus. To seal the alliance between them for control of the Tetrarchy, Maximianus married her to Constantine I in 307.

It is suspected that Fausta was fiercely anti-Christian and plotting the Roman empire's return to paganism behind her husband's back. Although the real reasons are not clear, Constantine eventually put her to death along with Crispus, his eldest son by a previous marriage to Minervina, in 326. Eusebius of Caesarea suspected step-mother and step-son to be lovers to each other.

Her sons became Roman Emperors: Constantine II reigned 337 - 340, Constantius II reigned 337 - 361, and Constans reigned 337 - 350. Variety of sources, of more or less reliability, attest that she bore daughters Constantina, Helena and Fausta. Of these, Constantina married her cousins, firstly Hannibalianus and secondly Gallus Caesar, and Helena married Emperor Julian. Apparently a genealogical claim that her daughter Fausta became mother of Emperor Valentinian I is without foundation (Valentinian I and children of Constantine I's second marriage were born in years close to each other, i.e they were of the same generation).

Fausta, wife of Constantine I. 325-326 AD. Ć Follis

OBVERSE: FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, mantled bust right
REVERSE: SPES REIP-VBLICAE, Spes standing facing, looking left, head veiled, holding two children in her arms
19mm - 3.1 grams

RIC VII Thessalonica 161 R3

Sear 3903
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coin399.JPG
515a. Aelia Flacilla33 viewsEmpress, wife of Theodosius the Great, died c. A. D. 385 or 386. Like Theodosius himself, his first wife, Ćlia Flaccilla, was of Spanish descent. She may have been the daughter of Claudius Antonius, Prefect of Gaul, who was consul in 382. Her marriage with Theodosius probably took place in the year 376, when his father, the comes Theodosius, fell into disfavour and he himself withdrew to Cauca in Gallćcia, for her eldest son, afterwards Emperor Arcadius, was born towards the end of the following year. In the succeeding years she presented two more children to her husband Honorius (384), who later became emperor, and Pulcheria, who died in early childhood, shortly before her mother. Gregory of Nyssa states expressly that she had three children; consequently the Gratian mentioned by St. Ambrose, together with Pulcheria, was probably not her son. Flaccilla was, like her husband, a zealous supporter of the Nicene Creed and prevented the conference between the emperor and the Arian Eunomius (Sozomen, Hist. eccl., VII, vi). On the throne she was a shining example of Christian virtue and ardent charity. St. Ambrose describes her as "a soul true to God" (Fidelis anima Deo. — "De obitu Theodosii", n. 40, in P. L., XVI, 1462). In his panegyric St. Gregory of Nyssa bestowed the highest praise on her virtuous life and pictured her as the helpmate of the emperor in all good works, an ornament of the empire, a leader of justice, an image of beneficence. He praises her as filled with zeal for the Faith, as a pillar of the Church, as a mother of the indigent. Theodoret in particular exalts her charity and benevolence (Hist. eccles., V, xix, ed. Valesius, III, 192 sq.). He tells us how she personally tended cripples, and quotes a saying of hers: "To distribute money belongs to the imperial dignity, but I offer up for the imperial dignity itself personal service to the Giver." Her humility also attracts a special meed of praise from the church historian. Flaccilla was buried in Constantinople, St. Gregory of Nyssa delivering her funeral oration. She is venerated in the Greek Church as a saint, and her feast is kept on 14 September. The Bollandists (Acta SS., Sept., IV, 142) are of the opinion that she is not regarded as a saint but only as venerable, but her name stands in the Greek Menća and Synaxaria followed by words of eulogy, as is the case with the other saints

Wife of Theodosius. The reverse of the coin is very interesting; a nice bit of Pagan-Christian syncretism with winged victory inscribing a chi-rho on a shield.
1 commentsecoli
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517. Arcadius32 viewsFlavius Arcadius (377/378–May 1, 408) was Roman Emperor in the Eastern half of the Roman Empire from 395 until his death.

Arcadius was the elder son of Theodosius I and Aelia Flaccilla, and brother of Honorius, who would become a Western Roman Emperor. His father declared him an Augustus in January, 383. His younger brother was also declared an Augustus in 393.

As Emperors, Honorius was under the control of the Romanized Vandal magister militum Flavius Stilicho while Arcadius was dominated by one of his ministers, Rufinus. Stilicho is alleged by some to have wanted control of both emperors, and is supposed to have had Rufinus assassinated by Gothic mercenaries in 395, but definite proof of these allegations is lacking. In any case, Arcadius' new advisor Eutropius simply took Rufinus' place as the power behind the Eastern imperial throne. Arcadius was also dominated by his wife Aelia Eudoxia, who convinced her husband to dismiss Eutropius in 399. Eudoxia was strongly opposed by John Chrysostom, the Patriarch of Constantinople, who felt that she had used her family's wealth to gain control over the emperor. Eudoxia used her influence to have Chrysostom deposed in 404, but she died later that year.

Arcadius was dominated for the rest of his rule by Anthemius, the Praetorian Prefect, who made peace with Stilicho in the West. Arcadius himself was more concerned with appearing to be a pious Christian than he was with political or military matters, and he died, only nominally in control of his empire, in 408.

Bronze AE 4, RIC 67d and 70a, choice aEF, 1.14g, 13.8mm, 180o, Antioch mint, 383-395 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS REIPVBLICE, Victory advancing left holding trophy over right shoulder, dragging captive with left, staurogram left, ANTG in ex; Ex Aiello; Ex Forum
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01644p00.jpg
6. Faustina Sr. silver Denarius, Rome Mint201 viewsChoice gVF, 3.48g., 12.1 mm, 0ş, Rome Mint 147-161 AD
O: DIVA FAVSTINA, minted by husband Antoninus Pius after her death
R: CERES, Ceres holding heads of grain and a torch
5 commentsZam
coin411.JPG
601. Eudoxia24 viewsAelia Eudoxia (d. 6 October 404) was the wife of the Eastern Roman emperor Arcadius.

The daughter of a certain Bauto, a Frankish magister militum serving in the Western Roman army during the 380s, Eudoxia owed her marriage to the youthful Emperor Arcadius on 27 April 395 to the intrigues of the eunuch of the palace, Eutropius. She had very considerable influence over her husband, who was of rather weak character and who was more interested in Christian piety than imperial politics.

In 399 she succeeded, with help from the leader of the Empire's Gothic mercenaries, in deposing her erstwhile benefactor Eutropius, who was later executed over the protests of John Chrysostom, the Patriarch of Constantinople.

John Chrysostom was already becoming unpopular at court due to his efforts at reforming the Church, and in 403 Eudoxia and Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, succeeded in having the outspoken Patriarch condemned by a synod and then deposed. He was exiled to Armenia the next year after a brief return to power resulting from popular disgust at his fall and an earthquake which reinforced those feelings.

Eudoxia had a total of seven pregnancies, five of which were successful. Her final pregnancy ended in a miscarriage which led to her death on October 6, 404. One of her children was the future emperor Theodosius II.

In 403, Simplicius, Prefect of Constantinople, erected a statue dedicated to her on a column of porphyry. Arcadius renamed the town of Selymbria (Silivri) Eudoxiopolis after her, though this name did not survive.

Bronze AE 4, RIC 102, S 4241, VM 6, VF, 2.14g, 17.0mm, 180o, Nikomedia mint, 401-403 A.D.; obverse AEL EVDOXIA AVG, diademed and draped bust right with hand of God holding wreath over her head; reverse SALVS REIPVBLICAE, Victory seated on cuirass inscribing Christogram on shield, SMNA in ex; softly struck reverse; rare
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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
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'Espčrey, 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.





Cleisthenes
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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.

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Arsinoe II; Head of Arsinoe right/ Eagle; Svoronos 35118 viewsPtolemaic Kingdom, Arsinoe II, c. 273 - 268 B.C. Bronze AE 16, 1/16th drachm?, Svoronos 351; Weiser -; SNG Copenhagen 100, Fair, edge broken, uncertain mint, 2.772g, 15.9mm, 0o, c. 264 BC; obverse veiled and diademed head of Arsinoë II right; reverse PTOLEMAIOY BASILEWS, eagle standing left on thunderbolt; wings open, “DI” above monogram before; rare. Arsinoe II (316 B.C. - July 270 B.C.) was the daughter of king Ptolemy I Soter, the founder of the Hellenistic state of Egypt, and his second wife Berenice I., As the wife of King Lysimachus, she was queen of Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. Later she was co-ruler of Egypt with her brother and husband Ptolemy II. Ex FORVMPodiceps
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AUGUSTUS & PTOLEMY OF NUMIDIA AE semis175 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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C.MARIUS C.f. CAPITO32 viewsAR denarius. 81 BC. 3,83 grs. Draped bust of Ceres right,head bound with corn-wreath. C MARI C F CAPIT XXVIII / Husbandman left ploughing with yoke of oxen. XXVIII above. SC and grasshopper in exergue.
Craw. 378/1b. RSC Maria 8.
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C.MARIUS C.f. CAPITO26 viewsAR denarius. 81 BC. 3,83 grs. Draped bust of Ceres right,head bound with corn-wreath. C MARI C F CAPIT XXVIII / Husbandman left ploughing with yoke of oxen. XXVIII above. SC and grasshopper in exergue.
Craw. 378/1b. RSC Maria 8.

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Corinth, Corinthia16 views14-37 AD (Reign of Tiberius)
AE Semis (14mm, 3.03g)
O: Pegasus flying right.
R: Melikertes naked, swimming with dolphin left, left hand holding dorsal fin.
Amandry XVI63
ex Agora Auctions

Melikertes was the mortal son of Ino who, while fleeing from her insane husband, flung herself and her son into the ocean from a high cliff near Megara. The two were immediately transformed into sea dieties, and Melikertes was brought ashore to Corinth by a dolphin. Melikertes became Palaimon the patron of sailors, and identified with the Roman god of harbors Portunus.
Melikertes is sometimes depicted with a fish tail and has been associated with the Phoenician god Malquart. It is very easy to see an iconographic similarity between Melikertes and Arion of Corinth or Phalanthos of Taras.
Enodia
COVENTRY_HALF-PENNY_GODIVA.jpg
COVENTRY HALF-PENNY228 viewsCOVENTRY HALF-PENNY - CU 1797 Coventry half-penny. Obv.: Lady Godiva rides horse left. Above: PRO BONO PUBLICO - Date in exurge. Reverse: Elephant with tower on back walks right. COVENTRY HALF-PENNY. Reference: Conder #68.
From the Birmingham Museum: In the late 18th century the Royal Mint did not make enough low value coins to satisfy the growing demand for small change. As a result, many towns and cities started producing their own token money. This halfpenny token was issued at Coventry in Warwickshire. It depicts the famous story of Lady Godiva, who supposedly rode naked through the streets to win a reduction in the city’s taxes from her husband, Earl Leofric. The reverse shows that the die cutter had clearly never seen a real elephant!
dpaul7
MISC_Crusaders_Antioch_Bohemond_III_Metcalf_Class_C.JPG
Crusader States: Principality of Antioch. Bohemond III (1163-1201)87 viewsMetcalf Class C 388-391; Malloy 65-67

Billon Denier, struck circa 1163-1188, 18 mm

Obv: +BOANVNDVS [A ornamented with annulets, retrograde N’s], helmeted and mailed head left, crescent and star on either side.

Rev: +ANTIOCNIA [A’s ornamented with annulets, retrograde N’s], cross pattée, crescent in second quarter.

The Principality of Antioch was a crusader state created in 1098 during the First Crusade by Normans from Italy. In 1268, Baibars, the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt, took the city.

Bohemond (1144–1201), the “Stammerer” or the “Stutterer,” was the son of Constance of Antioch, the daughter of Bohemond II, by her first husband Raymond II of Poitiers, who was killed at the Battle of Inab in 1149 toward the end of the Second Crusade. She ruled as regent from 1149 until 1163, when Bohemond, with the assistance of King Baldwin III of Jerusalem, forced her to step down.

In 1164, Bohemond was captured by Nur ad-Din Zengi, who ruled the Syrian province of the Seljuk Empire, at the Battle of Harim. He was freed for a large ransom due to the intervention of King Amalric I of Jerusalem and Emperor Manuel I Comnenus. In 1192, after the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem following the battle of Hattin, Bohemond signed a truce with Saladin. Due to the truce, he remained neutral during the Third Crusade.

Bohemond clashed with Levon I of Armenia, who aspired to expand his kingdom. He was captured by Levon and forced to cede the Principality to Levon. However, the Antiochenes named Bohemond’s eldest son, Raymond IV of Tripoli, as their prince. Bohemond and Levon ultimately reconciled, and Raymond married Levon’s neice, Alice, who died shortly after giving birth to their son, Raymond-Roupen. Bohemond died in 1201 and the succession was disputed between his second son, Bohemond IV, and his grandson, Raymond-Roupen.
Stkp
CRUSADERS__Antioch__Bohémond_III_(1163-1201),_AR-denar,_BOANVNDVS,_ANTIOCHIA,_Metcalf,379-80,_CCS_67d_Q-001_h,_18mm,_1,08g-s.jpg
Crusaders, Antioch, Bohémond III. (1163-1201A.D.), AR-denar, Antioch, ✠ ANTIOCHIA, Cross pattée, #1123 viewsCrusaders, Antioch, Bohémond III. (1163-1201A.D.), AR-denar, Antioch, ✠ ANTIOCHIA, Cross pattée, #1
avers: ✠ BOANVNDVS, Helmeted head left, wearing chain mail; crescent to left, star to right.
revers: ✠ ANTIOCHIA, Cross pattée, with crescent in first quarter.
diameter: 17,5-18,0mm, weight: 1,08g, axis: 4h,
mint: Antioch, mint mark: ,
date:1200-1246 A.D., ref: Metcalf, Crusades, 379-80, Malloy CCS 67d.
Q-001
"Bohemond III of Antioch (1144 – 1201), also known as the Stammerer or the Stutterer, was Prince of Antioch from 1163 to his
death. He was a son of Constance of Antioch by her first husband Raymond of Poitiers. His name is sometimes spelled
Bohemund."
quadrans
00postumdog.jpg
DIANA and LELAPS.249 viewsAR denarius. 74 BC. 3.52 gr. Bust of Diana huntress right,bow and quiver on shoulder. / Hound running right,hunting spear below. C. POSTUMI/TA (in monogram) below. Toned. Craw 394/1a . RSC Postumia 9
Myth of Lelaps and the fox.
Procris was a mortal woman, a great favorite of the Goddess Diana, the goddess of hunting. Diana (also famous for her hunting hounds) made a gift of a dog to Procris. Lelaps was the swiftest of dogs and could outrun any rival. Diana also gave a JAVELIN that would never miss its target to Procris.
Procris fell in love and married a beautiful youth by the name of Cephalus. Cephalus was also a great hunter, and so Procris gave the presents of the hound and javelin to her husband.
It came to pass that some angry deity had sent a ravenous fox to plague the country, snatching his prey from under the farmers very noses. All the hunters turned out in great numbers and strength to kill the fox, but their efforts failed. None had a hound that could run this supernatural fox to ground.
At last the people came to Cephalus and begged him to set Lelaps, the famous gift hound from Diana, after the fox.
Lelaps was loosed and darted away faster than the eye could follow. It was said that if the men had not seen his footprints in the sand they would have thought he had taken flight. Cephalus and the hunters stood on a hill and watched the pursuit.
The fox tried every trick, every sly, cunning art he knew to evade the hound. He ran in a circle and turned on his track, he doubled back, he leapt over water and trotted across fallen logs, but no trick he knew would fool swift and clever Lelaps. The hound came on relentless, breathing on the foxes heels and snapping at his brushy tail, missing by only a hair!
Cephalus threw the magic javelin when suddenly both dog and fox stopped, frozen in mid-motion. The heavenly powers that had given both hound and fox their powers were not willing that either should conquer - or lose. In that very moment, they turned to Stone .ZEUS cast them into the stars as the constellations Canis Major (Lelaps) and Canis Minor (the Teumessian fox).[


1 commentsbenito
Faience_Dwarf_-_sm.jpg
Egyptian Faience Dwarf with Large Phallus151 viewsA Large Faience Egyptian Amulet of a Dwarf. A large faience amulet of a dwarf with large phallus, Late Period, c. 664 - 30 BC, seated with his knees drawn up before him, tufts of hair on each side of his head. He holds his enormous engorged phallus against his chest with both hands, resting his chin on the end. Suspension loop at the back of his head. H: 46 mm. Intact, glaze fade though traces of black still on the hair. Ex Negus collection, UK, late 19th Century.
Ex Agora Auctions #1 - Nov 2013

Great info from FORVM member Russ (thanks!):
These items represent the ancient Egyptian god Min, and date from the XXVIth Dynasty to Roman times. See:
1. Andrews, Carol. Amulets of Ancient Egypt. Avon/Austin, 1994: pages 11, 16, 17, 88; Figs 5a and 11b.
2. Blanchard, R.H. Handbook of Egyptian Gods and Mummy Amulets. Cairo, 1909 (reprinted by Attic Books, no date): page 19, Figs. 193 & 194, Plate XXXVII. Blanchard notes " Min, Minu or Khem, the ithyphalic god of procreation and harvest. He was allied to Amen and wears the two feathers. He hoolds aloft the flail with his right arm. He was the son of Isis, father of Ra, and husband of his mother. Min was the original of the Greek god Pan, and was worshipped at Akhmim, or the Panopolis of the Greeks."
3. Petrie, W.M.F. Amulets, London, 1914, reprinted 1974: page 37, Section 161, Plate XXX.
4 commentsSosius
Elizabeth_I_sixpence.jpg
Elizabeth I, 1558 - 160371 viewsEngland, Elizabeth I, 1558 - 1603. Silver sixpence, Spink 2578B, North 2015, tun mintmark, VF, light scratches, toned, Tower mint, weight 2.838g, maximum diameter 27.5mm, die axis 270o, 1592. Obverse: ELIZAB D'G' ANG'FR:ET:HIB REGI, crowned bust left, rose behind; Reverse POSVI DEV ADIVTOREM MEV (I have made God my helper), quartered coat-of-arms (passant lions and fleurs-de-lis) on long cross fourchée, 1592 above shield; ex A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd., Autumn Argentum Auction 2009. Ex FORVM.

Elizabeth I, 1558 - 1603
Elizabeth Tudor is considered by many to be the greatest monarch in English history. When she became queen in 1558, she was twenty-five years old, a survivor of scandal and danger, and considered illegitimate by most Europeans. She inherited a bankrupt nation, torn by religious discord, a weakened pawn between the great powers of France and Spain. She was only the third queen to rule England in her own right; the other two examples, her cousin Lady Jane Grey and half-sister Mary I, were disastrous. Even her supporters believed her position dangerous and uncertain. Her only hope, they counseled, was to marry quickly and lean upon her husband for support. But Elizabeth had other ideas.
She ruled alone for nearly half a century, lending her name to a glorious epoch in world history. She dazzled even her greatest enemies. Her sense of duty was admirable, though it came at great personal cost. She was committed above all else to preserving English peace and stability; her genuine love for her subjects was legendary. Only a few years after her death in 1603, they lamented her passing. In her greatest speech to Parliament, she told them, 'I count the glory of my crown that I have reigned with your love.'

http://englishhistory.net/tudor/monarchs/eliz1.html
Edited by J.P.Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
Eudoxia.JPG
Eudoxia Wife of Arcadius42 views
Reverse: Victory inscribing chi-rho on shield. Constantinople mint. Aelia Eudoxia was the daughter of a Frankish officer serving in the Roman army. In 395, through the efforts of a palace eunuch, she was married to emperor Arcadius (r. 383-408). She exerted a strong influence over her husband and also bore 5 children, including future emperor Theodosius II. Eudoxia died from a miscarriage in 404.

17mm and weighs 2.4g,
Marjan E
FaustinaII_Biga_to_heaven.jpg
Faustina II sestertius Diva Faustina in biga to heaven 33 viewsFaustina Jr sestertius Rome 176 AD, SIDERIBVS RECEPTA SC . Faustina, with veil billowing out around hd. and shoulders, stg. in galloping biga r.
The reverse inscription is the only time this inscription was utilized during the entire imperial period for a couple issues related to Diva Faustina. The Latin inscription means “Received by the stars”. A very poignant wish by her surviving husband, Marcus Aurelius.
RIC 1717, BMCRE 1591, C 217, RCV 5234.
mattpat
FAUSTJR-28.jpg
Faustina II, Junior, wife of Marcus Aurelius. Augusta, 147-175/6 CE.243 viewsAR Denarius (18 mm), issued under husband, Marcus Aurelius.
Rome mint, 161-175 CE.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust, r.
Rev: HILARITAS, Hilaritas standing l., holding long palm and cornucopiae.
RIC 686; Sear 5254; BMC 100; Cohen 111.
1 commentsEmpressCollector
FAUSTJR-15.jpg
Faustina II, Junior, wife of Marcus Aurelius. Augusta, 147-175/6 CE.179 viewsAE As (26 mm, 15.5 gm). Issued under husband, Marcus Aurelius. Rome mint, 147-175 CE.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, Draped bust, r.
Rev: FECVNDITAS SC, Fecunditas standing r., holding scepter and child.
RIC 1639; Sear 5295; BMC 980; Cohen 101.
EmpressCollector
Faustina Jr.jpg
Faustina Jr. , Wife of Marcus Aurelius, Mother of Lucilla, and Commodus35 viewsThe daughter, wife and mothers of emperors and empresses, Faustina II was born around 130 A.D. to Antoninus Pius and Faustina I. She was married to her cousin Marcus Aurelius in 145 A.D. In 146 A.D., she gave birth to the first of many children. To celebrate this occasion she was given the Title Augusta, which technically made her superior in rank then her husband. Faustina II was a devoted wife and mother, and accompanied her husband on all his military campaigns. Her son Commodus went on to became emperor after his father’s death, and her daughter Lucilla became Augusta when she married Lucius Verus in 164 A.D. She died at the city of Halala in Asia Minor in 175 A.D. plagued by many baseless rumors about her infidelity. She was deified soon after and a grand temple was erected to her in the city where she died.1 commentsDumanyu2
Lg3_quart_sm.jpg
FAVSTINA AVGVSTA / AVGVSTI PII FIL / Ӕ As or Dupontius (156-161 A.D.)20 viewsFAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair arranged in a chignon (bun) behind the head / AVGVSTI PII FIL, Venus standing left holding Victory and leaning on shield set on a helmet, S-C across fields in the lower half

Ӕ, 22.5-24+mm, 9.56g, die axis 11h

There may be a countermark across the front part of the face on obverse, but due to its location it is difficult to be sure and identify it.

AVGVSTI PII FIL(ia) = daughter of August Antoninus Pius, points out to the ruling of Fausta's father Antoninus Pius rather than her husband Marcus Aurelius. Reverse: Unlike Greek Aphrodite, in addition to her other aspects Roman Venus was also a goddess of victory, this embodied in her representation as Venus Victrix (Victorious) or Victris (of Victory), like in this case: she offers a little winged representation of victory, resting on defensive military attributes (as a female goddess, she represented passive, defensive aspects of war, active ones being the domain of male Mars). SC = [Ex] Senatus Consulto (Senatus is genitive, Consulto is ablative of Consultum) = by decree of the Senate, i. e. the authority of the Senate approved minting of this coin (necessary to justify issue of copper alloy coins for which the intrinsic value was not obvious).

Of two Ӕ coins with the same legends and Venus with shield, RIC 1367 and 1389a, the first is a sestertius and its typical dimensions are characteristic of the type: 30+ mm and 20+g. This one is definitely smaller. Material seems reddish, so this one is more likely an as. Minted in Rome. Some sources give issue dates as 156-161 (the end of Faustina's father's reign), others as 145-146 (her marriage).

Annia Galeria Faustina Minor (Minor is Latin for the Younger), Faustina Minor or Faustina the Younger (born probably 21 September c. 130 CE, died in winter of 175 or spring of 176 CE) was a daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius and Roman Empress Faustina the Elder. She was a Roman Empress and wife to her maternal cousin Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. She was held in high esteem by soldiers and her own husband and was given divine honours after her death. Faustina, named after her mother, was her parents' fourth and youngest child and their second daughter; she was also their only child to survive to adulthood. She was born and raised in Rome. Her great uncle, the emperor Hadrian, had arranged with her father for Faustina to marry Lucius Verus. On 25 February 138, she and Verus were betrothed. Verus’ father was Hadrian’s first adopted son and his intended heir; however, when Verus’ father died, Hadrian chose Faustina’s father to be his second adopted son, and eventually, successor. Faustina’s father ended the engagement between his daughter and Verus and arranged for Faustina's betrothal to her maternal cousin, Marcus Aurelius; Aurelius was also adopted by her father.

In April or May 145, Faustina and Marcus Aurelius were married, as had been planned since 138. Since Aurelius was, by adoption, Antoninus Pius' son, under Roman law he was marrying his sister; Antoninus would have had to formally release one or the other from his paternal authority (his patria potestas) for the ceremony to take place. Little is specifically known of the ceremony, but it is said to have been "noteworthy". Coins were issued with the heads of the couple, and Antoninus, as Pontifex Maximus, would have officiated. Marcus makes no apparent reference to the marriage in his surviving letters, and only sparing references to Faustina. Faustina was given the title of Augusta on 1 December 147 after the birth of her first child, Galeria Faustina (or Domitia? sources differ which of them was born in 147 and was the first child).

When Antoninus died on 7 March 161, Marcus and Lucius Verus ascended to the throne and became co-rulers. Faustina then became empress. Unfortunately, not much has survived from the Roman sources regarding Faustina's life, but what is available does not give a good report. Cassius Dio and the Augustan History accuse Faustina of ordering deaths by poison and execution; she has also been accused of instigating the revolt of Avidius Cassius against her husband. The Augustan History mentions adultery with sailors, gladiators, and men of rank; however, Faustina and Aurelius seem to have been very close and mutually devoted.

Faustina accompanied her husband on various military campaigns and enjoyed the love and reverence of Roman soldiers. Aurelius gave her the title of Mater Castrorum or ‘Mother of the Camp’. She attempted to make her home out of an army camp. Between 170–175, she was in the north, and in 175, she accompanied Aurelius to the east.

That same year, 175, Aurelius's general Avidius Cassius was proclaimed Roman emperor after the erroneous news of Marcus's death; the sources indicate Cassius was encouraged by Marcus's wife Faustina, who was concerned about her husband's failing health, believing him to be on the verge of death, and felt the need for Cassius to act as a protector in this event, since her son Commodus, aged 13, was still young. She also wanted someone who would act as a counterweight to the claims of Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus, who was in a strong position to take the office of Princeps in the event of Marcus’s death. The evidence, including Marcus's own Meditations, supports the idea that Marcus was indeed quite ill, but by the time Marcus recovered, Cassius was already fully acclaimed by the Egyptian legions of II Traiana Fortis and XXII Deiotariana. "After a dream of empire lasting three months and six days", Cassius was murdered by a centurion; his head was sent to Marcus Aurelius, who refused to see it and ordered it buried. Egypt recognized Marcus as emperor again by 28 July 175.

Faustina died in the winter of 175, after a somewhat suspicious accident, at the military camp in Halala (a city in the Taurus Mountains in Cappadocia). Aurelius grieved much for his wife and buried her in the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome. She was deified: her statue was placed in the Temple of Venus in Rome and a temple was dedicated to her in her honor. Halala’s name was changed to Faustinopolis and Aurelius opened charity schools for orphan girls called Puellae Faustinianae or 'Girls of Faustina'. The Baths of Faustina in Miletus are named after her.

In their thirty years of marriage, Faustina bore Marcus Aurelius thirteen children, of whom 6 reached adulthood and were significant in history. The best known are emperor Commodus and the closest to him sister Lucilla (both depicted in a very historically inaccurate movie "Gladiator" and, together with their parents, in a much more accurate 1st season "Reign of Blood" of the TV series "Roman Empire").
Yurii P
galeria valeria-.jpg
GALERIA VALERIA follis AD308-30910 viewsobv:GAL.VALERIA.AVG (diademed & draped bust right)
rev:VENERI.VICTRICI / Δ / MKV (Venus standing left, holding up apple in right hand & raising drapery over shoulder with left)
ref:RIC VI-Cyzicus46
mint:Cyzicus, 5.63g, 24mm
Diocletian's daughter and Galerius's wife. They married in June 293, and Valeria followed her husband to East provinces. When Galerius died (312 AD) she was banished by Maximinus II (Daza). After hidden for years she (and her mother) was captured and brutally executed at Thessalonica in 315 AD.
berserker
GEORIA_-_TAMAR_IRR_WITH_CM.jpg
GEORGIA - Queen Tamar27 viewsGEORGIA - Queen Tamar (1184-1213) AE irregular fals. Decorative monogram on obverse; Arabic legends on reverse. With countermark, old Georgian letter "D" - Which Georgian numismatists believe stand for either DAVIT, Tamar's husband, or a location in Georgia where most of these countermarked coins are found. Mitchener #2383.dpaul7
Ptolemy_XIII_-_XV_and_Cleopatra_VII,_c__51_-_39_B_C_.jpg
GREEK, Cyprus, Paphos mint. Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII-XV. Mintet c. 51-39 B.C. 83 viewsCyprus, Paphos mint. Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII-XV. Mintet c. 51-39 B.C. Bronze diobol, 10.340g, 29.5mm. VF. Attributution by Matt Kreuzer, author of "The Coinage System of Cleopatra VII and Augustus in Cyprus." The two eagles symbolize two rulers on the throne of Cyprus, in this case Cleopatra VII and one of her two successive brother-husbands, Ptolemy XIII or XIV, less likely her son Ptolemy XV. The round, thin flan and weight standard is correct for the very late Ptolemaic Kingdom. The palm branch appears on obols (c. 6 grams) across the eagles, RPC 3903. Obv: diademed head of Zeus right, of Cypriot style, star before? Ref: unstruck Greek legend, presumably PTOLEMAIOU BASILEWS, two eagles standing left, palm branch before. Unpublished in major references: SNG Cop -, BMC -, Svor -, Paphos II -, RPC -, Noeske -. Exstremely rareBard Gram O
Hadrse43-2.jpg
Hadrian, RIC 589b, Sestertius of AD 119-12160 viewsĆ Sestertius (24.83g, Ř34mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 119-121.
Obv.: IMP CAESAR TRAIANVS HADRIANVS AVG P M TR P COS III, laureate draped bust of Hadrian facing right.
Rev.: PROVIDENTIA DEORVM (around) S C (ex.), Hadrian stretches hand to flying eagle bringing him a sceptre.
RIC 589(b)(S); Cohen 1207; BMCRE 1203; Strack 554; Banti (I Grandi Bronzi Imperiali II-2) 617 (25 spec.); Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 111:5.
ex Gorny & Mosch (Giessen), Auction 169 (2008)

The reverse depicts the gods' support for Hadrian's adoption and assumption to the throne after the death of Trajan. It was one of the means of Hadrian to contradict the rumors that Plotina had arranged for Hadrian to be proclaimed emperor on the death of Trajan by falsifying her husband's testament. Having Jupiter's eagle flying down with the imperial scepter would be good propaganda to imply that the disputed succession was, in fact, correct and right.
1 commentsCharles S
HUN_Maria_Huszar_566_Pohl_112-1.JPG
Huszár 566, Pohl 112-1, Unger 442a, Réthy II 114, Frynas 26.5, Toma plate I/171 views
Hungary. Mária/Maria (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Zsigmond/Sigismund of Luxembourg)

AR denar; .49 g., 15.02 mm. max., 270°

Obv: + mOnETA mARIE [Gothic-style letters A], Patriarchal cross

Rev: + REGInE VnGARIE [Gothic-style letter A], Crowned M

The type was struck in only in 1383 (per Huszár, Unger and Frynas) or from 1383 through 1385 (per Pohl). It is traditionally viewed as the second of three denarii struck by Mária (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 569). More recently, it has been viewed as Mária 's third type (per Gyöngyössi and Toma), struck in 1386-1387, ending when Zsigmond's coinage began (per Gyöngyössi). This coin, struck without a privy mark in the reverse fields, was probably struck in Buda (per Pohl).

Toma notes twelve legend variations among 456 coins of this type in the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934 (but lists only eleven). They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists three variations among 302 coins struck in Buda (Pohl 112-1). The legends on this coin are as per Toma 1. Toma notes 260 coins with this combination.

Toma further notes three versions of the patriarchal cross and eight versions of the crowned M. There are fourteen obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 411 coins from the hoard, all of which are listed by Toma as being among 271 Buda issues (Pohl 112-1). The cross on this coin is apparently Toma B (wide cross with split ends), which is linked to Toma's crowned Ms a-d; the crowned M appears to be Toma c. Toma notes 96 coins with the B/c combination.

Huszár/Pohl rarity rating 5; Frynas rarity C. The legend combination appearing on this coin is depicted/described in Unger, Réthy and Frynas. The legend combination depicted/described in Huszár and Pohl differs in that there are pellets between words on the obverse and reverse.
Stkp
HUN_Maria_Huszár_566,_Pohl_112-1_2.jpg
Huszár 566, Pohl 112-1, Unger 442a, Réthy II 114, Frynas 26.5, Toma plate I/823 viewsHungary. Mária/Maria (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Zsigmond/Sigismund of Luxembourg)

AR denar; .65 g., 13.98 mm. max., 90°

Obv: + mOnETA mARIE [Gothic-style letters A], Patriarchal cross. pellet below.

Rev: + REGInE VnGARIE [Gothic-style letter A], Crowned M

The type was struck in only in 1383 (per Huszár, Unger and Frynas) or from 1383 through 1385 (per Pohl). It is traditionally viewed as the second of three denarii struck by Mária (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 569). More recently, it has been viewed as Mária 's third type (per Gyöngyössi and Toma), struck in 1386-1387, ending when Zsigmond's coinage began (per Gyöngyössi). This coin, struck without a privy mark in the reverse fields, was probably struck in Buda (per Pohl).

Toma notes twelve legend variations among 456 coins of this type in the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934 (but lists only eleven). They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists three variations among 302 coins struck in Buda (Pohl 112-1). The legends on this coin are as per Toma 1. Toma notes 260 coins with this combination.

Toma further notes three versions of the patriarchal cross and eight versions of the crowned M. There are fourteen obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 411 coins from the hoard, all of which are listed by Toma as being among 271 Buda issues (Pohl 112-1). The cross on this coin is Toma C (wide cross with split ends and pellet below), which is linked to Toma's crowned Ms c-h; the crowned M appears to be Toma e. Toma notes 14 coins with the C/e combination.

Huszár/Pohl rarity rating 5; Frynas rarity C. The legend combination appearing on this coin is depicted/described in Unger, Réthy and Frynas. The legend combination depicted/described in Huszár and Pohl differs in that there are pellets between words on the obverse and reverse.
1 commentsStkp
HUN_Maria_Huszar_566.JPG
Huszár 566, Pohl 112-2, Unger 442f, Réthy II 114, Frynas 26.5176 viewsHungary. Mária/Maria (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Zsigmond/Sigismund of Luxembourg)

AR denar; .41 g., 14.00 mm. max., 0°

Obv: + mOnETA MARIE [Gothic-style letters A], Patriarchal cross.

Rev: + REGInE VnGARIE [Gothic-style letter A], Crowned M, lilies in fields.

The type was struck in only in 1383 (per Huszár, Unger and Frynas) or from 1383 through 1385 (per Pohl). It is traditionally viewed as the second of three denarii struck by Maria (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 569). More recently, it has been viewed as Maria's third type (per Gyöngyössi and Toma), struck in 1386-1387, ending when Sigismund's coinage began (per Gyöngyössi). This coin, with lilies in both reverse fields, was struck in Kassa/Kaschau, now Košice, Slovakia (per Pohl).

Toma notes twelve legend variations among 456 coins of this type in the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934 (but lists only eleven). They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists eight variations among 93 coins struck in Kassa with two lilies (Pohl 112-2). The legends on this coin are as per Toma 1. Toma notes 36 coins with this combination.

Toma further notes three versions of the patriarchal cross and eight versions of the crowned M. There are fourteen obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 411 coins from the hoard, of which only the B/c combination is listed by Toma as being among 79 Kassa issues with two lilies (Pohl 112-2). This coin appears to bear that B/c combination.

Huszár/Pohl rarity rating 5; Frynas rarity C. The legend combination appearing on this coin is depicted/described in Unger, Réthy and Frynas. The legend combination depicted/described in Huszár and Pohl differs in that there are small pellets between words on both the obverse and reverse.
Stkp
HUN_Maria_Huszar_566_Pohl_112-3.JPG
Huszár 566, Pohl 112-3, Unger 442g, Réthy II 114, Frynas 26.5, Toma plate I/1726 views
Hungary. Mária/Maria (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Zsigmond/Sigismund of Luxembourg)

AR denar; .52 g., 15.5 mm. max., 270°

Obv: + mOnETA • mARIE [Gothic-style letters A], Patriarchal cross.

Rev: + REGInE • VnGARIE [Gothic-style letter A], Crowned M, lily in left field.

The type was struck in only in 1383 (per Huszár, Unger and Frynas) or from 1383 through 1385 (per Pohl). It is traditionally viewed as the second of three denarii struck by Maria (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 569). More recently, it has been viewed as Maria's third type (per Gyöngyössi and Toma), struck in 1386-1387, ending when Sigismund's coinage began (per Gyöngyössi). This coin, with a lily in the reverse left field, was struck in Kassa/Kaschau, now Košice, Slovakia (per Pohl).

Toma notes twelve legend variations among 456 coins of this type in the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934 (but lists only eleven). They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists three variations among just four coins struck in Kassa with a lily in the left field (Pohl 112-3). The legends on this coin are as per Toma 3. Toma notes one coin with this combination.

Toma further notes three versions of the patriarchal cross and eight versions of the crowned M. There are fourteen obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 411 coins from the hoard, of which only the B/c combination is listed by Toma as being among four Kassa issues with a lily in the left field (Pohl 112-3). This coin appears to bear the B/c combination.

Huszár/Pohl rarity rating 5; Frynas rarity C. The legend combination appearing on this coin is depicted/described in Huszár and Pohl. The legend combination depicted/described in Unger, Réthy and Frynas differs in that there are no small pellets between words on the obverse and reverse.
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HUN_Maria_Huszar_566_Pohl_112-7.JPG
Huszár 566, Pohl 112-7, Unger 442c, Réthy II 114, Frynas 26.5, Toma plate II/231 views
Hungary. Mária/Maria (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Zsigmond/Sigismund of Luxembourg)

AR denar; .50 g., 14.52 mm. max., 0°

Obv: + mOnETA • mARIE [Gothic-style letters A], Patriarchal cross

Rev: + REGInE • VnGARIE [Gothic-style letter A], Crowned M, star below

The type was struck in only in 1383 (per Huszár, Unger and Frynas) or from 1383 through 1385 (per Pohl). It is traditionally viewed as the second of three denarii struck by Maria (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 569). More recently, it has been viewed as Maria's third type (per Gyöngyössi and Toma), struck in 1386-1387, ending when Sigismund's coinage began (per Gyöngyössi). This coin, with a star below the M, was struck at an unidentified mint (per Pohl).

Toma notes twelve legend variations among 456 coins of this type in the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934 (but lists only eleven). They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists one variation, Toma 3, among just nine coins with the star privy mark (Pohl 112-7). The legends on this coin are as per Toma 3.

Toma further notes three versions of the patriarchal cross and eight versions of the crowned M. There are fourteen obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 411 coins from the hoard, of which only the B/c combination is listed by Toma as being among nine coins with the star privy mark (Pohl 112-7). This coin appears to bear the B/c combination.

Huszár/Pohl rarity rating 5; Frynas rarity C. The legend combination appearing on this coin is depicted/described in Huszár and Pohl. The legend combination depicted/described in Unger, Réthy and Frynas differs in that there are no pellets between words on the obverse and reverse.
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HUN_Maria_Huszar566_Pohl_112-__pellet.png
Huszár 566, Pohl 112-_, Unger 442-, Réthy II 114, Frynas 26.516 viewsHungary. Mária/Maria (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Zsigmond/Sigismund of Luxembourg)

AR denar; .72 g., 14.60 mm. max., 180°

Obv: + mOnETA mARIE [Gothic-style letters A], Patriarchal cross

Rev: + REGInE VnGARIE [Gothic-style letter A], Crowned M, pellet below

The type was struck in only in 1383 (per Huszár, Unger and Frynas) or from 1383 through 1385 (per Pohl). It is traditionally viewed as the second of three denarii struck by Maria (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 569). More recently, it has been viewed as Maria's third type (per Gyöngyössi and Toma), struck in 1386-1387, ending when Sigismund's coinage began (per Gyöngyössi). This coin, with a pellet below the M, is not recorded by Huszár, Pohl or Unger and is not represented in Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard.

Toma notes twelve legend variations among 456 coins of this type in the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934 (but lists only eleven). They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. The legends on this coin are as per Toma 1. Toma notes 54 coins with this combination, none with the pellet privy mark.

Toma further notes three versions of the patriarchal cross and eight versions of the crowned M. There are fourteen obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 411 coins from the hoard. This coin appears to bear the B/c combination.

Huszár/Pohl rarity rating 5; Frynas rarity C. The legend combination appearing on this coin is depicted/described in Unger, Réthy and Frynas. The legend combination depicted/described in Huszár and Pohl differs in that there are pellets between words on the obverse and reverse. This coin bears an unrecorded mintmark.
1 commentsStkp
HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-1_v_.jpg
Huszár 569 var., Pohl 114-1 var., Unger 443a var., Réthy II 116 var., Frynas H.26.4 var.13 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .51 g., 14.95 mm. max., 270°.

Obv: + mARIE • D • R • VnGARIE [Gothic-style letters A], crown with interior cross hatching.

Rev: + mO ... n ... mARIE • REI [Gothic-style letters A with interior bar], Patriarchal cross with pellets [overstrike].

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The type was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists seven variations among seventeen coins without a privy mark (Pohl 114-1). The precise legend combination on this coin cannot be discerned due to the reverse over-strike.

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard, one of which occurs among two identified coins without a privy mark (Pohl 114-1). Neither the crown nor the cross comport with any recorded by Toma.
Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. The legend combination described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl; in Unger and Réthy, and in Frynas, all differ. This coin is an unusual variety both in terms of the cross-hatching on the obverse and the style of crown and cross
1 commentsStkp
HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-4_Rupp_9.jpg
Huszár 569 var., Pohl 114-4 var., Unger 443d var., Réthy II 116 var., Frynas H.26.4 var., cf. Rupp 43/926 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .40 g., 14.08 mm. max, 180°

Obv: + mOnETA • mARIA • [antiqua-style letters A without interior bar], Open crown with CM below

Rev: ...OnETA ... [antiqua-style letters A without interior bar; double-struck], Patriarchal cross

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The standard Huszár 569 was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with a Cm below the crown, was struck in Körmöcbánya/Kremnitz (now Kremnica, Slovakia) by Johannes Craczer in 1385 (per Pohl).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of the standard type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists two variations among five coins with a Cm mark (Pohl 114-4).

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross on the standard type. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard, only one of which, Toma A/b, appears among four coins with a Cm mark (Pohl 114-4). This coin appears to bear the A/b combination.

Huszár/Pohl rarity rating 5. Due to the double-striking of the cross side of this coin, most of the legend is undecipherable. From the few letters that can be discerned, that side, like the crown side, appears to read, + mOnETA mARIA (or a variant). If so, this coin is a variation of the type not described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl, Unger and Réthy, or Frynas, nor by Toma. It is, however, recorded by Rupp.
1 commentsStkp
HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-4.JPG
Huszár 569 var., Pohl 114-4 var., Unger 443d var., Réthy II 116 var., Frynas H.26.4 var., Rupp 42/4-6 Tab XV/430, Toma Exceptional Version A Plate III/15-17 var. (legends)178 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .56 g., 15.24 mm. max, 0°

Obv: + REGInE • VnGARI [Gothic-style letter A], Open crown with CM below

Rev: + mOnETA • mARIE [Gothic-style letters A], Patriarchal cross

As both sides of the standard Huszár 569 carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The standard Huszár 569 was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with a Cm below the crown, was struck in Körmöcbánya/Kremnitz (now Kremnica, Slovakia) by Johannes Craczer in 1385 (per Pohl).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of the standard type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists two variations among five coins with a Cm mark (Pohl 114-4).

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross on the standard type. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard, only one of which, Toma A/b, appears among four coins with a Cm (Pohl 114-4). The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma A/b.

Huszár/Pohl rarity rating 5. This coin is a variation of the type not described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl, Unger and Réthy, or Frynas. It is also not included in Toma's tabulation of legend variations or design combinations. It was recorded by Rupp with the Cm mark (Pohl 114-4) and viewed by Unger (1974) to be a distinct type, although it is not included in his catalog. Toma notes 16 coins of this variation in the hoard, bearing four privy marks, eleven with this mark but different legend combinations (Toma plate III/15-17). This combination is represented with a different mark from Körmöcbánya/Kremnitz. Toma refers to the side with the patriarchal cross as the obverse, and notes that the design and legend are as per the obverse of Huszár 566. Toma refers to the side with the crown as the reverse, and notes that legend is as per the reverse legend of Huszár 566 but that the design is as per the obverse of Huszár 569. Toma concludes that this variation represents a distinct type, chronologically sandwiched between the earlier Huszár 569 and later Huszár 566.
1 commentsStkp
HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-5_1.jpg
Huszár 569 var., Pohl 114-5 var., Unger 443e var., Réthy II 116 var., Frynas H.26.4 var., Toma plate III/3 var. Probably a contemporary counterfeit.17 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .45 g., 15.88 mm. max., 270°

Obv: +mOnIE...R VnGARIE [unconventional-style letter A and other letters], Open crown with h below

Rev: + mOnETA mARIE [unconventional-style letters A and other letters], Patriarchal cross

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The type was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). Coins with a letter h privy mark below the crown were struck in Nagyszeben/Hermannstadt, now Sibiu, Romania, in 1386-1395 (per Pohl).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists one variation among just three coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-5). This legend variation is not recorded by Toma. Although many letters are indistinct, the style of many letters is unconventional and the legend on the crown side appears to be bungled. This suggests that the coin is a contemporary counterfeit.

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard, one of which, C/a, occurs aamong coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-5). The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma C/a (crown C is linked only with cross a).

Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. The legend combination described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl; in Unger and Réthy, and in Frynas, all differ.
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HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-8.jpg
Huszár 569 var., Pohl 114-8 var., Unger 443h var., Réthy II 116 var., Frynas H.26.4 var., Rupp 42/4-6 var. (legend and privy mark) Plate XV/430, Toma Exceptional Version A 23 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .54 g., 14.36 mm. max., 0°

Obv: + REGIn... VnGARIE [Gothic-style letter A], Open crown with K below

Rev: + mOnETA • mARIE [Gothic-style letters A; letter T stylized to resemble a letter m], Patriarchal cross

As both sides of the standard Huszár 569 carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The standard Huszár 569 was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with a letter K below the crown, was struck in Körmöcbánya/Kremnitz (now Kremnica, Slovakia) in 1386-1395 (per Pohl).

The letter T on the reverse of this coin is stylized to resemble the letter m. Toma notes that this style of letter T appears on the coins of this type struck at Körmöcbánya, but this apparently occurs only on those bearing the this privy mark (Pohl 114-8) and not on those bearing the Cm mark (Pohl 114-2).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of the standard type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists two variations among five coins with a Cm mark (Pohl 114-4).

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross on the standard type. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard, one of which, Toma A/b, appears on the single coin with this mark (Pohl 114-8). The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma A/b.

Huszár/Pohl rarity rating 5. This coin is a variation of the type not described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl, Unger and Réthy, or Frynas. It is also not included in Toma's tabulation of legend variations or design combinations. It was recorded by Rupp with the K mark (Pohl 114-8) and viewed by Unger (1974) to be a distinct type, although it is not included in his catalog. Toma notes 16 coins of this variation in the hoard, bearing four privy marks, three with this mark, one which may bear this legend combinations. Toma refers to the side with the patriarchal cross as the obverse, and notes that the design and legend are as per the obverse of Huszár 566. Toma refers to the side with the crown as the reverse, and notes that legend is as per the reverse legend of Huszár 566 but that the design is as per the obverse of Huszár 569. Toma concludes that this variation represents a distinct type, chronologically sandwiched between the earlier Huszár 569 and later Huszár 566.
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HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-1.jpg
Huszár 569, Pohl 114-1, Unger 443a, Réthy II 116, Frynas H.26.438 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .48 g., 15.23 mm. max., 90°.

Obv: + mARIE : D • R • VnGARIE [antiqua-style letters A without interior bar], crown with pellet above.

Rev: + mOnETA : mARIE : RE : [antiqua-style letters A with interior bar], Patriarchal cross with pellets.

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The type was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists two variations among two coins without a privy mark (Pohl 114-1). The legend combination on this coin is not represented in the hoard.

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard, one of which occurs among the two identified coins without a privy mark (Pohl 114-1). The design combination on this coin is Toma A/a (crown A is linked only with crosses a and b; cross a is linked only with crown A).

Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. The legend combination described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl; in Unger and Réthy, and in Frynas, all differ.
2 commentsStkp
HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-10.JPG
Huszár 569, Pohl 114-10, Unger 443k, Réthy II 116 Frynas H.26.4, Toma Plate III/9-10 var. (legends)54 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .48 g., 15.06 mm max. 90°

Obv: + MARIA • ... nGARI [antiqua-style letters A without interior bars], Open crown with letter n below.

Rev: + M...ETA • MARIA, Patriarchal cross.

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The type was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with the letter n privy mark below the crown, was struck in Nagybánya (now Baia Mare, Romania) in 1386-1395 (per Pohl).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists two variations among just two coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-10). This legend variation is not recorded by Toma.

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard, one of which, A/b, occurs among coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-10). The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma A/b (crown A is linked only with crosses a and b).

Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. The legend combination described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl; in Unger and Réthy, and in Frynas, all differ.
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HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_114-13.JPG
Huszár 569, Pohl 114-13, Unger 443n, Réthy II 116, Frynas H.26.424 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .51 g., 13.84 mm. max, 0°

Obv: + mARIA • R • vnGARI [antiqua-style letters A without interior bars], Open crown with letter V below

Rev: + mOnETA • mARIA [antiqua-style letters A without interior bars], Patriarchal cross

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The type was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with the letter V privy mark below the crown, was struck in Nagyvärad/Värad (now Oradea, Romania) in 1386-1395 (per Pohl).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-13) are not represented in the hoard.

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard. The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma A/b (crown A is linked only with crosses a and b).

Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. The legend combination described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl; in Unger and Réthy, and in Frynas, all differ.
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HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-14.JPG
Huszár 569, Pohl 114-14, Unger 443q, Réthy II 116, Frynas H.26.4, Tomar Plate III/13 var. (legends)29 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .57 g., 13.33 mm. Max., 0°

Obv: + M...D G R VGARIE [antiqua-style letter A without interior bars], Open crown with lily below.

Rev: + MOnETA • MARIE R V [antiqua-style letters A without interior bars], Patriarchal cross with pellet below.

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The type was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with the lily privy mark below the crown, was struck in Kassa/Kaschau (now Košice, Slovakia) in 1386-1995 (per Pohl).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists one variation among ten coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-14), but this coin does not comport with that variation.

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard, one of which, D/d, occurs among the ten coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-14). The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma D/d (crown D is linked only with cross d and vive versa), or a variant of cross d with shorter cross arms

Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. The legend combination described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl; in Unger and Réthy, and in Frynas, all differ.
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HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-16~0.jpg
Huszár 569, Pohl 114-16, Unger 443p, Réthy II 116, Frynas H.26.4, Rupp 42/4-6 var. Tab XV/430 (legends and privy mark), Toma Exceptional Version A Plate III/15-17 var. (legends and privy mark)27 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .58 g, 14.6 mm. max, 270°

Obv: + REGIn...V...RIE, Open crown with letter O below

Rev: + MOnE...MARIE [Gothic-style letter A], Patriarchal cross

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The standard Huszár was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with the letter O privy mark below the crown, was struck at an unidentified mint in 1386-1389 (per Pohl). This appears to be a variation of the privy mark.

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-16) are not represented in the hoard.

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross on the standard type. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard. The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma B/b.

Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. This coin is a variation of the type not described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl, Unger and Réthy, or Frynas. It is also not included in Toma's tabulation of legend variations or design combinations. It was recorded by Rupp with the Cm mark (Pohl 114-4) and viewed by Unger (1974) to be a distinct type, although it is not included in his catalog. Toma notes 16 coins of this variation in the hoard, bearing four privy marks, but not this mark (Toma plate III/15-17). Toma refers to the side with the patriarchal cross as the obverse, and notes that the design and legend are as per the obverse of Huszár 566. Toma refers to the side with the crown as the reverse, and notes that legend is as per the reverse legend of Huszár 566 but that the design is as per the obverse of Huszár 569. Toma concludes that this variation represents a distinct type, chronologically sandwiched between the earlier Huszár 569 and later Huszár 566.
1 commentsStkp
HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-2_2.jpg
Huszár 569, Pohl 114-2, Unger 443b, Réthy II 116, Frynas H.26.431 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .50 g., 14.59 mm. max., 180°.

Obv: [+] mARIA • R • VnGARI [antiqua-style letters A without interior bar], crown with antiqua-style letter A without interior bar, below.

Rev: + mOnET... RIA [antiqua-style letters A], Patriarchal cross.

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The type was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with an antiqua-style letter A without interior bar privy mark below the crown, was struck in Székesfehérvár/Alba Regia in 1386-1395 (per Pohl).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists seven variations among seventeen coins with this privy mark (Pohl 112-2). The legend combination on this coin appears to be Toma 5.

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard, three of which occur among fifteen identified coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-2). The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma B/b (crown B is linked only with crosses b and c; cross b is linked only with crowns A and B).

Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. The legend combination described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl; in Unger and Réthy, and in Frynas, all differ.
1 commentsStkp
HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-2~0.jpg
Huszár 569, Pohl 114-2, Unger 443b, Réthy II 116, Frynas H.26.423 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .53 g., 15.33 mm. max., 270°

Obv: + mARIE D G R VGARI [antiqua-style letters A without interior bar], Open crown with antiqua-style letter A without interior bar, below

Rev: + m ... ARIE R V [antiqua-style letter A], Patriarchal cross, pellet below

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The type was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with an antiqua-style letter A without interior bar privy mark below the crown, was struck in Székesfehérvár/Alba Regia in 1386-1395 (per Pohl).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists seven variations among seventeen coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-2). The obverse legend is not recorded by Toma.

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard, three of which occur among fifteen coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-2). The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma B/c (crown B is linked only with crosses b and c; cross c is linked only with crown B).

Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. The legend combination described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl; in Unger and Réthy, and in Frynas, all differ.
1 commentsStkp
HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-3.jpg
Huszár 569, Pohl 114-3, Unger 443c, Réthy II 116, Frynas H.26.417 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .49 g., 15.12 mm. max., 0°

Obv: + mARIE • R • VnGARIE [antiqua-style letters A without interior bar], crown with interior cross hatching. A with an interior crossbar below.

Rev: + mOnETA • mARIA [antiqua-style letters A without interior bar], Patriarchal.

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The type was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with an antiqua-style letter A with interior bar privy mark below the crown, was struck in Székesfehérvár/Alba Regia in 1386-1395 (per Pohl).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists just one coin with the A with interior bar privy mark (Pohl 114-3). The legend combination on this coin is not recorded by Toma.
Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard, one of which occurs among two identified coins without a privy mark (Pohl 114-1). The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma A/b (crown A is linked only with crosses a and b; cross b is linked only with crowns A and B).

Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. The legend combination described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl; in Unger and Réthy, and in Frynas, all differ.
1 commentsStkp
HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-5_2.jpg
Huszár 569, Pohl 114-5, Unger 443e, Réthy II 116, Frynas H.26.4, Toma plate III/3 var. (legends)21 views
Hungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .55 g., 16.07 mm. max., 90°

Obv: + mARIE • D R VnGARIE [antiqua-style letters A without and with interior bars], Open crown with h below

Rev: + mOnETA • mARIE • R • VI [antiqua-style letters A with interior bar], Patriarchal cross with pellets

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The type was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with a letter h privy mark below the crown, was struck in Nagyszeben/Hermannstadt, now Sibiu, Romania, in 1386-1395 (per Pohl).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists one variation among just three coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-5). This legend variation is not recorded by Toma.

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard, one of which, C/a, occurs aamong coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-5). The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma C/a (crown C is linked only with cross a).

Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. The legend combination described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl; in Unger and Réthy, and in Frynas, all differ.
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HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-6.jpg
Huszár 569, Pohl 114-6, Unger 443f, Réthy II 116, Frynas H.26.4, Toma plate III/4 var. (legends)19 views
Hungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .55 g., 15.05 mm. max., 270°

Obv: + mARIE • D • R VnGARIE • [antiqua-style letters A without interior bars], Open crown with I below

Rev: . . . mOnETA • mAR . . . [antiqua-style letters A without interior bars], Patriarchal cross

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The type was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with a letter I privy mark below the crown, was struck in an unidentified mint in 1386-1395 (per Pohl).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists two variations among just three coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-6). This legend variation is not recorded by Toma.

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard, two of which occur among coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-6). The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma A/a (crown A is linked only with crosses a and b).

Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. The legend combination described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl; in Unger and Réthy, and in Frynas, all differ.
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HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-7.jpg
Huszár 569, Pohl 114-7, Unger 443g, Réthy II 116, Frynas H.26.415 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .51 g., 15.52 mm. max., 180°

Obv: + mARIE • D • R VnGARIE [antiqua-style letters A with interior bars], Open crown with iS [retrograde letter s] below.

Rev: . . . OnETA • mARI... [antiqua-style letters A with interior bars], Patriarchal cross

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The type was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with letters Is privy mark below the crown, was tentatively struck in Pozsony/Istropolis/Pressburg, now Bratislava, Slovakia, in 1386-1395 (per Pohl). A retrograde letter s within the mark is not recorded by Huszár, Pohl and Unger.

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-6) are not represented in the hoard. They are also not represented in Gyöngyössy. This legend variation is not recorded by Toma.

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard. The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma C/a (crown C is linked only with cross a).

Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. The legend combination described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl; in Unger and Réthy, and in Frynas, all differ.
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HUN_Maria_Huszar_569_Pohl_114-7_2.jpg
Huszár 569, Pohl 114-7, Unger 443g, Réthy II 116, Frynas H.26.417 views
Hungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .53 g., 15.46 mm. max., 0°

Obv: + mARIE • D • R VnGARIE [antiqua-style letters A with interior bars], Open crown with iS below

Rev: + mOnETA mARIE • R • V [antiqua-style letters A with interior bars], Patriarchal cross

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The type was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with letters Is privy mark below the crown, was tentatively struck in Pozsony/Istropolis/Pressburg, now Bratislava, Slovakia, in 1386-1395 (per Pohl).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Coins with this privy mark (Pohl 114-6) are not represented in the hoard. They are also not represented in Gyöngyössy. This legend variation is not recorded by Toma.

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard. The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma C/a (crown C is linked only with cross a).

Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. The legend combination described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl; in Unger and Réthy, and in Frynas, all differ.
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HUN_Maria_Huszar_569.JPG
Huszár 569, Pohl 114-9, Unger 443j, Réthy II 116, Frynas H.26.4164 viewsHungary. Maria/Mária (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Sigismund/Zsigmond of Luxembourg)

AR denar, .43 g., 14.8 mm. max, 0°

Obv: + MARIE • R • VnGARI [Gothic-style letter A], Open crown with m below.

Rev: + MOnETA • MARIE [Gothic-style letter A; letter T stylized to resemble an m], Patriarchal cross.

As both sides carry a titular legend, there is no consensus regarding obverse and reverse. The fullest legend on the side identified by Huszár and Pohl as the obverse (the side with the crown) is + mARIE D G R VnGARIE (although most coins are missing at least the first G). The fullest legend on the side identified by Unger, Réthy, Frynas and Gyöngyössy as the obverse (the side with the patriarchal cross) is + mOnETA mARIE R V. Since the letters R V are so often omitted from the cross side, Toma accepts the crown side as the obverse.

The type was struck in 1384-1395 (per Huszár, with Unger and Frynas agreeing that it incepted in 1384) or in 1385-1395 (per Pohl), and is traditionally viewed as the last of three denarii struck by Maria. More recently, it has been viewed as the second type struck by her (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 566), in 1383-1385 (per Gyöngyössi and Toma). This coin, with a letter m below the crown, was struck at an unidentified mint ca. 1386-1395 (per Pohl).

The letter T on the reverse of this coin is stylized to resemble the letter m. Toma notes that this style of letter T appears on the Huszár 566 struck at Kassa/Kaschau (now Košice, Slovakia) (Pohl 112-2) and on those of this type struck at Körmöcbánya/Kremnitz (now Kremnica, Slovakia), but this apparently occurs only on those bearing the letter K privy mark (Pohl 114-8) and not on those bearing the Cm mark (Pohl 114-2).

Toma notes fifteen legend variations among 45 coins of this type within the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934. They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, spelling of the queen's name, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists no coins with this privy mark (Pohl 112-9).

Toma further notes four versions of the crown and four versions of the patriarchal cross on the standard type. There are six obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 41 coins in the hoard, one of which. The design combination on this coin appears to be Toma C/a.

Huszár/Pohl rarity 5, Frynas rarity C. The legend combination described/depicted in Huszár and Pohl; in Unger and Réthy, and in Frynas, all differ.
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toregene1.jpg
ISLAMIC, Mongol Empire, Toregene Khatun, AR Dirham, AD 1241-124624 viewsTÖREGENE KHATUN (639-644 H. / 1241-1246) dirham.
Obv: Kalima.
Rev: Mounted Archer. Title.
Album 1976. Rare. 2.68g 18 mm.
Pecunem 13 lot 279

Töregene Khatun was the Great Khatun and regent of the Mongol Empire from the death of her husband Ögedei Khan in AD 1241 until the election of her eldest son Güyük Khan in AD 1246.
chance v
toregene2.jpg
ISLAMIC, Mongol Empire, Toregene Khatun, AR Dirham, AD 1241-124637 viewsTÖREGENE KHATUN (639-644 H. / 1241-1246) dirham.
Obv: Kalima.
Rev: Mounted Archer. Title.
Album 1976. Rare. 2.36g 19 mm.
Pecunem 13 lot 280

Töregene Khatun was the Great Khatun and regent of the Mongol Empire from the death of her husband Ögedei Khan in AD 1241 until the election of her eldest son Güyük Khan in AD 1246.
chance v
MISC_Italian_States_Norman_Sicily_Tancred_Spahr_139.jpg
Italian States: Norman Sicily. Tancred of Hauteville (1189-1194) with Roger III (1192-1193)16 viewsTravaini 399; Spahr 139; Biaggi 1237; MEC Italy XIV 449-453.

AE Follaro, second coinage, 1192-1193. Messina mint. 1.81 g., 13.55 mm. max, 0°

Obv: al–malik Tanqrīr (= King Tancred) in Kufic script.

Rev: + ROGERIVS : around margin, • / REX / • in center.

Tancred was the illegitimate son of Duke Roger III of Apulia, eldest son of King Roger II (1130-1154) by his mistress Emma, daughter of Count Achard II of Lecce. Roger II was succeeded by his fourth son, William I, the Bad (1154-1166). As soon as William's son and successor, William II, the Good (1166-1189) (who was married to Joanna, sister of Richard I, the Lionheart, King of England), died without issue, Tancred seized Sicily against the claims of his Aunt Constance, the posthumously-born daughter of Roger II, and her husband, Henry VI Hohenstaufen, then King of the Romans (soon to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor, and later, Henry I of Sicily). Tancred's claim was supported by the official class, while most of the nobility supported the claim of Henry and Constance. Tancred's premature death several months after that of his eldest son, Roger III (then age 18/19) lead to Hohenstaufen rule of Sicily, after the failed 10-month regency of Tancred's second son, William III (age four) in 1094.
Stkp
21320341.jpg
Italy, Ravenna, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia64 viewsit is describbed as "the earliest and best preserved of all mosaic monuments, and at the same time one of the most artistically perfect"

The building was formerly the oratory of the Church of the Holy Cross and now contains three sarcophagi. The largest sarcophagus was thought to contain the remains of Galla Placidia (died 450). Other is attributed to her husband, Emperor Constantius III. The last sarcophagus is attributed to Galla's son, Emperor Valentinian III, or to her brother, Emperor Honorius.
Johny SYSEL
21320354.jpg
Italy, Ravenna, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia138 viewsit is describbed as "the earliest and best preserved of all mosaic monuments, and at the same time one of the most artistically perfect"

The building was formerly the oratory of the Church of the Holy Cross and now contains three sarcophagi. The largest sarcophagus was thought to contain the remains of Galla Placidia (died 450). Other is attributed to her husband, Emperor Constantius III. The last sarcophagus is attributed to Galla's son, Emperor Valentinian III, or to her brother, Emperor Honorius.
1 commentsJohny SYSEL
21320438.jpg
Italy, Ravenna, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia140 viewsit is describbed as "the earliest and best preserved of all mosaic monuments, and at the same time one of the most artistically perfect"

The building was formerly the oratory of the Church of the Holy Cross and now contains three sarcophagi. The largest sarcophagus was thought to contain the remains of Galla Placidia (died 450). Other is attributed to her husband, Emperor Constantius III. The last sarcophagus is attributed to Galla's son, Emperor Valentinian III, or to her brother, Emperor Honorius.
1 commentsJohny SYSEL
21320330.jpg
Italy, Ravenna, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia62 viewsThe building was formerly the oratory of the Church of the Holy Cross and now contains three sarcophagi. The largest sarcophagus was thought to contain the remains of Galla Placidia (died 450). Other is attributed to her husband, Emperor Constantius III. The last sarcophagus is attributed to Galla's son, Emperor Valentinian III, or to her brother, Emperor Honorius.Johny SYSEL
J2.JPG
Julia Domna - Juno52 viewsDenarius 209
O/ IULIA - AUGUSTA Draped bust right
R/ IU-NO Juno standing half-left, holding patera and sceptre; in front, peacock standing left, head turned back
C 82 - RIC 559
Mint: Rome (6th off., 29th emission)
In 209, Septimius and his two sons leave Rome for the campaign of Britain and let the regency to the empress Julia. She will never see her husband alive.
septimus
kappadokien_ariobarzanesIII_Simonetta3a.jpg
Kingdom of Cappadocia, Ariobarzanes III. Eusebes Philoromaios, Simonetta 3a11 viewsAriobarzanes III. Eusebes Philoromaios, 52-42 BC
AR - drachm, 3.79g, 16.5mm, 0°
struck in Mazaka or Eusebeia, 42 BC
obv. diademed head r.
rev. BASILEWS ARIOBARZ[ANOY] EYSE[BOYS] [KAI FILORWMAIOY] (outside the flan)
Athena Nikephoros stg. l., holding Nike with wreath in extended r. hand and in l. hand spear and shield
set on ground.
in inner l. field star in crescent, in inner r. field monogram
beneath IA (year 11) (outside the flan)
ref. Simonetta 3a; Simonetta coll. 4 var.; BMC Galatia p.42, 4; SNG von Aulock 6326; not in SNG
Copenhagen, nor in SNG Fitzwilliam
F, toned
ex coll. Elvira Clain-Stefanelli (1914-2001; she was director and curator of the Smithsonian Institution and an important numismatist, like her husband)

From Forum Ancient Coins, thanks!
Jochen
Sardes.jpg
Kings of Macedon. Philip III Arrhidaios, (Circa 322-318 BC)22 viewsAR Drachm

17 mm, 4.20 g

Sardes mint under Philip III Arrhidaios (323-317 BC) in the types of Alexander III

Obverse: Head of Herakles to right, wearing lion skin headdress.

Reverse: ΦIΛIΠΠΟΥ (FILIPPOU) Zeus seated left on throne, holding eagle in his right hand and scepter in his left; to left, bee; below throne, A.

Price P104

This coin is a die match for Nomos Web Auction 6, Lot 330, 11/20/2016 (https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=3481680)

Subsequent to his death in 323 BC, Alexander the Great's sister, Cleopatra, traveled to Sardes (Autumn 322 BC) to lure a husband from among her brother's former generals (who had already begun warring over Alexander's empire). Over the course of the next two years she was visited twice by Alexander's former secretary and now dashing outlaw general, Eumenes of Cardia. The first time Eumenes brought an offer of marriage from the general Perdiccas, who Cleopatra turned away (rightfully, it turned out, as he was killed by his own troops after failing in battle vs. Ptolemy in Egypt). The second time (320 BC) Eumenes offered to ally with Cleopatra to combine his military might and her royal legitimacy.(This was not an offer of marriage, as Eumenes was not Macedonian.) To impress the princess, Eumenes paraded his cavalry back and forth before Sardes. But Cleopatra, though she granted Eumenes an audience, was not willing to become his partisan. Throughout the wars that followed Cleopatra never married or even left Sardes, where she remained as a veritable damsel in the tower keep until her death by assassination in 308 BC.
Nathan P
494,43_L__Mussidius_Longus.jpg
L. Mussidius Longus - AR denarius9 viewsRome
42 BC
radiate draped bust of Sol facing slightly right
two statues of Venus Cloacina standing on platform
L·MVSSIDIVS·LONGVS
CLOACIN
Crawford 494/43, RSC I Mussidia 7, Sydenham 1094, SRCV I 495
3,4g
ex Lanz

"The rev. shows the shrine of Venus Cloacina whose fundaments could be seen today on the Forum Romanum in Rome at the South side of the basilica Aemilia. This sanctuary is one of the oldest on the Forum. It is so old that even the Romans didn't understand its real meaning and invented myths to explain it. Cloacina probably is derived from the ancient Latin word 'cluere', meaning 'to purify'.

After the rape of the Sabin women a war broke out between the Romans and the Sabins. The raped women bravely went between their fathers and their new husbands ans so stopped the slaughter. A reconciliation should have been occured at this very place with an expiation and purification (cluere!) ritual. There Myrtles had played an important role. It is said that they were found here and they were used for purification because they should have great purification power. Furthermore they were sacred to Venus, the ancestor of the Romans.

Then at this place Vergina or Virginia, the beautiful daughter of Lucius Virgineus, a plebeian centurio, was killed by him to avoid the shame to become the slave of the tyrannic decemvir Appius Claudius Crassus. Appius Claudius was fallen in love to her and claimed that she was the daughter of a slave who had escaped from him. Due to the rigorous Laws of the Twelve Tables then she too was his property. This murder led to the abolishment of the decemviri (449 BC) and Lucius Virgineus became the first elected tribune. This story probably based on the myth of Lucretia who was raped by the son of king Tarquinius Superbus and because of that commited suicided. This event was the end of the Etruscian kings in Rome and the begin of the Roman Republic.

The sanctuary of Venus Cloacina marks the place where the Cloaca Maxima reaches the Forum and takes the river Velabro. This river was the frontier between the region of the Romans and the Sabins where now the adversary parties have made peace. ... The sanctuary was not roofed but made by a round embracing wall and two cult statues. Originally it was probably the shrine of Cloacina. The origin of her cult and the erection of her sanctuary probably belongs to the the first period of the history of the Cloaca Maxima, either of the time of its construction or of the time of an important renovation even though the tradition ascribed it to Titus Tatius. In the course of time Cloacina was identified with Venus and called Venus Cloacina. In doing so the fact could have played a role that the myrtles were sacred to Venus. So this myth, the reconciliation of the Romans and the Sabins, could be the attempt to explain these unknown connection. ..." from Jochen's Coins of mythological interest
Johny SYSEL
1000-17-171.jpg
L. Titurius20 viewsL. Titurius L.f. Sabinus, 89 BC. AR Denarius (4.27 gm). Head of the Sabine king Tatius / Two soldiers, each carrying a Sabine woman. Tituria.2. Cr.344/1b. Toned aVF.

The Rape is supposed to have occurred in the early history of Rome, shortly after its founding by Romulus and his mostly male followers. Seeking wives in order to found families, the Romans negotiated unsuccessfully with the Sabines, who populated the area. Fearing the emergence of a rival society, the Sabines refused to allow their women to marry the Romans. Consequently, the Romans planned to abduct Sabine women, during a festival of Neptune Equester and proclaimed the festival among Rome's neighbours. According to Livy, many people from Rome's neighbours including folk from the Caeninenses, Crustumini, and Antemnates, and many of the Sabines attended. At the festival Romulus gave a signal, at which the Romans grabbed the Sabine women and fought off the Sabine men. The indignant abductees were soon implored by Romulus to accept Roman husbands.
ecoli
Lucius Verus.jpg
Lucius Verus, Husband of Lucilla25 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 516, RSC 230, F, Rome mint, 2.819g, 18.2mm, 180o, 163 - 164 A.D.; obverse L VERVS AVG ARMENIACVS, laureate head right; reverse TR P IIII IMP II COS II, Mars advancing right, holding spear and resting left arm on shield;Dumanyu2
FaustinaIIAsJuno~0.jpg
MAFJa1 Separation19 viewsFaustina II

As

Draped bust, left, FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL
Juno seated left holding the three graces and scepter, peacock at feet, IVNO SC

The reverse is RIC 1400, for which only right-facing busts are listed.

Faustina was to spend years apart from her husband and probably traumatized as a mother shortly before his departure. The Historia Augusta records, "When about the set off for the German war. . . [Marcus] gave his daughter [Annia Aurelia Galeria Faustina] to [Gnaeus] Claudius [Severus, a Roman Senator from Pompeiopolis], a [man] of advanced age, son of a Roman knight and not of sufficiently noble family (subsequently [Marcus] made him Consul twice)--since his daughter was an Augusta and the daughter of an Augusta. But both Faustina and the girl who was being given in marriage regarded this wedding with reluctance. . . . Just before the day of his actual departure, [Marcus] lost his seven-year-old son, Verus Caesar by name, after an operation on a tumor under the ear. He mourned him for no more than five days, and after comforting the doctors returned to the affairs of state." How long, one wonders, did Faustina mourn?

According to the Historia Augusta, which at many points tends toward salacious gossip, "it is reasonably well known that Faustina chose both sailors and gladiators as paramours for herself at Caieta [where the couple spent several years after their marriage]. When Marcus was told about her, so that he might divorce her--if not execute her--he is reported to have said, "If we send our wife away, we must give back her dowry, too--and what dowry did he have but the empire. . . ?" During the German war, the text alleges, Faustina took pantomimists as lovers.

Whether or not the rumors had any basis in fact, Marcus thought highly of his wife and family situation. In his first meditation, he thanks the gods that "I have such a wife, so obedient, and so affectionate, and so simple; that I had abundance of good masters for my children." Perhaps the word from the horse's mouth is a better source than a history written more than a century later.

At some point, Marcus apparently saw the light, and Faustina joined him at the frontier. The Historia Augusta relates, "He had her with him even in the campaigning season, and [after her death] for this reason he gave her the title 'Mother of the Camp.'"
Blindado
DivaFaustinaMoonStars.jpg
MAFJa2 Death of Faustina13 viewsFaustina

As

Draped bust right, hair waved, DIVA FAVSTINA PIA
Crescent moon and seven stars, SC in emerge

RIC 1714

In 175, Avidius Cassus, a loyal general in the East, declared himself emperor. According to the Historia Augusta, "Some say at the wish of Faustina, who was in despair about her husband's health [the implication being she did not want Commodus to take the purple]. Others say that Cassius called himself emperor when a report of the death of Antoninus had been fabricated--since he called Marcus 'the deified.'" When it became clear Marcus lived on, Cassius' own troops killed him.

Marcus set off to inspect the East with Faustina and Commodus accompanying him. The Historia Augusta relates, "He lost [in 176] his own Faustina, who expired at the onset of a sudden illness in the foothills of Mount Taurus, in the village of Halala. He requested that the Senate decree honors and a temple for Faustina, and likewise praised her. . . . He established new Faustinian girls in honor of his dead wife, and rendered thanks that she had been deified as well, by the Senate. . . . He also made the village where Faustina died a colony and built her a temple. . . . Fabia [sister of Lucius Verus] strove to be united in marriage when Faustina was dead, but he took as a concubine the daughter of a procurator of his wife, so as not to put a step-mother over so many children."
Blindado
YHWH.jpg
Maria Di Medici Jeton52 viewsMARIA. D. GR. FRANC. AND. NAVA. REG, 16 NB 08 in exergue.
Coat of arms half of France and quartered of Medici, and of Austria, surrounded by a crown half of laurel and half of palm

SERVAT DATAM 1608 in exergue
Two intertwined hands as a sign of trust between a palm and an olive branch. Above, the name JEHOVAH in Hebrew (YHWH) , whose rays penetrate dense clouds.

5.24g, 28mm

"Mary of God's Grace Queen of France and Navarre"

"He protects those who trust him."

Maria was born at the Palazzo Pitti of Florence, Italy, the sixth daughter of Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Archduchess Joanna of Austria. Marie was one of seven children, but only she and her sister Eleonora survived to adulthood.

Maria is not a male-line descendant of Lorenzo the Magnificent but from Lorenzo the Elder, a branch of the Medici family referred to as the 'cadet' branch. She does descend from Lorenzo in the female-line however, through his daughter Lucrezia de' Medici. Nonetheless this 'cadet' branch produced every Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1537 to 1737, and the kings of France from Louis XIII in 1601 to Louis XVI in 1793.

She married Henry IV of France in October 1600 following the annulment of his marriage to Margaret of Valois. The wedding ceremony in Florence, Italy (to which Henry did not turn up, marrying her by proxy) was celebrated with 4,000 guests and lavish entertainments. She brought as part of her dowry 600,000 crowns. Her eldest son, the future King Louis XIII, was born at Fontainebleau the following year.

Maria was crowned Queen of France on 13 May 1610, a day before her husband's death. Hours after Henry's assassination, she was confirmed as regent by the Parliament of Paris. She immediately banished his mistress, Catherine Henriette de Balzac, from the court.

Her daughter, Henrietta Maria was queen consort of England, Scotland, and Ireland as the wife of King Charles I. Henrietta Maria, in turn, was mother of two immediate successors, Charles II and James II.
2 commentsJay GT4
NeroStatiliaMessalinaGalbaI.jpg
Nero and Statilia Messalina Galba countermark94 viewsNero & Statilia Messalina, Ć27 as, Galba ctmk., 10.54g Nicaea, Bythinia,
O: NERWN K[LAU]DIOS KAISAR SEBASTOS GE, laureate head left, rectangular countermark GALB[A].
R: ME[SSALEIN]A [GYNE SEBASTOY] Statilia Messalina as Securitas seated right.
Unique mule - Obverse die RPC 2057, Reverse die RPC 2061; Listed in Wildwinds as RPC 2061cf, countermark Howgego 591

Statilia Messalina was the third and last wife of Nero, empress from 66-68. Her great beauty and intelligence kept her alive during some of the most turbulent years of the early empire.

After several failed attempts to strangle his first wife, Claudia Octavia, to death, Nero divorced her for barrenness and she was forced into suicide. Nero kicked his second wife, Poppaea Sabina who was pregnant at the time, to death. Going into a deep depression (Women, can't live with them, can't live without them!) he found comfort in his new bride, Statilia Messalina. All it took was the forced suicide of her husband and Nero was able to have her all to himself.

She must have been a most clever woman as she survived the revolution and civil war that followed, even being betrothed to Otho before he too met an untimely end. Suetonius reports that of the two letters Otho wrote the night before he committed suicide, one of them was to Statilia.
1 commentsNemonater
Nero Provincial-  Zeus.jpg
Nero Provincial- Zeus38 viewsNero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

Obverse:
laureate bust with aegis right; below caduceus
NEPWNA CEBACTON AKMONEIC, it is 'the people of Acmonaea to Nero Augustus

NEPWNA: Nero
CEBACTON: Augustus
AKMONEIC: The name of the city, Acmonea

Reverse:
Zeus seated left, with patera and sceptre, owl under throne
CEPOYHIOY KAΠΙΤWΝΟC KAI IOYΛIAC CEOYHPAC

To right: EΠΙ ΑΡΧ ΤΟ Γ (first 3 words as monograms)
The anagrams indicate Serveenius was archon three times (EΠΙ ΑΡΧ = Archon, TO Γ = three times). The reverse names two local officials, Lucius Servenius Capito and Julia Severa (husband and wife) - we know his first name was Lucius from other coins.

Domination: Size 18 mm

Mint: It's from Acmonea in Phrygia, Provincial, RPC 3176.

Comments:
An interesting coin: how often did husband-and-wife magistrates team to sign Greek Imperial coins, with two Latin names at that? As for the accusative, it's an elliptical usage that shows up now and then, frequently honoring heroes or deities; see

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=26925.msg175999#msg175999
John S
144133.jpg
PAMPHYLIA, Aspendos83 viewsPAMPHYLIA, Aspendos. Circa 380-325 BC.

Greek ASPENDOS, modern BELKIS, ancient city of Pamphylia, now in southwestern Turkey. It is noted for its Roman ruins. A wide range of coinage from the 5th century BC onward attests to the city's wealth. Aspendus was occupied by Alexander the Great in 333 BC and later passed from Pergamene to Roman rule in 133 BC. According to Cicero, it was plundered of many of its artistic treasures by the provincial governor Verres. The hilltop ruins of the city include a basilica, an agora, and some rock-cut tombs of Phrygian design. A huge theatre, one of the finest in the world, is carved out of the northeast flank of the hill. It was designed by the Roman architect Zeno in honour of the emperor Marcus Aurelius (reigned AD 161-180)

The present-day Belkiz was once situated on the banks of the River Eurymedon, now known as the Kopru Cay. In ancient times it was navigable; in fact, according to Strabo, the Persians anchored their ships there in 468 B.C., before the epic battle against the Delian Confederation.

It is commonly believed that Aspendos was founded by colonists from Argos. One thing is certain: right from the beginning of the 5th century, Aspendos and Side were the only two towns to mint coins. An important river trading port, it was occupied by Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. because it refused to pay tribute to the Macedonian king. It became an ally of Rome after the Battle of Sipylum in 190 B.C. and entered the Roman Empire.

The town is built against two hills: on the "great hill" or Buyuk Tepe stood the acropolis, with the agora, basilica, nymphaeum and bouleuterion or "council chamber". Of all these buildings, which were the very hub of the town, only ruins remain. About one kilometer north of the town, one can still see the remains of the Roman aqueduct that supplied Aspendos with water, transporting it from a distance of over twenty kilometers, and which still maintains its original height.

Aspendos' theatre is the best preserved Roman theatre anywhere in Turkey. It was designed during the 2nd century A.D. by the architect Zeno, son of Theodore and originally from Aspendos. Its two benefactors— the brothers Curtius Crispinus and Curtius Auspicatus —dedicated it to the Imperial family as can be seen from certain engravings on the stones. Discovered in 1871 by Count Landskonski during one of his trips to the region, the theatre is in excellent condition thanks to the top quality of the calcareous stone and to the fact that the Seljuks turned it into a palace, reinforcing the entire north wing with bricks. Its thirty-nine tiers of steps—96 meters long—could seat about twenty thousand spectators. At the top, the elegant gallery and covered arcade sheltered spectators. One is immediately struck by the integrity and architectural distinction of the stage building, consisting of a Irons scacnae which opens with five doors onto the proscenium and scanned by two orders of windows which also project onto the outside wall. There is an amusing anecdote about the construction of this theatre—in which numerous plays are still held, given its formidable acoustics — and the aqueduct just outside the town: in ancient times, the King of Aspendos had a daughter of rare beauty named Semiramis, contended by two architects; the king decided to marry her off to the one who built an important public work in the shortest space of time. The two suitors thus got down to work and completed two public works at the same time: the theatre and the aquaduct. As the sovereign liked both buildings, he thought it right and just to divide his daughter in half. Whereas the designer of the aquaduct accepted the Solomonic division, the other preferred to grant the princess wholly to her rival. In this way, the sovereign understood that the designer of the theatre had not only built a magnificent theatre— which was the pride of the town—, but would also be an excellent husband to his daughter; consequently he granted him her hand in marriage

AR Stater (21mm, 10.76 g). Two wrestlers grappling; DA between / Slinger to right; triskeles in field. Tekin Series D; SNG France 87 (same reverse die). Ex-CNG B9FV15E
1 commentsecoli
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: Męn 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
Plautille.jpg
Plautilla - denarius25 viewsPLAVTILLAE AVGVSTAE
PROPAGO IMPERI , Plautilla standing right holding hand of her husband Caracalla, wearing toga and standing left.

RIC 362
Ginolerhino
PLOTINA-SARTI~2.jpg
PLOTINA, The lady that changed history.142 views(An incredible PORTRAIT in the format of a Sestertius of PLOTINA)
The most influential of all Roman Empresses, she was interested in philosophy and in the doctrines of Epicurus, virtue, dignity and simplicity. She provided Romans with fairer taxation, improved education, assisted the poor, and tried to make Roman society ever more tolerant. Plotina was well known for her high moral standards and her kindness, as well as for her support for her husband: she travelled with him to the East and was present at his deathbed. It is said that when Plotina entered the imperial palace after her husband Trajan had become Emperor, she turned to those gathered at the steps and declared “I enter here such a woman as I would wish to be when I leave.” Plotina was instrumental in ensuring that Hadrian, who she greatly liked and was Trajan’s ward, succeeded peacefully to the throne on Trajan’s death
sunwukong
PolemoII.jpg
Polemo II-Mark Antony's great grandson479 views Silver drachm

BACΙΛΕΩC ΠΟΛΕΜΩΝΟC
diademed head of Polemo right

ETOYC - K (year 20)
laureate head of Nero right;

57 - 58 A.D.
3.645g

18.1mm, die axis 180o

RPC I 3832, SNG Cop 242, BMC Pontus 7 - 8, SNG von Aulock 6691

Ex-Forum

Marcus Antonius Polemon Pythodoros, also known as Polemon II of Pontos and Polemon of Cilicia is the only known direct descendant of Mark Antony who bares his name. Through his maternal grandmother he was a direct descendant of Mark Antony and his second wife Antonia Hybrida Minor. Antony and Antonia Hybrida were first paternal cousins. He was Antony’s second born great grandson. Through Antony, he was a distant cousin to Roman Client King Ptolemy of Mauretania and Drusilla of Mauretania. He was also a distant cousin to Roman Emperors Caligula, Claudius and Nero and Roman Empresses Valeria Messalina, Agrippina the Younger and Claudia Octavia.

Polemon II’s father Polemon Pythodoros King of Pontos died in 8 BC. His mother then married King Archelaus of Cappadocia, and the family moved to the court of his stepfather. In 17 AD Archelaus died and Polemon II and his mother moved back to Pontus. From 17 until 38, Polemon II assisted his mother in the administration of Pontos. When his mother died in 38, Polemon II succeeded her as the sole ruler of Pontus, Colchis and Cilicia.

Around 50 AD, Polemon II met the Judean princess Julia Berenice in Tiberias during a visit to King Agrippa I. Berenice was widowed in 48 AD when her second husband and paternal uncle Herod of Chalcis, died. She had two sons by him, Berenicianus and Hyrcanus. Berenice set the condition that Polemon II had to convert to Judaism before marriage, which included undergoing the rite of circumcision. Polemon II complied, and the marriage went ahead but it did not last long. Berenice left Pontus with her sons and returned to the court of her brother. Polemon II abandoned Judaism and, according to the legend of Bartholomew the Apostle, accepted Christianity, only to become a pagan again.

In 62, Nero compelled Polemon II to abdicate the Pontian throne. Pontos and Colchis became a Roman province. From then until his death, Polemon II only ruled Cilicia. He never remarried and had no children that are known.

Polemon's sister Antonia Tryphaena's Royal lineage goes all the way down to Nana Queen of Iberia, who died in 363 AD. Truly Antony may have lost the battle of Actium but won the war of genetics!
8 commentsJay GT4
Julia_Domna,_Augusta_194_-_8_April_217_A_D_.jpg
Roman Empire , empress Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D. (Wife of emperor Septimius Severus , mother of emperor Caracalla and co-emperor Geta.)95 viewsSilver Denarius, RIC IV S546, RSC III 14, BMCRE V S10, SRCV II 6576, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered, 3.253 gr, 18.9 mm , 0o, Rome mint, struck in year 200 A.D.
Obverse : IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right.
Reverse : CERERI FRVGIF, Ceres seated left, heads of grain in right hand, long torch behind in left hand.
Scarce.
Gorgeous portrait.

The most powerful woman in Roman Empire history.

FORVM Ancient Coins/ The Sam Mansourati Collection / Given as a Christmas present to a superb dear friend.

*Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.

***Julia Domna was the second wife of Septimius Severus and mother of Caracalla and Geta. An intelligent, talented and beautiful woman, Julia Domna exercised great influence during her husband's reign and practically administered the empire for her sons. In 217 A.D. after the assassination of Caracalla, she possibly committed suicide by starvation or she died of breast cancer.
3 commentsSam
herennia.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE - HERENNIA ESTRUSCILLA27 viewsHerenia Etruscilla Ant "Fecunditas" SCARCE Herennia Etruscilla, Silver Antoninianus stricken by her husband Trajan Decius AD 249-251 "Our fertile and fair Empress." Obv: HER ETRVSCILLA AVG - Diademed bust right, draped and on a crescent Rev: FECVNDITAS AVG - Fecunditas standing left, holding hand over child and cornucopia. Rome mint: AD 250-251 = RIC IViii, p. 127, 55b Scarce; Cohen 8, 2.59 g. dpaul7
Poppaea.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE PROVINCIAL, Poppaea Wife of Nero,62-65 AD33 viewsPoppaea Wife of Nero,62-65 AD

obv: POPPAIA SEBASTH,Diademed and draped bust right.
rev: Headdress of Isis, P-E to either side, all within laurel wreath.
Mint Perinthus (later called Heraclea, present-day Marmaraereglisi)

RPC I 1756; Varbanov 3695

Poppaea Sabina, daughter of T. Ollius, was married three times -
firstly to the praetorian prefect Rufrius Crispinus, then to the future emperor Otho,
and finally to Nero, who divorced Octavia in A.D. 62 in order to marry her.
She died three years later, the victim of her husband who kicked her in a fit of temper.
George
bpC1O1Fausta.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Fausta, Thessalonica RIC VII, 161 R388 viewsAe3 3.5 gm 18.5 mm Struck: 326-328 Mark: SMTSA
Obv: FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG Bare head, right, waved hair and mantled.
Rev: SPES REIPVBLICAE Fausta standing, facing, head left, holding Constantine II and Constantius II.
Comment: Put to death by her husband.
Massanutten
bpAnto1B5FausSr.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Faustina Senior, AR denarius34 viewsObverse: DIVA FAVSTINA
Draped bust, right.
Rev: AVGVSTA
Juno enthroned right, holding transverse sceptre.
Denarius, 3.3 gm, 17.3 mm, RIC 363.
Comment: Issued by her husband, Antoninus Pius, to commemorate her funeral and deification in early 141.
Massanutten
bpS1V8HerenEtrusc.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Herennia Etruscilla32 viewsObv: HER ETRVSCILLA AVG
Diademed and draped bust, right. Crescent behind shoulders.
Rev: PVDICITIA AVG
Pudicitia veiled and standing left, holding sceptre and right hand drawing veil.
Antoninianus, 3.9 gm, 22.1 mm, Rome RIC 58b.
Commentary: Herennia was descended from a noble Etruscan family and this fact and that she was wife to Trajan Decius is about all that is known about her. Declared Augusta in 249, she survived the death of her husband and presumably lived the remainder of her life in peace and comfort.
Massanutten
bpS1B5JuliaDomna.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Julia Domna97 viewsObv: IVLIA AVGVSTA
Bare headed and draped bust right.
Rev: FELICITAS
Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and sceptre.
Denarius, 3 gm, 18.3 mm, Rome RIC 551 circa 206.
Comment: Julia Domna apparently was a woman who depended on the men in her life regardless of the circumstances. She spent much time accompanying her husband until Septimus Severus' death in Britain in 211. Even though her son Caracalla was guilty of fratricide, she accompanied him on his Parthian campaign where he was murdered in 217. She then committed suicide at Antioch by refusing all food.
3 commentsMassanutten
bpJ1E2NeroClaudDrus2.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Nero Claudius Drusus, Provincial Imitation117 viewsObv: NERO CLAVDIVS DRVSVS GERMANICVS IMP
Bare head, left.
Rev: TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP
Either Claudius or Drusus holding branch and seated, left, on curule chair amid an assortment of arms.
Sestertius 15 gm 32.7 mm (RIC 93)
Comment: The official issue was minted by Claudius in 41-42. Drusus was a son of Livia and the younger brother of Tiberius; husband of Antonia (daughter of Marc Antony); father of Germanicus, Claudius and Lavilla. Died of injuries sustained from a horse fall while on campaign in Germany.
Massanutten
bpS1O9Salonina.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Salonina, Antoninianus43 viewsObv: SALONINA AVG
Diademed, draped bust, right.
Rev: PIETAS AVG
Pietas standing left, holding box of perfumes over altar.
Antoninianus, 2.3 gm, 19.3 gm, Siscia RIC 79
Commentary: Wife of Gallienus and this coin issued during his sole reign. Also named Chrysogone meaning 'Begotten of Gold'. A cultured lady she was, along with her husband, a friend and follower of the pagan (Neoplatonic) philosopher, Plotinus. She perished with her husband in 268.
Massanutten
moneta 687.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Salonina, Asia - RIC V (Part 1) 8672 viewsSalonina Antoninianus
obv: SALONINA AVG. Diademed and draped bust right, resting on crescent
rev: VENVS AVG. Venus standing left, holding helmet and spear, shield at her side
exergue: PXV
Struck 267 A.D. at Asian Mint
RIC V (Part 1) 86
Van Meter 45
RSC 113
Note: Struck during the sole reign of her husband Gallienus
1 commentsJericho
SALONINA CONCORD.JPG
ROMAN EMPIRE, SALONINA. AR ANTONINIANUS of Antioch. Struck A.D.254 - 255.93 viewsObverse: CORN SALONINA AVG. Diademed and draped bust of Salonina facing right and resting on crescent.
Reverse: CONCORDIA AVG. Gallienus and Salonina standing facing each other, clasping one anothers right hands; in upper field, between figures, laurel-wreath.
RSC : 31a | Cf.VM : 9.

Cornelia Salonina was the wife of Gallienus and mother of Valerian II and Saloninus. She was created Augusta by her husband in A.D.254 and although she was a patron of philosophy little else is known about her. It is presumed that she was murdered with Gallienus in his camp outside Milan in A.D.268.

This coin was struck to celebrate her accession as Augusta.

SOLD ON FORVM

1 comments*Alex
mary-1a.jpg
S.2492 Mary I47 viewsGroat of Mary I (1553-1558)
First issue (1553-1554)
Mintmark: Pomegranate
O: MARIA D G ANG FRA Z HIB REGI
R: VERITAS TEMPORIS FILIA

Mary, daughter of Henry VIII by his first wife Catherine of Aragon, is a controversial figure in English history because of her religious persecutions against Protestants. She gets the moniker "Bloody Mary" because under her watch several hundred Protestants were burned at the stake. Mary's husband, Philip II of Spain, was also unpopular in England. Mary died childless and her sister Elizabeth undid pretty much all of her political and religious changes.

Coins of Mary take two flavors- in just her name prior to her marriage to Philip, and after 1554 with Philip's name. This coin belongs to the earlier issue. These coins frequently demonstrate large scratches across the queen's face, done intentionally as Mary was not liked in her time. This particular example is remarkable free of surface marks.

Ex- Heritage auction 3073 (lot 31062), Spink 11039 (lot 345), F Brady, Seaby, R Carlyon-Britton, WC Boyd
2 commentsNap
salonina sest.jpg
SALONINA sestertius - c.255-256 AD66 viewsobv: CORNELIA.SA[L]O[NINA.AVG] (diademed & draped bust right)
rev: IVNO.REGINA / S.C. (Juno standing left, holding patera & scepter)
ref: RIC Vi-46, C.62
mint: Rome
21.11gms, 26-29mm
Rare
Wife of Gallienus, and mother of Valerianus II, Saloninus, and Egnatius Marinianus. She was married to Gallienus before 242. Salonina saw the murder of her husband in 268, in front of the walls of sieged Milan.
berserker
IMG_1075.JPG
Salonina Sestertius Ivno 36 viewsAE Sestertius
Salonina, 253-268 CE
Diameter: 26~29mm, Weight: 15.69 grams, Die axis: 6h

Obverse: CORNELIA SALONINA AVG
Draped and diademed bust to right.

Reverse: IVNO REGINA SC
Juno, draped, standing facing left, holding patera in outstretched right hand, and sceptre in left hand.

Mint: Rome

Notes:
- The wife of Emperor Gallienus, her fate following the assassination of her husband is not certain.
-Salonina was said to be an intellectual woman, and her and her husband were patrons of the influential Greek philosopher Plotinus.
-The Historia Avgvsta records an incident where Salonina was sold gems that turned out to be glass. The seller was apprehended, and was told he would be fed to a lion. When at last the gate was opened, a chicken emerged. The emperor Gallienus was supposed to have said "He deceived, and then was himself deceived".
- Bronze fractional coinage during this period of Roman history is scarce. The silver antoninianus became so debased and inflation so rampant, metal was used to mint this more valuable denomination, rather than fractions such as sestertii. This sestertius dates to 255-256 CE.

Ex Downies Melbourne Ancient Exclusives July 2016, number 134, Ex Dix Noonan Web 15 March 2012, lot 1262 (part of), from the John Quinn collection
Pharsalos
Persephone_tetradrachm.JPG
Syracuse, Reign of Agathokles99 views317-289 BC
AR Tetradrachm (24mm, 17.14g)
O: Wreathed head of Kore (Persephone) right, wearing pendant earring and necklace; KOPAΣ behind.
R: Nike standing right, hammer in right hand, erecting trophy; triskeles to lower left, [ΑΓΑΘΟΚΛΕΙΟΣ] behind, all within dotted border.
Struck between 313–295 BC.
HGC 2, 1536; SNG ANS 670-76; SNG Cop 766ff; Sear 972v; BMC 388v
ex Museum Surplus

“Kore, the Girl, is so intimately associated with her mother Demeter that they are often referred to simply as the Two Goddesses or even as Demeteres. Kore’s own enigmatic name is Persephone, or Phersephone, and in Attic Pherrephatta. In Homer she is mentioned alone and also in conjunction with her husband, Hades-Aidoneus, the personification of the underworld; her Homeric epithets are venerable, agaue, and awesome, epaine. Her two aspects, girl-like daughter of the Corn Goddess and Mistress of the Dead, are linked in the myth which, though ignored in heroic epic, is responsible almost exclusively for defining the picture of Demeter. The earliest extended version is the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, but Hesiod already alludes to it in the Theogony as an ancient and well known story, and aspects of the later tradition seem to preserve very ancient material.”
~ Walter Burkert (Greek Religion, 1985)
2 commentsEnodia
R2745.jpg
The Dioscuri43 viewsIn Greek mythology, Castor (or Kastor) and Pollux (sometimes called Polydeuces) were the twin sons of Leda and the brothers of Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra. They are known as the Gemini, Latin for twins. According to Liddell and Scott's Lexicon, kastor is Greek for "beaver", and poludeukeis means "very sweet".

Polydeuces was a powerful boxer, and Castor a great horseman.

In Roman mythology, Castor was venerated much more often than Polydeuces. He was known as Castore.

When Theseus and Pirithous kidnapped their sister Helen and carried her off to Aphidnae, the twins rescued her and counter-abducted Theseus' mother, Aethra. They also accompanied Jason on the Argo; during the voyage, Polydeuces killed King Amycus in a boxing match.

When Astydameia, queen of Iolcus, offended Peleus, the twins assisted him in ravaging her country.

Castor and Polydeuces abducted and married Phoebe and Hilaeira, the daughters of Leucippus. In return, Idas and Lynceus, nephews of Leucippus (or rival suitors), killed Castor. Polydeuces was granted immortality by Zeus, and further persuaded Zeus to share his gift with Castor. (In some accounts, only Polydeuces was fathered by Zeus, while Leda and her husband Tyndareus conceived Castor. This explains why only Polydeuces was granted immortality.) Accordingly, the two spend alternate days as gods on Olympus and as deceased mortals in Hades.

Their festival was on July 15. They had their own temple in the Roman Forum: see Temple of Castor and Pollux.

Compare with Amphion and Zethus of Thebes, with Romulus and Remus of Rome, the Alcis of Germanic Mythology and with the Asvins of Vedic Mythology. Some have supposed a general Indo-European origin for the myth of the divine twins.

The constellation Gemini is said to represent these twins, and its brightest stars Castor and Pollux (α and β Geminorum) are named for them. There are also ancient sources which identify them with the morning and evening stars
ecoli
tranquillina AE23.jpg
TRANQUILLINA AE23 of Deultum, Thrace - AD242-24426 viewsobv: SAB TRANQVILLINA AVG (diademed & draped bust right)
rev: COL FL PAC DEVLT (Homonoia standing left, sacrificing from patera over altar & holding cornucopiae)
ref: Moushmov 3750
6.95gms,23mm
Rare
ex LANZ Numismatic
Furia Sabinia Tranquillina was the wife of Gordian III. She survived her murdered husband, but her subsequent lot in life and the period of her death remain equally without record.
This coin from Deultum presents the only affordable way for a collector to obtain a coin of Tranquillina with Latin legends, without needing to spend a fortune for an antoninianus.
1 commentsberserker
LT17c-1853.jpg
USA, Seated Liberty dime love token, 185322 views"Minnie" around top hat, with "89" and flourishes below. Presumably the latter indicates that the engraving was done in 1889, or something important to Minnie happened that year. Could this have been a wedding gift? Did Minnie's new husband wear a top hat like that, and present her with this ... or did Minnie give it to him? We'll never know, but it's fun to speculate on. Since the best known of my Internet avatar pictures features me wearing a top hat covered with holed coins (my trademark "Holey Gold Hat"), I simply HAD to have this piece. Others wanted it, too, so a scuffle ensued. I won. Ha! As it happened, I had just sold off an 1873 with the name "Minnie" on it when I upgraded that date to a pictorial piece. Ex-eBay, spring 2012. Total number of 1853 dimes struck at all mints = 13,273,010.
lordmarcovan
gallienus_valerian_apollo-propug_ants_obv_DSC07079_DSC07082_ovc-95%.JPG
VI - Gallienus and Valerian Antoninianii - 'IOVI ULTORI' and 'APOLINI PROPUG'32 viewsAncient Rome, Roman Empire. 253 - 260 A.D. Both are possibly from the Rome Mint.
Emperor Valerian (left) Father of Gallienus (right).
Father and Son AR/BI Antoninianii:
--------------
LEFT :

Emperor Valerian I (253-260 AD) Husband of Empress Salonina and Father of Gallienus and Valerian II.
AR Antoninianus. Struck 253 AD. Rome Mint.

obv: IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG - Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. Seen from the front.
rev: APOLINI PROPVG - Apollo standing right, drawing bow.

Weight: 3.0 grams
---------------
----------------------------------------------------
---------------
RIGHT:

Gallienus Antoninianus - IOVI ULTORI - Jupiter standing w/ thunderbolt 'S' in left field - #01
Gallienus (253 - 268 AD) Son of Emperor Valerian I (253 - 260 AD) and Empress Salonina.
Silver/billon Antoninianus.

obv: GALLIENUS AUG - Radiate bust right, cuirassed and seen from the front.
rev: IOVI ULTORI - Jupiter standing, facing right preparing to hurl thunderbolt. 'S' in left field.

Weight: 3.43 Grams
Size: 24 x 23 mm
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---
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2 commentsrexesq
gallienus_valerian_apollo-propug_ants_obv_DSC07077.JPG
VI - Gallienus and Valerian Antoninianii - 'IOVI ULTORI' and 'APOLINI PROPUG' - obverses.23 viewsAncient Rome, Roman Empire. 253 - 260 A.D. Both are possibly from the Rome Mint.
Emperor Valerian (left) Father of Gallienus (right).
Father and Son AR/BI Antoninianii:
--------------
LEFT :

Emperor Valerian I (253-260 AD) Husband of Empress Salonina and Father of Gallienus and Valerian II.
AR Antoninianus. Struck 253 AD. Rome Mint.

obv: IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG - Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. Seen from the front.
rev: APOLINI PROPVG - Apollo standing right, drawing bow.

Weight: 3.0 grams
---------------
----------------------------------------------------
---------------
RIGHT:

Gallienus Antoninianus - IOVI ULTORI - Jupiter standing w/ thunderbolt 'S' in left field - #01
Gallienus (253 - 268 AD) Son of Emperor Valerian I (253 - 260 AD) and Empress Salonina.
Silver/billon Antoninianus.

obv: GALLIENUS AUG - Radiate bust right, cuirassed and seen from the front.
rev: IOVI ULTORI - Jupiter standing, facing right preparing to hurl thunderbolt. 'S' in left field.

Weight: 3.43 Grams
Size: 24 x 23 mm
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1 commentsrexesq
ARI-Victorinus-3.jpg
Victorinus AD 269 – 27112 viewsBI Double-Denarius – RIC V-2 Cologne 114

MS: Strike 5/5: Surface 4/5: Silvering

Obv.: IMP C VICTORINVS PF AVG, radiate, draped, cuirassed bust right

Rev.: INVICTVS, Sol walking left, holding whip, right hand raised, star in left field.

Marcus Piavonius Victorinus was emperor in the Gallic provinces from 269 to 271, following the brief reign of Marius. He was murdered by a jealous husband whose wife he tried to seduce.
Richard M10
SeptSeverus.jpg
[1001a] Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.63 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 32, RSC 301, VF, 2.966g, 16.8mm, 180o, Rome mint, 194 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP III, laureate head right; reverse LIBERO PATRI, Liber (Bacchus) standing left, in right ocnochoe over panther, thysus in left; excellent portrait; scarce. Ex FORVM.

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.
1 commentsCleisthenes
SeptSevArDen.jpg
[1001b] Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.45 viewsSeptimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Silver denarius, RIC 119A. aF. Rome. Obverse: L. SEP. SEVERVS PER. AVG. P. M. IMP. XI, His bearded and laureated head right. Reverse: SALVTI AVGG. Salus seated left feeding serpent arising from altar(?). Scarce. Ex FORVM.


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.[[3]] 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
JuliaDomnaRICIV560.jpg
[1003c] Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.25 viewsAR Denarius; RIC IV 560; 16.89 mm, 3.5 grams; AD 196-202; VF, Rome mint; Obverse: IVLIA AVGVSTA, Draped bust right; Reverse: IVNO REGINA, Juno standing left holding patera and sceptre, peacock at feet. A nice denarius on a smallish flan. Ex Ancient Imports.

De Imperatoribus Romanis, An On-Line Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Severan Julias (A.D. 193-235)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Julia Domna was born about 170 A.D., in Emesa of Syria. She was the youngest daughter of Julius Bassianus, priest of the sun god Elagabal. As such, she was part of the local aristocracy from a plebian family. Having come to the attention of Severus because of her promising horoscope, he married her, probably in 187 A.D. She gave birth to their first child, Bassianus, the future emperor M. Aurelius Antoninus, known as Caracalla, on 4 April 188. About thirteen months later, she gave birth to a second son, Geta.

When Septimius Severus claimed the empire after Didius Julianus had succeeded Pertinax in 193 A.D., two serious rivals challenged him, Pescennius Niger in the East and Clodius Albinus in the West. Julia Domna accompanied her husband in the campaign against Pescennius, having been honored with the title mater castrorum. After this successful campaign, there was another campaign in the East, against the Parthians, in 197 A.D. She was widely honored with inscriptions throughout this period, and numerous coin issues emphasized her imperial position. Julia Domna was, perhaps, more influential in the political life of the empire than any of her imperial predecessors.

She opposed Plautianus, the praetorian prefect and father-in-law of Caracalla, and was partially responsible for his downfall and his daughter Plautilla's disgrace. She was often accused of adultery; nonetheless, the emperor chose to ignore these charges, if true, and the marriage continued.

Among her passions were literature and philosophy; she gathered writers and philosophers in a kind of salon (among whom was Galen of Pergamum), and urged Philostratus to write the life of Apollonius of Tyana.

She once again accompanied her husband, with the two sons present as well, on campaign, against the Britons in 208 A.D. When Severus died at York in early 211 A.D., she returned to Rome with Caracalla and Geta, having gained the full title of mater castrorum et senatus et patriae, with the frequent addition of et Augustorum. She persuaded the two sons to share the rule, as the emperor had wished on his deathbed, but, since the brothers hated each other, this arrangement was doomed to failure. In 212 A.D., Caracalla murdered Geta while he sought succor in his mother's arms; covered with his blood, she was forbidden by Caracalla to grieve.

Her relationship with Caracalla during the six years of his reign was mixed. She had some public duties but largely devoted herself to philosophy. She accompanied Caracalla to the east on campaign against the Parthians in 217 A.D. When she learned, in Antioch, that he had been assassinated, she resolved upon death, which followed her refusal to take food. Her remains were ultimately placed in Hadrian's Mausoleum, at the insistence of Maesa, her sister. She was deified, and was known as Diva Iulia Domna or Diva Iulia Augusta. She was worshipped in various parts of the empire with local titles, such as Dea Caelestis in Carthage and Venus Caelestis in Puteoli.

By Herbert W. Benario, Emory University
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.

If you are interested in Julia Domna, visit Ernie Thompson’s site: The Life, Family and Coinage of Julia Domna (http://juliadomna.ancients.info/).
1 commentsCleisthenes
SeverusAlexanderRIC70RSC325s.jpg
[1009a] Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.83 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 70, RSC 325, S -, EF, Rome mint, 2.803g, 20.7mm, 0o, 227 A.D.; Obverse: IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right; Reverse: P M TR P VI COS II P P, Emperor standing left, sacrificing from patera in right over a tripod, scroll in left; cameo-like obverse with toned portrait and legend and bright fields, slightly frosty surfaces, details of head on reverse figure unstruck, slightly irregular flan. Ex FORVM.

In this year Ardashir invaded Parthia and established the Sassanid Dynasty, which claimed direct descent from Xerxes and Darius. The Eastern power grew stronger and the threat to the Romans immense.

Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander was promoted from Caesar to Augustus after the murder of his cousin, Elagabalus. His reign was marked by great economic prosperity, and he enjoyed great success against the barbarian tribes. His mother Julia Mamaea was the real power in the empire, controlling her son's policies and even his personal life with great authority. Severus had an oratory where he prayed under the edict, written on the wall, "Do not unto others what you would not have done to yourself" and the images of various prophets including Mithras, Zoroaster, Abraham and Jesus. Mutinous soldiers led by Maximinus I murdered both Severus Alexander and his mother (Joseph Sermarini).

De Imeratoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Alexander Severus (A.D. 222-235)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"But as Alexander was a modest and dutiful youth, of only seventeen years of age, the reins of government were in the hands of two women, of his mother Mamaea, and of Maesa, his grandmother. After the death of the latter, who survived but a short time the elevation of Alexander, Mamaea remained the sole regent of her son and of the empire." (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. 6: Modern Library Edition, p. 130)

"As the imperial system developed, it disclosed its various arcana one by one. How much does the personality of the ruler matter? Less and less, it should seem. Be he boy, buffoon, or philosopher, his conduct may not have much effect on the administration. Habit and routine took over, with groups and grades of bureaucrats at hand to fill the posts." (Syme, Emperors and Biography, 146)

The passages quoted above emphasize two important aspects of the principate of Severus Alexander (or Alexander Severus), his youth and the influence of women during his reign. The significance of the latter invites brief discourse about the four women known as the "Severan Julias," whose origin was Syria. Julia Domna became the second wife of Septimius Severus and bore him two sons, the later emperors Caracalla and Geta. Her role in the administration of her husband was significant, which her expansive titulature, "mother of the camp and the senate and the country," reflected. Her sister, Julia Maesa, had two daughters, each of whom produced a son who was to become emperor. Julia Soaemias was the mother of Elagabalus, and shared his fate when he was assassinated. Julia Mamaea bore Alexander, who succeeded his cousin; he was very young and hence much under the control of grandmother and mother. For the first time in its imperial history, the empire of Rome was de facto, though not de iure, governed by women.

The literary sources, while numerous, are limited in value. Chief among them, at least in scope, is the biography in the Historia Augusta, much the longest of all the lives in this peculiar collection. Though purporting to be the work of six authors in the early fourth century, it is now generally considered to have been produced by one author writing in the last years of this century. Spacious in its treatment of the emperor and extremely favorable to him on the whole, it has little historical merit, seeming rather an extended work of fiction. It must be used with the utmost caution.

Herodian, whose history covered the period 180-238, was a contemporary of Severus Alexander, and his coverage of the latter's reign is extensive. Another contemporary, Dio Cassius, who was consul in 229 and whose judgments would have been most valuable, is unfortunately useless here, since his history survives only in abbreviated form and covers barely a page of printed text for the whole reign (Book 80). Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, the Epitome de Caesaribus, and other Latin sources are extremely brief, informing us of only the occasional anecdote. Christian writers make minimal contribution; legal texts offer much instruction, particularly those dealing with or stemming from Ulpian; coins, inscriptions, papyri, and archaeology help fill the gaps left by the literary sources.

Early Life and Education
The future emperor was born in Arca Caesarea in Phoenicia on October 1, 208 although some sources put the date three years earlier (as Gibbon assumed, see above), the son of Gessius Marcianus, whose career advanced in the equestrian cursus, and of Julia Mamaea, niece of the then empress, Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. He was raised quietly and well educated, at the instance of his mother. He came into the public eye only in 218, when, after Macrinus' murder of Caracalla and accession to the purple, he and his mother were declared hostes publici. In June of that year, Elagabalus defeated Macrinus and succeeded him as emperor. Alexander and Mamaea were soon rehabilitated. As his cousin's activities, religious, political, and personal, became increasingly unacceptable, Alexander was drawn ever more into public life. In mid 221, he assumed the toga virilis, was adopted by Elagabalus as a colleague, was granted the name Alexander, and elevated to the rank of Caesar. There had been talk that he was the illegitimate child of Caracalla, which won him support among the army, and this was confirmed, at least for public consumption, by his filiation in the official titulature back to Septimius. He was now styled Imp. Caes. M. Aurelii Antonini Pii Felicis Aug. fil., divi Antonini Magni Pii nepos, divi Severi pronepos M. Aurelius Alexander, nobilissimus Caesar imperi et sacerdotis, princeps iuventutis. The connection with Septimius Severus was crucial, since he was the only one of these predecessors who had been deified. Alexander was about 12˝ years old. Less than a year later, on March 13, 222, with the murder of Elagabalus, Alexander was hailed as emperor by the army. He considered this date as his dies imperii. He became thereby the youngest emperor in Rome's history. He was immediately thereafter given the titles of Augustus, pater patriae, and pontifex maximus.

His Principate; Grandmother, Mother, Ulpian
Having had no experience in government, the young emperor was largely dependent upon the two senior women in his life to guide his actions. His grandmother, Julia Maesa, may well have died as early as 223, so that his mother, Julia Mamaea, played the major role in the empire's administration from early on until the end. The only other figures who could rival her were the two Praetorian Prefects, both eminent jurists, Ulpian and Paulus, who are well-known to us because of the numerous citations of their legal views and administrative decisions preserved in the Corpus Iuris Civilis. Both were members of Alexander's consilium. Alexander attempted to restore some of the senate's prestige and functions, but with little success. He was even unable to protect Ulpian against the anger of the praetorians, who then murdered the jurist in 223.

Had his principate been peaceful, he might have developed into a significant emperor, certainly in comparison with his immediate predecessors. He was married once, in 225 to Sallustia Orbiana, who received the official titulature Sallustia Barbia Orbiana Augusta, but she was banished to Libya two years later. Her father, L. Seius Sallustius, was perhaps raised to the rank of Caesar by Alexander and was put to death in 227 on a charge of attempted murder of the emperor. The only other recorded uprising against Alexander is that of Taurinus, who was hailed as Augustus but drowned himself in the Euphrates.

According to the HA life, Alexander was a "good" person, and his mother certainly attempted to guide him well, but much of the last decade of his reign was preoccupied with serious military threats against the empire's prestige, nay existence. In those dangerous circumstances, his abilities, which had not earlier been honed, proved inadequate.

Domestic Policy
Perhaps the greatest service which Alexander furnished Rome, certainly at the beginning of his reign, was the return to a sense of sanity and tradition after the madness and fanaticism of Elagabalus. He is said to have honored and worshipped a variety of individuals, including Christ. His amiability assisted his relationship with the senate, which gained in honor under him without any real increase in its power. Besides jurists in high office, literary figures were also so distinguished; Marius Maximus, the biographer, and Dio Cassius, the historian, gained second consulships, the former in 223, the latter in 229.

The emperor's building program made its mark upon the face of Rome. The last of the eleven great aqueducts, the aqua Alexandrina, was put into service in 226; he also rebuilt the thermae Neronianae in the Campus Martius in the following year and gave them his own name. Of the other constructions, perhaps the most intriguing are the Diaetae Mammaeae, apartments which he built for his mother on the Palatine.

The Persian and German Wars
The first great external challenge appeared in the east, where the Parthian dynasty, which had ruled the Iranian plateau and other large areas for centuries, and who for long had been one of Rome's great rivals, was overthrown by the Persian family of the Sassanids by 227. They aspired to restore their domain to include all the Asian lands which had been ruled in the glory days of the Persian Empire. Since this included Asia Minor as well as all other eastern provinces, the stage was set for continuing clashes with Rome.

These began late in the decade, with significant success early on for the Sassanids. But Rome gradually developed a defense against these incursions, and ultimately the emperor, with his mother and staff, went to the east in 231. There actual military command rested in the hands of his generals, but his presence gave additional weight to the empire's policy. Persia's early successes soon faded as Rome's armies brought their power and experience to bear. The result was an acceptance of the status quo rather than a settlement between the parties. This occurred in 233 and Alexander returned to Rome. His presence in the west was required by a German threat, particularly along the Rhine, where the tribes took advantage of the withdrawal of Roman troops for the eastern war.

In 234, Alexander and Julia Mammaea moved to Moguntiacum (Mainz), the capital of Upper Germany. The military situation had improved with the return of troops from the east, and an ambitious offensive campaign was planned, for which a bridge was built across the Rhine. But Alexander preferred to negotiate for peace by buying off the enemy. This policy outraged the soldiers, who mutinied in mid March 235 and killed the emperor and his mother. He had reached the age of 26˝ years and had been emperor for almost precisely half his life. He was deified by the senate and received other posthumous honors. With the accession of Maximinus Thrax, the Severan dynasty came to an end.

Death and Evaluation
Tacitus' famous dictum about Galba, that he was properly considered capax imperii, capable of being emperor, until he showed, when emperor, that he was not, could never have been applied to Severus 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.

Copyright (C) 2001, Herbert W. Benario. Published on De Imeratoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/alexsev.htm . Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
SevAl.jpg
[1009b] Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.110 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 19, S -, aF, Rome, 2.806g, 20.0mm, 0o, 223 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverse P M TR P II COS P P, Jupiter standing left cloak over arms, holding long scepter and thunderbolt. Nice portrait. Ex FORVM.

Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander was promoted from Caesar to Augustus after the murder of his cousin, Elagabalus. His reign was marked by great economic prosperity, and he enjoyed great success against the barbarian tribes. His mother Julia Mamaea was the real power in the empire, controlling her son's policies and even his personal life with great authority. Severus had an oratory where he prayed under the edict, written on the wall, "Do not unto others what you would not have done to yourself" and the images of various prophets including Mithras, Zoroaster, Abraham and Jesus. Mutinous soldiers led by Maximinus I murdered both Severus Alexander and his mother (Joseph Sermarini).


De Imeratoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Alexander Severus (A.D. 222-235)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"But as Alexander was a modest and dutiful youth, of only seventeen years of age, the reins of government were in the hands of two women, of his mother Mamaea, and of Maesa, his grandmother. After the death of the latter, who survived but a short time the elevation of Alexander, Mamaea remained the sole regent of her son and of the empire." (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. 6: Modern Library Edition, p. 130)

"As the imperial system developed, it disclosed its various arcana one by one. How much does the personality of the ruler matter? Less and less, it should seem. Be he boy, buffoon, or philosopher, his conduct may not have much effect on the administration. Habit and routine took over, with groups and grades of bureaucrats at hand to fill the posts." (Syme, Emperors and Biography, 146)

The passages quoted above emphasize two important aspects of the principate of Severus Alexander (or Alexander Severus), his youth and the influence of women during his reign. The significance of the latter invites brief discourse about the four women known as the "Severan Julias," whose origin was Syria. Julia Domna became the second wife of Septimius Severus and bore him two sons, the later emperors Caracalla and Geta. Her role in the administration of her husband was significant, which her expansive titulature, "mother of the camp and the senate and the country," reflected. Her sister, Julia Maesa, had two daughters, each of whom produced a son who was to become emperor. Julia Soaemias was the mother of Elagabalus, and shared his fate when he was assassinated. Julia Mamaea bore Alexander, who succeeded his cousin; he was very young and hence much under the control of grandmother and mother. For the first time in its imperial history, the empire of Rome was de facto, though not de iure, governed by women.

The literary sources, while numerous, are limited in value. Chief among them, at least in scope, is the biography in the Historia Augusta, much the longest of all the lives in this peculiar collection. Though purporting to be the work of six authors in the early fourth century, it is now generally considered to have been produced by one author writing in the last years of this century. Spacious in its treatment of the emperor and extremely favorable to him on the whole, it has little historical merit, seeming rather an extended work of fiction. It must be used with the utmost caution.

Herodian, whose history covered the period 180-238, was a contemporary of Severus Alexander, and his coverage of the latter's reign is extensive. Another contemporary, Dio Cassius, who was consul in 229 and whose judgments would have been most valuable, is unfortunately useless here, since his history survives only in abbreviated form and covers barely a page of printed text for the whole reign (Book 80). Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, the Epitome de Caesaribus, and other Latin sources are extremely brief, informing us of only the occasional anecdote. Christian writers make minimal contribution; legal texts offer much instruction, particularly those dealing with or stemming from Ulpian; coins, inscriptions, papyri, and archaeology help fill the gaps left by the literary sources.

Early Life and Education
The future emperor was born in Arca Caesarea in Phoenicia on October 1, 208 although some sources put the date three years earlier (as Gibbon assumed, see above), the son of Gessius Marcianus, whose career advanced in the equestrian cursus, and of Julia Mamaea, niece of the then empress, Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. He was raised quietly and well educated, at the instance of his mother. He came into the public eye only in 218, when, after Macrinus' murder of Caracalla and accession to the purple, he and his mother were declared hostes publici. In June of that year, Elagabalus defeated Macrinus and succeeded him as emperor. Alexander and Mamaea were soon rehabilitated. As his cousin's activities, religious, political, and personal, became increasingly unacceptable, Alexander was drawn ever more into public life. In mid 221, he assumed the toga virilis, was adopted by Elagabalus as a colleague, was granted the name Alexander, and elevated to the rank of Caesar. There had been talk that he was the illegitimate child of Caracalla, which won him support among the army, and this was confirmed, at least for public consumption, by his filiation in the official titulature back to Septimius. He was now styled Imp. Caes. M. Aurelii Antonini Pii Felicis Aug. fil., divi Antonini Magni Pii nepos, divi Severi pronepos M. Aurelius Alexander, nobilissimus Caesar imperi et sacerdotis, princeps iuventutis. The connection with Septimius Severus was crucial, since he was the only one of these predecessors who had been deified. Alexander was about 12˝ years old. Less than a year later, on March 13, 222, with the murder of Elagabalus, Alexander was hailed as emperor by the army. He considered this date as his dies imperii. He became thereby the youngest emperor in Rome's history. He was immediately thereafter given the titles of Augustus, pater patriae, and pontifex maximus.

His Principate; Grandmother, Mother, Ulpian
Having had no experience in government, the young emperor was largely dependent upon the two senior women in his life to guide his actions. His grandmother, Julia Maesa, may well have died as early as 223, so that his mother, Julia Mamaea, played the major role in the empire's administration from early on until the end. The only other figures who could rival her were the two Praetorian Prefects, both eminent jurists, Ulpian and Paulus, who are well-known to us because of the numerous citations of their legal views and administrative decisions preserved in the Corpus Iuris Civilis. Both were members of Alexander's consilium. Alexander attempted to restore some of the senate's prestige and functions, but with little success. He was even unable to protect Ulpian against the anger of the praetorians, who then murdered the jurist in 223.

Had his principate been peaceful, he might have developed into a significant emperor, certainly in comparison with his immediate predecessors. He was married once, in 225 to Sallustia Orbiana, who received the official titulature Sallustia Barbia Orbiana Augusta, but she was banished to Libya two years later. Her father, L. Seius Sallustius, was perhaps raised to the rank of Caesar by Alexander and was put to death in 227 on a charge of attempted murder of the emperor. The only other recorded uprising against Alexander is that of Taurinus, who was hailed as Augustus but drowned himself in the Euphrates.

According to the HA life, Alexander was a "good" person, and his mother certainly attempted to guide him well, but much of the last decade of his reign was preoccupied with serious military threats against the empire's prestige, nay existence. In those dangerous circumstances, his abilities, which had not earlier been honed, proved inadequate.

Domestic Policy
Perhaps the greatest service which Alexander furnished Rome, certainly at the beginning of his reign, was the return to a sense of sanity and tradition after the madness and fanaticism of Elagabalus. He is said to have honored and worshipped a variety of individuals, including Christ. His amiability assisted his relationship with the senate, which gained in honor under him without any real increase in its power. Besides jurists in high office, literary figures were also so distinguished; Marius Maximus, the biographer, and Dio Cassius, the historian, gained second consulships, the former in 223, the latter in 229.

The emperor's building program made its mark upon the face of Rome. The last of the eleven great aqueducts, the aqua Alexandrina, was put into service in 226; he also rebuilt the thermae Neronianae in the Campus Martius in the following year and gave them his own name. Of the other constructions, perhaps the most intriguing are the Diaetae Mammaeae, apartments which he built for his mother on the Palatine.

The Persian and German Wars
The first great external challenge appeared in the east, where the Parthian dynasty, which had ruled the Iranian plateau and other large areas for centuries, and who for long had been one of Rome's great rivals, was overthrown by the Persian family of the Sassanids by 227. They aspired to restore their domain to include all the Asian lands which had been ruled in the glory days of the Persian Empire. Since this included Asia Minor as well as all other eastern provinces, the stage was set for continuing clashes with Rome.

These began late in the decade, with significant success early on for the Sassanids. But Rome gradually developed a defense against these incursions, and ultimately the emperor, with his mother and staff, went to the east in 231. There actual military command rested in the hands of his generals, but his presence gave additional weight to the empire's policy. Persia's early successes soon faded as Rome's armies brought their power and experience to bear. The result was an acceptance of the status quo rather than a settlement between the parties. This occurred in 233 and Alexander returned to Rome. His presence in the west was required by a German threat, particularly along the Rhine, where the tribes took advantage of the withdrawal of Roman troops for the eastern war.

In 234, Alexander and Julia Mammaea moved to Moguntiacum (Mainz), the capital of Upper Germany. The military situation had improved with the return of troops from the east, and an ambitious offensive campaign was planned, for which a bridge was built across the Rhine. But Alexander preferred to negotiate for peace by buying off the enemy. This policy outraged the soldiers, who mutinied in mid March 235 and killed the emperor and his mother. He had reached the age of 26˝ years and had been emperor for almost precisely half his life. He was deified by the senate and received other posthumous honors. With the accession of Maximinus Thrax, the Severan dynasty came to an end.

Death and Evaluation
Tacitus' famous dictum about Galba, that he was properly considered capax imperii, capable of being emperor, until he showed, when emperor, that he was not, could never have been applied to Severus 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.

Copyright (C) 2001, Herbert W. Benario. Published on De Imeratoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/alexsev.htm . Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
ArcadiusManusDei.jpg
[1601b] Arcadius, 19 January 383 - 1 May 408 A.D.63 viewsARCADIUS AE2. Struck at Constantinople, 378-383 AD. Obverse: D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right, holding spear and shield, Hand of God above holding wreath; Reverse - GLORIA ROMANORVM, emperor standing facing, head left, holding standard & resting shield at side, bound captive seated on ground to left, head right, CONG in exergue. RIC 53b. Scarce. Extremely Fine, some roughness and corrosion.


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


Arcadius (395-408 A.D.)

Geoffrey S. Nathan
University of California at Los Angeles

Introduction and Early Life
The ineffectual life and reign of Flavius Arcadius are of considerably less importance than the quite significant developments that occurred during his reign. Born either in 377 or 378 to then general Theodosius and Aelia Flavia Flacilla, he and his younger brother, Honorius, ruled the eastern and western halves of the Roman Empire respectively from 395.

Shortly after his birth, his father was raised to the imperial purple in 379. Events in Illyricum with the massive influx of Ostrogothic and Visigothic peoples had resulted in the defeat of the Roman army and the death of the emperor, Valens. Theodosius' first task was to confront the Visigoths who had been ravaging the Balkans. Perhaps in the wake of this difficult and almost insurmountable task, the emperor wanted to insure that his infant son would bear some legitimacy should he die on campaign. Whatever the reason, Arcadius was proclaimed Augustus in January of 383 at the age of five or six. In the following year, his younger brother was born and it seems as if Theodosius initially had been interested in preserving the theoretical position of his elder son. While Arcadius enjoyed the status of Augustus, Honorius only achieved the office of consul posterior in 386. Perhaps the eastern emperor had wanted to avoid the possible conflicts that arose earlier in the century with the family of Constantine. Recent events in the west with the assassination of Gratian by Magnus Maximus may have also played a part: Theodosius initially had to leave the murder of his imperial colleague unavenged and leave the boy- emperor, Valentinian II, largely undefended. The profusion of emperors may well have been seen by Theodosius as kindling for civil war. His own autocratic tendencies may have also meant that he saw only one possible successor for himself.

Nevertheless, Theodosius gave Arcadius very little independence in early life. When he went to campaign against Magnus in the late 380's, he placed his son under the Praetorian Prefect of the East, Tatian, who was the de facto emperor in Theodosius' absence. This began a long series of regencies for Arcadius. The strength of Tatian's position with the eastern governing class made the office of Praetorian Prefect all the more powerful in Constantinople, which in turn made it easier to dominate future emperors. When Theodosius replaced Tatian with the more malleable and more ambitious Rufinus in 392, he had appointed a minister who would centralize even greater authority under the prefecture.

By 393, the emperor's situation had changed radically. When events in the west demanded his attention again, Theodosius was in a much stronger position. The ascendancy of the general, Arbogast, and his own puppet emperor, Eugenius, in the west provided Theodosius an opportunity and, indeed, the obligation to take full control of the Empire. The chance for having his own two sons ruling both halves of Rome not only seemed practical and feasible, but such an arrangement would establish himself as the head of a new dynasty. With thoughts in that direction, Honorius was made Augustus in 393 and accompanied his father west in the summer of 394. Arcadius, although near his majority, was nevertheless placed again under the guardianship (epitropos) of the Prefect of the East. In January of 395, Theodosius the Great died and his two sons took theoretical control of the two halves of the Roman Empire.

Early Reign and the Dominance of Rufinus and Eutropius (395-399)
Arcadius was eighteen when he assumed the throne in the east. We do not know whether or not he was ready for the responsibilities. During the mid-380's, the young emperor had been educated in part by Themistius, a famous pagan statesman, philosopher, and speaker. In what way he affected Arcadius is impossible to say, but surely his teachings must have included statecraft. Perhaps because of this influence, the new emperor's attempt to establish himself as an independent force can be seen in a series of laws passed at his accession. In contrast to trying to create a military image for himself, which would not be allowed either by Rufinus or by the eastern court, he attempted to portray himself as a pious Christian emperor. He enacted several comprehensive laws against heresy and paganism.

This was not necessarily an ineffectual strategy. By celebrating his religious piety, he expressed his power in the only way available to an emperor largely controlled by his ministers. He also perhaps sought to gain support and power from the local governing and religious hierarchies in Constantinople. Arcadius also perhaps thought that he was carrying on in the tradition of his father and so, by extension, might share in some of his glory. Rufinus in contrast wanted to tie himself to the emperor through a marriage connection to his daughter. But in April of 395, Arcadius had taken advantage of the Prefect's temporary absence to marry Aelia Eudoxia, whose guardian, the general, Promotus, had been a bitter enemy of Rufinus. Arcadius had been aided in this move by his own grand chamberlain (praepositus sacri cubiculi), Eutropius, and it perhaps indicated the degree to which he wanted to be free of any regent.

But in reality, Arcadius gained little if any power. Rufinus assumed full control of the east, and the Vandal Stilicho, Theodosius' closest advisor and general, took control of Honorius in the west. The tension between east and west quickly grew when Stilicho, in command of all the eastern and western armies, tried to press his guardianship over Arcadius as well. Moreover, there was considerable resentment against Rufinus in the east for using his office to greatly enrich himself and perhaps, too, because he was a westerner. Rufinus, understanding the perils around him, acted quickly. He had Arcadius demand the return of the eastern armies at once. Stilicho acquiesced, perhaps because the general was basing his claim of guardianship on his own legitimacy: to have taken control of the east and Arcadius by force would have undermined his position there and perhaps in the west. The soldiers returned under the command of the Gothic general, Gainas. With the control of the field army, it seemed as if Rufinus was going to be more thoroughly in control of the east and over Arcadius.

He did not long enjoy his victory. When Arcadius and Rufinus came to greet the armies at Hebdoman near Constantinople in November of 395, the soldiers turned on the Praetorian Prefect and cut him down in front of the emperor. Whether Stilicho instigated the assassination is a matter of some debate, but if he did, he received no benefit from it. The armies remained and Arcadius soon fell under the sway of other ministers. Nevertheless, despite the shock and fear Arcadius may have felt at witnessing such a brutal murder, he probably missed Rufinus' presence not at all and even thought it might provide an opportunity to assert his own authority. For the bureaucracy, the death meant that maintaining civilian control over the army was paramount to their own survival.

Soon thereafter, Eutropius assumed Rufinus' place in dominating Arcadius. Since the grand chamberlain could control access to the emperor and commanded the powerful palace bureaucracy, he was well-placed to dictate what and whom the emperor saw and heard. Military officers--frequently Germanic--who dominated the western government, were held suspect by fearful and jealous civil administrators in Constantinople. Eutropius used that fear to his advantage and froze out any access they may have had to the circles of power. His decision to effectively eliminate the military's input in decision-making would eventually lead to his demise.

It is difficult to determine how popular Eutropius was either with Arcadius or with the wider population. As a eunuch and a former slave, the sources generally portray him very negatively. He nevertheless seems to have enjoyed some support from the emperor, likely aided by Eudoxia with whom the grand chamberlain had close ties. The emperor happily took annual vacations in Galatia, apparently upon the Eutropius' suggestion. Moreover, the chamberlain showed great personal courage and talent in leading a campaign against invading Huns in 397/8, for which he won the consulship and the rank of patrician in the following year of 399. He also seems to have gained considerable support from the local clergy by procuring the patriarchate of Constantinople in 398 for John Chrysostom.

Despite Eutropius' rise to power, however, eastern policy changed little. The religious policies of Theodosius and Arcadius continued, including the forced closure of pagan temples in Gaza. More significantly, tension between the two halves of the empire persisted as Stilicho continued to press for his position as guardian. Although Stilicho led periodic raids into Greece and Thrace to attack the new Visigothic king, Alaric, his victories were incomplete and were more likely meant to keep the Germanic people out of western territory. This meant, among other things, that the Visigoths were an enduring problem for the east. Eutropius in turn supported the revolt of the Count Gildo in Africa, which was under western control, in an attempt to destabilize Stilicho's control and further eastern domains.

The failure of the revolt in 398 was the first step in Eutropius' downfall. The decision to exclude the military men of the period, particularly among the growing importance of Germanic officers, created a dangerous situation. By 399, the dissatisfaction with east-west affairs and the Gildo fiasco resulted in a revolt by the Gothic count, Tribigild. He was apparently in collusion with Gainas, who had taken advantage of the crisis to be named chief general in the east (magister utriusque militiae). Gainas quickly reached an agreement with the rebel and part of the settlement was the dismissal of Eutropius, to which Arcadius--at Eudoxia's urging--agreed. The chamberlain took refuge in the Hagia Sophia, and was exiled to Cyprus. But shortly thereafter, in the autumn of 399, Eutropius was recalled, tried and executed in Chalcedon.

The Age of Eudoxia (400-404)
The death of Eutropius precipitated a serious crisis. Gainas, who had wanted high office for years, now tried to force the hand of Arcadius. Having come to a quick resolution with Tribigild, he moved from Thrace towards Constantinople in 400. With the Germanic troops supporting him, Gainas tried for six months to initiate his own primacy-- including seizing the imperial palace--but which failed. He was forced to withdraw personally from the city to regroup and planned to use his troops remaining there to seize the entire city. But they were slaughtered by the inhabitiants and he fled first to Thrace and then to Asia. Eventually Gainas was killed by the Huns later in that year. His attempted coup ensured that Germanic officers would never again be trusted by the eastern government and would forever be kept out of any important decision-making roles.

The likely successor to Eutropius had been the anti-Germanic leader, Aurelianus, who had succeeded to the Prefecture of the East in 399. But Gainas had exiled him, having forced Arcadius to hand him over, and although Aurelianus returned triumphantly after Gainas' departure, he appears to have lost his hold over the emperor. In the meantime, Aelia Eudoxia had done much to forward her own place in the government. In January of 400, she had been named Augusta, a singular distinction offered to only three other women in the previous century. Her position thus gained a semi-official legitimacy afforded to very few Roman empresses. It has been assumed that because of her beauty, her intelligence, and her fecundity (she bore Arcadius five children), she was able to assert her influence to a point where she was the new power behind the throne.

That assessment, while held by many scholars, is not entirely accurate. While there were several events in which she played a crucial part, they were not terribly important moments during Arcadius' reign. But because Eudoxia was enormously wealthy, because she delivered a male heir in 401, and because she was involved in a highly publicized and drawn out political fight with John Chrysostom, this belief that there was an assumption of power is based more on the notoriety of her acts than on actual control. The fact that there was no one clearly dominating the government nor the emperor during this time implies perhaps that Arcadius had more power during these five years of his reign than at any other time.

There are several indications that he did try to improve and assert his own position. The emperor and his court immediately came to some understanding with the west. The east at the very least gave Honorius and Stilicho moral support in their increasing problems with Alaric. In 402, the feeling of goodwill was sealed by a joint consulship between Arcadius and his brother. The emperor also sought to establish his own military prowess and Christian piety with the erection of a column set up in the Hippodrome of Constantinople in 402/3. The column depicted his military victory over Gainas, crowned with a capital emblazoned with the Greek letters chi-rho, symbolizing his devotion to Christ. Arcadius' son, Theodosius II, was born in 401, and was quickly made Augustus at the age of eight months. The eastern ruler was thus interested in assuring his own dynasty.

In all these things, the emperor was largely successful, but they were largely overshadowed by the feud between his empress and the bishop of Constantinople. Eudoxia had already shown herself able in pushing her interests during the baptism of her son. The Bishop of Constantinople, however, was a much tougher opponent than her husband. John Chrysostom, a strong believer in social justice, had boorishly attacked Eudoxia and many of her friends for the conspicuous luxury in which they lived and displayed themselves. At the height of these attacks, John compared the empress to Jezebel. Eudoxia in turn used her considerable influence to inflame hostility among the clergy against the bishop. Working through Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria, in 403 Chrysostom was deposed and forced into exile at a Church council convened by the emperor (the Synod of the Oak at Chalcedon). However, there was soon such turmoil and uproar in the imperial city that the bishop was recalled a few days later. But the public feuding between Eudoxia and Chrysostom continued until at last she had him banished again in 404, this time permanently. Among other things, it caused a breach between Arcadius and his brother, who had, with Pope Innocent I, tried to support Chrysostom.

Eudoxia's victory was short-lived, however. In October of 404, the Augusta died of a miscarriage. Her death was seen by some as retribution for dismissing John. Whatever the reason, her end also signaled a complete retreat into the background by the emperor and no further initiatives seem to have been pushed by the 27-year-old Augustus.

The Final Years: Anthemius and Death (404-408)
The last years of Arcadius' reign were completely dominated by his Praetorian Prefect of the East, Anthemius. It was perhaps fitting that when the emperor seems to have been most retiring, the most able and energetic of his high ministers came to power. Anthemius worked hard to solve a series of governmental abuses, continue to push for Christianization, and secure the east from attack.

Anthemius first seems to have tried to reconcile with the west, so much so that there was a joint consulship between Anthemius and Stilicho in 405. This might have also been meant to symbolize the Prefect's new dominance, however. Additionally, a number of new laws were passed, curtailing paganism, Judaism and heresy. He tried to make use of the continuing problem of incoming Germanic peoples to combat the Isaurian tribes which had been plaguing Asia Minor since 403. While it failed to halt either group's incursions, it was nevertheless a practical and intelligent strategy. As a means of protecting the imperial capital, Anthemius also strengthened the walls around Constantinople. Our records for the last years of Arcadius' rule are quite spotty, but the emperor himself seems to have completely vanished, even symbolically, from the political scene.

In May of 408, Flavius Arcadius died at the age of 31 of unknown causes. Our only physical description of Arcadius is heavily influenced by the generally low regard in which he was held. The emperor was supposedly short, thin and dark-complected. A more kindly correspondent described him as good-natured and temperate. His son succeeded him without any controversy and the government remained unchanged. Arcadius thus left the world much as he entered it: without much significance and overshadowed by more powerful forces.

Assessment
Despite the ineffectual nature of Arcadius and his rule, a number of significant changes occurred during his stewardship of the eastern empire. His inability to forcefully or at least effectively govern meant that there were few consistent or long-range goals of his administration. With the exception of trying to emphasize the emperor's piety, an important development in the history of the Byzantine monarchy, Arcadius and his ministers were for the most part simply reacting to events.

The emperor became an even more remote figure to the general public. Even in the capital city itself, he was rarely seen: we read in one account that people came running to see the emperor for the first time when he happened to be praying in a local church. A series of "orientalizing" court practices no doubt continued in order to emphasize the symbolic separation of the emperor from the rest of society. The hieratic, almost semi- divine nature of the imperial person, also became a feature of the eastern ruler.

Perhaps of greatest importance was the political and cultural split between east and west. With the death of Theodosius, the two halves of the Roman Empire increasingly went their separate ways. For the most part, the west was thrown back upon its own resources, unable to deal with the problems of the fifth century. The east proved more compact and more resilient: it largely weathered the political storms from without and within.

Moreover, Constantinople fully became the imperial capital of the east, a Roma nova. The emperor rarely left the city and the palace officials became more influential than many of the more theoretically important ministers outside the city. Constantinople was also made an archepiscopate and Chrysostom and others started to push strongly for its primacy in the east. Both public and private building projects beautified and enlarged the city. Under Arcadius' reign, it truly became the second city of the Roman Empire.
Finally, the hard stance against Germanic officers in Roman government became a central feature in the east. While the reasons for this development were inspired largely out of fear and perhaps racism, the eastern Roman Empire did manage to avoid the largely detrimental succession of Germanic generalissimos who controlled the west in the fifth century. It also encouraged the eastern rulers in the following century to take hard lines against other peoples, including the Isaurians, the Huns and the Persians. Taken in all, the era of Arcadius was far more important than Arcadius himself. He perhaps had his father's pretensions, but none of the skills or powers necessary to leave his mark on the Empire.

By Geoffrey S. Nathan, University of California at Los Angeles
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.
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[1655a] Anonymous follis of Christ, class G, Romanus IV, 1 January 1068 - 19 August 1071 A.D.40 viewsAnonymous Bronze Follis, Sear-1867, Class-G, Attributed to Romanos IV Diogenes, struck 1068-1071 at Constantinople, 7.87 grams, 24.7 mm. VF. Obverse: Bust of Christ facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, and raising right hand in benediction and holding the book of Gospels in left hand, border of large pellets. Reverse: Facing bust of the Virgin orans, nimbate and wearing pallium and maphorium, border of large pellets. Well centered and struck on a broad flan with nice details and choice eye appeal. Deep brown patina with reddish earthen highlights adds to the eye appeal.

Romanos IV Diogenes

Romanus also spelled Romanos Byzantine emperor (January 1, 1068–1071), a member of the Cappadocian military aristocracy.

In 1068 Romanus married Eudocia Macrembolitissa, widow of the emperor Constantine X Ducas. He led military expeditions against the Seljuq Turks but was defeated and captured by them at the Battle of Manzikert (1071). On his release Romanus found that Constantine X's son had been crowned sole ruler as Michael VII Ducas. Romanus was blinded and exiled to the island of Prote in the Sea of Marmara, where he died ("Romanus IV Diogenes." Encyclopćdia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopćdia Britannica Online. 16 Apr. 2008 ).

Romanus IV, Diogenes was the second husband of Eudocia, who it would seem, married him to supply the Byzantine Empire with an emperor. Eudocia was serving as regent, but conditions required an emperor, thus the marriage to the general, Romanus IV. He was taken prisoner during a military campaign against the Turks and Eudocia was restored to the throne, along with her son, Michael. A position, in reality, she had probably never left (Joseph Sermarini).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

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[1663a] Byzantine Empire: Manuel I Comnenus Megas (1143-1180)---NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH---[1685a] Empire of Trebizond: Manuel I Komnenos Megas (1218-1263 AD)155 viewsManuel I Comnenus Megas (1143-1180). AE billon trachy; Sear 1964; 30mm, 3.91g.; Constantinople mint; aF. Obverse: MP-OV-The Virgin enthroned. Nimbate and wearing pallium and maphorium; Reverse: Maueil standing facing, wearing crown, holding labarum and globe surmounted by Patriachal cross. Ex SPQR.


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

MANUEL I COMNENUS (A.D. 1143-1180)

Andrew Stone
University of Western Australia

Introduction: Sources
The reign of the emperor Manuel I Comnenus (5 April 1143- 24 September 1180) could well be regarded as a high-water mark of Byzantine civilization. It was the apogee of the so-called "Comnenian Restoration". Politically, the emperor undertook an ambitious foreign policy which has been seen by some, particularly in the light of many ultimate failures, as "misguided imperialism", recent scholarship has come to question this traditional judgment and suggests instead that the the Comnenian foreign policy was rather an energetic seizing of the different opportunities that presented themselves in the rapidly changing constellations of powers of the time. Such measures were made possible by the internal security of the empire under this, its third, Comnenian incumbent, although there were a few other aspirants to the throne, not least among them the emperor's cousin Andronicus. Manuel and other key members of the "Comnenian system", as it has been called, were patrons of rhetoric and other forms of learning and literature, and Manuel himself became keenly interested in ecclesiastical affairs, even if here his imperialistic agenda was a factor as he tried to bring Constantinopolitan theology in line with that of the west in a bid to unite the Church under his crown.

In terms of volume of contemporary material, Manuel is the most eulogised of all Byzantine emperors, and the panegyric addressed to him supplements the two major Byzantine historians of the reign, the more critical Nicetas Choniates and the laudatory John Cinnamus, as primary sources for the student of the period to study. The Crusader historian William of Tyre met Manuel personally, and such was the scope of Manuel's diplomacy that he is mentioned incidentally in western sources, such as Romuald of Salerno. Among authors of the encomia (panegyrics) we have mentioned are Theodore Prodromus and the so-called "Manganeios" Prodromus, who wrote in verse, and the prose encomiasts Michael the Rhetor, Eustathius of Thessalonica and Euthymius Malaces, to name the most important. Manuel, with his penchant for the Latins and their ways, left a legacy of Byzantine resentment against these outsiders, which was to be ruthlessly exploited by Andronicus in the end.

Manuel as sebastokrator
Manuel was born in the imperial porphyry birthchamber on 28 November 1118. He was the fourth of John II's sons, so it seemed very unlikely that he would succeed. As a youth, Manuel evidently accompanied John on campaign, for in the Anatolian expedition of 1139-41 we find Manuel rashly charging a small group of the Turkish enemy, an action for which he was castigated by his father, even though John, we are told, was inwardly impressed (mention of the incident is made in John's deathbed speech in both John Cinnamus and Nicetas Choniates). John negotiated a marriage contract for Manuel with Conrad III of Germany; he was to marry Bertha of Sulzbach. It seems to have been John's plan to carve out a client principality for Manuel from Cilicia, Cyprus and Coele Syria. In the event, it was Manuel who succeeded him.

The Securing of the Succession 1143
In the article on John II it is related how the dying John chose his youngest son Manuel to succeed him in preference to his other surviving son Isaac. Manuel was acclaimed emperor by the armies on 5 April 1143. Manuel stayed in Cilicia, where the army was stationed, for thirty days, to complete the funeral rites for his father. He sent his father's right-hand man John Axuch, however, to Constantinople to confine Isaac to the Pantokrator Monastery and to effect a donation of two hundredweight of silver coin to the clergy of the Great Church. The surviving encomium of Michael Italicus, Teacher of the Gospel, for the new emperor can be regarded as a return gift for this largesse. In the meantime the Caesar John Roger, husband of Manuel's eldest sister Maria, had been plotting to seize the throne; the plot was, however, given away by his wife before it could take effect. Manuel marched home to enter Constantinople c. July 1143. He secured the good-will of the people by commanding that every household should be granted two gold coins. Isaac the younger (Manuel's brother) and Isaac the elder (Manuel's paternal uncle), were both released from captivity and reconciled with him. Manuel chose Michael Oxeites as the new patriarch and was crowned either in August or November 1143.

Manuel confirmed John Axuch in the office of Grand Domestic, that is, commander of the army, appointed John of Poutze as procurator of public taxes, grand commissioner and inspector of accounts and John Hagiotheodorites as chancellor. John of Poutze proved to be an oppressive tax collector, but was also unsusceptible to bribery. However, this John diverted monies levied for the navy into the treasury, which would, as we shall see, further Byzantine dependence on the maritime Italian city-states of Venice, Genoa and Pisa.

Early Campaigns: 1144-1146
Manuel's first concern was to consolidate the work of his father in securing the eastern frontier. He sent a force under the brothers Andronicus and John Contostephanus against the recalcitrant Crusader prince Raymond of Antioch, which consisted of both an army and a navy, the latter commanded by Demetrius Branas. Raymond's army was routed, and the naval force inflicted no small damage on the coastal regions of the principality. In the meantime the Crusader city of Edessa fell to the Turkish atabeg Zengi. Raymond therefore travelled to Constantinople as a suppliant to Manuel. It was subsequently decided, in the light of Manuel's imperial status, that the terms under which he would marry Bertha of Sulzbach should be improved. Manuel asked for 500 knights, and Conrad happily granted them, being prepared to supply 2000 or 3000 if need be all for the sake of this alliance. Bertha took the Greek name Irene.

The Seljuk sultanate of Rum under Masud had become the ascendant Turkish power in Anatolia. Manuel himself supervised the rebuilding of the fortress of Melangeia on the Sangarius river in Bithynia (1145 or 1146). In the most daring campaign of these early years, after building the new fort of Pithecas in Bithynia, Manuel advanced as far into Turkish territory as Konya (Iconium), the Seljuk capital. He had been wounded in the foot by an arrow at a mighty battle at Philomelium (which had been Masud's headquarters), and the city had been rased; once at Konya, he allowed his troops to despoil the graves outside the city walls, before taking the road home.

Cinnamus relates that the gratutitous heroics which Manuel displayed on this campaign were calculated to impress Manuel's new bride. Manuel and his army were harried by Turks on the journey home. Manuel erected the fort of Pylae before leaving Anatolia.

[For a detailed and interesting discussion of the reign of Manuel I Comnenus please see http://www.roman-emperors.org/mannycom.htm]

Frederick Barbarossa and the "two-emperor problem"
Frederick Barbarossa, who was to become a constant menace to Manuel's designs, had succeeded his uncle Conrad III in 1152, but unlike him proved in the end unprepared to make any territorial concessions in Italy. The origins of this "cold war" between the two empires cannot be dated with any certainty, but there may have been a tendency to date it too early. One school of thought would not date the outbreak of this rivalry to any earlier than 1159-60, the death of Manuel's German wife, Bertha-Irene. About this time there was a scare at Constantinople that Frederick Barbarossa would march on Byzantium, perhaps reflecting a desire on Frederick's part to crusade (which he eventually did, in the reign of Isaac II Angelus). The new Pope, Alexander III, by, as it would seem, offering to grant Manuel the imperial crown, used it as a bargaining chip to play off the emperors of west and east against one another. Manuel may have supported Alexander during the papal schism of 1160-1177 because he was the preferred candidate of Hungary and the Crusader states, both of which he hoped would recognise him as their feudal overlord. By this means he could claim sovereign rights over the crusading movement, and thereby turn it to his advantage. The playing off of Manuel against Frederick continued right up until 1177, the Peace of Venice, whereby Frederick agreed to recognise Pope Alexander, the autonomy of Sicily and of the northern Italian communes. But this result was not a foregone conclusion in the 1160s and early 1170s, and Manuel used Byzantine gold to win supporters in Italy and thereby keep Frederick occupied.

Marriage to Maria of Antioch 1161
Bertha-Irene died in late 1159/early 1160. Manuel sought to strengthen his ties with the Crusader principalities by selecting an eastern Latin princess for his wife. The exceedingly beautiful Maria of Antioch, daughter of Raymond of Antioch, was chosen, and the nuptials celebrated at Christmas, 1161.


Dynastic considerations 1169-1172
Manuel's wife Maria of Antioch gave birth to a baby boy 14 September 1169 in the porphyry marble birthchamber, the cause of great festivities. The infant was crowned emperor in 1171. With the death of Stephen III of Hungary in 1172, Stephen's brother Béla was sent out from Constantinople to assume the throne (though without Sirmium and Dalmatia being surrendered to the Hungarian crown). A husband for Maria Porphyrogenita was therefore required. At first it was proposed that she marry William II of Sicily, who was outraged when she failed to show up at Taranto on the appointed day, the emperor having had second thoughts.


The final months 1180
Manuel took ill in the month of March 1180. During this period of terminal illness the last major religious controversies took place. We are told that Manuel directed that the anathema pronounced against the god of Muhammad be removed from the abjuration against the Islamic faith declared by converts to Christianity. Manuel was opposed by the last patriarch of his reign, Theodosius Boradiotes (1179-1183), as well as, notably, by Eustathius of Thessalonica. Both parties were satisfied in the end upon a reading of the emperor's proposed amendments to the abjuration. This controversy would seem to be a different one from the one alluded to in Eustathius' funeral oration for Manuel, since Manuel is praised by Eustathius for his stance in it, which seems to have revolved around a book written by a convert from Islam that magnified the Father at the expense of the Son (and therefore had Arian overtones). It became apparent that the emperor was dying, and, on the advice of Theodosius, he renounced astrology. As his end approached, he assumed the monastic habit and the name Matthew, demanding that his wife Maria become a nun. Manuel's son Alexius was but eleven, and the minority would prove to be disastrous for Byzantium. Manuel died thirty-seven years and nine months from the beginning of his reign.

General strategies in Manuel's foreign policy
The funeral oration for Manuel by Eustathius of Thessalonica is an interesting document in that it discusses some of the general policies pursued over Manuel's reign. It endorses his policy of dividing his enemies, the Petchenegs, the Sicilian Normans and the Turks, among themselves by using Byzantine gold, a policy of "divide and rule". We have seen how this was applied especially in Italy. Another general policy was to create friendly buffer states on the frontiers of the empire, most notably Hungary (and Serbia) and the Crusader States. Manuel would deliberately underpin the most powerful potentate in each region (the king of Hungary, the king of Jerusalem, the sultan of Konya) and thereby emphasise his own absolute sovereignty. In the funeral oration this granting of autonomy is justified as the reward for good service, as in the parable of the talents. We also see in the panegyric of the 1170s the downplaying of the idea of world rule which was so prevalent in the reign of John. Although Manuel claimed sovereign rights over many of his neighbours, his territorial claims were limited: coastal southern Italy, Dalmatia and Sirmium, coastal Egypt. The Byzantines seem to have come to terms with the reality of nation states and it is in Manuel's reign that they begin to refer to themselves not only as "Romans", but as "Hellenes", in order to demarcate themselves from the barbarians surrounding them.

Manuel's taxation, government and army
Nicetas Choniates roundly criticises Manuel in his history for increasing taxes and lavishing money on his family and retainers, particularly his Latin favourites. We have also seen how money was spent in Manuel's ambitious foreign policy. Mention is made of two towers, one at Damalis, and one next to the monastery of the Mangana, between which a chain could be stretched to block the Bosphorus. Then there was the work done at both the Great Palace and the Palace of the Blachernae, galleries, a pavilion alla Turca and numerous mosaics. He also founded a monastery at Kataskepe at the mouth of the Black Sea, which was endowed from the imperial treasury.

Choniates further criticizes the continuation and spread of the granting of pronoiai, parcels of land, the income from each of which supported a soldier. Many of these were granted to foreigners, for example, Turks captured in the Meander campaigns were settled around Thessalonica. The pronoia would pay not only for a soldier's upkeep, but his expensive equipment, for in Manuel's reign the bow and arrow and circular shield had been replaced by a heavier western-style panoply of armour, large triangular shield and lance. Choniates laments how fashionable a practice it had become in Manuel's reign to forsake the land or one's trade and become enlisted in the army.

Manuel and the "Comnenian system"
Throughout Manuel's reign, as under his father John, the top tier of the aristocracy was formed by the emperor's family, the Comneni, and the families into which they married. The extended family was, however, by now becoming unwieldy, and beginning to lose its cohesion, as the example of Manuel's cousin Andronicus shows. Under Manuel it was degree of kinship to the emperor which determined one's rank, as synodal listings show. So it was that very quickly after Manuel's death the upper tier of the aristocracy splintered into separate groups, each with its own identity and interests.

Literature
The various aristocratic courts, that of the emperor and other key members of the extended family, most notably the sebastokrator Isaac Comnenus the elder and the sebastokratorissa Irene, widow of Manuel's brother Andronicus, attracted literati who would seek to serve under them. Such figures would not only turn their hands to literature, encomia in prose or poetry, expositions on mythology, commentaries on Homer or the philosophers, historical chronicles and even, in this period, romances - the twelfth century is a high point of literary production at Constantinople, so much so that some have even talked of a "Comnenian renaissance" - but they would seek to perform more menial, such as administrative, duties to support themselves. Such men would often come from noble families whose prestige had been eclipsed by the Comnenian upper tier of the aristocracy. Serving under a lord was one way of advancing oneself, entering the Church was another.

The patriarchal church and education
The deacons of the church of St Sophia were a powerful group, the chartophylax being second only to the patriarch. These deacons would either go on to become bishops in the provinces, or possibly first hold one of the professorial chairs associated with the patriarchal church. First there were the "teachers", didaskaloi of the Gospels, Epistles and Psalter. Then there was the maistor ton rhetoron, "master of the rhetors", responsible for delivering speeches in praise of the emperor on January 6 each year and of the patriarch on the Saturday prior to Palm Sunday, as well as for other state occasions. And there was the hypatos ton philosophon, "consul of the philosophers", an office which had lapsed but was revived under Manuel.

Character and Legacy
Was Byzantium of the middle to late twelfth century living on borrowed time? Until recently this was the verdict of many scholars. Yet John II and Manuel had, if there is any kernel of truth in their encomia, at least temporarily reversed the overrunning of Anatolia by the Turks, and Manuel had won Dalmatia and Sirmium from Hungary. But Byzantine collapse was rapid, which is the reason why scholars have searched in the reigns of John and Manuel for the beginnings of the disintegration that occurred under the last Comneni and the Angeli. The history and comments of Nicetas Choniates have been adduced as vindicating this view. The victory of the military aristocracy that the establishment of the Comnenian dynasty represents has been seen as both the reason for the temporary reversal of Byzantine fortunes - government by three very capable autocrats - and of ultimate failure, because of the splintering into factions that oligarchy, such as was present in the Comnenian system, foments. A Marxist interpretation is that the feudalisation of the Byzantine Empire, the depletion of the free peasantry, that began to take place in the middle period was the reason for its ultimate failure. But to the Byzantines at the time Byzantium seemed to be holding its own; the "nations" around were being kept at bay, and even though the panegyric of renovation is less evident than in the reign of John II, the emperor remains despotes, "master" of the oikoumene, "world". Indeed, Manuel would be remembered in France, Genoa and the Crusader States as the most powerful sovereign in the world.

We have mentioned the funeral oration for Manuel by Eustathius of Thessalonica. This contains a series of vignettes of the personal aspects of Manuel. There are commonplaces: the emperor is able to endure hunger, thirst, heat and cold, lack of sleep and so on, and sweats copiously in his endeavours on the empire's part. Although these ideas have been recycled from earlier reigns, notably that of John II, the contemporary historians agree that Manuel was an indefatigable and daring warrior. However, there are more specifically individual touches in the Eustathian oration. Manuel had a manly suntan and was tall in stature. The emperor was capable of clever talk, but could also talk to others on a man-to-man basis. Eustathius makes much of the emperor's book-learning (Cinnamus claims to have discussed Aristotle with the emperor). The restoration of churches was a major concern for Manuel. He also had some expertise in medicine (he had tended Conrad III of Germany and Baldwin III of Jerusalem personally). Manuel showed temperance in eating and drinking, with a certain liking for beer as well as wine, the latter being mixed sour after the manner of ascetics. Likewise, he would not slumber long. He would generally choose walking over riding. The oration closes on the widow and orphan Manuel has left behind. The situation resulting for the Byzantine Empire at this stage, with the vacuum created by Manuel would result in no less than implosion.

Copyright (C) 2003, Andrew Stone.
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.

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[1663a] Byzantine Empire: Manuel I Comnenus Megas (1143-1180)---NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH---[1685a] Empire of Trebizond: Manuel I Komnenos Megas (1218-1263 AD)131 viewsMANUEL I COMNENUS AE tetarteron. 1143-1180 AD. 19mm, 2.8g. Obverse: Bust of St. George facing, beardless, wearing nimbus, tunic, cuirass and sagion, and holding spear. Reverse: MANVHL-DECPOT, bust of Manuel facing, wearing crown and loros, holding labarum & globe-cross. Simply wonderful style, very sharp for the issue. A gorgeous late Byzantine coin! Ex Incitatus.


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

MANUEL I COMNENUS (A.D. 1143-1180)

Andrew Stone
University of Western Australia

Introduction: Sources
The reign of the emperor Manuel I Comnenus (5 April 1143- 24 September 1180) could well be regarded as a high-water mark of Byzantine civilization. It was the apogee of the so-called "Comnenian Restoration". Politically, the emperor undertook an ambitious foreign policy which has been seen by some, particularly in the light of many ultimate failures, as "misguided imperialism", recent scholarship has come to question this traditional judgment and suggests instead that the the Comnenian foreign policy was rather an energetic seizing of the different opportunities that presented themselves in the rapidly changing constellations of powers of the time. Such measures were made possible by the internal security of the empire under this, its third, Comnenian incumbent, although there were a few other aspirants to the throne, not least among them the emperor's cousin Andronicus. Manuel and other key members of the "Comnenian system", as it has been called, were patrons of rhetoric and other forms of learning and literature, and Manuel himself became keenly interested in ecclesiastical affairs, even if here his imperialistic agenda was a factor as he tried to bring Constantinopolitan theology in line with that of the west in a bid to unite the Church under his crown.

In terms of volume of contemporary material, Manuel is the most eulogised of all Byzantine emperors, and the panegyric addressed to him supplements the two major Byzantine historians of the reign, the more critical Nicetas Choniates and the laudatory John Cinnamus, as primary sources for the student of the period to study. The Crusader historian William of Tyre met Manuel personally, and such was the scope of Manuel's diplomacy that he is mentioned incidentally in western sources, such as Romuald of Salerno. Among authors of the encomia (panegyrics) we have mentioned are Theodore Prodromus and the so-called "Manganeios" Prodromus, who wrote in verse, and the prose encomiasts Michael the Rhetor, Eustathius of Thessalonica and Euthymius Malaces, to name the most important. Manuel, with his penchant for the Latins and their ways, left a legacy of Byzantine resentment against these outsiders, which was to be ruthlessly exploited by Andronicus in the end.

Manuel as sebastokrator
Manuel was born in the imperial porphyry birthchamber on 28 November 1118. He was the fourth of John II's sons, so it seemed very unlikely that he would succeed. As a youth, Manuel evidently accompanied John on campaign, for in the Anatolian expedition of 1139-41 we find Manuel rashly charging a small group of the Turkish enemy, an action for which he was castigated by his father, even though John, we are told, was inwardly impressed (mention of the incident is made in John's deathbed speech in both John Cinnamus and Nicetas Choniates). John negotiated a marriage contract for Manuel with Conrad III of Germany; he was to marry Bertha of Sulzbach. It seems to have been John's plan to carve out a client principality for Manuel from Cilicia, Cyprus and Coele Syria. In the event, it was Manuel who succeeded him.

The Securing of the Succession 1143
In the article on John II it is related how the dying John chose his youngest son Manuel to succeed him in preference to his other surviving son Isaac. Manuel was acclaimed emperor by the armies on 5 April 1143. Manuel stayed in Cilicia, where the army was stationed, for thirty days, to complete the funeral rites for his father. He sent his father's right-hand man John Axuch, however, to Constantinople to confine Isaac to the Pantokrator Monastery and to effect a donation of two hundredweight of silver coin to the clergy of the Great Church. The surviving encomium of Michael Italicus, Teacher of the Gospel, for the new emperor can be regarded as a return gift for this largesse. In the meantime the Caesar John Roger, husband of Manuel's eldest sister Maria, had been plotting to seize the throne; the plot was, however, given away by his wife before it could take effect. Manuel marched home to enter Constantinople c. July 1143. He secured the good-will of the people by commanding that every household should be granted two gold coins. Isaac the younger (Manuel's brother) and Isaac the elder (Manuel's paternal uncle), were both released from captivity and reconciled with him. Manuel chose Michael Oxeites as the new patriarch and was crowned either in August or November 1143.

Manuel confirmed John Axuch in the office of Grand Domestic, that is, commander of the army, appointed John of Poutze as procurator of public taxes, grand commissioner and inspector of accounts and John Hagiotheodorites as chancellor. John of Poutze proved to be an oppressive tax collector, but was also unsusceptible to bribery. However, this John diverted monies levied for the navy into the treasury, which would, as we shall see, further Byzantine dependence on the maritime Italian city-states of Venice, Genoa and Pisa.

Early Campaigns: 1144-1146
Manuel's first concern was to consolidate the work of his father in securing the eastern frontier. He sent a force under the brothers Andronicus and John Contostephanus against the recalcitrant Crusader prince Raymond of Antioch, which consisted of both an army and a navy, the latter commanded by Demetrius Branas. Raymond's army was routed, and the naval force inflicted no small damage on the coastal regions of the principality. In the meantime the Crusader city of Edessa fell to the Turkish atabeg Zengi. Raymond therefore travelled to Constantinople as a suppliant to Manuel. It was subsequently decided, in the light of Manuel's imperial status, that the terms under which he would marry Bertha of Sulzbach should be improved. Manuel asked for 500 knights, and Conrad happily granted them, being prepared to supply 2000 or 3000 if need be all for the sake of this alliance. Bertha took the Greek name Irene.

The Seljuk sultanate of Rum under Masud had become the ascendant Turkish power in Anatolia. Manuel himself supervised the rebuilding of the fortress of Melangeia on the Sangarius river in Bithynia (1145 or 1146). In the most daring campaign of these early years, after building the new fort of Pithecas in Bithynia, Manuel advanced as far into Turkish territory as Konya (Iconium), the Seljuk capital. He had been wounded in the foot by an arrow at a mighty battle at Philomelium (which had been Masud's headquarters), and the city had been rased; once at Konya, he allowed his troops to despoil the graves outside the city walls, before taking the road home.

Cinnamus relates that the gratutitous heroics which Manuel displayed on this campaign were calculated to impress Manuel's new bride. Manuel and his army were harried by Turks on the journey home. Manuel erected the fort of Pylae before leaving Anatolia.

[For a detailed and interesting discussion of the reign of Manuel I Comnenus please see http://www.roman-emperors.org/mannycom.htm]

Frederick Barbarossa and the "two-emperor problem"
Frederick Barbarossa, who was to become a constant menace to Manuel's designs, had succeeded his uncle Conrad III in 1152, but unlike him proved in the end unprepared to make any territorial concessions in Italy. The origins of this "cold war" between the two empires cannot be dated with any certainty, but there may have been a tendency to date it too early. One school of thought would not date the outbreak of this rivalry to any earlier than 1159-60, the death of Manuel's German wife, Bertha-Irene. About this time there was a scare at Constantinople that Frederick Barbarossa would march on Byzantium, perhaps reflecting a desire on Frederick's part to crusade (which he eventually did, in the reign of Isaac II Angelus). The new Pope, Alexander III, by, as it would seem, offering to grant Manuel the imperial crown, used it as a bargaining chip to play off the emperors of west and east against one another. Manuel may have supported Alexander during the papal schism of 1160-1177 because he was the preferred candidate of Hungary and the Crusader states, both of which he hoped would recognise him as their feudal overlord. By this means he could claim sovereign rights over the crusading movement, and thereby turn it to his advantage. The playing off of Manuel against Frederick continued right up until 1177, the Peace of Venice, whereby Frederick agreed to recognise Pope Alexander, the autonomy of Sicily and of the northern Italian communes. But this result was not a foregone conclusion in the 1160s and early 1170s, and Manuel used Byzantine gold to win supporters in Italy and thereby keep Frederick occupied.

Marriage to Maria of Antioch 1161
Bertha-Irene died in late 1159/early 1160. Manuel sought to strengthen his ties with the Crusader principalities by selecting an eastern Latin princess for his wife. The exceedingly beautiful Maria of Antioch, daughter of Raymond of Antioch, was chosen, and the nuptials celebrated at Christmas, 1161.


Dynastic considerations 1169-1172
Manuel's wife Maria of Antioch gave birth to a baby boy 14 September 1169 in the porphyry marble birthchamber, the cause of great festivities. The infant was crowned emperor in 1171. With the death of Stephen III of Hungary in 1172, Stephen's brother Béla was sent out from Constantinople to assume the throne (though without Sirmium and Dalmatia being surrendered to the Hungarian crown). A husband for Maria Porphyrogenita was therefore required. At first it was proposed that she marry William II of Sicily, who was outraged when she failed to show up at Taranto on the appointed day, the emperor having had second thoughts.


The final months 1180
Manuel took ill in the month of March 1180. During this period of terminal illness the last major religious controversies took place. We are told that Manuel directed that the anathema pronounced against the god of Muhammad be removed from the abjuration against the Islamic faith declared by converts to Christianity. Manuel was opposed by the last patriarch of his reign, Theodosius Boradiotes (1179-1183), as well as, notably, by Eustathius of Thessalonica. Both parties were satisfied in the end upon a reading of the emperor's proposed amendments to the abjuration. This controversy would seem to be a different one from the one alluded to in Eustathius' funeral oration for Manuel, since Manuel is praised by Eustathius for his stance in it, which seems to have revolved around a book written by a convert from Islam that magnified the Father at the expense of the Son (and therefore had Arian overtones). It became apparent that the emperor was dying, and, on the advice of Theodosius, he renounced astrology. As his end approached, he assumed the monastic habit and the name Matthew, demanding that his wife Maria become a nun. Manuel's son Alexius was but eleven, and the minority would prove to be disastrous for Byzantium. Manuel died thirty-seven years and nine months from the beginning of his reign.

General strategies in Manuel's foreign policy
The funeral oration for Manuel by Eustathius of Thessalonica is an interesting document in that it discusses some of the general policies pursued over Manuel's reign. It endorses his policy of dividing his enemies, the Petchenegs, the Sicilian Normans and the Turks, among themselves by using Byzantine gold, a policy of "divide and rule". We have seen how this was applied especially in Italy. Another general policy was to create friendly buffer states on the frontiers of the empire, most notably Hungary (and Serbia) and the Crusader States. Manuel would deliberately underpin the most powerful potentate in each region (the king of Hungary, the king of Jerusalem, the sultan of Konya) and thereby emphasise his own absolute sovereignty. In the funeral oration this granting of autonomy is justified as the reward for good service, as in the parable of the talents. We also see in the panegyric of the 1170s the downplaying of the idea of world rule which was so prevalent in the reign of John. Although Manuel claimed sovereign rights over many of his neighbours, his territorial claims were limited: coastal southern Italy, Dalmatia and Sirmium, coastal Egypt. The Byzantines seem to have come to terms with the reality of nation states and it is in Manuel's reign that they begin to refer to themselves not only as "Romans", but as "Hellenes", in order to demarcate themselves from the barbarians surrounding them.

Manuel's taxation, government and army
Nicetas Choniates roundly criticises Manuel in his history for increasing taxes and lavishing money on his family and retainers, particularly his Latin favourites. We have also seen how money was spent in Manuel's ambitious foreign policy. Mention is made of two towers, one at Damalis, and one next to the monastery of the Mangana, between which a chain could be stretched to block the Bosphorus. Then there was the work done at both the Great Palace and the Palace of the Blachernae, galleries, a pavilion alla Turca and numerous mosaics. He also founded a monastery at Kataskepe at the mouth of the Black Sea, which was endowed from the imperial treasury.

Choniates further criticizes the continuation and spread of the granting of pronoiai, parcels of land, the income from each of which supported a soldier. Many of these were granted to foreigners, for example, Turks captured in the Meander campaigns were settled around Thessalonica. The pronoia would pay not only for a soldier's upkeep, but his expensive equipment, for in Manuel's reign the bow and arrow and circular shield had been replaced by a heavier western-style panoply of armour, large triangular shield and lance. Choniates laments how fashionable a practice it had become in Manuel's reign to forsake the land or one's trade and become enlisted in the army.

Manuel and the "Comnenian system"
Throughout Manuel's reign, as under his father John, the top tier of the aristocracy was formed by the emperor's family, the Comneni, and the families into which they married. The extended family was, however, by now becoming unwieldy, and beginning to lose its cohesion, as the example of Manuel's cousin Andronicus shows. Under Manuel it was degree of kinship to the emperor which determined one's rank, as synodal listings show. So it was that very quickly after Manuel's death the upper tier of the aristocracy splintered into separate groups, each with its own identity and interests.

Literature
The various aristocratic courts, that of the emperor and other key members of the extended family, most notably the sebastokrator Isaac Comnenus the elder and the sebastokratorissa Irene, widow of Manuel's brother Andronicus, attracted literati who would seek to serve under them. Such figures would not only turn their hands to literature, encomia in prose or poetry, expositions on mythology, commentaries on Homer or the philosophers, historical chronicles and even, in this period, romances - the twelfth century is a high point of literary production at Constantinople, so much so that some have even talked of a "Comnenian renaissance" - but they would seek to perform more menial, such as administrative, duties to support themselves. Such men would often come from noble families whose prestige had been eclipsed by the Comnenian upper tier of the aristocracy. Serving under a lord was one way of advancing oneself, entering the Church was another.

The patriarchal church and education
The deacons of the church of St Sophia were a powerful group, the chartophylax being second only to the patriarch. These deacons would either go on to become bishops in the provinces, or possibly first hold one of the professorial chairs associated with the patriarchal church. First there were the "teachers", didaskaloi of the Gospels, Epistles and Psalter. Then there was the maistor ton rhetoron, "master of the rhetors", responsible for delivering speeches in praise of the emperor on January 6 each year and of the patriarch on the Saturday prior to Palm Sunday, as well as for other state occasions. And there was the hypatos ton philosophon, "consul of the philosophers", an office which had lapsed but was revived under Manuel.

Character and Legacy
Was Byzantium of the middle to late twelfth century living on borrowed time? Until recently this was the verdict of many scholars. Yet John II and Manuel had, if there is any kernel of truth in their encomia, at least temporarily reversed the overrunning of Anatolia by the Turks, and Manuel had won Dalmatia and Sirmium from Hungary. But Byzantine collapse was rapid, which is the reason why scholars have searched in the reigns of John and Manuel for the beginnings of the disintegration that occurred under the last Comneni and the Angeli. The history and comments of Nicetas Choniates have been adduced as vindicating this view. The victory of the military aristocracy that the establishment of the Comnenian dynasty represents has been seen as both the reason for the temporary reversal of Byzantine fortunes - government by three very capable autocrats - and of ultimate failure, because of the splintering into factions that oligarchy, such as was present in the Comnenian system, foments. A Marxist interpretation is that the feudalisation of the Byzantine Empire, the depletion of the free peasantry, that began to take place in the middle period was the reason for its ultimate failure. But to the Byzantines at the time Byzantium seemed to be holding its own; the "nations" around were being kept at bay, and even though the panegyric of renovation is less evident than in the reign of John II, the emperor remains despotes, "master" of the oikoumene, "world". Indeed, Manuel would be remembered in France, Genoa and the Crusader States as the most powerful sovereign in the world.

We have mentioned the funeral oration for Manuel by Eustathius of Thessalonica. This contains a series of vignettes of the personal aspects of Manuel. There are commonplaces: the emperor is able to endure hunger, thirst, heat and cold, lack of sleep and so on, and sweats copiously in his endeavours on the empire's part. Although these ideas have been recycled from earlier reigns, notably that of John II, the contemporary historians agree that Manuel was an indefatigable and daring warrior. However, there are more specifically individual touches in the Eustathian oration. Manuel had a manly suntan and was tall in stature. The emperor was capable of clever talk, but could also talk to others on a man-to-man basis. Eustathius makes much of the emperor's book-learning (Cinnamus claims to have discussed Aristotle with the emperor). The restoration of churches was a major concern for Manuel. He also had some expertise in medicine (he had tended Conrad III of Germany and Baldwin III of Jerusalem personally). Manuel showed temperance in eating and drinking, with a certain liking for beer as well as wine, the latter being mixed sour after the manner of ascetics. Likewise, he would not slumber long. He would generally choose walking over riding. The oration closes on the widow and orphan Manuel has left behind. The situation resulting for the Byzantine Empire at this stage, with the vacuum created by Manuel would result in no less than implosion.

Copyright (C) 2003, Andrew Stone.
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
VespasianJudaeaCaptaHendin754.jpg
[18H759a] Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta49 viewsVespasian. 69-71 AD. AR Denarius;17mm, 3.28g; Hendin 759, RIC 15. Obverse: Laureate head right; Reverse: Jewess seated right, on ground, mourning below right of trophy, IVDAEA below. 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'Espčrey, 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.
Cleisthenes
VesJudCapt.jpg
[18H759] Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta173 viewsSilver denarius, Hendin 759, RIC 15, BM 35, RSC 226, S 2296, Fair, 2.344g, 17.0mm, 180o, Rome mint, 69-70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse IVDAEA in exergue, Jewess, mourning, seated at right of trophy.

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'Espčrey, 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.
Cleisthenes
VespasianJudaeaCaptaHendin779.jpg
[18H779] Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta issue132 viewsOrichalcum dupondius, Hendin 779, RIC II 1160, BMCRE 809 (same dies), aVF, Lugdunum mint, 9.969g, 27.7mm, 180o, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG COS III, radiate head right, globe at point of bust; reverse VICTORIA NAVALIS S C, Victory standing right on a prow, wreath in right, palm frond over should in left (Refers to a victory on the Sea of Galilee during the recapture of Judaea); rough; rare (R2). Ex FORVM.




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'Espčrey, 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.
1 commentsCleisthenes
TrajSepphorisGalilee.jpg
[18H907] Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Sepphoris, Galilee220 viewsBronze AE 23, Hendin 907, BMC 5, Fair, 7.41g, 23.1mm, 0o, Sepphoris mint, 98 - 117 A.D.; obverse TPAIANOS AYTO]-KPA[TWP EDWKEN, laureate head right; reverse SEPFW/RHNWN, eight-branched palm bearing two bunches of dates.

At the crossroads of the Via Maris and the Acre-Tiberias roads, Sepphoris was the capital of Galilee and Herod Antipas' first capital. Damaged by a riot, Antipas ordered Sepphoris be rebuilt. Flavius Josephus described the rebuilt Sepphoris as the "ornament of all Galilee." Since Sepphoris was only five miles north of Nazareth, Jesus and Joseph may have found work in Antipas' rebuilding projects. Sepphoris was built on a hill and visible for miles. This may be the city that Jesus spoke of when He said, "A city set on a hill cannot be hidden."

Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a brilliant general and administrator was adopted and proclaimed emperor by the aging Nerva in 98 A.D. Regarded as one of Rome's greatest emperors, Trajan was responsible for the annexation of Dacia, the invasion of Arabia and an extensive and lavish building program across the empire. Under Trajan, Rome reached its greatest extent. Shortly after the annexation of Mesopotamia and Armenia, Trajan was forced to withdraw from most of the new Arabian provinces. While returning to Rome to direct operations against the new threats, Trajan died at Selinus in Cilicia.
See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=55&pos=0.


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

Trajan (A.D. 98-117)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines. It is the design of this and of the two succeeding chapters to describe the prosperous condition of their empire, and afterwards, from the death of Marcus Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstances of its decline and fall, a revolution which will ever be remembered and is still felt by the nations of the earth."

This is perhaps the most important and best known of all Edward Gibbon's famous dicta about his vast subject, and particularly that period which he admired the most. It was a concatenation of chance and events which brought to the first position of the principate five men, each very different from the others, who each, in his own way, brought integrity and a sense of public duty to his tasks. Nerva's tenure was brief, as many no doubt had expected and hoped it would be, and perhaps his greatest achievement was to choose Trajan as his adoptive son and intended successor. It was a splendid choice. Trajan was one of Rome's most admirable figures, a man who merited the renown which he enjoyed in his lifetime and in subsequent generations.

The sources for the man and his principate are disappointingly skimpy. There is no contemporaneous historian who can illuminate the period. Tacitus speaks only occasionally of Trajan, there is no biography by Suetonius, nor even one by the author of the late and largely fraudulent Historia Augusta. (However, a modern version of what such a life might have been like has been composed by A. Birley, entirely based upon ancient evidence. It is very useful.) Pliny the Younger tells us the most, in his Panegyricus, his long address of thanks to the emperor upon assuming the consulship in late 100, and in his letters. Pliny was a wordy and congenial man, who reveals a great deal about his senatorial peers and their relations with the emperor, above all, of course, his own. The most important part is the tenth book of his Epistulae, which contains the correspondence between him, while serving in Bithynia, and the emperor, to whom he referred all manner of problems, important as well as trivial. Best known are the pair (96,97) dealing with the Christians and what was to be done with them. These would be extraordinarily valuable if we could be sure that the imperial replies stemmed directly from Trajan, but that is more than one can claim. The imperial chancellery had developed greatly in previous decades and might pen these communications after only the most general directions from the emperor. The letters are nonetheless unique in the insight they offer into the emperor's mind.

Cassius Dio, who wrote in the decade of the 230s, wrote a long imperial history which has survived only in abbreviated form in book LXVIII for the Trajanic period. The rhetorician Dio of Prusa, a contemporary of the emperor, offers little of value. Fourth-century epitomators, Aurelius Victor and Eutropius, offer some useful material. Inscriptions, coins, papyri, and legal texts are of major importance. Since Trajan was a builder of many significant projects, archaeology contributes mightily to our understanding of the man.

Early Life and Career
The patria of the Ulpii was Italica, in Spanish Baetica , where their ancestors had settled late in the third century B.C. This indicates that the Italian origin was paramount, yet it has recently been cogently argued that the family's ancestry was local, with Trajan senior actually a Traius who was adopted into the family of the Ulpii. Trajan's father was the first member of the family to pursue a senatorial career; it proved to be a very successful one. Born probably about the year 30, he perhaps commanded a legion under Corbulo in the early sixties and then was legate of legio X Fretensis under Vespasian, governor of Judaea. Success in the Jewish War was rewarded by the governorship of an unknown province and then a consulate in 70. He was thereafter adlected by the emperor in patricios and sent to govern Baetica. Then followed the governorship of one of the major military provinces, Syria, where he prevented a Parthian threat of invasion, and in 79/80 he was proconsul of Asia, one of the two provinces (the other was Africa) which capped a senatorial career. His public service now effectively over, he lived on in honor and distinction, in all likelihood seeing his son emperor. He probably died before 100. He was deified in 113 and his titulature read divus Traianus pater. Since his son was also the adoptive son of Nerva, the emperor had officially two fathers, a unique circumstance.

The son was born in Italica on September 18, 53; his mother was Marcia, who had given birth to a daughter, Ulpia Marciana, five years before the birth of the son. In the mid seventies, he was a legionary legate under his father in Syria. He then married a lady from Nemausus (Nimes) in Gallia Narbonensis, Pompeia Plotina, was quaestor about 78 and praetor about 84. In 86, he became one of the child Hadrian's guardians. He was then appointed legate of legio VII Gemina in Hispania Tarraconensis, from which he marched at Domitian's orders in 89 to crush the uprising of Antonius Saturninus along the Rhine. He next fought in Domitian's war against the Germans along Rhine and Danube and was rewarded with an ordinary consulship in 91. Soon followed the governorship of Moesia inferior and then that of Germania superior, with his headquarters at Moguntiacum (Mainz), whither Hadrian brought him the news in autumn 97 that he had been adopted by the emperor Nerva, as co-ruler and intended successor. Already recipient of the title imperator and possessor of the tribunician power, when Nerva died on January 27, 98, Trajan became emperor in a smooth transition of power which marked the next three quarters of a century.

Early Years through the Dacian Wars
Trajan did not return immediately to Rome. He chose to stay in his German province and settle affairs on that frontier. He showed that he approved Domitian's arrangements, with the establishment of two provinces, their large military garrisons, and the beginnings of the limes. Those who might have wished for a renewed war of conquest against the Germans were disappointed. The historian Tacitus may well have been one of these.

Trajan then visited the crucial Danube provinces of Pannonia and Moesia, where the Dacian king Decebalus had caused much difficulty for the Romans and had inflicted a heavy defeat upon a Roman army about a decade before. Domitian had established a modus vivendi with Decebalus, essentially buying his good behavior, but the latter had then continued his activities hostile to Rome. Trajan clearly thought that this corner of empire would require his personal attention and a lasting and satisfactory solution.

Trajan spent the year 100 in Rome, seeing to the honors and deification of his predecessor, establishing good and sensitive relations with the senate, in sharp contrast with Domitian's "war against the senate." Yet his policies essentially continued Domitian's; he was no less master of the state and the ultimate authority over individuals, but his good nature and respect for those who had until recently been his peers if not his superiors won him great favor. He was called optimus by the people and that word began to appear among his titulature, although it had not been decreed by the senate. Yet his thoughts were ever on the Danube. Preparations for a great campaign were under way, particularly with transfers of legions and their attendant auxiliaries from Germany and Britain and other provinces and the establishment of two new ones, II Traiana and XXX Ulpia, which brought the total muster to 30, the highest number yet reached in the empire's history.

In 101 the emperor took the field. The war was one which required all his military abilities and all the engineering and discipline for which the Roman army was renowned. Trajan was fortunate to have Apollodorus of Damascus in his service, who built a roadway through the Iron Gates by cantilevering it from the sheer face of the rock so that the army seemingly marched on water. He was also to build a great bridge across the Danube, with 60 stone piers (traces of this bridge still survive). When Trajan was ready to move he moved with great speed, probably driving into the heart of Dacian territory with two columns, until, in 102, Decebalus chose to capitulate. He prostrated himself before Trajan and swore obedience; he was to become a client king. Trajan returned to Rome and added the title Dacicus to his titulature.

Decebalus, however, once left to his own devices, undertook to challenge Rome again, by raids across the Danube into Roman territory and by attempting to stir up some of the tribes north of the river against her. Trajan took the field again in 106, intending this time to finish the job of Decebalus' subjugation. It was a brutal struggle, with some of the characteristics of a war of extirpation, until the Dacian king, driven from his capital of Sarmizegethusa and hunted like an animal, chose to commit suicide rather than to be paraded in a Roman triumph and then be put to death.

The war was over. It had taxed Roman resources, with 11 legions involved, but the rewards were great. Trajan celebrated a great triumph, which lasted 123 days and entertained the populace with a vast display of gladiators and animals. The land was established as a province, the first on the north side of the Danube. Much of the native population which had survived warfare was killed or enslaved, their place taken by immigrants from other parts of the empire. The vast wealth of Dacian mines came to Rome as war booty, enabling Trajan to support an extensive building program almost everywhere, but above all in Italy and in Rome. In the capital, Apollodorus designed and built in the huge forum already under construction a sculpted column, precisely 100 Roman feet high, with 23 spiral bands filled with 2500 figures, which depicted, like a scroll being unwound, the history of both Dacian wars. It was, and still is, one of the great achievements of imperial "propaganda." In southern Dacia, at Adamklissi, a large tropaeum was built on a hill, visible from a great distance, as a tangible statement of Rome's domination. Its effect was similar to that of Augustus' monument at La Turbie above Monaco; both were constant reminders for the inhabitants who gazed at it that they had once been free and were now subjects of a greater power.

Administration and Social Policy
The chief feature of Trajan's administration was his good relations with the senate, which allowed him to accomplish whatever he wished without general opposition. His auctoritas was more important than his imperium. At the very beginning of Trajan's reign, the historian Tacitus, in the biography of his father-in-law Agricola, spoke of the newly won compatibility of one-man rule and individual liberty established by Nerva and expanded by Trajan (Agr. 3.1, primo statim beatissimi saeculi ortu Nerva Caesar res olim dissociabiles miscuerit, principatum ac libertatem, augeatque cotidie felicitatem temporum Nerva Traianus,….) [13] At the end of the work, Tacitus comments, when speaking of Agricola's death, that he had forecast the principate of Trajan but had died too soon to see it (Agr. 44.5, ei non licuit durare in hanc beatissimi saeculi lucem ac principem Traianum videre, quod augurio votisque apud nostras aures ominabatur,….) Whether one believes that principate and liberty had truly been made compatible or not, this evidently was the belief of the aristocracy of Rome. Trajan, by character and actions, contributed to this belief, and he undertook to reward his associates with high office and significant promotions. During his principate, he himself held only 6 consulates, while arranging for third consulates for several of his friends. Vespasian had been consul 9 times, Titus 8, Domitian 17! In the history of the empire there were only 12 or 13 private who reached the eminence of third consulates. Agrippa had been the first, L. Vitellius the second. Under Trajan there were 3: Sex. Iulius Frontinus (100), T. Vestricius Spurinna (100), and L. Licinius Sura (107). There were also 10 who held second consulships: L. Iulius Ursus Servianus (102), M.' Laberius Maximus (103), Q. Glitius Atilius Agricola (103), P. Metilius Sabinus Nepos (103?), Sex. Attius Suburanus Aemilianus (104), Ti. Iulius Candidus Marius Celsus (105), C. Antius A. Iulius Quadratus (105), Q. Sosius Senecio (107), A. Cornelius Palma Frontonianus (109), and L. Publilius Celsus (113). These men were essentially his close associates from pre-imperial days and his prime military commanders in the Dacian wars.

One major administrative innovation can be credited to Trajan. This was the introduction of curators who, as representatives of the central government, assumed financial control of local communities, both in Italy and the provinces. Pliny in Bithynia is the best known of these imperial officials. The inexorable shift from freedmen to equestrians in the imperial ministries continued, to culminate under Hadrian, and he devoted much attention and considerable state resources to the expansion of the alimentary system, which purposed to support orphans throughout Italy. The splendid arch at Beneventum represents Trajan as a civilian emperor, with scenes of ordinary life and numerous children depicted, which underscored the prosperity of Italy.

The satirist Juvenal, a contemporary of the emperor, in one of his best known judgments, laments that the citizen of Rome, once master of the world, is now content only with "bread and circuses."

Nam qui dabat olim / imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se / continet, atque duas tantum res anxius optat, / panem et circenses. (X 78-81)

Trajan certainly took advantage of that mood, indeed exacerbated it, by improving the reliabilty of the grain supply (the harbor at Ostia and the distribution system as exemplified in the Mercati in Rome). Fronto did not entirely approve, if indeed he approved at all. The plebs esteemed the emperor for the glory he had brought Rome, for the great wealth he had won which he turned to public uses, and for his personality and manner. Though emperor, he prided himself upon being civilis, a term which indicated comportment suitable for a Roman citizen.

There was only one major addition to the Rome's empire other than Dacia in the first decade and a half of Trajan's reign. This was the province of Arabia, which followed upon the absorption of the Nabataean kingdom (105-106).

Building Projects
Trajan had significant effect upon the infrastructure of both Rome and Italy. His greatest monument in the city, if the single word "monument" can effectively describe the complex, was the forum which bore his name, much the largest, and the last, of the series known as the "imperial fora." Excavation for a new forum had already begun under Domitian, but it was Apollodorus who designed and built the whole. Enormous in its extent, the Basilica Ulpia was the centerpiece, the largest wood roofed building in the Roman world. In the open courtyard before it was an equestrian statue of Trajan, behind it was the column; there were libraries, one for Latin scrolls, the other for Greek, on each side. A significant omission was a temple; this circumstance was later rectified by Hadrian, who built a large temple to the deified Trajan and Plotina.

The column was both a history in stone and the intended mausoleum for the emperor, whose ashes were indeed placed in the column base. An inscription over the doorway, somewhat cryptic because part of the text has disappeared, reads as follows:

Senatus populusque Romanus imp. Caesari divi Nervae f. Nervae Traiano Aug. Germ. Dacico pontif. Maximo trib. pot. XVII imp. VI p.p. ad declarandum quantae altitudinis mons et locus tant[is oper]ibus sit egestus (Smallwood 378)

On the north side of the forum, built into the slopes of the Quirinal hill, were the Markets of Trajan, which served as a shopping mall and the headquarters of the annona, the agency responsible for the receipt and distribution of grain.

On the Esquiline hill was constructed the first of the huge imperial baths, using a large part of Nero's Domus Aurea as its foundations. On the other side of the river a new aqueduct was constructed, which drew its water from Lake Bracciano and ran some 60 kilometers to the heights of the Janiculum Hill. It was dedicated in 109. A section of its channel survives in the basement of the American Academy in Rome.

The arch in Beneventum is the most significant monument elsewhere in Italy. It was dedicated in 114, to mark the beginning of the new Via Traiana, which offered an easier route to Brundisium than that of the ancient Via Appia.

Trajan devoted much attention to the construction and improvement of harbors. His new hexagonal harbor at Ostia at last made that port the most significant in Italy, supplanting Puteoli, so that henceforth the grain ships docked there and their cargo was shipped by barge up the Tiber to Rome. Terracina benefited as well from harbor improvements, and the Via Appia now ran directly through the city along a new route, with some 130 Roman feet of sheer cliff being cut away so that the highway could bend along the coast. Ancona on the Adriatic Sea became the major harbor on that coast for central Italy in 114-115, and Trajan's activity was commemorated by an arch. The inscription reports that the senate and people dedicated it to the []iprovidentissimo principi quod accessum Italiae hoc etiam addito ex pecunia sua portu tutiorem navigantibus reddiderit (Smallwood 387). Centumcellae, the modern Civitavecchia, also profited from a new harbor. The emperor enjoyed staying there, and on at least one occasion summoned his consilium there.

Elsewhere in the empire the great bridge at Alcantara in Spain, spanning the Tagus River, still in use, testifies to the significant attention the emperor gave to the improvement of communication throughout his entire domain.

Family Relations; the Women
After the death of his father, Trajan had no close male relatives. His life was as closely linked with his wife and female relations as that of any of his predecessors; these women played enormously important roles in the empire's public life, and received honors perhaps unparalleled. His wife, Pompeia Plotina, is reported to have said, when she entered the imperial palace in Rome for the first time, that she hoped she would leave it the same person she was when she entered. She received the title Augusta no later than 105. She survived Trajan, dying probably in 121, and was honored by Hadrian with a temple, which she shared with her husband, in the great forum which the latter had built.

His sister Marciana, five years his elder, and he shared a close affection. She received the title Augusta, along with Plotina, in 105 and was deified in 112 upon her death. Her daughter Matidia became Augusta upon her mother's death, and in her turn was deified in 119. Both women received substantial monuments in the Campus Martius, there being basilicas of each and a temple of divae Matidiae. Hadrian was responsible for these buildings, which were located near the later temple of the deified Hadrian, not far from the column of Marcus Aurelius.

Matidia's daughter, Sabina, was married to Hadrian in the year 100. The union survived almost to the end of Hadrian's subsequent principate, in spite of the mutual loathing that they had for each other. Sabina was Trajan's great niece, and thereby furnished Hadrian a crucial link to Trajan.

The women played public roles as significant as any of their predecessors. They traveled with the emperor on public business and were involved in major decisions. They were honored throughout the empire, on monuments as well as in inscriptions. Plotina, Marciana, and Matidia, for example, were all honored on the arch at Ancona along with Trajan.

The Parthian War
In 113, Trajan began preparations for a decisive war against Parthia. He had been a "civilian" emperor for seven years, since his victory over the Dacians, and may well have yearned for a last, great military achievement, which would rival that of Alexander the Great. Yet there was a significant cause for war in the Realpolitik of Roman-Parthian relations, since the Parthians had placed a candidate of their choice upon the throne of Armenia without consultation and approval of Rome. When Trajan departed Rome for Antioch, in a leisurely tour of the eastern empire while his army was being mustered, he probably intended to destroy at last Parthia's capabilities to rival Rome's power and to reduce her to the status of a province (or provinces). It was a great enterprise, marked by initial success but ultimate disappointment and failure.

In 114 he attacked the enemy through Armenia and then, over three more years, turned east and south, passing through Mesopotamia and taking Babylon and the capital of Ctesiphon. He then is said to have reached the Persian Gulf and to have lamented that he was too old to go further in Alexander's footsteps. In early 116 he received the title Parthicus.

The territories, however, which had been handily won, were much more difficult to hold. Uprisings among the conquered peoples, and particularly among the Jews in Palestine and the Diaspora, caused him to gradually resign Roman rule over these newly-established provinces as he returned westward. The revolts were brutally suppressed. In mid 117, Trajan, now a sick man, was slowly returning to Italy, having left Hadrian in command in the east, when he died in Selinus of Cilicia on August 9, having designated Hadrian as his successor while on his death bed. Rumor had it that Plotina and Matidia were responsible for the choice, made when the emperor was already dead. Be that as it may, there was no realistic rival to Hadrian, linked by blood and marriage to Trajan and now in command of the empire's largest military forces. Hadrian received notification of his designation on August 11, and that day marked his dies imperii. Among Hadrian's first acts was to give up all of Trajan's eastern conquests.

Trajan's honors and reputation
Hadrian saw to it that Trajan received all customary honors: the late emperor was declared a divus, his victories were commemorated in a great triumph, and his ashes were placed in the base of his column. Trajan's reputation remained unimpaired, in spite of the ultimate failure of his last campaigns. Early in his principate, he had unofficially been honored with the title optimus, "the best," which long described him even before it became, in 114, part of his official titulature. His correspondence with Pliny enables posterity to gain an intimate sense of the emperor in action. His concern for justice and the well-being of his subjects is underscored by his comment to Pliny, when faced with the question of the Christians, that they were not to be sought out, "nor is it appropriate to our age." At the onset of his principate, Tacitus called Trajan's accession the beginning of a beatissimum saeculum, and so it remained in the public mind. Admired by the people, respected by the senatorial aristocracy, he faced no internal difficulties, with no rival nor opposition. His powers were as extensive as Domitian's had been, but his use and display of these powers were very different from those of his predecessor, who had claimed to be deus et dominus. Not claiming to be a god, he was recognized in the official iconography of sculpture as Jupiter's viceregent on earth, so depicted on the attic reliefs of the Beneventan arch. The passage of time increased Trajan's aura rather than diminished it. In the late fourth century, when the Roman Empire had dramatically changed in character from what it had been in Trajan's time, each new emperor was hailed with the prayer, felicior Augusto, melior Traiano, "may he be luckier than Augustus and better than Trajan." That reputation has essentially survived into the present day.

Copyright (C) 2000, Herbert W. Benario.
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
ptolemy1soterLG.jpg
[301a] Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy I Soter, 305 - 283 B.C.187 viewsPTOLEMY I SOTER AR silver tetradrachm. Alexandria, 290-289 BC. Eagle standing on thunderbolt.

PTOLEMY I SOTER AR silver tetradrachm. 27mm, 13.9g. Struck at Alexandria, 290-289 BC. VF. Obverse: Diademed head of Ptolemy I right; Reverse; PTOLEMAIOU BASILEWS, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, P and PTY monogram to left. Svoronos 259, SNG Cop 72. Banker's mark and some graffito in the reverse fields. Ex Incitatus.

Ptolemy I Soter (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ, Ptolemaios Soter, i.e. Ptolemy the Savior, 367 BC—283 BC) was a Macedonian general who became the ruler of Egypt (323 BC—283 BC) and founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty. In 305 BC he took the title of king.
He was the son of Arsinoe of Macedonia - either by her husband Lagus, a Macedonian nobleman, or by her lover, Philip II of Macedon (which would make him the half-brother of Alexander the Great if true). Ptolemy was one of Alexander the Great's most trusted generals, and among the seven "body-guards" attached to his person. He was a few years older than Alexander, and his intimate friend since childhood. He may even have been in the group of noble teenagers tutored by Aristotle. He was with Alexander from his first campaigns, and played a principal part in the later campaigns in Afghanistan and India. At the Susa marriage festival in 324, Alexander had him marry the Persian princess Atacama. Ptolemy also had a consort queen in Thaďs, the famous Athenian hetaera and one of Alexander's companions in his conquest of the ancient world. Thaďs became his queen in Egypt, and even after he divorced her, she reportedly remained his friend, and kept the title of queen while in Memphis.

When Alexander died in 323, Ptolemy is said to have instigated the resettlement of the empire made at Babylon. Through the Partition of Babylon, he was now appointed satrap of Egypt, under the nominal kings Philip Arrhidaeus and the infant Alexander IV; the former satrap, the Greek Cleomenes, stayed on as his deputy. Ptolemy quickly moved, without authorization, to subjugate Cyrenaica.

By custom, kings in Macedonia asserted their right to the throne by burying their predecessor. Probably because he wanted to pre-empt Perdiccas, the imperial regent, from staking his claim in this way, Ptolemy took great pains in getting his hands on the body of Alexander the Great, placing it temporarily in Memphis (a major element for The First War of The Diodochi) . Ptolemy then openly joined the coalition against Perdiccas. Perdiccas appears to have suspected Ptolemy of aiming for the throne himself, and maybe decided that Ptolemy was his most dangerous rival. Ptolemy executed Cleomenes for spying on behalf of Perdiccas — this removed the chief check on his authority, and allowed Ptolemy to obtain the huge sum that Cleomenes had accumulated.
In 321, Perdiccas invaded Egypt. Ptolemy decided to defend the Nile, and Perdiccas's attempt to force it ended in fiasco, with the loss of 2000 men. This was a fatal blow to Perdiccas' reputation, and he was murdered in his tent by two of his subordinates. Ptolemy immediately crossed the Nile, to provide supplies to what had the day before been an enemy army. Ptolemy was offered the regency in place of Perdiccas; but he declined. Ptolemy was consistent in his policy of securing a power base, while never succumbing to the temptation of risking all to succeed Alexander.

In the long wars that followed between the different Diadochi, Ptolemy's first goal was to hold Egypt securely, and his second was to secure control in the outlying areas: Cyrenaica and Cyprus, as well as Syria, including the province of Judea. His first occupation of Syria was in 318, and he established at the same time a protectorate over the petty kings of Cyprus. When Antigonus One-Eye, master of Asia in 315, showed dangerous ambitions, Ptolemy joined the coalition against him, and on the outbreak of war, evacuated Syria. In Cyprus, he fought the partisans of Antigonus, and re-conquered the island (313). A revolt in Cyrene was crushed the same year.

In 312, Ptolemy and Seleucus, the fugitive satrap of Babylonia, both invaded Syria, and defeated Demetrius Poliorcetes ("sieger of cities"), the son of Antigonus, in the Battle of Gaza. Again he occupied Syria, and again—after only a few months, when Demetrius had won a battle over his general, and Antigonus entered Syria in force—he evacuated it. In 311, a peace was concluded between the combatants. Soon after this, the surviving 13-year-old king, Alexander IV, was murdered in Macedonia, leaving the satrap of Egypt absolutely his own master. The peace did not last long, and in 309 Ptolemy personally commanded a fleet that detached the coastal towns of Lycia and Caria from Antigonus, then crossed into Greece, where he took possession of Corinth, Sicyon and Megara (308 BC). In 306, a great fleet under Demetrius attacked Cyprus, and Ptolemy's brother Menelaus was defeated and captured in another decisive Battle of Salamis. Ptolemy's complete loss of Cyprus followed.
The satraps Antigonus and Demetrius now each assumed the title of king; Ptolemy, as well as Cassander, Lysimachus and Seleucus I Nicator, responded by doing the same. In the winter of 306 BC, Antigonus tried to follow up his victory in Cyprus by invading Egypt; but Ptolemy was strongest there, and successfully held the frontier against him. Ptolemy led no further overseas expeditions against Antigonus. However, he did send great assistance to Rhodes when it was besieged by Demetrius (305/304),. Once rescued, the Rhodians instituted a festival to worship Ptolemy as Soter ("saviour").

It is widely accepted by modern scholars that as a result of lifting the siege of Rhodes, Ptolemy I had the name Soter ("saviour") bestowed upon him by the grateful people but this account is found only in the writings of Pausanius who has proven to be inaccurate on other points related to the Ptolomies. Rhodian inscriptions related to the cult of king Ptolemy do not mention it until the first century BC and Diodorus' writings, which are favourable to Ptolemy, do not either. The first mention of the title Soter is by Ptolemy II in 256 BC when he issued coins calling himself “King Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy Soter”. Prior to this date coins had read “King Ptolemy son of Ptolemy”. It is speculated that he used the title Soter as propaganda after a series of defeats prior to its first use.

When the coalition against Antigonus was renewed in 302, Ptolemy joined it, and invaded Syria a third time, while Antigonus was engaged with Lysimachus in Asia Minor. On hearing a report that Antigonus had won a decisive victory there, he once again evacuated Syria. But when the news came that Antigonus had been defeated and slain by Lysimachus and Seleucus at the Battle of Ipsus in 301, he occupied Syria a fourth time.

The other members of the coalition had assigned all Syria to Seleucus, after what they regarded as Ptolemy's desertion, and for the next hundred years, the question of the ownership of southern Syria (ie, Judea) produced recurring warfare between the Seleucid and Ptolemaic dynasties. Henceforth, Ptolemy seems to have mingled as little as possible in the rivalries between Asia Minor and Greece; he lost what he held in Greece, but reconquered Cyprus in 295/294. Cyrene, after a series of rebellions, was finally subjugated about 300 and placed under his stepson Magas.

In 285, Ptolemy abdicated in favour of one of his younger sons by Berenice - Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who had been co-regent for three years. His eldest (legitimate) son, Ptolemy Ceraunus, whose mother, Eurydice, the daughter of Antipater, had been repudiated, fled to the court of Lysimachus. Ptolemy I Soter died in 283 at the age of 84. Shrewd and cautious, he had a compact and well-ordered realm to show at the end of forty years of war. His reputation for bonhomie and liberality attached the floating soldier-class of Macedonians and Greeks to his service, and was not insignificant; nor did he wholly neglect conciliation of the natives. Ptolemy also founded the cult of Serapis, an Egyptian god who was "recreated" in such a fashion that he was acceptable to the Greeks and Macedonians. Ptolemy initiated the building of the lighthouse off the coast of Alexandria on the island of Pharos. This was to become one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

He was a ready patron of letters, founding the Great Library of Alexandria. He himself wrote a history of Alexander's campaigns that has not survived. This used to be considered an objective work, distinguished by its straightforward honesty and sobriety. However, Ptolemy may have exaggerated his own role, and had propagandist aims in writing his History. Although now lost, it was a principal source for the surviving account by Arrian of Nicomedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy_I_Soter

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
2 commentsCleisthenes
Ptolemy_I_Soter.jpg
[301b] Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy I Soter, 305 - 283 B.C.108 viewsBronze AE 30, cf. Svoronos 271, et al., VF/F, Alexandria mint, weight 12.946g, maximum diameter 30.3mm, die axis 0o, obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse [PTOLEMAIOU BASILEWS], eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, unidentifiable monogram(s) in left field; nice style Zeus. Ex FORVM.

Ptolemy I Soter (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ, Ptolemaios Soter, i.e. Ptolemy the Savior, 367 BC—283 BC) was a Macedonian general who became the ruler of Egypt (323 BC—283 BC) and founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty. In 305 BC he took the title of king.
He was the son of Arsinoe of Macedonia - either by her husband Lagus, a Macedonian nobleman, or by her lover, Philip II of Macedon (which would make him the half-brother of Alexander the Great if true). Ptolemy was one of Alexander the Great's most trusted generals, and among the seven "body-guards" attached to his person. He was a few years older than Alexander, and his intimate friend since childhood. He may even have been in the group of noble teenagers tutored by Aristotle. He was with Alexander from his first campaigns, and played a principal part in the later campaigns in Afghanistan and India. At the Susa marriage festival in 324, Alexander had him marry the Persian princess Atacama. Ptolemy also had a consort queen in Thaďs, the famous Athenian hetaera and one of Alexander's companions in his conquest of the ancient world. Thaďs became his queen in Egypt, and even after he divorced her, she reportedly remained his friend, and kept the title of queen while in Memphis.

When Alexander died in 323, Ptolemy is said to have instigated the resettlement of the empire made at Babylon. Through the Partition of Babylon, he was now appointed satrap of Egypt, under the nominal kings Philip Arrhidaeus and the infant Alexander IV; the former satrap, the Greek Cleomenes, stayed on as his deputy. Ptolemy quickly moved, without authorization, to subjugate Cyrenaica.

By custom, kings in Macedonia asserted their right to the throne by burying their predecessor. Probably because he wanted to pre-empt Perdiccas, the imperial regent, from staking his claim in this way, Ptolemy took great pains in getting his hands on the body of Alexander the Great, placing it temporarily in Memphis (a major element for The First War of The Diodochi) . Ptolemy then openly joined the coalition against Perdiccas. Perdiccas appears to have suspected Ptolemy of aiming for the throne himself, and maybe decided that Ptolemy was his most dangerous rival. Ptolemy executed Cleomenes for spying on behalf of Perdiccas — this removed the chief check on his authority, and allowed Ptolemy to obtain the huge sum that Cleomenes had accumulated.
In 321, Perdiccas invaded Egypt. Ptolemy decided to defend the Nile, and Perdiccas's attempt to force it ended in fiasco, with the loss of 2000 men. This was a fatal blow to Perdiccas' reputation, and he was murdered in his tent by two of his subordinates. Ptolemy immediately crossed the Nile, to provide supplies to what had the day before been an enemy army. Ptolemy was offered the regency in place of Perdiccas; but he declined. Ptolemy was consistent in his policy of securing a power base, while never succumbing to the temptation of risking all to succeed Alexander.

In the long wars that followed between the different Diadochi, Ptolemy's first goal was to hold Egypt securely, and his second was to secure control in the outlying areas: Cyrenaica and Cyprus, as well as Syria, including the province of Judea. His first occupation of Syria was in 318, and he established at the same time a protectorate over the petty kings of Cyprus. When Antigonus One-Eye, master of Asia in 315, showed dangerous ambitions, Ptolemy joined the coalition against him, and on the outbreak of war, evacuated Syria. In Cyprus, he fought the partisans of Antigonus, and re-conquered the island (313). A revolt in Cyrene was crushed the same year.

In 312, Ptolemy and Seleucus, the fugitive satrap of Babylonia, both invaded Syria, and defeated Demetrius Poliorcetes ("sieger of cities"), the son of Antigonus, in the Battle of Gaza. Again he occupied Syria, and again—after only a few months, when Demetrius had won a battle over his general, and Antigonus entered Syria in force—he evacuated it. In 311, a peace was concluded between the combatants. Soon after this, the surviving 13-year-old king, Alexander IV, was murdered in Macedonia, leaving the satrap of Egypt absolutely his own master. The peace did not last long, and in 309 Ptolemy personally commanded a fleet that detached the coastal towns of Lycia and Caria from Antigonus, then crossed into Greece, where he took possession of Corinth, Sicyon and Megara (308 BC). In 306, a great fleet under Demetrius attacked Cyprus, and Ptolemy's brother Menelaus was defeated and captured in another decisive Battle of Salamis. Ptolemy's complete loss of Cyprus followed.
The satraps Antigonus and Demetrius now each assumed the title of king; Ptolemy, as well as Cassander, Lysimachus and Seleucus I Nicator, responded by doing the same. In the winter of 306 BC, Antigonus tried to follow up his victory in Cyprus by invading Egypt; but Ptolemy was strongest there, and successfully held the frontier against him. Ptolemy led no further overseas expeditions against Antigonus. However, he did send great assistance to Rhodes when it was besieged by Demetrius (305/304),. Once rescued, the Rhodians instituted a festival to worship Ptolemy as Soter ("saviour").

It is widely accepted by modern scholars that as a result of lifting the siege of Rhodes, Ptolemy I had the name Soter ("saviour") bestowed upon him by the grateful people but this account is found only in the writings of Pausanius who has proven to be inaccurate on other points related to the Ptolomies. Rhodian inscriptions related to the cult of king Ptolemy do not mention it until the first century BC and Diodorus' writings, which are favourable to Ptolemy, do not either. The first mention of the title Soter is by Ptolemy II in 256 BC when he issued coins calling himself “King Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy Soter”. Prior to this date coins had read “King Ptolemy son of Ptolemy”. It is speculated that he used the title Soter as propaganda after a series of defeats prior to its first use.

When the coalition against Antigonus was renewed in 302, Ptolemy joined it, and invaded Syria a third time, while Antigonus was engaged with Lysimachus in Asia Minor. On hearing a report that Antigonus had won a decisive victory there, he once again evacuated Syria. But when the news came that Antigonus had been defeated and slain by Lysimachus and Seleucus at the Battle of Ipsus in 301, he occupied Syria a fourth time.

The other members of the coalition had assigned all Syria to Seleucus, after what they regarded as Ptolemy's desertion, and for the next hundred years, the question of the ownership of southern Syria (ie, Judea) produced recurring warfare between the Seleucid and Ptolemaic dynasties. Henceforth, Ptolemy seems to have mingled as little as possible in the rivalries between Asia Minor and Greece; he lost what he held in Greece, but reconquered Cyprus in 295/294. Cyrene, after a series of rebellions, was finally subjugated about 300 and placed under his stepson Magas.

In 285, Ptolemy abdicated in favour of one of his younger sons by Berenice - Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who had been co-regent for three years. His eldest (legitimate) son, Ptolemy Ceraunus, whose mother, Eurydice, the daughter of Antipater, had been repudiated, fled to the court of Lysimachus. Ptolemy I Soter died in 283 at the age of 84. Shrewd and cautious, he had a compact and well-ordered realm to show at the end of forty years of war. His reputation for bonhomie and liberality attached the floating soldier-class of Macedonians and Greeks to his service, and was not insignificant; nor did he wholly neglect conciliation of the natives. Ptolemy also founded the cult of Serapis, an Egyptian god who was "recreated" in such a fashion that he was acceptable to the Greeks and Macedonians. Ptolemy initiated the building of the lighthouse off the coast of Alexandria on the island of Pharos. This was to become one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

He was a ready patron of letters, founding the Great Library of Alexandria. He himself wrote a history of Alexander's campaigns that has not survived. This used to be considered an objective work, distinguished by its straightforward honesty and sobriety. However, Ptolemy may have exaggerated his own role, and had propagandist aims in writing his History. Although now lost, it was a principal source for the surviving account by Arrian of Nicomedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy_I_Soter

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
AusgustusActiumDenarius.jpg
[603a] Octavian, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.49 viewsAR denarius; BMC 461; struck at Lugdunum between 15-13 BC , C 1411, RIC 171a; Date: 17.8 mm, 3.5 grams; F+; Obverse: AVGVSTVS [DI]VI F, Bare head right; Reverse: IMP X, Apollo standing facing, holding plectrum in right hand and lyre in left, ACT in exergue. A decent denarius commemorating The Battle of Actium against Antony in 31 BC. Ex McSorley Westchester Stamp and coin show 1970. Ex Ancient Imports.


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
   
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