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Pella.jpg
37 viewsMacedonia, Pella AE21. 158-149 BC. Bust of Pan / Athena Alkidemos advancing right. Ref.Sear 1445

( I was given this coin as a bonus by an experienced collector / dealer, to attempt electrolysis on, he had been attempting to clean it with conventional methods for 1˝ years, however it remained a nugget... I know some members will object, but 10 minuets in the bath of evil, and the crust just flaked off revealing a pretty and detailed coin!!! How I wish it was always so easy!!)
Lee S
00003x00~5.jpg
36 viewsIONIA, Ephesos. Alexander.
PB Tessera (17mm, 3.95 g, 4h)
Artemis kneeling right, bathing, within grotto surmounted by half-length figure of Aktaion, wearing antlers and raising arms
Hippocampus right, AΛЄ Ξ around
Gülbay & Kireç –; Gorny & Mosch 212 (5 March 2013), lot 3333 (same dies); Vossen 35 (this coin)

Ex Tom Vossen Collection, 35
2 commentsArdatirion
RI_176l_img.jpg
176 - Julian II - AR Reduced Siliqua - RIC VIII Lugdunum 22721 viewsAR Reduced Siliqua
Obv:– FL CL IVLIA-NVS P P AVG, Pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev:– VOTIS V MVLTIS X, within wreath
Minted in Lugdunum (//SLVG), Spring A.D. 360 - 26th June A.D. 363
Reference:– RIC VIII Lugdunum 227

17.26 mm. 2.0 gms. 0 degrees

East Harptree Hoard, which was discovered near Bath in 1887. There were 36 coins of this type found in the hoard.
1 commentsmaridvnvm
1794_(UNDATED)_BATH_HALFPENNY.JPG
1794 Undated AE Halfpenny Token. Bath, Somerset.24 viewsObverse: IOHN HOWARD F•R•S• HALFPENNY•. Bust of John Howard facing left.
Reverse: REMEMBER THE DEBTORS IN GOAL (sic) ✤. A female figure, the personification of Benevolence, seated facing left, a variety of vessels at her feet and beside her. She is holding a laurel-branch in her left arm and pointing towards a building with a barred window (Ilchester Prison) directing the small figure of a cherub or a child carrying a key to open the prison doors. "GO FORTH" in small letters emanating amid rays from the sky above the small figure.
Edge: PAYABLE AT LONDON OR DUBLIN • + • + • +.
Diameter 29mm | Die Axis 6
Dalton & Hamer: 36d

Thomas Wyon engraved the dies for this token and it was manufactured by William Lutwyche at his works in Birmingham. Lutwyche, besides being a major supplier of genuine tokens, is also known to have made large amounts of spurious coin.

This token was struck in the name of John Howard, who was an expert in prisons and published the book "The State of the Prisons in England & Wales" in 1777, but he did not issue it. The token was issued by William Gye, born in 1750, who worked in his father’s printing works at 4 Westgate Buildings, Bath, before opening an establishment at 13 Market Place. He was an active and successful printer and bookseller, and sometime publisher of the “Bath Courant”, he was highly respected for his attempts to improve the conditions of the city’s poor. His greatest philanthropic endeavours were connected with the relief of the prisoners in the county gaol at Ilchester, which he visited every week with food, clothing and money. He issued trade tokens, and when they were redeemed in his shop, it was his custom to point out the inscription on them (“Remember the debtors”) in order to elicit donations. He died of an apoplectic fit in 1802, and was remembered for his ‘strict integrity and unblemished reputation’. His wife Mary, whom he had married in 1774, inherited his printing and stationery business. Mary managed the business herself before it was passed on to the couple's third son, Henry.
*Alex
1797_(Undated)_MAIL_COACH_HALFPENNY.JPG
1797 Undated AE Halfpenny Token. London, Middlesex28 viewsObverse: Mail Coach, with GR cypher on it's door, drawn by four horses galloping right; above, HALFPENNY PAYA-BLE IN LONDON; below, TO TRADE EXPEDIN & TO PROPERTY PROTECTION.
Reverse: THIS IS INSCRIBED ✤ TO J. PALMER ESQ. around AFH cypher within palm branches.
Edge: Plain.
Diameter 28mm | Die Axis 12
Dalton & Hamer: 366

There were several issues of Mail Coach halfpennies, the last dated issue being in 1797. This, the final token in the series is undated, its Mail Coach obverse is similar, but the inscription is different and the reverse has the cypher AFH which has been linked to Anthony Francis Holdinhand, a merchant of 51 St. Mary-Axe in London. St. Mary-Axe is now the site of the well-known "Gherkin" skyscraper which was opened there in 2004.

Though these “Mail Coach” tokens are associated with John Palmer, he did not issue them. Famous in his day the story goes that, on 2nd. August 1784 at 4.00 pm, Palmer began an experimental journey from the "Rummer" Tavern in Bristol. The coach reached the "Three Tuns" in Bath at 5.20 pm and, travelling overnight, arrived at "The Swan with Two Necks" Inn in London at 8.00 am. Palmer, who knew how to operate a fast system of chaises between Bath and Bristol in order to get a quick exchange of actors and properties, had predicted the sixteen hour journey which the Post Office surveyors had said was impossible. The Post Office's mounted 'Post Boys' were taking nearly two days to carry the mail from Bath to London at the time. Palmer's successful experiment led to his appointment as Comptroller-General of the Post Office and, helped by road improvements, a network of routes served by dedicated Mail Coaches spread rapidly.
1 comments*Alex
1875H_VICTORIA_BUN_HEAD_FARTHING_.JPG
1875 "H" VICTORIA BRONZE "BUN HEAD" FARTHING34 viewsObverse: VICTORIA D:G: BRITT:REG:F:D: "Bun head" bust of Queen Victoria with elderly features facing left.
Reverse: FARTHING. Britannia seated facing right, her right hand resting on shield, her left holding a trident; in left background, a lighthouse and in right background, a ship; 1875, small "H" below, in exergue.
Diameter: 20mm
SPINK: 3959

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

On 1st April 1850 the auction was announced of equipment from the defunct Soho Mint, created by Matthew Boulton around 1788. At the auction, on 29th April, Ralph Heaton II bought Boulton's four steam-powered screw presses and six planchet presses for making blanks from strip metal. These were installed at Heaton's Bath Street works, and his Birmingham Mint began to strike trade tokens for use in Australia. In 1851 copper planchets were made for the Royal Mint to make into pennies, halfpennies, farthings, half-farthings and quarter-farthings.
In 1853 the Royal Mint was overwhelmed with producing silver and gold coins and so Ralph Heaton and Sons won their first contract to strike finished coins for Britain, these coins had no mintmark to identify them as from Birmingham.
In 1860 the firm bought a 1-acre plot on Icknield Street and constructed a three storey red brick factory. Completed in 1862 and employing 300 staff, it was at this time the largest private mint in the world.
From 1874 the Birmingham Mint began striking bronze pennies, halfpennies and farthings for the Royal Mint. This time though, the Birmingham Mint issues are distinguished by an H (for Heaton) mintmark below the date on the reverse. Victorian British coins bearing the H mintmark were produced in 1874, 1875, 1876, 1881 and 1882.
*Alex
Victoria_Halfpenny_1876H.JPG
1876 "H" VICTORIA BRONZE "BUN HEAD" HALFPENNY5 viewsObv: VICTORIA D:G: BRITT:REG:FID:DEF: "Bun head" bust of Queen Victoria with elderly features facing left.
Rev: HALF PENNY. Britannia seated facing right, her right hand resting on shield, her left holding a trident; in left background, a lighthouse and in right background, a ship; 1876, small H below, in exergue.
SPINK: 3957

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

On 1st April 1850 the auction was announced of equipment from the defunct Soho Mint, created by Matthew Boulton around 1788. At the auction, on 29th April, Ralph Heaton II bought Boulton's four steam-powered screw presses and six planchet presses for making blanks from strip metal. These were installed at Heaton's Bath Street works, and his Birmingham Mint began to strike trade tokens for use in Australia. In 1851 copper planchets were made for the Royal Mint to make into pennies, halfpennies, farthings, half-farthings and quarter-farthings.
In 1853 the Royal Mint was overwhelmed with producing silver and gold coins and so Ralph Heaton and Sons won their first contract to strike finished coins for Britain, these coins had no mintmark to identify them as from Birmingham.
In 1860 the firm bought a 1-acre plot on Icknield Street and constructed a three storey red brick factory. Completed in 1862 and employing 300 staff, it was at this time the largest private mint in the world.
From 1874 the Birmingham Mint began striking bronze pennies, halfpennies and farthings for the Royal Mint. This time though, the Birmingham Mint issues are distinguished by an H (for Heaton) mintmark below the date on the reverse. Victorian British coins bearing the H mintmark were produced in 1874, 1875, 1876, 1881 and 1882.
*Alex
1876H_Victoria_Penny.JPG
1876 "H" VICTORIA BRONZE "BUN HEAD" PENNY9 viewsObv: VICTORIA D:G: BRITT:REG:FID:DEF: "Bun head" bust of Queen Victoria with elderly features facing left.
Rev: ONE PENNY. Britannia seated facing right, her right hand resting on shield, her left holding a trident; in left background, a lighthouse and in right background, a ship; 1876, small H below, in exergue.
SPINK: 3955

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

On 1st April 1850 the auction was announced of equipment from the defunct Soho Mint, created by Matthew Boulton around 1788. At the auction, on 29th April, Ralph Heaton II bought Boulton's four steam-powered screw presses and six planchet presses for making blanks from strip metal. These were installed at Heaton's Bath Street works, and his Birmingham Mint began to strike trade tokens for use in Australia. In 1851 copper planchets were made for the Royal Mint to make into pennies, halfpennies, farthings, half-farthings and quarter-farthings.
In 1853 the Royal Mint was overwhelmed with producing silver and gold coins and so Ralph Heaton and Sons won their first contract to strike finished coins for Britain, these coins had no mintmark to identify them as from Birmingham.
In 1860 the firm bought a 1-acre plot on Icknield Street and constructed a three storey red brick factory. Completed in 1862 and employing 300 staff, it was at this time the largest private mint in the world.
From 1874 the Birmingham Mint began striking bronze pennies, halfpennies and farthings for the Royal Mint. This time though, the Birmingham Mint issues are distinguished by an H (for Heaton) mintmark below the date on the reverse. Victorian British coins bearing the H mintmark were produced in 1874, 1875, 1876, 1881 and 1882.
*Alex
APlautiusDenJudea.jpg
1ab Conquest of Judea11 viewsA. Plautius, moneyer
c. 54 BC

Denarius

Turreted head of Cybele, A PLAVTIVS before, AED CVR SC behind
Bacchius kneels right with camel at his side, extending olive branch, BACCHIVS in ex., IVDAEVS in right

Seaby, Plautia 13

The reverse appears to Pompey's conquest of Judaea in 63 BC.

Josephus recorded of Pompey's conquest of Jerusalem: And when he was come to the city, he looked about where he might make his attack; for he saw the walls were so firm, that it would be hard to overcome them; and that the valley before the walls was terrible; and that the temple, which was within that valley, was itself encompassed with a very strong wall, insomuch that if the city were taken, that temple would be a second place of refuge for the enemy to retire to. . . . Aristobulus's party was worsted, and retired into the temple, and cut off the communication between the temple and the city, by breaking down the bridge that joined them together, and prepared to make an opposition to the utmost; but as the others had received the Romans into the city, and had delivered up the palace to him, Pompey sent Piso, one of his great officers, into that palace with an army, who distributed a garrison about the city, because he could not persuade any one of those that had fled to the temple to come to terms of accommodation; he then disposed all things that were round about them so as might favor their attacks, as having Hyrcanus's party very ready to afford them both counsel and assistance. . . . But Pompey himself filled up the ditch that was oil the north side of the temple, and the entire valley also, the army itself being obliged to carry the materials for that purpose. And indeed it was a hard thing to fill up that valley, by reason of its immense depth, especially as the Jews used all the means possible to repel them from their superior situation; nor had the Romans succeeded in their endeavors, had not Pompey taken notice of the seventh days, on which the Jews abstain from all sorts of work on a religious account, and raised his bank, but restrained his soldiers from fighting on those days; for the Jews only acted defensively on sabbath days.
Blindado
Caligula_Drusilla_AE20.jpg
1ao3 Julia Drusilla33 viewsAE 20 of Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey)
Laureate head of Caligula, right, ΓAION KAICAPA EΠI AOYIOΛA
Drusilla as Persephone seated left, poppies between two stalks of grain in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, ∆POYCIΛΛAN ZMYPNAIΩN MHNOΦANHC

Caligula’s sister

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

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

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

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

As

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

RIC 86

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

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

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

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

Having successfully dispatched his scheming mother Agrippina in 59 and survived a decade on the throne, Nero must have felt like a genius when this was minted ca 64 AD!
1 commentsBlindado
ConstantinusFollisSol.jpg
1ec_2 Constantine the Great18 views307-337

Follis

Laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right, IMP CONSTANTINVS PF AVG
Sol standing left, chlamys across left shoulder, raising right hand and holding globe in left hand, captive to left. Mintmark RQ.

RIC VII 52

According to Zonaras: Constans, in the eleventh year of his reign since he had been proclaimed Caesar, having ruled gently and mildly, came to the end of his life while residing in Britain, having, because of his goodness, bequeathed grief for himself among those he ruled, first having appointed successor the elder of his own sons, namely Constantine the Great, whom he begat by his first wife. He also had by his second wife, Herculius’ daughter Theodora, other sons, Constantinus, Hannibalianus, and Constantius. Constantine the Great was preferred over them, since they were judged by their father to be unsuited for sovereignty. . . . Constantine, when he was still a lad, was actually given by his father as a hostage to Gallerius, in order that, serving as a hostage, at the same time he be trained in the exercise of the soldierly art.

Eutropius summarizes: CONSTANTINE, being a man of great energy, bent upon effecting whatever he had settled in his mind, and aspiring to the sovereignty of the whole world, proceeded to make war on Licinius, although he had formed a connexion with him by marriage,5 for his sister Constantia was married to Licinius. And first of all be overthrew him, by a sudden attack, at Cibalae in Pannonia, where he was making vast preparations for war; and after becoming master of Dardania, Maesia, and Macedonia, took possession also of several other provinces.

There were then various contests between them, and peace made and broken. At last Licinius, defeated in a battle at Nicomedia by sea and land, surrendered himself, and, in violation of an oath taken by Constantine, was put to death, after being divested of the purple, at Thessalonica.

At this time the Roman empire fell under the sway of one emperor and three Caesars, a state of things which had never existed before; the sons of Constantine ruling over Gaul, the east, and Italy. But the pride of prosperity caused Constantine greatly to depart from his former agreeable mildness of temper. Falling first upon his own relatives, he put to death his son, an excellent man; his sister's son, a youth of amiable disposition; soon afterwards his wife, and subsequently many of his friends.

He was a man, who, in the beginning of his reign, might have been compared to the best princes; in the latter part of it, only to those of a middling character. Innumerable good qualities of mind and body were apparent in him; he was exceedingly ambitious of military glory, and had great success in his wars; a success, however, not more than proportioned to his exertions. After he had terminated the Civil war, he also overthrew the Goths on various occasions, granting them at last peace, and leaving on the minds of the barbarians a strong remembrance of his kindness. He was attached to the arts of peace and to liberal studies, and was ambitious of honourable popularity, which he, indeed, sought by every kind of liberality and obligingness. Though he was slow, from suspicion, to serve some of his friends,6 yet he was exceedingly generous towards others, neglecting no opportunity to add to their riches and honours.

He enacted many laws, some good and equitable, but most of them superfluous, and some severe. He was the first that endeavoured to raise the city named after him to such a height as to make it a rival to Rome. As he was preparing for war against the Parthians, who were then disturbing Mesopotamia, he died in the Villa Publica, at Nicomedia, in the thirty-first year of his reign, and the sixty-sixth of his age.

Zosimus described Constantine's conversion to Christianity: For he put to death his son Crispus, stiled (as I mentioned) Caesar, on suspicion of debauching his mother-in-law Fausta, without any regard to the ties of nature. And when his own mother Helena expressed much sorrow for this atrocity, lamenting the young man's death with great bitterness, Constantine under pretence of comforting her, applied a remedy worse than the disease. For causing a bath to be heated to an extraordinary degree, he shut up Fausta in it, and a short time after took her out dead. Of which his conscience accusing him, as also of violating his oath, he went to the priests to be purified from his crimes. But they told him, that there was no kind of lustration that was sufficient to clear him of such enormities. A Spaniard, named Aegyptius, very familiar with the court-ladies, being at Rome, happened to fall into converse with Constantine, and assured him, that the Christian doctrine would teach him how to cleanse himself from all his offences, and that they who received it were immediately absolved from all their sins. Constantine had no sooner heard this than he easily believed what was told him, and forsaking the rites of his country, received those which Aegyptius offered him ; and for the first instance of his impiety, suspected the truth of divination.
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FaustaAE3Fausta.jpg
1ed Fausta12 viewsAE 3

Draped bust with pearl necklace, right, FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG
Fausta Constantine II and Constantius II, FAVSTAE NOBILISSIMAE FEMINAE, mintmark: ΓSIS wreath

RIC 197

Zonaras records: When he had succeeded to his father’s realm, [Constantine] ruled Britain and the Alps, and in addition Gaul, still leaning toward the religion of the Hellenes and opposing the Christians, enticed by his wife Fausta toward ardor in the worship of the idols. Fausta was the daughter of Maximianus. . . . From Fausta, the daughter of Maximianus, the sovereign produced three sons—Constantine, Constantius, and Constans—and a daughter Helen, who later married Julian. . . . Fausta, being erotically obsessed with [her stepson Crispus], since she did not find him compliant, denounced him to his father as being in love with her and as having often attempted to use force against her. Hence, Crispus was condemned to death by his father, who had been persuaded by his spouse. When the emperor later realized the truth, he chastened his wife both because of her unchasteness and on account of the murder of his son. For after she had been led into an exceedingly hot bath, there she violently ended her life.
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rjb_2011_05_15.jpg
218a11 viewsElagabalus 218-22 AD
Rabbath Moba (Arsapolis)
AE 21mm
AV KAICAP A[.........]
Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
APCA[ΠOΛIC]
Poseidon standing left with foot raised holding dolphin and trident
Spijkerman 37
mauseus
coins446.JPG
501. Constantine I Ostia Sol16 viewsOstia
Although Ostia was probably founded for the sole purpose of military defence — since through the Tiber's mouths armies could eventually reach Rome by water — in time the port became a commercial harbour, and a very important one too. Many of the goods that Rome received from its colonies and provinces passed through Ostia. In this role, Ostia soon replaced Pozzuoli (Puteoli, near Naples).

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

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

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

001. Constantine I Ostia

RIC VI Ostia 85 S

ecoli
coin555.JPG
501. CONSTANTINE I Siscia SOLI INVICTO COMIT14 viewsSol Invictus ("the undefeated Sun") or, more fully, Deus Sol Invictus ("the undefeated sun god") was a religious title applied to three distinct divinities during the later Roman Empire, El Gabal, Mithras, and Sol.

Unlike the earlier, agrarian cult of Sol Indiges ("the native sun" or "the invoked sun" - the etymology and meaning of the word "indiges" is disputed), the title Deus Sol Invictus was formed by analogy with the imperial titulature pius felix invictus ("dutiful, fortunate, unconquered").

A festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun (or Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) was celebrated when the duration of daylight first begins to increase after the winter solstice,—the "rebirth" of the sun.

Christianity adopted some of the attributes of the Sol Invictus religion, as apparent in the first examples of Christian iconography, depicting Christ with solar attributes such as the radiated crown or, in a few instances, a solar chariot.

Sol Invictus had been adopted by the Church of Rome as evidenced by Christ as Apollo-Helios in a mausoleum discovered under St. Peter's Basilica and dated to 250[1], and, from the beginning of the third century, "Sun of Justice" was used as a title of Christ[2].

The date for Christmas may also bear a relation to the sun worship. According to the Syriac bishop Jacob Bar-Salibi, writing in the twelth century:

"It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day." (cited in "Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries", Ramsay MacMullen. Yale:1997, p155])
Christianity designated Sunday as the "Lord's Day" and the day of rest, rather than Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.


CONSTANTINE I

RIC VII Siscia 32 R3

ecoli
coin486.JPG
501b. Crispus BEATA Trier14 viewsTrier

The Romans under Julius Caesar subdued the Celtic Treverans in 58 to 50 BC. When the Roman provinces in Germany were reorganised in 16 BC, Augustus decided that Trier, then called Augusta Treverorum, should become the regional capital. From 259 to 274 Trier was the capital of the break away Gallic Empire. Later for a few years (383 - 388) it was the capital of Magnus Maximus, who ruled most of the western Empire.


The ruins of the Roman baths.Sacked by Attila in 451, it passed to the Franks in 463, to Lorraine in 843, to Germany in 870, and back to Lorraine in 895, and was finally united to Germany by Henry I the Fowler. The Archbishop of Trier was, as chancellor of Burgundy, one of the electors of the empire, a right which originated in the 12th or 13th century, and which continued until the French Revolution. The last elector removed to Koblenz in 1786; and Trier was the capital of the French department of Sarre from 1794 till 1814, after which time it belonged to Prussia.

RIC VII Trier 308

ecoli
coin517.JPG
501b. Crispus Ticinum VOTA10 viewsTicinum

Ticinum (the modern Pavia) was an ancient city of Gallia Transpadana, founded on the banks of the river of the same name (now the Ticino river) a little way above its confluence with the Padus (Po).

It is said by Pliny to have been founded by the Laevi and Marici, two Ligurian tribes, while Ptolemy attributes it to the Insubres.

Its importance in Roman times was due to the extension of the Via Aemilia from Ariminum (Rimini) to the Padus (187 BC), which it crossed at Placentia (Piacenza) and there forked, one branch going to Mediolanum (Milan) and the other to Ticinum, and thence to Laumellum where it divided once more, one branch going to Vercellae - and thence to Eporedia and Augusta Praetoria - and the other to Valentia - and thence to Augusta Taurinorum (Turin) or to Pollentia.

The branch to Eporedia must have been constructed before 100 BC. Ticinum is not infrequently mentioned by classical writers. It was a municipium, and from an inscription we know that a triumphal arch was erected in honor of Augustus and his family, but we learn little of it except that in the 4th century AD there was a manufacture of bows there.

It was pillaged by Attila in AD 452 and by Odoacer in 476, but rose to importance as a military centre in the Gothic period. At Dertona and here the grain stores of Liguria were placed, and Theodoric the Great constructed a palace, baths and amphitheatre and new town walls; while an inscription of Athalaric relating to repairs of seats in the amphitheatre is preserved (AD 528‑529). From this point, too, navigation on the Padus seems to have begun. Narses recovered it for the Eastern Empire, but after a long siege, the garrison had to surrender to the Lombards in 572.

001b. Crispus Ticinum

RIC VII Ticinum 153 R3

ecoli
01860q00.jpg
604. Leo I387 viewsImperator Caesar Flavius Valerius Leo Augustus or Leo I of the Byzantine Empire (401–474), reigned from 457 to 474, also known as Leo the Thracian, was the last of a series of emperors placed on the throne by Aspar, the Alan serving as commander-in-chief of the army. His coronation as emperor on February 7, 457, was the first known to involve the Patriarch of Constantinople. Leo I made an alliance with the Isaurians and was thus able to eliminate Aspar. The price of the alliance was the marriage of Leo's daughter to Tarasicodissa, leader of the Isaurians who, as Zeno, became emperor in 474.

During Leo's reign, the Balkans were ravaged time and again by the West Goths and the Huns. However, these attackers were unable to take Constantinople thanks to the walls which had been rebuilt and reinforced in the reign of Theodosius II and against which they possessed no suitable siege engines.

Leo's reign was also noteworthy for his influence in the Western Roman Empire, marked by his appointment of Anthemius as Western Roman Emperor in 467. He attempted to build on this political achievement with an expedition against the Vandals in 468, which was defeated due to the treachery and incompetence of Leo's brother-in-law Basiliscus. This disaster drained the Empire of men and money.

Leo's greatest influence in the West was largely inadvertent and at second-hand: the great Goth king Theodoric the Great was raised at the Leo's court in Constantinople, where he was steeped in Roman government and military tactics, which served him well when he returned after Leo's death to become the Goth ruler of a mixed but largely Romanized people.

Leo also published a New Constitutions or compilation of Law Code[1], Constitution LV concerned Judaism: "JEWS SHALL LIVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RITES OF CHRISTIANITY. Those who formerly were invested with Imperial authority promulgated various laws with reference to the Hebrew people, who, once nourished by Divine protection, became renowned, but are now remarkable for the calamities inflicted upon them because of their contumacy towards Christ and God; and these laws, while regulating their mode of life, compelled them to read the Holy Scriptures, and ordered them not to depart from the ceremonies of their worship. They also provided that their children should adhere to their religion, being obliged to do so as well by the ties of blood, as on account of the institution of circumcision. These are the laws which I have already stated were formerly enforced throughout the Empire. But the Most Holy Sovereign from whom We are descended, more concerned than his predecessors for the salvation of the Jews, instead of allowing them (as they did) to obey only their ancient laws, attempted, by the interpretation of prophesies and the conclusions which he drew from them, to convert them to the Christian religion, by means of the vivifying water of baptism. He fully succeeded in his attempts to transform them into new men, according to the doctrine of Christ, and induced them to denounce their ancient doctrines and abandon their religious ceremonies, such as circumcision, the observance of the Sabbath, and all their other rites. But although he, to a certain extent, overcame the obstinacy of the Jews, he was unable to force them to abolish the laws which permitted them to live in accordance with their ancient customs. Therefore We, desiring to accomplish what Our Father failed to effect, do hereby annul all the old laws enacted with reference to the Hebrews, and We order that they shall not dare to live in any other manner than in accordance with the rules established by the pure and salutary Christian Faith. And if anyone of them should be proved to, have neglected to observe the ceremonies of the Christian religion, and to have returned to his former practices, he shall pay the penalty prescribed by the law for apostates."

Leo died of dysentery at the age of 73 on January 18, 474.

Bronze AE4, RIC 671, S 4340 var, VG, 1.17g, 10.3mm, 180o, Alexandria mint, obverse D N LEO P F AVG (or similar), pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Lion standing left, head right, cross above, ALEA in ex; very rare (R3); ex Forum
ecoli73
TiberiusHierapolis.jpg
703b, Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia107 viewsBronze AE 16, RPC I 2966 (1 specimen), F, Phrygia, Hierapolis, 3.300g, 15.6mm, 0o; Obverse: TIBEPIOC KAISAR, laureate head right; Reverse: IERAPOLEITWN ZOSIMOS [...], Apollo Archegetes (Lairbenos) standing left, playing lyre; reverse countermarked with star of six rays, in oval punch, 2.5 x 3.5 mm, Howgego 445 (3 pcs, 1 of which from this magistrate); dark patina; very rare. Ex FORVM.

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

TIBERIUS (A.D. 14-37)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

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

. . . .

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

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

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

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


Hierapolis in History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hierapolis in the Bible

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
3 commentsCleisthenes
Faustina_Gadara_Decapolis.JPG
AE 22mm Syria, Decapolis, Gadara. Faustina II, wife of Marcus Aurelius. Augusta, 147-175 AD. AE 22mm (7.89 gm, 12h). Dated CY 225. 161/2 AD. Spijkerman 49 (same dies)60 viewsSyria, Decapolis, Gadara. Faustina II, wife of Marcus Aurelius. Augusta, 147-175 AD. AE 22mm (7.89 gm, 12h). Dated CY 225. 161/2 AD. Obv.: ΦAVCTINA CЄBATH, draped bust right. Rev.: ΓAΔAPЄΩN• ЄKC (date), laureate and draped bust of Zeus right. Spijkerman 49 (same dies); Rosenberger IV 51 (same dies); SNG ANS 1312-3 (same dies). _25601 commentsAntonivs Protti
Aphrodite _ British Museum.jpg
Aphrodite676 viewsMarble statue of a naked Aphrodite crouching at her bath1 commentsBacchus
rabbathmoba.jpg
Arabia Petraea, Rabbathmoba. Septimius Severus AE28.46 viewsObv: AVT KAI L CE[P CEOVP CE]B, laureate head right.
Rev: RABBAQ M W NA.., cult statue of Ares(Greek god of war), standing facing, holding spear, shield, and sword, set upon basis set on plinth.
28mm, 9.9gms.
ancientone
DSC00247_40%_cut.JPG
Arizona - Coopers Hawk43 viewsCoopers Hawk cooling his feet in the birdbath.
Right out in front of my kitchen window too, all the shots are taken through the glass window, but still look great.
3 commentsrexesq
coopers-hawk_water_oct-15-2010_05.JPG
Arizona - Coopers Hawk7 viewsCoopers Hawk cooling his feet in the birdbath.rexesq
coopers-hawk_water_oct-15-2010_03.JPG
Arizona - Coopers Hawk7 viewsCoopers Hawk cooling his feet in the birdbath.rexesq
coopers-hawk_water_oct-15-2010_02.JPG
Arizona - Coopers Hawk24 viewsCoopers Hawk cooling his feet in the birdbath.7 commentsrexesq
coopers-hawk_water_oct-15-2010_01.JPG
Arizona - Coopers Hawk11 viewsCoopers Hawk cooling his feet in the birdbath.rexesq
Constantine_I_37.jpg
B142 viewsConstantine I “The Great” AE3

Attribution: RIC VII 117, Thessalonica
Date: AD 320-321
Obverse: CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate head r.
Reverse: DN CONSTANTINI MAX AVG, VOT dot XX in wreath with star at top,
TSEVI in exergue
Size: 18.5 mm
Weight: 3.0 grams

"When men commend my services, which owe their origin to the inspiration of Heaven, do they not clearly establish the truth that God is the cause of the exploits I have performed? Assuredly they do, for it belongs to God to do whatever is best, and to man, to perform the commands of God." - Constantine To the Assembly of the Saints 26

Constantine fought his battles under the banner of the cross and with Christian standards. This is quite a shift from the mentality of his predecessors who were overtly pagan. After his defeat of Licinius I in AD 324, Constantine established himself as the master of the entire Roman Empire, and suddenly changed his entire demeanor as sole ruler. He seemed to have acquired a self-righteousness about him. He moved the capital of the empire to a new city in Byzantium named, aptly, Constantinople. This further diminished the importance of Rome and Italy in the entire scope of things. In fact, he even disbanded the praetorian guard which had played an undeniably central role in the appointment of numerous previous emperors. In AD 326, he had his son Crispus executed for commiting adultery. His wife, Fausta, also died when the temperature of her bath was turned up and she subsequently suffocated on the steam. Despite these instances of questionable judgement, Constantine's reputation remained unscathed. Constantine proved to be an able administrator, but was often criticized by critics and supporters alike for his heavy taxation. When it came to the military, he excelled. His restructuring of the military was also criticized at first, but Constantine proved these doubts wrong with his military successes. Although Constantine waged several victorious campaigns against the Alemanni, Goths, and Sarmatians, much of the land he won was soon lost after his death. One of his most ambitious military endeavors occurred in the latter years of his reign. Constantine planned to Christianize Persia and even went to the lengths of appointing his nephew Hannibalianus as "King of Armenia" intending to give him rule over Persia. He never saw these plans come to fruition, however, because he became terminally ill. Before his death at Ankyrona on May 22, AD 337, Constantine had himself baptized by the bishop of Nicomedia. He was buried in Constantinople in a customized mausoleum called the Church of the Holy Apostles. His sons divided the empire amongst themselves as follows: Constantine II took the west, Constantius II the east, and Constans Italy and the Upper Danube. A fourth heir, Constantine's nephew Flavius Dalmatius II was given control of Greece and the Lower Danube. So ended the legacy of one of the most influential emperors Rome had ever produced: Constantine the Great.
9 commentsNoah
Sullis Minerva.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Bust of Sullis Minerva67 viewsDisplayed in the Baths.

This is a wonderful gilt bronze head of Sullis Minerva and is probably from the cult statue of the deity which would have stood within her Temple beside the Sacred Spring. Found in A.D. 1727.
maridvnvm
Tet.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Coins38 viewsThis Billon Tetradrachm of Elegabalus from Antioch, found at the baths, is a long way from home.maridvnvm
4Nero.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Coins47 viewsFour Dupondii of Nero found at the Baths.maridvnvm
East Baths2.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, East Baths20 viewsThe east baths have had false walls erected to show floor level and to try and differentiate between usage areas.maridvnvm
East Baths.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, East Baths23 viewsMore from the east baths.maridvnvm
Lady Head Front.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Head of Lady23 viewsDisplayed in the Baths.

This large sculture of the head of a lady was found in Walcot in A.D. 1715. This colossal head (much larger than life) may well have adorned a tomb. The hairstyle belongs to the late 1st Century.
maridvnvm
Lady Head Side.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Head of Lady (View of hair detail)20 viewsDisplayed in the Baths.

This large sculture of the head of a lady was found in Walcot in A.D. 1715. This colossal head (much larger than life) may well have adorned a tomb. The hairstyle belongs to the late 1st Century. Shown from the rear to illustrate the detail of the hair.
maridvnvm
Luna.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Luna28 viewsDisplayed in the Baths.

This carving of the goddess Luna, seen holding a whip, formed part of a pediment which would have faced across the Sacred Spring at another pediment containing Sol.
maridvnvm
Minerva Tablet.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Minerva Tablet19 viewsDisplayed in the Baths.

A stone carved tablet, found in the baths, showing the goddess Minerva with a Gorgon mask across her stomach.
maridvnvm
Mosaic.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Mosaic26 viewsDisplayed in the Baths.

This wonderful mosaic is one of many fascinating exhibits dotted around the museum.
maridvnvm
The Sacred Spring.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Sacred Spring29 viewsAt the heart of the bath comples is the Sacred Spring, in which hot (about 46 degrees C), mineral rich water rises at the rate of over 1 million litres a day as it has done since before being descovered by the Romans and then harnessed to form the centre of this complex.1 commentsmaridvnvm
Spring Overflow.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Sacred Spring (Overflow)28 viewsHere we see the overflow from the Sacred Spring which takes the water not used in the bath complex through a Roman drain system to the river some 400 yards away.maridvnvm
The Great Bath2.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, The Great Pool22 viewsThe Great pool complex seen from ground level.maridvnvm
The Great Bath.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, The Great Pool27 viewsThe great pool as is shown by so many people with the camera close to the water level. A bit twee but is does look nice!maridvnvm
Ornamental Pediment.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, The Temple31 viewsThe Temple at Bath is one of only two truly classical temples known from Roman Britain. It was where the the cult statue of the goddess Sulis Minerva was thought to have been housed. Parts of the ornamental pediment survives and are displayed in the Baths Museum.maridvnvm
Gorgon.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, The Temple32 viewsAt the heart of the pediment is this astonishing carved head, thought to be the head of a Gorgon.maridvnvm
Complete Pediment.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, The Temple88 viewsAn illustration of what the completed Pediment may have looked like.maridvnvm
Terrace 1.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, The Terrace43 viewsThis is the Terrace overlooking the Great Bath at the baths. The baths themselves are far more extensive than can be seen from above ground and extend under the modern city. The statuary that line the Terrace date to 1894 and depict "Roman Governors of Britain". The Baths themselves were opened to the public in 1897.maridvnvm
Terrace 2.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, The Terrace31 viewsThis is the Terrace overlooking the Great Bath at the baths. The baths themselves are far more extensive than can be seen from above ground and extend under the modern city. The statuary that line the Terrace date to 1894 and depict "Roman Governors of Britain". The Baths themselves were opened to the public in 1897. maridvnvm
Terrace 3.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, The Terrace24 viewsThis is the Terrace overlooking the Great Bath at the baths. The baths themselves are far more extensive than can be seen from above ground and extend under the modern city. The statuary that line the Terrace date to 1894 and depict "Roman Governors of Britain". The Baths themselves were opened to the public in 1897. maridvnvm
Terrace 4.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, The Terrace27 viewsThis is the Terrace overlooking the Great Bath at the baths. The baths themselves are far more extensive than can be seen from above ground and extend under the modern city. The statuary that line the Terrace date to 1894 and depict "Roman Governors of Britain". The Baths themselves were opened to the public in 1897. maridvnvm
Terrace 5.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, The Terrace26 viewsThis is the Terrace overlooking the Great Bath at the baths. The baths themselves are far more extensive than can be seen from above ground and extend under the modern city. The statuary that line the Terrace date to 1894 and depict "Roman Governors of Britain". The Baths themselves were opened to the public in 1897. maridvnvm
West Baths Plunge pool.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, West Baths30 viewsThe cold plunge pool from the west baths.maridvnvm
West Baths.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, West Baths22 viewsAnd another pool in the west baths.maridvnvm
Hypocaust pilae.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, West Baths hypocaust pilae28 viewsThese well preserved hypocaust pilae from the west baths illustrate how the heating of rooms was achieved.maridvnvm
The Baths and Temple Layout.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Wooden reconstruction42 viewsDisplayed in the Baths.

This wooden reconstruction attempts to give an idea of the size and layout of the original temple and bath complex.
maridvnvm
Chedworth Baths Changing room.jpg
Britain, Chedworth Villa, 09, Bath complex, Changing room 21 viewsChedworth Roman Villa, Yanworth, nr Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Gread Britain

One of the largest Roman villa sites found in the UK. Found and initially excavated by the Victorians. Still being excavated today
1 commentsmaridvnvm
Chedworth Baths Cold room.jpg
Britain, Chedworth Villa, 10, Bath complex, Cold room 67 viewsChedworth Roman Villa, Yanworth, nr Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Gread Britain

One of the largest Roman villa sites found in the UK. Found and initially excavated by the Victorians. Still being excavated today
maridvnvm
Chedworth Baths Warm room.jpg
Britain, Chedworth Villa, 11, Bath complex, Warm room70 viewsChedworth Roman Villa, Yanworth, nr Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Gread Britain

One of the largest Roman villa sites found in the UK. Found and initially excavated by the Victorians. Still being excavated today
1 commentsmaridvnvm
Chedworth Baths Changing room 1.jpg
Britain, Chedworth Villa, 13, Bath complex, Mosaic detail64 viewsChedworth Roman Villa, Yanworth, nr Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Gread Britain

One of the largest Roman villa sites found in the UK. Found and initially excavated by the Victorians. Still being excavated today
maridvnvm
Warna_ruiny.jpg
Bulgaria, Varna - Odessos, Thrace Roman Baths322 viewsOdessus, Thrace, first included into the Roman Praefectura orae maritimae and then in 15 CE annexed to the province of Moesia (later Moesia Inferior), covered 47 hectares in present-day central Varna and had prominent public baths, Thermae, erected in the late 2nd century AD, now the largest Roman remains in Bulgaria (the building was 100 m (328.08 ft) wide, 70 m (229.66 ft) long, and 25 m (82.02 ft) high) and fourth-largest known Roman baths in Europe. Joe Sermarini
Lg006GreekLarge_quad_sm~1.jpg
Caracalla AE provincial, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior (Nikyup, Bulgaria) (211 - 212 AD)16 viewsΑΥ Κ Μ ΑΥΡ – [ANTΩNINOC], laureate, draped bust right / Y ΦΛ OYΛΠIAN – NIKOΠOΛIT + ΠΡOC I in exergue, Nemesis-Aequitas standing left, holding scales in extended right hand and measuring rod (whip? sceptre?) in the crook of left arm, wheel at foot left.

Ӕ, 26 mm, 9.22 g, die axis 8h (turned coin)

I do not have access to any of the relevant provincial catalogs and cannot check any entries, but based on other similar coin descriptions on this site some numbers that may be close to this type are: AMNG I/1 1576-77, 1877-78; Varbanov (engl.) 3134, 3148, 3248; Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (HrHJ) No. 8.18.35.4-5, 8.18.35.8

AY[TOKPATΩΡ] K[AICAP] = Imperator Caesar, Μ[ΑΡΚΟC] ΑΥ[ΡΗΛΙΟC] ANTΩNINOC = Marcus Aurelius Antoninus aka "Caracalla". NIKOΠOΛIT[ΩN] PROC I[CTPΩN] ("πρός"="toward", but also "near to", like Latin "ad"; Istros = the lower Danube). ΦΛ OYΛΠIAN = Flavius Ulpianus, who was Roman governor of Lower Moesia (Moesia Inferior) starting from 210 to about 213. Before 211 Septimius Severus was still in charge; Caracalla visited the city in 211-212, was displeased with it and closed the mint (it was reopened only after his death), so the likely minting years are 211-212. All governors of Lower Moesia had titles on coins of either ΗΓ[ΕΜΟΝΑΣ] (governor of equestrian rank) or ΥΠ[ΑΤΕΥΟΝΤΟΣ] of the province (ΤΗΣ ΕΠΑΡΧΕΙΑΣ) (consular legate of senatorial rank). Y before the name of Flavius Ulpianus indicates the latter.

Aequitas = justice, equality, conformity, symmetry. Nemesis was originally understood as honest distributor of fortune, neither bad nor good, but in due proportion. Later it gained aspects of justice and divine retribution, but in Nemesis-Aequitas her qualities of honest dealing is emphasized. It symbolizes honesty, equality and justice of the emperor towards his subjects. The scales here mean honest measure rather than justice, the long stick she carries is most probably a measuring rod, but may also be a whip (symbol of punishment) or a sceptre (symbol of imperial power). The wheel may be the Wheel of Fortune (Rota Fortunae), but may also just symbolize equality.

CARACALLA, *4 April 188 Lugdunum (Lyon, France) † 8 April 217 (aged 29) road between Edessa and Carrhae ‡ 26 Dec 211 – 8 Apr 217 (not counting joint rule with his father and brother)

His birth name was Lucius Septimius Bassianus, then he was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus at the age of 7 as part of his father's attempt at union with the families of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. He got the agnomen "Caracalla" after a Gallic hooded tunic that he habitually wore and made fashionable. He was also referred to as Tarautas, after a famously diminutive and violent gladiator of the time. The firstborn of the famous imperial couple Septimius Severus and Julia Domna, he was groomed to be emperor together with his brother Geta. They both were given titles of Caesars and even full Augusti before their father's death. But it was not going to happen, since the brothers hated each other. In 202 Caracalla was forced to marry the daughter of Gaius Fulvius Plautianus, Fulvia Plautilla, he immediately grew to hate them both. By 205 Caracalla had succeeded in having Plautianus executed for treason, probably fabricating the evidence of the plot himself. Then he banished his wife together with his own baby daughter first to Sicily and then to the largest of the Aeolian islands, Lipari. As soon as his father died, Caracalla ordered to strangle them both.

Septimius Severus died on 4 February 211 at Eboracum (present day York) while on campaign in Caledonia, north of Roman Britannia. Caracalla and Geta jointly ended the campaign by concluding a peace that returned the border to the line demarcated by Hadrian's Wall. During the journey back to Rome they continuously argued and finally decided to divide the empire, Caracalla was to rule in the west and Geta -- the east. They were persuaded not to do this, but their hostility was only increasing. On 26 December 211, at a reconciliation meeting arranged by their mother, Caracalla had Geta assassinated by members of the Praetorian Guard loyal to himself, Geta dying in his mother's arms. Caracalla then persecuted and executed most of Geta's supporters and ordered a damnatio memoriae pronounced by the Senate against his brother's memory. Geta's image was removed from all paintings, coins were melted down, statues were destroyed, his name was struck from papyrus records, and it became a capital offence to speak or write Geta's name. In the aftermath of the damnatio memoriae, an estimated 20,000 people were massacred. Those killed were Geta's inner circle of guards and advisers, friends, and other military staff under his employ.

In 213, about a year after Geta's death, Caracalla left Rome never to return. He went north to the German frontier to deal with restless Germanic tribes through wars and diplomacy. While there, Caracalla strengthened the frontier fortifications of Raetia and Germania Superior, collectively known as the Agri Decumates, so that it was able to withstand any further barbarian invasions for another twenty years. Then it became evident that he was preoccupied with Alexander the Great. He began openly mimicking Alexander in his personal style and started planning an invasion of "Persia", the Parthian Empire. He even arranged 16,000 of his men in Macedonian-style phalanxes, despite this foration being obsolete for centuries. Caracalla's mania for Alexander went so far that he persecuted philosophers of the Aristotelian school based on a legend that Aristotle had poisoned Alexander. This was a sign of Caracalla's increasingly erratic behaviour. When the inhabitants of Alexandria heard of Caracalla's claims that he had killed his brother Geta in self-defence, they produced a satire mocking this as well as Caracalla's other pretensions. So in 215 Caracalla travelled to Alexandria and responded to this insult by slaughtering the deputation of leading citizens who had unsuspectingly assembled before the city to greet his arrival, before setting his troops against Alexandria for several days of looting and plunder. Following the massacre at Alexandria, Caracalla moved east into Armenia. By 216 he had pushed through Armenia and south into Parthia and pursued a series of aggressive campaigns in the east against the Parthians, intended to bring more territory under direct Roman control. In the following winter, Caracalla retired to Edessa (Şanlıurfa, south-east Turkey) and began making preparations to renew the campaign by spring. On 8 April 217 Caracalla was travelling to visit a temple near Carrhae (Harran, southern Turkey), where in 53 BC the Romans had suffered a defeat at the hands of the Parthians. After stopping briefly to urinate, Caracalla was approached by a soldier, Justin Martialis, and stabbed to death. Martialis had been incensed by Caracalla's refusal to grant him the position of centurion, and the Praetorian Guard Prefect Macrinus, Caracalla's successor, saw the opportunity to use Martialis to end Caracalla's reign. In the immediate aftermath of Caracalla's death, his murderer, Martialis, was killed as well. Three days later, Macrinus declared himself emperor with the support of the Roman army.

Caracalla's reign was marked by domestic instability, the massacres he enacted against the people of Rome and elsewhere in the empire, and external invasions from the Germanic people. Surprisingly for such a brute, Caracalla was also notable for some statesmanship, perhaps due to some help of his mother, who stayed in Rome and performed many administrative duties in her son's absence. The most famous is the Antonine Constitution (Constitutio Antoniniana), aka the Edict of Caracalla, which granted Roman citizenship to nearly all freemen throughout the Roman Empire. The edict gave all the enfranchised men Caracalla's adopted praenomen and nomen: "Marcus Aurelius". Domestically, Caracalla was known for the construction of the Baths of Caracalla, which became the second-largest baths in Rome, and building a temple to Serapis, Graeco-Egyptian god of healing, whom he thought to be his divine patron, on the Quirinal Hill. The numismatists will always remember him because of the introduction of a new Roman coin denomination, currently designated "antoninianus" after him. The reduced silver purity of the new coins caused people to hoard the old denarii and thanks to this now we can enjoy lots of well-preserved early Roman silver coins.

Caracalla was one of the cruellest and most tyrannical Roman emperors. That was why in the 18th century Caracalla's memory was revived in the works of French artists trying to draw the parallels between him and King Louis XVI. But there were also other narratives surrounding his name: in the 12th century, Geoffrey of Monmouth started the legend of "Bassianus" as the king of Britain, who won the kingship by fighting his brother over it.
Yurii P
rabbath_k.jpg
Caracalla, AD 198-2174 viewsAE30, 15.2g, 6h; Rabbathmoba, Palestine, dated CY 105 = AD 210-211.
Obv.: AVT K M AV ANTUNINOC, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right.
Rev.: PABBAΘ-MUBUN, Ares standing facing on square base decorated with pilasters, and holding sword, spear and round shield. Lighted torch to left and right. Date P-E across fields.
Ref.: Spijkerman 27, Rosenberger 16. 16-190-65
John Anthony
1692do.jpg
Carlos II - 169223 viewsValencia mint (Spain)

1692

Silver with a gold bath

Ex. Vico auction, 2013.

http://dieciochenos.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/carlos-ii-1692-recubrimiento-dorado/
rmon
ConstanCommRIC63_ConstantinopleMint.jpg
City of Constantinople Commemorative, 330 - 333 A.D.82 viewsBronze AE 3, RIC 63, VF, Constantinople, 2.524g, 18.5mm, 0o, 330 - 333 A.D.; Obverse: CONSTAN-TINOPOLI, Constantinopolis' helmeted bust left in imperial cloak and holding scepter across left shoulder; Reverse: Victory standing left, right foot on prow, scepter in right, resting left on grounded shield, CONSZ in exergue; nice style. Ex FORVM.

Constantinople Commemoratives minted by the actual city of Constantinople mint are much scarcer than those minted by other Eastern mints.

The village that was to become the site of Byzantium/Constantinople/Istambul was founded c. 658 B. C. by a Greek colony from Megara; the site was then occupied by the Thracian village of Lygos. The chief of the Megarian expedition was Byzas, after whom the city was naturally called Byzantion (Lat. Byzantium). Despite its perfect situation, the colony did not prosper at first; it suffered much during the Medic wars, chiefly from the satraps of Darius and Xerxes. Later on, its control was disputed by Lacedćmonians and Athenians; for two years (341-339 B. C.) it held out against Philip of Macedon. It succeeded in maintaining its independence even against victorious Rome, was granted the title and rights of an allied city, and its ambassadors were accorded at Rome the same honours as those given to allied kings; it enjoyed, moreover, all transit duties on the Bosporus. Cicero defended it in the Roman Senate, and put an end to the exactions of Piso.

The city continued prosperous to the reign of Septimius Severus, when it sided with his rival, Pescennius Niger. After a siege of three years (193-196) Severus razed to the ground its walls and public monuments, and made it subject to Perinthus or Heraclea in Thrace. But he soon forgave this resistance, restored its former privileges, built there the baths of Zeuxippus, and began the hippodrome. It was devastated again by the soldiers of Gallienus in 262, but was rebuilt almost at once. In the long war between Constantine and Licinius (314-323) it embraced the fortunes of the latter, but, after his defeat at Chrysopolis (Scutari), submitted to the victor.

Constantine had chosen this city as the new capital of the Roman Empire, but owing to his wars and the needs of the State, he rarely resided there.

(The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IV; Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company;Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
14106p00.jpg
City of Constantinopolis Commemorative, 330-346 A.D. (Cyzikus)50 viewsConstantinopolis City Commemorative, issued by CONSTANTINE THE GREAT AND HIS SONS, of the period AD 330-346, commemorating the transfer of the Seat of the Empire from Rome to Constantinople, AE3/4, aVF, Cyzikus. Obverse: CONSTAN-TINOPOLI, Constantinopolis wearing imperial mantle, holding inverted spear, laureate helmet, bust L.; Reverse: No legend; Victory stg. L., right foot on prow, holding scepter and leaning on shield; star?pellet?SMK pellet? in exergue.

The village that was to become the site of Byzantium/Constantinople/Istambul was founded c. 658 B. C. by a Greek colony from Megara; the site was then occupied by the Thracian village of Lygos. The chief of the Megarian expedition was Byzas, after whom the city was naturally called Byzantion (Lat. Byzantium). Despite its perfect situation, the colony did not prosper at first; it suffered much during the Medic wars, chiefly from the satraps of Darius and Xerxes. Later on, its control was disputed by Lacedćmonians and Athenians; for two years (341-339 B. C.) it held out against Philip of Macedon. It succeeded in maintaining its independence even against victorious Rome, was granted the title and rights of an allied city, and its ambassadors were accorded at Rome the same honours as those given to allied kings; it enjoyed, moreover, all transit duties on the Bosporus. Cicero defended it in the Roman Senate, and put an end to the exactions of Piso.

The city continued prosperous to the reign of Septimius Severus, when it sided with his rival, Pescennius Niger. After a siege of three years (193-196) Severus razed to the ground its walls and public monuments, and made it subject to Perinthus or Heraclea in Thrace. But he soon forgave this resistance, restored its former privileges, built there the baths of Zeuxippus, and began the hippodrome. It was devastated again by the soldiers of Gallienus in 262, but was rebuilt almost at once. In the long war between Constantine and Licinius (314-323) it embraced the fortunes of the latter, but, after his defeat at Chrysopolis (Scutari), submitted to the victor.

Constantine had chosen this city as the new capital of the Roman Empire, but owing to his wars and the needs of the State, he rarely resided there.

(The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IV; Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company;Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Constantine_the_Great_the_hand_of_God_reaches_down_.jpg
Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D. , Manus Dei, the hand of God.10 viewsBillon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 39; LRBC I 1374; SRCV V 17488; Voetter 34; Cohen VII 760; Hunter V p. 283, 4 ff. var. (officina), EF, glossy black patina, red earthen deposits, 1.821g, 15.0mm, 330o, 10th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, Sep 337 - 347 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS PT AVGG, veiled bust right; reverse Constantine in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to take him to heaven; star above, SMANI in exergue.

FORVM Ancient Coins. /The Sam Mansourati Collection.

Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. He attempted to return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom." It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on 22 May 337.
2 commentsSam
w4~0.JPG
Constantinople CONSS66 viewsConstantine had altogether more ambitious plans. Having restored the unity of the empire, now overseeing the progress of major governmental reforms and sponsoring the consolidation of the Christian church, Constantine was well aware that Rome had become an unsatisfactory capital for several reasons. Located in central Italy, Rome lay too far from the eastern imperial frontiers, and hence also from the legions and the Imperial courts. Moreover, Rome offered an undesirable playground for disaffected politicians; it also suffered regularly from flooding and from malaria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIC VII Constantinople 61 C1
ecoli
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Croatia, Salona (Solin) - Baths174 viewsSalona (Solin), Croatia - Baths. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solin,_CroatiaJoe Sermarini
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Dupondius; AQVA TRAIANA, RIC 46422 viewsTrajan Ć Dupondius. IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, radiate bust right with draped far shoulder / SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI S-C, River god reclining left in arched grotto, resting on urn & holding reed, AQVA TRAIANA in ex. Cohen 22, RIC 464, Hill 636. 9,4g 21,1mm. Trajan's aqueduct restored a small river that had disappeared and redirected its flow to Rome, where it fed his baths and greatly increased the capital's supply of fresh water. The aqueduct was dedicated in 109 and commemorated on coins beginning the following year. The design depicts the waterworks at the end of the aqueduct with the personification of the river reclining below. -There are reports that the actual rev scene has recently been rediscovered. Ex Ferenc G2 commentsPodiceps
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England, Roman Baths, Bath (1)162 viewsThese celebrated Roman Baths were unknown until, in 1880, sewer workers uncovered the first glimpse of Roman structures under the Georgian Spa. This led to the discovery of the Roman Baths and their treasures.

The walls, columns and parapet that surround the Great Bath today were built in the Victorian period, and the "Roman" statues that gaze down upon the pool from the upper walkway are also Victorian.

This photograph was taken in the 19th century not long after the Baths were discovered and before the Victorian structures we see today were built.
*Alex
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England, Roman Baths, Bath (2)149 viewsThis is a Photochrome print of the Roman Baths, Bath, England taken sometime between 1895 and 1905.
It shows the new Victorian embellishments added to the Baths since their discovery in the 1880's and which, for the most part, are the works that visitors to the site see today.
The familiar green hue of the pool seen by modern visitors is caused by algae, resulting from the water's exposure to the open air. In Roman times the pool was roofed over and its waters, while perhaps not crystal clear, would almost certainly not have been green.

Photochrome prints are coloured images produced from black-and-white photographic negatives via the direct photographic transfer of a negative onto lithographic printing plates.
*Alex
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Farnese Hercules19 viewsThe Farnese Hercules is one of the most famous ancient sculptures. It is a colossal copy made after a smaller Lysippos original, and intended to adorn the Baths of Caracalla. The sculpture was discovered and removed from the baths in 1546, entering the famous collection of Alessandro Farnese. It now resides in the museum of Naples.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farnese_Hercules
Joe Sermarini
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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
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France, Arles - The Baths of Constantine257 viewsArles: The Baths of Constantinevacationchick
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France, Arles - The Baths of Constantine243 viewsArles: The Baths of Constantinevacationchick
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France, Paris, Roman Baths60 viewsThe Roman Baths of Cluny, Paris. Dated to the 3rd century AD, thought to have been paid for by the guild of "Lutetian Boatmen". The complex is now incorporated into the National Museum of the Middle Ages. Photo taken by me in May 2014.Masis
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Germany, Trier - Imperial baths447 viewsGoing to the baths was an important part of Roman life: Over 1600 years ago, the Romans built one of the grandest and most impressive baths in the world: the Imperial Baths. W. Kutschenko
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Geta, Rabbatmoba, cult statue of Ares, AE2855 viewsBronze AE 28, Spijkerman, p. 272 and Plate 61, #32; Hendin -, Fair, 14.37g, 28.5mm, 0o, Rabbathmoba-Areopolis mint, year 105 = 210 - 211 A.D.; obverse AUT•K•P-EP•GETAC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PABAQ-MUBA, cult statue of Ares in military dress, sword erect in right, spear and round shield in left, on decorated base with torch-like flaming altars on right and left

ex FORVM
1 commentsareich
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ISLAMIC, Delhi Sultanate, Muhammed Bin Tughlaq, AV Dinar75 viewsDelhi Sultanate, Muhammed Bin Tughlaq, AV Dinar, 10.9g, In the name of Caliph al-Mustakfi, Daulatabad mint, AH 745 / 1345 AD, Ref: GG D-425

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

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


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

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

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

As can be expected on Caliphate issues, great care and attention was taken in the style and design of these coins as these reflected the high reverence, esteem and devotion of MBT towards the Caliph. The calligraphy on the coin is exquisite and breath takingly beautiful. The date on the coin (AH 745) indicates this was the last year when Gold Dinar's were struck in the name of Caliph al-Mustakfi Billah as soon thereafter, following the arrival of Caliph's envoy and confirmation of death of Caliph al-Mustakfi, coins were struck in the name of the new Caliph, al-Hakim. Although the coin legend states the coin as a dinar, the weight standard is that of a tanka. The Gold Dinar's in the name of Caliph al-Mustakfi Billah were struck from only 2 mints - Daulatabad and Dehli, with Daulatabad issue classified as Rare by Goron & Goenka.
mitresh
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Israel, Hamat Gadar, inscription of the Empress Eudocia's poem about the Hamat Gader baths12 viewsIsrael, Hamat Gadar, inscription of the Empress Eudocia's poem about the Hamat Gader baths, 5th Century AD

The Hamat Gader Poem inscribed on the baths at Hamat Gader was very short, and can be included here, as evidence of her hexameter writing style. The poem was inscribed so visitors could read it as they went into the pool.

I have seen many wonders in my life, countless,
But who, noble Clibanus, however many his mouths, could proclaim
Your might, when born a worthless mortal? But rather
It is right for you to be called a new fiery ocean,
Paean and parent, provider of sweet streams.
From you the thousandfold swell is born, one here, one there,
On this side boiling-hot, on that side in turn icy-cold and tepid.
Into fountains four-fold four you pour out your beauty.
Indian and Matrona, Repentius, holy Elijah,
Antoninus the Good, Dewy Galatia, and
Hygieia herself, warm baths both large and small,
Pearl, ancient Clibanus, Indian and other
Matrona, Strong, Nun, and the Patriarch's.
For those in pain your powerful might is always everlasting.
But I will sing of a god, renowned for wisdom
For the benefit of speaking mortals.

The inscription of the poem

The line "Of the Empress Eudocia" flanked by two crosses is set above the poem. This title line was added after the carving of the main inscription, making room for some doubt whether the poem was indeed authored by Eudocia. Clibanus is the name given to the source of the hot water. After praising his qualities and those of his many springs ("the thousandfold swell"), the poem enumerates "four-fold four", thus sixteen different parts of the bath complex, fourteen of which bear a name; these names include Hygieia (the pagan goddess of health), a whole range of pagan personal names, "holy Elijah" referring to the prophet, and two refer to Christians – a nun and a patriarch.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eudocia's_poem_Hamat_Gader.png
Greek Inscriptions from Ḥammat Gader: A Poem by the Empress Eudocia and Two Building Inscriptions Author(s): JUDITH GREEN and YORAM TSAFRIR
Source: Israel Exploration Journal, Vol. 32, No. 2/3 (1982), pp. 77-96
Joe Sermarini
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Israel, Hamat Gadar, Ruins of Synagogue10 viewsHamat Gader was already a well known health and recreation site in Roman times, mentioned in Strabo, Origen and Eunapius, as well as the Rabbinic literature. Construction of the bath complex began in the 2nd century by the 10th Roman Legion, which was garrisoned in nearby Gadara. The ancient Hebrew name means hot springs of (the ancient city of) Gadara. Gadar today is nearby modern Umm Qais. The Arabic name El-Hamma preserves this, and the name of the tel located near the site, Tel Bani, is a corruption of the Latin word meaning "baths." The empress Aelia Eudocia composed a poem praising the qualities of the multiple springs which was inscribed so that visitors could see it as they went into the pool. The mosaic pavement recovered from the 5th century Hamat Gader synagogue, is now installed in the entrance hall of the Supreme Court of Israel.


Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hamat-gader-archeol-site-synagoge.jpg
Joe Sermarini
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Israel, Hamat Gadar, Ruins of the Roman Baths17 viewsHamat Gader was already a well known health and recreation site in Roman times, mentioned in Strabo, Origen and Eunapius, as well as the Rabbinic literature. Construction of the bath complex began in the 2nd century by the 10th Roman Legion, which was garrisoned in nearby Gadara (modern Umm Qais). The ancient Hebrew name means hot springs of (the ancient city of) Gadara. The Arabic name El-Hamma preserves this, and the name of the tel located near the site, Tel Bani, is a corruption of the Latin word meaning "baths." The empress Aelia Eudocia composed a poem praising the qualities of the multiple springs which was inscribed so that visitors could see it as they went into the pool.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hamat-gader_25.jpg
Photo by Daniel Ventura
Joe Sermarini
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Israel, Herodion212 viewsThe Herodion (Har Hordos) was Herod the Great’s summer palace near Jerusalem and – according to Josephus – the place of his burial. (A possible royal sarcophagus was discovered in 2007 but the identification with Herod is not certain.) There are two distinct parts: the Upper Herodion, a fortress complex set within a mountain top, and the Lower Herodion, the palace proper with several ancillary buildings (bath house, stadium, etc.) In the photograph, the Upper Herodion hill dominates the background, while the foreground shows part of a substantial colonnaded pool (70m x 45m) with a gazebo-like structure set at its centre. The area now in use as a car park would have been a formal garden in Herod’s day. Abu Galyon
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Israel, Jerusalem, Supreme Court Entrance Hall - Mosaic from Hamat Gader Synagogue 10 viewsA section of the mosaic pavement recovered from the ancient Hamat Gader synagogue, now installed in the entrance hall of the Supreme Court of Israel.

Hamat Gader was already a widely known health and recreation site in Roman times. It is mentioned in Strabo, Origen and Eunapius, as well as the Rabbinic literature. Construction of the bath complex began in the 2nd century by the 10th Roman Legion, which was garrisoned in nearby Gadara. The site includes a Roman theater, which was built in the 3rd century CE and contained 2,000 seats. A large synagogue was built in the 5th century CE. The empress Aelia Eudocia composed a poem praising the qualities of the multiple springs which was inscribed so that visitors could see it as they went into the pool.
Joe Sermarini
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Israel, Qumran - Miqvah156 viewsThis is L48-49, a water storage feature. The low, plastered partitions on the steps make it likely that this was a miqvah (a ritual bath), rather than a cistern. The damage on the left side of the steps dates from the earthquake of 31 BCE. Abu Galyon
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Italy, Herculaneum, Central Thermae22 viewsThe men's baths still have the stalls for holding the bather's clothing.

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, Central Thermae16 viewsThe men's baths are entered directly off the north west corner of the palaestra. The apodyterium has a vaulted ceiling. On the north wall is a small arched apse, containing a labrum used for washing before entering the inner rooms of the baths

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Herculaneum, view of the terrace of Marcus Nonius Balbus18 viewsA view looking down into the terrace of Marcus Nonius Balbus. The terrace is dominated by the Funerary altar and honorific statue of Marcus Nonius Balbus. The underground bath complex is at the right hand side of the terrace as we view it. The baths were unfortunately closed during my visit for maintenance.

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
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Italy, Ostia - antica Thermae 160 viewsBohemian
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Italy, Pompeii - bath257 viewsInside the public bathhouse. Much like the "Occulus" in the Pantheon, the window to the upper left is the only light source in the room.Mark Zema
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Italy, Rome, Baths of Caracalla243 viewsbuilt between 212 AD and 216 AD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baths_of_Caracalla
Johny SYSEL
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Italy, Rome, Baths of Caracalla196 viewshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baths_of_CaracallaJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Rome, Baths of Caracalla197 viewshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baths_of_CaracallaJohny SYSEL
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Italy- Forum Romanum- The basilica of Majencius front and back100 viewsThe Basilica of Maxentius (Basilica Maxentii) or the Basilica of Constantine (Basilica Constantini) was the last of the great civilian basilicas on the Roman Forum. The ruins of the basilica is located between the Temple of Amor and Roma and the Temple of Romulus, on the Via Sacra.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We also saw the sea sucked away and apparently forced back by the earthquake: at any rate it receded from the shore so that quantities of sea creatures were left stranded on dry sand. On the landward side a fearful black cloud was rent by forked and quivering bursts of flame, and parted to reveal great tongues of fire, like flashes of lightning magnified in size. . . . We had scarcely sat down to rest when darkness fell, not the dark of a moonless or cloudy night, but as if the lamp had been put out in a closed room. You could hear the shrieks of women, the wailing of infants, and the shouting of men; some were calling their parents, others their children or their wives, trying to recognize them by their voices. People bewailed their own fate or that of their relatives, and there were some who prayed for death in their terror of dying
John Schou
Italy- Pompeii- Big House and house with drain in the corner.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- Big House and house with drain in the corner33 viewsWhat strikes you most about Pompeii - and also Herculaneum for that matter - is that they are both very neatly laid-out cities, very elegant and very orderly. There was running water in the houses, as the numerous indoor fountains would testify. There were public baths - Roman style - with separate entrances for men and women; while the walls of both were decorated with terracotta statues, the women's baths were much more elegant with exquisite floral mosaics. There were separate dressing rooms called apodyterium, cold bath - frigidairium - warm bath - tepidarium - and hot bath - calidarium. The calidarium was heated by a system of double walls and a hollow floor, which provided circulation for hot air and steam. The large cold water basin has inscriptions with names of the donors who funded its construction. There was also the palaestra or the gymnasium and separate areas for ablutions. There were public latrines with running water channels. In fact, the baths take up quite a bit of space in Pompeii and Herculaneum, pointing to the fastidiousness of early Romans when it came to personal hygiene. In Herculaneum, there is even a bronze bath-tub that is still intact.

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

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

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

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

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

THE CITY WALLS
Pompeii rests on a plateau of Vesuvian lava, whose walls represented a solid natural protection, just the wall to the north were more vulnerable.
The ring of walls was 3220 m. long. Seven identified gates opened in the walls, while the existence of an eighth (Porta Capua) one was uncertain.
The materials used for the walls were mostly: Sarno stone and grey Nucerian tufo. At the beginning the walls were made of Vesuvian lava or ‘pappamonte’ blocks, later made of a double parallel row, than filled with stones and ground.
During the Samnite wars were built the fortifications with the ‘ad aggere’ system, with an embankment inner the city.
During the 3rd century B.C. was probably built an inner calcareous and tufo row, with buttresses and round the top of the walls ran a patrol walkway.
The last phase of construction of the fortifications was dated about the age before Sulla’s conquest: on the more vulnerable side of the walls guard towers in opus incertum were built, with regular distance.
John Schou
Italy- Pompeii- Entrance to the house of Fauno.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- Entrance to the house of Fauno39 viewsHOUSE OF THE FAUN (VI,12,2)
With its 3000m˛ it is the largest house in Pompeii: built over a previous dwelling at the beginning of the 2nd century BC, its current form is the result of subsequent alterations. The entrance on the left leads directly into the public section, the door on the right to the private rooms: an atrium whose roof is supported by four columns, stalls, latrine, baths, kitchen. In the entrance is the Latin message HAVE. The ‘first style’ decoration, the floors of sectile opus, and the mosaic threshold (now at the Naples Museum) highlight the dignity of this house, more similar to the aristocratic Roman domus than local upper class dwellings. In the center of the impluvium is a bronze statue of the ‘faun’ (2nd cent. BC: original in Naples); around it are rooms that held mosaic paintings on the floor and ‘first style’ decorations on the walls. Between the two porticoed gardens is the exedra, the core of the dwelling, with Corinthian columns, stuccoed and painted capitals, a splendid mosaic (now at the N
aples Museum) depicting the victory of Alexander the Great over Darius, King of Persia, which has helped to suggest a connection between the Macedonian ruler and the unknown, educated, and wealthy owner of the
FLOOR PLAN OF THE HOUSE OF THE FAUN Pompeii 2nd Century Courtesy of Professor Barbette Spaeth, Tulane University (Excerpted from Professor Spaeth's accompanying text) This house was among the largest and most elegant of the houses of Pompeii. It took up an entire city block (c. 80 m. long by 35 m. wide or 315 by 115 ft.) and was filled with beautiful works of art, including the famous mosaic depicting Alexander the Great at the Battle of Issus, and wall paintings of the First, Second and Fourth Styles. The decoration of the house is heavily influenced by Hellenistic models. The House of the Faun was originally built in the early second century. In this period, the house was focused around two atria, one a large Tuscan atrium (3), and the other a smaller tetrastyle atrium (10), while the back of the house had a large kitchen garden. The two-atria plan represented an attempt to separate the formal functions of the atrium, i.e., the reception of clients and conduct of business by the patron of the house, from its private functions, i.e., the course of everyday family life. This type of plan is an intermediate step between the simple atrium house, with a single atrium complex, and the atrium and peristyle house. Apparently, the two-atria plan did not prove ultimately satisfactory for the owners of the House of the Faun. In the late second century B.C. they added a peristyle (8) to the north of the original two-atria nucleus, along with a service quarter to the eastern side (12-16), and reception rooms to the north. The rear of the house contained the kitchen garden. To this later period of the house belong its wall decorations in First Style and its famous mosaics. Finally, another peristyle was added around the time of the Early Roman Colony (20), that is, in the early first century B.C. This peristyle included more reception rooms along the south side (17 & 18), and smaller rooms, perhaps for servants, to the north (22) . The center of the new peristyle was occupied by the kitchen garden (19). With these renovations, the house acquired a new focus around the peristyles. The peristyles represented a private retreat for the family, a place where they could relax and entertain special guests. The front part of the house was kept for more formal occasions. The addition of service quarters reflects a further differentiation of function in the house, again separating the daily life of the family from the more public reception areas. The House of the Faun, with its elaborate decoration and extensive plan, represents one of the most important examples of Roman domus architecture of the second to first century B.C.
John Schou
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and the Basilica of Majencio.jpg
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and the Basilica of Majencio38 viewsThe Basilica of Maxentius (Basilica Maxentii) or the Basilica of Constantine (Basilica Constantini) was the last of the great civilian basilicas on the Roman Forum. The ruins of the basilica is located between the Temple of Amor and Roma and the Temple of Romulus, on the Via Sacra.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Schou
Italy- Terracina- part of Via Appia.jpg
Italy- Terracina- part of Via Appia47 viewsAppian way
The Appian Way (Latin: Via Appia) is a famous road built by the Romans. It is the most important among the Roman roads; it was called regina viarum, the queen of the roads.

Its construction was started in 312 BC by the consul Appius Claudius Caecus, restructuring an existing track that connected Rome with the Alban Hills (this road has been supposed to be the one that originally brought Latins from Albalonga to the future capital, at the time of its founding).

The original track of the Appian Way connected Rome (from Porta San Sebastiano in the Aurelian Walls, near the Baths of Caracalla) with Ariccia, Forum Appii, Terracina, Fondi, Formia, Minturnae (Minturno), Sinuessa (Mondragone) and finally Capua.

The road was later extended (190 BC) to Benevento (Beneventum) and Venosa which was founded at that time and populated by 20,000 Roman farmers; in a following epoch it was extended to Taranto (Tarentum) and Brindisi (Brundisium).

The Via Appia Traiana would soon have more linearly connected Benevento with Aecae (Troia), Canusium (Canosa) and Barium (Bari).

In 71 BC six thousand slaves rebelling under Spartacus, having been captured after his final defeat and death, were crucified along this road by Marcus Licinius Crassus.

After the fall of the Roman empire, the road was not as used as before; Pope Pius VI ordered its restoration and brought it into new use.

Wide parts of the original road have been preserved, and some are now used by cars (for example, in the area of Velletri). Along the part of the road closest to Rome, one can see many tombs and catacombs of Roman and early Christian origin. Also the Church of Domine Quo Vadis is in the first mile of the road.

The Via Appia was also the site of the first milestones.

A new Appian Way was built in parallel with the old one in 1784.

John Schou
JCT_Jewish_Old_Folks_Home.JPG
Jewish Old Folks Home (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)74 viewsAE token, 34 mm., undated.

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

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

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

Note: Founded in 1918 when the women of the Ezras Noshem Society collected money door-to-door and opened an old age home in a semi-detached house on Cecil Street. By 1954, the building had become too crowded and the building was beyond repair. The insitution purchased a 25-acre site on Bathurst Street, in North York, Ontario, and built the Jewish Home for the Aged. The institution still exists as the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care.
Stkp
JuliaDomna_Rabbath-Moba_WarGod_AE26_12_42g.jpg
Julia Domna, Rabbathmoba, Ares, AE2623 views26mm, 12.42g
obv: IOVLIA - DOMNA, draped bust right
rev: Statue of Ares standing facing, holding sword, spear, and shield
areich
M_Aemilius_1_opt.jpg
M. AEMILIUS Denarius Syd 912, POMPEY Victory v ARETAS 18 viewsOBV: M . SCAVR / AED CVR above king Aretas kneeling beside a camel r., EX on ,S . C on right, REX ARETAS in ex.
REV: HYPSAE (vs) / AED CVR above Jupiter in quadriga left, CAPTVM on right, c. HYPSAEVS cos PREIV (ER) in ex. scorpion below horses
3.1g, 17mm

Minted 58BC
M. Aemilius Scaurus & Pub. Plautius Hypsaeus. When M. Aemilius was Governor of Syria, he repressed the incursions of the Nabathean Arabians, compelling their king, Aretas, to submit and pay a fine of 300 talents to Pompey. Pub. Plautius was curule aedile with him in B.C. 58.
Legatus
Macedonian_Kingdom,_Alexander_the_Great,_336_-_323_B_C_,_Lifetime_Issue~0.jpg
Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Lifetime Issue. Tarsos Mint, Struck Between 333 - 327 B.C. 23 viewsSilver Tetradrachm, Price 2995, Müller 1293, Newell Tarsos 6, Demanhur 2045 - 2061, SNG Saroglos 505, SNG Cop 774, SNG München 692, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, high relief, a little rough, porosity on reverse, 16.663g, 24.1mm, die ax., 45o, Tarsos mint, c. 333 - 327 B.C..
Obverse : head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck.
Reverse : Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY , ( " Of Alexander " in Ancient Greek ) , 4 pellets under seat above strut over A below strut.


Lifetime issue. Alexander the Great passed through Tarsos, Cilicia, with his armies in 333 B.C. Darius' confidence increased, because Alexander spent so much time there, which he imputed to cowardice. In truth, Alexander had fallen seriously ill after bathing in the exceedingly cold river Cydnus. No physician would treat him, they thought his case so desperate, and his recovery unlikely. They feared the punishment for failure. Finally, Philip, the Acarnanian, relying on his own well-known friendship for Alexander, resolved to try. At this very time, Alexander received a letter, warning him that Philip had been bribed by Darius to kill him, with great sums of money, and a promise of his daughter in marriage. After Alexander read the letter, he put it under his pillow, without showing it to anyone. When Philip came in with the potion, Alexander drank it with great cheerfulness and assurance, at the same time giving Philip the letter to read. Alexander's looks were cheerful and open, to show his kindness to and confidence in his physician, while Philip was full of surprise and alarm at the accusation, appealing to the gods to witness his innocence, sometimes lifting up his hands to heaven, and then throwing himself down by the bedside, and beseeching Alexander to lay aside all fear, and follow his directions without apprehension. The medicine worked so strongly at first that at first Alexander lost his speech, and falling into a swoon, had scarce any sense or pulse left. However, after a short time, his health and strength returned, and he showed himself in public to the Macedonians, who had been in continual fear until they saw him again.


FORVM Ancient Coins. / From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
Sam
Macedonian_Kingdom,_Alexander_the_Great,_336_-_323_B_C_,_Lifetime_Issue.jpg
Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Lifetime Issue. Tarsos Mint, Struck Between 333 - 327 B.C. 31 viewsSilver Tetradrachm, Price 2995, Müller 1293, Newell Tarsos 6, Demanhur 2045 - 2061, SNG Saroglos 505, SNG Cop 774, SNG München 692, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, high relief, a little rough, porosity on reverse, 16.663g, 24.1mm, die ax., 45o, Tarsos mint, c. 333 - 327 B.C..
Obverse : head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck.
Reverse : Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY , ( " Of Alexander " in Ancient Greek ) , 4 pellets under seat above strut over A below strut.

Lifetime issue. Alexander the Great passed through Tarsos, Cilicia, with his armies in 333 B.C. Darius' confidence increased, because Alexander spent so much time there, which he imputed to cowardice. In truth, Alexander had fallen seriously ill after bathing in the exceedingly cold river Cydnus. No physician would treat him, they thought his case so desperate, and his recovery unlikely. They feared the punishment for failure. Finally, Philip, the Acarnanian, relying on his own well-known friendship for Alexander, resolved to try. At this very time, Alexander received a letter, warning him that Philip had been bribed by Darius to kill him, with great sums of money, and a promise of his daughter in marriage. After Alexander read the letter, he put it under his pillow, without showing it to anyone. When Philip came in with the potion, Alexander drank it with great cheerfulness and assurance, at the same time giving Philip the letter to read. Alexander's looks were cheerful and open, to show his kindness to and confidence in his physician, while Philip was full of surprise and alarm at the accusation, appealing to the gods to witness his innocence, sometimes lifting up his hands to heaven, and then throwing himself down by the bedside, and beseeching Alexander to lay aside all fear, and follow his directions without apprehension. The medicine worked so strongly at first that at first Alexander lost his speech, and falling into a swoon, had scarce any sense or pulse left. However, after a short time, his health and strength returned, and he showed himself in public to the Macedonians, who had been in continual fear until they saw him again.


FORVM Ancient Coins. / From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
3 commentsSam
CommodusCaesAE23ApolloSmintheus.jpg
MAFJ8 Son and Caesar9 viewsCommodus

AE 23
Alexandria (Troas)
Circa 175

Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, COMMODO CAE AV GER
Apollo Smintheus on short column standing right holding patera and bow, quiver over shoulder, COL AVG TROAD

RPC online 149, 3168, and 9698

Commodus was born in Lanuvium in 161. Marcus elevated him to Caesar in 175. The Historia Augusta, which treats Commodus as an unrelieved monster, records:

Faustina, when pregnant with Commodus and his brother, dreamed she was giving birth to snakes, one of which, however, was fiercer than the other. But when she had given birth to Commodus and to Antoninus, the latter, for whom the astrologers promised a horoscope equal to Commodus, was carried off at the age of four. . . . [S]traight from his earliest boyhood he was base, shameless, cruel, lecherous, defiled of mouth too and debauched, already adept at those arts which do not accord with the position of emperor, in that he could mold cups, dance, sing, whistle, even play the buffoon and gladiator to perfection. He gave warning of his future cruelty in his twelfth year, at Centumcellae. For when he happened to have taken a bath in rather tepid water, he ordered the bath-keeper to be cast into the furnace. Whereupon a sheepskin was burned in the furnace by the slave-tutor to whom this order had been given, to make him believe from the smell of the fumes that the penalty had been paid.

The history notes that Commodus' horrible character was once cause for rumors of Faustina's adultery, because people could not imagine that Marcus would beget such a successor, and a gladiator paramour seemed more plausible.
Blindado
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MARCUS AURELIUS60 viewsAE As. 154-155 AD. 12,57 grs. Draped bust right. Head bare. AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII FIL / Minerva, helmeted, draped, standing left, holding owl on extended right hand and vertical spear in left, round shield at feet right. TR POT VIIII COS II . In fields SC .
Refs. by Curtis Clay.
" This coin is one of the types that is preferentially found in Britain, so may have been struck there from dies cut by Roman engravers, or struck in Rome and shipped in bulk to Britain. On these issues see David Walker, Roman Coins from the Sacred Spring at Bath, 1988, and my own review-article of Walker, The Supply of Bronze Coins to Britain in the Second Century AD, Num. Chron. 149, 1989.On p. 212, note 7, I specifically discuss this TR P VIIII Minerva standing middle bronze of Marcus: Strack 1108 records three specimens, the BM acquired two specimens in 1937, and even before that there had been four specimens in the Croydon Hoard, Num. Chron. 1907, p. 371, pl. 12, 3-4. Walker found only one specimen among the Bath coins, but also 11 of the same type dated TR P VIII, many of which were probably in fact illegible and actually TR P VIIII, though Walker reconstructed VIII since VIIII is not in RIC and therefore (he assumed) rare! In fact Walker pl. 37, 363, read as VIII, is from the same dies as the Croydon coin Num. Chron. 1907, pl. 12.4, which clearly reads TR P VIIII.
All of the "British-association" bronzes in the Croydon Hoard were in extremely fine condition. Since I know Benito wants top condition, it wouldn't surprise me if his new acquistion is in fact identical with one of the four coins of that type contained in that hoard!"

benito
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Marcus Aemilius Scaurus & Publius Plautius Hypsaeus; Denarius20 viewsRRC 422/1b
58 b.c.

Obverse:M . SCAVR / AED CVR above king Aretas kneeling beside a camel right. EX on ,S . C on right, REX ARETAS in ex.
Reverse: HYPSAE/AED CVR above Jupiter in quadriga left, CAPTVM on right, C. HYPSAEVS cos PREIV (ER) in ex. scorpion below horses.

One of the first moneyers commemorating on his coins an event of own history. M. Aemilius, as the Governor of Syria, repressed the incursions of the Nabathean Arabians, compelling their king, Aretas, to submit and pay a fine of 300 talents to Pompey.
He also was one of the richest and most influential men of his time. Still failed to be elected consul in 54 after a bribery case he won with the help of his friend Cicero.

Pub. Plautius was curule aedile with him in B.C. 58.

Purchased from Numismatica Varesina at "World Money Fair" 08.02.2014; Berlin
1 commentsNorbert
coin301.JPG
Maximinus II IOVI CONSERVATORI Thessalonica149 viewsThessalonica

Thessalonica was located at the intersection of two major Roman roads, one leading from Italy eastward (Ignatia Way) and the other from the Danube to the Aegean. Thessalonica’s location and use as a port made it a prominent city. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of the second district of Macedonia and later it was made the capital and major port of the whole Roman province of Macedonia (146 B.C.). In 42 B.C., after the battle at Philippi, Thessalonica was made a free city.

Very little has been uncovered at ancient Thessalonica because Thessaloniki sits atop the remains. The area pictured above and at right was formerly a bus station; when it was moved in 1962, this 1st or 2nd century A.D. forum was revealed. Excavators found a bathhouse and mint dating to the 1st century A.D. below pavement surrounding an odeum. An inscription (30 B.C. to 143 A.D.) from the Vardar gate bears the word politarches, the word Luke used in reference to the officials of the city before whom Jason was brought by the mob (Acts 17:6). The word does not appear in any other Greek literature but does match the archaeology of the site.

Paul (with Silas and Timothy) came to Thessalonica from Philippi on his second missionary journey, stopping in Amphipolis and Apollonia before arriving here (Acts 17). He preached in the city’s synagogue, the chief synagogue of the region, for at least three weeks. His ministry was strong, and he established a Jewish-Gentile church, although it was more heavily Gentile (1 Thes. 1:9). When Paul faced great persecution at the hands of the mob, he fled to Berea, but Thessalonians eventually forced him to leave there also (Acts 17:13-14).

IMP C MAXIMINVS PF AVG
IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG NN
dot TS dot B dot
RIC VI Thessalonica 61a

ecoli
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Maximinus II, 309 - 313 AD31 viewsObv: IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS PF AVG, laureate head of Maximinus II facing right.

Rev: HERCVLI VICTORI, Hercules standing right, leaning on club, holding lion-skin, eight-pointed star and Γ in left field; SMN in exergue.

Note: Hercules is depicted in the same pose as the Farnese Hercules, a massive marble sculpture, which depicts a muscular yet weary Hercules leaning on his club, which has his lion-skin draped over it. He has just performed the last of The Twelve Labors, which is suggested by the apples of the Hesperides he holds behind his back. The Farnese Hercules is probably an enlarged copy made in the early third century A.D., signed by Glykon, from an original by Lysippos that would have been made in the fourth century B.C. The copy was made for the Baths of Caracalla in Rome (dedicated in 216 A.D.), where it was recovered in 1546. Today it is in Naples National Archaeological Museum. The statue was well-liked by the Romans, and copies have been found in many Roman palaces and gymnasiums. It is one of the most famous sculptures of antiquity, and has fixed the image of the mythic hero in the human imagination. ~Credit: Forvm

Billon Follis, Nicomedia mint, 312 AD

3.6 grams, 21 mm, 180°

RIC VI 75b, S14860
1 commentsSPQR Coins
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MOESIA, Istros175 viewsMOESIA, Istros. Circa 4th Century BC. AR Drachm (5.86 gm).

Histria or Istros (Ancient Greek: Ἰστρίη, Thracian river god, Danube), was a Greek colony or polis (πόλις, city) near the mouths of the Danube (known as Ister in Ancient Greek), on the western coast of the Black Sea. Established by Milesian settlers in order to facilitate trade with the native Getae, it is considered the oldest urban settlement on Romanian territory. Scymnus of Chios (ca 110 BC), dated its founding to 630 BC, while Eusebius of Caesarea set it during the time of the 33rd Olympic Games (657 – 656 BC). The earliest documented currency on Romanian territory was an 8-gram silver drachma, issued by the city around 480 BC.

Archaeological evidence seems to confirm that all trade with the interior followed the foundation of Histria. Traders reached the interior via Histria and the Danube valley, demonstrated by finds of Attic black-figure pottery, coins, ornamental objects, an Ionian lebes and many fragments of amphoras. Amphoras have been found in great quantity at Histria, some imported but some local. Local pottery was produced following establishment of the colony and certainly before mid-6th century. During the archaic and classical periods, when Histria flourished, it was situated near fertile arable land. It served as a port of trade soon after its establishment, with fishing and agriculture as additional sources of income. By 100 AD, however, fishing had become the main source of Istrian revenue.

Around 30 AD, Histria came under Roman domination. During the Roman period from the 1st to 3rd centuries AD, temples were built for the Roman gods, besides a public bath and houses for the wealthy. Altogether, it was in continuous existence for some 14 centuries, starting with the Greek period up to the Roman-Byzantine period. The Halmyris bay where was the city founded was closed by sand deposits and access to the Black Sea gradually was cut. Trade continued until the 6th century AD. The invasion of the Avars and the Slavs in the 7th century AD almost entirely destroyed the fortress, and the Istrians dispersed; the name and the city disappeared.

Facing male heads, the left inverted / Sea-eagle left, grasping dolphin with talons; H between wing and tail, D below dolphin. SNG BMC Black Sea 245; Pick 431. EF.
Ex-Barry Murphy g30
2 commentsecoli
Lixus_in_Morocco.jpg
Morocco, Lixus64 viewsLixus is the site of an ancient Roman city located in Morocco just north of the modern seaport of Larache on the bank of the Loukkos River. The location was one of the main cities of the Roman province of Mauretania Tingitana .

Ancient Lixus is located on Tchemmich Hill on the right bank of the Loukkos River (other names: Oued Loukous; Locus River), just to the north of the modern seaport of Larache. The site lies within the urban perimeter of Larache, and about three kilometers inland from the mouth of the river and the Atlantic ocean. From its 80 meters above the plain the site dominates the marshes through which the river flows. To the north, Lixus is surrounded by hills which themselves are bordered to the north and east by a forest of cork oaks.

Among the ruins there are Roman baths, temples, 4th century walls, a mosaic floor, a Christian church and the intricate and confusing remains of the Capitol Hill.

Lixus was first settled by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC and was later annexed by Carthage. Lixus was part of a chain of Phoenician/Carthaginian settlements along the Atlantic coast of modern Morocco; other major settlements further to the south are Chellah (called Sala Colonia by the Romans) and Mogador. When Carthage fell to Ancient Rome, Lixus, Chellah and Mogador became imperial outposts of the Roman province Mauretania Tingitana.

The ancient sources agree to make of Lixus a counter Phoenician, which is confirmed by the archaeological discovery of material dating from 8th century BC. It gradually grew in importance, later coming under Carthaginian domination. After the destruction of Carthage, Lixus fell to Roman control and was made an imperial colony, reaching its zenith during the reign of the emperor Claudius I (AD 41-54).

Some ancient Greek writers located at Lixus the mythological garden of the Hesperides, the keepers of the golden apples. The name of the city was often mentioned by writers from Hanno the Navigator to the Geographer of Ravenna, and confirmed by the legend on its coins and by an inscription. The ancients believed Lixus to be the site of the Garden of the Hesperides and of a sanctuary of Hercules, where Hercules gathered gold apples, more ancient than the one at Cadiz, Spain. However, there are no grounds for the claim that Lixus was founded at the end of the second millennium BC.

Lixus flourished during the Roman Empire, mainly when Claudius established a Roman Colonia with full rights for the citizens. Lixus was one of the few Roman cities in Berber Africa that enjoyed an amphitheater: the amphitheater at Lixus. In the third century Lixus become nearly fully Christian and there are even now the ruins of a paleochristian church overlooking the archeological area. The Arab invasions destroyed the Roman city. Some berber life was maintained there nevertheless until one century after the Islamic conquest of North Africa by the presence of a mosque and a house with patio with the covered walls of painted stuccos.

The site was excavated continuously from 1948 to 1969. In the 1960s, Lixus was restored and consolidated. In 1989, following an international conference which brought together many scientists, specialists, historians and archaeologists of the Mediterranean around the history and archaeology of Lixus, the site was partly enclosed. Work was undertaken to study the Roman mosaics of the site, which constitute a very rich unit. In addition to the vestiges interesting to discover the such mosaics whose one of sixty meters representing Poseidon. Lixus was on a surface of approximately 75 hectares (190 acres). The excavated zones constitute approximately 20% of the total surface of the site.

This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on July 1, 1995 in the Cultural category.
Joe Sermarini
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Morocco, Volubilis mosaic55 viewsBath of DianaFranz-Josef M
Pergamonacrop.jpg
Pergamon54 viewsThe oldest section of Pergamon, the acropolis or upper city, sits on an impressive steep ridge between two tributaries of the Caicus river. The ridge is naturally fortified on all but the S side which slopes down to the Caicus valley floor. The Caicus valley provides access from Pergamon to the Aegean coast and the port town of Elaea in the W and the Persian Royal Road to the E.

The upper city, which was fortified in the 4th or 3rd century B.C. contains the 3rd century Sanctuary of Athena, the oldest cult center of the city as well as palace quarters, barracks, and arsenals. In the 2nd century B.C. the 10,000 seat theater, the library adjacent to the Sanctuary of Athena, and the Great Altar of Zeus and Athena were added. In the 2nd century A.D. the monumental Trajaneum was erected on what must have been an earlier unknown cult center. From the upper agora a paved main street leads S and downslope to the middle city.

The city of Pergamon began to extend down the S slope in the 3rd century B.C. and during the 2nd century a massive building program completely transformed the entire lower slope. The major construction in the area was the gigantic gymnasium complex which extended down three large terraces linked by vaulted stairways and passages. The complex encorporated three open training courts, a covered track or xystus, a small theater or odeum, several shrines, and two large baths. Other major sections of the middle city included the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore and, below the gymnasium along the main street leading to the Eumenes' Gate, the lower agora. North and E of the gymnasium massive terraces support the streets and houses of the residential quarter. In the first half of the 2nd century B.C. Eumenes II strengthened the entire fortification system of Pergamon and enclosed all of the middle city, which extended almost to the base of the south slope, within the new walls.

During the Roman Imperial period the city continued to expand southward and spread over the plain and the area occuppied by modern Bergama. The large Sanctuary of the Egyptian Gods (the "Kizil Avlu"), numerous bridges, and remains of the Roman stadium, theater, and amphitheater remain visible today.

Pergamon emerged as a power during the struggle for territorial control following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. By the middle of the 3rd century Pergamon had been established as an independent state under the leadership of the Attalid dynasty. The power of the Attalids and the city grew as a result of successful battles against the Gauls of central Anatolia and careful political alliances with Rome.

The peak period of Pergamene power and achievement was reached during the reign of Eumenes II (197-159 B.C.). The kingdom had grown to include most of western Anatolia and was rich in agriculture and industry. Noted industrial exports included textiles, fine pottery, and "Pergamene paper" or parchment. The last industry developed when Ptolemy, reportedly jealous of the growing fame of the library in Pergamon, prohibited the export of papyrus from Egypt. Eumenes II enlarged the city of Pergamon to include all of the southern slope and enclosed the city with a new and stronger fortification wall. In addition to the major new constructions in the lower city Eumenes also commissioned the Great Altar of Zeus and Athena, the theater, and the new library in the upper city.

In the 2nd century B.C. Pergamon rivalled Athens and Alexandria as centers of Hellenic culture. The city possessed one of the greatest libraries of antiquity, monumental gymnasia, and numerous religious sanctuaries, including the Asklepion outside the city walls. Pergamon was a haven for noted philosophers and artists and was the center of a major movement in Hellenistic sculpture. The Attalids supported the arts and learning in Pergamon and elsewhere and made major donations, such as the Stoa of Attalos II in Athens.

The last Attalid ruler, Attalos III, bequeathed the kingdom of Pergamon to Rome in 133 B.C. During Roman rule the prosperity of Pergamon continued and the city had a period of commercial expansion. The city itself expanded to the plain S and W of the acropolis across the flat land now occuppied by modern Bergama.

See: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/siteindex?lookup=Pergamon

Cleisthenes
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Pergamon, Mysia33 viewsPergamon or Pergamum (Greek: Πέργαμος, modern day Bergama in Turkey, 39°7′N 27°11′E) was an ancient Greek city, in Mysia, northwestern Anatolia, 16 miles from the Aegean Sea, located on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus (modern day Bakırçay), that became an important kingdom during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 282-129 BC. G34

The Attalids, the descendants of Attalus, the father of Philetaerus who came to power in 282 BC, were among the most loyal supporters of Rome among the Hellenistic successor states. Under Attalus I, they allied with Rome against Philip V of Macedon, during the first and second Macedonian Wars, and again under Eumenes II, against Perseus of Macedon, during the Third Macedonian War. For support against the Seleucids, the Attalids were rewarded with all the former Seleucid domains in Asia Minor.

The Attalids ruled with intelligence and generosity. Many documents survive showing how the Attalids would support the growth of towns through sending in skilled artisans and by remitting taxes. They allowed the Greek cities in their domains to maintain nominal independence. They sent gifts to Greek cultural sites like Delphi, Delos, and Athens. They defeated the invading Celts. They remodeled the acropolis of Pergamum after the Acropolis in Athens. The Great Altar of Pergamon is in the Pergamon Museum of Berlin.

Pergamon had the second best library in the ancient Greek civilisation, after Alexandria. When the Ptolemies stopped exporting papyrus, partly because of competitors and partly because of shortages, the Pergamenes invented a new substance to use in codices, called pergaminus or parchment after the city. This was made of fine calf skin, a predecessor of vellum.

When Attalus III died without an heir in 133 BC he bequeathed Pergamon to Rome, in order to prevent a civil war.

Close to the city was a sanctuary of Asclepius, the god of healing. In this place people with health problems could bath in the water of the sacred spring, and in the patients' dreams Asklepios would appear in a vision to tell them how to cure their illness. Archeology has found lots of gifts and dedications that people would make afterwards, such as small terracotta body parts, no doubt representing what had been healed.

In the first century AD, the Christian Church at Pergamon was one of the Seven Churches to which the Book of Revelation was addressed (Revelation 1:11, NRSV).

Pergamon, Mysia, struck by Philetairos, 282-263 BC.
Obv: head of athena wearing attic helmet right.
Rev: FILETAIROU, Asklepios seated left, feeding snake from patera.
SNG BN 1643 ff.

ecoli
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Portugal, Algarve, Site of Milreu137 viewsfrigidarium, cold bath. with fishes pax
Rabbathmoba Septime Sévčre.jpg
Rabbathmoba (Rabba, Jordan) - Septimius Severus27 views(description later)Ginolerhino
1734_Savoca_2.jpg
rabbathspijk0371 viewsElagabalus
Rabbathmoba

Obv: [AV] KECAP ANTWNIN[OC], laureate and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: [APCΑ]-ΠΟΛI[C] (retrograde), Poseidon standing left, with right foot on prow, holding dolphin in right hand and trident with left.
22 mm, 9.17 gms

Spijkerman 37, Sofaer 20, Rosenberger IV 25, Savoca Coins 35th Silver Auction, Lot 336 (this coin), SNG ANS 1420

Ex. Gianni Aiello Bronze Coin Collection
Charles M
1249c.jpg
rabbathspijk0384 viewsElagabalus
Rabbathmoba

Obv: AVKεCAPANTΩNIN. Laureate head right.
Rev: APC [AΠO]. Nude male figure standing right within distyle temple, under arch, right hand on spear or scepter, left foot raised on uncertain object.
20 mm, 5.40 gms

Spijkerman 38
Charles M
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, M. Aemilius Scarus and Pub. Plautius Hypsaeus, AR Denarius, 58BC19 viewsObv: M SCAVR AED CVR EX S C ; King Aretas III of Nabatea kneeling before camel in an attitude of supplication, holding reins and olive-branch tied with fillet.
Rev: P HVPSAEVS AED CVR CAPTV C HVPSAE COS PREIVER ; Jupiter in quadriga left, hurling thunderbolt, scorpion below horses.
ex: Eden Seminary Collection
Aemilia 8 (3.9 gm)

This denarius was struck to commemorate the defeat by Pompey's general Marcus Scaurus of Aretas III, supporter of John Hyrcanus II in his battles against his brother, Aristobulus II.
This is one of the earliest instances of a moneyer commemorating on his coins an event connected with his own history. When M. Aemilius, one of the most noted men of his time, was Governor of Syria, he repressed the incursions of the Nabathean Arabians.
FabiusMaximus
9727.jpg
Selinus in Cilicia, Philippus I., AE 29, Apollo136 viewsSelinus in Cilicia, Philippus I., AE 29, 244-249 AD
Obv.: AY K M IOYΛ [ΦI]ΛΠΠOC CE , Laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right (seen from behind
Rev.: TPAIANO[Π CEΛINO]YCI ΘHC [IEPAC] , Apollo standing front, patera in his right hand, rod/staff in left hand, on right side: bird (raven?) beneath
SNG France 2,686; SNG Levante 467; Lindgren I,1595; SNG Pfalz 6,1105 , (thanks to Markus for ID)

Selinus: City in Cilicia Aspera, among the principal ones on this coast and mentioned by most of the ancient geographers from Pseudo-Skylax on. It was one of the towns taken by Antiochos III in 197 B.C. (Livy 33.20), but is best known as the place where Trajan died in A.D. 117 on his way back from the East. Then it took the name of Trajanopolis (as on this), but the old one prevailed (as on this), shown by coins and other documents.

In mid-summer 117, when Trajan was returning from his Parthian campaigns, he fell ill while at Selinus in Cilicia and died on August 8. The following day his adoption of Hadrian was announced by Plotina and Attianus, the praetorian prefect who had earlier been Hadrian's guardian, with some question whether Trajan had indeed performed the act or whether it was posthumous, thanks to his widow. On August 11, which he considered his dies imperii, the army of Syria hailed its legate, Hadrian, as emperor, which made the senate's formal acceptance an almost meaningless event. This was an example of the historian Tacitus' famous dictum that an emperor could be made elsewhere than at Rome. Hadrian must then have proceeded to Selinus at once from Antioch, to catch up with Attianus, Plotina, and Matidia. He then returned to his province no later than September and stayed there at least into the new year, consolidating his administration.

Basil,of Seleucia (Vita S. Theclae, II, 17) said that the city cof Selinus, which was formerly of much importance, lost it from his time to the fifth century. Constantine Porphyrogenitus, in the tenth century, called it a small town. Today it is the little village of Selinti (near the city Gazipaşa) in the vilayet of Adana; there are ruins of a theatre, aqueduct, market-place, bath, etc. .
The coinage begins under the kingdom of Antiochos IV of Kommagene, and continues later from Trajan to Philip. A bishop of Selinos is recorded, under the metropolitan of Seleukeia. . Le Quien (Oriens christianus, II, 1019) names four bishops: Neon, present at the council of Constantinople, 381; Alypius, at Ephesus, 431; AElianus, at Chalcedon, 451; Gheon, signer of the letter of the bishops of the province to Emperor Leo, 458. The see is in the Greek "Notitiae Episcopatuum" of the Patriarchate of Antioch from the fifth to the tenth century (Vailhé in "Echos d'Orient", X, 95, 145). It was also perhaps an Armenian bishopric until the tenth century. (Alishan, Sissouan, Venice, 1899, p. 60). Eubel (Hierarchia catholica medii aevi, I, 468) names a Latin bishop in 1345.

my ancient coin database
Arminius
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Severus Alexander / Hekate113 viewsThyatira, Lydia
223-235 AD
AE25 (7.36g)
O: Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right;
R: Hekate Selene, head facing left, wearing a short chiton and holding two torches, full moon around shoulders (billowing veil?); ΘV - ATEI - P - HNΩN.
SNG Fitzwilliam 1374
ex Ancient Imports

When at thy coming my father has given thee the deadly teeth from the dragon's jaws for sowing, then watch for the time when the night is parted in twain, then bathe in the stream of the tireless river, and alone, apart from others, clad in dusky raiment, dig a rounded pit; and therein slay a ewe, and sacrifice it whole, heaping high the pyre on the very edge of the pit. And propitiate only-begotten Hekate, daughter of Perses, pouring from a goblet the hive-stored labour of bees. And then, when thou hast heedfully sought the grace of the goddess, retreat from the pyre; and let neither the sound of feet drive thee to turn back, nor the baying of hounds, lest haply thou shouldst maim all the rites and thyself fail to return duly to thy comrades.
~ Apollonius of Rhodes (Argonautica 3,1028-1051)
2 commentsEnodia
Segóbriga_Ampitheater.jpg
Spain, Segobriga - Ampitheater49 viewsSegobriga is a former Roman city near Saelices, in the province of Cuenca in Spain. It is possibly one of the most important archaeological sites of the Spanish Meseta. The name Segóbriga derives from two words: "Sego" meaning victory and "briga" meaning city fortress. The translation would be "City of the Victory" or "Victorious City." The site includes an amphitheatre, theater, the city walls and gates, two thermal buildings or Roman baths, and the Forum. There is also a necropolis, and the circus (Roman race track) is being excavated - its outline can be seen from the top of the hill.

The Amphitheater, 75m long and of an irregular elliptic shape, is the biggest monument of Segóbriga and had capacity for 5,500

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seg%C3%B3briga_Circo_04_JMM.jpg
Joe Sermarini
Segóbriga_Termas_JMM.jpg
Spain, Segobriga - Roman baths48 viewsSegóbriga is a former Roman city near Saelices, in the province of Cuenca in Spain. It is possibly one of the most important archaeological sites of the Spanish Meseta. The name Segóbriga derives from two words: "Sego" meaning victory and "briga" meaning city fortress. The translation would be "City of the Victory" or "Victorious City." The site includes an amphitheatre, theater, the city walls and gates, two thermal buildings or Roman baths, and the Forum. There is also a necropolis, and the circus (Roman race track) is being excavated - its outline can be seen from the top of the hill.

Roman Baths: The monumental baths were not only for hygienic reasons but also for social and business purposes.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seg%C3%B3briga_Termas_JMM.jpg
Joe Sermarini
Theater_Segobriga.jpg
Spain, Segobriga - Theater40 viewsSegóbriga is a former Roman city near Saelices, in the province of Cuenca in Spain. It is possibly one of the most important archaeological sites of the Spanish Meseta. The name Segóbriga derives from two words: "Sego" meaning victory and "briga" meaning city fortress. The translation would be "City of the Victory" or "Victorious City." The site includes an amphitheatre, theater, the city walls and gates, two thermal buildings or Roman baths, and the Forum. There is also a necropolis, and the circus (Roman race track) is being excavated - its outline can be seen from the top of the hill.

Construction of the theater began under the emperor Tiberius and was completed during the Flavian dynasty, circa AD 79. The orchestra had three tiers of seats for VIP's and is preserved together with seats for spectators divided into sections according to their social classes. The upper cavea was built on the city wall on a vault over a street

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Theater_Segobriga.jpg
Photographer: Art Davis
25 September 2011
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Joe Sermarini
MAXIMINUS_2_FOLLIS_HERC.JPG
Struck A.D.312. MAXIMINUS II as AUGUSTUS. AE Follis of Nicomedia11 viewsObverse: IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG. Laureate head of Maximinus facing right.
Reverse: HERCVLI VICTORI. Hercules standing facing right, his right hand on his hip, his left hand holding lionskin and resting on club; in left field, A with star above; in exergue, SMN.
RIC VI : 75. Weight 5.7gms.

On this coin Hercules is depicted in the same pose as the Farnese Hercules, a massive marble sculpture, which depicts a muscular Hercules leaning on his club, which has his lion-skin draped over it. The Farnese Hercules is probably a copy made in the early third century A.D., signed by Glykon, from an original by Lysippos that would have been made in the fourth century B.C. The copy was recovered from the Baths of Caracalla in Rome (dedicated in 216 A.D.) in 1546. It can be seen today in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. The statue was popular with the Romans, and copies of it have been found at several Roman sites. It is one of the most famous sculptures of Hercules that have come down to us from antiquity.
1 comments*Alex
Vlasto_1464.JPG
Taras, Calabria31 views325-280 BC
AR Diobol (11mm, 0.77g)
O: Head of Athena facing slightly left, wearing triple-crested helmet decorated with Skylla; club to left, [TAPAΣ] above.
R: Herakles standing right, strangling the Nemean lion; club to left, AP monogram between Herakles legs.
Vlasto 1464; Cote 558; SNG ANS 1476; cf HN Italy 1062
Scarce
ex Marcantica Ancient Coins

There are many stories in Greek mythology regarding the goddess Athena; Her involvement in the War of the Giants, the contest with Poseidon to determine the patron of Athens, Her weaving contest with Arachne, the Judgment of Paris, and the blinding of Teiresias for viewing Her while bathing are among the most commonly known.
But it is Her assistance to Herakles during his Twelve Labors which concerns us here, the first of which, the slaying of the Nemean lion, is depicted on the reverse of this coin.
Enodia
Sancroft_Medal_.jpg
temp. STUART, William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1677-1690, AR Medal by George Bower 1688 30 views* GVIL · SANCROFT · ARCHIEPISC · CANTVAR · 1688 Bust of William Sancroft, the Archbishop of Canterbury, wearing camauro and canonical robes, facing right.
Seven medallions of the Bishops committed to the Tower of London: Bishops Henry Compton (middle – London), Francis Turner (upper right, proceeding clockwise – Ely), Thomas Ken (Bath), Sir John Trelawney (Bristol), Thomas White (Peterborough), John Lake (Chichester), and William Lloyd (St. Asaph); twelve stars around; signed GB·F· (George Bower fecit) below.

MI 622/37; Eimer 288b. By G. Bower. Dated 1688.

(51 mm, 53.45 g, 12h).

CNG 85 (15 September 2010) Lot 1562: California Collection of British Historical Medals.

This remarkable medallion portrays no less than eight people directly associated with a historical event that did much to shape the modern secular British democracy. In 1687, King James II enacted unilaterally and against the will of the Parliament the Declaration of Indulgence as the first step in establishing the freedom of religion in England. The ensuing protest concerned the legality of James right to make the dispensation in the absence of the support of Parliament, plus the absence of a guarantee that the Anglican Church would remain as the established church. Many leaders within the clergy refused to read the Declaration in church from the pulpit as instructed by the King in early 1688. This culminated in a petition to the King against the reading of the Declaration. The petition originated from the hand of the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Sancroft, depicted on the obverse of the medal and was signed by the six other bishops identified around the margin of the reverse of the medallion. Bishop Henry Compton, depicted in the centre of the reverse, was included on the medal due to his earlier dissent to the King’s approach to Catholicism, for which James removed him from office.

The seven bishops who signed the petition were charged with seditious libel and imprisoned in the Tower of London in May 1688. Brought to trial before the Court of the King’s Bench, the bishops were acquitted. This served as a precursor to James’ deposition shortly thereafter.

This medal was issued following the trial, in commemoration of the action taken by William Sancroft and his fellow bishops in refusing to follow James II’s edict to read the Declaration of Indulgence from the pulpit. The medal connects directly with one of the key events in British history, which lead ultimately to the deposition of James II by his son-in-law and daughter, William III and Mary II of Orange on 5 November 1688. As a direct result of the action of the seven bishops, the right to petition the king was enshrined in the new Bill of Rights in 1689. Simplistically, some people see this medal as a testament to religious intolerance, although the issues of the time that brought it into being were far more complex, involving matters of secular authority, constitutional right, and the very basis of power in the evolving secular democratic British state. This is demonstrated by the decision of Sancfroft and five of the seven bishops that they could not swear allegiance to the new protestant King William III, for to do so would be a repudiation of their prior sworn loyalty to the deposed Catholic King James II. As a result, Sancroft was dismissed from his role in 1690 and died in relative obscurity three years later.

Few coins, or medals, connect so directly with history and in doing so depict so many influential participants. The medal was the work of George Bower (d. 1690) a medallist who worked in London from 1650-1689. He had been appointed to the position of Engraver of the Royal Mint and Embosser in Ordinary in 1664.
2 commentsn.igma
pautalia_caracalla_AE28.jpg
Thracia, Pautalia, Caracalla, Ruzicka 50384 viewsCaracalla, AD 198-217
AE 28, 15.33g
struck under hegemon Caecina Largus (198-210)
obv. [AVT M] AVRHLIOC - ANTWNEINOC
Bust, draped and cuirassed, seen from behind, laureate, r.
rev. HGE KAIKINA LARGOV OVLPIAC
in ex. PAVTALI / AC
Three nude charites stg. twined; the first half-left, holding in r. hand jar, from
whitch water flows; the second seen from behind, clothed only below buttock
(crescent?), holding hands on shoulder of her sisters; the third half-right,
holding in lowered left hand jar, from which water flows.
Ruzicka 503, pl. III, 13 (1 ex. in Sarajewo)
very rare, about VF, green patina
added to www.wildwinds.com

Pautalia was a famous bath full of parks with temples and statues. It is well known that especially the die-cutters of Pautalia preferred statues for their coin reverses. So this reverse has probably a group of statues as paradigm.

For more information look at the thread 'Mythological interesting coins'
5 commentsJochen
pautalia_caracalla_ruzicka592.jpg
Thracia, Pautalia, Caracalla, Ruzicka 59271 viewsCaracalla AD 197-217
AE 31, 17.16g, 31.24mm, 225°
obv. AVT KM AVRH - ANTWNINOC
bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, l., with shield with Gorgoneion on it and
spear behind (light bearded)
rev. OVLPIAC PA - VTALIAC
Herakles, nude, standing crooked r., r. foot put backwards, r. hand behind
back, holding lion-skin over l. arm, and in l. hand club set on heap of nine
bowls (type of Herakles Farnese)
ref. Ruzicka 592; Moushmov 4300
Rare, nearly VF
Pedigree:
ex coll. Alexander Mergen
ex coll. Dr. Reinhart Falter, München

The Herakles Farnese was a marble copy of a Hellenistic work of Lysipp c.330 BC made by Glykon of Athens AD 211-217. It was found 1540 in the Caracalla Thermes in Rome and then located in the Farnese gardens. The rev. of the coin probably shows a copy standing in the gardens or parks of Pautalia which was a famous bath.
2 commentsJochen
image~18.jpg
Trajan Decius; Tarsus, Cilicia26 viewsCILICIA, Tarsus. Trajan Decius. AD 249-251. Ć (33mm, 19.74 g, 6h). Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Lion attacking bull right. SNG Levante 1161 (same dies); SNG France 1764 (same dies). VF, earthen black-green patina.

From the Kelly J. Krizan, M.D. Collection.

Pompey subjected Tarsus to Rome, and it became capital of the Roman province of Cilicia, the metropolis where the governor resided. In 66 BC, the inhabitants received Roman citizenship. To flatter Julius Caesar, for a time it took the name Juliopolis. It was also here that Cleopatra and Mark Antony met and was the scene of the celebrated feasts they gave during the construction of their fleet (41 BC). In William Shakespeare's 1606 play Antony and Cleopatra (Act 5, Scene 2), after Antony's death Cleopatra says she is going to Cydnus to meet Antony, i.e., she will commit suicide to meet him in the afterlife; "Go fetch / My best attires: I am again for Cydnus, / To meet Mark Antony"

When the province of Cilicia was divided, Tarsus remained the civil and religious metropolis of Cilicia Prima, and was a grand city with palaces, marketplaces, roads and bridges, baths, fountains and waterworks, a gymnasium on the banks of the Cydnus, and a stadium. Tarsus was later eclipsed by nearby Adana, but remained important as a port and shipyard. Several Roman emperors were interred here: Marcus Claudius Tacitus, Maximinus II, and Julian the Apostate, who planned to move his capital here from Antioch if he returned from his Persian expedition.

Tarsus was the city where, according to the Acts of the Apostles, "Saul of Tarsus"[Acts 9:11] was born, but he was "brought up" ([Acts 22:3]) in Jerusalem. Saul became Paul the apostle after his encounter with Christ (Acts 9:11; 21:39; 22:3), and he briefly returned here after his conversion (Acts 9:30). From here Barnabas retrieved him to help with the work in Syrian Antioch (Acts 11:25).

Already by this time a Christian community probably existed, although the first recorded bishop, Helenus, dates only from the third century; Helenus visited Antioch several times in connection with the dispute concerning Paul of Samosata. Later bishops of Tarsus included Lupus, present at the Council of Ancyra in 314; Theodorus, at the Council of Nicaea in 325; Helladius, who was condemned at the Council of Ephesus and who appealed to the bishop of Rome in 433; above all the celebrated exegete Diodorus, teacher of Theodore of Mopsuestia and consequently one of the fathers of Nestorianism. From the sixth century the metropolitan see of Tarsus had seven suffragan bishoprics; the Greek archdiocese is again mentioned in the tenth century , and existed until the twentieth century upheavals, part of the Patriarchate of Antioch.

Owing to the importance of Tarsus, many martyrs were put to death here, among them being Saint Pelagia, Saint Boniface, Saint Marinus, Saint Diomedes, Saint Quiricus and Saint Julitta.

At about the end of the tenth century, the Armenians established a diocese of their rite; Saint Nerses of Lambroun was its most distinguished representative in the twelfth century.

A cave in Tarsus is one of a number of places claiming to be the location of the legend of the Seven Sleepers, common to Christianity and Islam.
ecoli
gabriel bathory.jpg
TRANSYLVANIA - Gabriel Bathory67 viewsTransylvania - Prince Gabriel Bathori, Prince of Transylvania (1608-13), Voivode of Wallachia (1611).
Minted in Baia Mare/ Nagybánya; mintmark NB, silver groschen, 1612. Eagle with Bathory coat of arms;
Prince's Crown. KM #72.
dpaul7
Gábor_Báthori_(Gabriel)_(1608-1613_AD)_Transyl_AR-Groschen(III)_Huszar-Erd-281-Legend_and_date_var_1609-AD-Q-001_2h_19,5mm_2,22g-s.jpg
Transylvania, Gábor Báthori (Gabriel) (1608-1613 A.D.) Princ of Transylvania, 3 AR-Groschen(III) (Dutka), Huszár (Erdély 1995) 281var. (1609),120 viewsTransylvania, Gábor Báthori (Gabriel) (1608-1613 A.D.) Princ of Transylvania, 3 AR-Groschen(III) (Dutka), Huszár (Erdély 1995) 281var. (1609),
Avers: GABRIEL•D•G•PRIN•TRAN•ET•S•, Bare head and cuirassed bust right.
Revers: *III*/•16-Báthori shield-09•/ GROS•ARG / TRIP•REGNI /•TRANSYL•/•VANI•
diameter: 19,5mm, weight: 2,22g, axis: 2h,
mint mark: No mint, mint: Transylvania (Erdély), date: 1609 A.D.,
ref: Huszár (Erdély 1995) 281var. (1609) Legend and date variation,
Q-001
quadrans
267-3-horz.jpg
Transylvania, Local Prince Gabriel Bathori 1608 – 1613, 3 Groschen22 views1611
Obv. – Bust of Gabriel Bathori right
Rev. – Value III above shield which also divides CI – BI and the date
KM #A77
Purchased from a dealers fixed price list many-many years ago
NGC MS-62
Cost $300
1 commentsRichard M10
23293607.jpg
Tunisia, Tunis (Carthage) - bath of Antoninus235 viewsJohny SYSEL
23293768.jpg
Tunisia, Tunis (Carthage) - bath of Antoninus224 viewsJohny SYSEL
Ankara__baths.jpg
Turkey, Ankara, Roman Baths30 viewsPhotograph by Will Hooton*Alex
Roman_Baths__Ankara.jpg
Turkey, Ankara, Roman Baths28 viewsPhotograph by Will Hooton*Alex
Ankara__Tombstones.JPG
Turkey, Ankara, Tombstones.33 viewsSituated in the town's palestra, a short distance away from the Roman Baths, are a large selection of Roman tombstones some of which are very interesting.
Photographs by Will Hooton
*Alex
Theater_Elaiussa.jpg
Turkey, Elaioussa Sebaste, Islands off Cilicia, Theater68 viewsElaiussa, meaning olive, was founded in the 2nd century B.C. on a tiny island attached to the the southern coast of Anatolia (in modern-day Turkey) by a narrow isthmus in Mediterranean Sea. During the reign of Augustus, the Cappadocian king Archelaus founded a new city on the isthmus. Archelaus called it Sebaste, which is the Greek equivalent word of the Latin "Augusta." The city entered a golden age when Vespasian purged Cilicia of pirates in 74 A.D. Towards the end of the 3rd century A.D. however its importance began to wane, due in large part to incursions by the Sassanian King Shapur I in 260 and later by the Isaurians. When its neighbor Corycus began to flourish in the 6th century A.D., Elaiussa Sebaste slowly disappeared from history.

The theater, dating to the 2nd century A.D., is small with only 23 rows of seats, whose steps and decorations unfortunately succumbed to centuries of plunder. Next to the theater is the agora, built in all great probability during the imperial period. At the entrance of the agora, which is surrounded by a semi-destroyed defense wall once rose two monumental fountains in the shape of lions. Inside the agora stands a large church, its floor is covered by sand to protect the mosaic pavement. Elaiussa's only temple stands outside the city on a hill overlooking the sea; only two of the Corinthian columns of this temple, which had 12 on the long and 6 on the short side originally, are standing today. A large bath complex among the lemon groves between the temple and the agora was built with a Roman technique little used in Anatolia. The necropolis is the richest and most impressive of cities of ancient Cilicia. The "Avenue of Graves," located on a hill to the north of the city, preserves close to a hundred graves of various shapes and sizes scattered among the lemon trees. The ancient aqueducts that carried water to the ruins from the Lamos ("Lemon") river also adorn the city’s two entrances. The aqueduct to the west of the city in particular is in relatively good condition. Centuries ago the aqueduct actually ran all the way to Corycus.
Joe Sermarini
23579955.jpg
Turkey, Hierapolis - roman bath158 views(northern bath)Johny SYSEL
Laodicea.JPG
Turkey, near Denizli, Laodicea on the Lycus26 viewsLaodicea on the Lycus was an ancient city built on the river Lycus (Curuksu), in Lydia, later the Roman Province of Phrygia Pacatiana. It contained one of the Seven churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation. It is now near the modern city of Denizli. In 2013 the archaeological site was identified as a of World Heritage Site. The existing remains attest to its former greatness. Its many buildings include a stadium, baths, temples, a gymnasium, theaters, and a bouleuterion (Senate House). On the eastern side, the line of the ancient wall may be distinctly traced, with the remains of the Ephesus gate; there are streets traversing the town, flanked by colonnades and numerous pedestals. North of the town, towards the Lycus, are many sarcophagi, with their covers lying near them, partly embedded in the ground, and all having been long since rifled.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Laodicea_(2).JPG

Photo by Rjdeadly, 16 May 2012
Joe Sermarini
Perge_Roman_Baths.jpg
Turkey, Perga - Roman Baths155 viewsThe hot room (caldarium); some traces of the original marble flooring are visible at the far end. Underneath, a well-preserved hypocaust of slightly unusual design, based on pilae tiles formed into arches rather than the more common upright stacks. Abu Galyon
Sunrise_apollo_side.jpg
Turkey, Side, Pamphylia Temple of Apollo 50 viewsThe ruins of the Temple of Apollo at Side, Antalya, Turkey.

The great ruins of Side are among the most notable in Asia Minor. The well-preserved city walls provide an entrance to the site through the Hellenistic main gate (Megale Pyle) of the ancient city, although this gate from the 2nd century BC is badly damaged. Next comes the colonnaded street, whose marble columns are no longer extant; all that remains are a few broken stubs near the old Roman baths. The street leads to the public bath, restored as a museum displaying statues and sarcophagi from the Roman period. Next is the square agora with the remains of the round Tyche and Fortuna temple (2nd century BC), peripteral with twelve columns, in the middle. In later times it was used as a trading center where pirates sold slaves. The remains of the theater, which was used for gladiator fights and later as a church, and the monumental gate date back to the 2nd century. The early Roman Temple of Dionysus is near the theater. The fountain gracing the entrance is restored. At the left side are the remains of a Byzantine Basilica. A public bath has also been restored. The remaining ruins of Side include three temples, an aqueduct, and a nymphaeum.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sunrise_apollo_side.jpg
Photo by Saffron Blaze, via http://www.mackenzie.co
Date: 21 October 2011
Authorization: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en
Joe Sermarini
Side_Commercial_agora_panorama_2.jpg
Turkey, Side, Pamphylia The Commercial Agora39 viewsTurkey, Side, Pamphylia the Commercial Agora

The great ruins of Side are among the most notable in Asia Minor. The well-preserved city walls provide an entrance to the site through the Hellenistic main gate (Megale Pyle) of the ancient city, although this gate from the 2nd century BC is badly damaged. Next comes the colonnaded street, whose marble columns are no longer extant; all that remains are a few broken stubs near the old Roman baths. The street leads to the public bath, restored as a museum displaying statues and sarcophagi from the Roman period. Next is the square agora with the remains of the round Tyche and Fortuna temple (2nd century BC), peripteral with twelve columns, in the middle. In later times it was used as a trading center where pirates sold slaves. The remains of the theater, which was used for gladiator fights and later as a church, and the monumental gate date back to the 2nd century. The early Roman Temple of Dionysus is near the theater. The fountain gracing the entrance is restored. At the left side are the remains of a Byzantine Basilica. A public bath has also been restored. The remaining ruins of Side include three temples, an aqueduct, and a nymphaeum.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Side_Commercial_agora_panorama_2.jpg
Author, Date: Dosserman, 20 February 2015
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Joe Sermarini
coins125.JPG
Valerian I14 viewsDiana

In Roman mythology, Diana was the virgin goddess of the hunt, the equivalent of the Greek goddess Artemis. Born with her twin brother Apollo on the island of Delos, Diana was the daughter of Jupiter and Latona.

Diana was the perpetually virginal huntress goddess, associated with wild animals and woodlands. She also later became a moon goddess, supplanting Luna, and was an emblem of chastity. Oak groves were especially sacred to her. She was praised for her strength, athletic grace, beauty and hunting skill. She made up a trinity with two other Roman deities: Egeria the water nymph, her servant and assistant midwife; and Virbius, the woodland god.

Diana was worshipped in a temple on the Aventine Hill and at the city of Ephesus, where the Temple of Artemis stood. Being placed on the Aventine, and thus outside the pomerium, meant that Diana's cult essentially remained a 'foreign' one, like that of Bacchus; she was never officially 'transferred' to Rome as Juno was after the sack of Veii. It seems that her cult originated in Aricia, where her priest, the Rex Nemorensis remained. Diana was regarded with great reverence by lower-class citizens and slaves; slaves could receive asylum in her temples. She was worshipped at a festival on August 13, when King Servius Tullius, himself born a slave, dedicated her shrine on the Aventine.

Diana is usually depicted with a deer. This is because Diana was the patroness of hunting. It is also a reference to the myth of Acteon (or Actaeon), a prince who saw her bathing naked. Diana transformed Acteon into a deer and sent his own hunting dogs to kill him.

IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG Radiate draped cuirassed bust right
FELICITAS SAECVLI Diana, with crescent on head, walking right, drapery flying, carrying long traverse torch.

RIC 291 (Thanks!)
ecoli
V1015_best.jpg
Vespasian-RIC-101590 viewsĆ Quadrans, 2.31g
Rome Mint, 77-78 AD
Obv: IMP VESPASIAN AVG; Rudder on globe
Rev: P M TR P P P COS VIII; S C in field; Caduceus, winged
RIC 1015 (R). BMC 740A. BNC 780.
Acquired from Numismatica Prada, April 2019.


The quadrans in the early imperial period typically lacked an imperial portrait. Possibly the denomination was deemed so lowly by mint officials that a portrait was considered improper. They were struck haphazardly and functioned primarily as an urban low value coinage in Rome and central Italy. The quadrans was the typical fee for entry into the baths, a urinal, or for a tryst in a cheap brothel. Being of rather low value quadrantes were not typically hoarded and thus are relatively scarce today. The rudder over globe suggests Vespasian's continued steady hand guiding the empire.

Nicely centred and well preserved for the type.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
york_10_d.jpg
York 1053 viewsThe pub that houses the Roman military bath house. The remains of the caldarium and some tiles are visible in the cellar.mauseus
york_10_c.jpg
York 1064 viewsThe remains of the caldarium in the Roman military bath house.mauseus
york_10_b.jpg
York 1044 viewsRoman roof tiles in the name of the "lost" 9th Hispana legion, stationed at York, found and displayed in the Roman Bath pub museum. The tile on the bottom right shows evidence of a soldier's hob nail boot impression made as the tile was drying.mauseus
york_10_a.jpg
York 1046 viewsThe remains of the caldarium in the Roman military bath house.mauseus
ZeugInHandRevSmaller.jpg
ZEUGITANA, Carthage. 15 shekel.93 viewsTaking it out for a sun bath. Can't stop fondling this fabulous coin!

AE45, 95.4g
circa 200 BC
Obverse: head of Tanit
Reverse: horse standing right, left foreleg up; above, radiate disc flanked by uraei

I don't have a reference book and the only other picture of one I've found is on the magnagraecia.nl site. Their list indicates four specimens known to them. Don't know if this is one of the four.
5 commentsTIF
Carac1stCaes.jpg
[1004a] Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.29 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 2, gF, Rome, 2.662g, 17.2mm, 0o; type from his first issue as Caesar., 196 A.D. Obverse: M AVR ANTONINVS CAES, boy's bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: SECVRITAS PERPETVA (Security Everlasting), Minerva with aegis on breast, standing left, holding spear in left and resting right on shield on the ground; well centered on a tight flan; scarce. Ex FORVM.

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

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Caracalla)

Michael L. Meckler,
Ohio State University

Caracalla was born 4 April 188 in Lyon, where his father was serving as governor of the province of Gallia Lugdunensis under the emperor Commodus. The child's name originally seems to have been Lucius Septimius Bassianus, the cognomen commemorating the family of the boy's Syrian mother, Julia Domna. When he was seven years old, his name was changed to Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. The name change was a way of connecting the family of Severus to that of the Antonines. Caracalla was a nickname taken from the name of a type of cloak popularized by the emperor, but this nickname, originally derisive, was never used officially.


From the time of his name change to Antoninus, Caracalla was the designated heir of Severus. Less than three years later he was proclaimed emperor, officially joining his father as co-rulers of the empire. At the age of 14 he was married to the daughter of the praetorian prefect Plautianus Publia Fulvia, Plautilla, but the teenager despised his wife. The marriage ended less than three years later after the execution of Plautianus for treason, and there were no children.

Squabbling and rivalry developed between Caracalla and Geta, who was only 11 months younger than his brother. Severus felt 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. Within two years of the imperial family's arrival in Britain, Severus' health began to deteriorate, but his sons' relationship showed no signs of improvement. Severus died 4 February 211. Caracalla was 22 years old, Geta 21.

The brothers returned to Rome as joint emperors, but they eyed each other with suspicion and failed to cooperate on government appointments and policy decisions. Caracalla was being advised to have Geta murdered, and after at least one unsuccessful attempt, Geta was killed in late December 211. The murder led to a wholesale slaughter of Geta's supporters and sympathizers, and soldiers were allowed to wreak havoc on the residents of Rome. The looting and bloodshed lasted for at least two weeks, and one contemporary source claims 20,000 people were killed.

The year 212 saw a flurry of administrative reforms under the young emperor's leadership. Soldiers received increases in pay and in legal rights, but the most noteworthy change was the bestowal of Roman citizenship upon all free residents of the empire. This grant of universal citizenship, called by scholars the Constitutio Antoniniana, allowed for greater standardization in the increasingly bureaucratic Roman state. Construction was also well underway on the magnificant baths in Rome that would bear the emperor's name. The main building seems to have been completed four years later, but the entire complex was not finished until the reign of Alexander Severus.

Caracalla spent little time in Rome after the spring of 213. A visit to Gaul and a military campaign along the borders of Upper Germany and Raetia occupied much of the rest of the year. Winter may have been spent in Rome, but the following year Caracalla made a journey to the East in preparation for a war against the Parthians. Along the way, the emperor displayed an increasing fascination and identification with Alexander the Great. Like the Macedonian prince, however, Caracalla would not survive an expedition to the East. Only his ashes would return to Rome.

Civil war in the Parthian realm between brothers and rival kings Vologaeses VI and Artabanus V brought instability to the entire region, and Caracalla wished to take advantage of that instability to increase Roman control. Osroene was annexed in 213, but an attempt in the same year to take over Armenia backfired. Caracalla's campaigns in the East seemed designed to harass the Parthians more than anything else. In 215, Caracalla suspended plans to invade Parthia after Vologaeses handed over two political refugees, although Roman troops were sent into Armenia. The following year the emperor led his troops into Mesopotamia after being rebuffed in his request to marry the daughter of Artabanus. Roman armies were generally unopposed in their forays, the Parthian forces having retreated farther east. The Romans returned back across the Euphrates, wintering in Edessa.

Between campaigning seasons, Caracalla made a notorious visit to Alexandria in the fall and winter of 215-16. Rioting accompanied the imperial visit, and retribution was swift. The governor of Egypt was executed as were thousands of the city's young men. Alexandria was cordoned off into zones to prevent the free movement of residents, and games and privileges were revoked.

The emperor visited Alexandria for intellectual and religious reasons, staying at The Serapeum and being present at the temple's sacrifices and cultural events. Earlier, during the German war, the emperor visited the shrine of the Celtic healing-god Grannus. Caracalla also visited the famous temple of Asclepius in Pergamum and fully participated in its program, which involved sleeping inside the temple compound and having his dreams interpreted.

It was this religious devotion that led to Caracalla's murder in 217. Although suspicious of the praetorian prefect Macrinus, Caracalla allowed himself to be accompanied by only a small, select corps of bodyguards on an early spring trip from the camp at Edessa to the temple of the moon-god at Carrhae, about 25 miles away. During the journey back on 8 April 217, Caracalla was killed. The returning guards claimed the emperor was ambushed while defecating, and that the alleged assassin was one of their own, a soldier named Martialis. Martialis was himself killed by the avenging guards, or so the story went. Suspicion was strong that Macrinus arranged the entire affair.

Caracalla's violent end seemed appropriate for an emperor who, early in his reign, had his own brother killed. Yet the moralizing about fratricide by both ancient and modern historians obscures the energetic, reformist and even intellectual character of Caracalla's reign. Some of the reforms, especially the pay raise for soldiers, would prove burdensome for future emperors, but the changes brought about in the little more than five years of Caracalla's sole rule would have long-lasting implications throughout the empire for generations to come.


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
CaracallaRIC108.jpg
[1004b] Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.30 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 108, RSC 510, VF, 2.967g, 19.2mm, 180o, Rome mint, 208 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse PROF PONTIF TR P XI COS III, Emperor on horseback right, captive at feet; scarce. Ex FORVM.

This coin refers to the departure of Caracalla, Septimius, and Geta on their British expedition. Our dating of this departure to the year 208 depends on these coins dated TR P XI for Caracalla and TR P XVI for Septimius (Joseph Sermarini).

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

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Caracalla)

Michael L. Meckler,
Ohio State University

Caracalla was born 4 April 188 in Lyon, where his father was serving as governor of the province of Gallia Lugdunensis under the emperor Commodus. The child's name originally seems to have been Lucius Septimius Bassianus, the cognomen commemorating the family of the boy's Syrian mother, Julia Domna. When he was seven years old, his name was changed to Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. The name change was a way of connecting the family of Severus to that of the Antonines. Caracalla was a nickname taken from the name of a type of cloak popularized by the emperor, but this nickname, originally derisive, was never used officially.


From the time of his name change to Antoninus, Caracalla was the designated heir of Severus. Less than three years later he was proclaimed emperor, officially joining his father as co-rulers of the empire. At the age of 14 he was married to the daughter of the praetorian prefect Plautianus Publia Fulvia, Plautilla, but the teenager despised his wife. The marriage ended less than three years later after the execution of Plautianus for treason, and there were no children.

Squabbling and rivalry developed between Caracalla and Geta, who was only 11 months younger than his brother. Severus felt 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. Within two years of the imperial family's arrival in Britain, Severus' health began to deteriorate, but his sons' relationship showed no signs of improvement. Severus died 4 February 211. Caracalla was 22 years old, Geta 21.

The brothers returned to Rome as joint emperors, but they eyed each other with suspicion and failed to cooperate on government appointments and policy decisions. Caracalla was being advised to have Geta murdered, and after at least one unsuccessful attempt, Geta was killed in late December 211. The murder led to a wholesale slaughter of Geta's supporters and sympathizers, and soldiers were allowed to wreak havoc on the residents of Rome. The looting and bloodshed lasted for at least two weeks, and one contemporary source claims 20,000 people were killed.

The year 212 saw a flurry of administrative reforms under the young emperor's leadership. Soldiers received increases in pay and in legal rights, but the most noteworthy change was the bestowal of Roman citizenship upon all free residents of the empire. This grant of universal citizenship, called by scholars the Constitutio Antoniniana, allowed for greater standardization in the increasingly bureaucratic Roman state. Construction was also well underway on the magnificant baths in Rome that would bear the emperor's name. The main building seems to have been completed four years later, but the entire complex was not finished until the reign of Alexander Severus.

Caracalla spent little time in Rome after the spring of 213. A visit to Gaul and a military campaign along the borders of Upper Germany and Raetia occupied much of the rest of the year. Winter may have been spent in Rome, but the following year Caracalla made a journey to the East in preparation for a war against the Parthians. Along the way, the emperor displayed an increasing fascination and identification with Alexander the Great. Like the Macedonian prince, however, Caracalla would not survive an expedition to the East. Only his ashes would return to Rome.

Civil war in the Parthian realm between brothers and rival kings Vologaeses VI and Artabanus V brought instability to the entire region, and Caracalla wished to take advantage of that instability to increase Roman control. Osroene was annexed in 213, but an attempt in the same year to take over Armenia backfired. Caracalla's campaigns in the East seemed designed to harass the Parthians more than anything else. In 215, Caracalla suspended plans to invade Parthia after Vologaeses handed over two political refugees, although Roman troops were sent into Armenia. The following year the emperor led his troops into Mesopotamia after being rebuffed in his request to marry the daughter of Artabanus. Roman armies were generally unopposed in their forays, the Parthian forces having retreated farther east. The Romans returned back across the Euphrates, wintering in Edessa.

Between campaigning seasons, Caracalla made a notorious visit to Alexandria in the fall and winter of 215-16. Rioting accompanied the imperial visit, and retribution was swift. The governor of Egypt was executed as were thousands of the city's young men. Alexandria was cordoned off into zones to prevent the free movement of residents, and games and privileges were revoked.

The emperor visited Alexandria for intellectual and religious reasons, staying at The Serapeum and being present at the temple's sacrifices and cultural events. Earlier, during the German war, the emperor visited the shrine of the Celtic healing-god Grannus. Caracalla also visited the famous temple of Asclepius in Pergamum and fully participated in its program, which involved sleeping inside the temple compound and having his dreams interpreted.

It was this religious devotion that led to Caracalla's murder in 217. Although suspicious of the praetorian prefect Macrinus, Caracalla allowed himself to be accompanied by only a small, select corps of bodyguards on an early spring trip from the camp at Edessa to the temple of the moon-god at Carrhae, about 25 miles away. During the journey back on 8 April 217, Caracalla was killed. The returning guards claimed the emperor was ambushed while defecating, and that the alleged assassin was one of their own, a soldier named Martialis. Martialis was himself killed by the avenging guards, or so the story went. Suspicion was strong that Macrinus arranged the entire affair.

Caracalla's violent end seemed appropriate for an emperor who, early in his reign, had his own brother killed. Yet the moralizing about fratricide by both ancient and modern historians obscures the energetic, reformist and even intellectual character of Caracalla's reign. Some of the reforms, especially the pay raise for soldiers, would prove burdensome for future emperors, but the changes brought about in the little more than five years of Caracalla's sole rule would have long-lasting implications throughout the empire for generations to come.


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
CorinthARStaterI402.jpg
[103d] Corinth, Corinthia, Greece, c. 386 - 307 B.C.38 viewsSilver stater, Pegasi I 402, ICG VF25, Corinth mint, obverse Pegasos flying left, koppa below; reverse head of Athena left in Corinthian helmet over leather cap, behind, A below chin, Thessalian helmet behind; ICG Certified (slabbed). Ex FORVM.

Corinth (Greek Κορινθία) is an ancient city about 48 miles west of Athens on the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnese to the mainland of Greece. Corinth was an important city in ancient Greece and it played a major role in the missionary work of the Apostle Paul. Today, Corinth is the second largest city in the Peloponnese with several sites of interest to pilgrims and tourists.


The site of ancient Corinth was first inhabited in the Neolithic period (5000-3000 BC), and flourished as a major Greek city from the 8th century BC until its destruction by the Romans in 146 BC.

Its commanding position on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow strip of land that separates the Peloponnese from northern Greece, was the primary basis of its importance. Corinth controlled the diolkos (Greek for "haul across"), the 6th-century BC stone-paved roadway that connected the Saronic Gulf with the Gulf of Corinth. This overland route was highly valuable in that it allowed passengers and cargo to avoid the difficult and time-consuming trip around the southern end of the Peloponnese.

Being a leading naval power as well as a rich commercial city enabled ancient Corinth to establish colonies in Syracuse on the island of Sicily and on Corcyra (modern Corfu). These colonies served as trading posts for the richly ornamental bronze works, textiles, and pottery that Corinth produced.

Beginning in 582 BC, in the spring of every second year the Isthmian Games were celebrated in honor of the sea god Poseidon. The Doric Temple of Apollo, one of Corinth's major landmarks, was constructed in 550 BC at the height of the city's wealth.

Corinth was conquered by Philip II of Macedon in 338 BC, but it was named the meeting place of Philip's new Hellenic confederacy. After Philip was assassinated, Alexander the Great immediately came to Corinth to meet with the confederacy, confirm his leadership, and forestall any thoughts of rebellion. At the Isthmian Games of 336 BC, the Greeks chose Alexander the Great to lead them in war against the Persians.

Corinth was partially destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC, but in 44 BC it was rebuilt as a Roman city under Julius Caesar. Roman Corinth prospered more than ever before and may have had as many as 800,000 inhabitants by the time of Paul. It was the capital of Roman Greece, equally devoted to business and pleasure, and was mostly populated by freedmen and Jews.

The Apostle Paul visited Corinth in the 50s AD and later wrote two letters to the Christian community at Corinth (the books of 1 and 2 Corinthians in the New Testament). When Paul first visited the city (51 or 52 AD), Gallio, the brother of Seneca, was proconsul of Corinth.

Paul lived in Corinth for 18 months (Acts 18:1-18), working as a tentmaker and converting as many Jews and pagans as he could. Here he first became acquainted with Aquila and Priscilla, who became his fellow-workers.

Although Paul intended to pass through Corinth a second time before he visited Macedonia, circumstances were such that he first went from Troas to Macedonia before stopping at Corinth for a "second benefit" (2 Corinthians 1:15). This time he stayed in Corinth for three months (Acts 20:3).

It was probably during this second visit in the spring of 58 that Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, written from Ephesus, reflects the difficulties of maintaining a Christian community in such a cosmopolitan city.

A canal through the isthmus of Corinth was begun under the emperor Nero in 67 AD. Wielding a gold shovel, Nero himself was first to break ground, but the canal was not completed. Up to the 12th century, ships were dragged on rollers across the isthmus.

In 267 AD, the invasion of the Herulians initiated the decline of the city. During Alaric's invasion of Greece in 395–396, he destroyed Corinth and sold many of its citizens into slavery. Nevertheless, Corinth remained inhabited for many centuries through successive invasions, destructions and plagues.

After 1204, when Constantinople fell to the Fourth Crusade, Corinth was a prize sought by all. Corinth was captured by the Turks in 1458; the Knights of Malta won it in 1612; the Venetians took a turn from 1687 until 1715, when the Turks returned; and the city finally came into Greek hands in 1822.

In 1893 a 4-mile (6-km) Corinth canal was finally completed, providing an essential shipping route between the Ionian and Aegean seas. Like its ancient predecessor, modern Corinth is the center of commerce between northern and southern Greece. Today, it has a population of about 30,000.

Systematic archaeological excavations of the area, initiated by the American School of Classical Studies in 1896, are still continuing today and have brought to light the agora, temples, fountains, shops, porticoes, baths and various other monuments. The finds are exhibited in the on-site Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth.
http://209.85.175.104/search?q=cache:ZxwVNIAQkZoJ:www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/corinth.htm+corinth+alexander+the+great&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=uk

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
TrajanDeciusRIC11b.jpg
[1108a] Trajan Decius, July 249 - June or July 251 A.D. 144 viewsSilver antoninianus, RIC 11b, RSC 4, choice EF, Rome mint, 3.923g, 23.3mm, 0o, 249 - 251 A.D.; Obverse: IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; Reverse: ADVENTVS AVG, Trajan Decius on horseback left, raising right hand and holding scepter. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Trajan Decius (249-251 A.D.) and Usurpers During His Reign

Geoffrey Nathan and Robin McMahon

Geoffrey Nathan
San Diego State University



Early Life and Public Career

Any discussion of Decius (and for most third century emperors) must be prefaced by an understanding that the historical tradition is incomplete, fragmentary, and not wholly trustworthy. Any reconstruction of his life and reign will therefore be to some degree speculative. With that caveat in mind, Gaius Messius Quintus Decius was born, to a provincial yet aristocratic Senatorial family during the transitional Severan age, possibly in 201. His family may have been from Italian stock, although that is by no means certain. Attempts to describe his life previous to the consulship are problematic, although he did serve as governor in Moesia in the mid-230's. That also means that Decius probably had been a member of the Senate for some time. We know little else about his early life, other than at some point he married Herennia Cupressenia Etruscilla, apparently from the Senatorial ordo as well. His political fortunes rose in the troubled 240's. As instability grew in the mid-third century, Philip the Arab charged Decius, suffect consul for 249, with restoring order along the Danubian frontier. In addition to the border unrest, a low-level army officer, Tiberius Claudius Marinus Pacatianus, had led a rebellion of the armies in Pannonia and Moesia. For a short time, Marinus apparently claimed the imperial purple and along with movements of the Gepidae, represented a clear threat to the stability of Philip's rule.

Philip's decision to send Decius was perhaps more motivated by political expediency than by any great confidence in his military abilities. Decius had an aristocratic pedigree, and so was likely to have been a popular choice with a Senate that was increasingly doubtful of Philip's abilities. He was also a native of Sirmium in Pannonia Inferior, and so was likely familiar with the intricacies of life and politics in the region. Finally, he had, of course, served as governor of the wayward province, and thus undoubtedly had connections there among the civil and military curia--ones that Philip hoped Decius could exploit. Thus, the consul was charged with restoring order along one of the Empire's most problematic borders. Accompanied by his son, Herennius, Decius traveled to Moesia, probably to reclaim the Legio IV Flavia Felix and possibly the Legio XI, both of which were stationed in that province.

Shortly before his arrival, Marinus was killed and local troops quickly named Decius emperor, encouraging him to assert this newfound responsibility in a war against Philip. Philip's inability to deal decisively with the worsening military crises on the borders, the fear of punishment, and the opportunity for enrichment no doubt motivated the soldiers to place the purple on a local leader--a now increasingly common practice. Decius' lineage also probably appealed to traditionalists in Rome, who begrudged Philip his humble origins and his possible involvement in the death of Gordian III. Philip led out an army in June of 249 to meet his newest rival for the purple and at an unknown location (possibly Verona or Beroea) lost the battle. Whether Philip died in the fighting or was assassinated by his own troops--another increasingly common practice--is unknown. Philip's son, Philip Junior, recently made an Augustus, was quickly put to death by the Praetorian Guard in Rome. Decius was the first emperor to come from the Balkans region. How much he wanted to serve is unknown. While this account undoubtedly contains fictional elements, with several popular literary topoi, the rough outlines of the story are undoubtedly true: we have epigraphic evidence in July for support among the Pannonian Legio X, suggesting that Decius owed his accession in no small part to local troops

Publicity and Power
The victory of an established Senatorial aristocrat was one that seemed to reassert the authority and place of traditional political power, despite the means of Decius' ascension. The new emperor, no doubt aware of the perils of his position, seems to have embarked upon a highly conservative program of imperial propaganda to endear himself to the Roman aristocracy and to the troops who had thrust the purple upon him. One of his earliest acts was to take the honorific name of Trajan, whose status as the greatest of all emperors after Augustus was now becoming firmly established. The fact that Trajan had commanded legions in Upper Germany and had close links to both Pannonia and Moesia at the time of his accession invited the comparison. The name was cleverly chosen: Trajan had been an active and successful general throughout his reign, but had also established a reputation for a widely popular civil government.

Decius also served as consul in every year of his reign and took for himself traditional republican powers, another way to underscore his authority and conservatism. He even tried to revive the long defunct office of censor in 251, purportedly offering it to the future emperor, Valerian. Decius moreover portrayed himself as an activist general and soldier. In addition to leading military campaigns personally, he often directly bestowed honors upon his troops, high and low alike. He also holds the dubious distinction of being the first emperor to have died fighting a foreign army in battle. Finally, in 250, he associated his sons Herennius and Hostilianus in his rule by making them Caesars, eventually raising the former (and elder) to Augustus. Undoubtedly, Decius sought to create a dynasty in much the same way the Gordians had in the previous decade. This traditionalism may to be a large extent, however, a construction rather than a reality. When we abandon the literary tradition and look instead at other forms of evidence, his imperial aims are less clear. The legal record, extremely thin, is only vaguely supportive of a conservative policy: most of his surviving enactments deal with private law issues consistent with earlier Severan jurisprudence.

On the other hand in late 249, when Decius returned to Rome, he embarked upon an active building program in the capital. After a destructive fire, he extensively restored the Colosseum. He later commissioned the opulent Decian Baths along the Aventine. He perhaps also was responsible for the construction of the Decian Portico. Such activities contrasted to a twenty-year period of relative building inactivity. Both the kind of building projects and their stylistic qualities suggest an attempt to recall the glories of the past. The numismatic evidence also suggests some degree of traditionalism. It is there that we see the first references to Trajan Decius, as well as an association with both Pannonia and Dacia. His Liberitas and Uberitas issues, combined with his wife's Pudicitia and his sons' Princeps Iuventi coins, all seem to rearticulate traditional ideology. Legends tend to be conservative, so this is hardly surprising, but there were no great innovations to suggest a new set of ideological principles. In sum, while the literary reconstructions of Decius' life are problematic, it seems clear that traditionalism was an important factor in his administration, especially in the wake of Philip's reign.

The Persecution of Christians
Another possible aspect of this conservatism was a reported wide-scale attack on the growing Christian minority. The third century saw the slow creation of sizeable communities in the Empire's urban populations. For the first time, if we are to believe Christian sources, an Empire-wide persecution of Christians was begun under Decius. The state required all citizens to sacrifice to the state gods and be in receipt of a libellus, a certificate from a temple confirming the act. The rationale for the emperor's actions, however, is not entirely clear. Eusebius writes he did so because he hated Philip, who purportedly was a secret Christian. Probably the enmity was real, but it seems unconnected to the introduction of these policies. More likely, if Decius did indeed seek to persecute Christians, he was reacting to the growing visibility of the religion, especially in the city of Rome itself. One of the more prominent martyrs of the age was Fabian, the bishop of the imperial capital.

But the new policy of public religiosity was much more probably a program to reassert traditional public piety, consistent with some of the other conservative initiatives introduced during the emperor's short reign. The libelli themselves were largely generalized in nature and language, and there is no implication that they were directed at any one group per se. Whatever intended effect it may have had on Christianity was thus to a degree unplanned. Christians would have no doubt seen it differently. It is possible then that fourth and fifth century Christian polemicists have misinterpreted (whether purposefully or not) Decius' libelli. In the particular cases of Eusebius and Lactantius, both wrote in the wake of the great persecution of Diocletian and no doubt magnified upon the theme of the tyrant-persecutor. A hostile tradition notwithstanding, the new requirements did impact Christians most acutely, causing considerable division in the growing ranks of the new religion.

Imperial and Military Problems
Like other third century emperors, Decius was not free of threats to his authority, either from within or without. The revolt of Jotapianus, either in Syria or Cappadocia, had actually begun in Philip's reign, but was quickly quelled after Decius' accession. Probably the usurper's own soldiers murdered the would-be emperor, since the accounts state that his body was delivered to Decius while still in Rome in the summer of 249.
A potentially more serious revolt broke out while Decius was out of Rome in 250 fighting the Goths. Julius Valens Licinianus, also a member of the Senatorial aristocracy with some popular support, took the purple at the Empire's capital. It appears to have been relatively short-lived grab for power, ending in a few days with his execution. The governor of Macedon, Titus Julius Priscus, also permitted himself to be proclaimed Augustus at Philippopolis towards the end of 251, probably with Gothic collusion. The Senate declared him a public enemy almost as soon as he chose usurpation. He probably survived Decius, but is likely to have perished when Gallus became emperor.

Of greater concern than sporadic rebellions, which were relatively minor, were the vitreous northern borders. For the first time, a new and aggressive Germanic people, the Goths, crossed into and raided Roman territory in the 250's. At the time of Decius' forced accession, the Gepidae and the Carpi were both raiding deep into the Moesian provinces. They, along with the Goths, raided Pannonia and Dacia as well. Decius was forced to fight campaigns each year of his reign, doing his best to keep the borders stable.

His final campaign in 251 led to the death of his son, Herennius, and to his own. Decius led a successful attack on the Carpi, pushing them out of Dacia. But Moesia Inferior had been left largely undefended and Cniva, king of the Goths, led a sizeable portion of his army into the province. The emperor, after chasing the Germanic force around the region, engaged Cniva's forces outside of Philippopolis, which had recently been sacked by the king and held by the rebel, Priscus. It was here that his elder son was slain by an arrow and the emperor, seeking to reassure his troops, famously proclaimed that the death of one soldier was not a great loss to the Republic. Cniva then led his troops homeward, laden with the spoils of war. The loss became Decius' undoing. Trebonianus Gallus, one of the emperor's commanders, may have revolted, although it is not entirely clear. Instead of regrouping his forces and re-securing the borders, Decius unwisely sought to chase down Cniva before he left Roman territory. His decision may have been motivated by his son's death (despite his insistence otherwise) or it may have been an attempt to salvage what had been a failed campaign. In either case, it was ill-advised.

It was at Abrittus, about 100 kilometers northeast of Nicopolis that Decius finally met his death. Hoping to cut off Cniva's escape route (and perhaps minimize any help from Gallus), Decius' army was itself cut off in the marshy terrain. The details are sketchy, but Cniva divided his seventy thousand man army into three groups and surrounded the emperor's force. On July 1st, the emperor and most of his troops were slain. In the aftermath, the survivors named Trebonianus Gallus emperor, a decision subsequently confirmed by the Senate. Some contemporaries called the death tragic; others heroic. An Altar of Decius was erected where the emperor fell, still apparently famous two centuries later. Decius and Herennius may have even been deified. Christian polemicists, as might be expected, took pleasure in describing Decius' body being stripped and left on the battlefield to be devoured by animals. Whatever else, his was the first death of an emperor at the hands of an enemy of Rome. But even the account of his death, along with that of his son, must be looked on suspiciously. Their deaths bring to mind the sacrificial devotions of the famous Republican Decii father and son, P. Decius Mus senior and junior. The circumstances of Decius' death, therefore, are perhaps as opaque as those of his accession.

Assessment
In spite of gaining some modicum of praise from both ancient and modern observers, Decius' reign was not well-suited to the demands of a rapidly changing empire. Conservatism may have been popular among a certain portion of the Roman elite, but the old aristocracy's power and influence all but disappeared in the third century. Decius clearly had a broader vision of what he wanted to accomplish in his reign than many of his contemporaries, and certainly he was vigorous, but he was also a man who was not sufficiently flexible when the moment called for it. His religious policy caused major disruptions in Rome and; in contrast to some of the other barracks emperors, Decius proved himself less than apt when dealing with Rome's Germanic foes. His death may have been heroic, but it was unnecessary and unsuccessful. This best sums up Decius Trajan's reign.

Ancient Sources

Relatively little remains about Decius' reign. If there were a biography of Decius in the SHA, it no longer survives, although there are scattered references to his rule in the biographies of Claudius II Gothicus and Aurelian. Zosimus, i: 21-23, Aurelius Victor, 29-30, Zonaras 12, Eutropius 9, Jordanes Get. 17-8, and Sylvius Polemius 37-40 have brief accounts of his reign. There are fragments in John of Antioch, fr. 148 and Dexippus, fr. 18. Eusebius, vi: 39-41, vii:1, 11, 22, and viii:4, discusses his persecution, and there are passing references to his persecution in Socrates and Lactantius. Inscriptions and coinage are relatively abundant.

Copyright (C) 2002, Geoffrey Nathan and Robin McMahon. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of the Roman Emperors and their Families; http://www.roman-emperors.org/decius.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
Valerian1RIC232.jpg
[1112a] Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.70 viewsSilver antoninianus, RIC 232, RSC 10, VF, worn die reverse, Mediolanum mint, 3.909g, 22.2mm, 180o, 257 A.D.; Obverse: IMP VALERIANVS P AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: AETERNITATI AVGG, Sol standing left, raising right, globe in left; nice portrait, good silver for the reign. Ex FORVM.


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

Valerian (A.D. 253-260) and Gallienus (A.D. 253-268)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University


P. Licinius Valerianus, or Valerian, was unusual for his time period in that he was an emperor who came from an old Roman senatorial family. He was likely born shortly before 200 A.D., but little is known of his early life. Valerian married Egnatia Mariniana and had two sons, Gallienus and Valerian Junior. Gallienus was born around 218. Valerian makes his first appearance in the sources in 238 A.D. as an ex-consul and princeps senatus negotiating with (more likely than serving on) the embassy sent to Rome by Gordian I's African legions to secure senatorial approval of Gordian's rebellion against and replacement of Maximinus Thrax as emperor. The Scriptores Historiae Augustae probably report accurately that Trajan Decius, on the recommendation of the Senate, offered Valerian the censorship in 251. Although the senatus consultum cited and the specific office are of doubtful authenticity, the high reputation Valerian possessed in the Senate and his association with the government under Decius probably are truthful aspects of the story. In 253 Valerian was apparently commanding in Raetia and Noricum when Trebonianus Gallus sent him to bring legions from Gaul and Germany to Italy for the struggle with the forces of Aemilianus. After Gallus' troops killed him and his son and joined Aemilianus, Valerian's men proclaimed their general emperor and their arrival in Italy caused Aemilianus' soldiers to desert and kill their commander and join Valerian's forces in acclaiming Valerian as emperor.

The Senate presumably was pleased to ratify the position of Valerian, one of their own, as emperor and they also accepted his son and colleague, P. Licinius Egnatius Gallienus, as Augustus, rather than just as Caesar. Valerian apparently realized the necessity of sharing power equally with his son and of dividing their efforts geographically, with Gallienus responsible for the West and Valerian himself concentrating on the East. The biographies of Valerian and Gallienus in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae, attributed to Trebellius Pollio, are not especially helpful in putting together an account of their joint reign. The life of Valerian is fragmentary and that of Gallienus projects an extremely biased negative interpretation of his career.

Gallienus in the early years of the joint reign concentrated, with some success, on protecting Gaul and the Rhine frontier by driving back Germanic tribes and fortifying cities such as Cologne and Trier. In a move which would characterize later diplomacy with Germans, Gallienus concluded an alliance with one of their chieftains, presumably to assist the Romans in protecting the empire from other Germanic tribes. The invasions increased in number around 257-258 as the Franks entered Gaul and Spain, destroying Tarraco (Tarragona), and the Alamanni invaded Italy. Gallienus defeated the Alamanni at Milan, but soon was faced with the revolts in Pannonia and Moesia led first by his general there, Ingenuus, and then by Regalianus, commander in Illyricum. Gallienus put down these rebellions by 260 and secured stability in the region by concluding an alliance with the Marcomannic king, whose daughter Pipa the emperor apparently accepted as his concubine although he was still married to Cornelia Salonina.

In the East, Valerian had succeeded by A.D. 257 in rescuing Antioch in Syria from Persian control, at least temporarily, but was soon faced with a major invasion of the Goths in Asia Minor. The Scriptores Historiae Augustae biography of Aurelian has Valerian appear to speak in the Baths at Byzantium to publicly commend Aurelian for his success in driving back the Goths and reward him with the consulship and even with adoption as imperial successor. However, it is not clear that Valerian even reached Byzantium because he sent Felix to that city while he remained to protect the eastern section of Asia Minor and then returned to Antioch to guard it against renewed Persian attacks. It was at this point, around 259, that Valerian moved to defend Edessa and his troops lost significant numbers to the plague. Valerian tried to negotiate a peace with the Persian king, Sapor, but was captured by treachery and taken into captivity. The ultimate humiliation of a Roman emperor by a foreign leader was enacted through Sapor's use of Valerian as a human stepping-stool to assist the Persian king in mounting his horse and Valerian's body was later skinned to produce a lasting trophy of Roman submission.

Eusebius discusses the policy of Valerian toward the Christians and says that, after initially treating them most positively, Valerian was persuaded by Macrianus to lead another persecution against them. Valerian in fact after his brutal imprisonment and death in Persia would serve as a negative moral exemplum for some Latin Christian writers who gleefully pointed out that those who oppose the true God receive their just desserts.

Eusebius also credits Gallienus with reversing his father's policy and establishing peace with the Church, citing imperial edicts which established freedom of worship and even restored some lost property. Paul Keresztes claims that Gallienus in fact established a peace with Christians that lasted for forty-three years, from A.D. 260 until 303, and gave the community a kind of legal status which they had previously lacked.

Andreas Alföldi details a growing separation between Gallienus and his father which goes well beyond the geographical one which had developed out of military necessity. In addition to the strikingly different policies, just described, which they pursued toward the Christians, Gallienus began to make his military independence clear through changes in coin inscriptions and by 258 he had created his central cavalry unit and stationed it at Milan. This independent force, which was under the command of a man of equestrian rank and soon stood on a level at least equal to that of the Praetorian Guard, would play a significant role in Gallienus' upcoming battles and, of course, was a foretoken of a new trend for military organization in the future. Alföldi cites as evidence of the increasing separation between the joint emperors the statement that Gallienus did not even seek his father's return from captivity, which Lactantius of course interpreted as part of Valerian's divine punishment, but one wonders what indeed Gallienus might have done and his "indifference" may have been instead his attempt to reassert confidence in his armies and not dwell on the depressing and humiliating servitude and ultimate death of Valerian. Another reform which Alföldi discusses as part of Gallienus' independent stand is his exclusion of the senatorial class from major military commands. H.M.D. Parker credits Gallienus with beginning to separate the civil and military functions of Rome's provincial governors, thus making senatorial governors purely civil administrators and starting to replace them even in this reduced role by equestrians. The disappearance in this period of the S.C. stamp of senatorial authority on bronze coins was probably also seen as an attack on the prestige of the order, although the debasement of the silver coinage had by this time practically reached the point where the "silver" coins were themselves essentially bronze and the change may have been more for economic than for political reasons. Gallienus' exclusion of senators from military command further broke down class distinctions because sons of centurions were by this time regularly given equestrian rank and the move further accelerated the alienation of Rome as center of the Empire. In addition, the bitterness of the senatorial class over Gallienus' policy most likely explains the hatred of Latin writers toward this particular emperor.

Although Gallienus' military innovations may have made his forces more effective, he still had to face numerous challenges to his authority.In addition to systemic invasions and revolts, the plague wreaked havoc in Rome and Italy and probably in several provinces as well. It must have seemed that every commander he entrusted to solve a problem later used that authority to create another threat. When Gallienus was involved in putting down the revolt of Ingenuus in Pannonia, he put Postumus in charge of the armies guarding the Rhine and Gaul. There is some doubt about which of Gallienus' sons, Cornelius Valerianus or P. Cornelius Licinius Saloninus, was left in Cologne under the care of the Praetorian Prefect Silvanus and perhaps also Postumus. In any case, when Postumus revolted and proclaimed his independent Gallic Empire, Silvanus and one of the emperor's sons were killed. Gallienus probably restricted Postumus' expansion, but he never gained the personal revenge that, according to one source, drove him to challenge Postumus to single combat. While Gallienus was thus engaged, and after Valerian's capture by the Persians, Macrianus had his soldiers proclaim his sons, Macrianus and Quietus, emperors in Syria, Asia Minor, and Egypt. Gallienus sent Aureolus to defeat Macrianus and one son in the area of Illyria and Thrace; Odenathus of Palmyra defeated the other son and restored stability in Syria and, with Gallienus' approval, followed that up with a victory over the Persians. After Odenathus' assassination ca. 267, his wife Zenobia continued to rule the independent Palmyrene section of the Empire.

In A.D. 262 Gallienus concluded his tenth year in office by celebrating in Rome his Decennalia with a spectacular procession involving senators, equestrians, gladiators, soldiers, representatives of foreign peoples, and many other groups. This festival included feasts, games, entertainment, and spectacle which probably reminded Romans of the millennial Secular Games celebrations of Philip I and likely were intended to secure popular support at home for Gallienus. Over the next five years little is known about specific activities of the emperor and he presumably spent more time in Rome and less along the frontiers.

Gallienus and Salonina as rulers patronized a cultural movement which collectively is known as the Gallienic Renaissance. The imperial patrons are most directly connected with the philosophical aspects of this movement because Porphyry testifies to their friendship for the Neoplatonic philosopher Plotinus. Porphyry goes on to say that Plotinus asked Gallienus to rebuild an abandoned former city of philosophers in Campania, rename it Platonopolis, and govern it as a kind of Platonic Republic, but that the jealousy and spite of others at court scuttled the plan. In addition to Neoplatonic philosophy, according to Gervase Matthew, the Gallienic Renaissance included the "upward glance" and other stylistic changes in imperial sculpture and religious beliefs that were characterized by "an overwhelming sense of the transcendent and immutable." Matthew points out both the return to artistic models of Augustus, Hadrian, and even Severus Alexander and also "a new Romantic tension" which breaks with the past and points toward a new and very different world. The Hellenic character of much of the Gallienic Renaissance is also stressed in the emperor's trip to Athens where he, likely in imitation of Hadrian, became eponymous archon and received initiation into the Eleusinian cult of Demeter.
Late in his reign, Gallienus issued a series of coins in Rome which honored nine deities as Conservator Augusti or protector of the emperor by pairing his portrait with reverses picturing an animal or animals symbolic of each deity. Included in this group of celestial guardians are Apollo, Diana, Hercules, Jupiter, Juno, Liber Pater, Mercury, Neptune, and Sol. For example, Apollo's coin-types portray a centaur, a gryphon, or Pegasus; Hercules is represented by either the lion or the boar. It appears that Gallienus was issuing the "animal series" coins both to secure, through some religious festival, the aid of Rome's protective gods against continuing invasions, revolts, and plague and to entertain the Roman populace with pageantry and circus games, thus to divert their attention away from the same problems and maintain the security of the regime in power.

In A.D. 268, Gallienus saw his third son, Marinianus, become consul, but in the spring another Gothic invasion brought the emperor back to Greece. He defeated the invaders at Naissus in Moesia , but was deterred from pursuing them further by a revolt of the commander of his elite cavalry, Aureolus. He besieged this last rebel emperor in Milan, but a plot involving his Praetorian Prefect and two future emperors, Claudius and Aurelian, all three men Illyrians popular with many of the soldiers, lured Gallienus away from the city on a false pretext and assassinated him.The emperor's brother Valerian and young son Marinianus were also murdered. In spite of the bitter resentment which many of the senators must have felt toward the dead emperor and his reform policies, Claudius II, perhaps only to legitimize his own reign, persuaded the Senate to deify Gallienus.

Copyright Richard D. Weigel, 2007. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families

Valerian I was proclaimed emperor after the death of Trajan Decius. He successfully repulsed many barbarian incursions but the standard of living declined and would never recover. In 260 A.D., after four years of war during which Roman forces suffered great losses in battle and to plague, he arranged for peace talks. He set off with a small group to discuss terms with the Sassinian emperor Sapor and was never seen again. The date of his death is unknown, but in Rome it was rumored that he had been murdered and that Sapor was using his stuffed body as a footstool. Joseph Sermarini, FORVM.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
GalllienusRIC163.jpg
[1113a] Gallienus, August 253 - 24 March 268 A.D.72 viewsBronze antoninianus, RIC 163, RSC 72, choice EF, Rome mint, 3.716g, 21.6mm, 180o, 268 A.D.; Obverse: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; Reverse: APOLLINI CONS AVG, centaur walking right drawing bow, Z in exergue; struck on a full and round flan, rare this nice. Commemorates vows to Apollo invoking his protection against the revolt of Aureolus. Ex FORVM.


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

Valerian (A.D. 253-260) and Gallienus (A.D. 253-268)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University


P. Licinius Valerianus, or Valerian, was unusual for his time period in that he was an emperor who came from an old Roman senatorial family. He was likely born shortly before 200 A.D., but little is known of his early life. Valerian married Egnatia Mariniana and had two sons, Gallienus and Valerian Junior. Gallienus was born around 218. Valerian makes his first appearance in the sources in 238 A.D. as an ex-consul and princeps senatus negotiating with (more likely than serving on) the embassy sent to Rome by Gordian I's African legions to secure senatorial approval of Gordian's rebellion against and replacement of Maximinus Thrax as emperor. The Scriptores Historiae Augustae probably report accurately that Trajan Decius, on the recommendation of the Senate, offered Valerian the censorship in 251. Although the senatus consultum cited and the specific office are of doubtful authenticity, the high reputation Valerian possessed in the Senate and his association with the government under Decius probably are truthful aspects of the story. In 253 Valerian was apparently commanding in Raetia and Noricum when Trebonianus Gallus sent him to bring legions from Gaul and Germany to Italy for the struggle with the forces of Aemilianus. After Gallus' troops killed him and his son and joined Aemilianus, Valerian's men proclaimed their general emperor and their arrival in Italy caused Aemilianus' soldiers to desert and kill their commander and join Valerian's forces in acclaiming Valerian as emperor.

The Senate presumably was pleased to ratify the position of Valerian, one of their own, as emperor and they also accepted his son and colleague, P. Licinius Egnatius Gallienus, as Augustus, rather than just as Caesar. Valerian apparently realized the necessity of sharing power equally with his son and of dividing their efforts geographically, with Gallienus responsible for the West and Valerian himself concentrating on the East. The biographies of Valerian and Gallienus in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae, attributed to Trebellius Pollio, are not especially helpful in putting together an account of their joint reign. The life of Valerian is fragmentary and that of Gallienus projects an extremely biased negative interpretation of his career.

Gallienus in the early years of the joint reign concentrated, with some success, on protecting Gaul and the Rhine frontier by driving back Germanic tribes and fortifying cities such as Cologne and Trier. In a move which would characterize later diplomacy with Germans, Gallienus concluded an alliance with one of their chieftains, presumably to assist the Romans in protecting the empire from other Germanic tribes. The invasions increased in number around 257-258 as the Franks entered Gaul and Spain, destroying Tarraco (Tarragona), and the Alamanni invaded Italy. Gallienus defeated the Alamanni at Milan, but soon was faced with the revolts in Pannonia and Moesia led first by his general there, Ingenuus, and then by Regalianus, commander in Illyricum. Gallienus put down these rebellions by 260 and secured stability in the region by concluding an alliance with the Marcomannic king, whose daughter Pipa the emperor apparently accepted as his concubine although he was still married to Cornelia Salonina.

In the East, Valerian had succeeded by A.D. 257 in rescuing Antioch in Syria from Persian control, at least temporarily, but was soon faced with a major invasion of the Goths in Asia Minor. The Scriptores Historiae Augustae biography of Aurelian has Valerian appear to speak in the Baths at Byzantium to publicly commend Aurelian for his success in driving back the Goths and reward him with the consulship and even with adoption as imperial successor. However, it is not clear that Valerian even reached Byzantium because he sent Felix to that city while he remained to protect the eastern section of Asia Minor and then returned to Antioch to guard it against renewed Persian attacks. It was at this point, around 259, that Valerian moved to defend Edessa and his troops lost significant numbers to the plague. Valerian tried to negotiate a peace with the Persian king, Sapor, but was captured by treachery and taken into captivity. The ultimate humiliation of a Roman emperor by a foreign leader was enacted through Sapor's use of Valerian as a human stepping-stool to assist the Persian king in mounting his horse and Valerian's body was later skinned to produce a lasting trophy of Roman submission.

Eusebius discusses the policy of Valerian toward the Christians and says that, after initially treating them most positively, Valerian was persuaded by Macrianus to lead another persecution against them. Valerian in fact after his brutal imprisonment and death in Persia would serve as a negative moral exemplum for some Latin Christian writers who gleefully pointed out that those who oppose the true God receive their just desserts.

Eusebius also credits Gallienus with reversing his father's policy and establishing peace with the Church, citing imperial edicts which established freedom of worship and even restored some lost property. Paul Keresztes claims that Gallienus in fact established a peace with Christians that lasted for forty-three years, from A.D. 260 until 303, and gave the community a kind of legal status which they had previously lacked.

Andreas Alföldi details a growing separation between Gallienus and his father which goes well beyond the geographical one which had developed out of military necessity. In addition to the strikingly different policies, just described, which they pursued toward the Christians, Gallienus began to make his military independence clear through changes in coin inscriptions and by 258 he had created his central cavalry unit and stationed it at Milan. This independent force, which was under the command of a man of equestrian rank and soon stood on a level at least equal to that of the Praetorian Guard, would play a significant role in Gallienus' upcoming battles and, of course, was a foretoken of a new trend for military organization in the future. Alföldi cites as evidence of the increasing separation between the joint emperors the statement that Gallienus did not even seek his father's return from captivity, which Lactantius of course interpreted as part of Valerian's divine punishment, but one wonders what indeed Gallienus might have done and his "indifference" may have been instead his attempt to reassert confidence in his armies and not dwell on the depressing and humiliating servitude and ultimate death of Valerian. Another reform which Alföldi discusses as part of Gallienus' independent stand is his exclusion of the senatorial class from major military commands. H.M.D. Parker credits Gallienus with beginning to separate the civil and military functions of Rome's provincial governors, thus making senatorial governors purely civil administrators and starting to replace them even in this reduced role by equestrians. The disappearance in this period of the S.C. stamp of senatorial authority on bronze coins was probably also seen as an attack on the prestige of the order, although the debasement of the silver coinage had by this time practically reached the point where the "silver" coins were themselves essentially bronze and the change may have been more for economic than for political reasons. Gallienus' exclusion of senators from military command further broke down class distinctions because sons of centurions were by this time regularly given equestrian rank and the move further accelerated the alienation of Rome as center of the Empire. In addition, the bitterness of the senatorial class over Gallienus' policy most likely explains the hatred of Latin writers toward this particular emperor.

Although Gallienus' military innovations may have made his forces more effective, he still had to face numerous challenges to his authority.In addition to systemic invasions and revolts, the plague wreaked havoc in Rome and Italy and probably in several provinces as well. It must have seemed that every commander he entrusted to solve a problem later used that authority to create another threat. When Gallienus was involved in putting down the revolt of Ingenuus in Pannonia, he put Postumus in charge of the armies guarding the Rhine and Gaul. There is some doubt about which of Gallienus' sons, Cornelius Valerianus or P. Cornelius Licinius Saloninus, was left in Cologne under the care of the Praetorian Prefect Silvanus and perhaps also Postumus. In any case, when Postumus revolted and proclaimed his independent Gallic Empire, Silvanus and one of the emperor's sons were killed. Gallienus probably restricted Postumus' expansion, but he never gained the personal revenge that, according to one source, drove him to challenge Postumus to single combat. While Gallienus was thus engaged, and after Valerian's capture by the Persians, Macrianus had his soldiers proclaim his sons, Macrianus and Quietus, emperors in Syria, Asia Minor, and Egypt. Gallienus sent Aureolus to defeat Macrianus and one son in the area of Illyria and Thrace; Odenathus of Palmyra defeated the other son and restored stability in Syria and, with Gallienus' approval, followed that up with a victory over the Persians. After Odenathus' assassination ca. 267, his wife Zenobia continued to rule the independent Palmyrene section of the Empire.

In A.D. 262 Gallienus concluded his tenth year in office by celebrating in Rome his Decennalia with a spectacular procession involving senators, equestrians, gladiators, soldiers, representatives of foreign peoples, and many other groups. This festival included feasts, games, entertainment, and spectacle which probably reminded Romans of the millennial Secular Games celebrations of Philip I and likely were intended to secure popular support at home for Gallienus. Over the next five years little is known about specific activities of the emperor and he presumably spent more time in Rome and less along the frontiers.

Gallienus and Salonina as rulers patronized a cultural movement which collectively is known as the Gallienic Renaissance. The imperial patrons are most directly connected with the philosophical aspects of this movement because Porphyry testifies to their friendship for the Neoplatonic philosopher Plotinus. Porphyry goes on to say that Plotinus asked Gallienus to rebuild an abandoned former city of philosophers in Campania, rename it Platonopolis, and govern it as a kind of Platonic Republic, but that the jealousy and spite of others at court scuttled the plan. In addition to Neoplatonic philosophy, according to Gervase Matthew, the Gallienic Renaissance included the "upward glance" and other stylistic changes in imperial sculpture and religious beliefs that were characterized by "an overwhelming sense of the transcendent and immutable." Matthew points out both the return to artistic models of Augustus, Hadrian, and even Severus Alexander and also "a new Romantic tension" which breaks with the past and points toward a new and very different world. The Hellenic character of much of the Gallienic Renaissance is also stressed in the emperor's trip to Athens where he, likely in imitation of Hadrian, became eponymous archon and received initiation into the Eleusinian cult of Demeter.

Late in his reign, Gallienus issued a series of coins in Rome which honored nine deities as Conservator Augusti or protector of the emperor by pairing his portrait with reverses picturing an animal or animals symbolic of each deity. Included in this group of celestial guardians are Apollo, Diana, Hercules, Jupiter, Juno, Liber Pater, Mercury, Neptune, and Sol. For example, Apollo's coin-types portray a centaur, a gryphon, or Pegasus; Hercules is represented by either the lion or the boar. It appears that Gallienus was issuing the "animal series" coins both to secure, through some religious festival, the aid of Rome's protective gods against continuing invasions, revolts, and plague and to entertain the Roman populace with pageantry and circus games, thus to divert their attention away from the same problems and maintain the security of the regime in power.

In A.D. 268, Gallienus saw his third son, Marinianus, become consul, but in the spring another Gothic invasion brought the emperor back to Greece. He defeated the invaders at Naissus in Moesia , but was deterred from pursuing them further by a revolt of the commander of his elite cavalry, Aureolus. He besieged this last rebel emperor in Milan, but a plot involving his Praetorian Prefect and two future emperors, Claudius and Aurelian, all three men Illyrians popular with many of the soldiers, lured Gallienus away from the city on a false pretext and assassinated him.The emperor's brother Valerian and young son Marinianus were also murdered. In spite of the bitter resentment which many of the senators must have felt toward the dead emperor and his reform policies, Claudius II, perhaps only to legitimize his own reign, persuaded the Senate to deify Gallienus.

Copyright (C) 1998, Richard D. Weigel. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/gallval.htm. Used by permission.


Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus was born in about AD 213. This means that he was about 40 years old when his father Valerian, in AD 253, was hailed emperor by his troops in Raetia. Gallienus was made Caesar immediately by his father. But within a month, when Valerian got to Rome, Gallienus received the rank of Augustus.

Compared to other Roman emperors of the age, Gallienus was an exception, as far as he was not a soldier-emperor. He was rather a thoughtful, intellectual ruler, possessing sophisticated Greek tastes. However, this made him deeply unpopular with the gritty Danubian generals, who very much understood it as their right to choose a leader among their own ranks to rule the empire.

If the Danubian military elite didn't like Gallienus, then he certainly soon proved that he was a capable military leader. Between AD 254 to AD 256 he campaigned along the Danube, securing this troubled frontier against the barbarians. In AD 256 he then moved west to fight the Germans along the Rhine.

Then by autumn AD 260 the message of Valerian's capture by the Persians reached Gallienus. If Gallienus had always been unpopular among the military leaders, then now with his father gone and Roman authority crumbling, rebellion was in the air.

On a night in September, AD 268, at the siege of Mediolanum (Milan), an alarm was suddenly raised in the camp of the emperor. In the brief moment of confusion, Gallienus was struck down in the dark as he emerged from his tent.

During his reign, Gallienus began numerous reforms and military campaigns to defend the empire, as much from usurpers as from barbarians. In doing so, he perhaps saved the empire from oblivion. At the same time he presided over perhaps the last flowering of classical Roman culture, patronizing poets, artists and philosophers.

As a last gesture of disrespect to this, most unfortunate of emperors, the Romans should lay Gallienus to rest not in one of the great mausoleums in Rome, but in a tomb nine miles south of the capital, along the Via Appia.

Ironically, he was deified by the senate at the request of Claudius II Gothicus, one of the men who must be held accountable for the assassination of Gallienus.
See: http://www.roman-empire.net/decline/gallienus.html


Gallienus was the son of Valerian I and was named Caesar at his father's accession to the throne in 253 A.D. Upon his father's capture by the Parthians he assumed the rank of Augustus and began numerous reforms and military campaigns to defend the empire, as much from usurpers as from barbarians. At the same time he presided over perhaps the last flowering of classical Roman culture, patronizing poets, artists and philosophers. Gallienus was assassinated while besieging Milan. Joseph Sermarini, FORVM.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Justinan1Nikomedia.jpg
[1611a] Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.68 viewsBronze follis, S 201, choice VF, 22.147g, 43.8mm, 180o, 2nd officina, Nikomedia mint, 541 - 542 A.D.; Obverse: D N IVSTINIANVS PP AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right, shield decorated with a horseman brandishing a spear, cross right; Reverse: large M, cross above, ANNO left, Xu (= year 15) right, B below, NIKO in ex; full circle strike on a huge flan. Ex FORVM.



De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Justinian (527-565 A.D.).

James Allan Evans
University of British Columbia

Introduction
The reign of Justinian was a turning-point in Late Antiquity. It is the period when paganism finally lost its long struggle to survive, and when the schism in Christianity between the Monophysite east and the Chalcedonian west became insurmountable. From a military viewpoint, it marked the last time that the Roman Empire could go on the offensive with hope of success. Africa and Italy were recovered, and a foothold was established in Spain. When Justinian died, the frontiers were still intact although the Balkans had been devastated by a series of raids and the Italian economy was in ruins. His extensive building program has left us the most celebrated example of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture that still survives: Hagia Sophia in modern Istanbul. His reign was a period when classical culture was in sharp decline and yet it had a last flowering, with historians such as Procopius and Agathias working within the tradition inherited from Herodotus and Thucydides, and poets such as Paul the Silentiary who wrote some of the most sensuous poems that the classical tradition has ever produced. The Codex Justinianus, the Institutes and the Digest of Roman jurisprudence, all commissioned by Justinian, are monuments to the past achievements of Roman legal heritage. Justinian's reign sums up the past. It also provides a matrix for the future. In particular, there was the bubonic plague, which appeared in Constantinople in 542, for the first time in Europe, and then travelled round the empire in search of victims, returning to the capital for a new crop in 558. The plague ended a period of economic growth and initiated one of overstrained resources.

The 'Nika' Revolt
The 'Nika' Revolt which broke out in January, 532, in Constantinople, was an outburst of street violence which went far beyond the norms even in a society where a great deal of street violence was accepted. Every city worth notice had its chariot-racing factions which took their names from their racing colors: Reds, Whites, Blues and Greens. These were professional organizations initially responsible for fielding chariot-racing teams in the hippodromes, though by Justinian's time they were in charge of other shows as well. The Blues and the Greens were dominant, but the Reds and Whites attracted some supporters: the emperor Anastasius was a fan of the Reds. The aficionados of the factions were assigned their own blocs of seats in the Hippodrome in Constantinople, opposite the imperial loge, and the Blue and Green "demes" provided an outlet for the energies of the city's young males. G. M. Manojlovic in an influential article originally published in Serbo-Croat in 1904, argued that the "demes" were organized divisions of a city militia, and thus played an important role in the imperial defense structure. His thesis is now generally disregarded and the dominant view is that of Alan Cameron, that demos, whether used in the singular or plural, means simply "people" and the rioting of the "demes", the "fury of the Hippodrome", as Edward Gibbon called it, was hooliganism, which was also Gibbon's view. Efforts to make the Greens into supporters of Monophysitism and the Blues of Orthodoxy founder on lack of evidence. However, in support of Manojlovic's thesis, it must be said that, although we cannot show that the Blue and Green "demes" were an organized city militia, we hear of "Young Greens" both in Constantinople and Alexandria who bore arms, and in 540, when Antioch fell to the Persians, Blue and Green street-fighters continued to defend the city after the regular troops had fled.

Justinian and Theodora were known Blue supporters, and when street violence escalated under Justin I, Procopius claims that they encouraged it. But since Justinian became emperor he had taken a firmer, more even-handed stand. On Saturday, January 10, 532, the city prefect Eudaemon who had arrested some hooligans and found seven guilty of murder, had them hanged outside the city at Sycae, across the Golden Horn, but the scaffold broke and saved two of them from death, a Blue and a Green. Some monks from St. Conon's monastery nearby took the two men to sanctuary at the church of St Lawrence where the prefect set troops to watch. The following Tuesday while the two malefactors were still trapped in the church, the Blues and Greens begged Justinian to show mercy. He ignored the plea and made no reply. The Blues and Green continued their appeals until the twenty-second race (out of twenty-four) when they suddenly united and raised the watchword 'Nika'. Riots started and the court took refuge in the palace. That evening the mob burned the city prefect's praetorium.

Justinian tried to continue the games next day but only provoked more riot and arson. The rioting and destruction continued throughout the week; even the arrival of loyal troops from Thrace failed to restore order. On Sunday before sunrise, Justinian appeared in the Hippodrome where he repented publicly and promised an amnesty. The mob turned hostile, and Justinian retreated. The evening before Justinian had dismissed two nephews of the old emperor Anastasius, Hypatius and Pompey, against their will, from the palace and sent them home, and now the mob found Hypatius and proclaimed him emperor in the Hippodrome. Justinian was now ready to flee, and perhaps would have done so except for Theodora, who did not frighten easily. Instead Justinian decided to strike ruthlessly. Belisarius and Mundo made their separate ways into the Hippodrome where they fell on Hypatius' supporters who were crowded there, and the 'Nika' riot ended with a bloodbath.

A recent study of the riot by Geoffrey Greatrex has made the point that what was unique about it was not the actions of the mob so much as Justinian's attempts to deal with it. His first reaction was to placate: when the mob demanded that three of his ministers must go, the praetorian prefect of the East, John the Cappadocian, the Quaestor of the Sacred Palace Tribonian and the urban prefect Eudaemon, Justinian replaced them immediately. He hesitated when he should have been firm and aggravated the situation. It may well have been Theodora who emboldened him for the final act of repression. Procopius imagines Theodora on the last day engaging in formal debate about what should be done, and misquoting a famous maxim that was once offered the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius the Elder "Tyranny is a good shroud." Theodora emends it to "Kingship is a good shroud" and readers of Procopius may have thought wryly that the emendation was unnecessary. The formal debate, and Theodora's great scene, was probably a creation of Procopius' imagination, but a splendid one.

The 'Nika' revolt left Justinian firmly in charge. The mob was cowed and the senatorial opposition that surfaced during the revolt was forced underground. The damage to Constantinople was great, but it cleared the way for Justinian's own building program. Work in his new church of Hagia Sophia to replace the old Hagia Sophia that was destroyed in the rioting, started only forty-five days after the revolt was crushed. The two leaders of the Hippodrome massacre, Mundo and Belisarius, went on to new appointments: Mundo back to Illyricum as magister militum and Belisarius to make his reputation as the conqueror of the Vandals in Africa. The 530s were a decade of confidence and the 'Nika' riot was only a momentary crisis.

(for a detailed account of the reign of Justinian I, see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/justinia.htm)

Last Years
Misfortune crowded into the final years of Justinian's reign. There was another Samaritan revolt in midsummer, 556. Next year, in December, a great earthquake shook Constantinople and in May of the following year, the dome of Justinian's new Hagia Sophia collapsed, and had to be rebuilt with a new design. About the same time, the plague returned to the capital. Then in early 559 a horde of Kutrigur 'Huns' (proto-Bulgars) crossed the frozen Danube and advanced into the Balkans. It split into three columns: one pushed into Greece but got no further than Thermopylae, another advanced into the Gallipoli peninsula but got no further than the Long Wall, which was defended by a young officer from Justinian's native city, while the third, most dangerous spearhead led by the 'Hun' khan, Zabergan himself, made for Constantinople. Faced with this attack and without any forces for defense, Justinian called Belisarius out of retirement, and Belisarius, using a scratch force, the core of which was 300 of his veterans, ambushed the Kutrigur horde and routed it. Once the immediate danger was over, however, Justinian recalled Belisarius and took charge himself. The news that Justinian was reinforcing his Danube fleet made the Kutrigurs anxious and they agreed to a treaty which gave them a subsidy and safe passage back across the river. But as soon as they were north of the Danube, they were attacked by their rivals the Utigurs who were incited by Justinian to relieve them of their booty. The Kutrigurs raided Thrace again in 562, but they and the Utigurs were soon to fall prey to the Avars who swept out of the Asian steppes in the early 560s.

There was discontent in the capital. Street violence was on the increase again. There were bread shortages and water shortages. In late 562, there was a conspiracy which almost succeeded in killing the emperor. The chief conspirator was Marcellus, an argyroprates, a goldsmith and banker, and the conspiracy probably reflected the dissatisfaction of the business community. But Justinian was too old to learn to be frugal. He resorted to forced loans and requisitions and his successor found the treasury deeply in debt.

What remained of the great emperor's achievement? His successor Justin II, out of a combination of necessity and foolhardiness, denied the 'barbarians' the subsidies which had played a major role in Justinian's defense of the frontiers, and, to be fair, which had also been provided by emperors before him. Subsidies had been part of Anastasius' policy as well, but that was before the plague, while the imperial economy was still expanding. The result of Justin II's change of policy was renewed hostility with Persia and a shift of power in the Balkans. In 567 the Avars and Lombards joined forces against the Gepids and destroyed them. But the Lombards distrusted their allies and next year they migrated into Italy where Narses had just been removed from command and recalled, though he disobeyed orders and stayed in Rome until his death. By the end of the century only a third of Italy was in Byzantine hands. On the eastern frontier, Justin alienated the Ghassanid allies and lost the fortress of Daras, a reverse which overwhelmed his frangible sanity. For this Justinian can hardly be blamed. No one can deny his greatness; a recent study by Asterios Gerostergios even lionizes him. But if we look at his reign with the unforgiving eye of hindsight, it appears to be a brilliant effort to stem the tide of history, and in the end, it was more a failure than a moderate success.

Copyright (C) 1998, James Allan Evans. Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

The Church we know today as Hagia Sophia - or Divine Wisdom, its true name - was dedicated by the Emperor Justinian in 537AD. Through many visitudes Justinian's cathedral church of Constantinople still stands, its soring vaults and amazing dome testiments to the human spirit, the engineering talents of its builders and Divine inspiration. In the same fashion that Vespasian's Collesium (the Flavian Amphitheatre) is symbolic of Rome, Justinian's Hagia Sophia is a symbol of Byzantium.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
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
PergaAthenaOwl.jpg
[2400a] Pergamon, Mysia: AE14, ca. 300 BC70 viewsMYSIA, PERGAMON, Ć14, ca. 300 BC. BMC 15, SGC 3965. 2.0 gm. VF/aVF; Pergamon mint. Obverse: Head of Athena right, in close fitting crested helmet; Reverse; ATHENAS - NIKHFOPOY either side of owl standing, facing, wings closed; all within olive-wreath. Obverse device a clean strike of a lovely Athena. Ex Inclinatiorama.

The city of ancient Pergamon (or Pergamum, today's Bergama) was created by the newly-founded royal dynasty in the mid-third century BCE. It became one of the classic late-Hellenistic cities, on a dramatically steep site, with imaginatiave solutions to the urban design problems created by the site, wonderfully embellished by the generous attention of its royal (and other) patrons. The site divides into two main sections, the steep upper town and the flat lower town. Though today's Bergama is entirely in the lower areas, a number of important remains have survived even there: the Asklepieion, one of the major healing centres of antiqity, the Red Hall (Serapeum), the stadium, a Roman Bridge and tunnel. But it is the upper town that captures the imagination, with its extensive remains, innovations, and drama.
http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~prchrdsn/pergamon.htm

The Attalids, the descendants of Attalus, the father of Philetaerus who came to power in 282 BC, were among the most loyal supporters of Rome among the Hellenistic successor states. Under Attalus I, they allied with Rome against Philip V of Macedon, during the first and second Macedonian Wars, and again under Eumenes II, against Perseus of Macedon, during the Third Macedonian War. For support against the Seleucids, the Attalids were rewarded with all the former Seleucid domains in Asia Minor.

The Attalids ruled with intelligence and generosity. Many documents survive showing how the Attalids would support the growth of towns through sending in skilled artisans and by remitting taxes. They allowed the Greek cities in their domains to maintain nominal independence. They sent gifts to Greek cultural sites like Delphi, Delos, and Athens. They defeated the invading Celts. They remodeled the Acropolis of Pergamum after the Acropolis in Athens. When Attalus III died without an heir in 133 BC he bequeathed Pergamon to Rome, in order to prevent a civil war.

The Great Altar of Pergamon is in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin. The base of this altar remains on the upper part of the Acropolis. Other notable structures still in existence on the upper part of the Acropolis include: a Hellenistic theater with a seating capacity of 10,000; the Sanctuary of Trajan (also known as the Trajaneum); the Sancturay of Athena; the Library; royal palaces; the Heroön; the Temple of Dionysus; the Upper Agora; and the Roman baths complex. Pergamon's library on the Acropolis is the second best in the ancient Greek civilisation (the ancient Library of Pergamum), after that of Alexandria. When the Ptolemies stopped exporting papyrus, partly because of competitors and partly because of shortages, the Pergamenes invented a new substance to use in codices, called pergaminus or parchment after the city. This was made of fine calf skin, a predecessor of vellum. The lower part of the Acropolis has the following structures: the Upper Gymnasium, the Middle Gymnasium, the Lower Gymnasium, the Temple of Demeter, the Sanctuary of Hera, the House of Attalus, the Lower Agora and the Gate of Eumenes.

Three km south of the Acropolis was the Sanctuary of Asclepius (also known as the Asclepeion), the god of healing. In this place people with health problems could bath in the water of the sacred spring, and in the patients' dreams Asklepios would appear in a vision to tell them how to cure their illness. Archeology has found lots of gifts and dedications that people would make afterwards, such as small terracotta body parts, no doubt representing what had been healed. Notable extant structures in the Asclepeion include the Roman theater, the North Stoa, the South Stoa, the Temple of Asclepius, a circular treatment center (sometimes known as the Temple of Telesphorus), a healing spring, an underground passageway, a library, the Via Tecta (or the Sacred Way, which is a colonnaded street leading to the sanctuary) and a propylon.

Pergamon's other notable structure is the Serapis Temple (Serapeum) which was later transformed into the Red Basilica complex (or Kızıl Avlu in Turkish), about 1 km south of the Acropolis. It consists of a main building and two round towers. In the first century AD, the Christian Church at Pergamon inside the main building of the Red Basilica was one of the Seven Churches to which the Book of Revelation was addressed (Revelation 1:12, ESV).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pergamon

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
AsclepiosAE16SNGBNParis1828.jpg
[2470] Asclepios AE16, Pergamon (Mysia), 133 BC - Imperial Times. 63 viewsMysia, Pergamon. 133 BC - Imperial Times. SNG BN Paris 1828. AE 16mm (3.76 gm). Very fine. Obverse: head Asclepios right. Reverse: [A]ΣKΛHΠIO[Y] - [ΣΩ]THP[OΣ], Serpent curled around scepter of Asclepios. Ex Tom Vossen.

Asclepius
by Ron Leadbetter

Asclepius was a Greek hero who later become the Greek god of medicine and healing. The son of Apollo and Coronis, Asclepius had five daughters, Aceso, Iaso, Panacea, Aglaea and Hygieia. He was worshipped throughout the Greek world but his most famous sanctuary was located in Epidaurus which is situated in the northeastern Peloponnese. The main attribute of Asclepius is a physician's staff with an Asclepian snake wrapped around it; this is how he was distinguished in the art of healing, and his attribute still survives to this day as the symbol of the modern medical profession. The cock was also sacred to Asclepius and was the bird they sacrificed as his altar.

The mother of Asclepius, Coronis, was a mortal, the daughter of Phlegyas, a king of Thessaly. Coronis was unfaithful to Apollo, and Artemis, Apollo's twin sister, killed her for her unfaithfulness. Coronis was placed upon a funeral pyre. (One version says that Apollo cast her into the fires of his own anger.) As her body started to burn, Apollo felt sorrow for his unborn son and snatched the child Asclepius from his mother's corpse, saving him from death. Apollo then handed Asclepius to the Centaur Chiron who became his tutor and mentor.

Chiron taught Asclepius the art of healing. According to Pindar (Pythian Odes), Asclepius also acquired the knowledge of surgery, the use of drugs, love potions and incantations, and according to Apollodorus (the Library), Athena gave Asclepius a magic potion made from the blood of the Gorgon. Legend tells that the blood of the Gorgon has a different effect depending from which side the blood was taken. If taken from the right side of the Gorgon, it has a miraculous effect and is said to be able to bring the dead back to life, but taken from the left side it is a deadly poison.

With these gifts Asclepius exceeded the fringes of human knowledge. However, he offended the great god Zeus by accepting money in exchange for raising the dead. (In one version it was the goddess Artemis who implored Asclepius to resurrect Hippolytus, a favourite of hers.) In the eyes of Zeus, Asclepius' action upset the natural order of the universe - a mere mortal helping man evade death. With one swift action, the great Zeus sent down a thunderbolt killing both men. (In some versions Zeus only killed Asclepius.)
Realising the good Asclepius had brought to man, the great Zeus made him into a god, placing him among the stars, transforming Asclepius into the constellation Ophiuchus (the serpent-bearer). The snake was used in the healing ritual; non-poisonous snakes were left in the dormitory where the sick slept overnight on the bare ground.

The cult of Asclepius became very popular during the 300s BCE and the cult centres (known as an Asclepieion) were used by priests to cure the sick. Invalids also came to the shrines of Asclepius to find cures for their ailments (in the same fashion pilgrims visit Lourdes today.) The process of healing was known as incubation. The patient would spend the night in a dormitory. During the night they would supposedly be visited by the god in a dream. Priests would interpret the dreams and then recommend a remedy or give advice on how they could be cured with perhaps a recommended visit to the baths and gymnasiums. There were many centres and schools of medicine, from Trikkis in Thessaly to the island of Cos. It is believed that Hippocrates, a great doctor of antiquity, plied his trade on the island of Cos. It is also said that Hippocrates was a descendant of Asclepius.

The Romans adopted the cult of Asclepius, but changed his name to Latin; they called him Aesculapius.

"Asclepius." Encyclopedia Mythica. 2008. Encyclopedia Mythica Online.
10 Apr. 2008 .

The Asklepion of Pergamon dates from the 4th century BC. This therapeutic center was of the same type as the one in Kos- a large health center. Most of the remains today of this center belong to the changes that were carried out by Emperor Hadrian.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.




Cleisthenes
AntoninusPiusAequitasSear4053.jpg
[904a] Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.127 viewsAntoninus Pius, AD 138 to 161. Silver denarius. Sear-4053; gVF; Rome;16.4 x 17.9 mm, 3.61 g; issue of AD 138; Obverse : Head of Antoninus Pius right, with IMP T AEL CAES HADRI ANTONINVS around; Reverse : Aequitas standing left, holding scales and a cornucopiae, with AVG PIVS P M TR P COS DES II around. This is an interesting part of the Antoninus Pius series, struck in the first year of his reign, using his adoptive name of Hadrianus, and with the reverse inscription a continuation from the obverse.


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

Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

Introduction
The long reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius is often described as a period of peace and quiet before the storm which followed and plagued his successor, Marcus Aurelius. In addition to the relative peacefulness, this emperor set the tone for a low-keyed imperial administration which differed markedly from those of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian. Antoninus managed to govern the empire capably and yet with such a gentle hand that he earned the respect, acclaim, and love of his subjects.

Early Life
The future emperor was born T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus on September 19, A.D. 86 at Lanuvium, an old Latin city southeast of Rome. His father's family had originally migrated to Rome from Nemausus (Nîmes) in Narbonese Gaul, but his paternal grandfather, T. Aurelius Fulvus, had served twice as Roman consul and also as city prefect and his father, Aurelius Fulvus, also held the consulship. The future emperor's mother was Arria Fadilla and her father, Arrius Antoninus, had also been consul twice. Young Antoninus was raised at Lorium, on the via Aurelia, where he later built a palace.

Career Under Hadrian
Very little is known about Antoninus' life before he became emperor. The brief biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae credited to Julius Capitolinus refers to his services as quaestor, praetor, and consul and P. von Rohden's entry in Pauly-Wissowa dates his tenure of these offices to A.D. 112, 117, and 120 respectively. At some point between A.D. 110 and 115, Antoninus married Annia Galeria Faustina, the daughter of M. Annius Verus. Hadrian later appointed Antoninus as one of his consular administrators of Italy and between A.D. 130 and 135 Antoninus served as proconsul of Asia.
Antoninus had achieved a distinguished career under Hadrian. and could have retired from imperial service with great pride, but events in A.D. 138 changed Antoninus' future quite radically. Early in the year, the death of Aelius Verus, whom Hadrian had previously adopted and named Caesar, opened a new path. Hadrian met with the Senate and announced his decision to adopt Antoninus as his son and heir and to share both proconsular and tribunician power with him. After giving this offer careful thought, Antoninus accepted and agreed in return to adopt as his heirs his wife's nephew, M. Antoninus, the future Marcus Aurelius, and L. Verus, the son of Aelius Verus.

Imperial Reign
When Hadrian died in the following summer, Antoninus oversaw the conveyance of his body from Baiae to Rome for interment in the new imperial tomb (now Castel Sant' Angelo). To honor his adoptive father, Antoninus set up a magnificent shield, established a priesthood, and, against serious opposition in the Senate, requested and bargained for senatorial confirmation of Hadrian's deification. Antoninus' devotion to Hadrian's memory is one of the reasons cited for the Senate's bestowal upon the new emperor of the name "pius". After initially refusing the Senate's recognition of Antoninus as "pater patriae", the new emperor accepted the honor with thanks. He declined, however, the Senate's decree authorizing the renaming of the months of September and October after the new emperor and empress. The Senate did honor the new empress with the title of "Augusta". On her death only a few years later in A.D. 141, the Senate deified Faustina and voted her a temple and priestesses. In memory of his wife, Antoninus also instituted an alimentary program, similar to those of his immediate predecessors, which combined loans to Italian farmers with funds, generated by interest on those loans, set aside for the care of orphaned girls. On coins these orphans are designated as puellae Faustinianae.

Antoninus returned all of Italy's share of the aurum coronarium, the money raised in honor of his accession, and one-half of that contributed from the provinces. His economic policy in general was relatively conservative and avoided luxurious waste while supporting public works of practical application. His procurators were told to keep provincial tribute reasonable and they were held accountable for exceeding fixed bounds. The provinces in general prospered under his administration and the use of informers was ended. Julius Capitolinus summarizes the excellence of Antoninus' administration when he says: "With such care did he govern all peoples under him that he looked after all things and all men as if they were his own." In spite of his caution in raising imperial revenues, however, Antoninus provided regular gifts of money to the people and to the soldiers and produced spectacular public games with a great variety of animals on display. The emperor also used his own funds to distribute oil, grain, and wine free in a time of famine and helped relieve the devastation caused in Rome by fire, flood, and a collapse of stands in the Circus Maximus and by fires and earthquakes in the provinces.

Although the reigns of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian, had seen prolific building activity in Rome and throughout the empire, Antoninus chose to be less lavish in his public works projects. He felt an obligation to complete work begun or promised by Hadrian. Antoninus completed the Mausoleum of Hadrian along the Tiber and built the temples of the Divine Hadrian in the Campus Martius and of Faustina in the Forum. He also restored the oldest bridge in Rome, the Pons Sublicius, the Graecostadium, and the Colosseum. He may even have put some finishing touches on the Pantheon because Julius Capitolinus mentions restoration of a templum Agrippae, but the text may be corrupt and the temple of the Divine Augustus, the restoration of which is recorded on some of Antoninus' coins, may be the intended reference here. Outside Rome, Antoninus repaired several roads and renovated ports in Alexandria, Caieta, and Terracina, a bath at Ostia, an aqueduct at Antium, and the temples in his birthplace, Lanuvium.

Although some sources suggest that Antoninus went in person to Egypt and Syria to put down a revolt of peoples along the Red Sea, Julius Capitolinus says that Antoninus made his home in Rome where he could receive messages from all parts of the empire equally quickly . He also states that to avoid burdening the provinces with the expenses of housing an emperor and his associates Antoninus took expeditions out of Rome only to his estates in Campania. If correct, these actions marked a decided break with the visibility of his two predecessors in the provinces and recreated a more Rome- and Italy-centered empire. Wilhelm Weber commented on this policy: "As if, perhaps, in criticism of Hadrian's conception of his task, he sat like a beneficent spider at the centre of his web, power radiating steadily from him to the farthest bounds of the empire and as steadily returning to him again. For the last time in Imperial history the Emperor was wholly one with Rome and its centralization."

During his third consulship (A.D. 140-144), Antoninus issued a series of unusual coins and medallions which featured entirely new or modified religious/mythological images. Jocelyn Toynbee correctly pointed out that these types were issued to prepare for the celebration of Rome's nine hundredth birthday in A.D. 147/148 and she also discussed two images which represent the emperor's reaction against Hadrian's "cosmopolitanism" and his attempt to restore Rome and Italy to a superior position over the provinces. This unusual series, issued especially in bronze, commemorated Rome's connection to her distant roots from Trojans, Latins, and Sabines and honored gods who had protected the city in the past. Themes associated with Aeneas, Romulus, Numa Pompilius, and Augustus by implication tied in Antoninus as successor to these four model Roman leaders. Although the death of Faustina may have motivated Antoninus' display of public piety to some degree on these coins and medallions, the series also set the tone for the games and rituals of the birthday celebration in 147/148, renewed religious values, and restored Rome's proper relationship with protective gods who had brought the city past success both in war and in peace. Another series of coins, the "anonymous quadrantes", combines a portrait of a god or goddess on the obverse with a reverse symbol of an animal associated with the same deity. The absence of an imperial portrait or any inscription aside from the S.C. authorization of the Senate makes it especially difficult to date this series. However, the similarity of the Jupiter and Venus portraits to images of Antoninus and Faustina and other links to Antoninus' coin-types make it probable that several of these types were issued in Antoninus' reign, perhaps again in connection with Rome's birthday celebration in A.D. 147/148.

Although Antoninus' reign was generally peaceful, Capitolinus says that he fought wars, through legates, against the Britons, Moors, Germans, Dacians, and the Alans and suppressed revolts in Achaea, in Egypt, and among the Jews. The war in Britain was fought around A.D. 142 against the Brigantes and led to the construction of the Antonine Wall across the island as a second line of defense north of Hadrian's Wall. In foreign relations, the emperor's authority was respected among peoples bordering on the empire. Antoninus approved the appointment of kings for the Armenians, for the Lazi, and for the Quadi and he successfully prevented a Parthian attack on Armenia by sending the Parthian king a letter of warning.

Antoninus did continue his predecessor's interest in law and his imperial legislation is cited frequently in Justinian's Digest. Several lawyers served in the emperor's consilium and presumably advised him on legal matters. Antoninus' legislation included protections for slaves, freedmen, and for illegitimate children and further defined family and inheritance law, including consideration of a daughter's wishes in marriage arrangements.

In preparation for the succession, Antoninus' daughter Faustina married Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 145 and she soon became Augusta in place of her deceased mother. Marcus Aurelius was associated in imperial powers and he and L. Verus both held the consulship multiple times in preparation for their accession. Antoninus made sure that he would leave the Empire secure and in sound financial condition and his adopted sons inherited a large surplus (reportedly 675 million denarii) in the Treasury .

Antoninus Pius died in March of A.D. 161, after giving the appropriate imperial watchword which so typified his reign, "equanimity". He was soon afterward deified by the Senate. His adopted sons and successors, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, erected a column of red granite in his honor in the Campus Martius. The marble base for this column, which is preserved in the Vatican, includes a sculpted image of the apotheosis of Antoninus and Faustina. In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius expressed his enduring love and respect for his adoptive father: "Do all things as a disciple of Antoninus. Think of his constancy in every act rationally undertaken, his invariable equability, his piety, his serenity of countenance, his sweetness of disposition, his contempt for the bubble of fame, and his zeal for getting a true grasp of affairs." In many ways Antoninus Pius was a model emperor who justifiably earned comparison with his own model, Numa Pompilius, and provided the Empire with a period of fortune, religious piety, and security perhaps unmatched in imperial annals.

Copyright (C) 1998, Richard D. Weigel.
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
AntoPiusDenar.jpg
[904z] Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.143 viewsAntoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D. Silver denarius, RIC 232, RSC 271, F, Rome, 1.699g, 17.3mm, 0o, 153 - 154 A.D. Obverse: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVII, laureate head right; Reverse: COS IIII, Fortuna standing right, cornucopia in left, long rudder on globe in right.


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

Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

Introduction
The long reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius is often described as a period of peace and quiet before the storm which followed and plagued his successor, Marcus Aurelius. In addition to the relative peacefulness, this emperor set the tone for a low-keyed imperial administration which differed markedly from those of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian. Antoninus managed to govern the empire capably and yet with such a gentle hand that he earned the respect, acclaim, and love of his subjects.

Early Life
The future emperor was born T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus on September 19, A.D. 86 at Lanuvium, an old Latin city southeast of Rome. His father's family had originally migrated to Rome from Nemausus (Nîmes) in Narbonese Gaul, but his paternal grandfather, T. Aurelius Fulvus, had served twice as Roman consul and also as city prefect and his father, Aurelius Fulvus, also held the consulship. The future emperor's mother was Arria Fadilla and her father, Arrius Antoninus, had also been consul twice. Young Antoninus was raised at Lorium, on the via Aurelia, where he later built a palace.

Career Under Hadrian
Very little is known about Antoninus' life before he became emperor. The brief biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae credited to Julius Capitolinus refers to his services as quaestor, praetor, and consul and P. von Rohden's entry in Pauly-Wissowa dates his tenure of these offices to A.D. 112, 117, and 120 respectively. At some point between A.D. 110 and 115, Antoninus married Annia Galeria Faustina, the daughter of M. Annius Verus. Hadrian later appointed Antoninus as one of his consular administrators of Italy and between A.D. 130 and 135 Antoninus served as proconsul of Asia.
Antoninus had achieved a distinguished career under Hadrian. and could have retired from imperial service with great pride, but events in A.D. 138 changed Antoninus' future quite radically. Early in the year, the death of Aelius Verus, whom Hadrian had previously adopted and named Caesar, opened a new path. Hadrian met with the Senate and announced his decision to adopt Antoninus as his son and heir and to share both proconsular and tribunician power with him. After giving this offer careful thought, Antoninus accepted and agreed in return to adopt as his heirs his wife's nephew, M. Antoninus, the future Marcus Aurelius, and L. Verus, the son of Aelius Verus.

Imperial Reign
When Hadrian died in the following summer, Antoninus oversaw the conveyance of his body from Baiae to Rome for interment in the new imperial tomb (now Castel Sant' Angelo). To honor his adoptive father, Antoninus set up a magnificent shield, established a priesthood, and, against serious opposition in the Senate, requested and bargained for senatorial confirmation of Hadrian's deification. Antoninus' devotion to Hadrian's memory is one of the reasons cited for the Senate's bestowal upon the new emperor of the name "pius". After initially refusing the Senate's recognition of Antoninus as "pater patriae", the new emperor accepted the honor with thanks. He declined, however, the Senate's decree authorizing the renaming of the months of September and October after the new emperor and empress. The Senate did honor the new empress with the title of "Augusta". On her death only a few years later in A.D. 141, the Senate deified Faustina and voted her a temple and priestesses. In memory of his wife, Antoninus also instituted an alimentary program, similar to those of his immediate predecessors, which combined loans to Italian farmers with funds, generated by interest on those loans, set aside for the care of orphaned girls. On coins these orphans are designated as puellae Faustinianae.

Antoninus returned all of Italy's share of the aurum coronarium, the money raised in honor of his accession, and one-half of that contributed from the provinces. His economic policy in general was relatively conservative and avoided luxurious waste while supporting public works of practical application. His procurators were told to keep provincial tribute reasonable and they were held accountable for exceeding fixed bounds. The provinces in general prospered under his administration and the use of informers was ended. Julius Capitolinus summarizes the excellence of Antoninus' administration when he says: "With such care did he govern all peoples under him that he looked after all things and all men as if they were his own." In spite of his caution in raising imperial revenues, however, Antoninus provided regular gifts of money to the people and to the soldiers and produced spectacular public games with a great variety of animals on display. The emperor also used his own funds to distribute oil, grain, and wine free in a time of famine and helped relieve the devastation caused in Rome by fire, flood, and a collapse of stands in the Circus Maximus and by fires and earthquakes in the provinces.

Although the reigns of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian, had seen prolific building activity in Rome and throughout the empire, Antoninus chose to be less lavish in his public works projects. He felt an obligation to complete work begun or promised by Hadrian. Antoninus completed the Mausoleum of Hadrian along the Tiber and built the temples of the Divine Hadrian in the Campus Martius and of Faustina in the Forum. He also restored the oldest bridge in Rome, the Pons Sublicius, the Graecostadium, and the Colosseum. He may even have put some finishing touches on the Pantheon because Julius Capitolinus mentions restoration of a templum Agrippae, but the text may be corrupt and the temple of the Divine Augustus, the restoration of which is recorded on some of Antoninus' coins, may be the intended reference here. Outside Rome, Antoninus repaired several roads and renovated ports in Alexandria, Caieta, and Terracina, a bath at Ostia, an aqueduct at Antium, and the temples in his birthplace, Lanuvium.

Although some sources suggest that Antoninus went in person to Egypt and Syria to put down a revolt of peoples along the Red Sea, Julius Capitolinus says that Antoninus made his home in Rome where he could receive messages from all parts of the empire equally quickly . He also states that to avoid burdening the provinces with the expenses of housing an emperor and his associates Antoninus took expeditions out of Rome only to his estates in Campania. If correct, these actions marked a decided break with the visibility of his two predecessors in the provinces and recreated a more Rome- and Italy-centered empire. Wilhelm Weber commented on this policy: "As if, perhaps, in criticism of Hadrian's conception of his task, he sat like a beneficent spider at the centre of his web, power radiating steadily from him to the farthest bounds of the empire and as steadily returning to him again. For the last time in Imperial history the Emperor was wholly one with Rome and its centralization."

During his third consulship (A.D. 140-144), Antoninus issued a series of unusual coins and medallions which featured entirely new or modified religious/mythological images. Jocelyn Toynbee correctly pointed out that these types were issued to prepare for the celebration of Rome's nine hundredth birthday in A.D. 147/148 and she also discussed two images which represent the emperor's reaction against Hadrian's "cosmopolitanism" and his attempt to restore Rome and Italy to a superior position over the provinces. This unusual series, issued especially in bronze, commemorated Rome's connection to her distant roots from Trojans, Latins, and Sabines and honored gods who had protected the city in the past. Themes associated with Aeneas, Romulus, Numa Pompilius, and Augustus by implication tied in Antoninus as successor to these four model Roman leaders. Although the death of Faustina may have motivated Antoninus' display of public piety to some degree on these coins and medallions, the series also set the tone for the games and rituals of the birthday celebration in 147/148, renewed religious values, and restored Rome's proper relationship with protective gods who had brought the city past success both in war and in peace. Another series of coins, the "anonymous quadrantes", combines a portrait of a god or goddess on the obverse with a reverse symbol of an animal associated with the same deity. The absence of an imperial portrait or any inscription aside from the S.C. authorization of the Senate makes it especially difficult to date this series. However, the similarity of the Jupiter and Venus portraits to images of Antoninus and Faustina and other links to Antoninus' coin-types make it probable that several of these types were issued in Antoninus' reign, perhaps again in connection with Rome's birthday celebration in A.D. 147/148.

Although Antoninus' reign was generally peaceful, Capitolinus says that he fought wars, through legates, against the Britons, Moors, Germans, Dacians, and the Alans and suppressed revolts in Achaea, in Egypt, and among the Jews. The war in Britain was fought around A.D. 142 against the Brigantes and led to the construction of the Antonine Wall across the island as a second line of defense north of Hadrian's Wall. In foreign relations, the emperor's authority was respected among peoples bordering on the empire. Antoninus approved the appointment of kings for the Armenians, for the Lazi, and for the Quadi and he successfully prevented a Parthian attack on Armenia by sending the Parthian king a letter of warning.

Antoninus did continue his predecessor's interest in law and his imperial legislation is cited frequently in Justinian's Digest. Several lawyers served in the emperor's consilium and presumably advised him on legal matters. Antoninus' legislation included protections for slaves, freedmen, and for illegitimate children and further defined family and inheritance law, including consideration of a daughter's wishes in marriage arrangements.

In preparation for the succession, Antoninus' daughter Faustina married Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 145 and she soon became Augusta in place of her deceased mother. Marcus Aurelius was associated in imperial powers and he and L. Verus both held the consulship multiple times in preparation for their accession. Antoninus made sure that he would leave the Empire secure and in sound financial condition and his adopted sons inherited a large surplus (reportedly 675 million denarii) in the Treasury .

Antoninus Pius died in March of A.D. 161, after giving the appropriate imperial watchword which so typified his reign, "equanimity". He was soon afterward deified by the Senate. His adopted sons and successors, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, erected a column of red granite in his honor in the Campus Martius. The marble base for this column, which is preserved in the Vatican, includes a sculpted image of the apotheosis of Antoninus and Faustina. In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius expressed his enduring love and respect for his adoptive father: "Do all things as a disciple of Antoninus. Think of his constancy in every act rationally undertaken, his invariable equability, his piety, his serenity of countenance, his sweetness of disposition, his contempt for the bubble of fame, and his zeal for getting a true grasp of affairs." In many ways Antoninus Pius was a model emperor who justifiably earned comparison with his own model, Numa Pompilius, and provided the Empire with a period of fortune, religious piety, and security perhaps unmatched in imperial annals.

Copyright (C) 1998, Richard D. Weigel.
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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CommodusRSC190.jpg
[906a]Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.168 viewsCOMMODUS AR silver denarius. RSC 190. RCV 5644. 16.5mm, 2.3g. F. Obverse: L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL, bust of Commodus wearing lion skin in imitation of Hercules and Alexander the Great, facing right; Reverse: HER-CVL RO-MAN AV-GV either side of club of Hercules, all in wreath. RARE. Ex Incitatus.

This coin refers to Commodus' belief that he was Hercules reincarnated. According to the historian Herodian, "he issued orders that he was to be called not Commodus, son of Marcus, but Hercules, son of Jupiter. Abandoning the Roman and imperial mode of dress, he donned the lion-skin, and carried the club of Hercules..." (Joseph Sermarini).

De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Commodus (A.D. 180-192)

Dennis Quinn

Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus, the son of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his wife-cousin Faustina, was born in Lanuvium in 161 AD. Commodus was named Caesar at the age of 5, and co-Augustus at the age of 17, spending most of his early life accompanying his father on his campaigns against the Quadi and the Marcomanni along the Danubian frontier. His father died, possibly of the plague, at a military encampment at Bononia on the Danube on 17 March 180, leaving the Roman Empire to his nineteen-year-old son.[[1]] Upon hearing of his father's death, Commodus made preparations for Marcus' funeral, made concessions to the northern tribes, and made haste to return back to Rome in order to enjoy peace after nearly two decades of war. Commodus, and much of the Roman army behind him, entered the capital on 22 October, 180 in a triumphal procession, receiving a hero's welcome. Indeed, the youthful Commodus must have appeared in the parade as an icon of new, happier days to come; his arrival sparked the highest hopes in the Roman people, who believed he would rule as his father had ruled.[[2]]

The coins issued in his first year all display the triumphant general, a warrior in action who brought the spoils of victory to the citizens of Rome.[[3]] There is a great deal of evidence to support the fact that Commodus was popular among many of the people, at least for a majority of his reign. He seems to have been quite generous.[[4]]. Coin types from around 183 onward often contain the legend, Munificentia Augusta[[5]], indicating that generosity was indeed a part of his imperial program. Coins show nine occasions on which Commodus gave largesses, seven when he was sole emperor.[[6]] According to Dio, the emperor obtained some of this funding by taxing members of the senatorial class.[[7]] This policy of munificence certainly caused tensions between Commodus and the Senate. In 191 it was noted in the official Actus Urbis that the gods had given Commodus to Populus Senatusque Romanus. Normally the phrase Senatus Populusque Romanus was used. [[8]] While the Senate hated Commodus, the army and the lower classes loved him.[[9]] Because of the bad relationship between the Senate and Commodus as well as a senatorial conspiracy,[[10]] Rome "...was virtually governed by the praetorian prefects Perennis (182-185) and Cleander (186-9)."[[11]]

Commodus began to dress like the god Hercules, wearing lion skins and carrying a club.[[12]] Thus he appropriated the Antonines' traditional identification with Hercules, but even more aggressively. Commodus' complete identification with Hercules can be seen as an attempt to solidify his claim as new founder of Rome, which he now called the Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana. This was legitimized by his direct link to Hercules, son of Father Jupiter.[[13]] He probably took the title of Hercules officially some time before mid-September 192.[[14]]

While the literary sources, especially Dio, Herodian, and the Historia Augusta, all ridicule the antics of his later career, they also give important insight into Commodus' relationship to the people.[[15]] His most important maneuver to solidify his claims as Hercules Romanus was to show himself as the god to the Roman people by taking part in spectacles in the amphitheater. Not only would Commodus fight and defeat the most skilled gladiators, he would also test his talents by encountering the most ferocious of the beasts.[[16]]

Commodus won all of his bouts against the gladiators.[[17]] The slayer of wild beasts, Hercules, was the mythical symbol of Commodus' rule, as protector of the Empire.[[18]]

During his final years he declared that his age should be called the "Golden Age."[[19]] He wanted all to revel in peace and happiness in his age of glory, praise the felicitas Commodi, the glorious libertas, his pietas, providential, his victoria and virtus aeterna.[[20]] Commodus wanted there to be no doubt that this "Golden Age" had been achieved through his munificence as Nobilissimus Princeps. He had declared a brand new day in Rome, founding it anew in 190, declaring himself the new Romulus.[[21]] Rome was now to be called Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana, as noted above, and deemed "the Immortal," "the Fortunate," "the Universal Colony of the Earth."[[22]] Coins represent the archaic rituals of city-[re]foundation, identifying Commodus as a new founder and his age as new days.[[23]]

Also in 190 he renamed all the months to correspond exactly with his titles. From January, they run as follows: Lucius, Aelius, Aurelius, Commodus, Augustus, Herculeus, Romanus, Exsuperatorius, Amazonius, Invictus, Felix, Pius.[[24]] According to Dio Cassius, the changing of the names of the months was all part of Commodus' megalomania.[[25]] Commodus was the first and last in the Antonine dynasty to change the names of the months.


The legions were renamed Commodianae, the fleet which imported grain from Africa was called Alexandria Commodiana Togata, the Senate was deemed the Commodian Fortunate Senate, his palace and the Roman people were all given the name Commodianus.[[26]] The day that these new names were announced was also given a new title: Dies Commodianus.[[27]] Indeed, the emperor presented himself with growing vigor as the center of Roman life and the fountainhead of religion. New expressions of old religious thought and new cults previously restricted to private worship invade the highest level of imperial power.[[28]]

If Eusebius of Caesarea [[29]] is to be believed, the reign of Commodus inaugurated a period of numerous conversions to Christianity. Commodus did not pursue his father's prohibitions against the Christians, although he did not actually change their legal position. Rather, he relaxed persecutions, after minor efforts early in his reign.[[30]] Tradition credits Commodus's policy to the influence of his concubine Marcia; she was probably his favorite,[[31]] but it is not clear that she was a Christian.[[32]] More likely, Commodus preferred to neglect the sect, so that persecutions would not detract from his claims to be leading the Empire through a "Golden Age."[[33]]

During his reign several attempts were made on Commodus' life.[[34]] After a few botched efforts, an orchestrated plot was carried out early in December 192, apparently including his mistress Marcia. On 31 December an athlete named Narcissus strangled him in his bath,[[35]] and the emperor's memory was cursed. This brought an end to the Antonine Dynasty.


SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
Alföldy, G. "Der Friedesschluss des Kaisers Commodus mit den Germanen," Historia 20 (1971): 84-109.

Aymard, J. "Commode-Hercule foundateur de Rome," Revue des études latines 14 (1936): 340-64.

Birley, A. R. The African Emperor: Septimius Severus. -- rev. ed.-- London, 1988.
________. Marcus Aurelius: A Biography. London, 1987.

Breckenridge, J. D. "Roman Imperial Portraiture from Augustus to Gallienus," ANRW 2.17. 1 (1981): 477-512.

Chantraine, H. "Zur Religionspolitik des Commodus im Spiegel seiner Münzen," Römische Quartalschrift für christliche Altertumskunde und für Kirchengeschichte 70 (1975): 1-31.

Ferguson, J. The Religions of the Roman Empire. Ithaca, 1970.

Fishwick, D. The Imperial Cult in the Latin West. Leiden, 1987.

Gagé, J. "La mystique imperiale et l'épreuve des jeux. Commode-Hercule et l'anthropologie hercaléenne," ANRW 2.17.2 (1981), 663-83.

Garzetti, A. From Tiberius to the Antonines. A History of the Roman Empire A. D. 14-192. London, 1974.

Grosso F. La lotta politica al tempo di Commodo. Turin, 1964.

Hammond, M. The Antonine Monarchy. Rome, 1956.

Helgeland, J. "Roman Army Religion," ANRW II.16.2 (1978): 1470-1505.

Howe, L. L. The Praetorian Prefect from Commodus to Diocletian (A. D. 180-305). Chicago, 1942.

Keresztes, P. "A Favorable Aspect of Commodus' Rule," in Hommages ŕ Marcel Renard 2. Bruxelles, 1969.

Mattingly, R. The Roman Imperial Coinage. Volume III: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. London, 1930.

Nock, A. D. "The Emperor's Divine Comes," Journal of Roman Studies 37 (1947): 102-116.

Parker, H. M. D. A History of the Roman World from A. D. 138 to 337. London, 1935.
________. and B.H. Warmington. "Commodus." OCD2, col. 276.

Raubitschek, A. E. "Commodus and Athens." Studies in Honor of Theodore Leslie Shear. Hesperia, Supp. 8, 1948.

Rostovtzeff, M. I. "Commodus-Hercules in Britain," Journal of Roman Studies 13 (1923): 91-105.

Sordi, M. "Un senatore cristano dell'éta di Commodo." Epigraphica 17 (1959): 104-112.

Speidel, M. P. "Commodus the God-Emperor and the Army," Journal of Roman Studies 83 (1993): 109-114.

Stanton, G. R. "Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus, and Commodus: 1962-1972." ANRW II.2 (1975): 478-549.

Notes
[[1]] For a discussion of the circumstances surrounding the death of Marcus Aurelius, see A. R. Birley, Marcus Aurelius: A Biography -- rev. ed. -- (London, 1987), 210.
Aurelius Victor, De Caes. 16.4, writing around the year 360, claimed Aurelius died at Vindobona, modern Vienna. However, Tertullian, Apol. 25, who wrote some seventeen years after Marcus' death, fixed his place of death at Sirmium, twenty miles south of Bononia. A. R. Birley (Marcus Aurelius, 209-10) cogently argues Tertullian is much more accurate in his general description of where Marcus was campaigning during his last days.
For the dating of Marcus Aurelius' death and the accession of Commodus, see M. Hammond, The Antonine Monarchy (Rome, 1956), 179-80.

[[2]] For the army's attitude toward peace, the attitude of the city toward the peace, and the reception of the emperor and his forces into Rome, see Herodian, 1.7.1-4; for Commodus' subsequent political policies concerning the northern tribes, see G. Alföldy, "Der Friedesschluss des Kaisers Commodus mit den Germanen," Historia 20 (1971): 84-109.
For a commentary on the early years of Commodus in the public perception as days of optimism, see A. Garzetti, From Tiberius to the Antonines. A History of the Roman Empire A. D. 14-192 (London, 1974), 530. For a more critical, and much more negative portrayal, see the first chapter of F. Grosso, La lotta politica al tempo di Commodo (Turin, 1964).

[[3]]The gods Minerva and Jupiter Victor are invoked on the currency as harbingers of victory; Jupiter Conservator on his coins watches over Commodus and his Empire, and thanks is given to divine Providence (H. Mattingly, The Roman Imperial Coinage. Volume III: Antoninus Pius to Commodus, [London, 1930] 356-7, 366-7). In 181, new coin types appear defining the new reign of Commodus. Victory and peace are stressed. Coins extol Securitas Publica, Felicitas, Libertas, Annona, and Aequitas (ibid., 357).
By 186 Commodus is depicted as the victorious princes, the most noble of all born to the purple. Herodian (1.5.5) describes how Commodus boasted to his soldiers that he was born to be emperor. See also H. Chantraine, "Zur Religionspolitik des Commodus im Spiegel seiner Münzen," Römische Quatralschrift für christliche Altertumskunde und für Kirchengeschichte 70 (1975), 26. He is called Triumphator and Rector Orbis, and associated with the Nobilitas of Trojan descent (Mattingly, RIC III.359; idem, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum. Volume IV: Antoninus Pius to Commodus, [Oxford, 1940], clxii).

[[4]] Dio tells us that Commodus liked giving gifts and often gave members of the populace 140 denarii apiece (Cass. Dio, 73.16), whereas the Historia Augusta reports that he gave each man 725 denarii (SHA, Comm., 16.3).

[[5]]Mattingly, RIC, III.358.

[[6]] Idem., CBM, IV.clxxiv.

[[7]]Cass. Dio, 73.16.

[[8]]M. P. Speidel, "Commodus the God-Emperor and the Army," Journal of Roman Studies 83 (1993), 113.

[[9]]Mattingly, CBM, IV.xii. Commodus was also popular amongst the northern divisions of the army because he allowed them to wield axes in battle, a practice banned by all preceding emperors. See, Speidel, JRS 83 (1993), 114.

[[10]]Infra, n. 34.

[[11]] H. Parker and B.H. Warmington, OCD2, s.v. "Commodus," col. 276; after 189, he was influenced by his mistress Marcia, Eclectus his chamberlain, and Laetus (who became praetorian prefect in 191 (Idem.).

[[12]]Herodian, 1.14.8. Hadrian appears on medallions in lion skins; but as far as the sources tell us, he never appeared in public in them. See J. Toynbee, Roman Medallions,(New York, 1986), 208.
He would often appear at public festivals and shows dressed in purple robes embroidered with gold. He would wear a crown made of gold, inlaid with the finest gems of India. He often carried a herald's staff as if imitating the god Mercury. According to Dio Cassius, Commodus' lion's skin and club were carried before him in the procession, and at the theaters these vestiges of Hercules were placed on a gilded chair for all to see (Cass. Dio, 73.17). For the implications of the golden chair carried in procession in relation to the imperial cult, see D. Fishwick, The Imperial Cult in the Latin West, (Leiden, 1987-91 ), 555.

[[13]] H. M. D. Parker, A History of the Roman World from A. D. 138 to 337, (London, 1935), 34; For medallions that express the relationship between Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, and Lucius Verus extolling Hercules as a symbol of civic virtue, see Toynbee, Roman Medallions, 208. For a general statement on the symbolism of Hercules in the Antonine age, see M. Hammond, The Antonine Monarchy, 238.
For a discussion of Commodus' association with Hercules, see
Rostovtzeff, "Commodus-Hercules," 104-6.
Herodian spells out the emperor's metamorphosis in detail (1.14.8).

[[14]]See Speidel, "Commodus the God-Emperor," 114. He argues this general date because a papyrus from Egypt's Fayum records Hercules in Commodus' title on 11 October 192.

[[15]]For a preliminary example, Herodian writes (1.13.8), "people in general responded well to him."

[[16]]As Dio reports, Commodus, with his own hands, gave the finishing stroke to five hippopotami at one time. Commodus also killed two elephants, several rhinoceroses, and a giraffe with the greatest of ease. (Cass. Dio, 73.10), and with his left hand (ibid., 73.19). Herodian maintains that from his specially constructed terrace which encircled the arena (enabling Commodus to avoid risking his life by fighting these animals at close quarters), the emperor also killed deer, roebuck, various horned animals, lions, and leopards, always killing them painlessly with a single blow. He purportedly killed one hundred leopards with one hundred javelins, and he cleanly shot the heads off countless ostriches with crescent-headed arrows. The crowd cheered as these headless birds continued to run around the amphitheater (1.15-4-6; for Commodus' popularity at these brutal spectacles, see Birley, The African Emperor, 86) (and Dio tells his readers that in public Commodus was less brutal than he was in private [73.17ff]).

[[17]] According to Herodian (1.15-17), "In his gladiatorial combats, he defeated his opponents with ease, and he did no more than wound them, since they all submitted to him, but only because they knew he was the emperor, not because he was truly a gladiator."

[[18]]Webber, "The Antonines," CAH, XI.360.

[[19]]Cass. Dio, 73.15.

[[20]] Mattingly, RIC, III.361. For Commodus' propaganda of peace, see W. Webber, "The Antonines," CAH, XI.392.

[[21]] W. Webber, "The Antonines," CAH, XI.392-3. In 189 a coin type was issued with the legend Romulus Conditor, perhaps indicating he began the official renaming process during that year. For a discussion on Commodus as Romulus, see A. D. Nock, "The Emperor's Divine Comes," Journal of Roman Studies 37 (1947), 103.

[[22]] HA, Comm. 7.1; Cass. Dio, 73.15.

[[23]]Mattingly, RIC, III.361. See also, Webber, "The Antonines," CAH, XI.386.

[[24]]The title Felix is first used by the emperor Commodus, and is used in the titles of almost all successive emperors to the fifth century. See, D. Fishwick, The Imperial Cult in the Latin West (Leiden, 1987-91), 473.
HA, Comm., 12.315; Cass. Dio, 73.15; Herodian, I.14.9. These new names for the months seem to have actually been used, at least by the army, as confirmed by Tittianus' Altar. See M. P. Speidel, "Commodus the God-Emperor and the Army," Journal of Roman Studies 83 (1993), 112.

[[25]] Cass. Dio, 73.15.

[[26]]Legions:Idem.; the Grain fleet: SHA, Comm., 12.7. For a further discussion of Commodus' newly named fleet, see, A. Garzetti, From Tiberius to the Antonines, 547. For coins issued extolling the fleet, see Mattingly, CBM, IV.clxix; RIC, III.359; the Senate: Cass. Dio, 73.15; the Imperial Palace: SHA, Comm., 12.7; the Roman People: Ibid., 15.5.

[[27]]Cass. Dio, 73.15.

[[28]]Mattingly, CBM, IV.clxxxiv.

[[29]]Eusebius, Hist.Ecc., 5.21.1.

[[30]]For a discussion of the treatment of Christianity during the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus as well as persecutions during the reign of Commodus, see Keresztes, "A Favorable Aspect," 374, 376-377.

[[31]]Herodian, 1.16.4; Dio, 73.4. A Medallion from early 192 shows Commodus juxtaposed with the goddess Roma, which some scholars have argued incorporates the features of Marcia. See, Roman Medallions, "Introduction." Commodus was married, however, to a woman named Crispina. He commissioned several coins early in his rule to honor her.

[[32]]The Christian apologist Hippolytus tells that she was a Christian (Philos. 9.2.12), Dio tells that she simply favored the Christians (73.4). Herodian does not take a stand on the matter either way (1.16.4).

[[33]]Cass. Dio, 73.15. He pronounces Commodus' edict that his rule should be henceforth called the "Golden Age."

[[34]]H. Parker and B.H. Warmington note that Commodus..."resorted to government by means of favorites...which was exacerbated by an abortive conspiracy promoted by Lucilla and Ummidius Quadratus (182)." (OCD2, col. 276).

[[35]]Herodian, 1.17.2-11; Dio Cass., 73.22; SHA, Comm.,17.1-2.

Copyright (C) 1998, Dennis Quinn. This file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents, including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact. Used by Permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.


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