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Project11.jpg
147 views3 commentsRandygeki(h2)
Project11~0.jpg
95 viewsthanks for fixing it up Jay :)5 commentsRandygeki(h2)
Project1.jpg
22 views1 commentsRandygeki(h2)
Project1_(4).jpg
51 views2 commentsRandygeki(h2)
merged.jpg
41 viewsHere is my most recent project, both for the same collector. There are two separate cabinets, one containing 5 drawers each capable of holding 60 slabs. The other was a 45 tray cabinet with a variety of tray configurations, with a total capacity of over 2,200 raw coins. They were shipped in four boxes weighing approximately 215 pounds, total. (The pictures were taken in slightly different lighting conditions, which tends to make them look different in color, but they actually matched quite well.)

www.CabinetsByCraig.net
2 commentscmcdon0923
NeroDECVRSIOSestertiusRome.JPG
005. Nero 54-68AD. AE Sestertius, Rome mint, 63AD. DECVRSIO. 38.6mm199 viewsObv. Laureate ead right, wearing aegis NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR P IMP P P
Rev. Nero on horseback prancing right, wearing cuirass, short tunic, and billowing cloak, spear in right hand, to right soldier moving right. carrying vexillum; to leftin shallow relief, soldier running right DECVRSIO in ex
BMCRE 155; Cohen 94, RIC I 176 var (obv legend)
38.6mm, 180o, 63 A.D. Rome mint.
This sestertius was an early emission from the Rome Mint, which resumed striking bronze after about 10 years of inactivity. The talented engraver, perhaps with extra time for this initial project, produced one of the best dies in the entire imperial bronze series. The special style, complemented by superior execution, has similarities to later medallions.


The fine expressive portrait has higher relief than the more common Lugdunum issues.
The reverse uses the roundness of the flan and three geometric planes of relief to both present the scene in a format that draws the eye to the emperor and show movement that is lacking on almost all other Roman coins. The rare use of geometric planes was repeated on ADLOCVTIO sestertii of Galba five years later, perhaps the work of the same artist. Rome sestertii after 70 A.D. are of far less impressive style.


The lack of SC leaves the reverse fields uncluttered. SC stood for Senatus Consultum, "By Decree of the Senate" and signified the role of the Senate in the minting of brass and bronze coinage. Many sestertii of Caligula and some brass and bronze of Nero lack SC. Subsequent issues include SC again, until inflation produced the demise of the sestertius under Gallienus, c. 265 AD
5 commentsLordBest
Project1~3.jpg
06 Constantius II76 viewsConstantius II AE3 of Constantinople. 351-355 AD. DN CONSTANTIVS PF AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right / FEL TEMP R-EPARATIO, soldier spearing fallen horseman, who is unbearded, wearing a Phrygian helmet, clutching horse's neck. Stylized Epsilon resembling C< in left field. Mintmark CONSI (unpublished officina). RIC VIII Constantinople 115 var. 3 commentsRandygeki(h2)
Henry_III_short_cross_penny.JPG
1216 – 1272, Henry III, AR Penny, Struck 1217 - 1242 at London, England (Short cross type)2 viewsObverse: HENRICVS REX around central circle enclosing a crowned, draped and bearded facing bust of Henry III holding a sceptre tipped with a cross pommee in his right hand.
Reverse: + GIFFREI ON LVND. Voided short cross dividing legend into quarters, crosslets in each quarter of inner circle. Cross pattée in legend. Moneyer: Giffrei, cognate with the modern English name of Geoffrey.
Issue type 7c, distinguished by the degraded portrait and large lettering.
Diameter: 19mm | Weight: 1.1gms | Die Axis: 4
SPINK: 1356C

Henry III was the eldest son of King John and came to the throne at the age of nine. He was king of England from 1216 until his death in 1272, ruling longer than any other English monarch until the reign of George III.
Henry expressed a lifelong interest in architecture and much of what constitutes the Tower of London today is a result of Henry’s work, he added several towers and a curtain wall to expand the White Tower beginning in 1238. Westminster Abbey however, is considered to be Henry's greatest building work. The project began in 1245, when Henry sent his architect Henry de Reynes to visit the French cities of Rheims, Chartres, Bourges and Amiens and Paris’s royal chapel Sainte-Chapelle to learn the Gothic technique that he much admired.
The Westminster Abbey that stood previously on the site had been erected by Edward the Confessor in 1042. Edward the Confessor was a hero of Henry’s, and he probably named his son (the future Edward I) after him. The foundations and crypt are still those of Edward the Confessor’s Abbey, but everything above ground today is the building begun by Henry III. The tomb of Edward the Confessor was moved to a new position of honour in 1269 at the very centre of the new abbey, and when Henry III died in 1272 he was buried beside Edward’s shrine in the exact position the bones of his hero had lain for 200 years.
*Alex
Project2.jpg
161 Faustina Jr 28 viewsFaustina Jr Denarius. FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right / IVNO, Juno standing front, head left, holding scepter, feeding peacock at feet out of patera. RIC 688, RSC 120, BMC 1041 commentsRandygeki(h2)
StUrbainLeopoldILorraineBridge.JPG
1727. Leopold I: Reconstruction Of The Bridge In The Forest Of Haye. 71 viewsObv: Leopold to right, in peruke, wearing armor and the Order of the Golden Fleece LEOPOLDVS. I. D.G. DVX. LOT. BAR. REX. IER
Rev: A traveling horseman going over bridge toward Abundance in countryside. In background landscape a herm of Mercury PROVIDENTIA. PRINCIPIS
Exergue: VIAE. MVNITAE MDCCXXVII Signed: SV.
AE64mm. Ref: Forrer V, p. 309, #6; Slg. Florange 171; Molinari 40/120; Europese Penningen # 1739

Leopold Joseph Charles (Leopold I) (1679-1729), Duke of Lorraine and Bar (1697), was the son of Charles V, Duke of Lorraine and Bar. This medal commemorates further the many reconstruction projects that Leopold I, Duke of Lorraine and Bar, fostered during his reign, in this case, the reconstruction of the bridge in the forest of Haye. The reverse alludes to the fact that the bridge increased commerce (Mercury) in Lorraine and led to more abundance for its inhabitants.
A herm, referred to in this medal, is a statue consisting of the head of the Greek god Hermes mounded on a square stone post. Hermes is the god of commerce, invention, cunning and theft, who also serves as messenger and herald for the other gods.
LordBest
Project134.jpg
180 Septimius Severus33 viewsSeptimius Severus
Denarius
MP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II. Laureate head to right. / INVICTO IMP. Trophy with arms below. RIC IV-1 389. Emesa mint, A.D. 194-195.

better photo

ex DS
3 commentsRandygeki(h2)
Project98134.jpg
180 Septimius Severus21 viewsSeptimius Severus
Denarius
IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II Laureate head right / MONET AVG Moneta standing left holding scales and cornucopia. RIC 411a Emisa Mint

ex DS

better photo.
1 commentsRandygeki(h2)
Project1~1.jpg
181 Julia Domna59 views

Julia Domna Denarius. IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right / PIETAS PVBLICA, Pietas standing left, raising both hands at altar. RSC 156. RIC 574, RSC 156, BMC 69
4 commentsRandygeki(h2)
LVerusAsTrophies.jpg
1bl Lucius Verus113 views161-169

As
166-167

Laureate head, right, L VERVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX
3 trophies, TR P VII IMP III[I] COS III

RIC 1464

Son of Aelius Caesar and adopted son of Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius elevated his adoptive brother to co-ruler in 161. The Parthians launched an attack against Roman Syria that it had planned before the death of Pius, and Marcus, with the agreement of the Senate, dispatched Lucius to deal with the crisis. According to the Historia Augusta, "Verus, of course, after he arrived in Syria, lived in luxury at Antioch and Daphne, although he was acclaimed imperator while waging the Parthian war through legates." This coin's reverse honors his military victory over the Parthians in 165.

The Historia Augusta describes Verus: He was physically handsome with a genial face. His beard was allowed to grow almost in Barbarian style. He was a tall man, his forehead projected somewhat above his eyebrows, so that he commanded respect. . . In speech almost halting, he was very keen on gambling, and his way of life was always extravagant.
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TrebGallusAEVim.jpg
1cu Trebonianus Gallus24 views251-253

AE Viminacium

Laureate, draped bust, right, IMP C GALLVS P FELIX AVG
Moesia standing facing, head left, hands outstretched over a bull and a lion at her sides, PMS COL VIM

Moushmov 56

For Gallus' perfidy against Decius, see the Decius entry. Zosimus reports regarding Gallus' reign: Gallus, who declared his son Volusianus his associate in the empire, published an open declaration, that Decius and his army had perished by his contrivance. The Barbarians now became more prosperous than before. For Callus not only permitted them to return home with the plunder, but promised to pay them annually a sum of money, and allowed them to carry off all the noblest captives; most of whom had been taken at Philippopolis in Thrace.

Gallus, having made these regulations, came to Rome, priding himself on the peace he had made with the Barbarians. And though he at first spoke with approbation of Decius's mode of government, and adopted one of his sons, yet, after some time was elapsed, fearing that some of them who were fond of new projects might recur to a recapitulation of the princely virtues of Decius, and therefore might at some opportunity give the empire to his son, he concerted the young man's destruction, without regard either to his own adoption of him, or to common honour and justice.

Gallus was so supine in the administration of the empire, that the Scythians in the first place terrified all the neighbouring nations, and then laid waste all the countries as far by degrees as the sea coast; not leaving one nation subject to the Romans unpillaged, and taking almost all the unfortified towns, and many that were fortified. Besides the war on every side, which was insupportably burdensome to them, the cities and villages were infested with a pestilence, which swept away the remainder of mankind in those regions; nor was so great a mortality ever known in any former period.

At this crisis, observing that the emperors were unable to defend the state, but neglected all without the walls of Rome, the Goths, the Borani, the Urugundi, and the Carpi once more plundered the cities of Europe of all that had been left in them; while in another quarter, the Persians invaded Asia, in which they acquired possession of Mesopotamia, and proceeded even as far as Antioch in Syria, took that city, which is the metropolis of all the east, destroyed many of the inhabitants, and carried the remainder into captivity, returning home with immense plunder, after they had destroyed all the buildings in the city, both public and private, without meeting with the least resistance. And indeed the Persians had a fair opportunity to have made themselves masters of all Asia, had they not been so overjoyed at their excessive spoils, as to be contented with keeping and carrying home what they had acquired.

Meantime the Scythians of Europe were in perfect security and went over into Asia, spoiling all the country as far as Cappodocia, Pesinus, and Ephesus, until Aemilianus, commander of the Pannonian legions, endeavouring as much as possible to encourage his troops, whom the prosperity of the Barbarians had so disheartened that they durst not face them, and reminding them of the renown of Roman courage, surprised the Barbarians that were in that neighbourhood. Having destroyed great numbers of them, and led his forces into their country, removing every obstruction to his progress, and at length freeing the subjects of the Roman empire from their ferocity, he was appointed emperor by his army. On this he collected all the forces of that country, who were become more bold since his successes against the Barbarians, and directed his march towards Italy, with the design of fighting Gallus, who was as yet. unprepared to contend with him. For Gallus had never heard of what had occurred in the east, and therefore made only what accidental preparations were in his reach, while Valerianus went to bring the Celtic and German legions. But Aemilianus advanced with great speed into Italy, and the armies were very near to each other, when the soldiers of Gallus, reflecting that his force was much inferior to the enemy both in number and strength, and likewise that he was a negligent indolent man, put him and his son to death, and going over to the party of Aemilianus, appeared to establish his authority.
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ProcopiusAEChiRo.jpg
1er Procopius18 views365-366

AE3

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

RIC 17a

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

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

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

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

After having obtained this victory, Valens marched to Sardes, and from thence into Phrygia, where he found Procopius in a town called Nacolia. Affairs having been ordered for the advantage of the emperor by Naplo, an officer of Procopius, Valens again prevailed, and took him prisoner, and soon afterwards Marcellus, both of whom he put to death.
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ValentinianIIAE3UrbsRom.jpg
1et Valentinian II19 views373-392

AE3, Nicomedia

Pearl-diademed, draped & cuirassed bust rightt, D N VALENTINIANVS IVN P F AVG
Roma seated on cuirass, holding spear and Victory on globe, VRBS ROMA

The SMN mintmark indicates that the coin was minted in Nicomedia, but RIC does not list this reverse type for that mint.

Sim to RIC 51

Zosimus reports: Valentinian being dead, the tribunes Merobaudes and Equitius, reflecting on the distance at which Valens and Gratian resided, the former being in the east, and the latter left by his father in the western part of Gaul, were apprehensive lest the Barbarians beyond the Ister should make an effort while the country was without a ruler. They therefore sent for the younger son of Valentinian, who was born of his wife the widow of Magnentius, who was not far from thence with the child. Having clothed him in purple, they brought him into the court, though scarcely five years old. The empire was afterwards divided between Gratian and the younger Valentinian, at the discretion of their guardians, they not being of age to manage their own affairs. The Celtic nations, Spain, and Britain were given to Gratian; and Italy, Illyricum, and Africa to Valentinian. . . .

Affairs being thus situated in the east, in Thrace, and in Illyricum, Maximus, who deemed his appointments inferior to his merits, being only governor of the countries formerly under Gratian, projected how to depose the young Valentinian from the empire, if possible totally, but should he fail in the whole, to secure at least some part. . . . he immediately entered Italy without; resistance, and marched to Aquileia. . . . This so much surprised Valentinian, and rendered his situation so desperate, that his courtiers were alarmed lest he should be taken by Maximus and put to death. He, therefore, immediately embarked,and sailed to Thessalonica with his mother Justina, who, as I before mentioned, had been the wife of Magnentius, but after his decease was taken in marriage by the emperor Valentinian on account of her extraordinary beauty. She carried along with her her daughter Galla. After having passed many seas, and arriving at Thessalonica, they sent messengers to the emperor Theodosius, intreating him now at least to revenge the injuries committed against the family of Valentinian. He was astonished at hearing of this, and began to forget his extravagance, and to lay some restraint on his wild inclination for pleasure. . . . Theodosius then delivered to Valentinian as much of the empire as his father had possessed; in which he only acted as he was enjoined by his duty to those who so merited his kindness. . . .

intelligence was brought that the emperor Valentianian was no more, and that his death happened in this manner: Arbogastes, a Frank, who was appointed by the emperor Gratian lieutenant to Baudo, at the death of Baudo, confiding in his own ability, assumed the command without the emperor's permission. Being thought proper for the station by all the soldiers under him, both for his valour and experience in military affairs, and for his disregard of riches, he attained great influence. He thus became so elevated, that he would speak without reserve to the emperor, and would blame any measure which he thought improper. This gave such umbrage to Valentinian. . . .

Eugenius became the sincere friend of Arbogastes, who had no secret which he did not confide to him. Recollecting Eugenius, therefore, at this juncture, who by his extraordinary learning and the gravity of his conversation seemed well-adapted for the management of an empire, he communicated to him his designs. But finding him not pleased with the proposals, he attempted to prevail on him by all the arts he could use, and entreated him not to reject what fortune so favourably offered. Having at length persuaded him, he deemed it advisable in the first place to remove Valentinian, and thus to deliver the sole authority to Eugenius. With this view he proceeded to Vienna, a town in Gaul, where the emperor resided; and as he was amusing himself near the town in some sports with the soldiers, apprehending no danger, Arbogastes gave him a mortal wound.
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TheodosAE4VotMult~0.jpg
1eu Theodosius24 views379-395

AE4

Pearl diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right, D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG
VOT V MVLT X within wreath, ASISC in ex

RIC 29d

Zosimus recorded: [Valentinian] commanded some legions from the stations in Pannonia and Moesia, to embark for Africa [to crush a rebellion]. On this the Sarmatians and the Quadi. . . , availing themselves, of the opportunity afforded by the departure of the legions for Africa, invaded the Pannonians and Moesians. . . . The barbarians therefore revenged themselves by plundering all the country along the Ister, carrying off all that they found in the towns. The Pannonians were by these means exposed to the cruelty of the barbarians, while the soldiers were extremely negligent in the defence of their towns, and committed as much mischief as the Barbarians themselves in all places on this side of the river. But Moesia was free from harm, because Theodosius, who commanded the forces there, courageously resisted the Barbarians, and routed them when they attacked him. By that victory he not only acquired great renown, but subsequently attained the imperial dignity. . . .

When the affairs of the empire were reduced to this low condition, Victor, who commanded the Roman cavalry, escaping the danger with some of his troops, entered Macedon and Thessaly. From thence he proceeded into Moesia and Pannonia, and informed Gratian, who was then in that quarter, of what had occurred, and of the loss of the emperor [Valens] and his army. Gratian received the intelligence without uneasiness, and was little grieved at the death of his uncle, a disagreement having existed between them. Finding himself unable to manage affairs, Thrace being ravaged by the Barbarians, as were likewise Pannonia and Moesia, and the towns upon the Rhine being infested by the neighbouring Barbarians without controul, he chose for his associate in the empire, Theodosius, who was a native of a town called Cauca, in the part of Spain called Hispania Callaecia, and who possessed great knowledge and experience of military affairs. Having given him the government of Thrace and the eastern provinces, Gratian himself proceeded to the west of Gaul, in order, if possible, to compose affairs in that quarter. . . .

During the stay of the new emperor, Theodosius, at Thesslonica, a great concourse arrived there from all parts of persons soliciting him on business, both public and private; who having obtained of him whatever he could conveniently grant, returned, to their homes. As a great multitude of the Scythians beyond the Ister, the Gotthi, and the Taiphali, and other tribes that formerly dwelt among them, had crossed the river, and were driven to infest the Roman dominions, because the Huns, had expelled them from their own country, the emperor Theodosius prepared for war with all his forces. . . . The army having made this good use of the occasion afforded by fortune, the affairs of Thrace, which had been on the brink of ruin, were now, the Barbarians being crushed beyond all hope, re-established in peace. . . .

Meanwhile, the emperor Theodosius, residing in Thessalonica, was easy of access to all who wished to see him. Having commenced his reign in luxury and indolence, he threw the magistracy into disorder, and increased the number of his military officers. . . . As he squandered the public money without consideration, bestowing it on unworthy persons, he consequently impoverished himself. He therefore sold the government of provinces to any who would purchase them, without regard to the reputation or ablity of the persons, esteeming him the best qualified who brought him the most gold or silver. . . .

Maximus, who deemed his appointments inferior to his merits, being only governor of the countries formerly under Gratian, projected how to depose the young Valentinian from the empire. . . . This so much surprised Valentinian, and rendered his situation so desperate, that his courtiers were alarmed lest he should be taken by Maximus and put to death. He, therefore, immediately embarked,and sailed to Thessalonica with his mother Justina. . . . [A]rriving at Thessalonica, they sent messengers to the emperor Theodosius, intreating him now at least to revenge the injuries committed against the family of Valentinian. . . . The emperor, being delivered from this alarm, marched with great resolution with his whole army against Maximus. . . . Theodosius, having passed through Pannonia and the defiles of the Appennines, attacked unawares the forces of Maximus before they were prepared for him. A part of his army, having pursued them with the utmost speed, forced their way through the gates of Aquileia, the guards being too few to resist them. Maximus was torn from his imperial throne while in the act of distributing money to his soldiers, and being stripped of his imperial robes, was brought to Theodosius, who, having in reproach enumerated some of his crimes against the commonwealth, delivered him to the common executioner to receive due punishment. . . . The emperor Theodosius, having consigned Italy, Spain, Celtica, and Libya to his son Honorius, died of a disease on his journey towards Constantinople.
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MagnMaxAE2RepReip.jpg
1ew Magnus Maximus45 views383-388

AE2

Diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right, D N MAG MAXIMVS P F AVG
Emperor standing left, raising kneeling female; mintmarks PCON, SCON and TCON known, REPARATIO REIPVB

RIC 26a

Zosimus reports: While the affairs of Thrace were, thus situated, those of Gratian were in great perplexity. Having accepted the counsel of those courtiers who usually corrupt the manners of princes, he gave a reception to some fugitives called Alani, whom he not only introduced into his army, but honoured with valuable presents, and confided to them his most important secrets, esteeming his own soldiers of little value. This produced among his soldiers a violent hatred against him, which being gradually inflamed and augmented incited in them a disposition for innovation, and most particulary in that part of them which was in Britain, since they were the most resolute and vindictive. In this spirit they were encouraged by Maximus, a Spaniard, who had been the fellow-soldier of Theodosius in Britain. He was offended that Theodosius should be thought worthy of being made emperor, while he himself had no honourable employment. He therefore cherished the animosity of the soldiers towards the emperor. They were thus easily induced to revolt and to declare Maximus emperor. Having presented to him the purple robe and the diadem, they sailed to the mouth of the Rhine. As the German army, and all who were in that quarter approved of the election, Gratian prepared to contend against Maximus, with a considerable part of the army which still adhered to him. When the armies met, there were only slight skirmishes for five days; until Gratian, |115 perceiving that the Mauritanian cavalry first deserted from him and declared Maximus Augustus, and afterwards that the remainder of his troops by degrees espoused the cause of his antagonist, relinquished all hope, and fled with three hundred horse to the Alps. Finding those regions without defence, he proceeded towards Rhaetia, Noricum, Pannonia, and the Upper Moesia. When Maximus was informed of his route, he was not negligent of the opportunity, but detached Andragathius, commander of the cavalry, who was his faithful adherent, in pursuit of Gratian. This officer followed him with so great speed, that he overtook him when he was passing the bridge at Sigidunus, and put him to death. . . .

The reign of Gratian being thus terminated, Maximus, who now considered himself firmly fixed in the empire, sent an embassy to the emperor Theodosius, not to intreat pardon for his treatment of Gratian, but rather to increase his provocations. The person employed in this mission was the imperial chamberlain (for Maximus would not suffer an eunuch to preside in his court), a prudent person, with whom he had been familiarly acquainted from his infancy. The purport of his mission was to propose to Theodosius a treaty of amity, and of alliance, against all enemies who should make war on the Romans, and on refusal, to declare against him open hostility. Upon this, Theodosius admitted Maximus to a share in the empire, and in the honour of his statues and his imperial title. . . .

Affairs being thus situated in the east, in Thrace, and in Illyricum, Maximus, who deemed his appointments inferior to his merits, being only governor of the countries formerly under Gratian, projected how to depose the young Valentinian from the empire, if possible totally, but should he fail in the whole, to secure at least some part. . . . he immediately entered Italy without; resistance, and marched to Aquileia. . . .

Theodosius, having passed through Pannonia and the defiles of the Appennines, attacked unawares the forces of Maximus before they were prepared for him. A part of his army, having pursued them with the utmost speed, forced their way through the gates of Aquileia, the guards being too few to resist them. Maximus was torn from his imperial throne while in the act of distributing money to his soldiers, and being stripped of his imperial robes, was brought to Theodosius, who, having in reproach enumerated some of his crimes against the commonwealth, delivered him to the common executioner to receive due punishment. Such was the end of Maximus and of his usurpation. Having fraudulently overcome Valentinian, he imagined that he should with ease subdue the whole Roman empire. Theodosius, having heard, that when Maximus came from beyond the Alps he left his son Victor, whom he had dignified with the title of Caesar, he immediately sent for his general, named Arbogastes, who deprived the youth both of his dignity and life.
Blindado
Project1~0.jpg
216 Otacilia Severa94 viewsOtacilia Severa, Augusta February or March 244 - September or October 249 A.D.

Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 9158, RIC IV 130, RSC IV 43, Choice gVF, 4.523g, 23.0mm, 180o, Rome mint, 247 A.D.; obverse OTACIL SEVERA AVG, draped bust right set on crescent; reverse PIETAS AVGVSTAE, Pietas, veiled, standing left, extending right, box of incense in left; full circles strike, bold portrait.

"Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to other people, gods and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others."
9 commentsRandygeki(h2)
Project1~2.jpg
290 Probus39 viewsProbus. AE Antoninus. 276-282 AD.
IMP CM AVR PROBVS PF AVG, radiate bust left wearing imperial mantle,
holding eagle-tipped sceptre / SOLI INVICTO, Sol in spread quadriga facing.CM in lower centre. Mintmark XXIA.RIC V-2 Cyzicus 911.
2 commentsRandygeki(h2)
0001SOS.jpg
4) Antony: Sosius49 viewsGAIUS SOSIUS
General to Antony
Ć 26mm (14.5 g). ~ 38 BC.
Cilicia, Uncertain Mint.

Bare head right / Fiscus, sella, quaestoria and hasta; Q below.

Coin has been attributed to multiple rulers, including Julius Caesar, Augustus and Brutus. Now believed to be Sosius, General to Antony and Governor of Syria.

RPC I 5409; Laffaille 324; Grant, FITA, pg. 13. aFine, brown patina, scratches. Rare.
0001SOS


Sosius was wily and accomplished man. A talented general, he received a triumph. However, he consistently picked the wrong side in Rome's Civil Wars (Senate vs. Caesar, then Antony vs. Octavian) yet somehow managed to keep his head.

According to Wikipedia:

Gaius Sosius was a Roman general and politician.

Gaius Sosius was elected quaestor in 66 BC and praetor in 49 BC. Upon the start of the civil war, he joined the party of the Senate and Pompey. Upon the flight of Pompey to Greece, Sosius returned to Rome and submitted to Julius Caesar.

After the assassination of Caesar, Sosius joined the party of Mark Antony, by whom in 38 BC he was appointed governor of Syria and Cilicia in the place of Publius Ventidius. As governor, Sosius was commanded by Antony to support Herod against Antigonus the Hasmonean, when the latter was in possession of Jerusalem. In 37 BC, he advanced against Jerusalem and after he became master of the city, Sosius placed Herod upon the throne. In return for this services, he was awarded a triumph in 34 BC, and he became consul along with Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus as his colleague in 32 BC.

When civil war broke out between Antony and Octavian, Sosius espoused the cause of Antony and violently attacked Octavian in the senate, for which he was forced to flee to the east. In 31 BC, Sosius commanded a squadron in Mark Antony's fleet with which he managed to defeat the squadron of Taurius Rufus – according to Dio 50.14 – and put it to flight, but when the latter was reinforced by Marcus Agrippa, Sosius's ally Tarcondimotus – the king of Cilicia – was killed and Sosius himself was forced to flee. At Actium, Sosius commanded the left wing of Antony's fleet. After the battle, from which he managed to escape, his hiding place was detected and Sosius was captured and brought before Octavian but, at the intercession of Lucius Arruntius, Octavian pardoned him. He returned to Rome and completed his building project on the temple of Apollo Medicus (begun in 34 BC), dedicating it in Octavian's name.

Unknown sons, but two daughters : Sosia and Sosia Galla, possibly by an Asinia,[1] a Nonia or an Aelia. However the name reappears with Q. Sosius Senecio, (consul in 99 and 107).[2] and Saint Sosius (275-305 AD).

Sosius attended the Ludi Saeculares in 17 according to an inscription CIL 6.32323 = ILS 5050 as a quindecimvir.
RM0002
4 commentsSosius
coins432.JPG
501b. Crispus29 viewsIn 326, Crispus was suddenly executed according to the orders of his own father in Pola, Istria. Though the decision of Constantine was certainly cruel and unexpected, historians remain more interested in the motivation leading to it.

Zosimus in the 5th century and Joannes Zonaras in the 12th century both reported that Fausta, step-mother of Crispus, was extremely jealous of him. She was reportedly afraid that Constantine would put aside the sons she bore him. So, in order to get rid of Crispus, Fausta set him up. She reportedly told the young Caesar that she was in love with him and suggested an illegitimate love affair. Crispus denied the immoral wishes of Fausta and left the palace in a state of a shock. Then Fausta said to Constantine that Crispus had no respect for his father, since the Caesar was in love with his father's own wife. She reported to Constantine that she dismissed him after his attempt to rape her. Constantine believed her and, true to his strong personality and short temper, executed his beloved son. A few months later, Constantine reportedly found out the whole truth and then executed his wife Fausta at the end of 326.

This version of events has become the most widely accepted, since all other reports are even less satisfactory.

A treason against Constantine jointly plotted by Fausta and Crispus is rejected by most historians. They would have nothing to gain considering their positions as favourites of Constantine.

Another version suggests that Constantine killed Crispus because as an illegitimate son, he would cause a crisis in the order of succession to the throne. However, Constantine had kept him at his side for twenty years without any such decision. Constantine also had the authority to appoint his younger, legitimate sons as his heirs. Nevertheless, Crispus' status as a legitimate or illegitimate son remains uncertain.

Some reports claimed that Constantine was envious of the success of his son and afraid of him. This seems improbable, given that Constantine had twenty years of experience at Emperor while Crispus was still a young Caesar. Similarly, there seems to be no evidence that Crispus had any ambitions to harm or displace his father.

So while the story of Zosimus and Zonaras seems the most believable one, there are also problems relating to their version of events.

Constantine's reaction suggest that he suspected Crispus of a crime so terrible that death was not enough. Crispus also suffered damnatio memoriae, meaning his name was never mentioned again and was deleted from all official documents and monuments. Crispus, his wife Helena and their son were never to be mentioned again in historical records. The eventual fate of Helena and her son is a mystery.

Constantine may have been eventually convinced of Crispus' innocence. But he did not restore his son's innocence and name, as he probably would have on learning of his son's innocence. Perhaps Constantine's pride or shame at having executed his son prevented him from publicly admitting having made a mistake.

Beyond doubt there was a connections between the executions of Crispus and Fausta. Both happened too close in time to be coincidental. Such agreement among different sources connecting the two deaths is extremely rare in itself. A number of modern historians have suggested that Crispus and Fausta really did have an illegitimate affair. When Constantine found out, his reaction was executing both of them. What delayed the death of Fausta may have been a pregnancy. Since the years of birth for the two known daughters of Constantine and Fausta remain unknown, one of their births may have delayed their mother's execution.


Crispus, 316-326, Bronze Reduced Anepigraphic Follis, RIC-VII-53-R5, struck 324-325 at Antioch, 1.87 grams, 17.9 mm. Nice VF

Obv: Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Crispus facing left
Rev: CRISPVS CAESAR SMANTZ - Legend and mint signature in three lines, star above, dot below

An excessively rare coin of Crispus. Nicely centered and struck with even wear to both surfaces. Important and MUCH nicer than the image projects.

Ex-Glenn Woods
ecoli
VespasianPax_RICii10.jpg
710a, Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.134 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, 10, aVF, 3.5 g, 18mm, Rome mint, 69-71 AD; Obverse: IMP CAESA[R] VESPASIANV[S AV]G - Laureate head right; Reverse: COS ITER [T]R POT - Pax seated left holding branch and caduceus. Ex Imperial Coins.


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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

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

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


Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.





Cleisthenes
ATGmosaic.jpg
Alexander the Great, The Battle of Issus River21 viewsThis mosaic depicts a battle between Alexander the Great and the Persian king Darius, probably the Battle of the Issus River in November of 333 B.C. It is in opus vermiculatum, with over one and a half million tesserae, none larger than 4 mm., in four colors: white, yellow, red, and black. The minuteness of the tesserae enables incredibly fine detail and painterly effects, including remarkable portraits of Alexander and Darius.

The border of this huge mosaic consists of large stones in a dentate pattern . In the corners are rosettes. Within the border along the bottom of the picture is a blank brown stripe, which some consider to be part of the picture, balancing the white expanse of sky at the top, while others argue that it is simply part of the frame.

The composition of the mosaic is dominated by the two protagonists: On the left, Alexander, with his head uncovered, rushes forward on his horse Bucephalus. He holds a spear with which he has skewered a Persian soldier, who has rushed to the defence of Darius. With Alexander appear his helmeted Macedonian soldiers, although little remains of them due to damage of the left side of the mosaic. On the right Darius, wearing a Persian cap, stretches out his hand to his wounded defender, while his charioteer whips the horses to flee toward the right. Around him are his Persian soldiers who mill in confusion in the background, their faces filled with fear and determination. One Persian, however, to the right of the dying defender of Darius, is intent upon Alexander, and holds his sword in his hand, ready to attack.

There are many details which emphasize the terror and confusion of the battle. The horse of the Persian defender of Darius collapses beneath him while he writhes in agony on Alexander's spear. Below Darius in his chariot, a Persian soldier, staring in horror at this scene, attempts to hold a rearing horse. The hindquarters of this horse project into the middle ground of the picture, giving it a sense of depth. To the right, a soldier is being crushed under the wheels of Darius' chariot. His face is reflected in the shield which he holds. Further to the right appear the terrified horses of the chariot team, trampling upon another unfortunate Persian.

The composition of the mosaic is dominated by diagonals. The center is dominated by the intersecting diagonals of the Persian speared by Alexander and the Persian restraining the rearing horse. Two other sets of intersecting diagonals are provided by the figures of Darius and his charioteer and by Alexander and the wounded Persian. The lances in the background of the picture also carry on the diagonal motif.

The setting of the battle is very stylized. In the background appears a tree with bare twisted limbs whose diagonals continue the unifying compositional motif of the mosaic. The tree also serves as a formal vertical counterweight to the Persian king and his charioteer, who rise above the battle fray. In the foreground are discarded weapons and rocks, which serve to define the space between the viewer and the battle scene.

The Alexander mosaic is thought to be based on a painting which Philoxenus of Eretria created for King Cassander of Macedonia. The painting is described by Pliny the Elder as representing "the battle of Alexander with Darius." Certain inconsistencies in the mosaic point to its derivation from another source. In the center of the composition appears a helmeted head to the right of the rearing horse. Two lance shafts come from the left and abruptly stop behind this he‡d. To the right of the same head appears a head of a horse and beneath this are the hindquarters of another horse, neither of which is logically completed. Among the four horses of Darius' chariot there are parts of a white horse which do not fit together anatomically. Above these horses is a Persian soldier who appears to have two right hands, one on his head and the other raised in the air. These details provide evidence that the mosaicist misunderstood details of the original.

Nevertheless, the overall effect of the mosaic is masterful. The expert blending of the colors of the tesserae and the careful control of the overall composition create a scene which comes to life with all the horror and confusion of battle. The Alexander mosaic is a truly great work, unmatched in the history of Roman art.

See: http://www.hackneys.com/alex_web/pages/alxphoto.htm
Cleisthenes
ANTOAS05-2~0.jpg
Ancilia31 viewsĆ As (9.9g, Ř27mm, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 143-144.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, bare head of Antoninus Pius facing right.
Rev.: IMPERATO(R II) (around edge) S C (in field), Two ancilia: oval shields with rounded projections above and below).
RIC 736a; BMC 1629-31; Cohen 30

The anicilia were twelve shields which were believed to protect Rome. They consisted of an original, which fell from heaven in the time of Numa. Rome would rule the world as long as the shield was preserved. Numa ordered eleven other identical shields to be made to protect it from theft. These Ancilia were preserved in the temple of Mars, and were committed to the care of twelve priests of Salii, instituted for that purpose. Every year in March they were caried in procession around Rome until they were put back in their place on the 30th.
Charles S
imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-Skrvs3aOlYiQT-Divvs_An_toninus_Pius.jpg
Antoninus Pius (Augustus) Coin: Brass Sestertius 4 viewsDIVVS ANTONINVS - Bare head right
DIVO PIO - Column of Antoninus, surmounted by statue of the emperor.
Exergue:


Mint: Rome (161AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 25.00g / 32mm / 180
References:
RIC III 1269 (Marcus Aurelius)
Cohen 354
BMCRE 880 (Marcus Aurelius)
Acquisition/Sale: buy_yourself_a_coin Ebay

The Gary R. Wilson Collection

From Wikipedia:
Previous to the 18th century the base was completely buried, but the lower part of the shaft projected about 6m above the ground. In 1703, when some buildings were demolished in the area of Montecitorio, the rest of the column and the base were discovered and excavated. The column was raised from the ground by Carlo Fontana's son Francesco (1668–1708), but no decision was made about its use. It remained lying on the ground under some sheds, and was damaged by fire in 1759. Unsuccessful attempts were made to repair it soon afterwards in 1764, with some pieces from it being used in 1789 to restore the obelisk of Augustus that is now in the Piazza di Monte Citorio.

Meanwhile, the base (of white Italian marble) was restored in 1706-08 and erected in the centre of Piazza di Montecitorio by Ferdinando Fuga in 1741, before being taken to the Vatican Museums in 1787, where it has been in the Michelangelo niche in the Cortile della Pigna from 1885 until its final move to its current position in the courtyard outside the entrance to the Vatican Pinacoteca.
Gary W2
AntoSe75~0.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 651(a), Sestertius of AD 141-144 (Temple of Venus and Roma)46 viewsĆ sestertius (23.78g, 12h). Rome mint struck AD 141-144.
ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P COS III laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right
VENERI FELICI (around) S C (in ex.) decastyle temple
RIC 651(a); Cohen 1075var. (dr. bust); BMC 1322; Strack 864; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 125:23
ex Jean Elsen et ses Fils (Bruxelles) auction 97; ex coll. A. Senden: l'architecture des monnaies Romaines
F, dark green patina, corroded

Issued on the occasion of the completion of the temple of Venus and Roma in AD 141. This was the largest temple in Rome dedicated to Venus Felix (Happy Venus) and Roma Aeterna (Eternal Rome). Actually it consists of two temples back under one roof. It was designed by Hadrian himself (who, by the way, executed his architect for critisising the project) and dedicated by him in AD 135, and completed by Antoninus Pius.
Charles S
ANTOAS05-2.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 736a, As of AD 143-144 (Ancilia) 33 viewsĆ As (9.9g, Ř27mm, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 143-144.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, bare head of Antoninus Pius facing right.
Rev.: IMPERATOR II (around) ANCILIA (in ex.) S C (in field), Two ancilia: oval shields with rounded projections above and below).
RIC 736a; BMC 1629-31; Cohen 30; Strack 925

Coin belonging to a series struck between AD 140 and 144 depicting scenes from ancient Roman legends, struck in preparation of the 900th anniversary of Rome in AD 147. The anicilia were twelve shields which were believed to protect Rome. They consisted of an original, which fell from heaven in the time of Numa. Rome would rule the world as long as the shield was preserved. Numa ordered eleven other identical shields to be made to protect it from theft. These Ancilia were preserved in the temple of Mars, and were committed to the care of twelve priests of Salii, instituted for that purpose. Every year in March they were caried in procession around Rome until they were put back in their place on the 30th.
Charles S
007~0.JPG
Apollonia Pontica92 views450 – 425 B.C.
Silver Drachm
3.14 gm, 15 mm
Rev: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with wild hair and snakes
Obv.: Anchor; A to right, crayfish to left.
Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44
Sear Vol. 1, p. 165, 1655

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or right - Full-Face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left and the letter A right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
1 commentsJaimelai
AP5_a.jpg
Apollonia Pontica83 views450 - 425 B.C.
Silver Drachm
3.20 gm, 12-14 mm
Obv.: Anchor; crayfish to left, A to right
Rev: Gorgon head facing with hair in tufts

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or right - Full-Face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left and the letter A right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
Jaimelai
Capture_00016.JPG
Apollonia Pontica56 views450 – 425 B.C.
Silver Drachm
3.28 gm, 14 mm
Rev: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with straight vertical hair with wavy bangs
Obv.: Anchor; A to left, crayfish to right
Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44
Sear p. 165, 1655

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or right - Full-Face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left and the letter A right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
1 commentsJaimelai
Capture_00174_white.JPG
Apollonia Pontica99 views450 – 424 B.C.
Silver Drachm
3.26 gm, 14.5 mm
Rev: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with
beaded hair in tuffs, surrounded by thin snakes
Obv.: Anchor; crayfish to left, A to right
Topalov Apollonia p. 586, 42 (corrected)
Sear p. 165, 1655

Topalov Type 1. C. Upright Anchor - Gorgon's Head: Late Issues (450-424 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and curved stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left between the fluke and the stock and the letter “A” right.
Rev.: Full-face Gordon's head in the archaic Ionian style with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Instead of hair there are snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.

Description from Topalov Apollonia 2007
3 commentsJaimelai
Capture_00003_(2).JPG
Apollonia Pontica139 views450 – 425 B.C.
Silver Drachm
3.32 gm, 13.5 mm
Rev: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with
beaded hair, surrounded by thin snakes
Obv.: Anchor; crayfish to left, A to right
Topalov Apollonia p. 586, 42 (corrected)
Sear p. 165, 1655

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor, a crab as an additional symbol on the left, A on the right - Gorgon's Head" Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and curved stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left between the fluke and the stock and the letter “A” right.
Rev.: Full-face Gordon's head in the archaic Ionian style with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Instead of hair there are snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
4 commentsJaimelai
003~4.JPG
Apollonia Pontica72 views480/478 – 470 B.C.
Silver Drachm
3.24 gm., 14 mm.
Obv: Anchor; blank to left, crayfish to right
Rev.: Gorgon head facing in archaic Ionian style with hair in pellets
Topalov Apollonia p. 584, 38
BMC Mysia p.8, 3, Pl.II, 2

Topalov Type: Upright Anchor - Gorgon's Head: First Early Issues (480/478-470 B.C)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes on a curved stock. Image of a crab viewed from above on the right between the fluke and the stock. Letter “A” missing.
Rev.: Full-face Gorgon's head in the archaic Ionian style with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Instead of hair there are snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.

Description from Topalov Apollonia 2007
1 commentsJaimelai
Capture_00049~0.JPG
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 38 - Silver Drachm46 views480/478 – 470 B.C.
2.92 gm., 12.5-14 mm.
Obv: Anchor; blank to left, crayfish to right
Rev.: Gorgon head facing in archaic Ionian style with hair in pellets
Topalov Apollonia p. 584, 38
BMC Mysia p.8, 3, Pl.II, 2

Topalov Type: Upright Anchor - Gorgon's Head: First Early Issues (480/478-470 B.C)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes on a curved stock. Image of a crab viewed from above on the right between the fluke and the stock. Letter “A” missing.
Rev.: Full-face Gorgon's head in the archaic Ionian style with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormally open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Instead of hair there are snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.

These "Early-Issue" Medusa coins may have been reminted on the earlier swastika type Apollonia drachmas (from Topalov Apollonia 2007)
Jaimelai
015~1.JPG
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 38 - Silver Drachm65 views480 – 470 B.C.
3.25 gm., 13-15.5 mm.
Obv: Anchor; blank to left, crayfish to right
Rev.: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with single row pearl headdress
Topalov Apollonia p.584, 38
BMC Mysia p.8, 3, Pl.II, 2

Topalov Type: Upright Anchor - Gorgon's Head: First Early Issues (480/478-470 B.C)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes on a curved stock. Image of a crab viewed from above on the right between the fluke and the stock. Letter “A” missing.
Rev.: Full-face Gorgon's head in the archaic Ionian style with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormally open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Instead of hair there are snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
Jaimelai
34.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 38 - Silver Drachm 79 views480/478 – 470 B.C.
3.24 gm., 14 mm.
Obv: Anchor; blank to left, crayfish to right
Rev.: Gorgon head facing in archaic Ionian style with hair in pellets
Topalov Apollonia p. 584, 38
BMC Mysia p.8, 3, Pl.II, 2

Topalov Type: Upright Anchor - Gorgon's Head: First Early Issues (480/478-470 B.C)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes on a curved stock. Image of a crab viewed from above on the right between the fluke and the stock. Letter “A” missing.
Rev.: Full-face Gorgon's head in the archaic Ionian style with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Instead of hair there are snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.

Description from Topalov Apollonia 2007
2 commentsJaimelai
AP_comp_(2).jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 38 - Silver Drachm 53 views480/478 – 470 B.C.
3.12 gm., 14 mm.
Obv: Anchor; blank to left, crayfish to right
Rev.: Gorgon head facing in archaic Ionian style with hair in pellets
Topalov Apollonia p. 584, 38
BMC Mysia p.8, 3, Pl.II, 2

Topalov Type: Upright Anchor - Gorgon's Head: First Early Issues (480/478-470 B.C)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes on a curved stock. Image of a crab viewed from above on the right between the fluke and the stock. Letter “A” missing.
Rev.: Full-face Gorgon's head in the archaic Ionian style with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Instead of hair there are snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.

Description from Topalov Apollonia 2007

WARNING! Possible Black Cabinet candidate - very similar to Reid Goldsborough Apollonia Pontika New York Hoard Specimen # 40.
Jaimelai
dolphins_50.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 38 - Silver Drachm90 views480/478 – 470 B.C.
Silver Drachm
3.36 gm., 15 mm.
Obv: Anchor; blank to left, crayfish to right
Rev.: Gorgon head facing in archaic Ionian style with hair in pellets
Topalov Apollonia p.584, 38 struck over Topalov Apollonia p. 566, 10
BMC Mysia p.8, 3, Pl.II, 2

Topalov Type 38: “Upright anchor, crab right - full-face Gorgon's head" first early issues” (480/478-470 B.C)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes on a curved stock. Image of a crab viewed from above on the right between the fluke and the stock. Letter “A” missing.
Rev.: Full-face Gorgon's head in the archaic Ionian style with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormally open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Instead of hair there are snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
-struck over-
Topalov Type 10: “Upright anchor with thin flukes and thin shaft – Swastika ia a concave square with four dolphins as additional symbols" (540-535/525 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with thin flukes and a thin stock. Side view of the additional symbol of a crab (or view from above) right, between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Schematic view of a swastika in sectors concave with arms bent to the left. A dolphin as an additional symbol in every one of the sectors. Dolphins’ heads point from the center of the swastika outwards.
2 commentsJaimelai
174.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 42 - Silver Drachm 84 views450 – 424 B.C.
3.26 gm, 14.5 mm
Obv.: Anchor; crayfish to left, A to right
Rev: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with beaded hair in tuffs, surrounded by thin snakes
Topalov Apollonia p. 586, 42 (corrected)
Sear p. 165, 1655

Topalov Type: Upright Anchor - Gorgon's Head: Late Issues (450-424 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and curved stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left between the fluke and the stock and the letter “A” right.
Rev.: Full-face Gordon's head in the archaic Ionian style with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Instead of hair there are snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.

Description from Topalov Apollonia 2007
1 commentsJaimelai
3.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 42 - Silver Drachm 76 views450 – 425 B.C.
3.32 gm, 13.5 mm
Obv.: Anchor; crayfish to left, A to right
Rev: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with beaded hair, surrounded by thin snakes
Topalov Apollonia p. 586, 42 (corrected)
Sear p. 165, 1655

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor, a crab as an additional symbol on the left, A on the right - Gorgon's Head" Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and curved stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left between the fluke and the stock and the letter “A” right.
Rev.: Full-face Gordon's head in the archaic Ionian style with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Instead of hair there are snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
1 commentsJaimelai
AP42_33.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 42 - Silver Drachm33 views450 – 425 B.C.
3.28 gm, 15 mm
Obv.: Anchor; crayfish to left, A to right
Rev: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with beaded hair, surrounded by snakes
Topalov Apollonia p. 586, 42 (corrected)
Sear p. 165, 1655

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor, a crab as an additional symbol on the left, A on the right - Gorgon's Head" Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and curved stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left between the fluke and the stock and the letter “A” right.
Rev.: Full-face Gordon's head in the archaic Ionian style with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Instead of hair there are snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
Jaimelai
AP_25.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 42 - Silver Drachm 30 views450 – 424 B.C.
3.19 gm, 15.3 mm
Obv.: Anchor; crayfish to left, A to right
Rev: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with beaded hair in tuffs, surrounded by thin snakes
Topalov Apollonia p. 586, 42 (corrected)
Sear p. 165, 1655

Topalov Type: Upright Anchor - Gorgon's Head: Late Issues (450-424 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and curved stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left between the fluke and the stock and the letter “A” right.
Rev.: Full-face Gordon's head in the archaic Ionian style with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Instead of hair there are snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.

Description from Topalov Apollonia 2007
Jaimelai
AP3_a.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm103 views450 - 425 B.C.
3.16 gm, 13-14 mm
Obv.: Anchor; A to left, crayfish to right
Rev: Gorgon head facing in tufts parted in middle

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or right - Full-Face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left and the letter A right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
Jaimelai
AP2_a.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm61 views450 - 425 B.C.
3.13 gm, 13-15 mm
Obv.: Anchor; crayfish to left, A to right
Rev: Gorgon head facing, narrow forehead, hair in tufts

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or right - Full-Face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left and the letter A right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
Jaimelai
a05_626.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm97 views450 - 425 B.C.
3.15 gm, 13.5 - 15 mm
Rev: Gorgon head facing with hair parted in the middle
Obv.: Anchor; crayfish to left, A to right

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or right - Full-Face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left and the letter A right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
1 commentsJaimelai
Capture_00003b.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm59 views450 – 425 B.C.
3.26 gm, 13-14 mm
Rev: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with hair in tufts
Obv.: Anchor; crayfish to left, A to right
Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44
Sear p. 165, 1655

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor, a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or on the right - Full-face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left and the letter A right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
Jaimelai
ap3_50~0.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm43 views450 – 424 B.C.
3.31 gm, 13.2 mm
Obv.: Anchor; A to right, crayfish to left.
Rev: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with straight vertical hair with wavy bangs; elaborate design with pronounced face wrinkles and spoked wheel/star pattern ear-rings, on a webbed aegis shield tipped with coiled snakes.
Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44; Sear 1655;
BMC 15, p. 8 5-7& 9; SNG BM Black Sea 156

Certified Authentic by David R. Sear (A.C.C.S. Ref. 501CR/GC/CO/CD)

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor, a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or on the right - Full-face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left and the letter A right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
2 commentsJaimelai
018b2.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm44 views450 – 425 B.C.
3.24 gm, 14 mm
Obv.: Anchor; A to left, crayfish to right
Rev: Noble Attic Gorgon head facing with straight vertical hair with wavy bangs
Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44; Sear 1655 var.

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor, a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or on the right - Full-face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above and the letter “A” right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.

Description from Topalov Apollonia 2007
Jaimelai
002_2~1.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm39 views450 – 425 B.C.
3.16 gm, 14 mm
Obv.: Anchor; A to left, crayfish to right
Rev: Noble Attic Gorgon head facing with straight vertical hair with wavy bangs
Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44; Sear 1655 var.

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor, a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or on the right - Full-face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above and the letter “A” right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.

Description from Topalov Apollonia 2007
Jaimelai
012~0.JPG
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm46 views450 – 425 B.C.
3.21 gm, 14 mm
Obv.: Anchor; crayfish to left, A to right
Rev: Noble Attic Gorgon head facing with straight vertical hair with wavy bangs
Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44; Sear 1655 var.

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor, a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or on the right - Full-face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above and the letter “A” right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.

Description from Topalov Apollonia 2007
1 commentsJaimelai
AP11_a~0.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm34 views450 – 425 B.C.
3.13 gm, 12-14 mm
Obv.: Anchor; A to left, crayfish to right
Rev: Noble Attic Gorgon head facing with straight vertical hair with wavy bangs
Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44; Sear 1655 var.

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor, a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or on the right - Full-face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above and the letter “A” right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.

Description from Topalov Apollonia 2007
Jaimelai
Capture_00016_(2)~0.JPG
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm44 views450 – 425 B.C.
3.28 gm, 14 mm
Obv.: Anchor; A to left, crayfish to right
Rev: Noble Attic Gorgon head facing with straight vertical hair with straight bangs parted in the middle
Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44; Sear 1655 var.

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor, a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or on the right - Full-face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above and the letter “A” right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.

Description from Topalov Apollonia 2007
Jaimelai
AP5_b2.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm33 views450 - 425 B.C.
3.13 gm, 13 mm
Obv.: Anchor; crayfish to left, A to right
Rev: Gorgon head facing with hair in tufts

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or right - Full-Face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left and the letter A right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
Jaimelai
7.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm 56 views450 – 425 B.C.
3.14 gm, 15 mm
Obv.: Anchor; A to right, crayfish to left.
Rev: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with wild hair and snakes
Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44
Sear Vol. 1, p. 165, 1655

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or right - Full-Face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left and
the letter A right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
Jaimelai
AP5_a~0.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm 37 views450 - 425 B.C.
3.20 gm, 12-14 mm
Obv.: Anchor; crayfish to left, A to right
Rev: Gorgon head facing with hair in tufts

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or right - Full-Face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left and the letter A right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
Jaimelai
011~0.JPG
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm 36 views450 – 425 B.C.
3.24 gm, 13 mm
Obv.: Anchor; A to left, crayfish to right
Rev: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with straight vertical hair with wavy bangs
Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44; Sear 1655 var.

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor, a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or on the right - Full-face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above and the letter “A” right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and toungue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.

Description from Topalov Apollonia 2007
Jaimelai
ap_33~0.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm27 views450 - 425 B.C.
3.09 gm, 14.3 mm
Obv.: Anchor; A to left, crayfish to right
Rev: Gorgon head facing in tufts parted in middle

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or right - Full-Face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left and the letter A right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
Jaimelai
ap_real_50.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm45 views450 – 424 B.C.
3.27 gm, 13.7 mm
Obv.: Anchor; A to right, crayfish to left.
Rev: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with straight vertical hair with wavy bangs
Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44;
Sear 1655;
BMC 15, p. 8 5-7& 9;
SNG BM Black Sea 153-6 & 158

Certified Authentic by David Sear (A.C.C.S. Ref. 502CR/GC/CO/CD)

Note: From same dies as the source coin of the series of cast fakes (see Fake Coin Reports)

Topalov Type 44: Upright Anchor - Gorgon's Head: Last Late Issues (450-424 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left between the fluke and the stock and the letter “A” right (or visa versa).
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormally open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
2 commentsJaimelai
ap44.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm24 views450 – 424 B.C.
3.20 gm, 13 mm
Obv.: Anchor; A to left, crayfish to right
Rev.: Attic Gorgon head facing with straight vertical hair and wavy bangs, snaky ringlets circle face
Topalov Apollonia p.348, 11; p.588, 44

Topalov Type: Upright Anchor - Gorgon's Head: Last Late Issues (450-424 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left between the fluke and the stock and the letter “A” right (or visa versa).
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormally open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
Jaimelai
44_50.jpg
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Silver Drachm20 views450 – 425 B.C.
3.18 gm, 15.98 mm
Obv.: Inverted anchor; crayfish to left, A to right
Rev: Noble Attic Gorgon head facing with wavy hair parted in the middle
Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44; Sear 1655; HGC 3, 1323

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor, a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or on the right - Full-face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above and the letter “A” right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.

Description from Topalov Apollonia 2007
Jaimelai
016~4.JPG
Apollonia Pontica Topalov 44 - Siver Drachm40 views450 – 425 B.C.
3.17 g., 13-15 mm.
Rev: Archaic Ionian Gorgon head facing with wavy hair parted in middle
Obv.: Anchor; crayfish to left, A to right
Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44
Sear p. 165, 1655

Topalov Type: "Upright Anchor a crab as an additional symbol and the letter A on the left or right - Full-Face Gorgon's Head" Last Late Issues (450-425 B.C.)
Obv.: Upright anchor with large flukes and solid stock. An additional symbol of a crab viewed from above left and the letter A right (or visa versa) between the fluke and the stock.
Rev.: Full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormaly open mouth, long teeth and tongue. Human hair mixed with snakes with thin bodies. The image in a concave circle.
Jaimelai
Sellwood_21_4v_Artabanos_I_tetradrachm.jpg
Artabanos I92 viewstetradrachm, 127 - 124 BC
Sellwood 21.4v

Also listed at http://coinproject.com/coin_detail.php?coin=233677
2 commentsRobert L3
Athens_tet.jpg
Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, 449 - 413 B.C.118 viewsSilver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31ff; Starr pl. xxii, 6; SGCV I 2526, VF, test cut, Athens mint, weight 16.870g, maximum diameter 24.5mm, die axis 225o, obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AQE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square;


The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.

Ex Forum
1 commentsPhiloromaos
Athens_Tetradrachm.jpg
Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, 449 - 413 B.C.462 viewsSilver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31 ff., SGCV I 2526, EF, light scuff on cheek, 17.184g, 25.6mm, 180o, Athens mint, obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AQE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square;

A superb beauty ex FORVM .


The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.

*With my sincere thank , Photo and Description courtesy of FORVM Ancient Coins Staff.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
9 commentsSam
Athens,_Greece,_Old_Style_Tetradrachm,_c__454_-_404_B_C_.jpg
Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, c. 454 - 404 B.C.200 views*In honor of Christmas and Chanukah , from FORVM , new to my collection ;
A masterpiece example of group Copenhagen 31 .

My best wishes to all of you.


Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG München 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, EF, fabulous owl, well centered on a tight flan, no test cuts, a little obverse die wear, contact marks, 17.168g, 25.0mm, 90o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AQE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square.

The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
EX FORVM .
The Sam Mansourati Collection.
4 commentsSam
Athens,_Greece,_Old_Style_Tetradrachm,_c__454_-_404_B_C_~0.jpg
Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, c. 454 - 404 B.C.112 viewsIn honor of Christmas :
Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Munchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, Choice EF, bold well centered strike, high relief as usual for the type, attractive surfaces, graffito on reverse, small edge cracks, 17.176g, 24.7mm, 30o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AQE downward on right, all within incuse square.

The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.

FORVM Ancient Coins. / From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
10 commentsSam
00221q00.jpg
Attica, Athens. (Circa 454-449 BC)28 viewsAR Tetradrachm

25 mm, 17.20 g

This is a transitional Owl tetradrachm that bridges the early classical owls (minted from 478-454) with the subsequent mass classical (standardized) coinage, which really got going in the early 440s BC to finance Pericles' building projects like the Parthenon and then later the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) vs. Sparta. The 454 date is critical in that it was the year that Athens moved the treasury of the Delian league (confederation of Greek states led by Athens to defend against the Persian threat) from Delos to Athens.

This coin shares many attributes of Starr V early classical coinage (465-454 BC). On the obverse, the olive leaves on Athena's helmet connect to her diadem with small stems (which disappear in the mass coinage). In addition, the palmette leaves on Athena's helmet are smaller, less decorative, and more realistic. Finally, Athena is smiling (she starts to frown as the war with Sparta goes badly) and is more beautifully depicted than in the more hastily produced mass coinage.

On the reverse, like with the Starr V coins, the incuse is quite noticeable and the AOE (short for AOENAION, or "Of the Athenians") is written in smaller letters (they are much bigger in the mass coinage). Also, the owl is stouter, has smaller eyes, and his head is at an angle rather than parallel to the ground like all later issues.

The only difference between the Starr V owls and this example is in the owl's tail - in Starr V it ends with three small feathers. On this coin and all subsequent coinage the owl's tail ends in a single prong. Given all the other similarities to Starr V it is likely this coin was minted soon after the Treasury's move from Delos to Athens - perhaps 454/453.
2 commentsNathan P
Barberini_Faun_front_Glyptothek_Munich_218_n2.jpg
Barberini Faun (Drunken Satyr) located in the Glyptothek in Munich, Germany225 viewsThe life-size marble statue known as the Barberini Faun or Drunken Satyr is located in the Glyptothek in Munich, Germany. A Faun is the Roman equivalent of a Greek Satyr. In Greek mythology, satyrs were human-like male woodland spirits with several animal features, often a goat-like tail, hooves, ears, or horns. Satyrs attended Dionysus. The position of the right arm over the head was a classical artistic convention indicating sleep. The statue is believed to have once adorned Hadrian's Mausoleum. The historian Procopius recorded that during the siege of Rome in 537 the defenders had hurled down upon the Goths the statues adorning Hadrian's Mausoleum. When discovered, the statue was heavily damaged; the right leg, parts of both hands, and parts of the head were missing. Johann Winckelmann speculated that the place of discovery and the statue's condition suggested that it had been such a projectile.
Joe Sermarini
BCC_NA1.jpg
BCC NA141 viewsNeolithic Period
Projectile point or blade
42.5mm.x20mm.x4.0mm
4.28gm.
Surface find from an area
of uplifted alluvial deposits,
4Km SE of Caesarea.
v-drome
BCC_NA2_composite.jpg
BCC NA221 viewsNeolithic Period
Chert. 35 x 20 x 4mm.
2.43gm. Finely fashioned
tanged blade or projectile point
with notches, barbs, and serrated
edges. Forepart, tang? and one barb
broken. Surface find from an area
of uplifted alluvial deposits, 4Km SE
of Caesarea Maritima, 1972.
(click for higher resolution)
v-drome
Buvanaka_BahuOR.jpg
Buvanaka Bahu (one “massa”), Ceylon Coins and Currency: H. W. Codrington, Colombo, 1924.43 viewsCeylon, Buvanaka Bahu (one “massa”), 1273-1284 AD struck copper, 19mm 4.43g
Obverse : Traditional Lankan mass-a design of standing king.
The head consists of an irregular oblong, the right side being a vertical line, from which projects three horizontal stokes representing the nose, mouth and chin. The crown bulging outwards at the back. The two curved lines on either side of the legs slightly turned upwards at the end indicate a person wearing a dhoti, and standing on a lotus stalk with flower to the right. The forearm is bent sharply down; the hand grasps the hanging lamp. The right side elbow is curved down with the arm turned upwards holds a flower presumed to be a jasmine blossom. To the right are five dots or spheres. A rim of 40 to 43 beads.
Reverse : Traditional Lankan massa design of seated king.
Head and crown as on obverse. Arm is raised upwards and the hand holds a conch shell. On right Devanagari legend Sri Bhu va nai ka Ba hu
* Ceylon Coins and Currency: H. W. Codrington, Colombo, 1924.
Chapter VI Mediaeval Lanka - Sinhala of 12th & 13th Century - Series II, Page 70
* Culavamsa II Chapter LXXXI: Translation by Wilhelm Geiger. Pali Text Society 1930
casata137ec
Screenshot_2016-05-24_10_06_45.png
Byzantine Empire, Basil II, AE Follis. Added to the Coinproject site.13 viewsConstantinople 976-1028 A.D. 16.85g - 33mm, Axis 6h.

Obv: IC-XC to left and right of bust of Christ, facing, with nimbate cross behind head, holding book of gospels, dots in centre of book's border, o in each limb of the cross.

Rev: IhSUS XRISTUS bASILEU bASILE - Legend in four lines.

SB 1813.
scarli
cariahalhemiOR3.jpg
Caria, Halikarnassos(?) mint, SNG Keckman 869 ff54 viewsCaria, Halikarnassos(?) mint, 5th Century B.C. AR hemiobol, 8.4mm 0.30g, SNG Keckman 869 ff. (various symbols on reverse)
O: rams head right
R: male head right within incuse square

*extremely successful cleaning project...was 0.036g before cleaning
2 commentscasata137ec
Codrington-79.jpg
Ceylon: Codaganga (1196-1197) AE Massa (Codrington-79) 27 viewstext from coins.lakdiva.org

Obv: Traditional Lankan massa design of standing king.
The head consists of an irregular oblong, the right side being a vertical line, from which projects three horizontal stokes representing the nose, mouth and chin. The crown bulging outwards at the back. The two curved lines on either side of the legs slightly turned upwards at the end indicate a person wearing a 'dhoti', and standing on a lotus stalk with flower to the right. The forearm is bent sharply down; the hand grasps the hanging lamp. The right side elbow is curved down with the arm turned upwards holds a flower presumed to be a jasmine blossom. To the right are five dots or spheres. A rim of 40 to 43 beads.

Rev: Traditional Lankan massa design of seated king.
Head and crown as on obverse. Arm is raised upwards and the hand holds a conch shell. On right Devanagari legend Sri Co da ga (m)ga de va.
SpongeBob
Mitchiner-835.jpg
Ceylon: Nissanaka Malla (1187-1196) AE Massa (Mitchiner-835, Codrington-78) 23 viewstext from coins.lakdiva.org

Obv: Traditional Lankan massa design of standing king.
The head consists of an irregular oblong, the right side being a vertical line, from which projects three horizontal stokes representing the nose, mouth and chin. The crown bulging outwards at the back. The two curved lines on either side of the legs slightly turned upwards at the end indicate a person wearing a 'dhoti', and standing on a lotus stalk with flower to the right. The forearm is bent sharply down; the hand grasps the hanging lamp. The right side elbow is curved down with the arm turned upwards holds a flower presumed to be a jasmine blossom. To the right are five dots or spheres. A rim of 40 to 43 beads.

Rev: Traditional Lankan massa design of seated king.
Head and crown as on obverse. Arm is raised upwards and the hand holds a conch shell. On right Devanagari legend Sri Ka le ga la ke ja . which represents Sri Kalinga Lamkendra, the signature of the Doratiyawa tudupota
SpongeBob
Mitchiner-853.jpg
Ceylon: Parakrama Bahu VI (1415-1468) AE Massa (Mitchiner-853, Codrington-97)31 viewstext from coins.lakdiva.org

Obv: Similar to Lankan massa design of standing king.
The head consists of an oblong, from the chord of which project three lines; crown or makuta, two arcs and a dot in rear. right elbow more pronounced; in right hand a lamp consisting of a straight line ending in a ball and flanked on either side by two dots. In left hand a small ball. Feet turned outward. Two dots, one under each arm, represents the upper part of the dhoti. To right a lion seated and facing right with left foreleg uplifted; each paw has three claws. A rim is a circle of large dots.

Rev : Traditional Lankan massa design of seated king.
Head and crown as on obverse. Arm is raised upwards and the hand holds a small ball. On right Devanagari legend Sri Pa ra kra ma Ba hu
SpongeBob
cistosardis.jpg
Cistophoric Tetradrachm of Apamaeia- Attalid Empire 145-139 BC20 viewsOBV: Cista Mystica with half open lid from which a serpent emerges; all within an ivy wreath
REV: Two coiled serpents with heads erect; between them an ornamental bow-case with strap at right and bow projecting to the upper left. In field to left- monogram of Apameia. In right field Head of an elephant. In lower coils of the snakes: to left initials MI and to right - Delta H.

The coin is listed in Kleiner and Noe's (The Early Cistophoric Coinage; ANS Numismatic studies. No 14, NY 1977) as part of Series 23. The cistophori of Apameia were minted at Pergamum. Kleiner believes the initials on cistophori represent mint officials at Pergamum. This identification is entirely the work of djmacdo ("Mac") on the Forum.
Weight 12.6 gm
daverino
nikopolis_18_caracalla_HrHJ(2013)8_18_46_08+.jpg
CITY-GATE, Caracalla, Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, 18. HrHJ (2013) 8.18.46.08 (plate coin)134 viewsCaracalla, AD 198-217
AE 28, 12.47g, 27.69mm, 210°
struck under governor Flavius Ulpianus
obv. AV.K.M.AVR. - ANTWNINOC
Bust, draped and cuirassed with scale armour, seen from rear, laureate, r.
rev. V FL OVLPIAN - NIKOPOLIT / PROC IC
Portal with 2 projecting side wings; thereupon a similar structured building whose central
part has 3 gate openings and a pediment with shield and spear; the side wings seem to
be open halls with 4 pillars each and pitched roof; through the open gate of the lower
building the front of a tetrastyle temple is visible.
ref. a) AMNG I/1, 1585, pl. III, 20 (for Severus)
b) Varbanov (engl.) 3145
c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2013) No. 8.18.46.8 (plate coin)
extremely rare, F/about VF, green somewhat patchy patina
Pedigree:
ex Gorny&Mosch (attributed to Severus in error!)

Pick: Nature and purpose of this building found on coins of Severus and Caracalla I don't know. It is hardly identical with the building on coins of Macrinus (pl. III, 21)
1 commentsJochen
nikopolis_14_sept_severus_HrHJ(2013)8_14_46_03+.jpg
CITY-GATE, Septimius Severus, Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, 14.HrHJ (2013) 8.14.46.03 (plate coin)78 viewsSeptimius Severus, 193-211
AE 29, 12.01g, 28.52mm, 195°
struck under governor Flavius Ulpianus
obv. AVT L CEP - T CEVHROC P
Bust, draped and cuirassed, seen from behind, laureate r.
rev. V FL OVLPIAN NIKOPOLIT / PROC IC
Portal with 2 projecting side wings; thereupon a similar structured building whose central
part has 3 gate openings and a pediment with shield and spear; the side wings seem to
be open halls with 4 pillars each and pitched roof; through the open gate of the lower
building the front of a tetrastyle temple is visible.
ref. a) AMNG I/1, 1339 (1 Ex., München)
b) Varbanov (engl.) 2795 corr. (writes VP FL and PROC I)
c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2013) No. 8.14.46.3 (plate coin)
Scarce, F+/about VF, brown-green patina

Pick: Nature and purpose of this building found on coins of Severus and Caracalla I don't know. It is hardly identical with the building on coins of Macrinus (pl. III, 21)
Jochen
clovismidky.jpg
Clovis point. Early Paleoindian period. 15,000 - 9,000 B.C.41 viewsClovis points are the characteristically-fluted projectile points associated with the North American Clovis culture. They date to the Paleoindian period around 13,500 years ago and are named after the city of Clovis, New Mexico, where examples were first found in 1929.ancientone
D772d.JPG
Domitian RIC-770162 viewsAR Denarius, 3.27g
Rome mint, 95 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Minerva adv r., with spear and shield (M1)
RIC 770 (C2). BMC 222. RSC 288. BNC 199.
Ex Dionysos Numismatik, eBay, April 2014.

Domitian took the consulship for the seventeenth time in 95, so this coin can be dated between 1 January and 13 September of that year. Many of the portraits from this issue and the following one show Domitian with slightly raised 'eyes toward heaven' - as seen on this example. Mattingly postulated this as 'lofty aspirations' or even that it is modelled upon the great Equus Domitiani statue erected in 91! Whatever the reason for the portait style, it is indeed a remarkable feature of the late issues and is either the image Domitian wished to project or the product of one or more talented die engravers producing these unique portraits without any direction from above.

A fairly common coin in fine late period style.
David Atherton
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Durotrigan Bi "Durotrigan E" or "Cranbourne Chase" type stater, region: South Britain (Dorset), c. 58 BC - 43 AD11 viewsFlan roughly circular, obverse convex, reverse concave.
18.5mm, 1.5+mm thick, 2.82g
Die axis: ~3h (Greek), assuming traditional diagonal wreath position with "eyes" right
Material: billon of unknown silver and other metal content.

Obverse: devolved head of a god (Celtic "Apollo") right , reverse: disjointed horse / chariot left with 12 pellets above and 1 below (possibly indicating 12+1 lunar months in a solar year)

The design is loosely based on golden staters of Philip II of Macedon with laureate head of Apollo on obverse and a charioteer driving a biga (Mediterranean two-horse chariot) on reverse.

References: Durotrigan E, Cranbourne Chase type, BMC 2525-2731, Mack 317-318, Sp 367, RDVA 1235-1237 etc.

Peculiarities in this case: small flan, so most of design does not fit onto it, probably indicating very late production, no usual correspondence between the "crook" crossing the "wreath" and the "left eye", pellets large and flat, obverse significantly off center, ornaments left to "cheek" clearly visible.

The Durotriges were one of the Celtic (possibly even pre-Celtic) tribes living in Britain prior to the Roman invasion. The tribe lived in modern Dorset, south Wiltshire, south Somerset and Devon east of the River Axe and the discovery of an Iron Age hoard in 2009 at Shalfleet, Isle of Wight gives evidence that they lived in the western half of the island. After the Roman conquest, their main civitates, or settlement-centred administrative units, were Durnovaria (modern Dorchester, "the probable original capital") and Lindinis (modern Ilchester, "whose former, unknown status was thereby enhanced"). Their territory was bordered to the west by the Dumnonii; and to the east by the Belgae.

Durotriges were more a tribal confederation than a tribe. They were one of the groups that issued coinage before the Roman conquest, part of the cultural "periphery" round the "core group" of Britons in the south. These coins were rather simple and had no inscriptions. The Durotriges presented a settled society, based in the farming of lands surrounded and controlled by strong hill forts that were still in use in 43 AD. Maiden Castle is a preserved example of one of these hill forts.

The area of the Durotriges is identified in part by coin finds: few Durotrigan coins are found in the "core" area, where they were apparently unacceptable and were reminted. To their north and east were the Belgae, beyond the Avon and its tributary Wylye: "the ancient division is today reflected in the county division between Wiltshire and Somerset." Their main outlet for the trade across the Channel, strong in the first half of the 1st century BC, when the potter's wheel was introduced, then drying up in the decades before the advent of the Romans, was at Hengistbury Head. Numismatic evidence shows progressive debasing of the coinage, suggesting economic retrenchment accompanying the increased cultural isolation. Analysis of the body of Durotrigan ceramics suggests that the production was increasingly centralised, at Poole Harbour. Burial of Durotriges was by inhumation, with a last ritual meal provided even under exiguous circumstances, as in the eight burials at Maiden Castle, carried out immediately after the Roman attack.

Not surprisingly, the Durotriges resisted Roman invasion in AD 43, and the historian Suetonius records some fights between the tribe and the second legion Augusta, then commanded by Vespasian. By 70 AD, the tribe was already Romanised and securely included in the Roman province of Britannia. In the tribe’s area, the Romans explored some quarries and supported a local pottery industry.

The Durotriges, and their relationship with the Roman Empire, form the basis for an ongoing archaeological research project (https://research.bournemouth.ac.uk/project/the-durotriges-project/) directed by Paul Cheetham, Ellen Hambleton and Miles Russell of Bournemouth University. The Durotriges Project has, since 2009, been reconsidering the Iron Age to Roman transition through a detailed programme of field survey, geophysical investigation and targeted excavation.
Yurii P
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E76 viewsNero AE As

Attribution: RIC I 313, Rome
Date: AD 65
Obverse: NERO CAESAR AVG GERM IMP laureate head l.
Reverse: Victory advancing l. holding shield with “ S P Q R” inscribed, S-C in fields
Size: 26 mm
Weight: 12.3 grams
(Bust of Nero: Museo Nazionale, Rome)

“He was about the average height, his body marked with spots and malodorous, his hair light blond…His health was good for though indulging in every kind of riotous excess, he was ill but three times in all during the fourteen years of his reign.” –Seutonius Life of Nero LI

Upon the death of Claudius in AD 54, 16 year-old Nero was accepted as the next emperor. At first, he pampered the senate, made financial promises to the praetorian guard, and generally appeared to be headed in the direction of the superior reign of the divine Augustus. Problems soon became evident upon the poisoning of Britannicus, Claudius’ son. The murder of Nero’s mother, Agrippina, in AD 59 was the single most notoriously sordid act of the emperor’s entire reign. Still, he was noted for numerous other disdainful exploits as well. Nero became infatuated with Poppaea, the wife of a close friend, Marcus Otho. He had Otho appointed governor of Lusitania and soon began an affair with Poppaea. His marriage to Octavia, of course, was a problem as well, so Nero had her exiled on the island of Pandateria in AD 62. There she was accused of adultery and subsequently killed not long after. Sadly, in AD 65, while throwing a temper tantrum, Nero kicked a pregnant Poppaea to death. He did remarry again, but eventually became lovers with the boy Sporus who resembled Poppaea.

“Rumour had it that he used to roam the streets after dark, visiting taverns with his friends, mugging people in the street, attacking women, and thieving from shops and stalls. He was also accused of abusing married women and freeborn boys.” – from Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (1995)

Nero’s reign is marked by a time of financial bleeding of the imperial coffers. His “projects” and excesses were so vast, that the emperor needed to find money wherever he could. One of his most heinous rampages saw him coercing wealthy citizens to will their possessions and fortunes to him prior to forcing them to commit suicide. The Great Fire of AD 64, which started in the neighborhood of the Circus Maximus and spread rapidly to 10 of Rome’s 14 regions, brought the emperor’s popularity further down as tensions reached the boiling point. This is partially due to the fact that he diverted the blame for the fire in the direction of an emerging religious “cult”, the Christians (who were persecuted unmercifully). It is said that he even tied some Christians to posts and had them tarred and lit to illuminate his parties in the royal gardens. Later several conspiracies were unraveled and quelled, but in the end, Nero pushed his luck too far. The revolts of Vindex, Rufus, and Galba were the beginning of the end for the emperor. He was abandoned by his guards and found himself alone at the palace. One of his freedmen, Phaon, led him out of the city to a villa. There Nero committed suicide by stabbing himself in the neck (although his private secretary Epaphroditus finished the job). His last words were, “What an artist the world is losing!” He died in AD 68 at age 30.
4 commentsNoah
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Egypt, New Kingdom, 16th - 11th Century BC, Faience Scarab14 viewsEgypt, New Kingdom, 16th - 11th Century BC
Blue faience scarab measuring 27mm. Intact with a nice blue color, simple incised details, blank base.

ex. DeVries Collection. Carl DeVries (born 1921, died 2010), research associate and professor for the Oriental Institute, was a renowned collector of antiquities. Dr. DeVries attended Wheaton College in Illinois, earning his B.A. in 1942, M.A. in 1944 and B.D. in 1947. Because he lost an eye as a teenager he could not serve in the military during World War II. Wheaton recruited him as a 22-year-old to be head coach for track and football. Known as "The Kid Coach”, he served on the coaching staff from 1942 to 1952. He served as an instructor in Biblical archaeology at Wheaton from 1945 until 1952 before leaving to pursue his Ph.D. in archaeology from the University of Chicago, which he attained in 1960. As a member of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago he excavated in Egypt from 1950 to 1972 and served on many culturally important undertakings such as the Nubian Expedition and Aswan Dam Recovery Project. Many items in his collection were purchased in Luxor from Sayed Molattam, a noted antiquities dealer based in Luxor, where Devrie’s work with the Oriental Institute was based.
2 commentsRandygeki(h2)
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Gallienus - Gazelle XII Left31 viewsObverse:- GALLIENVSAVG, Head right with radiate crown
Reverse:- DIANAECO[N]SAVG, Gazelle left
Exergue:- XII
RIC 181 GOBL 750b CUNETIO 1408

At first glance this coin seems to have an XI in the exergue, however according to the Cunetio one of the subtle differences between the coins of the XI & XII officina are the rear legs, those from XI are seen from behind, whilst those from XII are not. On closer inspection and only in right light you can just make out a raised area which corresponds to the missing I (see small picture in the middle). Whether this was done deliberately or not is not for me to make judgements but it does at least keep the coin in line with the Cunetio statement about the rear legs. The only other coin I came across which maybe refute this statement for the XI Gazelle can be found in the coin project (http://www.coinproject.com/coin_detail.php?coin=218931).
nogoodnicksleft
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Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus 107 viewsCN MAG

Lead sling shot reportedly from the battle of Munda.

Found in Estepa, Spain
74.19g

49x28mm


The Battle of Munda took place on March 17, 45 BC in the plains of Munda, which is in modern southern Spain. This was the last great battle of Julius Caesar's civil war against the republican armies. After this victory, and the deaths of Titus Labienus and Gnaeus Pompeius (Pompey's oldest son), Caesar was free to return to Rome and govern as dictator. Tens of thousands of Romans died at Munda. About one month after defeat, Gnaeus was captured and executed. His brother Sextus survived to initiate another rebellion, on Sicily, where he was finally defeated by Marcus Agrippa and executed in Asia in 35 BC by Mark Antony, ten years after Munda.

Eitan Hirsch, a ballistics expert with the Israeli Defense Forces calculated that an expert slinger could hit a target from 35 meters away. According to his calculations a projectile could be hurled at a velocity of 34 meters per second. Equivalent to a modern day handgun.
4 commentsJay GT4
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Gordian III Kabeiros in Distyle Temple18 viewsGordian III, Varbanov III, Thessalonica, 4604, 22mm, 11.07g 
OBV: AYT K M ANT GORDIANOC, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust rightRADIATE Laureate bust right
REV: QECCALONIKEWN NEWKORON, distyle temple containing Kabeiros standing facing, head left, between two anvils with horn-shaped projection. (Ref: Touratsoglou 279, 141), rated R4.
Kabeiros was the patron god of Thessalonica

VERY RARE
Romanorvm
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Greek Lead Sling Bullet121 viewsDate: circa 4th-1st centuries BC
Size: 33 mm

An ancient Greek lead sling bullet of pointed elliptical form, inscribed on one side with a wasp, and on the other: KAΛA.

The sling is mentioned by Homer and by many other Greek authors. The historian of the famous retreat of the Ten Thousand, 401 BC, relates that the Greeks suffered severely from the slingers in the army of Artaxerxes II of Persia, while they themselves had neither cavalry nor slingers, and were unable to reach the enemy with their arrows and javelins. This deficiency was later rectified when a company of 200 Rhodians, who understood the use of leaden sling-bullets, was formed. They were able, says Xenophon, to project their missiles twice as far as the Persian slingers, who used large stones. The Rhodians were so feared that later even the Romans employed them to great effect.
4 commentsNoah
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HARBOUR, NERO, AE Sestertius (Portus Claudii)139 viewsĆ sestertius (22.54g, maximum Ř34.24mm, 6h), Lugdunum mint, struck AD 66.
Obv.: IMP NERO CAESAR AVG P MAX TR P P P, laureate head of Nero right, globe below tip of bust.
Rev.: PORT AVG (below) S C (above), aerial view of the harbour of Ostia, showing pier, breakwaters, lighthouse surmounted by the statue of Neptune, seven ships, and the figure of Tiber reclining left in foreground, holding rudder and dolphin.
Mac Dowall (The western Coinages of Nero, ANS SSN 161) 476; RIC 586 (R2); BMCRE 323 var. (different obv. legend); Cohen 253 var. (emperor's head to left); CBN 74 var. (different obv. legend); Sear (RCV) 1953var.

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

It was a huge project enclosing an area of 69 hectares, with two long curving moles projecting into the sea, and an artificial island, bearing a lighthouse, in the centre of the space between the moles. The foundation of this lighthouse was provided by filling with concrete and sinking one of the massive ships that Caligula had used to transport an obelisk from Egypt for the Circus Maximus. These giant ships had a length of around 100m and displaced a minimum of 7400 tons. The harbour opened directly to the sea on the northwest and communicated with the Tiber by a channel on the southeast. However, it was very exposed to the weather and under Trajan was superseded by a new land-locked inner basin linked to the Tiber by a canal.
3 commentsCharles S
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Hendin-494 / 1184 (02)14 viewsHerod I - prutah
1.57 grams
pictured on MenorahCoinProject.org under Obv. 6 / Rev. 7
cmcdon0923
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Herod Antipas Half Unit84 viewsHERODIANS. Herod Antipas (4 BCE - 39 CE). Tiberias Mint, Ć half denomination, 19.4mm, 5.3 g.
O: TIBE PIAC in two lines within wreath.
R: HPΩΔOY TETPAPXOY (Herod Tetrarch), vertical palm branch, L to left, ΛZ to right, (RY 37 = 33/34 CE)
Hendin-1212 in GBC 5; ex. Hendin; ex. Teddy Kollek Collection; Menorah Coin Project ANT 15, Die 02/R12; Sear certificate.

Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace, a Samaritan woman. He was brought up in Rome with his brother Archelaus.

In Herod’s will, Antipas had been named to receive the kingship, but Herod changed his will, naming Archelaus instead. Antipas contested the will before Augustus Caesar, who upheld Archelaus’ claim but divided the kingdom, giving Antipas the tetrarchy of Galilee and Perea. “Tetrarch,” meaning ‘ruler over one fourth’ of a province, was a term applied to a minor district ruler or territorial prince.

Antipas married the daughter of Aretas, king of Arabia. But on one of his trips to Rome, Antipas visited his half brother Herod Philip, the son of Herod the Great and Mariamne II (not Philip the tetrarch). While visiting, he became infatuated with Philip’s wife Herodias, who was quite the ambitious woman. He took her back to Galilee and married her, divorcing Aretas’ daughter and sending her back home. This insulting action brought war. Aretas invaded and Antipas suffered major losses before receiving orders from Rome for Aretas to stop.

According to Josephus, Herod's defeat was popularly believed to be divine punishment for his execution of John the Baptist. Tiberius ordered Vitellius, the governor of Syria, to capture or kill Aretas, but Vitellius was reluctant to support Herod and abandoned his campaign upon Tiberius' death in 37.

It was Herod Antipas’ adulterous relationship with Herodias that brought reproof from John the Baptizer. John was correct in reproving Antipas, because Antipas was nominally a Jew and professedly under the Law. This would lead to John's murder being schemed during a celebration of Antipas' birthday.

On the last day of Jesus’ earthly life, when he was brought before Pontius Pilate and Pilate heard that Jesus was a Galilean, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas who happened to be in Jerusalem. Herod, disappointed in Jesus, discredited him and made fun of him, then sent him back to Pilate, who was the superior authority as far as Rome was concerned. Pilate and Herod had been enemies, possibly because of certain accusations that Herod had leveled against Pilate. But this move on Pilate’s part pleased Herod and they became friends.
Nemonater
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Holey Coin Vest II, ca. 200466 viewsThis picture was taken outside the ruins of the slave hospital at Retreat Plantation, St. Simons Island, Georgia. The front side of the vest was pre-1900 US and world coins, while the back side was a nearly-complete date set of US large cents. I've since sold off the large cents and was going to replace them with a date set of Seated Liberty dime love tokens, but that collection soon took on a life of its own and expanded beyond mere holey coins, so they ended up in an album rather than the back of the vest. (You can see that collection in a separate album.) In 2011 I disassembled the vest in order to have the coins photographed, but editing all the photos has been a very laborious project. It will eventually be reassembled and the front will likely be taken over by all world and ancient coins, while the reverse will be a 19th century US type set. The last time I attended a show and wore all my regalia was at Charlotte ANA in 2007.1 commentslordmarcovan
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Ionia, Achaemenid Period: Uncertain Satrap (ca. 350-333 BCE) Ć Unit (Traité II 81; Sunrise 72)21 viewsObv: Persian king or hero in kneeling-running stance right, holding spear and bow
Rev: Two concentric squares with line projecting outward from one side
1 commentsQuant.Geek
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Israel, Masada - pile of ancient catapult projectiles - Ouch!210 views1 commentsLloyd
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Italy, Rome, Column of Antoninus Pius, Cortile della Pigna, Vatican Museums36 viewsAbove are the four sides of the base of the Column of Antoninus Pius (Columna Antonini Pii) which was erected in the Campus Martius in memory of Antoninus Pius by Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus c.A.D.158 on the twentieth anniversary of his reign. Constructed of red granite, the column was 14.75 metres high and 1.90m in diameter, unlike the otherwise similar column of Trajan it had no decorating reliefs. The masons' inscription shows that it was quarried out in A.D.106 and architecturally it belonged to the Ustrinum which was 25m north of it on the same orientation. It was surmounted by a statue of Antoninus Pius. Previous to the 18th century the base was completely buried, but the lower part of the shaft projected about 6m above the ground. In 1703, when some buildings were demolished in the area of Montecitorio, the rest of the column and the base were discovered and excavated. The base still survives and is now housed in the Cortile della Pigna in the Vatican Museums.*Alex
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Italy, Rome, Curia Iulia, Forum Romanum124 viewsCuria Julia (Latin: Curia Iulia, Italian: Curia Iulia) is the third named Curia, or Senate House, in the ancient city of Rome. It was built in 44 BC when Julius Caesar replaced Faustus Cornelius Sulla’s reconstructed Curia Cornelia, which itself had replaced the Curia Hostilia. Caesar did this in order to redesign both spaces within the Comitium and Forum Romanum. The alterations within the Comitium reduced the prominence of the senate and cleared the original space. The work, however, was interrupted by Caesar's assassination at the Theatre of Pompey where the Senate had been meeting temporarily while the work was completed. The project was eventually finished by Caesar’s successor Augustus in 29 BC. The Curia Julia is one of only a handful of Roman structures to survive to the modern day mostly intact, due to its conversion into the basilica of Sant'Adriano al Foro in the 7th century and several later restorations. However the roof, together with the upper elevations of the side walls and rear façade, are modern. These parts date from the remodeling of the deconsecrated church in the 1930s.Joe Sermarini
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Italy- 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- Rome- Coliseum constructed by Flavius and seen from outside53 viewsColosseum
The Colosseum or Coliseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (lat. Amphitheatrum Flavium), is an amphitheatre in Rome, capable of seating 50,000 spectators, which was once used for gladiatorial combat. It was built by Emperor Vespasian and his son, Titus, between AD 72 and AD 90. It was built at the site of Nero's enormous palace, the Domus Aurea. The Colosseum's name is derived from a colossus (a 130-foot or 40-metre statue) of Nero which once stood nearby.

Construction
The construction of the Colosseum began under the Emperor Vespasian in AD 72 and was completed by his son, Titus, in the 80s AD. It was built at the site of Nero's enormous palace, the Domus Aurea, which had been built after the great fire of Rome in AD 64. Some historians are of the opinion that the construction of the Colosseum might have been financed by the looting of King Herod the Great's Temple in Jerusalem which occurred about AD 70. Dio Cassius said that 9,000 wild animals were killed in the one hundred days of celebration which inaugurated the amphitheatre opening. The arena floor was covered with sand to sop up the blood.

The Colosseum hosted large-scale spectacular games that included fights between animals (venationes), the killing of prisoners by animals and other executions (noxii), naval battles (naumachiae, via flooding the arena), and combats between gladiators (munera). It has been estimated that between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people died in the Colosseum games.

History of the name Colosseum
The Colosseum's name is derived from a colossus (a 130-foot or 40-metre statue) of Nero nearby. This statue was later remodeled by Nero's successors into the likeness of Sol, the sun god, by adding the appropriate solar crown. The link to Nero's colossus seems to have been forgotten over time, and the name was corrupted to Coliseum in the Middle Ages. Both names are frequently used in modern English, but "Flavian Amphitheatre" is generally unknown. In Italy, it is still known as il colosseo, but other Romance languages have gone for forms such as le colisée and el coliseo.

Description
The Colosseum measured 48 metres high, 188 metres long, and 156 metres wide. The wooden arena floor was 86 metres by 54 metres, and covered by sand. Its elliptical shape kept the players from retreating to a corner, and allowed the spectators to be closer to the action than a circle would allow.

The Colosseum was ingeniously designed. It has been said that most spectacle venues (stadiums, and similar) have been influenced by features of the Colosseum's structure, even well into modern times. Seating (cavea) was divided into different sections. The podium, the first level of seating, was for the Roman senators, and the emperor's private, cushioned, marble box was also located on this level. Above the podium was the maenianum primum, for the other Roman aristocrats who were not in the senate. The third level, the maenianum secundum, was divided into three sections. The lower part (the immum) was for wealthy citizens, while the upper part (the summum) was for poor citizens. A third, wooden section (the maenianum secundum in legneis) was a wooden structure at the very top of the building, added by Domitian. It was standing room only, and was for lower class women.

Underneath the arena was the hypogeum (literally, "underground"), a network of tunnels and cages where gladiators and animals were held before contests began. There were also numerous trap doors in the arena floor for the various animals hidden underneath. The arena floor no longer exists, and the hypogeum walls and corridors are clearly visible in the ruins of the building. The entire base of the Colosseum was equivalent to 6 acres (160,000 m˛).

A most ingenious part of the Colosseum was its cooling system. It was roofed using a canvas covered net-like structure made of ropes, with a hole in the center. This roof sloped down towards the center to catch the wind and provide a breeze for the audience. Sailors manipulated the ropes. The Colosseum also had vomitoria - passageways that open into a tier of seats from below or behind. The vomitoria of the Colosseum in Rome were designed so that the immense venue could fill in 15 minutes, and be evacuated in 5 minutes. Each entrance and exit was numbered, as was each staircase. There were 80 entrances at ground level, 76 for ordinary spectators, two for the imperial family, and two for the gladiators. The vomitoria quickly dispersed people into their seats and upon conclusion of the event disgorged them with abruptness into the surrounding streets - giving rise, presumably, to the name.

Later history
The Colosseum was in continuous use until 217, when it was damaged by fire after it was struck by lightning. It was restored in 238 and gladiatorial games continued until Christianity gradually put an end to those parts of them which included the death of humans. The building was used for various purposes, mostly venationes (animal hunts), until 524. Two earthquakes (in 442 and 508) caused a great damage to the structure. In the Middle Ages, it was severely damaged by further earthquakes (847 and 1349), and was then converted into a fortress. The marble that originally covered it was burned to make quicklime. During the Renaissance, but mostly in the Baroque age, the ruling Roman families (from which many popes came) used it as a source of marble for the construction of St. Peter's Basilica and the private Palazzi. A famous description is in the saying Quod non fecerunt Barbari, fecerunt Barberini; what the Barbarians weren't able to do, was done by the Barberinis (one such family).

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735) wrote

Quandiu stabit coliseus, stabit et Roma; (As long as the Colosseum stands, so shall Rome)
Quando cadit coliseus, cadet et Roma (When the Colosseum falls, so shall Rome)
Quando cadet Roma, cadet et mundus. (When Rome falls, so shall the world)
Note that he used coliseus, i.e. he made the name a masculine noun. This form is no longer in use.

In 1749, as a very early example of historic preservation, Pope Benedict XIV forbade the use of the Colosseum as a quarry. He consecrated the building to the Passion of Christ and installed Stations of the Cross, declaring it sanctified by the blood of the Christian martyrs who were thought to have perished there. Later popes initiated various stabilization and restoration projects. Every Good Friday the pope leads a procession within the ellipse in memory of Christian martyrs. However, there is no historical evidence that Christians were tortured and killed in the Colosseum [2]. It is presumed that the majority of Christian martyrdom in Rome took place at the Circus Maximus.

In recent years, the local authorities of Rome have illuminated the Colosseum all night long whenever someone condemned to the death penalty gets commuted or released.

John Schou
Italy- Rome- Coliseum seen from outside~0.jpg
Italy- Rome- Coliseum seen from outside48 viewsColosseum
The Colosseum or Coliseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (lat. Amphitheatrum Flavium), is an amphitheatre in Rome, capable of seating 50,000 spectators, which was once used for gladiatorial combat. It was built by Emperor Vespasian and his son, Titus, between AD 72 and AD 90. It was built at the site of Nero's enormous palace, the Domus Aurea. The Colosseum's name is derived from a colossus (a 130-foot or 40-metre statue) of Nero which once stood nearby.

Construction
The construction of the Colosseum began under the Emperor Vespasian in AD 72 and was completed by his son, Titus, in the 80s AD. It was built at the site of Nero's enormous palace, the Domus Aurea, which had been built after the great fire of Rome in AD 64. Some historians are of the opinion that the construction of the Colosseum might have been financed by the looting of King Herod the Great's Temple in Jerusalem which occurred about AD 70. Dio Cassius said that 9,000 wild animals were killed in the one hundred days of celebration which inaugurated the amphitheatre opening. The arena floor was covered with sand to sop up the blood.

The Colosseum hosted large-scale spectacular games that included fights between animals (venationes), the killing of prisoners by animals and other executions (noxii), naval battles (naumachiae, via flooding the arena), and combats between gladiators (munera). It has been estimated that between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people died in the Colosseum games.

History of the name Colosseum
The Colosseum's name is derived from a colossus (a 130-foot or 40-metre statue) of Nero nearby. This statue was later remodeled by Nero's successors into the likeness of Sol, the sun god, by adding the appropriate solar crown. The link to Nero's colossus seems to have been forgotten over time, and the name was corrupted to Coliseum in the Middle Ages. Both names are frequently used in modern English, but "Flavian Amphitheatre" is generally unknown. In Italy, it is still known as il colosseo, but other Romance languages have gone for forms such as le colisée and el coliseo.

Description
The Colosseum measured 48 metres high, 188 metres long, and 156 metres wide. The wooden arena floor was 86 metres by 54 metres, and covered by sand. Its elliptical shape kept the players from retreating to a corner, and allowed the spectators to be closer to the action than a circle would allow.

The Colosseum was ingeniously designed. It has been said that most spectacle venues (stadiums, and similar) have been influenced by features of the Colosseum's structure, even well into modern times. Seating (cavea) was divided into different sections. The podium, the first level of seating, was for the Roman senators, and the emperor's private, cushioned, marble box was also located on this level. Above the podium was the maenianum primum, for the other Roman aristocrats who were not in the senate. The third level, the maenianum secundum, was divided into three sections. The lower part (the immum) was for wealthy citizens, while the upper part (the summum) was for poor citizens. A third, wooden section (the maenianum secundum in legneis) was a wooden structure at the very top of the building, added by Domitian. It was standing room only, and was for lower class women.

Underneath the arena was the hypogeum (literally, "underground"), a network of tunnels and cages where gladiators and animals were held before contests began. There were also numerous trap doors in the arena floor for the various animals hidden underneath. The arena floor no longer exists, and the hypogeum walls and corridors are clearly visible in the ruins of the building. The entire base of the Colosseum was equivalent to 6 acres (160,000 m˛).

A most ingenious part of the Colosseum was its cooling system. It was roofed using a canvas covered net-like structure made of ropes, with a hole in the center. This roof sloped down towards the center to catch the wind and provide a breeze for the audience. Sailors manipulated the ropes. The Colosseum also had vomitoria - passageways that open into a tier of seats from below or behind. The vomitoria of the Colosseum in Rome were designed so that the immense venue could fill in 15 minutes, and be evacuated in 5 minutes. Each entrance and exit was numbered, as was each staircase. There were 80 entrances at ground level, 76 for ordinary spectators, two for the imperial family, and two for the gladiators. The vomitoria quickly dispersed people into their seats and upon conclusion of the event disgorged them with abruptness into the surrounding streets - giving rise, presumably, to the name.

Later history
The Colosseum was in continuous use until 217, when it was damaged by fire after it was struck by lightning. It was restored in 238 and gladiatorial games continued until Christianity gradually put an end to those parts of them which included the death of humans. The building was used for various purposes, mostly venationes (animal hunts), until 524. Two earthquakes (in 442 and 508) caused a great damage to the structure. In the Middle Ages, it was severely damaged by further earthquakes (847 and 1349), and was then converted into a fortress. The marble that originally covered it was burned to make quicklime. During the Renaissance, but mostly in the Baroque age, the ruling Roman families (from which many popes came) used it as a source of marble for the construction of St. Peter's Basilica and the private Palazzi. A famous description is in the saying Quod non fecerunt Barbari, fecerunt Barberini; what the Barbarians weren't able to do, was done by the Barberinis (one such family).

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735) wrote

Quandiu stabit coliseus, stabit et Roma; (As long as the Colosseum stands, so shall Rome)
Quando cadit coliseus, cadet et Roma (When the Colosseum falls, so shall Rome)
Quando cadet Roma, cadet et mundus. (When Rome falls, so shall the world)
Note that he used coliseus, i.e. he made the name a masculine noun. This form is no longer in use.

In 1749, as a very early example of historic preservation, Pope Benedict XIV forbade the use of the Colosseum as a quarry. He consecrated the building to the Passion of Christ and installed Stations of the Cross, declaring it sanctified by the blood of the Christian martyrs who were thought to have perished there. Later popes initiated various stabilization and restoration projects. Every Good Friday the pope leads a procession within the ellipse in memory of Christian martyrs. However, there is no historical evidence that Christians were tortured and killed in the Colosseum [2]. It is presumed that the majority of Christian martyrdom in Rome took place at the Circus Maximus.

In recent years, the local authorities of Rome have illuminated the Colosseum all night long whenever someone condemned to the death penalty gets commuted or released.

John Schou
Italy- Rome- Coliseum seen from outside 1~0.jpg
Italy- Rome- Coliseum seen from outside 145 viewsColosseum
The Colosseum or Coliseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (lat. Amphitheatrum Flavium), is an amphitheatre in Rome, capable of seating 50,000 spectators, which was once used for gladiatorial combat. It was built by Emperor Vespasian and his son, Titus, between AD 72 and AD 90. It was built at the site of Nero's enormous palace, the Domus Aurea. The Colosseum's name is derived from a colossus (a 130-foot or 40-metre statue) of Nero which once stood nearby.

Construction
The construction of the Colosseum began under the Emperor Vespasian in AD 72 and was completed by his son, Titus, in the 80s AD. It was built at the site of Nero's enormous palace, the Domus Aurea, which had been built after the great fire of Rome in AD 64. Some historians are of the opinion that the construction of the Colosseum might have been financed by the looting of King Herod the Great's Temple in Jerusalem which occurred about AD 70. Dio Cassius said that 9,000 wild animals were killed in the one hundred days of celebration which inaugurated the amphitheatre opening. The arena floor was covered with sand to sop up the blood.

The Colosseum hosted large-scale spectacular games that included fights between animals (venationes), the killing of prisoners by animals and other executions (noxii), naval battles (naumachiae, via flooding the arena), and combats between gladiators (munera). It has been estimated that between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people died in the Colosseum games.

History of the name Colosseum
The Colosseum's name is derived from a colossus (a 130-foot or 40-metre statue) of Nero nearby. This statue was later remodeled by Nero's successors into the likeness of Sol, the sun god, by adding the appropriate solar crown. The link to Nero's colossus seems to have been forgotten over time, and the name was corrupted to Coliseum in the Middle Ages. Both names are frequently used in modern English, but "Flavian Amphitheatre" is generally unknown. In Italy, it is still known as il colosseo, but other Romance languages have gone for forms such as le colisée and el coliseo.

Description
The Colosseum measured 48 metres high, 188 metres long, and 156 metres wide. The wooden arena floor was 86 metres by 54 metres, and covered by sand. Its elliptical shape kept the players from retreating to a corner, and allowed the spectators to be closer to the action than a circle would allow.

The Colosseum was ingeniously designed. It has been said that most spectacle venues (stadiums, and similar) have been influenced by features of the Colosseum's structure, even well into modern times. Seating (cavea) was divided into different sections. The podium, the first level of seating, was for the Roman senators, and the emperor's private, cushioned, marble box was also located on this level. Above the podium was the maenianum primum, for the other Roman aristocrats who were not in the senate. The third level, the maenianum secundum, was divided into three sections. The lower part (the immum) was for wealthy citizens, while the upper part (the summum) was for poor citizens. A third, wooden section (the maenianum secundum in legneis) was a wooden structure at the very top of the building, added by Domitian. It was standing room only, and was for lower class women.

Underneath the arena was the hypogeum (literally, "underground"), a network of tunnels and cages where gladiators and animals were held before contests began. There were also numerous trap doors in the arena floor for the various animals hidden underneath. The arena floor no longer exists, and the hypogeum walls and corridors are clearly visible in the ruins of the building. The entire base of the Colosseum was equivalent to 6 acres (160,000 m˛).

A most ingenious part of the Colosseum was its cooling system. It was roofed using a canvas covered net-like structure made of ropes, with a hole in the center. This roof sloped down towards the center to catch the wind and provide a breeze for the audience. Sailors manipulated the ropes. The Colosseum also had vomitoria - passageways that open into a tier of seats from below or behind. The vomitoria of the Colosseum in Rome were designed so that the immense venue could fill in 15 minutes, and be evacuated in 5 minutes. Each entrance and exit was numbered, as was each staircase. There were 80 entrances at ground level, 76 for ordinary spectators, two for the imperial family, and two for the gladiators. The vomitoria quickly dispersed people into their seats and upon conclusion of the event disgorged them with abruptness into the surrounding streets - giving rise, presumably, to the name.

Later history
The Colosseum was in continuous use until 217, when it was damaged by fire after it was struck by lightning. It was restored in 238 and gladiatorial games continued until Christianity gradually put an end to those parts of them which included the death of humans. The building was used for various purposes, mostly venationes (animal hunts), until 524. Two earthquakes (in 442 and 508) caused a great damage to the structure. In the Middle Ages, it was severely damaged by further earthquakes (847 and 1349), and was then converted into a fortress. The marble that originally covered it was burned to make quicklime. During the Renaissance, but mostly in the Baroque age, the ruling Roman families (from which many popes came) used it as a source of marble for the construction of St. Peter's Basilica and the private Palazzi. A famous description is in the saying Quod non fecerunt Barbari, fecerunt Barberini; what the Barbarians weren't able to do, was done by the Barberinis (one such family).

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735) wrote

Quandiu stabit coliseus, stabit et Roma; (As long as the Colosseum stands, so shall Rome)
Quando cadit coliseus, cadet et Roma (When the Colosseum falls, so shall Rome)
Quando cadet Roma, cadet et mundus. (When Rome falls, so shall the world)
Note that he used coliseus, i.e. he made the name a masculine noun. This form is no longer in use.

In 1749, as a very early example of historic preservation, Pope Benedict XIV forbade the use of the Colosseum as a quarry. He consecrated the building to the Passion of Christ and installed Stations of the Cross, declaring it sanctified by the blood of the Christian martyrs who were thought to have perished there. Later popes initiated various stabilization and restoration projects. Every Good Friday the pope leads a procession within the ellipse in memory of Christian martyrs. However, there is no historical evidence that Christians were tortured and killed in the Colosseum [2]. It is presumed that the majority of Christian martyrdom in Rome took place at the Circus Maximus.

In recent years, the local authorities of Rome have illuminated the Colosseum all night long whenever someone condemned to the death penalty gets commuted or released.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Schou
Italy- Rome- The Pantheon of Marco V Agripa and Hadrian.jpg
Italy- Rome- The Pantheon of Marco V Agripa and Hadrian45 viewsPantheon
The Pantheon is a building in Rome which was originally built as a temple to all the gods of the Roman state religion, but has been a Christian church since the 7th century AD. It is the only building from the Greco-Roman world which is completely intact and which has been in continuous use throughout its history.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Schou
Iustinianus_I_(527-565)_16_nummi_(AE).png
Iustinianus I (527-565) 16 nummi (AE)74 viewsObv.: DN IVSTINIANVS PP AVG (Draped bust of emperor) Rev.: I central, A S P in field Exergue: TES Diameter: 22 mm Weight: 6,51 g SB 175

Though Justinian is often hailed as the greatest of the Byzantine emperors, his Gothic Wars as well as lavish building projects in Ravenna and Constantinople proved to be a very costly affair. The empire was as good as bankrupt when Justinian passed away. The hexagonal shape of the coin is typical for this type.
Nick.vdw
judaea_herodesI_Hendin1188var.jpg
Judaea, Herodes I the Great, TJC 59h15 viewsHerodes I the Great, 37 - 4 BC
AE - Prutah, 1.78g, 14.55mm
obv. BASIL - HRWD, around anchor
rev. Double cornucopiae with kerykeion between, 5 dots above
ref. Hendin V, 1188 var.; Meshorer TJC 59h
about VF, brown patina, obv. excentric
Pedigree:
ex coll. Ira Ettinger
ex Hendin, E-Bay

placed in menorahcoinproject.com
Jochen
Rama 9_comm.jpg
King Rama 9 of Thailand, 60th Anniversary25 viewsKing Rama 9 of Thailand, 60 th Anniversary Celebrations of His Majesty's Accession to the Throne. These coins were issued on 9 June 2006.

His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born December 5, 1927; he is officially styled "the Great" (Thai: มหาราช, Maharaja) and also known as Rama IX. His name, Bhumibol Adulyadej, means "Strength of the Land, Incomparable Power". Having reigned since June 9, 1946, Bhumibol is the world's longest-serving current Head of State and the longest-serving monarch in Thai history.

Although Bhumibol is a constitutional monarch, he has several times made decisive interventions in Thai politics, including the political crisis of 2005-2006. Bhumibol has been widely credited with facilitating Thailand's transition to democracy in the 1990s.

Bhumibol uses his great wealth to fund numerous development projects, particularly in rural areas. He is immensely popular in Thailand, and is revered by all Thais.

In May 2006, UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, presented the United Nations' first Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award to Bhumibol.

Bhumibol is an accomplished jazz musician and composer. He was awarded honorary membership of the Vienna Institute of Music and Arts at the age of 32. He used to play jazz music on air on the Or Sor radio station. In his travels, he has played with such jazz legends as Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden, Lionel Hampton and Maynard Ferguson. His songs can often be heard at social gatherings and are performed in concerts.

Bhumibol is also a painter, photographer, author and translator. His book Phra Mahachanok is based on a traditional Jataka story of Buddhist scripture. The Story of Thong Daeng is the story of his dog Thong Daeng. He is also the only Thai monarch—and possibly the only monarch in the world, to hold a patent; holding one in 1993 for a waste water aerator named "Chai Pattana" and several patents on rainmaking since 1955: the "sandwich" rainmaking patent in 1999 and lately the "supersandwich" patent in 2003.

Bhumibol is an accomplished sailor and sailboat designer. He won a gold medal for sailing in the Fourth Southeast Asian Peninsular (SEAP) Games in 1967, together with HRH Princess Ubol Ratana who he tied for points. This accomplishment is all the more remarkable given Bhumibol's lack of binocular depth perception. Bhumibol has also sailed the Gulf of Thailand from Hua Hin to Toey Harbour in Sattahip, covering 60 nautical miles in a 14-hour journey on the "Vega 1", an OK Class dinghy he built.

Like his father, a former naval engineer, Bhumibol was an avid boat designer and builder. He produced several small sail-boat designs in the International Enterprise, OK, and Moth Classes. His designs in the Moth class include the “Mod”, “Super Mod”, and “Micro Mod”.

Bhumibol was crowned King of Thailand on May 5, 1950 at the Royal Palace in Bangkok where he pronounced his Oath of Succession "I will reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people" ("เราจะครองแผ่นดินโดยธรรม เพื่อประโยชน์สุขแห่งมหาชนชาวสยาม").


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhumibol_Adulyadej




Cleisthenes
lycia_boar.jpg
Lycia, Pre-Dynastic. AR Stater53 viewsCirca 520-470/60 BC. AR Stater (18mm, 8.98 g, 4h). Uncertain mint and polis. Falghera 18-19 var. (without “kh” on rev.); SNG von Aulock 4049-50 var. (same); Boston MFA 2080 var. (same); SNG Copenhagen 4 var. (same); SNG Copenhagen Supp. 370 var. (same). Obverse: forepart of boar left. Reverse: square incuse with two diagonal crosslines forming four triangles; at bases of two of the triangles, wedge-shaped raised projections; three additional crosslines forming the Lycian letter “kh” in the fourth triangle. VF, slightly granular, scrape on reverse.

Ex CNG e-Auction 330, lot 101.

There is scant information regarding the coinage of ancient Lycia during the pre-dynastic period. Although the majority of the coins in the 5th to 4th centuries B.C. represent individual dynasts, it is clear that there existed some sort of federation between the early cities, more or less under Persian suzerainty which was attested by early Greek writers, especially Strabo. The Lycian pre-dynastic silver coinage falls into the following standard: the weight-standard is Babylonic, but shows considerable irregularity, and a tendency to fall to the Euboďc standard. The animal types—winged lions, gryphons, bulls, etc. remain for the most part unexplained, but the boar is loosely associated with Apollo Lykeios.
1 commentsJason T
Maxentius_(306-312)_follis_(AE).png
Maxentius (306-312) follis (AE)17 viewsObv.: IMP C MAXENTIVS PF AVG (Laureate head of emperor) Rev.: CONSERV VRBSVAE (Roma std. in hexastyle temple, holding globe & sceptre, victories as acroteria, wreath in temple pediment) Exergue: RBS Diameter: 28 mm Weight: 7,9 g RIC 208

Reverse types celebrating Rome are common in Maxentius' coinage, who tried everything from lavish building projects to coinage to rally the support of the Italian population.
Nick.vdw
Sellwood_10_1_Mitradates_I_drachm.jpg
Mithradates I70 viewsdrachm, 171 - 138 BC
Sellwood 10.1

Also listed at http://coinproject.com/coin_detail.php?coin=233304
2 commentsRobert L3
nikopolis_sept_severus_HrJ(2012)8_14_46_3corr.jpg
Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, 14. Septimius Severus, HrHJ (2018) 8.14.46.03 (plate coin)17 viewsSeptimius Severus, 193-211
AE 29, 12.01g, 28.52mm, 195°
struck under governor Flavius Ulpianus
obv. AVT L CEP - T CEVHROC P
Bust, draped and cuirassed, seen from behind, laureate r.
rev. V FL OVLPIAN NIKOPOLIT / PROC IC
Portal with 2 projecting side wings; thereupon a similar structured building whose central
part has 3 gate openings and a pediment with shield and spear; the side wings seem to
be open halls with 4 pillars each and pitched roof; through the open gate of the lower
building the front of a tetrastyle temple is visible.
ref. a) AMNG I/1, 1339 (1 Ex., München)
b) Varbanov (engl.) 2795 corr. (writes VP FL and PROC I)
c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2018) No. 8.14.46.3 (plate coin)
Rare (R6), F+/about VF, brown-green patina

Pick: Nature and purpose of this building found on coins of Severus and Caracalla I don't know. It is hardly identical with the building on coins of Macrinus (pl. III, 21)
Jochen
nikopolis_caracalla_HrJ(2011)8_18_46_8.jpg
Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, 18. Caracalla, HrHJ (2018) 8.18.46.08 (plate coin)23 viewsCaracalla, AD 198-217
AE 28, 12.47g, 27.69mm, 210°
struck under governor Flavius Ulpianus
obv. AV.K.M.AVR. - ANTWNINOC
Bust, draped and cuirassed with scale armour, seen from rear, laureate, r.
rev. V FL OVLPIAN - NIKOPOLIT / PROC IC
Portal with 2 projecting side wings; thereupon a similar structured building whose central
part has 3 gate openings and a pediment with shield and spear; the side wings seem to
be open halls with 4 pillars each and pitched roof; through the open gate of the lower
building the front of a tetrastyle temple is visible.
ref. a) AMNG I/1, 1585, pl. III, 20 (for Severus)
b) Varbanov (engl.) 3145
c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2018) No. 8.18.46.8 (plate coin)
extremely rare (R9), F/about VF, green somewhat patchy patina
Pedigree:
ex Gorny&Mosch (attributed to Severus in error!)

Pick: Nature and purpose of this building found on coins of Severus and Caracalla I don't know. It is hardly identical with the building on coins of Macrinus (pl. III, 21)
Jochen
New_Project_(1).jpg
MYSIA,Pergamon (200 - 133 B.C.)51 viewsĆ16
O: Helmeted head of Athena right.
R: AΘΗ-ΝΑΣ ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΟΥ, owl standing facing on palm, with wings spread, A monogram left and AP right.
3.6g
16mm
SNG von Aulock 1375-6 var; SNG Copenhagen 388 var
6 commentsMat
imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-RdWwLNiFWFG8-Nero_As_Janus.jpg
Nero (Augustus) Coin: Bronze AS10 viewsNERO CAESAR AVG GERM IMP - Laureate head right
PACE P R VBIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT - Temple of Janus with latticed window to right and closed doors to left, S-C in exergue.
Exergue: SC


Mint: Rome (65 AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 10.93g / 28mm / 6h
Rarity: Rare (SC in exergue)
References:
RIC I 306, 309 var. (SC in exergue),
Sear 1974 var. (SC in exergue)
Cohen 164 var. (SC in exergue)
BMCRE p. 249, 232 var. (SC in exergue)
Cohen 163 var. (obv. legend)
Provenances:
ex Munzen und Medaillen Ag Basel 1981
Acquisition/Sale: tradinae Ebay

This is possibly a very rare specimen. This coin is unlisted in all of the major references. Only one other specimen has been found online. a March 3, 2008 auction from Jean Elsen & ses Fils S.A.

In RIC on p. 168, there is a footnote stating "309. A Vatican example has S C in ex."

The reverse of this type alludes to the closing of the doors of the Temple of Janus in 66, signifying that there was once again peace throughout the entire Roman world. This extremely rare state of affairs was made possible by the efforts of Nero's general, Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. Corbulo's successful prosecution of the war in the east against the Parthians earned him the respect of the military and popularity among the people of Rome, but also the jealousy and fear of Nero who compelled him to take his own life.

Lettering: NERO CAESAR AVG GERM IMP

Translation:
Nero Caesar Aug (-ustus) Germ (-anicus) Imp (-erator):
"Nero Caesar, August, Victor of the Germans, Emperor".

PACE P R VBIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT
S/C

Translation:
Pace P (-opulo) R (-omano) Ubiq (-ue) Parta Janum Clusit:
"Peace of the Roman People being established everywhere, the Gates of the Temple of Janus are Closed".
S (-enatus) C (-onsulto):
"By Decree of the Senate".

From Wikipedia:
In ancient Rome, the main Temple of Janus stood in the Roman Forum near the Argiletum. It had doors on both ends, and inside was a statue of Janus, the two-faced god of boundaries. The Temple doors (the "Gates of Janus") were closed in times of peace and opened in times of war.

According to Livy 1.19 the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, decided to distract the early, warlike Romans from their violent ways by instilling in them awe and reverence. His projects included promoting religion, certain priesthoods, and the building of temples as a distraction with the beneficial effect of imbuing spirituality. The Temple of Janus was Numa's most famous temple project.

Coins sometimes are the only evidence that survives to illustrate lost Roman monuments, such as the Arcus Neronis, a
monument that probably did not long survive Nero’s downfall. Details of the date and the location of the arch are sketchy,
but the coinage provides an excellent understanding of its form, and, with some variety, we can appreciate the relief’s
decorative elements and statues that adorned it.
It is generally accepted that the arch celebrates the victories of the general Corbulo over the Parthians, and that it was built
on the Capitoline Hill sometime between 58 and 62. Its precise location has not been determined from ancient sources or
from archaeological investigation, though proximity to the Temple of Vejovis or the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus have
both been suggested.
This coin was struck during one of the rare moments of peace within the Empire. Suetonius (Nero 15) describes the visit to
Rome of Tiridates, Rome’s candidate for the throne of the buffer-state Armenia after Corbulo’s victories over the
Parthians. Tiridates made a ceremonial supplication to Nero, was crowned king of his native land, after which, Suetonius
reports, “The people then hailed Nero as Imperator and, after dedicating a laurel-wreath in the Capitol, he closed the
double doors of the Temple of Janus, as a sign that all war was at an end.”

From CNG:

The temple of Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, was one of Rome’s most ancient centers of worship. It was said that Romulus had built it after he made peace with the Sabines, and that it was king Numa who decreed that its doors should be opened during times of war and shut during times of peace. In all of Roman history until the reign of Nero, the temple doors had been shut perhaps five or six times – once under king Numa (who originated the tradition), once at the end of the Second Punic War, three times under Augustus, and, according to Ovid, once under Tiberius.

In 65 AD, when peace had been generally established in the Empire, Nero understandably requested the closing of the temple’s doors. He marked the event with great celebrations and commemorated it by issuing a large and impressive series of coins. The inscription on this issue announces “the doors of Janus have been close after peace has been procured for the Roman People on the land and on the sea." Despite Nero’s contentment with affairs on the empire’s borders, the year 65 AD was rife with domestic tragedy: much of Rome was still in ashes from the great fire of the previous year, Nero narrowly escaped death in the Pisonian conspiracy, and not long afterward he had kicked to death his pregnant wife Poppaea.

From the Dictionary of Roman Coins:
PACE. P.R. TERRA. MARIQ. PARTA. IANVM. CLVSIT. - The first and second brass medals of Nero, on which this interesting legend appears, represent in their type the temple of Janus shut - a circumstance limited to the very rare epochas of an universal peace. - It is only on his coins that Nero is recorded to have closed the sacred fane of old BIFRONS, after having procured peace for the Roman people by land and sea. But possibly the infatuation of that vain tyrant prompted him to boast of a peace which seems denied as a fact by some historians - and though the coinis themselves are common, it is uncertain to what year the reverse alludes. - On others we read Pace populi Romani ubique (instead of Terra Marique) parta Janum clusit. - It will be remarked that CLVSIT is here read for CLVSIT is here read for CLAVSIT. That "this was a mode of writing the word in Nero's time is proved (observes Eckhel), not only by these coins, but by the contemporaneous authority of Seneca, who in various passages of his work employs the term cludere for claudere." - See Janus.
According to Livy, the temple of Janus, which remained always open when Rome was at war, was shut only once, from the foundation of the city to the battle of Actium. Under Augustus it was closed three times; and one of the occasions was about the perion of our Blessed Saviour's Nativity, when as the writings of the Fathers attest, the whole world enjoyed peace.

From Roma:
Janus was a god unique to the Romans, for whom the ancient Greek pantheon (whence the greater part of the Roman religion was derived) had no equivalent. Janus was the god of gateways, beginnings and endings, transitions and duality, of war and peace. The structure commonly referred to as the Temple of Janus, but more correctly the Ianus Geminus, Ianus Quirinus or Portae Belli, was not a temple at all in the traditional sense. Built by the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, the doors of the Ianus Geminus were opened to indicate that Rome was at war and closed during times of peace. Since the time of Numa and before the time of Nero, the doors were said to have been closed only in 235 BC, after the first Punic war; and three times during the reign of Augustus.

The structure itself was probably originally conceived and executed in wood and other perishable materials, but contained an archaic bronze statue of the god which held in the one hand a key, denoting his role as the supreme gate-keeper in both spatial and temporal senses, and in the other a staff, signifying both his authority and role as a divine guide. Said to have been situated between the Forum Julium and the Forum Romanum, close to where the Argiletum entered the forum, it consisted of twin gates opposite each other; the cult statue was between them. No roof is indicated, and it may have been an open enclosure. While there is no literary evidence that the temple was destroyed or rebuilt, it must have been moved to make way for the construction of the Basilica Aemilia in 179 BC.

The Ianus Geminus as it existed from that time until the reign of Domitian, and as depicted on this and other coins struck by Nero, evidently had walls of ashlar masonry under a grated window set beneath a decorated frieze. Double doors of bronze and iron are reported by Virgil, and are shown framed by columns, with a wreath hanging overhead. Virgil, whose literary epic the Aeneid enshrined and embellished Roman traditions for eternal posterity, relates that "When the senators have irrevocably decided for battle, the consul himself, a figure conspicuous in Quirine toga of State and Gabine cincture, unbolts these gates, and their hinge-posts groan; it is he who calls the fighting forth" (Virgil, Aeneid, VII.601-615). Yet Virgil and his contemporaries Ovid and Horace disagreed on the meaning of the ritual closing of the gates. To Virgil, it was War that was being locked behind the twin gates; for Ovid and Horace, it was Peace that was kept within. Regardless, the symbolism of opening or closing the gates of the Ianus Geminus was powerful indeed; thus following the favourable end to a war with Parthia in 63 thanks to the efforts of the general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, and the general establishment of peace across Rome's borders by 65, Nero famously closed the doors to great fanfare in AD 66 as a sign that all war was at an end.
Gary W2
imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-Wl8EMMOmMrVX80Z7-Nero_sestertius_Janus.jpg
Nero (Augustus) Coin: Brass Sestertius10 viewsNERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P - Laureate head right
PACE P R TERRA MARIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT S-C - Temple of Janus with latticed windows & garland hung across doors; closed double doors on the right.
Exergue:



Mint: Rome (65AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 20.70g / 33.75mm / 180
Rarity: Common
References:
RIC 266
cf Sear 1959
BMC 161
WCN 139
Acquisition/Sale: erie-antiques Ebay

The reverse of this type alludes to the closing of the doors of the Temple of Janus in 66, signifying that there was once again peace throughout the entire Roman world. This extremely rare state of affairs was made possible by the efforts of Nero's general, Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. Corbulo's successful prosecution of the war in the east against the Parthians earned him the respect of the military and popularity among the people of Rome, but also the jealousy and fear of Nero who compelled him to take his own life.

The reverse inscription translates: "Peace to the People of Rome both on land and sea having come, the doors of Janus he closed."

From Wikipedia:
In ancient Rome, the main Temple of Janus stood in the Roman Forum near the Argiletum. It had doors on both ends, and inside was a statue of Janus, the two-faced god of boundaries. The Temple doors (the "Gates of Janus") were closed in times of peace and opened in times of war.

According to Livy 1.19 the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, decided to distract the early, warlike Romans from their violent ways by instilling in them awe and reverence. His projects included promoting religion, certain priesthoods, and the building of temples as a distraction with the beneficial effect of imbuing spirituality. The Temple of Janus was Numa's most famous temple project.

Coins sometimes are the only evidence that survives to illustrate lost Roman monuments, such as the Arcus Neronis, a
monument that probably did not long survive Nero’s downfall. Details of the date and the location of the arch are sketchy,
but the coinage provides an excellent understanding of its form, and, with some variety, we can appreciate the relief’s
decorative elements and statues that adorned it.
It is generally accepted that the arch celebrates the victories of the general Corbulo over the Parthians, and that it was built
on the Capitoline Hill sometime between 58 and 62. Its precise location has not been determined from ancient sources or
from archaeological investigation, though proximity to the Temple of Vejovis or the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus have
both been suggested.
This coin was struck during one of the rare moments of peace within the Empire. Suetonius (Nero 15) describes the visit to
Rome of Tiridates, Rome’s candidate for the throne of the buffer-state Armenia after Corbulo’s victories over the
Parthians. Tiridates made a ceremonial supplication to Nero, was crowned king of his native land, after which, Suetonius
reports, “The people then hailed Nero as Imperator and, after dedicating a laurel-wreath in the Capitol, he closed the
double doors of the Temple of Janus, as a sign that all war was at an end.”

From CNG:

The temple of Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, was one of Rome’s most ancient centers of worship. It was said that Romulus had built it after he made peace with the Sabines, and that it was king Numa who decreed that its doors should be opened during times of war and shut during times of peace. In all of Roman history until the reign of Nero, the temple doors had been shut perhaps five or six times – once under king Numa (who originated the tradition), once at the end of the Second Punic War, three times under Augustus, and, according to Ovid, once under Tiberius.

In 65 AD, when peace had been generally established in the Empire, Nero understandably requested the closing of the temple’s doors. He marked the event with great celebrations and commemorated it by issuing a large and impressive series of coins. The inscription on this issue announces “the doors of Janus have been close after peace has been procured for the Roman People on the land and on the sea." Despite Nero’s contentment with affairs on the empire’s borders, the year 65 AD was rife with domestic tragedy: much of Rome was still in ashes from the great fire of the previous year, Nero narrowly escaped death in the Pisonian conspiracy, and not long afterward he had kicked to death his pregnant wife Poppaea.

From the Dictionary of Roman Coins:
PACE. P.R. TERRA. MARIQ. PARTA. IANVM. CLVSIT. - The first and second brass medals of Nero, on which this interesting legend appears, represent in their type the temple of Janus shut - a circumstance limited to the very rare epochas of an universal peace. - It is only on his coins that Nero is recorded to have closed the sacred fane of old BIFRONS, after having procured peace for the Roman people by land and sea. But possibly the infatuation of that vain tyrant prompted him to boast of a peace which seems denied as a fact by some historians - and though the coinis themselves are common, it is uncertain to what year the reverse alludes. - On others we read Pace populi Romani ubique (instead of Terra Marique) parta Janum clusit. - It will be remarked that CLVSIT is here read for CLVSIT is here read for CLAVSIT. That "this was a mode of writing the word in Nero's time is proved (observes Eckhel), not only by these coins, but by the contemporaneous authority of Seneca, who in various passages of his work employs the term cludere for claudere." - See Janus.
According to Livy, the temple of Janus, which remained always open when Rome was at war, was shut only once, from the foundation of the city to the battle of Actium. Under Augustus it was closed three times; and one of the occasions was about the perion of our Blessed Saviour's Nativity, when as the writings of the Fathers attest, the whole world enjoyed peace.

From Roma:
Janus was a god unique to the Romans, for whom the ancient Greek pantheon (whence the greater part of the Roman religion was derived) had no equivalent. Janus was the god of gateways, beginnings and endings, transitions and duality, of war and peace. The structure commonly referred to as the Temple of Janus, but more correctly the Ianus Geminus, Ianus Quirinus or Portae Belli, was not a temple at all in the traditional sense. Built by the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, the doors of the Ianus Geminus were opened to indicate that Rome was at war and closed during times of peace. Since the time of Numa and before the time of Nero, the doors were said to have been closed only in 235 BC, after the first Punic war; and three times during the reign of Augustus.

The structure itself was probably originally conceived and executed in wood and other perishable materials, but contained an archaic bronze statue of the god which held in the one hand a key, denoting his role as the supreme gate-keeper in both spatial and temporal senses, and in the other a staff, signifying both his authority and role as a divine guide. Said to have been situated between the Forum Julium and the Forum Romanum, close to where the Argiletum entered the forum, it consisted of twin gates opposite each other; the cult statue was between them. No roof is indicated, and it may have been an open enclosure. While there is no literary evidence that the temple was destroyed or rebuilt, it must have been moved to make way for the construction of the Basilica Aemilia in 179 BC.

The Ianus Geminus as it existed from that time until the reign of Domitian, and as depicted on this and other coins struck by Nero, evidently had walls of ashlar masonry under a grated window set beneath a decorated frieze. Double doors of bronze and iron are reported by Virgil, and are shown framed by columns, with a wreath hanging overhead. Virgil, whose literary epic the Aeneid enshrined and embellished Roman traditions for eternal posterity, relates that "When the senators have irrevocably decided for battle, the consul himself, a figure conspicuous in Quirine toga of State and Gabine cincture, unbolts these gates, and their hinge-posts groan; it is he who calls the fighting forth" (Virgil, Aeneid, VII.601-615). Yet Virgil and his contemporaries Ovid and Horace disagreed on the meaning of the ritual closing of the gates. To Virgil, it was War that was being locked behind the twin gates; for Ovid and Horace, it was Peace that was kept within. Regardless, the symbolism of opening or closing the gates of the Ianus Geminus was powerful indeed; thus following the favourable end to a war with Parthia in 63 thanks to the efforts of the general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, and the general establishment of peace across Rome's borders by 65, Nero famously closed the doors to great fanfare in AD 66 as a sign that all war was at an end.
Gary W2
imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-RdWwLNiFWFG8-Nero_As_Janus~0.jpg
Nero (Augustus) Coin: Bronze AS14 viewsNERO CAESAR AVG GERM IMP - Laureate head right
PACE P R VBIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT - Temple of Janus with latticed window to right and closed doors to left, S-C in exergue.
Exergue: SC


Mint: Rome (65 AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 10.93g / 28mm / 6h
Rarity: Rare (SC in exergue)
References:
RIC I 306, 309 var. (SC in exergue),
Sear 1974 var. (SC in exergue)
Cohen 164 var. (SC in exergue)
BMCRE p. 249, 232 var. (SC in exergue)
Cohen 163 var. (obv. legend)
Provenances:
ex Munzen und Medaillen Ag Basel 1981
Acquisition/Sale: tradinae Ebay

This is possibly a very rare specimen. This coin is unlisted in all of the major references. Only one other specimen has been found online. a March 3, 2008 auction from Jean Elsen & ses Fils S.A.

In RIC on p. 168, there is a footnote stating "309. A Vatican example has S C in ex."

The reverse of this type alludes to the closing of the doors of the Temple of Janus in 66, signifying that there was once again peace throughout the entire Roman world. This extremely rare state of affairs was made possible by the efforts of Nero's general, Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. Corbulo's successful prosecution of the war in the east against the Parthians earned him the respect of the military and popularity among the people of Rome, but also the jealousy and fear of Nero who compelled him to take his own life.

Lettering: NERO CAESAR AVG GERM IMP

Translation:
Nero Caesar Aug (-ustus) Germ (-anicus) Imp (-erator):
"Nero Caesar, August, Victor of the Germans, Emperor".

PACE P R VBIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT
S/C

Translation:
Pace P (-opulo) R (-omano) Ubiq (-ue) Parta Janum Clusit:
"Peace of the Roman People being established everywhere, the Gates of the Temple of Janus are Closed".
S (-enatus) C (-onsulto):
"By Decree of the Senate".

From Wikipedia:
In ancient Rome, the main Temple of Janus stood in the Roman Forum near the Argiletum. It had doors on both ends, and inside was a statue of Janus, the two-faced god of boundaries. The Temple doors (the "Gates of Janus") were closed in times of peace and opened in times of war.

According to Livy 1.19 the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, decided to distract the early, warlike Romans from their violent ways by instilling in them awe and reverence. His projects included promoting religion, certain priesthoods, and the building of temples as a distraction with the beneficial effect of imbuing spirituality. The Temple of Janus was Numa's most famous temple project.

Coins sometimes are the only evidence that survives to illustrate lost Roman monuments, such as the Arcus Neronis, a
monument that probably did not long survive Nero’s downfall. Details of the date and the location of the arch are sketchy,
but the coinage provides an excellent understanding of its form, and, with some variety, we can appreciate the relief’s
decorative elements and statues that adorned it.
It is generally accepted that the arch celebrates the victories of the general Corbulo over the Parthians, and that it was built
on the Capitoline Hill sometime between 58 and 62. Its precise location has not been determined from ancient sources or
from archaeological investigation, though proximity to the Temple of Vejovis or the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus have
both been suggested.
This coin was struck during one of the rare moments of peace within the Empire. Suetonius (Nero 15) describes the visit to
Rome of Tiridates, Rome’s candidate for the throne of the buffer-state Armenia after Corbulo’s victories over the
Parthians. Tiridates made a ceremonial supplication to Nero, was crowned king of his native land, after which, Suetonius
reports, “The people then hailed Nero as Imperator and, after dedicating a laurel-wreath in the Capitol, he closed the
double doors of the Temple of Janus, as a sign that all war was at an end.”

From CNG:

The temple of Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, was one of Rome’s most ancient centers of worship. It was said that Romulus had built it after he made peace with the Sabines, and that it was king Numa who decreed that its doors should be opened during times of war and shut during times of peace. In all of Roman history until the reign of Nero, the temple doors had been shut perhaps five or six times – once under king Numa (who originated the tradition), once at the end of the Second Punic War, three times under Augustus, and, according to Ovid, once under Tiberius.

In 65 AD, when peace had been generally established in the Empire, Nero understandably requested the closing of the temple’s doors. He marked the event with great celebrations and commemorated it by issuing a large and impressive series of coins. The inscription on this issue announces “the doors of Janus have been close after peace has been procured for the Roman People on the land and on the sea." Despite Nero’s contentment with affairs on the empire’s borders, the year 65 AD was rife with domestic tragedy: much of Rome was still in ashes from the great fire of the previous year, Nero narrowly escaped death in the Pisonian conspiracy, and not long afterward he had kicked to death his pregnant wife Poppaea.

From the Dictionary of Roman Coins:
PACE. P.R. TERRA. MARIQ. PARTA. IANVM. CLVSIT. - The first and second brass medals of Nero, on which this interesting legend appears, represent in their type the temple of Janus shut - a circumstance limited to the very rare epochas of an universal peace. - It is only on his coins that Nero is recorded to have closed the sacred fane of old BIFRONS, after having procured peace for the Roman people by land and sea. But possibly the infatuation of that vain tyrant prompted him to boast of a peace which seems denied as a fact by some historians - and though the coinis themselves are common, it is uncertain to what year the reverse alludes. - On others we read Pace populi Romani ubique (instead of Terra Marique) parta Janum clusit. - It will be remarked that CLVSIT is here read for CLVSIT is here read for CLAVSIT. That "this was a mode of writing the word in Nero's time is proved (observes Eckhel), not only by these coins, but by the contemporaneous authority of Seneca, who in various passages of his work employs the term cludere for claudere." - See Janus.
According to Livy, the temple of Janus, which remained always open when Rome was at war, was shut only once, from the foundation of the city to the battle of Actium. Under Augustus it was closed three times; and one of the occasions was about the perion of our Blessed Saviour's Nativity, when as the writings of the Fathers attest, the whole world enjoyed peace.

From Roma:
Janus was a god unique to the Romans, for whom the ancient Greek pantheon (whence the greater part of the Roman religion was derived) had no equivalent. Janus was the god of gateways, beginnings and endings, transitions and duality, of war and peace. The structure commonly referred to as the Temple of Janus, but more correctly the Ianus Geminus, Ianus Quirinus or Portae Belli, was not a temple at all in the traditional sense. Built by the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, the doors of the Ianus Geminus were opened to indicate that Rome was at war and closed during times of peace. Since the time of Numa and before the time of Nero, the doors were said to have been closed only in 235 BC, after the first Punic war; and three times during the reign of Augustus.

The structure itself was probably originally conceived and executed in wood and other perishable materials, but contained an archaic bronze statue of the god which held in the one hand a key, denoting his role as the supreme gate-keeper in both spatial and temporal senses, and in the other a staff, signifying both his authority and role as a divine guide. Said to have been situated between the Forum Julium and the Forum Romanum, close to where the Argiletum entered the forum, it consisted of twin gates opposite each other; the cult statue was between them. No roof is indicated, and it may have been an open enclosure. While there is no literary evidence that the temple was destroyed or rebuilt, it must have been moved to make way for the construction of the Basilica Aemilia in 179 BC.

The Ianus Geminus as it existed from that time until the reign of Domitian, and as depicted on this and other coins struck by Nero, evidently had walls of ashlar masonry under a grated window set beneath a decorated frieze. Double doors of bronze and iron are reported by Virgil, and are shown framed by columns, with a wreath hanging overhead. Virgil, whose literary epic the Aeneid enshrined and embellished Roman traditions for eternal posterity, relates that "When the senators have irrevocably decided for battle, the consul himself, a figure conspicuous in Quirine toga of State and Gabine cincture, unbolts these gates, and their hinge-posts groan; it is he who calls the fighting forth" (Virgil, Aeneid, VII.601-615). Yet Virgil and his contemporaries Ovid and Horace disagreed on the meaning of the ritual closing of the gates. To Virgil, it was War that was being locked behind the twin gates; for Ovid and Horace, it was Peace that was kept within. Regardless, the symbolism of opening or closing the gates of the Ianus Geminus was powerful indeed; thus following the favourable end to a war with Parthia in 63 thanks to the efforts of the general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, and the general establishment of peace across Rome's borders by 65, Nero famously closed the doors to great fanfare in AD 66 as a sign that all war was at an end.
Gary W2
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Nero RIC 003441 viewsNero. As Caesar, A.D. 50-54. AR denarius
(18.40 mm, 3.37 g, 7 h). Lugdunum (Lyon) mint.
Obv: NERO CAESAR AVG IMP, bare head right
Rev: PONTIF MAX TR P VII COS IIII P P, EX S C across field, Roma standing right, holding and inscribing shield supported on knee, foot on helmet; dagger and bow at feet to right. RIC 34 (R3); RSC 231. aVF, toned. Rare.
From the D. Thomas Collection;
Ex Hohn Leipziger Munzhandlung.





Nero Denarius 54-68 CE
August 28, 2017
I knew when I started building my 12 Caesars collection that I would eventually want a pre-reform denarius of Nero. The problem is that these are quite scarce in any condition. Also, there is much competition for them the they do appear for sale. Denarii like this one were minted before Nero decided to debase the silver coinage. Pre-reform denarii like this one are at near 100% fineness. This dropped considerably after the debasement. The earlier denarii are also heavier than the post reform coinage.One reason Nero debased the coins was to make up for a shortfall in available cash because of the massive spending he committed to building projects.

This is not a perfect coin, but I like several things about it. First, I like the younger more slender portrait. Contrast this with the "Fat tyrant" portrait later Nero denarii. I also like that the legends are intact. True, they are worn, but they are still readable.
2 commentsorfew
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Nero RIC 006848 viewsNero. AD 54-68. AR Denarius Rome mint. Struck AD 68.
(17.68 mm, 3.37 g)
Obv: IMP NERO CAESAR AVG P P, Laureate head right
Rev: Legionary eagle between two standards.
RIC I 68 (R2); RSC 356
Ex: CNG e-auction 370 lot 391 March 9, 2016.




The portrait on this coin is what I like to call the "Fat tyrant" portrait. Earlier coins of Nero show a much more slender and younger version. Although he did not fiddle or play the lyre while Rome burned, he did mange to spend the imperial coffers quite extravagantly. His excesses, including many building projects meant that Nero had to make the silver for coins stretch to provide ample coinage for the empire. In order to do this he debased the denarii. While they were once near 100% fineness, Nero reduced this considerably. He also reduced the weight of the denarii. This is one of the reasons why some early denarii are scarce to very rare. People hoarded or melted down the earlier denarii. This includes the coins of Nero himself. While coins of Nero after the debasement are relatively easy to find (but very popular), his earlier coins are quite difficult to find. If you are interested in Nero and see a pre-reform denarius recognize that you might not see another for a while.

This coin is also interesting because of the reverse. Notice it has both the legionary standards, and Aqilla-the legionary eagle. Vespasian was not the only one to use previous coin types. Legionary denarii were minted by Marcus Antonius. I do not know why Nero would want to recall these earlier days. However, the earlier legionary denarii were still circulating at the time of Nero's rule. they were made of poor silver and so they were exchanged many times over the years.
1 commentsorfew
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Nero, RIC 586, Sestertius of AD 66 (Portus Augusti)72 viewsĆ sestertius (22.54g, maximum Ř34.24mm, 6h), Lugdunum mint, struck AD 66.
Obv.: IMP NERO CAESAR AVG P MAX TR P P P, laureate head of Nero right, globe below tip of bust.
Rev.: PORT AVG (below) S C (above), aerial view of the harbor of Ostia, showing pier, breakwaters, lighthouse surmounted by the statue of Neptune, seven ships, and the figure of Tiber reclining left in foreground, holding rudder and dolphin.
Mac Dowall (The western Coinages of Nero, ANS SSN 161) 476; RIC 586 (R2); BMCRE 323 var. (different obv. legend); Cohen 253 var. (emperor's head to left); CBN 74 var. (different obv. legend); Sear (RCV) 1953var.

Certificate of Authenticity: David R Sear / A.C.C.S. Ref. 100CR/RI/C/V (January 6, 2015): "Grade: F and very rare, one of the most interesting types of Nero's sestertius series "

Extract of Sear's Historical and Numismatic Note: "This example commemorates the completion of the great harbor project to serve the needs of the imperial capital initiated by Claudius and completed under Nero. Ostia is situated at the mouth of the Tiber, but could not easily handle large sea-going vessels such as those of the grain fleet. Accordingly, Claudius initiated the construction of a new all-weather harbor at Portus, about two miles along the coast line to the north. This was a huge project, involving the construction of two great moles jutting out into the sea. The lighthouse erected at the end of one of these moles was built on foundations formed by sinking a large ship that Caligula had used to transport an obelisk from Egypt. This harbor, however, was very exposed to the weather and under Trajan was superseded by a new land-locked inner basin linked to the Tiber by a canal (cf. P.Connolly and H.Hodge, The Ancient City. Life in Classical Athens and Rome, pp. 128-30)"
3 commentsCharles S
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Nerva Aequitas Ӕ As (c. 97 A.D.)8 viewsIMP NERVA CAES [AVG P M TR P ? COS ? P P], laureate head right / AEQVITAS AVGVST + S - C across fields, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae

Ӕ, oval 25+ to 28mm, 10.23g, die axis 7.5h, base metal seems yellow, orichalcum? Can it be a dupontius?

Mint: Rome. Regnal period is end 96 – Jan 98 AD, so 97 is the most probable minting year.

End of the obverse legend is missing, so TR P and COS numbers are unknown. Thus three types are possible:

TR P COS II --> RIC II 51, Sear 3060 var
TR P COS III --> RIC II 77, Cohen 7, BMC 127, Sear 3060
TR P II COS III --> RIC II 94, Cohen 10

IMPerator NERVA CAESar AVGustus Pontifex Maximus (the high priest, starting with Augustus the emperor was always the head of state religion) TRibunitia Potestas (Tribunal power, the function of the tribune of the people, originally an important republican official, was "hijacked" by Augustus when he was building the imperial structure of power and subsequently became another emperor's title, renewed every year and thus very useful for dating coins, no number means first year of reign, II second), COnSul (under the Empire, the office of Consul remained of some importance and was held by the Emperor with some frequency) II or III (Nerva started his 3d consulship in 97, so II would mean minting year of 96, he also became a consul for 98, but since he died in January, COS IIII is very rare), Pater Patriae (Father of his Country, the title was held by most Augusti but usually not at the very beginning of the reign, in this case it was probably assumed immediately because of Nerva's old age). 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. Aequitas Augusti symbolizes honesty, equality and justice of the emperor towards his subjects. The scales here mean honest measure rather than justice, and the cornucopia is self explanatory. 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). As or assarius – the basic Roman bronze coin, reintroduced and firmly established for centuries by Augustus (often minted of pure red copper).

On the obverse to the right of the neck there is a mysterious symbol (looks like a special field mint mark in LRB, but these were not used before 4th century I think), which is too far in to be a distorted letter of the legend.

NERVA, *8 Nov 30 (or 35) AD (Narni, central Italy) † 27 Jan 98 AD (aged 67 or 62) Gardens of Sallust, Rome ‡ 18 Sep 96 – 27 Jan 98 (effectively abdicated in autumn 97 naming Trajan as his successor)

Marcus Cocceius Nerva was born in the village of Narni, 50 kilometers north of Rome. Ancient sources report the date as either 30 or 35. He had at least one attested sister, named Cocceia, who married Lucius Salvius Titianus Otho, the brother of the earlier Emperor Otho. Like Vespasian, the founder of the Flavian dynasty, Nerva was a member of the Italian nobility rather than one of the elite of Rome. Nevertheless, the Cocceii were among the most esteemed and prominent political families of the late Republic and early Empire, attaining consulships in each successive generation. The direct ancestors of Nerva on his father's side, all named Marcus Cocceius Nerva, were associated with imperial circles from the time of Augustus.

Not much of Nerva's early life or career is recorded, but it appears he did not pursue the usual administrative or military career. He was praetor-elect in the year 65 and, like his ancestors, moved in imperial circles as a skilled diplomat and strategist. He received many high honors during the reign of Nero and Flavians, including two ordinary (!) consulships of 71 and 90, usually for services that remained unclear, so probably of highly delicate and clandestine nature, e. g. he played a prominent role of uncovering at least two major conspiracies against the ruling emperors. During 69, the transitional Year of the Four Emperors he was nowhere to be seen, but then emerged on the winning Flavian side, which was quite a feat for a former Neronian loyalist and a relative of one of the defeated emperors, Otho. It is also known that Nerva had excellent literary abilities praised by his contemporaries.

On 18 September, 96, Domitian was assassinated in a palace conspiracy organised by court officials. The same day the Senate proclaimed Nerva emperor in somewhat obscure circumstances. Modern historians believe Nerva was proclaimed Emperor solely on the initiative of the Senate, within hours after the news of the assassination broke, to avoid the inevitable civil unrest, and neither him nor the Senate had anything to do with the conspiracy. The change of government was welcome particularly to the senators, who had been harshly persecuted during Domitian's reign. As an immediate gesture of goodwill towards his supporters, Nerva publicly swore that no senators would be put to death as long as he remained in office. He called an end to trials based on treason, released those who had been imprisoned under these charges, and granted amnesty to many who had been exiled. All properties which had been confiscated by Domitian were returned to their respective families. Nerva also sought to involve the Senate in his government, but this was not entirely successful.

Nerva had to introduce a number of measures to gain support among the Roman populace. As was the custom by this time, a change of emperor was to bring with it a generous payment of gifts and money to the people and the army. This was followed by a string of economic reforms intended to alleviate the burden of taxation from the most needy Romans. Furthermore, numerous taxes were remitted and privileges granted to Roman provinces. Before long, Nerva's expenses strained the economy of Rome and necessitated the formation of a special commission of economy to drastically reduce expenditures. The most superfluous religious sacrifices, games and horse races were abolished, while new income was generated from Domitian's former possessions. Because he reigned only briefly, Nerva's public works were few, instead completing projects which had been initiated under Flavian rule. This included extensive repairs to the Roman road system and the expansion of the aqueducts. The only major landmarks constructed under Nerva were a granary, known as the Horrea Nervae, and a small Imperial Forum begun by Domitian, which linked the Forum of Augustus to the Temple of Peace.

Despite Nerva's measures to remain popular with the Senate and the Roman people, support for Domitian remained strong in the army, which led to problems. Upon his accession, he had ordered a halt to treason trials, but at the same time allowed the prosecution of informers by the Senate to continue. This measure led to chaos, as everyone acted in his own interests while trying to settle scores with personal enemies.

The situation was further aggravated by the absence of a clear successor, made more pressing because of Nerva's old age and sickness. In October 97 these tensions came to a head when the Praetorian Guard laid siege to the Imperial Palace and took Nerva hostage. He was forced to submit to their demands, agreeing to hand over those responsible for Domitian's death. Nerva was unharmed in this assault, but his authority was damaged beyond repair. He realized that his position was no longer tenable without the support of an heir who had the approval of both the army and the people. Shortly thereafter, he announced the adoption of Trajan as his successor, and with this decision all but abdicated.

On 1 January, 98, at the start of his fourth consulship, Nerva suffered a stroke during a private audience. Shortly thereafter he was struck by a fever and died. His largest legacies were avoiding the civil war after the fall of Flavians and establishing a new dynasty that ruled almost until the end of the 2nd century and achieved "the golden age" of the Roman empire.
Yurii P
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P. Licinius Crassus, Crawford 430/125 viewsP. Licinius Crassus, gens Licinia, 86(?)/82(?) - 53 BC, son of triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus
AR - denarius, 3.95g, 20.57x18.10mm, 225
Rome, 55 BC
obv. Bust of Venus, draped, diademed, laureate, wearing ear-rings and necklace, r.
behind S.C
rev. P.CRASSVS - M.F
Female warrior with spear stg. in front of horse, holding horse with r. hand by bridle; at her feet l.cuirass,
r. shield
ref. Crawford 430/1; Sydenham 929; Albert 1358; Licinia 18; BMCRR 3901
scarce, F+, oval flan, obv. excentric
pedigree:
ex Roberto Pedoni, Via Vespasiano, Roma

Crawford writes: The correct descripton of the issue (which I owe to Mr. H.-D. Schultz) renders impossible traditional interpretations of the reverse type as a recognitio equitum, as symbolising the cavalry brought from Gaul by P. Crassus or as alluding to the battle of the Colline Gate near the temple of Venus Erycina. The female figure has long hair and wears a curious head-dress with two projections at the front, a cloak gathering on the left shoulder and a skirt.
1 commentsJochen
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PAMPHYLIA, Aspendos83 viewsPAMPHYLIA, Aspendos. Circa 380-325 BC.

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

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

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

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

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

AR Stater (21mm, 10.76 g). Two wrestlers grappling; DA between / Slinger to right; triskeles in field. Tekin Series D; SNG France 87 (same reverse die). Ex-CNG B9FV15E
1 commentsecoli
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Philip II25 viewsPhilip II, Macedonia, 359-336 BC. Diademed head of Apollo left / FILIPPOU, young male rider on horse prancing right, upright thunderbolt below. SNG ANS 884.1 commentsRandygeki(h2)
moushmov_89.png
Philippopolis Marcus Aurelius Q. Tullius Maximus42 viewsAE30 16.8g

Marcus Aurelius

Philippopolis

Q. Tullius Maximus (161-9 AD)


Ob: AV K]AI M AVPH | ANTΩNEINOC
Bare head right

Rev: HΓE TO[VΛ MAΞIMOV A]ΠOΔVΠA ΦIΛIΠΠO
Emperor dressed in military attire standing right, holding inversed spear in right hand, parazonium in left,right foot on disproportionately small captive.

Mushmov (1924) p. 223 #89; Varbanov (E) III 797 not depicted; RPC Antonine project-; BMC -: Mionnet Supp II-; SNG Cop.-

This coin exhibits the AΠOΔ VΠA title abbreviated for apod(edeigmenou) hupa(tou) denoting Tullius Maximus as the consul designatus
Petrus Elmsley
Sellwood_50_3_Phraates_IV_tetradrachm.jpg
Phraates IV73 viewstetradrachm, 38 - 2 BC
Sellwood 50.3

Also listed at http://coinproject.com/coin_detail.php?coin=232239
3 commentsRobert L3
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Projectile point in situ. Early to mid-Archaic, 9000-6000 B.P.49 viewsType: Kirk
Period: Early to mid-Archaic, 9000-6000 B.P.
Size: 1.25"
Found in Jessamine county, Kentucky. 2011.
1 commentsancientone
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Projectile point in situ. Early to mid-Archaic, 9000-6000 B.P.44 viewsType: Kirk
Period: Early to mid-Archaic, 9000-6000 B.P.
Size: 1.75"
Found in Jessamine county, Kentucky. 2011.
1 commentsancientone
GAE246_O.jpg
Ptolemy II Philadelphos - Alexandria - 283/246BC - Drachm - Obverse123 viewsPtolemy Coin GAE246
Ptolemy II Philadelphos Drachm - Alexandria Mint - 285/246BC
AE 40.9-42.2mm : 72.8gm
OBV - Zeus Ammon, facing right
REV - Twin eagles standing on thunderbolts facing left, RHO monogram between legs. BASILEOS on right, PTOLEMAIOY on left. Denomination B. Svoronos identifies the 'two eagles' type as struck after the death of Arsinoe.
REF - Svoronos 497 Noeske 66 (with RHO monogram, like this coin)
1 commentsPtolemAE
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Ptolemy II Philadelphos Drachm - 285/246BC - Alexandria - Obverse237 viewsPtolemy Coin GAE099
Ptolemy II Philadelphos Drachm - 285/246BC
AE 47.4-48.1mm : 95.66gm
OBV - Zeus Ammon, facing right
REV - Eagle standing on thunderbolt, wing open on right side of coin, head reverted over open wing, EPSILON monogram between legs. BASILEOS on left, PTOLEMAIOY on right. Denomination A.
REF - SNGCOP 142 Svoronos 446 (Plate 17 #2)
3 commentsPtolemAE
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Ptolemy III Euergetes - 246/221BC - Rare Denomination - Obverse164 viewsPtolemy Coin GAE289
Ptolemy III Euergeties - Alexandria - Diobol - 246/221BC
AE 30.8-31.5mm : 22.97gm
OBV - Zeus Ammon, facing right
REV - Eagle standing on thunderbolt, closed wings, head facing left, cornucopia in left field, CHI RHO monogram between legs
REF - Svoronos 966
NOTE - Denomination series of Svoronos 964, 965, 966, 967, 968, 969
3 commentsPtolemAE
GAE289_R.jpg
Ptolemy III Euergetes - 246/221BC - Rare Denomination - Reverse59 viewsPtolemy Coin GAE289
Ptolemy III Euergeties - Alexandria - Diobol or Hemicrachm - 246/221BC
AE 30.8-31.5mm : 22.97gm
OBV - Zeus Ammon, facing right
REV - Eagle standing on thunderbolt, closed wings, head facing left, cornucopia in left field, CHI RHO monogram between legs
REF - Svoronos 966
NOTE - Denomination series of Svoronos 964, 965, 966, 967, 968, 969
PtolemAE
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Ptolemy V - Alexandria - Obverse99 viewsPtolemy Coin GAE309
Ptolemy V Philometer 205/181BC
AE 19.1-19.5mm : 5.978gm
OBV - Laureate Zeus, facing right
REV - Eagle with open wing standing f/L on thunderbolt with head reverted, KAPPA monogram between legs, BASILEOS PTOLEMAIOY
REF - Svoronos 1378 (Plate 47 #7) Ptolemy VI - Commemoration of Kleopatra I Series - Struck 181/174BC - SNGCOP 273
PtolemAE
GAE309_R.jpg
Ptolemy V - Alexandria - Reverse93 viewsPtolemy Coin GAE309
Ptolemy V Philometer 205/181BC
AE 19.1-19.5mm : 5.978gm
OBV - Laureate Zeus, facing right
REV - Eagle with open wing standing f/L on thunderbolt with head reverted, KAPPA monogram between legs, BASILEOS PTOLEMAIOY
REF - Svoronos 1378 (Plate 47 #7) Ptolemy VI - Commemoration of Kleopatra I Series - Struck 181/174BC - SNGCOP 273
PtolemAE
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Random Cleaning Projects12 viewsTop Row:

Trajan - Tabae, Caria; Constantius II ; Probus ; Gratian

Second Row:

Gallienus ; Septimius Severus ; Constans ; Aurelian

Third Row:

Julian II ; Valens ; Gratian ; Marcinus and Diadumenian
Gil-galad
Vespasian_ric_773.jpg
RIC 077383 viewsVespasian (69-79). AR Denarius (18.08 mm, 3.50 g, 6h). Rome, AD 75.
Obv: Bare head l. R IMP CEASAR VESPASIANUS AUG
Rev: Pax seated l., resting l. elbow on throne and holding branch.
PON MAX TRP COS VI
RIC II 773 (this coin); RSC –. Extremely Rare variety, near VF.
Ex Vecchi sale 13, 1998, 757.
Ex: St Paul Antiques auction 7 Lot 285 June 11, 2017




Vespasian ruled Rome for 10 years, and he was the last emperor in the year of the four emperors. His rule brought stability to the empire. He was famous for his military response to the Jewish revolt, and for the construction of the Flavian amphitheater. The looting of Jerusalem provided the funding for this building project. The colosseum was completed by his son Titus who became emperor after the death of Vespasian. The Flavian era had three emperors, Vespasian, his son Titus and his other son Domitian.

While this coin is worn, please take note of the bare head of Vespasian. There are only 2 known coin types that feature Vespasian with a bare head, all others are laureate. For one coin type there are several examples known to exist. For the coin type displayed below, this coin was, until very recently the only one to have surfaced. A second example has now been found by an expert on Flavian coinage. The reference Roman Imperial Coinage II Part 1 refers to my coin but does not have a photo of the coin. I sent a photo to the co-author of the volume, and I hope that a photo will be added when this edition is updated.
7 commentsorfew
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ROMAN EMPIRE, Constantine I, Commemorative AE3- Wolf and Twins4 viewsConstantine I AE3 Commemorative - Wolf and Twins-SMK delta RIC VII 90 Cyzicus Mint. this coin was one of my cleaning projects that turned out pretty good.

jessvc1
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Roman Empire, Elagabalus, RIC IVb 14618 viewsA silver denarius of the notorious Elagabalus (218-222 AD). He was actually only called Elagabalus after his death; his real name as Emperor was, confusingly, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius Augustus. He served in his youth as the high priest of Elagabal, the sun-god of his home city of Emesa (modern Homs, Syria, currently a hotspot in the Syrian Civil War). He was allegedly an eccentric sicko, and after only four years of rule, he was assassinated at 18 years of age by the Praetorian Guards under orders from his own grandmother (I guess he should have visited her more often?) and replaced by his cousin, Alexander Severus. The front of the coin shows Elagabalus wearing a laurel crown with the inscription IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG = "Commander-In-Chief and Emperor Antoninus Pius". There is actually a horn projecting from his head below his laurel crown, too, as a symbol of his divinity -- it looks like part of the laurel crown on this specimen. The back shows Elagabalus again conducting a sacrifice over an altar, with the inscription SVMMVS SACERDOS AVG = "The Emperor, Highest Priest". Minted in Rome, 221-222 AD.pfrederiksen
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ROMAN EMPIRE, Theodosius II, Solidus, RIC 20221 views4.46 grams.
There are three unusual marks projecting from top of right shoulder!
Richard T3
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Roman Empire, Vespasian RIC 106644 viewsAR denarius
Rome Mint, 79 AD
RIC 1066 (R), BMC 253, RSC 560
Obv - IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, left.
Rev - TR POT X COS VIIII ; Radiate figure, naked standing facing, holding vertical spear in right hand and parazonium, projecting sideways, in left, on column with anchor on front and three 'rostra' projecting on either side.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
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Roman Glass Vessel10 viewsRoman glass vessel with pinched projectionsTanit
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Roman Plate, Enamelled, Rhomboid Plate, Fibula #170135 viewsRoman Plate, Enamelled, Rhomboid Plate, Fibula #170
Rhomboid plate fibula with enamel pieces. Blue enamel base with four white spots.
Each of the four corners of a circular projecting lugs, with the central knob.
size: 33,5x22,5mm,
weight: 5,35g,
date: A.D.,
ref:
distribution:
Q-001
2 commentsquadrans
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SHRINE, L.Mussidius Longus152 viewsAR denarius. 42 BC. 4,02 grs. Diademed and veiled bust of Concordia right. CONCORDIA behind. / Platform inscribed CLOACIN on which there are two statues of Venus Cloacina. L. MVSSIDIVS LONGVS above.
Crawford 494/42a. RSC Mussidia 6b.
The shrine of Venus Cloacina,goddess of purity,filth,sexual intercourse and the divinity of the Cloaca Maxima,was a small sanctuary near the Tabernae Novae (prope cloacinae ad tabernas quibus nunc novis est nomen, Livy III.48) on the Roman Forum,in front of the Basilica Aemilia.
The origins of the cult possibly ,dates back to the founding of Rome and the rape of the Sabine women ( traditur myrtea verbena Romanos Sabinosque,cum propter raptas virgines dimicare voluissent,depositis armis purgatos in eo loco qui nunc signa Veneris Cloacinae habet, Pliny NH XV.119.)
The erection of the first shrine belongs probably to the first period in the history of the Cloaca Maxima.
The existing remains,discovered at the turn of the XIXth century (1899-1901),consist of a round marble base ( 2.40 mtrs.diameter) with a rectangular projection over a slab of travertine and eight courses of different types of stone. Nothing remains of the small round structure with a metal balustrade and the two female statues,one holding a flower ? and representing Venus Cloacina,that can be seen on the reverse of the coin.

benito
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Sicily, Akragas. (Circa 425-406 BC)26 viewsAE Tetras

19 mm, 7.6 g

Obverse: AKPA (AKRA) to left, eagle, head lowered, wings spread, standing right on hare

Reverse: Crab, beneath, three pellets (each representing 1/12 of the value of a Litra), in exergue, crayfish left.

CNS I. 178, 50; HGC 2, 140.

Akragas was a wealthy and powerful Greek state on the southern coast of Sicily, second only to Syracuse in importance. The city was famous for its lavish building projects, proudly displaying its wealth in the form of numerous massive temples, many of which still stand today.

The early designs of the coinage of Akragas remained consistent for nearly a century, depicting Zeus’ standing eagle on the obverse and a crab on the reverse. As their societies matured, the aristocratic rulers of Akragas and its surrounding cities became highly competitive in the artistic beauty of the coinage they produced, resulting in a flourishing numismatic arms race.

Around 415 BC, a dramatic shift took place, reinvigorating all denominations of their coinage. The designs became much more intricate, and the new coins have been ranked as some of the most beautiful coinage ever produced.

Unfortunately, the wealth of Akragas was not enough to protect it from the brutality of the Carthaginians, who sacked the city in 406 BC, an attack from which they never fully recovered and which put an abrupt end to this beautiful period of coinage.
1 commentsNathan P
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SRI LANKA - Sahasa Malla17 viewsSRI LANKA - Sahasa Malla (1200-1202) Copper Massa. Obverse : Traditional Lankan massa design of standing king. The head consists of an irregular oblong, the right side being a vertical line, from which projects three horizontal stokes representing the nose, mouth and chin. The crown bulging outwards at the back. The two curved lines on either side of the legs slightly turned upwards at the end indicate a person wearing a 'dhoti', and standing on a lotus stalk with flower to the right. The forearm is bent sharply down; the hand grasps the hanging lamp. The right side elbow is curved down with the arm turned upwards holds a flower presumed to be a jasmine blossom. To the right are five dots or spheres. A rim of 40 to 43 beads. Reverse : Traditional Lankan massa design of seated king. Head and crown as on obverse. Arm is raised upwards and the hand holds a conch shell. On right Devanagari legend Sri ma tSa ha sa Ma lla. Reference: Codrington #81; Mitchiner #840-841.dpaul7
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Struck A.D.164 under Marcus Aurelius. DIVUS ANTONINUS PIUS. Commemorative AR Denarius of Rome6 viewsObverse: DIVVS ANTONINVS. Bare head of Antoninus Pius facing right.
Reverse: DIVO PIO. Column of Antoninus Pius surmounted by statue of the emperor and surrounded by enclosure.
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 3.1gms | Die Axis: 6
RIC III : 439 | VM : 137/2 | Sear : 5195

The Column of Antoninus Pius (Columna Antonini Pii) was erected in the Campus Martius in memory of Antoninus Pius by Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus c.A.D.158 on the twentieth anniversary of his reign. Constructed of red granite, the column was 14.75 metres high and 1.90m in diameter, unlike the otherwise similar column of Trajan it had no decorating reliefs. The masons' inscription shows that it was quarried out in A.D.106 and architecturally it belonged to the Ustrinum which was 25m north of it on the same orientation. It was surmounted by a statue of Antoninus Pius, as is represented on the coin. Previous to the 18th century the base was completely buried, but the lower part of the shaft projected about 6m above the ground. In 1703, when some buildings were demolished in the area of Montecitorio, the rest of the column and the base were discovered and excavated. The base, all four sides of which are shown below, still survives and is now housed in the Cortile della Pigna in the Vatican Museums.
*Alex
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T. Carisius11 viewsMoneyer issues of Imperatorial Rome. T. Carisius. 46 BC. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.71 g, 6h). Rome mint. Head of Juno Moneta right / Implements for coining money: anvil die with garlanded punch die above, tongs and hammer on either side; all within laurel wreath. Crawford 464/2; CRI 70; Sydenham 982a; Carisia 1a; Type as RBW 1614. VF, toned, small pin hole on obverse below Moneta’s bust.

From the Andrew McCabe Collection, purchased from Peus Nachf., with old German collection ticket.

The apparent punch die on this type may be a cap of Liberty, and the lower die a generic anvil. The cap-shaped object is wreathed like a Dioscurus cap, which is the same cap worn by Vulcan, the god of metal-working. An analogue can be seen in the Scribonius Wellhead issue, RRC 416, which displays four different symbols, not three. Even rarer than the sought-after anvil is the Scribonius with a cap of Liberty, a variety not listed by Crawford. The scene on this coin may thus represent Vulcan’s generic metal-making workshop, but with the placement of the cap above the anvil, it may also be intended to allude to minting even if a punch die is not directly shown.

RRC p. 475 notes one reverse die of this issue with legend T. CARISIV (Amsterdam) as per this coin. Richard Schaefer obtained a photograph of the Amsterdam example and compared it to other examples in his Republican Die Project. In fact, reverse die matched examples to the Amsterdam coin prove the final S of CARISIVS did exist, but the die was filled at a later state. This CARISIV variety from a different die pair seems to have been caused by the same phenomenon. There is a trace of a final letter S. [Andrew McCabe]

Ex-CNG
ecoli
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TEMPLE, ANTONINUS PIUS, Temple of Venus102 viewsorichalcum sestertius (23.78g, 12h). Rome mint struck AD 141-143.
ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P COS III laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right
VENERI FELICI S C decastyle temple
RIC 651 (scarce); BMC 1322; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 125:23
ex Jean Elsen et ses Fils (Bruxelles) auction 97; ex coll. A. Senden: l'architecture des monnaies Romaines
F, dark green patina, corroded

Issued on the occasion of the completion of the temple of Venus and Roma in AD 141. This was the largest temple in Rome dedicated to Venus Felix (Happy Venus) and Roma Aeterna (Eternal Rome). Actually it consists of two temples back under one roof. It was designed by Hadrian himself (who, by the way, executed his architect for critisising the project) and dedicated by him in AD 135, and completed by Antoninus Pius.
Charles S
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Teos, Ionia29 views540/500 - 478 B.C.
Silver Tetartemorion
0.23 gm, 6.5 mm
Obv.: Head of griffin right
Rev.: Quadripartite incuse square
Balcer 75; SNG Kayhan 602
[SNG von Aulock 7938]

from: J.M. Balcer, “The Early Silver Coinage of Teos”, SNR 47, 1968: Tetartemoria c. 540/500-478 Group XXXIII No inscription, no symbol
75 A. 75 Ear straight up, mouth half open, tongue projecting forward. P. 97 Similar (Quadripartite incuse square, rough)

(a reshoot of another one of my coins playing around with my camera)
Jaimelai
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Teos, Ionia46 views540/500 - 478 B.C.
Silver Tetartemorion
0.23 gm, 6.5 mm
Obv.: Head of griffin right
Rev.: Quadripartite incuse square
Balcer 75; SNG Kayhan 602
[SNG von Aulock 7938]

from: J.M. Balcer, “The Early Silver Coinage of Teos”, SNR 47, 1968: Tetartemoria c. 540/500-478 Group XXXIII No inscription, no symbol
75 A. 75 Ear straight up, mouth half open, tongue projecting forward. P. 97 Similar (Quadripartite incuse square, rough)

Personal observation: ornamental pattern within each quarter appear to be a bird in flight, an eagle facing right looking back left and the Wicked Witch of the West from the 1939 movie: 'The Wizard of Oz", flying on her broomstick right which is really quite incredible if you think about it.
Jaimelai
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THRACE. Mesembria.28 viewsĆ21, 6.0g, 12h; 450-350 BC.
Obv.: Crested Macedonian helmet right.
Rev.: METAM-BRIANWN; Shield seen from back with handle and supports projecting from the central boss.
Reference: SNG Cop 658 / 17-96-180
2 commentsJohn Anthony
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Tiberius (Augustus) Coin: Brass Sestertius6 views(no legend) - Hexastyle temple with flanking wings; Concordia seated inside, holding patera and cornucopiae; Hercules and Mercury stand on podia; Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, Victories and other figures above pediment.
TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST P M TR POT XXXIIX - Legend surrounding large S C
Exergue:



Mint: Rome (36-37 AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 27.11g / 35.5mm / 6
Rarity: Scarce
References:
RIC I 61
BMCRE 116
Cohen 69
Provenances:
Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.
Acquisition/Sale: CNG Internet 424 #414

The Gary R. Wilson Collection

From Wikipedia:
The Temple of Concord (Latin: Aedes Concordiae) in the ancient city of Rome refers to a series of shrines or temples dedicated to the Roman goddess Concordia, and erected at the western end of the Roman Forum. The earliest may have vowed by Marcus Furius Camillus in 367 BC, but history also records such a temple erected in the Vulcanal in 304, and another immediately west of the Vulcanal, on the spot the temple later occupied, commissioned in 217. The temple was rebuilt in 121 BC, and again by the future emperor Tiberius between 7 BC and AD 10.

Backed up against the Tabularium at the foot of the Capitoline Hill, the architecture had to accommodate the limitations of the site. The cella of the temple, for instance, is almost twice as wide (45m) as it is deep (24m), as is the pronaos. In the cella a row of Corinthian columns rose from a continuous plinth projecting from the wall, which divided the cella into bays, each containing a niche. The capitals of these columns had pairs of leaping rams in place of the corner volutes. Only the platform now remains, partially covered by a road up to the Capitol.

One tradition ascribes the first Temple of Concord to a vow made by Camillus in 367 BC, on the occasion of the Lex Licinia Sextia, the law passed by the tribunes Gaius Licinius Stolo and Lucius Sextius Lateranus, opening the consulship to the plebeians. The two had prevented the election of any magistrates for a period of several years, as part of the conflict of the orders. Nominated dictator to face an invasion of the Gauls, Camillus, encouraged by his fellow patrician Marcus Fabius Ambustus, Stolo's father-in-law, determined to resolve the crisis by declaring his support for the law, and vowing a temple to Concordia, symbolizing reconciliation between the patricians and plebeians.

Camillus' vow is not mentioned by Livy, who instead describes the dedication of the Temple of Concord in the Vulcanal, a precinct sacred to Vulcan on the western end of the forum, by the aedile Gnaeus Flavius in 304 BC. Flavius' actions were an affront to the senate, partly because he had undertaken the matter without first consulting them, and partly because of his low social standing: not only was Flavius a plebeian, but he was the son of a freedman, and had previously served as a scribe to Appius Claudius Caecus. The Pontifex Maximus, Rome's chief priest, was compelled to instruct Flavius on the proper formulae for dedicating a temple. Cicero and Pliny report that Flavius was a scribe, rather than aedile, at the time of the dedication, and a law was passed immediately afterward forbidding anyone from dedicating a temple without the authorization of the senate or a majority of the plebeian tribunes.

Yet a third Temple of Concord was begun in 217 BC, early in the Second Punic War, by the duumviri Marcus Pupius and Caeso Quinctius Flamininus, in fulfillment of a vow made by the praetor Lucius Manlius Vulso on the occasion of his deliverance from the Gauls in 218. The reason why Manlius vowed a temple to Concordia is not immediately apparent, but Livy alludes to a mutiny that had apparently occurred among the praetor's men. The temple was completed and dedicated the following year by the duumviri Marcus and Gaius Atilius.

The murder of Gaius Gracchus in 121 BC marked a low point in the relationship between the emerging Roman aristocracy and the popular party, and was immediately followed by the reconstruction of the Temple of Concord by Lucius Opimius at the senate's behest, which was regarded as an utterly insincere attempt to clothe its actions in a symbolic act of reconciliation.

From this period, the temple was frequently used as a meeting place for both the senate and the Arval Brethren, and in later times it came to house a number of works of art, many of which are described by Pliny.

A statue of Victoria placed on the roof of the temple was struck by lightning in 211 BC, and prodigies were reported in the Concordiae, the neighborhood of the temple, in 183 and 181. Little else is heard of the temple until 7 BC, when the future emperor Tiberius undertook another restoration, which lasted until AD 10, when the structure was rededicated on the 16th of January as the Aedes Concordiae Augustae, the Temple of Concordia of Augustus.

The temple is occasionally mentioned in imperial times, and may have been restored again following a fire in AD 284. By the eighth century, the temple was reportedly in poor condition, and in danger of collapsing.

The temple was razed circa 1450, and the stone turned into a lime kiln to recover the marble for building.

From CNG:
The Temple of Concordia at the northern end of the Forum in Rome was unusual in that its width was greater than its length. We do not know precisely when the temple was originally built, but its unorthodox design was likely due to space limitations. The temple was restored after the revolt of the Gracchi in 121 BC, and again under Tiberius in AD 10.
Gary W2
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Trajan Denarius - Equestrian Statue (RIC II 291)55 viewsAR Denarius
Rome 112-117AD
3.04g

Obv: Laureate bust of Trajan (R), draped far shoulder.
IMP TRAIANO AUG GER DAC PM TRP COS VI PP

Rev: EQUESTRIAN STATUE of Trajan (L).

Likely represents the equestrian statue that stood in the piazza of Trajan's forum, celebrates the emperor's building projects.

SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI


RIC II 291 RSC ?
2 commentsKained but Able
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Vespasian-RIC-1066148 viewsAR Denarius, 3.41g
Rome Mint, 79 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, l.
Rev: TR POT X COS VIIII ; Radiate figure, naked standing facing, holding vertical spear in right hand and parazonium, projecting sideways, in left, on column with anchor on front and three 'rostra' projecting on either side
RIC 1066 (R). BMC 253. RSC 560. BNC -.
Acquired from Ancient Caesar, November 2007.

This coin is part of Vespasian's last issue before his death in June of 79 AD. Mattingly speculates the reverse depicts the 120 ft high Colossus erected by Nero for his Golden House. According to Dio, the enormous statue was moved by Vespasian in his sixth consulship and set up on the Scared Way. However, it is far more likely to be an imitative design copying a similar type struck for Octavian (BMCRE i, 103, 633).

A rare left facing portrait of the type, it is wonderfully centred, in good condition, and in a pleasing style.


4 commentsVespasian70
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Vologases V59 viewstetradrachm, 191 - 208 AD
Sellwood 87.18

Also listed at http://coinproject.com/coin_detail.php?coin=232229 and http://www.coinproject.com/siteimages/97-81000670.jpg
1 commentsRobert L3
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Wang Mang Bu Quan16 viewsAE 布泉 (Bu.Quan)
China, Xin Dynasty, Emperor Wang Mang 9-23 CE
Diameter: 26 mm Weight: 3.35 grams

Obverse: The Hanzi 布泉 (Spade cash), arranged right to left of central square hole. Large 10 mm central square hole around which double border with two spike projections from lower corners. Outer raised rim.

Reverse: Blank, raised rim and raised border around square hole.

Cast: Uncertain, possibly the capital Xian.

Notes:
- This beautiful issue appears to only have lasted 1 year, circa 14 CE. The Hanzi characters are written in the aptly named ‘suspended needle’ script. The casting quality of Wang Mang coinage is generally very high, but these are exceptionally well made.
- This coin appears to be a replacement of the earlier first issue spade coins, which themselves were throwbacks to the Chinese spade coins from centuries past. Wang Mang held a great admiration and nostalgia for the early Zhou period, which he seems to have believed was the ideal Confucianist State.
- Hartill 9.70

Ex ECIN Associates 2015, Ex Frank S Robinson 2002
Pharsalos
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Western Han Dynasty Wu Zhu14 viewsAE五铢 (wu.zhu)
China, Western Han Dynasty, 206 BCE - 25 CE
Diameter: 26 mm Weight: 3.53 grams

Obverse: The Hanzi 五铢 (5 zhu), arranged right to left. Bar above centre square hole. Top and bottom strokes of ‘wu’ projecting slightly, raised outer rim.

Reverse: Blank, raised rim and raised border around square hole.

Cast: Uncertain.

Notes:
- Probably cast after 113 BCE during the reign of Emperor WuDi, 140-87 BCE, who was the longest reigning Chinese monarch until KangXi (1662 -1722 CE).
- The wu zhu coinage was being heavily counterfeited, so the Han government set up a new coinage authority know as the 上林三官 (shang.lin.san.guan). Older wu zhus were gathered up and these new coins were cast in very fine quality. This successfully reduced the profitability of ‘private mints’.
- This example was lacquered in antiquity.
- Hartill 8.8

Ex Frank S Robinson 2013
Pharsalos
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ZEUS324 viewsPtolemaic Egypt, Ptolemy Coin GAE099
Ptolemy II Philadelphos Drachm - 285/246BC - Alexandria
AE 47.4-48.1mm : 95.66gm
OBV - Zeus Ammon, facing right
REV - Eagle standing on thunderbolt, wing open on right side of coin, head reverted over open wing, EPSILON monogram between legs. BASILEOS on left, PTOLEMAIOY on right. Denomination A.
REF - SNGCOP 142 Svoronos 446 (Plate 17 #2)
4 commentsPtolemAE
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Zeus Ammon, Ptolemy II Philadelphos Drachm - 285/246BC - Alexandria262 viewsAE 47.4-48.1mm : 95.66gm
OBV - Zeus Ammon, facing right
REV - Eagle standing on thunderbolt, wing open on right side of coin, head reverted over open wing, EPSILON control letter between legs. BASILEOS on left, PTOLEMAIOY on right.
REF - Svoronos 446 SNGCOP 142
2 commentsPtolemAE
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Zeus Ammon, Ptolemy III Euergetes - Alexandria - Diobol - 246/222BC211 viewsAE 30.8-31.5mm : 22.97gm
OBV - Zeus Ammon, facing right
REV - Eagle standing on thunderbolt, closed wings, head facing left, cornucopia in left field, CHI RHO monogram between legs
REF - Svoronos 966
NOTE - Denomination series of Svoronos 964, 965, 966, 967, 968, 969
1 commentsPtolemAE
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Zeus Ammon, Ptolemy III Euergetes - Alexandria - Hemidrachm - 246/222BC193 viewsPtolemy III Euergetes - Alexandria - Hemidrachm - 246/222BC
AE 33.5-34.1mm : 32.9gm : 11h
OBV - Zeus Ammon f/R
REV - Eagle with closed wings standing on thunderbolt facing left w/cornucopia at left, CHI RHO monogram between legs
REF - Svoronos 965 (Plate 29 #20) SNGCOP 173-5 Weiser 72 Sear 7817
PtolemAE
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Zeus Ammon, Ptolemy IV Philopater - 221/205BC - Alexandria - Tetrobol161 viewsAE 37.2-38.1mm : 41.8gm : 12h
OBV - Zeus Ammon, facing right
REV - Eagle standing on thunderbolt, wing open on right side of coin, head turned right over open wing, SIGMA control letter between legs, no symbol in left field
REF - Svoronos 1148 - no countermark or symbol in left field
PtolemAE
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ZEUS, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, Syracuse Issue of Hieron II, Diobol - 285/246BC342 viewsAE 26.3-27.5mm : 18.282gm : 3h
OBV - Laureate Zeus facing right
REV - Eagle standing on thunderbolt facing left, wing open, head facing left, no leg monogram, shield in left field. BASILEOS right, PTOLEMAIOY left
REF - Svoronos 610 (Plate 12 #17) SNGCop 114 Weiser 18
NOTE - This type actually struck in Syracuse by Hieron II ca. 265BC. New research just published on this subject (2007). The paper that presents this new attribution is available online at www.ptolemybronze.com.
7 commentsPtolemAE
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[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.67 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
TacitusRIC210.jpg
[1117] Tacitus, 25 September 275 - 12 April 276 A.D.51 viewsSilvered Antoninianus. RIC 210. Weight, Size. aVF. Minted in Antioch. Obverse:– IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse:– CLEMENTIA TEMP, Emperor standing right receiving globe from Jupiter, both holding scepters, Z below figures; XXI in exegrue. Ex Maridvnvm.


De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Tacitus (275-276 A.D.)

Robin Mc Mahon
New York University

Full name, Marcus Claudius Tacitus; name as Emperor, Imperator Caesar Marcus Claudius Tacitus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus. We have no reliable information on the earlier career of the Emperor Tacitus. All that is known with any degree of certainty is that in 273 he was consul along with Julius Placidianus. All the statements in the Historia Augusta regarding Tacitus' earlier career, including the claim he was related to the historian Tacitus, have been rejected by historians as fictitious. The most reliable sources for Tacitus' reign, Zosimus and Zonaras, state that he was chosen Emperor by the army following the assassination of Aurelian in the fall of 275, most likely in November. At the time of his elevation he was in Interamna (modern Terni, about 60 miles north of Rome). From there he made his way to Rome where he was confirmed as Emperor by the Senate. Tradition has it that he was 75 years old at the time, but there is no way to confirm this.

As Emperor, Tacitus first had Aurelian deified, then seized and executed many individuals involved in plotting Aurelian's murder. Tacitus then turned his attention to the defense of the Empire. Although the Franks, Alamanni, and Longiones posed threats in the north, Tacitus determined that the greater danger lay in the East. Aurelian had enlisted the aid of several barbarian tribes, including the Heruli and Maeotidae (referred to as Scythians in the sources), for a projected invasion of Parthia. Aurelian's murder cancelled these plans. Feeling cheated of their opportunity for plunder, the tribes attacked the Roman provinces in Asia Minor, overrunning Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia and Cilicia, and caused terrible destruction. Tacitus appointed his half-brother Florian Praetorian Prefect. They campaigned in the East against the invaders, winning Tacitus the title Gothicus Maximus.

Tacitus, however, did not long enjoy his victory: on his way back to Europe, he died. Zosimus and Zonaras preserve the report that Tacitus had appointed a relative of his, Maximinus, as governor of Syria. Maximinus was murdered; then the assassins, fearing Tacitus's reaction, murdered him. It was alleged that some of them had also had a hand in murdering Aurelian. The Historia Augusta more eccentrically reports that Tacitus became ill with a fever and started showing signs of megalomania: but as the month September Tacitus allegedly wanted named after himself dates his accession incorrectly, the story appears to be a fabrication. Tacitus died some time in June of 276. His memory was neither condemned nor deified.

Tacitus held the consulship at least twice, first in 273 and again in 276. There is numismatic evidence of a third consulship but there is no record of a third in any of the fasti, that is, the lists of consuls. Because of the paucity of the sources and the brevity of his reign, little can be said of his policies. It is unlikely that the military would choose as Emperor anyone like the contemplative, abstemious civilian the Historia Augusta portrays. A hint may be given by the fact that Tacitus's colleague in the consulship of 273, Julius Placidianus, commanded an army corps in Narbonensis and later went on to be a Praetorian Perfect. Nevertheless, some numismatic and epigraphic evidence suggests that Tacitus sought to strike a milder tone than his predecessor. Prominent among his coin legends is Clementia Temporum [the reverse type in my collection]. Unlike both Aurelian and Tacitus' successor, Probus, Tacitus did not take the title, deus et dominus natus ["born god and master"]. He also issued no Sol Invictus coins honoring Aurelian's favorite deity. Some of his coins revive the SC (senatus consulto) marking senatorial authority for the issue, which had been missing in previous reigns. Tacitus also used the Genius Senatus, inscriptions which had disappeared under Valerian. Further, in some inscriptions he is styled auctor verae libertatis ["originator of true liberty"], and on coins restitutor rei publicae ["restorer of the state"].

Historiography

Tacitus largely fell out of the ancient historiographical record. The best sources are Zosimus and Zonaras. The Historia Augusta creates its own fiction of Tacitus out of forged documents, bogus names and faulty chronology. Tacitus deserved better than oblivion or fabrication, having halted potentially serious raiding in the East.

Two problems emerge from the evidence for Tacitus's short reign. The first is the six-month interregnum said to have intervened between the death of Aurelian and Tacitus' accession. The years 260-285 have been the subject of close chronological scrutiny, and it has been shown that, although there might have been a brief interval between emperors (something not uncommon), amounting to a few weeks, anything longer is not possible. The error appears to have originated in the Latin historians, who confused the duration of Tacitus' and Florian's reign with the brief period between the reigns of Aurelian and Tacitus.

The second question is whether or not the edict of the Emperor Gallienus, which had excluded senators from military commands and any other dealings with the military, was set aside during the reigns of Tacitus and Florian. Aurelius Victor reports that Gallienus, acting largely through fear of revolts and usurpation, replaced the senators in military offices with Equites. Several passages in the Historia Augusta claim that these edicts were suspended for the duration of the reigns of Tacitus and Florian. The overwhelming consensus among historians, however, is that the passages in the Historia Augusta are unhistorical: no credible evidence suggests that Gallienus' edicts were even temporarily set aside.

Copyright (C) 2000, Robin Mc Mahon. Used by permission.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/tacitus.htm

Tacitus was an elderly senator in the reign of Aurelian, and after the latter's death was selected as Augustus by the senate. After personally leading his army in a successful campaign against a Gothic invasion, the emperor, aged around 75, died (Joseph Sermarini, FORVM;
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=747&pos=0#Recovery%20of%20the%20Empire%20Coins).


Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.




Cleisthenes
Z1546TN.jpeg
[1119a] Probus, Antoninianus, 276-282 A.D.84 viewsProbus (AD 276-282) AE Antoninianus; Obverse: Radiate bust, left, wearing imperial mantel and holding scepter surmounted by eagle IMP. PROBVS P. F. AVG. Reverse: Cult image of Roma seated within six column temple ROMAE AETER. R thunderbolt A in exergue; Rome mint 21mm x 22mm, 3.59g; VF; RIC, Vol. 5. Part 2, #183.


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Probus (276-282 A.D.) and Rival Claimants (Proculus, Bonosus, and Saturninus)of the 280s

Robin Mc Mahon
New York University

Probus's Background
M. Aurelius Probus was most likely born in Sirmium in 232 A.D. It is difficult to reconstruct Probus' career before he became emperor because of the unreliable nature of the account in the Historia Augusta, but it is certainly possible that he was a tribune under Valerian. Perhaps all that can be said with any reliability is that he served in the military and was on Aurelian's staff during his Eastern campaigns. There is a certain amount of confusion in the sources about him because of the fact that he has often been confused with a certain Tenagino Probus, who served as prefect in Egypt under Claudius II Gothicus.

Accession to Power
After the murder of Aurelian, the Senate chose as his successor the septuagenarian senator, Tacitus, who took up the burdens of state and headed with the army to the East. The Eruli had overrun Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia and finally Cilicia, where Tacitus, with help from his half-brother Florianus, defeated them. Tacitus, however, either died of an illness or was killed by his own troops; he was succeeded by Florianus. In the meantime, Probus had been declared Emperor by his own troops in mid-276, and prepared to meet Florianus, who was marching from the Bosporus, having broken off his victorious engagement against the Eruli. Florianus was acknowledged in Rome and was supported by Gaul, Spain, Britain, and Italy; Probus was supported by Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine and Egypt. The two fought a desultory campaign near Tarsus. With a much smaller force, Probus decided his best strategy would be to avoid a pitched battle and let the heat overcome the troops of Florianus. The latter, having reigned barely two months, was murdered by his own troops. Probus became sole Emperor, possibly by August 276.
Probus in the West: 276-279
His first order of business was to punish the murderers of Aurelian, who may have also had a hand in the murder of Tacitus. On the basis of numismatic evidence, Probus appears to have traveled from the east across the Propontis, and then through the provinces of Thrace, Moesia and Pannonia. It is at this time that he must have defeated the Goths because he already had the title Gothicus by 277 A.D. Shortly after he arrived at the Rhine River he made a trip to Rome to have his powers ratified by the Senate.

Following the death of Postumus in 258, the situation in Gaul had rapidly deteriorated and numerous bands of invaders had swept across the Rhine. In the south, the Longiones, together with the Alamanni, had advanced through the Neckar valley into Gaul. The Franks had crossed the Rhine further north. In order to meet this simultaneous threat, Probus divided his forces having his generals campaign against the Franks, while he himself fought against the Longiones and Alamanni. Both Probus and his generals were victorious; in fact, Probus even captured Semnon, the leader of the Longiones, with his son. Both groups of invaders agreed to terms and booty and prisoners were returned; in the end, Probus allowed Semnon and his son their freedom.

Probus is next reported to have fought victoriously against the Burgundians and to have secured his victory with some ingenuity. Because his forces were smaller than those of the invaders, he wanted to engage the enemy on terms as favorable as possible; the Romans were on one side of the river and the barbarians were on the other. Probus was able to induce them to cross the river by having his soldiers hurl insults at them, and being enraged, they began crossing the river. Before the barbarians were able to organize themselves, the Roman army soundly routed them. Smarting from their defeat, the enemy did not live up to their end of the treaty, with the result that, in a second battle, they were again worsted by Probus. The barbarians who were taken prisoner were enrolled in the Roman Army and sent to Britain.

Not content with merely defeating the barbarians along the Rhine, Probus took important steps to secure the boundary for the future. He planned and constructed a series of forts and depots on the German side of the Rhine at various crossing points, which he garrisoned with troops. Further, Probus apparently took measures to restore economic stability to Gaul by encouraging the planting of vineyards. Probus' titles Gothicus Maximus and Germanicus Maximus suggest claims to the success of his operations in the area.

Events in the East 279-280
The sources do not give many details of Probus's activities in Raetia and Illyricum, but Zosimus does say he repulsed an invasion of Vandals from Illyricum in a battle along a river generally identified as the Lech. In 279, theatre of operations was Lycia. Zosimus records the curious story of the adventures and death of a robber chieftain name Lydius who may be the same individual called Palfuerius in the Historia Augusta. In order to prevent further troubles, Probus constructed fortresses, and settled large groups of veterans in this area, giving them land in exchange for the promise that their sons would also serve in the legions when they were old enough.

Probus's Military and Economic Activities In Egypt
Meanwhile, Probus had sent his generals to Egypt, where the Blemmyes were stirring up trouble in 280; they had broken through the border, advanced up the Nile, and, in league with the city of Ptolemais, captured the city of Koptus. They were eventually expelled and order was restored by Probus' generals. Once Probus had restored order, he set about the task of a large-scale reconstruction of the dikes, canals, and bridges along the Nile, something which not been done since it had been undertaken by Augustus in the years 27-25 B.C. More specifically, the Vita Probi notes, "On the Nile, moreover, he did so much that his sole efforts added greatly to the tithes of grain. He constructed bridges and temples porticos and basilicas, all by the labour of the soldiers, he opened up many river-mouths, and drained many marshes, and put in their place grain-fields and farms"(9.3-4). The importance of this type of work cannot be underestimated since a large percentage of the food supply for Rome came from Egypt and the African provinces.

The Revolts of Proculus, Bonosus, and Saturninus
According to the Historia Augusta, although the Persian King, Vahram II, had made peaceful overtures, Probus had rejected these and was planning to push the war forward when he was faced with a series of revolts both in the West and East. It is difficult to place them in their exact time-frame since the sources do not agree. Nevertheless, the situation was serious enough for Probus to cancel his plans for war with Persia and hurry back to the West. On his return Probus settled large numbers of barbarians in the Empire. Perhaps this was done to repopulate areas which had been left abandoned by the effects of invasions and plague. This policy, which Probus did not begin, and which was continued by his successors was, however, destined to bring trouble to Rome in the future.

The writer of the Vita Probi in the Historia Augusta indicates that in 280 A.D. Proculus revolted in the vicinity of the city of Lugdunum, which had been severely dealt with by Aurelian and, for reasons not given, spurred on by this fear, had adopted a hostile attitude towards Probus. Proculus apparently had some connections to the Franks and he had hoped to rally them to his cause. They appear, however, to have handed him over to Probus when he arrived on the scene. Probably at the same time, Bonosus revolted. His rebellion seems to have been serious as it appears to have required considerable force to be suppressed. Bonosus, an officer in charge of the Rhine fleet, had somehow let the Germans slip over the border and burn the fleet. Fearful of retribution, he apparently took shelter in proclaiming himself emperor. He was, in spite of his lapse with the fleet, an excellent soldier. The fighting was only stopped when Bonosus, despairing of his position, hanged himself. Probus spared the lives of his sons as well as that of his wife.

Julius Saturninus, one of Probus 's commanders in Syria, probably seized power in the year 281. A close friend and associate of Probus, he may have been compelled to adopt the purple by his unruly troops. Although he initially rejected a request of the people of Alexandria to put on the purple, he later changed his mind and proclaimed himself Augustus. In any case, Probus planned to put down the rebellion. However, Saturninus was killed by his own troops before Probus had a chance to act.

The sources do not provide much in the way of material to analyze the extent of these revolts and how widespread the feeling was against Probus in the West. There are indications that the revolts were more than local affairs because inscriptions from as far away as Spain have been found where Probus's name has been erased.

In 281 Probus was in Rome to celebrate his victories. Although the Historia Augusta goes into great detail to describe the events of Probus’s triumph and celebrations of his victories in respect to the number of animals and prisoners involved, there may be some truth to its description because Zosimus states there was a uprising which at this time required a force of soldiers to suppress. On a more substantial note, Probus completed the wall around Rome which had been begun by Aurelian.

Probus' Assassination
Probus was too anxious to push ahead with his plans for an invasion of Persia, which had been postponed due to the revolts and unrest in the West, and, to this end, he left Rome in 282 and proceeded first to his native town of Sirmium when news came that M. Aurelius Carus, Perfect of the Guard, had been proclaimed emperor. When troops sent by Probus to quell the rebellion went over to Carus, Probus' remaining troops killed the emperor. His death occurred sometime between September or October 282.
Copyright (C) 1999, Robin Mc Mahon. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of the Roman Emperors and their Families; http://www.roman-emperors.org/probus.htm. Used by permission.

Probus started as a simple soldier but advanced to general and was declared emperor after the death of Tacitus. Florian's murder left him as undisputed ruler. His leadership brought peace and prosperity but he was murdered by mutinous soldiers, enraged at being employed on public building projects. Joseph Sermarini, FORVM.

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


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


Arcadius (395-408 A.D.)

Geoffrey S. Nathan
University of California at Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Geoffrey S. Nathan, University of California at Los Angeles
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
PontiusPilate29BCHendin648.jpg
[18H648] Pontius Pilate prefect for Tiberius Prutah, 29 BC48 viewsPONTIUS PILATE PRUTAH, "SIMPULUM;" Hendin 648, AVF/VF, 15.3mm, 2.20 grams, struck 29 C.E. Nice round, good weight Pontius Pilate Prutah.

THE COINS OF PONTIUS PILATE
Jean-Philippe Fontanille

INTRODUCTION
They are not really beautiful, or truly rare, nor are they of very great monetary value. Yet these apparently modest coins carry in their weight an era and an act which would have immense consequence to the history of the world. Indeed, they are closely associated with three basic factors which saw the foundation of Christianity :
1 - The temporal proximity : Most modern experts agree in recognising that the year now designated 30 C.E. marked the trial and the death of Jesus. Given that time-frame, Pilate's coins were minted in 29, 30 and 31 C.E.
2 - The geographic proximity : The most credible hypothesis indicates that these particular coins where struck in Jerusalem, the city in which the significant events took place.
3 - The human proximity : Pontius Pilate himself designed and put the coins into circulation, and of course he was the man who conducted the trial and ordered the crucifixion of Jesus.

So it is that everyone, whether a believer or simply a lover of history or of numismatics, will find in these coins direct evidence of and witness to an episode the memory of which has survived 2000 years : A momentous event which has to a great extent fashioned the world we know.

Throughout this article we will also note the exceptional character of Pilate's coins: Exceptional in the nature of the images they bear, for the numerous variants they offer, for the presence of countermarks, and above all for the part their originator played in history. The putative appearance of these coins imprints on the Turin shroud has yet to be confirmed by more solid scientific proofs.

Pilate's coins are Roman coins, the words on them are Greek, they were circulated in Judea, and today they are to be found distributed among world-wide collectors after having spent 2000 years buried in the earth. They were minted and used during a period which produced an event destined to change the face of the world, and issued at the command of one of the principal actors in that event. An amazing and dramatic destiny for apparently such humble and unassuming little coins !

For 35 years Pilate's coins were passed from hand to hand every day. They knew the scent of spice-stalls, heard the merchants' ranting, smelled the sweat and dust of daily works. They were alive to the sounds of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin voices ¬ now haggling over a price, now offering prayers to YHVH, Jesus or Jupiter.

Nobody prays to Jupiter any more [?], but Pilate's coins are surviving witnesses to a time when the first Christians were considered as a messianic sect among several others in the midst of Judaism in crisis. The absolute split between Judaism and Christianity took place from about 70 C.E, the year which marked the tragic ending of the first Jewish rebellion. It was from that time, too, that Pilate's money ceased to be used.

Like each one of us, who carries always a few small coins in the bottom of our pockets; there is no doubt that some of Pilate's coins resonated to the last words of the most famous of all supplicants. A very long story had its beginning...

2. MANUFACTURE AND CIRCULATION
LOCATION OF MINTS
Although the prefects had their residencies in Cesarea, the administrative capital of the province, it seems that their money was minted in Jerusalem. Indeed, a specimen dated year 31 has been found in this town in an incomplete state of manufacture.

DURATION OF USE
It would seem that Pilate's money was in current use for at least 35 years. Indeed, some of it has been discovered among other coins during the excavation of remains of dwellings destroyed by the Romans during the first Jewish revolt, which is evidence that they were still in use at that time.

AREA OF CIRCULATION
These coins circulated far beyond the frontiers of Judea. Some samples have been discovered as far away as Antioch in present-day Turkey, nearly 500 kilometres from Jerusalem where they were minted. Others have also been found in Jordan. These limits represent a circulation area of at least 100.000 square kilometres, that is five times larger than the size of the state of Israel. Taking into account that it was a time when distances were expressed in terms of days of march, one begins to see the important influence of these coins.

3. THE IMAGES AND THE TEXTS
THE SIMPULUM
A fairly frequent symbol from the Roman religion of the time, the simpulum was a utensil used by the priests during their religious ceremonies. This little ladle, provided with shaft and a handle, allowed the priests to taste the wine which they poured onto the head of an animal destined for sacrifice, after which the soothsayer was empowered to examine the animal's entrails for signs and portents sent to men by the Gods through the medium of the interpreter. As I pointed, none of this would have been obvious at first sight of the motif except perhaps to a Roman citizen. However, it throws some light on the theory put forward by F.A. Banks [Coins of the Bible Days].

This wasn't the first time that the simpulum appeared on Roman coins, but it is the first time it figured alone. This fact gives an additional specificity to Pilate's coins, not only in the context of Judea but also in comparison with all the other coins of the Empire.

THE THREE EARS OF BARLEY
The three ears or barley are featured on the opposing face of the simpulum. Unlike the simpulum, these ears of barley are not in contravention of the Jewish Law. The motif is nevertheless distinctive because it is the first time it appears on a Judean coin. The motif would reappear twelve years later on one of Herod Agrippa's coin, then on another, much rarer, of Agrippa II (ears of barley held in a hand). After that, the motif disappeared altogether from ancient Jewish coins.

THE LITUUS
The lituus was the wooden staff which the augurs held in the right hand; it symbolised their authority and their pastoral vocation. It was raised toward heavens while the priests invoked the Gods and made their predictions. Legend records that Romulus used it at the time of Rome's foundation in 753 B.C.E. It is interesting to note that the cross used in present times is the direct descendant of the lituus. As with the simpulum, Pilate's coinage is exceptional in that it alone displays the lituus as the sole object illustrated on the face.

THE WREATH
The laurel wreath is a symbol of power and victory, and figures on various ancient Greek and Roman coins. In Judea it can be found during the reign of John Hyrcanus I (134 to 104 B.C.E.). After that, Herod Antipas, speaker for Pilate, used it on all his coins. On Pilate's coins, the laurel wreath figures on the reverse side of the lituus, framing the date.

THE DATES
The notation of dates uses a code invented by the Greeks whereby each letter of the alphabet was assigned a number. This code would be used again in Judaism under the name of Guematria. The system is simple : the first ten letters of the alphabet are linked to units (1,2,3...), the following ten letters to tens (10,20,30...) and the four remaining letters to the first four hundreds. The "L" is an abbreviation meaning "year". Tiberius became emperor on September 17 of year 14 C.E, so we have :

LIS = Year 29 C.E. * LIZ = Year 30 C.E. * LIH = Year 31 C.E.

THE TEXTS
The legends on Pontius Pilate's coins are written in Greek. Judea, governed by the Ptolemy dynasty (301 to 198 B.C.E) then by the Syrians until 63 B.C.E, came under the same powerful influence of the Hellenic culture which touched the other territories of the ancient Persian Empire won by Alexander the Great. In spite of a certain amount of resistance, this Hellenistic heritage eventually crept into every aspect of daily life. Apart from the dates, the texts on Pilate's coinage consisted of only three different words : - TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (Of Tiberius Emperor) on all three coins; - IOYLIA KAICAPOC (Empress Julia) added to the coin of year 29.
http://www.numismalink.com/fontanille1.html


Pontius Pilate
After the deposition of the eldest son of Herod, Archelaus (who had succeeded his father as ethnarch), Judea was placed under the rule of a Roman procurator. Pilate, who was the fifth, succeeding Valerius Gratus in A.D. 26, had greater authority than most procurators under the empire, for in addition to the ordinary duty of financial administration, he had supreme power judicially. His unusually long period of office (A.D. 26-36) covers the whole of the active ministry both of St. John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ.
As procurator Pilate was necessarily of equestrian rank, but beyond that we know little of his family or origin. Some have thought that he was only a freedman, deriving his name from pileus (the cap of freed slaves) but for this there seems to be no adequate evidence, and it is unlikely that a freedman would attain to a post of such importance. The Pontii were a Samnite gens. Pilate owed his appointment to the influence of Sejanus. The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Cćsarea; where there was a military force of about 3,000 soldiers. These soldiers came up to Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, when the city was full of strangers, and there was greater danger of disturbances, hence it was that Pilate had come to Jerusalem at the time of the Crucifixion. His name will be forever covered with infamy because of the part which he took in this matter, though at the time it appeared to him of small importance.
Pilate is a type of the worldly man, knowing the right and anxious to do it so far as it can be done without personal sacrifice of any kind, but yielding easily to pressure from those whose interest it is that he should act otherwise. He would gladly have acquitted Christ, and even made serious efforts in that direction, but gave way at once when his own position was threatened.
The other events of his rule are not of very great importance. Philo (Ad Gaium, 38) speaks of him as inflexible, merciless, and obstinate. The Jews hated him and his administration, for he was not only very severe, but showed little consideration for their susceptibilities. Some standards bearing the image of Tiberius, which had been set up by him in Jerusalem, caused an outbreak which would have ended in a massacre had not Pilate given way. At a later date Tiberius ordered him to remove certain gilt shields, which he had set up in Jerusalem in spite of the remonstrances of the people. The incident mentioned in St. Luke 13:1, of the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate mingled with the sacrifices, is not elsewhere referred to, but is quite in keeping with other authentic events of his rule. He was, therefore, anxious that no further hostile reports should be sent to the emperor concerning him.
The tendency, already discernible in the canonical Gospels, to lay stress on the efforts of Pilate to acquit Christ, and thus pass as lenient a judgment as possible upon his crime, goes further in the apocryphal Gospels and led in later years to the claim that he actually became a Christian. The Abyssinian Church reckons him as a saint, and assigns 25 June to him and to Claudia Procula, his wife. The belief that she became a Christian goes back to the second century, and may be found in Origen (Hom., in Mat., xxxv). The Greek Church assigns her a feast on 27 October. Tertullian and Justin Martyr both speak of a report on the Crucifixion (not extant) sent in by Pilate to Tiberius, from which idea a large amount of apocryphal literature originated. Some of these were Christian in origin (Gospel of Nicodemus), others came from the heathen, but these have all perished.
His rule was brought to an end through trouble which arose in Samaria. An imposter had given out that it was in his power to discover the sacred vessels which, as he alleged, had been hidden by Moses on Mount Gerizim, whither armed Samaritans came in large numbers. Pilate seems to have thought the whole affair was a blind, covering some other more important design, for he hurried forces to attack them, and many were slain. They appealed to Vitellius, who was at that time legate in Syria, saying that nothing political had been intended, and complaining of Pilate's whole administration. He was summoned to Rome to answer their charges, but before he could reach the city the Emperor Tiberius had died.
Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12083c.htm

As the man who presided over the trial of Jesus, who found no fault with the defendant and washed his hands of the affair by referring it back to the Jewish mob, but who signed the final death warrant, Pontius Pilate represents almost a byword for ambivalence.
He appears in a poor light in all four Gospels and in a favourable light in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter where the Jews take all the blame for Jesus' death.
In the later Acts of Pilate, he is both cleared of responsibility for the Crucifixion and is said to have converted to Christianity.
In the drama of the Passion, Pilate is a ditherer who drifts towards pardoning Jesus, then drifts away again. He tries to pass the buck several times, makes the decision to save Jesus, then capitulates.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, the late Robert Runcie once wrote, "It would have been better for the moral health of Christianity if the blame had stayed with Pilate."
In a poignant moment in the course of the trial, Pontius Pilate responds to an assertion by Jesus by asking "What is truth?"
The truth about Pilate is difficult to ascertain since records are few. Legends say he was a Spaniard or a German, but most likely he was a natural-born Roman citizen from central Italy.
But the fact that he was definitely the Procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD helps to establish Jesus as a real person and fixes him in time.
The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Caesarea, a mainly non-Jewish city where a force of some 3,000 Roman soldiers were based.
These would come to Jerusalem during the time of feasts when there was a greater danger of disturbances. This would explain Pilate's presence in the city during the time of the Crucifixion.
Pilate is recorded by several contemporary historians; his name is inscribed on Roman coins and on a stone dug up in Caesarea in the 1960s with the words, PONTIUS PILATUS PRAEFECTUS PROVINCIAE JUDAEAE.
The governorship of Judea was only a second-rate posting, though having the Jewish religious capital, Jerusalem, on its patch would have increased its importance.
Pilate ruled in conjunction with the Jewish authorities and was under orders from Emperor Tiberius, to respect their culture. He was a soldier rather than a diplomat.
The Jews relied on the Romans to keep their own rebellious factions under control. But they appeared to hate Pilate.
One contemporary Jewish historian Philo, describes him as a violent thug, fond of executions without trial. Another, Josephus, records that, at the start of his term, Pilate provoked the Jews by ordering the imperial standards to be carried into Jerusalem.
But he backed off from an all-out confrontation. On the other hand, later, he helped himself to Jewish revenues to build an aqueduct.
When, according to Josephus, bands of resistance fighters, supported by crowds of ordinary people, sabotaged the project by getting in the way of Pilate's workmen, he sent in his soldiers. Hundreds were massacred.
Anne Wroe, author of a recent book Pilate: the Biography of an Invented Man, says that for some modern scholars, given this propensity for violence when the occasion warranted, the idea of Pilate as a waverer is nonsense.
A Roman governor, they point out, would not have wasted two minutes thinking about a shabby Jewish villain, one among many. Wroe's depiction of Pilate, however, suggests he was something of a pragmatist.
His first duty was to keep the peace in Judea and to keep the revenues flowing back to Rome. "Should I have jeopardised the peace for the sake of some Jew who may have been innocent?", she has Pilate asking. "Should I have defied a furious crowd, maybe butchered them, to save one life?"
Whatever the truth about the real Pontius Pilate, such dilemmas are what he has come to symbolise.
Anne Wroe makes the modern comparisons of Neville Chamberlain in 1938. Bill McSweeney, of the Irish School of Ecumenics suggests that "without the Pilates of Anglo-Irish politics, we might never have had the Good Friday Agreement".
Tony Blair has said of Pilate: "It is possible to view Pilate as the archetypal politician, caught on the horns of a dilemma."
Even if, in reality, the Jesus affair was nothing but a small side-show in the career of Pontius Pilate, it had monumental repercussions for his image.
His inclusion in the Christian creeds, in the words of Robert Runcie, "binds the eternal realms to the stumbling, messy chronology of earthly time and place".
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1273594.stm

The Ethiopian Church recognized Pilate as a saint in the sixth century, based on the account in the Acts of Pilate

Although historians can pinpoint the exact date of death of many distinguished historical figures, the date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ remains a matter of scholarly debate. Christ’s birth is most often dated between 7-5 BC (some scholars have suggested, however, His birth was as early as 20 BC). Christ’s Death and Resurrection is dated between 29-36 AD.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
PontiusPilate30BCHendin649.jpg
[18H649] Pontius Pilate Prefect under Tiberius Prutah, "LIZ", 30 BC70 viewsPONTIUS PILATE PRUTAH, 'LIZ;' Hendin 649, VF, 15.5mm, 1.90 grams. Struck 30 C.E. Nice historic coin.

THE COINS OF PONTIUS PILATE
Jean-Philippe Fontanille

INTRODUCTION
They are not really beautiful, or truly rare, nor are they of very great monetary value. Yet these apparently modest coins carry in their weight an era and an act which would have immense consequence to the history of the world. Indeed, they are closely associated with three basic factors which saw the foundation of Christianity :
1 - The temporal proximity : Most modern experts agree in recognising that the year now designated 30 C.E. marked the trial and the death of Jesus. Given that time-frame, Pilate's coins were minted in 29, 30 and 31 C.E.
2 - The geographic proximity : The most credible hypothesis indicates that these particular coins where struck in Jerusalem, the city in which the significant events took place.
3 - The human proximity : Pontius Pilate himself designed and put the coins into circulation, and of course he was the man who conducted the trial and ordered the crucifixion of Jesus.

So it is that everyone, whether a believer or simply a lover of history or of numismatics, will find in these coins direct evidence of and witness to an episode the memory of which has survived 2000 years : A momentous event which has to a great extent fashioned the world we know.

Throughout this article we will also note the exceptional character of Pilate's coins: Exceptional in the nature of the images they bear, for the numerous variants they offer, for the presence of countermarks, and above all for the part their originator played in history. The putative appearance of these coins imprints on the Turin shroud has yet to be confirmed by more solid scientific proofs.

Pilate's coins are Roman coins, the words on them are Greek, they were circulated in Judea, and today they are to be found distributed among world-wide collectors after having spent 2000 years buried in the earth. They were minted and used during a period which produced an event destined to change the face of the world, and issued at the command of one of the principal actors in that event. An amazing and dramatic destiny for apparently such humble and unassuming little coins !

For 35 years Pilate's coins were passed from hand to hand every day. They knew the scent of spice-stalls, heard the merchants' ranting, smelled the sweat and dust of daily works. They were alive to the sounds of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin voices ¬ now haggling over a price, now offering prayers to YHVH, Jesus or Jupiter.

Nobody prays to Jupiter any more [?], but Pilate's coins are surviving witnesses to a time when the first Christians were considered as a messianic sect among several others in the midst of Judaism in crisis. The absolute split between Judaism and Christianity took place from about 70 C.E, the year which marked the tragic ending of the first Jewish rebellion. It was from that time, too, that Pilate's money ceased to be used.

Like each one of us, who carries always a few small coins in the bottom of our pockets; there is no doubt that some of Pilate's coins resonated to the last words of the most famous of all supplicants. A very long story had its beginning...

2. MANUFACTURE AND CIRCULATION
LOCATION OF MINTS
Although the prefects had their residencies in Cesarea, the administrative capital of the province, it seems that their money was minted in Jerusalem. Indeed, a specimen dated year 31 has been found in this town in an incomplete state of manufacture.

DURATION OF USE
It would seem that Pilate's money was in current use for at least 35 years. Indeed, some of it has been discovered among other coins during the excavation of remains of dwellings destroyed by the Romans during the first Jewish revolt, which is evidence that they were still in use at that time.

AREA OF CIRCULATION
These coins circulated far beyond the frontiers of Judea. Some samples have been discovered as far away as Antioch in present-day Turkey, nearly 500 kilometres from Jerusalem where they were minted. Others have also been found in Jordan. These limits represent a circulation area of at least 100.000 square kilometres, that is five times larger than the size of the state of Israel. Taking into account that it was a time when distances were expressed in terms of days of march, one begins to see the important influence of these coins.

3. THE IMAGES AND THE TEXTS
THE SIMPULUM
A fairly frequent symbol from the Roman religion of the time, the simpulum was a utensil used by the priests during their religious ceremonies. This little ladle, provided with shaft and a handle, allowed the priests to taste the wine which they poured onto the head of an animal destined for sacrifice, after which the soothsayer was empowered to examine the animal's entrails for signs and portents sent to men by the Gods through the medium of the interpreter. As I pointed, none of this would have been obvious at first sight of the motif except perhaps to a Roman citizen. However, it throws some light on the theory put forward by F.A. Banks [Coins of the Bible Days].

This wasn't the first time that the simpulum appeared on Roman coins, but it is the first time it figured alone. This fact gives an additional specificity to Pilate's coins, not only in the context of Judea but also in comparison with all the other coins of the Empire.

THE THREE EARS OF BARLEY
The three ears or barley are featured on the opposing face of the simpulum. Unlike the simpulum, these ears of barley are not in contravention of the Jewish Law. The motif is nevertheless distinctive because it is the first time it appears on a Judean coin. The motif would reappear twelve years later on one of Herod Agrippa's coin, then on another, much rarer, of Agrippa II (ears of barley held in a hand). After that, the motif disappeared altogether from ancient Jewish coins.

THE LITUUS
The lituus was the wooden staff which the augurs held in the right hand; it symbolised their authority and their pastoral vocation. It was raised toward heavens while the priests invoked the Gods and made their predictions. Legend records that Romulus used it at the time of Rome's foundation in 753 B.C.E. It is interesting to note that the cross used in present times is the direct descendant of the lituus. As with the simpulum, Pilate's coinage is exceptional in that it alone displays the lituus as the sole object illustrated on the face.

THE WREATH
The laurel wreath is a symbol of power and victory, and figures on various ancient Greek and Roman coins. In Judea it can be found during the reign of John Hyrcanus I (134 to 104 B.C.E.). After that, Herod Antipas, speaker for Pilate, used it on all his coins. On Pilate's coins, the laurel wreath figures on the reverse side of the lituus, framing the date.

THE DATES
The notation of dates uses a code invented by the Greeks whereby each letter of the alphabet was assigned a number. This code would be used again in Judaism under the name of Guematria. The system is simple : the first ten letters of the alphabet are linked to units (1,2,3...), the following ten letters to tens (10,20,30...) and the four remaining letters to the first four hundreds. The "L" is an abbreviation meaning "year". Tiberius became emperor on September 17 of year 14 C.E, so we have :

LIS = Year 29 C.E. * LIZ = Year 30 C.E. * LIH = Year 31 C.E.

THE TEXTS
The legends on Pontius Pilate's coins are written in Greek. Judea, governed by the Ptolemy dynasty (301 to 198 B.C.E) then by the Syrians until 63 B.C.E, came under the same powerful influence of the Hellenic culture which touched the other territories of the ancient Persian Empire won by Alexander the Great. In spite of a certain amount of resistance, this Hellenistic heritage eventually crept into every aspect of daily life. Apart from the dates, the texts on Pilate's coinage consisted of only three different words : - TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (Of Tiberius Emperor) on all three coins; - IOYLIA KAICAPOC (Empress Julia) added to the coin of year 29.
http://www.numismalink.com/fontanille1.html


Pontius Pilate
After the deposition of the eldest son of Herod, Archelaus (who had succeeded his father as ethnarch), Judea was placed under the rule of a Roman procurator. Pilate, who was the fifth, succeeding Valerius Gratus in A.D. 26, had greater authority than most procurators under the empire, for in addition to the ordinary duty of financial administration, he had supreme power judicially. His unusually long period of office (A.D. 26-36) covers the whole of the active ministry both of St. John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ.
As procurator Pilate was necessarily of equestrian rank, but beyond that we know little of his family or origin. Some have thought that he was only a freedman, deriving his name from pileus (the cap of freed slaves) but for this there seems to be no adequate evidence, and it is unlikely that a freedman would attain to a post of such importance. The Pontii were a Samnite gens. Pilate owed his appointment to the influence of Sejanus. The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Cćsarea; where there was a military force of about 3,000 soldiers. These soldiers came up to Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, when the city was full of strangers, and there was greater danger of disturbances, hence it was that Pilate had come to Jerusalem at the time of the Crucifixion. His name will be forever covered with infamy because of the part which he took in this matter, though at the time it appeared to him of small importance.
Pilate is a type of the worldly man, knowing the right and anxious to do it so far as it can be done without personal sacrifice of any kind, but yielding easily to pressure from those whose interest it is that he should act otherwise. He would gladly have acquitted Christ, and even made serious efforts in that direction, but gave way at once when his own position was threatened.
The other events of his rule are not of very great importance. Philo (Ad Gaium, 38) speaks of him as inflexible, merciless, and obstinate. The Jews hated him and his administration, for he was not only very severe, but showed little consideration for their susceptibilities. Some standards bearing the image of Tiberius, which had been set up by him in Jerusalem, caused an outbreak which would have ended in a massacre had not Pilate given way. At a later date Tiberius ordered him to remove certain gilt shields, which he had set up in Jerusalem in spite of the remonstrances of the people. The incident mentioned in St. Luke 13:1, of the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate mingled with the sacrifices, is not elsewhere referred to, but is quite in keeping with other authentic events of his rule. He was, therefore, anxious that no further hostile reports should be sent to the emperor concerning him.
The tendency, already discernible in the canonical Gospels, to lay stress on the efforts of Pilate to acquit Christ, and thus pass as lenient a judgment as possible upon his crime, goes further in the apocryphal Gospels and led in later years to the claim that he actually became a Christian. The Abyssinian Church reckons him as a saint, and assigns 25 June to him and to Claudia Procula, his wife. The belief that she became a Christian goes back to the second century, and may be found in Origen (Hom., in Mat., xxxv). The Greek Church assigns her a feast on 27 October. Tertullian and Justin Martyr both speak of a report on the Crucifixion (not extant) sent in by Pilate to Tiberius, from which idea a large amount of apocryphal literature originated. Some of these were Christian in origin (Gospel of Nicodemus), others came from the heathen, but these have all perished.
His rule was brought to an end through trouble which arose in Samaria. An imposter had given out that it was in his power to discover the sacred vessels which, as he alleged, had been hidden by Moses on Mount Gerizim, whither armed Samaritans came in large numbers. Pilate seems to have thought the whole affair was a blind, covering some other more important design, for he hurried forces to attack them, and many were slain. They appealed to Vitellius, who was at that time legate in Syria, saying that nothing political had been intended, and complaining of Pilate's whole administration. He was summoned to Rome to answer their charges, but before he could reach the city the Emperor Tiberius had died.
Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12083c.htm

As the man who presided over the trial of Jesus, who found no fault with the defendant and washed his hands of the affair by referring it back to the Jewish mob, but who signed the final death warrant, Pontius Pilate represents almost a byword for ambivalence.
He appears in a poor light in all four Gospels and in a favourable light in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter where the Jews take all the blame for Jesus' death.
In the later Acts of Pilate, he is both cleared of responsibility for the Crucifixion and is said to have converted to Christianity.
In the drama of the Passion, Pilate is a ditherer who drifts towards pardoning Jesus, then drifts away again. He tries to pass the buck several times, makes the decision to save Jesus, then capitulates.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, the late Robert Runcie once wrote, "It would have been better for the moral health of Christianity if the blame had stayed with Pilate."
In a poignant moment in the course of the trial, Pontius Pilate responds to an assertion by Jesus by asking "What is truth?"
The truth about Pilate is difficult to ascertain since records are few. Legends say he was a Spaniard or a German, but most likely he was a natural-born Roman citizen from central Italy.
But the fact that he was definitely the Procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD helps to establish Jesus as a real person and fixes him in time.
The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Caesarea, a mainly non-Jewish city where a force of some 3,000 Roman soldiers were based.
These would come to Jerusalem during the time of feasts when there was a greater danger of disturbances. This would explain Pilate's presence in the city during the time of the Crucifixion.
Pilate is recorded by several contemporary historians; his name is inscribed on Roman coins and on a stone dug up in Caesarea in the 1960s with the words, PONTIUS PILATUS PRAEFECTUS PROVINCIAE JUDAEAE.
The governorship of Judea was only a second-rate posting, though having the Jewish religious capital, Jerusalem, on its patch would have increased its importance.
Pilate ruled in conjunction with the Jewish authorities and was under orders from Emperor Tiberius, to respect their culture. He was a soldier rather than a diplomat.
The Jews relied on the Romans to keep their own rebellious factions under control. But they appeared to hate Pilate.
One contemporary Jewish historian Philo, describes him as a violent thug, fond of executions without trial. Another, Josephus, records that, at the start of his term, Pilate provoked the Jews by ordering the imperial standards to be carried into Jerusalem.
But he backed off from an all-out confrontation. On the other hand, later, he helped himself to Jewish revenues to build an aqueduct.
When, according to Josephus, bands of resistance fighters, supported by crowds of ordinary people, sabotaged the project by getting in the way of Pilate's workmen, he sent in his soldiers. Hundreds were massacred.
Anne Wroe, author of a recent book Pilate: the Biography of an Invented Man, says that for some modern scholars, given this propensity for violence when the occasion warranted, the idea of Pilate as a waverer is nonsense.
A Roman governor, they point out, would not have wasted two minutes thinking about a shabby Jewish villain, one among many. Wroe's depiction of Pilate, however, suggests he was something of a pragmatist.
His first duty was to keep the peace in Judea and to keep the revenues flowing back to Rome. "Should I have jeopardised the peace for the sake of some Jew who may have been innocent?", she has Pilate asking. "Should I have defied a furious crowd, maybe butchered them, to save one life?"
Whatever the truth about the real Pontius Pilate, such dilemmas are what he has come to symbolise.
Anne Wroe makes the modern comparisons of Neville Chamberlain in 1938. Bill McSweeney, of the Irish School of Ecumenics suggests that "without the Pilates of Anglo-Irish politics, we might never have had the Good Friday Agreement".
Tony Blair has said of Pilate: "It is possible to view Pilate as the archetypal politician, caught on the horns of a dilemma."
Even if, in reality, the Jesus affair was nothing but a small side-show in the career of Pontius Pilate, it had monumental repercussions for his image.
His inclusion in the Christian creeds, in the words of Robert Runcie, "binds the eternal realms to the stumbling, messy chronology of earthly time and place".
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1273594.stm

The Ethiopian Church recognized Pilate as a saint in the sixth century, based on the account in the Acts of Pilate

Although historians can pinpoint the exact date of death of many distinguished historical figures, the date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ remains a matter of scholarly debate. Christ’s birth is most often dated between 7-5 BC (some scholars have suggested, however, His birth was as early as 20 BC). Christ’s Death and Resurrection is dated between 29-36 AD.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
PontiusPilate31BCHendin650.jpg
[18H650] Pontius Pilate prefect for Tiberius Prutah, 31 BC68 viewsPONTIUS PILATUS PRUTAH. Hendin 650, aVF, 14.3mm, 1.94 grams. Minted 31 C.E. FULL "LIH" Date, (H partially hidden behind pretty patina can be revealed.)

THE COINS OF PONTIUS PILATE
Jean-Philippe Fontanille

INTRODUCTION
They are not really beautiful, or truly rare, nor are they of very great monetary value. Yet these apparently modest coins carry in their weight an era and an act which would have immense consequence to the history of the world. Indeed, they are closely associated with three basic factors which saw the foundation of Christianity :
1 - The temporal proximity : Most modern experts agree in recognising that the year now designated 30 C.E. marked the trial and the death of Jesus. Given that time-frame, Pilate's coins were minted in 29, 30 and 31 C.E.
2 - The geographic proximity : The most credible hypothesis indicates that these particular coins where struck in Jerusalem, the city in which the significant events took place.
3 - The human proximity : Pontius Pilate himself designed and put the coins into circulation, and of course he was the man who conducted the trial and ordered the crucifixion of Jesus.

So it is that everyone, whether a believer or simply a lover of history or of numismatics, will find in these coins direct evidence of and witness to an episode the memory of which has survived 2000 years : A momentous event which has to a great extent fashioned the world we know.

Throughout this article we will also note the exceptional character of Pilate's coins: Exceptional in the nature of the images they bear, for the numerous variants they offer, for the presence of countermarks, and above all for the part their originator played in history. The putative appearance of these coins imprints on the Turin shroud has yet to be confirmed by more solid scientific proofs.

Pilate's coins are Roman coins, the words on them are Greek, they were circulated in Judea, and today they are to be found distributed among world-wide collectors after having spent 2000 years buried in the earth. They were minted and used during a period which produced an event destined to change the face of the world, and issued at the command of one of the principal actors in that event. An amazing and dramatic destiny for apparently such humble and unassuming little coins !

For 35 years Pilate's coins were passed from hand to hand every day. They knew the scent of spice-stalls, heard the merchants' ranting, smelled the sweat and dust of daily works. They were alive to the sounds of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin voices ¬ now haggling over a price, now offering prayers to YHVH, Jesus or Jupiter.

Nobody prays to Jupiter any more [?], but Pilate's coins are surviving witnesses to a time when the first Christians were considered as a messianic sect among several others in the midst of Judaism in crisis. The absolute split between Judaism and Christianity took place from about 70 C.E, the year which marked the tragic ending of the first Jewish rebellion. It was from that time, too, that Pilate's money ceased to be used.

Like each one of us, who carries always a few small coins in the bottom of our pockets; there is no doubt that some of Pilate's coins resonated to the last words of the most famous of all supplicants. A very long story had its beginning...

2. MANUFACTURE AND CIRCULATION
LOCATION OF MINTS
Although the prefects had their residencies in Cesarea, the administrative capital of the province, it seems that their money was minted in Jerusalem. Indeed, a specimen dated year 31 has been found in this town in an incomplete state of manufacture.

DURATION OF USE
It would seem that Pilate's money was in current use for at least 35 years. Indeed, some of it has been discovered among other coins during the excavation of remains of dwellings destroyed by the Romans during the first Jewish revolt, which is evidence that they were still in use at that time.

AREA OF CIRCULATION
These coins circulated far beyond the frontiers of Judea. Some samples have been discovered as far away as Antioch in present-day Turkey, nearly 500 kilometres from Jerusalem where they were minted. Others have also been found in Jordan. These limits represent a circulation area of at least 100.000 square kilometres, that is five times larger than the size of the state of Israel. Taking into account that it was a time when distances were expressed in terms of days of march, one begins to see the important influence of these coins.

3. THE IMAGES AND THE TEXTS
THE SIMPULUM
A fairly frequent symbol from the Roman religion of the time, the simpulum was a utensil used by the priests during their religious ceremonies. This little ladle, provided with shaft and a handle, allowed the priests to taste the wine which they poured onto the head of an animal destined for sacrifice, after which the soothsayer was empowered to examine the animal's entrails for signs and portents sent to men by the Gods through the medium of the interpreter. As I pointed, none of this would have been obvious at first sight of the motif except perhaps to a Roman citizen. However, it throws some light on the theory put forward by F.A. Banks [Coins of the Bible Days].

This wasn't the first time that the simpulum appeared on Roman coins, but it is the first time it figured alone. This fact gives an additional specificity to Pilate's coins, not only in the context of Judea but also in comparison with all the other coins of the Empire.

THE THREE EARS OF BARLEY
The three ears or barley are featured on the opposing face of the simpulum. Unlike the simpulum, these ears of barley are not in contravention of the Jewish Law. The motif is nevertheless distinctive because it is the first time it appears on a Judean coin. The motif would reappear twelve years later on one of Herod Agrippa's coin, then on another, much rarer, of Agrippa II (ears of barley held in a hand). After that, the motif disappeared altogether from ancient Jewish coins.

THE LITUUS
The lituus was the wooden staff which the augurs held in the right hand; it symbolised their authority and their pastoral vocation. It was raised toward heavens while the priests invoked the Gods and made their predictions. Legend records that Romulus used it at the time of Rome's foundation in 753 B.C.E. It is interesting to note that the cross used in present times is the direct descendant of the lituus. As with the simpulum, Pilate's coinage is exceptional in that it alone displays the lituus as the sole object illustrated on the face.

THE WREATH
The laurel wreath is a symbol of power and victory, and figures on various ancient Greek and Roman coins. In Judea it can be found during the reign of John Hyrcanus I (134 to 104 B.C.E.). After that, Herod Antipas, speaker for Pilate, used it on all his coins. On Pilate's coins, the laurel wreath figures on the reverse side of the lituus, framing the date.

THE DATES
The notation of dates uses a code invented by the Greeks whereby each letter of the alphabet was assigned a number. This code would be used again in Judaism under the name of Guematria. The system is simple : the first ten letters of the alphabet are linked to units (1,2,3...), the following ten letters to tens (10,20,30...) and the four remaining letters to the first four hundreds. The "L" is an abbreviation meaning "year". Tiberius became emperor on September 17 of year 14 C.E, so we have :

LIS = Year 29 C.E. * LIZ = Year 30 C.E. * LIH = Year 31 C.E.

THE TEXTS
The legends on Pontius Pilate's coins are written in Greek. Judea, governed by the Ptolemy dynasty (301 to 198 B.C.E) then by the Syrians until 63 B.C.E, came under the same powerful influence of the Hellenic culture which touched the other territories of the ancient Persian Empire won by Alexander the Great. In spite of a certain amount of resistance, this Hellenistic heritage eventually crept into every aspect of daily life. Apart from the dates, the texts on Pilate's coinage consisted of only three different words : - TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (Of Tiberius Emperor) on all three coins; - IOYLIA KAICAPOC (Empress Julia) added to the coin of year 29.
http://www.numismalink.com/fontanille1.html


Pontius Pilate
After the deposition of the eldest son of Herod, Archelaus (who had succeeded his father as ethnarch), Judea was placed under the rule of a Roman procurator. Pilate, who was the fifth, succeeding Valerius Gratus in A.D. 26, had greater authority than most procurators under the empire, for in addition to the ordinary duty of financial administration, he had supreme power judicially. His unusually long period of office (A.D. 26-36) covers the whole of the active ministry both of St. John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ.
As procurator Pilate was necessarily of equestrian rank, but beyond that we know little of his family or origin. Some have thought that he was only a freedman, deriving his name from pileus (the cap of freed slaves) but for this there seems to be no adequate evidence, and it is unlikely that a freedman would attain to a post of such importance. The Pontii were a Samnite gens. Pilate owed his appointment to the influence of Sejanus. The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Cćsarea; where there was a military force of about 3,000 soldiers. These soldiers came up to Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, when the city was full of strangers, and there was greater danger of disturbances, hence it was that Pilate had come to Jerusalem at the time of the Crucifixion. His name will be forever covered with infamy because of the part which he took in this matter, though at the time it appeared to him of small importance.
Pilate is a type of the worldly man, knowing the right and anxious to do it so far as it can be done without personal sacrifice of any kind, but yielding easily to pressure from those whose interest it is that he should act otherwise. He would gladly have acquitted Christ, and even made serious efforts in that direction, but gave way at once when his own position was threatened.
The other events of his rule are not of very great importance. Philo (Ad Gaium, 38) speaks of him as inflexible, merciless, and obstinate. The Jews hated him and his administration, for he was not only very severe, but showed little consideration for their susceptibilities. Some standards bearing the image of Tiberius, which had been set up by him in Jerusalem, caused an outbreak which would have ended in a massacre had not Pilate given way. At a later date Tiberius ordered him to remove certain gilt shields, which he had set up in Jerusalem in spite of the remonstrances of the people. The incident mentioned in St. Luke 13:1, of the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate mingled with the sacrifices, is not elsewhere referred to, but is quite in keeping with other authentic events of his rule. He was, therefore, anxious that no further hostile reports should be sent to the emperor concerning him.
The tendency, already discernible in the canonical Gospels, to lay stress on the efforts of Pilate to acquit Christ, and thus pass as lenient a judgment as possible upon his crime, goes further in the apocryphal Gospels and led in later years to the claim that he actually became a Christian. The Abyssinian Church reckons him as a saint, and assigns 25 June to him and to Claudia Procula, his wife. The belief that she became a Christian goes back to the second century, and may be found in Origen (Hom., in Mat., xxxv). The Greek Church assigns her a feast on 27 October. Tertullian and Justin Martyr both speak of a report on the Crucifixion (not extant) sent in by Pilate to Tiberius, from which idea a large amount of apocryphal literature originated. Some of these were Christian in origin (Gospel of Nicodemus), others came from the heathen, but these have all perished.
His rule was brought to an end through trouble which arose in Samaria. An imposter had given out that it was in his power to discover the sacred vessels which, as he alleged, had been hidden by Moses on Mount Gerizim, whither armed Samaritans came in large numbers. Pilate seems to have thought the whole affair was a blind, covering some other more important design, for he hurried forces to attack them, and many were slain. They appealed to Vitellius, who was at that time legate in Syria, saying that nothing political had been intended, and complaining of Pilate's whole administration. He was summoned to Rome to answer their charges, but before he could reach the city the Emperor Tiberius had died.
Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12083c.htm

As the man who presided over the trial of Jesus, who found no fault with the defendant and washed his hands of the affair by referring it back to the Jewish mob, but who signed the final death warrant, Pontius Pilate represents almost a byword for ambivalence.
He appears in a poor light in all four Gospels and in a favourable light in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter where the Jews take all the blame for Jesus' death.
In the later Acts of Pilate, he is both cleared of responsibility for the Crucifixion and is said to have converted to Christianity.
In the drama of the Passion, Pilate is a ditherer who drifts towards pardoning Jesus, then drifts away again. He tries to pass the buck several times, makes the decision to save Jesus, then capitulates.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, the late Robert Runcie once wrote, "It would have been better for the moral health of Christianity if the blame had stayed with Pilate."
In a poignant moment in the course of the trial, Pontius Pilate responds to an assertion by Jesus by asking "What is truth?"
The truth about Pilate is difficult to ascertain since records are few. Legends say he was a Spaniard or a German, but most likely he was a natural-born Roman citizen from central Italy.
But the fact that he was definitely the Procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD helps to establish Jesus as a real person and fixes him in time.
The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Caesarea, a mainly non-Jewish city where a force of some 3,000 Roman soldiers were based.
These would come to Jerusalem during the time of feasts when there was a greater danger of disturbances. This would explain Pilate's presence in the city during the time of the Crucifixion.
Pilate is recorded by several contemporary historians; his name is inscribed on Roman coins and on a stone dug up in Caesarea in the 1960s with the words, PONTIUS PILATUS PRAEFECTUS PROVINCIAE JUDAEAE.
The governorship of Judea was only a second-rate posting, though having the Jewish religious capital, Jerusalem, on its patch would have increased its importance.
Pilate ruled in conjunction with the Jewish authorities and was under orders from Emperor Tiberius, to respect their culture. He was a soldier rather than a diplomat.
The Jews relied on the Romans to keep their own rebellious factions under control. But they appeared to hate Pilate.
One contemporary Jewish historian Philo, describes him as a violent thug, fond of executions without trial. Another, Josephus, records that, at the start of his term, Pilate provoked the Jews by ordering the imperial standards to be carried into Jerusalem.
But he backed off from an all-out confrontation. On the other hand, later, he helped himself to Jewish revenues to build an aqueduct.
When, according to Josephus, bands of resistance fighters, supported by crowds of ordinary people, sabotaged the project by getting in the way of Pilate's workmen, he sent in his soldiers. Hundreds were massacred.
Anne Wroe, author of a recent book Pilate: the Biography of an Invented Man, says that for some modern scholars, given this propensity for violence when the occasion warranted, the idea of Pilate as a waverer is nonsense.
A Roman governor, they point out, would not have wasted two minutes thinking about a shabby Jewish villain, one among many. Wroe's depiction of Pilate, however, suggests he was something of a pragmatist.
His first duty was to keep the peace in Judea and to keep the revenues flowing back to Rome. "Should I have jeopardised the peace for the sake of some Jew who may have been innocent?", she has Pilate asking. "Should I have defied a furious crowd, maybe butchered them, to save one life?"
Whatever the truth about the real Pontius Pilate, such dilemmas are what he has come to symbolise.
Anne Wroe makes the modern comparisons of Neville Chamberlain in 1938. Bill McSweeney, of the Irish School of Ecumenics suggests that "without the Pilates of Anglo-Irish politics, we might never have had the Good Friday Agreement".
Tony Blair has said of Pilate: "It is possible to view Pilate as the archetypal politician, caught on the horns of a dilemma."
Even if, in reality, the Jesus affair was nothing but a small side-show in the career of Pontius Pilate, it had monumental repercussions for his image.
His inclusion in the Christian creeds, in the words of Robert Runcie, "binds the eternal realms to the stumbling, messy chronology of earthly time and place".
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1273594.stm

The Ethiopian Church recognized Pilate as a saint in the sixth century, based on the account in the Acts of Pilate

Although historians can pinpoint the exact date of death of many distinguished historical figures, the date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ remains a matter of scholarly debate. Christ’s birth is most often dated between 7-5 BC (some scholars have suggested, however, His birth was as early as 20 BC). Christ’s Death and Resurrection is dated between 29-36 AD.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
VespasianJudaeaCaptaHendin754.jpg
[18H759a] Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta49 viewsVespasian. 69-71 AD. AR Denarius;17mm, 3.28g; Hendin 759, RIC 15. Obverse: Laureate head right; Reverse: Jewess seated right, on ground, mourning below right of trophy, IVDAEA below. Ex Imperial Coins.

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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

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

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


Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
VesJudCapt.jpg
[18H759] Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta173 viewsSilver denarius, Hendin 759, RIC 15, BM 35, RSC 226, S 2296, Fair, 2.344g, 17.0mm, 180o, Rome mint, 69-70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse IVDAEA in exergue, Jewess, mourning, seated at right of trophy.

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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

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

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


Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
VespasianJudaeaCaptaHendin779.jpg
[18H779] Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta issue130 viewsOrichalcum dupondius, Hendin 779, RIC II 1160, BMCRE 809 (same dies), aVF, Lugdunum mint, 9.969g, 27.7mm, 180o, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG COS III, radiate head right, globe at point of bust; reverse VICTORIA NAVALIS S C, Victory standing right on a prow, wreath in right, palm frond over should in left (Refers to a victory on the Sea of Galilee during the recapture of Judaea); rough; rare (R2). Ex FORVM.




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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

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

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


Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
TrajSepphorisGalilee.jpg
[18H907] Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Sepphoris, Galilee219 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
TrajanDupondiusTrajansColumn.jpg
[902a] Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.104 viewsTRAJAN AE dupondius. Cohen 563, RCV 3323. 29mm, 14.1g. Struck circa 115 AD. Obverse: IMP CAESAR NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, radiate, draped bust right; Reverse: SENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS, S-C, Trajan's column, eagles at base. This type is noticeably scarcer than the SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI type. Ex. Incitatus Coins. Photo courtesy of Incitatus Coins.

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.

(For a detailed and interesting discussion of the Emperor Trajan please see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/trajan.htm)

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
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.
Cleisthenes
 
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