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Image search results - "Revolt"
SEPTIMIUS_SEVERUS_MARBLE_BUST.JPG
SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS
Lucius Septimius Severus was Roman emperor from 193 to 211. He was born in Leptis Magna in the Roman province of Africa.
Severus seized power after the death of the emperor Pertinax in 193 (the Year of the Five Emperors).
After consolidating his rule over the western provinces, Severus waged a brief, successful war in the east against the Parthian Empire, sacked their capital Ctesiphon, expanded the eastern frontier to the Tigris and enlarged and fortified the Limes Arabicus in Arabia Petraea. In 202, he campaigned in Africa and Mauretania against the Garamantes, captured their capital Garama and expanded the Limes Tripolitanus along the southern desert frontier of the empire. In 198 he raised his elder son Caracalla to Augustus and in 209 did the same to his younger son, Geta.
In AD 209 Severus invaded Caledonia (modern Scotland) with an army of 50,000 men, but he fell fatally ill of an infectious disease in late 210 and died at Eboracum (York, England) early in 211.

SEVERUS' CAMPAIGNS IN BRITAIN
In 208 Septimius Severus travelled to Britain with the intention of conquering Caledonia (Scotland). Modern archaeological discoveries have helped to throw some light on the scope and direction of this northern campaign.
Severus began by occupying the territory up to the Antonine Wall, this is evidenced by extensive Severan era fortifications and the likely reoccupation of some of the forts on that wall. Over the previous years Hadrian's Wall had fallen into disrepair and Severus strengthened and repaired much of it, he did this to such an extent that many early Antiquarians thought that he was the emperor who had actually built it. Severus constructed a 165-acre (67 ha) camp south of the Antonine Wall at Trimontium, probably assembling the main body of his forces there. Severus then thrust north across the Antonine Wall into Caledonian territory, supported and supplied by a strong naval force. He retraced the steps of Agricola of over a century before, rebuilding many abandoned Roman forts along the east coast, and he re-garrisoned the naval base at Carpow, likely built by Commodus in 185, and possibly the place named as "Horrea Classis" or "Poreo Classis" in the Ravenna Cosmography.
By 210 Severus' campaigning had made significant gains, despite Caledonian guerrilla tactics and purportedly heavy Roman casualties.
According to Cassius Dio: “Severus did not desist until he approached the extremity of the island. Here he observed most accurately the variation of the sun's motion and the length of the days and the nights in summer and winter respectively. Having thus been conveyed through practically the whole of the hostile country (for he actually was conveyed in a covered litter most of the way, on account of his infirmity), he returned to the friendly portion, after he had forced the Britons to come to terms, on the condition that they should abandon a large part of their territory.”
The Caledonians had sued for peace, which Severus had granted on the condition that they relinquished control of the Central Lowlands of Scotland, but later that year (210), they, along with the Maeatae, revolted. Severus prepared for another campaign, now intent on exterminating the Caledonians. However the campaign was cut short when Severus fell ill and withdrew south to Eboracum (York) where he died on 4 February 211. Severus was succeeded by his sons, Caracalla and Geta. Caracalla continued campaigning in Caledonia during 212 but soon settled for peace, and shortly after that the frontier was withdrawn south to Hadrian's Wall.
On his death, Severus was deified by the Senate and his remains were buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome.
*Alex
Vindex_denarius.jpg
6.75 Revolt of VindexRevolt Against Nero, Gaius Iulius Vindex, Governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, c. Late 67 - May 68 A.D.

Struck by Gaius Iulius Vindex, the Roman governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, who rebelled against Nero's tax policy and declared allegiance to Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, as the new emperor. Vindex was defeated and killed in battle near Vesontio (modern Besançon), but the military continued to support Galba. On 9 June 68, deserted by the Praetorian Guard, Nero stabbed himself in the throat.

Silver denarius, Unpublished, civil war restitution of Augustus, gF, porosity, marks, uncertain (Lugdunum?) mint, weight 3.167g, maximum diameter 19.0mm, die axis 180o, c. late 67 - May 68 A.D.; obverse CAESAR, bare head of Augustus right; reverse AVGVSTVS, young bull walking right, head turned facing; ex Roma Numismatics e-auction 6, lot 321; only two examples known to Forum

Purchased from FORVM
2 commentsSosius
63430q00.jpg
10 Vespasian and TitusVespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Antioch, Syria

Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 113, McAlee 336, RPC II 1947, Wruck 86, aVF, Antioch mint, weight 13.89g, maximum diameter 24.3mm, die axis 0o, 70 - 71 A.D.; obverse ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤ ΚΑΙΣΑ ΟΥΕΣΠΑΣΙΑΝΟΥ, laureate bust right; reverse ETOYC Γ IEPOY (Holy Year 3), eagle standing left on club, wings spread, palm frond left; ex CNG auction 149, lot 286; ex Garth R. Drewry Collection, ex Harmer Rooke (26-28 March 1973), lot 488 (part of).

Struck to pay Titus' legions during and after the First Jewish Revolt. RPC notes c. 320 different dies indicate 6,500,000 Syrian tetradrachms might have been minted. This was the quantity Titus would have needed to pay his four legions. Hoard evidence finds many of these types in Judaea confirming they were used to pay the legions.

Purchased from FORVM!
RI0002
Sosius
001590_l.jpg
32 Gordian I AfricanusGORDIAN I AFRICANUS
AE Sestertius, Rome Mint
27-29 mm, 17.75 g
March 19 to April 9, 238 A.D.
IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind / VICTORIA AVGG, S-C, Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm.
RIC IV, 2, p. 161, 12. Very rare. Good portrait and fully readable name. Very fine.
Ex-Auctiones

Gordian I, an 80-year-old senator, was proclaimed as emperor during a revolt in Africa but commited suicide after his son and co-ruler Gordianus II was defeated by Maximinus' legate. Their rule only lasted for 20 days, hence the rarity of their coins.
1 commentsSosius
VESPSE06-2.jpg
70 AD: Vespasian - Defeat of the Jewish revolt and fall of JerusalemSestertius (28.6g, 37mm, 6h). Roman mint. Struck AD 71.
IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG PM TR P P COS III laureate head right
IVDAEA CAPTA / S C [in ex.] Judaea seated, in attidue of sorrow, at the foot of a palm tree; behind Vespasian standing in military dress holding spear and parazonium; left foot on a helmet.
RIC 427 (scarce); BMC 543; Cohen 239
1 commentsCharles S
Comb27022017021206.jpg
First Revolt AE Prutah (2,76 g) - Jewish War 68/9 AD year 3. Obv. Amphora with broad rim, two handles, and decorated conical cover.
Rev. inscription (the freedom of Zion), vine leaf on small branch with tendril
Refernces: (Hendin 1363, AJC II 261,20) .
17mm, 2.8 grams.
2 commentsCanaan
ISL_MAMLUKS_Balog_910_Tumanbay_II.jpg
Mamluks (Bahri). `Ali II (al-Mansur `Ala al-Din Ali) (778-783 A.H. = 1377-1381 A.D.)Balog 509 Plate XX 509a-b; SNAT Hamah 632-634; Album 963

AE fals, Hamah mint, undated; 1.63 g., 18.50 mm. max.

Obv.: Field divided by two horizontal lines of dots. الملك المنصور (al-Malik al-Manusr) / tentatively ضرب طرابلس (duriba Tripoli per Balog but Hamah mint per SNAT)

Rev. Six-petaled flower, resembling a lotus, petals forming a counter-clockwise whorl.

Ali was the son of Sha'ban II and the great-grandson of Muhammad I. He was installed as sultan at age nine upon the death of his father in a revolt. He died four years later.

Attribution courtesy of Mervin.
Stkp
LPisoFrugiDenarius_S235.jpg
(502a) Roman Republic, L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi, 90 B.C.Silver denarius, S 235, Calpurnia 11, Crawford 340/1, Syd 663a, VF, rainbow toning, Rome mint, 3.772g, 18.5mm, 180o, 90 B.C. obverse: laureate head of Apollo right, scorpion behind; Reverse naked horseman galloping right holding palm, L PISO FRVGI and control number CXI below; ex-CNA XV 6/5/91, #443. Ex FORVM.


A portion of the following text is a passage taken from the excellent article “The Calpurnii and Roman Family History: An Analysis of the Piso Frugi Coin in the Joel Handshu Collection at the College of Charleston,” by Chance W. Cook:

In the Roman world, particularly prior to the inception of the principate, moneyers were allotted a high degree of latitude to mint their coins as they saw fit. The tres viri monetales, the three men in charge of minting coins, who served one-year terms, often emblazoned their coins with an incredible variety of images and inscriptions reflecting the grandeur, history, and religion of Rome. Yet also prominent are references to personal or familial accomplishments; in this manner coins were also a means by which the tres viri monetales could honor their forbearers. Most obvious from an analysis of the Piso Frugi denarius is the respect and admiration that Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi, who minted the coin, had for his ancestors. For the images he selected for his dies relate directly to the lofty deeds performed by his Calpurnii forbearers in the century prior to his term as moneyer. The Calpurnii were present at many of the watershed events in the late Republic and had long distinguished themselves in serving the state, becoming an influential and well-respected family whose defense of traditional Roman values cannot be doubted.

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi, who was moneyer in 90 B.C., depicted Apollo on the obverse and the galloping horseman on the reverse, as does his son Gaius. However, all of L. Piso Frugi’s coins have lettering similar to “L-PISO-FRVGI” on the reverse, quite disparate from his son Gaius’ derivations of “C-PISO-L-F-FRV.”

Moreover, C. Piso Frugi coins are noted as possessing “superior workmanship” to those produced by L. Piso Frugi.

The Frugi cognomen, which became hereditary, was first given to L. Calpurnius Piso, consul in 133 B.C., for his integrity and overall moral virtue. Cicero is noted as saying that frugal men possessed the three cardinal Stoic virtues of bravery, justice, and wisdom; indeed in the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, a synonym of frugalitas is bonus, generically meaning “good” but also implying virtuous behavior. Gary Forsythe notes that Cicero would sometimes invoke L. Calpurnius Piso’s name at the beginning of speeches as “a paragon of moral rectitude” for his audience.

L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi’s inclusion of the laureled head of Apollo, essentially the same obverse die used by his son Gaius (c. 67 B.C.), was due to his family’s important role in the establishment of the Ludi Apollinares, the Games of Apollo, which were first instituted in 212 B.C. at the height of Hannibal’s invasion of Italy during the Second Punic War. By that time, Hannibal had crushed Roman armies at Cannae, seized Tarentum and was invading Campania.

Games had been used throughout Roman history as a means of allaying the fears
of the populace and distracting them from issues at hand; the Ludi Apollinares were no different. Forsythe follows the traditional interpretation that in 211 B.C., when C. Calpurnius Piso was praetor, he became the chief magistrate in Rome while both consuls were absent and the three other praetors were sent on military expeditions against Hannibal.

At this juncture, he put forth a motion in the Senate to make the Ludi Apollinares a yearly event, which was passed; the Ludi Apollinares did indeed become an important festival, eventually spanning eight days in the later Republic. However, this interpretation is debatable; H.H. Scullard suggests that the games were not made permanent until 208 B.C. after a severe plague prompted the Senate to make them a fixture on the calendar. The Senators believed Apollo would serve as a “healing god” for the people of Rome.

Nonetheless, the Calpurnii obviously believed their ancestor had played an integral role in the establishment of the Ludi Apollinares and thus prominently displayed
the head or bust of Apollo on the obverse of the coins they minted.

The meaning of the galloping horseman found on the reverse of the L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi coin is more complicated. It is possible that this is yet another reference to the Ludi Apollinares. Chariot races in the Circus Maximus were a major component of the games, along with animal hunts and theatrical performances.

A more intriguing possibility is that the horseman is a reference to C. Calpurnius Piso, son of the Calpurnius Piso who is said to have founded the Ludi Apollinares. This C. Calpurnius Piso was given a military command in 186 B.C. to quell a revolt in Spain. He was victorious, restoring order to the province and also gaining significant wealth in the process.

Upon his return to Rome in 184, he was granted a triumph by the Senate and eventually erected an arch on the Capitoline Hill celebrating his victory. Of course
the arch prominently displayed the Calpurnius name. Piso, however, was not an infantry commander; he led the cavalry.

The difficulty in accepting C. Calpurnius Piso’s victory in Spain as the impetus for the galloping horseman image is that not all of C. Piso Frugi’s coins depict the horseman or cavalryman carrying the palm, which is a symbol of victory. One is inclined to believe that the victory palm would be prominent in all of the coins minted by C. Piso Frugi (the son of L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi) if it indeed signified the great triumph of C. Calpurnius Piso in 186 B.C. Yet the palm’s appearance is clearly not a direct reference to military feats of C. Piso Frugi’s day. As noted, it is accepted that his coins were minted in 67 B.C.; in that year, the major victory by Roman forces was Pompey’s swift defeat of the pirates throughout the Mediterranean.

Chrestomathy: Annual Review of Undergraduate Research at the College of Charleston. Volume 1, 2002: pp. 1-10© 2002 by the College of Charleston, Charleston SC 29424, USA.All rights to be retained by the author.
http://www.cofc.edu/chrestomathy/vol1/cook.pdf


There are six (debatably seven) prominent Romans who have been known to posterity as Lucius Calpurnius Piso:

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi: (d. 261 A.D.) a Roman usurper, whose existence is
questionable, based on the unreliable Historia Augusta.

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus: deputy Roman Emperor, 10 January 69 to15 January
69, appointed by Galba.

Lucius Calpurnius Piso: Consul in 27 A.D.

Lucius Calpurnius Piso: Consul in 1 B.C., augur

Lucius Calpurnius Piso: Consul in 15 B.C., pontifex

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus: Consul in 58 B.C. (the uncle of Julius Caesar)

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi: Moneyer in 90 B.C. (our man)


All but one (or two--if you believe in the existence of "Frugi the usurper" ca. 261 A.D.) of these gentlemen lack the Frugi cognomen, indicating they are not from the same direct lineage as our moneyer, though all are Calpurnii.

Calpurnius Piso Frugi's massive issue was intended to support the war against the Marsic Confederation. The type has numerous variations and control marks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucius_Calpurnius_Piso
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=55&pos=0

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.


2 commentsCleisthenes
Bar_Kochba.jpg
*SOLD*Bar Kokhba Revolt

Attribution: TJC 292., Hendin 1437 (prev. 736). Mildenberg 125; Palestina
Date: assumed AD 134-135
Obv: 7-branched palm tree, two clusters of fruit beneath; (ŠM'WN) beneath in 2 lines
Rev: Trifoliate vine leaf;(RWT YRWŠLM) around; Undated, assumed year 3 = AD 134-135
Size: 22.8 mm
Weight: 9.3 grams
Noah
V661var.jpg
00 Domitian as Caesar RIC 661 var. [Vespasian]Æ Dupondius, 10.98g
Rome mint, 73-74 AD
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIAN COS II; Head of Domitian, laureate, draped, bearded, l.
Rev: PAX AVGVST; S C in field; Pax stg. l., leaning on column, with caduceus and branch
RIC 661 var. BMC -. BNC -.
Acquired from eBay, September 2021.

The propaganda value of Pax for the Flavian dynasty after the Civil War, the revolt of Civilis, and the Jewish War cannot be overestimated. In her various guises she is one of the most popular types on Vespasian's coinage and shows up quite frequently during the reign on the coins struck for both himself and his sons. This early dupondius struck for Domitian as Caesar under Vespasian shows Pax leaning on a column, which likely copies a well known cult image of the goddess. Domitian's dupondii in these initial issues can be distinguished from the asses by their metal and draped busts. RIC records a unique specimen of the Pax type with AVGVSTI as RIC 661 but does not list this variant with AVGVST. It is also unlisted in the Addenda and Corrigenda. So, apparently unpublished and unique!
3 commentsDavid Atherton
V669a.jpg
00 Domitian as Caesar RIC 669 [Vespasian]Æ As, 11.05g
Rome mint, 73-74 AD
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIAN COS II; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PAX AVGVST; S C in field; Pax stg. l., leaning on column, with caduceus and branch
RIC 669 (C). BMC -. BNC 699.
Acquired from Musa Numismatics, August 2019.

The propaganda value of Pax for the Flavian dynasty after the Civil War, the revolt of Civilis, and the Jewish War cannot be underestimated. In her various guises she is one of the most popular types on Vespasian's coinage and shows up quite frequently during the reign on the coins struck for both himself and his sons. This As struck for Domitian as Caesar shows Pax leaning on a column, which likely copies a well known cult image of the goddess.

Tellingly, less than a decade later, Pax would not feature so prominently on Domitian's own coinage as Emperor.

Fine style early portrait.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
image~20.jpg
000a. L. Sulla and L. Manlius ToruatusL. Sulla and L. Manlius Torquatus. 82 BC. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.89 g, 7h). Military mint moving with Sulla. Helmeted head of Roma right / Sulla driving triumphal quadriga right, holding branch and reins, being crowned by Victory flying left. Crawford 367/5; Sydenham 757 or 757a; Manlia 4 or 5. Near VF, toned, a few light scratches on the obverse.

From the Elwood Rafn Collection.

As consul for the year 88 BC, Sulla was awarded the coveted assignment of suppressing the revolt of Mithradates VI of Pontus, but political maneuvers resulted in this assignment being transferred to Marius. In response, Sulla turned his army on Rome, captured it, and reclaimed his command against Mithradates. His prosecution of the first Mithradatic War was successful, but he spared the Pontic king for personal gain. In 83 BC, Sulla returned to Italy as an outlaw, but he was able to win the support of many of the leading Romans. Within a year, he fought his way to Rome, where he was elected dictator. It was during this campaign to Rome that this denarius was struck. The obverse type represents Sulla's claim to be acting in Rome's best interest. The reverse shows Sulla enjoying the highest honor to which a Roman could aspire: the celebration of a triumph at Rome.
ecoli
coin191.JPG
006. Nero (54 AD - 68 AD) Nero, last of the Julio-Claudians, had been placed in the difficult position of absolute authority at a young age coupled with the often-contradictory efforts of those in a position to manipulate him. Augustus, however, had not been much older when he began his bid for power, and so a great deal of the responsibility for Nero's conduct must also rest with the man himself. Nero's reign was not without military operations (e.g., the campaigns of Corbulo against the Parthians, the suppression of the revolt of Boudicca in Britain), but his neglect of the armies was a critical error.

Nero As, 26x27 mm, 10.0 g. Obverse: Nero laureate right, NERO CAESAR AVG GERM IMP. Reverse: Temple of Janus, with latticed window to left and closed double doors to right, PACE PR VBIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT, SC.

Check
1 commentsecoli
2-Gordian-I-RIC-1.jpg
02. Gordian I / RIC 1.Denarius, March - April 238, Rome mint.
Obverse: IMP M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG / Laureate bust of Gordian I.
Reverse: P M TR P COS P P / Gordian I standing, togate, holding branch, and wearing parzonium.
2.88 gm., 20 mm.
RIC #1; Sear #8446.

The third century saw numerous usurpers in various parts of the Empire. However, the local revolt in Africa which brought Gordian I and his son to power was the first and only time the cause of a usurper was taken up by the Senate before a current emperor was dead. Thus the Gordiani became legitimate Roman emperors, and their coinage, all minted at the imperial mint in Rome, became legitimate coinage of the Empire.

Provenance:
ex Gillardi Collection.
Tinchant sale (1962).
4 commentsCallimachus
Vespasian-RIC-15.jpg
035. Vespasian.Denarius, 69-71 AD, Rome mint.
Obverse: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG / Laureate bust of Vespasian.
Reverse: IVDAEA / Jewish woman captive seated on ground, mourning; trophy behind her.
3.44 gm., 18 mm.
RIC #15; Sear #2296.

When the Jewish Revolt began in 66 AD, Nero appointed Vespasian supreme commander in the East to put down the uprising. In 69 AD Vespasian made his own bid for the throne and left his son Titus to finish up the Jewish War -- which he did in 70 AD by capturing Jerusalem and destroying the Temple. This victory of Vespasian and Titus was the major military event of the reign, and numerous coins were issued to commemorate it.
2 commentsCallimachus
ciibh1.jpg
05 Constantius IIBGN353 - Constantius II (A.D. 337-361), Pre-Magnentian Revolt, AE Centenionalis, 21mm, 5.14g., Arles mint, first officina, A.D. 348-350, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of the Emperor right, A behind head, rev., FEL TEMP REPARATIO, PARL in exergue, helmeted soldier spearing fallen horseman, A in field, (RIC 119/121-22; Bridgnorth Report #79), very fine. RIC Arles 118

Ex Bridgnorth Hoard, Shropshire, England, buried circa A.D. 355, discovered 2007.

"On October 10th, 2007 a metal detectorist discovered a large scattered hoard of late Roman coins that had been disturbed by deep plowing in a potato field near Bridgnorth, Shropshire. His subsequent actions are praised in the UK government 2007 Portable Antiquities and Treasure Annual Report, where local finds officer Peter Reavill states: “The finder is to be congratulated on the careful plotting and speedy reporting of this hoard as it enabled the excavation to take place and vital depositional information recorded. In turn, this minimised the impact to the landowner and his farming activity.” The majority of hoards that come to light are found outside of planned archaeological excavations, the original owner having selected a secluded spot to conceal his or her wealth away from human habitation, leading to loss of information on the archaeological context of the hoard. In this instance, swift action and close cooperation by the finder and the local Finds Liaison Officer led to an excavation of the findspot. The results of which showed that the hoard had been contained in a large pottery vessel (broken by the plow), most probably previously used as a cooking pot as evidenced by burns marks on the outer edges. The pot had been buried in a U-shaped gulley or ditch that formed part of an otherwise unknown late Roman site.

The hoard consisted of 2892 coins, ranging in date from a Reform Antoninianus of Probus to post Magnentian issues of Constantius II up to A.D. 355. The majority of the hoard was issues of Magnentius and Decentius (75%), followed by pre-Magnentian issues of Constantius II and Constans (18%) and closing with post Magnentian issues of Constantius II and Gallus (7%)."
Better Photo
1 commentsRandygeki(h2)
Bar-Kochba-Hendin-734.jpg
053. 2'nd Jewish (bar Kokhba) Revolt.Zuz (denarius), attributed to Year 3 (134-35 AD).
Obverse: (Shim'on) / Bunch of Grapes.
Reverse: (For the Freedom of Jerusalem) / Lyre with three strings.
3.19 gm., 18.5 mm.
Mildenberg #205.19 (this coin); Hendin #734.

This coin likely started out as a denarius of one of the Roman emperors between Vespasian and Hadrian. Many coins of the Second Jewish Revolt show traces of the earlier Roman coin. This coin is no exception, and traces of the previous coin can be seen on the obverse in and around the bunch of grapes.

The bunch of grapes on the obverse is an ancient symbol of blessing and fertility. As such it occasionally appears on ancient coins of other areas besides this series. Given the messianic nature of the Bar Kokhba revolt, the bunch of grapes takes on added significance because in Jewish prophetic literature, grapes (and the vine or vineyard) are often symbolic of the restoration of Israel, or even symbolic of Israel itself.

The lyre on the reverse is associated with temple worship, as are trumpets, which are also found on coins of the Bar Kokhba Revolt. King David is mentioned as playing a lyre, and there are numerous Biblical references to praising the Lord with the lyre and trumpets. (The word "kinnor," sometimes translated as "harp," is really a type of lyre.) Even today the lyre is an important Jewish symbol and the state of Israel has chosen to portray it on the half New Israeli Sheqel coin.
Callimachus
Galba,_RIC_I_211.jpg
07 02 Galba, RIC I 211Galba. AD 68-69. AR Denarius. Rome mint. (18mm, 2.88 g, 6h). Obv: IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG, laureate head right. Rev: SALVS GEN HVMANI, Salus advancing left, foot on globe, holding patera over altar and carrying rudder. RIC I 211; RSC 238. CNG 264, lot 391.

According to the Roman Dictionary of Coins, this type alludes to Galba’s taking over revolt during Vindex’s revolt due to his high birth and political connections. The reverse inscription invokes the safety, health, and wellbeing of the human race.
Lucas H
Otho_RIC_I_12~0.jpg
08 02 Otho RIC I 12Otho. 15 Jan. to April 69 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. 69 A.D. (3.23, 18.5mm, 6h). Obv: IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head left. SECVRITAS P R, Securitas standing left, wreath in right, scepter in left. RIC I 12, RSC 19. Ex Forum.

While coins of Otho are fairly rare given the short length of his reign, this issue is perhaps more so with the left facing bust. (RIC 3). Otho supported Galba’s revolt, and then turned on Galba when he wasn't named Galba's heir. He committed suicide after his forces were defeated by those of Vitellius during the Year of the Four Emperors. A nicely centered and well toned coin.
Lucas H
1000-16-149.jpg
107. PertinaxPertinax

Only a mediocre public speaker, Pertinax was first and foremost a gritty old soldier. He was heavily built, had a pot belly, although it was said, even by his critics, that he possessed the proud air of an emperor.
He possessed some charm, but was generally understood to be a rather sly character. He also acquired a reputation for being mean and greedy. He apparently even went as far as serving half portions of lettuce and artichoke before he became emperor. It was a characteristic which would not serve him well as an emperor.

When he took office, Pertinax quickly realized that the imperial treasury was in trouble. Commodus had wasted vast sums on games and luxuries. If the new emperor thought that changes would need to be made to bring the finances back in order he was no doubt right. But he sought to do too much too quickly. In the process he made himself enemies.

The gravest error, made at the very beginning of his reign, was to decide to cut some of the praetorian's privileges and that he was going to pay them only half the bonus he had promised.
Already on 3 January AD 193 the praetorians tried to set up another emperor who would pay up. But that senator, wise enough to stay out of trouble, merely reported the incident to Pertinax and then left Rome.

The ordinary citizens of Rome however also quickly had enough of their new emperor. Had Commodus spoilt them with lavish games and festivals, then now Pertinax gave them very little.
And a truly powerful enemy should be the praetorian prefect Laetus. The man who had after all put Pertinax on the throne, was to play an important role in the emperor's fate. It isn't absolutely clear if he sought to be an honest advisor of the emperor, but saw his advise ignored, or if he sought to manipulate Pertinax as his puppet emperor. In either case, he was disappointed.

And so as Pertinax grew ever more unpopular, the praetorians once more began to look for a new emperor. In early March, When Pertinax was away in Ostia overseeing the arrangements for the grain shipments to Rome, they struck again. This time they tried to set up one of the consuls, Quintus Sosius Falco.

When Pertinax returned to Rome he pardoned Falco who'd been condemned by the senate, but several praetorians were executed. A slave had given them away as being part of the conspiracy.
These executions were the final straw. On 28 March AD 193 the praetorians revolts.
300 hundred of them forced the gates to the palace. None of the guards sought to help their emperor.
Everyone, so it seemed, wanted rid of this emperor. So, too, Laetus would not listen as Pertinax ordered him to do something. The praetorian prefect simply went home, leaving the emperor to his fate.

Pertinax did not seek to flee. He stood his ground and waited, together with his chamberlain Eclectus. As the praetorians found him, they did not discover an emperor quivering with fear, but a man determined on convincing them to put down their weapons. Clearly the soldiers were over-awed by this brave man, for he spoke to them for some time. But eventually their leader found enough courage to step forwards and hurl his spear at the emperor. Pertinax fell with the spear in his chest. Eclectus fought bravely for his life, stabbing two, before he two was slain by the soldiers.
The soldiers then cut off Pertinax' head, stuck it on a spear and paraded through the streets of Rome.

Pertinax had ruled for only 87 days. He was later deified by Septimius Severus.

RI1. Pertinax. A.D. 193. AR denarius (18.0 mm, 2.74 g, 7 h). Rome mint. Rare. IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG, laureate head right / OPI DIVIN TR P COS II, Ops seated left, holding two stalks of grain, resting hand on seat of throne. RIC 8a; RSC 33; BMCRE 19. aVF, flan crack.
ecoli
hadrian_RIC282.jpg
117-138 AD - HADRIAN AR denarius - struck 134-138 ADobv: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P (laureate head right)
rev: VICTORIA AVG (Victory advancing right, pulling fold on upper part of dress and pointing branch downwards)
ref: RIC II 282 (C), C.1454 (2frcs)
mint: Rome
3.43gms, 19mm

This coin is probably commemorate the victory of Romans in Bar Kokhba revolt.
berserker
King_John_AR_Penny.JPG
1199 - 1216, John, AR Short cross penny, Struck 1205 - 1216 at Winchester, EnglandObverse: HENRICVS REX around central circle enclosing a crowned, draped and bearded facing bust of the king holding a sceptre tipped with a cross pommee in his right hand, bust extending to edge of flan.
Reverse: +ANDREV•ON•WI around voided short cross within circle, crosslets in each quarter. Moneyer: Andrev, cognate with the modern English name of Andrew.
Diameter: 19mm | Weight: 1.2gms | Die Axis: 4h
Class 5b
SPINK: 1351

The class four type short cross pennies of Henry II continued to be struck during the early years of John's reign, but in 1205 a recoinage was begun and new short cross pennies of better style replaced the older issues. Sixteen mints were initially employed for this recoinage but they were reduced to ten later on. All John's coins continued to bear his father's (Henry II) title of henricvs rex.

John was King of England from 1199 until his death in 1216. The baronial revolt at the end of John's reign led to the sealing of the first Magna Carta, a document sometimes considered an early step in the evolution of the constitution of the United Kingdom.
John, the youngest of the five sons of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, was not expected to inherit significant lands which resulted in him being given the nickname John Lackland. However, after the failed rebellion of his elder brothers between 1173 and 1174, John became Henry's favourite child. He was appointed Lord of Ireland in 1177 and given lands in England and on the continent. John's elder brothers William, Henry and Geoffrey died young and when Richard I became king in 1189, John was the potential heir to the throne. John unsuccessfully attempted a rebellion against Richard's administration whilst his brother was participating in the Third Crusade but despite this, after Richard died in 1199, John was proclaimed King of England.
Contemporary chroniclers were mostly critical of John's performance as king, and his reign has been the subject of much debate by historians from the 16th century onwards. These negative qualities have provided extensive material for fiction writers since the Victorian era, and even today John remains a recurring character within popular culture, primarily as a villain in films and stories regarding the Robin Hood legends.
2 comments*Alex
MaxHercRIC5iiRome.jpg
1302a, Maximian, 285 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.Maximianus AE Antoninianus. RIC V Part II 506 Bust Type C. Cohen 355; VF; Minted in Rome A.D. 285-286. Obverse: IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right; Rverse: IOVI CONSERVAT AVGG, Jupiter standing left holding thunderbolt & scepter, XXIZ in exergue. Ex maridvnvm.

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

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


Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

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


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

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


Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Constantius1_silvered_follis.jpg
1304a, Constantius I, May 305 - 25 July 306 A.D.Silvered follis, RIC 20a, S 3671, VM 25, gVF, Heraclea mint, 10.144g, 27.7mm, 180o, 297 - 298 A.D. Obverse: FL VAL CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, laureate head right; Reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, Genius standing left, modius on head, naked except for chlamys over shoulder, cornucopia in left, pouring liquor from patera, HTD in exergue; some silvering, nice portrait, well centered.



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

Constantius I Chlorus (305-306 A.D.)

Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

Constantius' Early Life and Marriage

Born March 31st, Emperor Flavius Valerius Constantius may have come into the world ca. 250. His family was from Illyricum. In the army he served as a protector, tribunus, and a praeses Dalmatiarum. During the 270s or the 280s, he became the father of Constantine by Helena, his first spouse. By 288 he was the Praetorian Prefect of the western emperor Maximianus Herculius.

Constantius' Reign as Caesar

On 1 March 293 Diocletian appointed Galerius as his Caesar (junior emperor) in the east and Constantius as the Caesar of Maximianus Herculius. Caesar in the west. Both Caesars had the right of succession. In order to strengthen the dynastic relationship between himself and Herculius., Constantius put aside his wife Helena and married Theodora, the daughter, or perhaps stepdaughter, of Maximianus Herculius.. The union was fruitful and of it there were six issue: Flavius Dalmatius, Julius Constantius, Hannibalianus, Constantia, Anastasia, and Eutropia. To strengthen his bond with Galerius and Diocletian in the east, Constantius allowed Galerius to keep his son Constantine as a hostage for his good behavior.

In the remainder of the time that he was a Caesar, Constantius spent much of his time engaged in military actions in the west. In the summer of 293 Constantius expelled the troops of the usurper Carausius from northern Gaul; after Constantius' attack on Bononia (Boulogne), Carausius was murdered. At the same time he dealt with the unrest of the Germans. In 296 he invaded Britain and put down the revolt of the usurper Allectus. Between 300 and 305 A.D. the Caesar campaigned successfully several times with various German tribes. It is worth noting in passing, that while his colleagues rigidly enforced the "Great Persecution in 303," Constantius limited his action to knocking down a few churches.

Constantius as Augustus and His Untimely Death

On 1 May 305 Diocletian, at Nicomedia, and Maximianus Herculius, at Mediolanum (Milan), divested themselves of the purple, probably because of the almost fatal illness that Diocletian contracted toward the end of 304. Diocletian forced Maximianus to abdicate. They appointed as their successors Constantius and Galerius, with Severus and Maximinus Daia as the new Caesars. The retired emperors then returned to private life. Constantius, as had his predecessor, ruled in the west, while Galerius and Daia ruled in the east. Almost as soon as he was appointed Augustus, he crossed to Britain to face incursions by the Picts where he died at York on 25 July 306 with his son (Constantine I, known to history as “The Great”) at his side.

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
MaxentiusRIC163.jpg
1307a, Maxentius, February 307 - 28 October 312 A.D.Bronze follis, RIC 163, aEF, Rome mint, 5.712g, 25.6mm, 0o, summer 307 A.D.; obverse MAXENTIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse CONSERVATO-RES VRB SVAE, Roma holding globe and scepter, seated in hexastyle temple, RT in ex; rare. Ex FORVM; Ex Maridvnvm


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

Maxentius (306-312 A.D.)


Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius, more commonly known as Maxentius, was the child of the Emperor Maximianus Herculius and the Syrian, Eutropia; he was born ca. 278 A.D. After Galerius' appointment to the rank of Caesar on 1 March 293, Maxentius married Galerius' daughter Valeria Maximilla, who bore him a son named Romulus and another son whose name is unknown. Due to his haughty nature and bad disposition, Maxentius could seldom agree with his father or his father-in-law; Galerius' and Maximianus Herculius' aversion to Maxentius prevented the young man from becoming a Caesar in 305. Little else is known of Maxentius' private life prior to his accession and, although there is some evidence that it was spent in idleness, he did become a Senator.

On 28 October 306 Maxentius was acclaimed emperor, although he was politically astute enough not to use the title Augustus; like the Emperor Augustus, he called himself princeps. It was not until the summer of 307 that he started using the title Augustus and started offending other claimants to the imperial throne. He was enthroned by the plebs and the Praetorians. At the time of his acclamation Maxentius was at a public villa on the Via Labicana. He strengthened his position with promises of riches for those who helped him obtain his objective. He forced his father Maximianus Herculius to affirm his son's acclamation in order to give his regime a facade of legitimacy. His realm included Italy, Africa, Sardinia, and Corsica. As soon as Galerius learned about the acclamation of Herculius' son, he dispatched the Emperor Severus to quell the rebellion. With the help of his father and Severus' own troops, Maxentius' took his enemy prisoner.

When Severus died, Galerius was determined to avenge his death. In the early summer of 307 the Augustus invaded Italy; he advanced to the south and encamped at Interamna near the Tiber. His attempt to besiege the city was abortive because his army was not large enough to encompass the city's fortifications. Negotiations between Maxentius and Galerius broke down when the emperor discovered that the usurper was trying to win over his troops. Galerius' troops were open to Maxentius' promises because they were fighting a civil war between members of the same family; some of the soldiers went over to the enemy. Not trusting his own troops, Galerius withdrew. During its retreat, Galerius' army ravaged the Italian countryside as it was returning to its original base. If it was not enough that Maxentius had to deal with the havoc created by the ineffectual invasions of Severus and Galerius, he also had to deal with his father's attempts to regain the throne between 308 and 310. When Maximianus Herculius was unable to regain power by pushing his son off his throne, he attempted to win over Constantine to his cause. When this plan failed, he tried to win Diocletian over to his side at Carnuntum in October and November 308. Frustrated at every turn, Herculius returned to his son-in-law Constantine's side in Gaul where he died in 310, having been implicated in a plot against his son-in-law. Maxentius' control of the situation was weakened by the revolt of L. Domitius Alexander in 308. Although the revolt only lasted until the end of 309, it drastically cut the size of the grain supply availble for Rome. Maxentius' rule collapsed when he died on 27 October 312 in an engagement he had with the Emperor Constantine at the Milvian Bridge after the latter had invaded his realm.

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
Lcnius1.jpg
1308b, Licinius I, 308 - 324 A.D. (Siscia)Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D. Bronze follis, RIC 4, F, Siscia, 3.257g, 21.6mm, 0o, 313 - 315 A.D. Obverse: IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; Reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG NN, Jupiter standing left holding Victory on globe and scepter, eagle with wreath in beak left, E right, SIS in exergue.



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

Licinius (308-324 A.D.)


Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

Licinius' Heritage

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

Licinius' Early Reign

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

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

The First Civil War Between Licinius and Constantine

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

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

Licinius and the Christians

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

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


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

Licinius (308-324 A.D.)


Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

Licinius' Heritage

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

Licinius' Early Reign

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

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

The First Civil War Between Licinius and Constantine

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

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

Licinius and the Christians

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
RICHARD_II_.JPG
1377 - 1399, Richard II, AR Halfpenny struck at London, EnglandObverse: + RICARD : REX : ANGL. Crowned facing bust of Richard II within circle of pellets. Cross pattée in legend.
Reverse: CIVITAS LONDON. Long cross pattée dividing legend around inner circle of pellets into quarters, trefoil in each quarter of circle.
Type II, intermediate style, lombardic n's in 'LONDON'
Diameter: 13mm | Weight: 0.55gms | Die Axis: 12h
SPINK: 1699 | North: 1331b

Richard II was King of England from 1377 until he was deposed in 1399. Edward III's heir, Edward the Black Prince, was Richard's father but he died in 1376, leaving Richard as heir apparent. When Edward III died the following year, the 10-year-old Richard succeeded to the throne.
During Richard's first years as king the government was in the hands of a series of regency councils which were under the control of Richard's uncles John of Gaunt and Thomas of Woodstock. England then faced various problems, most notably the Hundred Years' War. Another major challenge of the reign was the Peasants' Revolt in 1381, a crisis which the young king played a central part in suppressing.
Richard sought to restrain the power of the aristocracy and this caused so much discontent that, in 1387, a group of aristocrats known as the Lords Appellant took control of the government. But by 1389 Richard had regained control and for the next eight years governed in apparent harmony with his former opponents. However, in 1397, Richard took his revenge on the Appellants, many of whom were executed or exiled. In 1399, after John of Gaunt died, the king disinherited Gaunt's son, Henry of Bolingbroke, who he had previously exiled. Henry invaded England in June 1399 with a small force that quickly grew in numbers. Meeting little resistance, Bolingbroke deposed Richard and had himself crowned as King Henry IV.
Henry had agreed to let Richard live after his abdication but this all changed when Henry discovered that Lord Despenser, the earls of Huntingdon, Kent and Salisbury, and possibly also the Earl of Rutland, who had all been demoted from the ranks they had been given by Richard, were conspiring to murder him and restore Richard to the throne. Although averted, the plot highlighted the danger of allowing Richard to live and he is reported to have been starved to death in captivity in Pontefract Castle on or around 14 February 1400.
Richard's body was then taken south from Pontefract and displayed in the old St Paul's Cathedral, London until the 6th of March after which it was taken for burial in King's Langley Priory, Hertfordshire. Sometime later, by the order of King Henry V, Richard's body was moved from the Priory to Westminster Abbey.
1 comments*Alex
antpius as-concordia.jpg
138-161 AD - ANTONINUS PIUS AE as - struck 140-143 ADobv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TRP COS III (laureate head right)
rev: CONCORDIA EXERCITVM / S.C. (Concordia standing left, holding Victory and aquila)
ref: RIC III 678, C.140 (2frcs)
10.26gms, 26mm

This reverse symbolises the concord between the emperor and the army. The reign of Antoninus Pius was the most peaceful in the entire history of the Principate; while there were several military disturbances throughout the Empire in his time, the Moors in Mauretania (AD150), the Jews in Iudaea (for seventeen years the Romans didn't allow the Jews to bury their dead in Betar, after the Bar Kokhba revolt), the Brigantes in Britannia (AD 140-145, the Antonine Wall being built ca. 40 miles further north), the different Germanic tribes at the Germania limes, the Alans in Dacia (AD158), and had to put down rebellions in the provinces of Achaia and Egypt (AD154).
berserker
ConstansVot.jpeg
1405a, Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D. (Alexandria)Bronze AE 4, RIC 37, gVF, Egypt, Alexandria, 1.54g, 15.0mm, 180o, 345-347 A.D. Obverse: D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl diademed head right; Reverse: VOT XX MVLT XXX in wreath, SMALA• in exergue.

Flavius Julius Constans, third and youngest son of Constantine I and Fausta, was born between 320 and 323 A.D. Primary sources for the life and reign of Constans I are scarce. To reconstruct his life and career, one must draw on a variety of references in both fourth century and later works. Raised as a Christian, he was made a Caesar on 25 December 333 A.D. Constans I and his two brothers, after the death of their father on 22 May 337 and the subsequent "massacre of the princes" in which many other relatives were purged, met in the first part of September 337 in Pannonia to re-divide the empire among themselves. There they were acclaimed Augusti by the army. Constans' new realm included Italy, Africa, Illyricum, Macedonia, and Achaea. Shortly before his father's death, Constans' engagement to Olympias, the daughter of the Praetorian Prefect Ablabius, was announced; although the match was never solemnized because of political reasons.

It would appear that Constans was successful in the military sphere. Following his accession to the purple in 337, he seems to have won a victory over the Sarmatians. In 340 Constans was able to beat back an attempt by his brother Constantine II to seize some of his realm. The latter died in a battle fought near Aquileia and Constans absorbed his late brother's territory. In 341 and 342 he conducted a successful campaign against the Franci. He also visited Britain in 343, probably on a military campaign.

As an emperor Constans gets mixed reviews. In what may be a topos, sources suggest that the first part of his reign was moderate but in later years, however, he became overbearing. The emperor apparently attempted to obtain as much money as he could from his subjects and sold government posts to the highest bidder. His favorites were allowed to oppress his subjects. Sources also condemn his homosexuality. He did have some military success and, in addition to other military threats, he had to deal with Donatist-related bandits in North Africa.

Like his father Constantine I and his brother Constantius II, Constans had a deep interest in Christianity. Together with Constantius II he issued (or perhaps re-issued) a ban against pagan sacrifice in 341. The next year, they cautioned against the destruction of pagan temples. Unlike his brother Constantius II, who supported the Arian faction, he stood shoulder to shoulder with Athanasius and other members of the Orthodox clique. In fact, it is due to his request that the Council of Serdica was called to deal with the ecclesiastical squabble between Athanasius of Alexandria and Paul of Constantinople on one side and the Arian faction on the other.

When Magnentius was declared emperor in Gaul during January 350, Constans realized his reign was at an end. When he learned of the revolt, he fled toward Helena, a town in the Pyrenees. Constans was put to death by Gaeso and a band of Magnentius' assassins, who dragged their victim from a temple in which he had sought refuge.

By Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University and Robert Frakes, Clarion UniversityPublished: 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
Constans.jpg
1405n, Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D. (Siscia)Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D. Bronze AE 3, RIC 241, S 3978, VM 69, VF, Siscia, 2.32g, 18.3mm, 180o. Obverse: D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl diademed draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: FEL TEMP REPARATIO, Phoenix radiate, standing on rocky mound, GSIS and symbol in ex; nice green patina.

Flavius Julius Constans, third and youngest son of Constantine I and Fausta, was born between 320 and 323 A.D. Primary sources for the life and reign of Constans I are scarce. To reconstruct his life and career, one must draw on a variety of references in both fourth century and later works. Raised as a Christian, he was made a Caesar on 25 December 333 A.D. Constans I and his two brothers, after the death of their father on 22 May 337 and the subsequent "massacre of the princes" in which many other relatives were purged, met in the first part of September 337 in Pannonia to re-divide the empire among themselves. There they were acclaimed Augusti by the army. Constans' new realm included Italy, Africa, Illyricum, Macedonia, and Achaea. Shortly before his father's death, Constans' engagement to Olympias, the daughter of the Praetorian Prefect Ablabius, was announced; although the match was never solemnized because of political reasons.

It would appear that Constans was successful in the military sphere. Following his accession to the purple in 337, he seems to have won a victory over the Sarmatians. In 340 Constans was able to beat back an attempt by his brother Constantine II to seize some of his realm. The latter died in a battle fought near Aquileia and Constans absorbed his late brother's territory. In 341 and 342 he conducted a successful campaign against the Franci. He also visited Britain in 343, probably on a military campaign.

As an emperor Constans gets mixed reviews. In what may be a topos, sources suggest that the first part of his reign was moderate but in later years, however, he became overbearing. The emperor apparently attempted to obtain as much money as he could from his subjects and sold government posts to the highest bidder. His favorites were allowed to oppress his subjects. Sources also condemn his homosexuality. He did have some military success and, in addition to other military threats, he had to deal with Donatist-related bandits in North Africa.

Like his father Constantine I and his brother Constantius II, Constans had a deep interest in Christianity. Together with Constantius II he issued (or perhaps re-issued) a ban against pagan sacrifice in 341. The next year, they cautioned against the destruction of pagan temples. Unlike his brother Constantius II, who supported the Arian faction, he stood shoulder to shoulder with Athanasius and other members of the Orthodox clique. In fact, it is due to his request that the Council of Serdica was called to deal with the ecclesiastical squabble between Athanasius of Alexandria and Paul of Constantinople on one side and the Arian faction on the other.

When Magnentius was declared emperor in Gaul during January 350, Constans realized his reign was at an end. When he learned of the revolt, he fled toward Helena, a town in the Pyrenees. Constans was put to death by Gaeso and a band of Magnentius' assassins, who dragged their victim from a temple in which he had sought refuge.

By Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University and Robert Frakes, Clarion University
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
U2476F1OVDKUXTA.jpeg
1405t, Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D. (Thessalonica )Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D., Bronze AE 3, unattributed; Thessalonica mint, 2.25g, 18.9mm, 0; aVF.

Flavius Julius Constans, third and youngest son of Constantine I and Fausta, was born between 320 and 323 A.D. Primary sources for the life and reign of Constans I are scarce. To reconstruct his life and career, one must draw on a variety of references in both fourth century and later works. Raised as a Christian, he was made a Caesar on 25 December 333 A.D. Constans I and his two brothers, after the death of their father on 22 May 337 and the subsequent "massacre of the princes" in which many other relatives were purged, met in the first part of September 337 in Pannonia to re-divide the empire among themselves. There they were acclaimed Augusti by the army. Constans' new realm included Italy, Africa, Illyricum, Macedonia, and Achaea. Shortly before his father's death, Constans' engagement to Olympias, the daughter of the Praetorian Prefect Ablabius, was announced; although the match was never solemnized because of political reasons.

It would appear that Constans was successful in the military sphere. Following his accession to the purple in 337, he seems to have won a victory over the Sarmatians. In 340 Constans was able to beat back an attempt by his brother Constantine II to seize some of his realm. The latter died in a battle fought near Aquileia and Constans absorbed his late brother's territory. In 341 and 342 he conducted a successful campaign against the Franci. He also visited Britain in 343, probably on a military campaign.

As an emperor Constans gets mixed reviews. In what may be a topos, sources suggest that the first part of his reign was moderate but in later years, however, he became overbearing. The emperor apparently attempted to obtain as much money as he could from his subjects and sold government posts to the highest bidder. His favorites were allowed to oppress his subjects. Sources also condemn his homosexuality. He did have some military success and, in addition to other military threats, he had to deal with Donatist-related bandits in North Africa.

Like his father Constantine I and his brother Constantius II, Constans had a deep interest in Christianity. Together with Constantius II he issued (or perhaps re-issued) a ban against pagan sacrifice in 341. The next year, they cautioned against the destruction of pagan temples. Unlike his brother Constantius II, who supported the Arian faction, he stood shoulder to shoulder with Athanasius and other members of the Orthodox clique. In fact, it is due to his request that the Council of Serdica was called to deal with the ecclesiastical squabble between Athanasius of Alexandria and Paul of Constantinople on one side and the Arian faction on the other.

When Magnentius was declared emperor in Gaul during January 350, Constans realized his reign was at an end. When he learned of the revolt, he fled toward Helena, a town in the Pyrenees. Constans was put to death by Gaeso and a band of Magnentius' assassins, who dragged their victim from a temple in which he had sought refuge.

By Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University and Robert Frakes, Clarion University.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
12957p00.jpg
1503a, Gratian, 24 August 367 - 25 August 383 A.D.Gratian, 24 August 367 - 25 August 383 A.D. Bronze AE 3, F, 2.352g, 19.13mm, 0o. Obverse: emperor's diadmed bust right; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM, emperor draging captive, * in left field.

Gratian, son of Valentinian I, became the sole ruler of the Western empire in 375 A.D., and after the catastrophic defeat of the Roman forces at Hadrianopolis the Eastern empire also came under his rule. To better cope with the empire, he elevated general Theodosius to the Eastern throne. Because of a shortage of coinage to meet the payroll, Gratian was abandoned by his troops during the revolt of Magnus Maximus. He was overtaken and killed while fleeing to the Alps.
Cleisthenes
1619Hadrian_RIC_1769.jpg
1769 Hadrian Sestertius Roma 130-38 AD Hadrian standing vis-à-vis JudaeaReference.
RIC 1769; Strack 755; Banti 37

Bust C2+

Obv. HADRIANVS COS III P P
Bare head draped bust, viewed from side

Rev. ADVENTUI AVG IVDAEAE; S C in ex.
Hadrian standing right, one hand raised in gesture of address and the other holding scroll: facing him is Italia standing left holding patera over altar placed in the centre, and also holding incense box. Two children stand by her feet. Victim bull at foot of altar

26.16 gr
31 mm
12h

Note.

Hadrian’s arrival in Judaea is commemorated on a very rare ADVENTUS sestertius. On the reverse, the emperor greets the figure of Judaea sacrificing over a pagan altar, accompanied by two children. It would be hard to imagine an image more offensive to Jewish sensibilities.


Hadrian made a brief visit to Judaea circa AD 130, during his second great provincial tour of AD 129-132. Prior to his arrival, rumors spread among the Jews that he intended to rebuild Jerusalem and the great Temple, destroyed during the Jewish War of AD 66-73, so he was at first warmly welcomed. However, Hadrian decided to rebuild the city as the Roman veteran colony of Aelia Capitolina, with a temple to Jupiter replacing the one once dedicated to Jehovah. This ultimately sparked the bloody Bar Kokhba Revolt of AD 132-135, which devastated the province and darkened Hadrian's final years. The rare coinage issued to mark his visit, with the legend ADVENTVS AVG IVDAEA ("the Emperor Enters Judaea") depicts Hadrian being greeted by a female personification of the province and two children. Judaea was renamed Syria Palaestina in response to the Bar Kochba conflict, though precisely when this occurred is not known.

Judaea was the empire’s most troubled province during Hadrian’s reign. For Romans, offering ritual sacrifice to the imperial state cult was a normal civic obligation. Most ancient religions were broadly tolerant of each other’s deities, but the Jews’ fierce insistence that their one, invisible God forbade any form of idolatry in their land was a constant source of tension.
2 commentsokidoki
1794_III_Grossi_s.jpg
1794 - III GrossiGalicia & Lodomeria - Galician Poland
Obv: MONET AER EXERCIT CAES REG - Crowned double headed Russian eagle,
small shield on breast, above crossed flags.
Rev: III GROSSI POL - Value, Date above sprigs.
Size: 26mm; 9.97gms
This coin was minted in 1794 during the 2nd partition of Poland,
it seems that General Kosciusko, of Poland,(Later of the Kosciusko Bridge fame),
after assisting the Continental army during the American revolution,
went back to Poland and became a nationalist and didn't like the terms of 2nd partition.
He led a revolt of the Polish army and peasants in 1794, known as the "Kosciusko uprising",
against the Austrians, who were taking over Galicia, as per terms of the 2nd partition.
This coin was minted, by Austria, for the Austrian army,
for purchases what was still Polish Galicia. Later to become Austrian Galicia.
It was made specifically for Galicia in 1794,
the year Galicia stopped being Polish and was acquired by Austria.
To me this coin represents the beginning of Austrian Galicia
and the reason I am Austrian and not Polish.

Please advise of corrections to this brief history.
Brian L
190_-_DECENTIVS.jpg
190 - DECENTIVSMagnus Decentius was a usurper of the western portion of the Roman Empire against emperor Constantius II. Decentius was the brother of Magnentius, who had revolted against Constantius on 18 January 350.


for obverse, reverse and coin details click here
shanxi
GalbaDenVictory.jpg
1at Galba68-69

Denarius

Laureate head, right, SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG P M TR P
Victory standing on globe, VICTORIA PR

RIC 111

Suetonius recorded: Servius Galba, the future emperor was born on the 24th of December, 3BC, in the consulship of Marcus Valerius Messala and Gnaeus Lentulus, at a hillside mansion near Terracina, on the left of the road to Fundi (Fondi). He was formally adopted by his stepmother Livia Ocellina, and took the name Livius and the surname Ocella, also changing his forename to Lucius, until he became Emperor.

It is common knowledge that when calling on Augustus to pay his respects, with other boys of his age, the Emperor pinched his cheek, and said in Greek: ‘You too will have a taste of power, my child.’ And when Tiberius heard the prophecy that Galba would be emperor in old age, he commented: ‘Well let him be, it’s no concern of mine.’

Galba achieved office before the usual age and as praetor (in 20AD), controlling the games at the Floralia, he was the first to introduce a display of tightrope-walking elephants. He next governed Aquitania, for almost a year, and not long afterwards held the consulship for six months (in 33AD). When Caligula was assassinated (in 41AD), Galba chose neutrality though many urged him to seize the opportunity for power. Claudius expressed his gratitude by including him among his intimate friends, and Galba was shown such consideration that the expedition to Britain was delayed to allow him to recover from a sudden but minor indisposition. Later he was proconsul in Africa for two years (44/45AD), being singled out, and so avoiding the usual lottery, to restore order in the province, which was riven by internecine rivalry and an indigenous revolt. He re-established peace, by the exercise of ruthless discipline, and the display of justice even in the most trifling matters. . . .

But when word from the City arrived that Nero was dead and that the people had sworn allegiance to him, he set aside the title of governor and assumed that of Caesar. He then began his march to Rome in a general’s cloak, with a dagger, hanging from his neck, at his chest, and did not resume the toga until his main rivals had been eliminated, namely the commander of the Praetorian Guard in Rome, Nymphidius Sabinus, and the commanders in Germany and Africa, Fonteius Capito and Clodius Macer. . . . His prestige and popularity were greater while winning power than wielding it, though he showed evidence of being a more than capable ruler, loved less, unfortunately, for his good qualities than he was hated for his bad ones.

He was even warned of the danger of imminent assassination, the day before his death, by a soothsayer, as he offered the morning sacrifice. Shortly afterwards he learnt that Otho had secured the Guards camp, and when his staff advised him to carry the day by his presence and prestige, by going there immediately, he opted instead to stay put, but gather a strong bodyguard of legionaries from their billets around the City. He did however don a linen corselet, though saying that frankly it would serve little against so many weapons. False reports, put about by the conspirators to lure him into appearing in public, deceived a few of his close supporters, who rashly told him the rebellion was over, the plotters overthrown, and that the rest of the troops were on their way to congratulate him and carry out his orders. So he went to meet them, with such confidence, that when a soldier boasted of killing Otho, he snapped out: ‘On whose authority?’ before hastening on to the Forum. The cavalrymen who had been ordered to find and kill him, who were spurring through the streets scattering the crowds of civilians, now caught sight of him in the distance and halted an instant before galloping towards him and cutting him down, while his staff ran for their lives.
Blindado
PertinaxDenOps.jpg
1bp Pertinax193

Denarius

Bearded laureate head, right, IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG
Ops std, OPI DIVIN TR P COS II

RIC 8

The Historia Augusta has this to say: Publius Helvius Pertinax was the son of a freedman, Helvius Successus by name, who confessed that he gave this name to his son because of his own long-standing connection with the timber-trade. . . . Pertinax himself was born in the Apennines on an estate which belonged to his mother. . . . Winning promotion because of the energy he showed in the Parthian war, he was transferred to Britain and there retained. Later he led a squadron in Moesia. . . . Next, he commanded the German fleet. . . . From this command he was transferred to Dacia. . . . After Cassius' revolt had been suppressed, Pertinax set out from Syria to protect the bank of the Danube, and presently he was appointed to govern both the Moesias and, soon thereafter, Dacia. And by reason of his success in these provinces, he won the appointment to Syria. . . .

Pertinax was made consul for the second time. And while in this position, Pertinax did not avoid complicity in the murder of Commodus, when a share in this plot was offered him by the other conspirators. After Commodus was slain, aetus, the prefect of the guard, and Eclectus, the chamberlain, came to Pertinax and reassured him, and then led him to the camp. There he harangued the soldiers, promised a donative, and said that the imperial power had been thrust upon him by Laetus and Eclectus. . . .

He reduced the imperial banquets from something absolutely unlimited to a fixed standard, and, indeed, cut down all expenses from what they had been under Commodus. And from the example set by the emperor, who lived rather simply, there resulted a general economy and a consequent reduction in the cost of living. . . . [H]e restored to everyone the property of which Commodus had despoiled him. . . . He always attended the stated meetings of the senate and always made some proposal. . . .

A conspiracy l was organized against Pertinax by Laetus, the prefect of the guard, and sundry others who were displeased by his integrity. . . . [T]hree hundred soldiers, formed into a wedge, marched under arms from the camp to the imperial residence. . . . After they had burst into the inner portion of the Palace, however, Pertinax advanced to meet them and sought to appease them with a long and serious speech. In spite of this, one Tausius, a Tungrian, after haranguing the soldiers into a state of fury and fear, hurled his spear at Pertinax' breast. And he, after a prayer to Jupiter the Avenger, veiled his head with his toga and was stabbed by the rest.
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1bq Didius Julianus193

Sestertius

Laureate head, right, IMP CAES M DID SEVER IVLIAN AVG
Concorde w/ standard, CONCORDIA MILIT SC

RIC 14

According to the Historia Augusta: Didius Julianus. . . was reared at the home of Domitia Lucilla, the mother of the Emperor Marcus. . . . [T]hrough the support of Marcus he attained to the office of aedile [and] praetor. After his praetorship he commanded the XXII Legion, the Primigenia, in Germany, and following that he ruled Belgium long and well. Here, with auxiliaries hastily levied from the provinces, he held out against the Chauci as they attempted to burst through the border; and for these services, on the recommendation of the Emperor, he was deemed worthy of the consulship. He also gained a crushing victory over the Chatti. Next he took charge of Dalmatia and cleared it of the hostile tribes on its borders. Then he governed Lower Germany. . . .

His consulship he served with Pertinax; in the proconsulship of Africa, moreover, he succeeded him. Pertinax always spoke of him as his colleague and successor. After [Pertinax'] death, when Sulpicianus was making plans to be hailed emperor in the camp, Julianus, together with his son-in-law, . . . discovered two tribunes, Publius Florianus and Vectius Aper, who immediately began urging him to seize the throne; and. . . conducted him to the praetorian camp. When they arrived at the camp, however, Sulpicianus, the prefect of the city and the father-in-law of Pertinax, was holding an assembly and claiming the empire himself, and no one would let Julianus inside, despite the huge promises he made from outside the wall. Julianus then . . . wrote on placards that he would restore the good name of Commodus; so he was admitted and proclaimed emperor. . . .

Julianus had no fear of either the British or the Illyrian army; but being chiefly afraid of the Syrian army, he despatched a centurion of the first rank with orders to murder Niger. Consequently Pescennius Niger in Syria and Septimius Severus in Illyricum, together with the armies which they commanded, revolted from Julianus. But when he received the news of the revolt of Severus, whom he had not suspected, then he was greatly troubled and came to the senate and prevailed upon them to declare Severus a public enemy. . . . Severus was approaching the city with a hostile army. . . and the populace hated and laughed at him more and more every day.

In a short time Julianus was deserted by all and left alone in the Palace with one of his prefects, Genialis, and with Repentinus, his son-in-law. Finally, it was propose'd that the imperial power be taken away from Julianus by order of the senate. This was done, and Severus was forthwith acclaimed emperor, while it was given out that Julianus had taken poison. Nevertheless, the senate despatched a delegation and through their efforts Julianus was slain in the Palace by a common soldier. . . .
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1br Clodius Albinus195-197

Denarius

Bare head, right, D CL SEPT ALBIN CAES
Roma seated on shield holding Palladium and scepter, ROMAE AETERNAE

RIC 11

According to the Historia Augusta, which in the case of Albinus is thought to be of dubious veracity: After the death of Pertinax, who was slain at Albinus' advice, various men were hailed emperor at about one and the same time by the senate Julianus at Rome, and by the armies, Septimius Severus in Illyricum, Pescennius Niger in the East, and Clodius Albinus in Gaul. According to Herodian, Clodius had been named Caesar by Severus. But as time went on, each chafed at the other's rule, and the armies of Gaul and Germany demanded an emperor of their own naming, and so all parts of the empire were thrown into an uproar. . . .

It is an undeniable fact, moreover, and Marius Maximus also relates it, that Severus at first intended to name Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus as his successors, in case aught befell him. Later, as it happened, in the interest of his growing sons, and through envy of the affection in which Albinus was held, and most of all becau-e of his wires entreaties, he changed his purpose and crushed both of them in war. But he did name Albinus consul, and this he never would have done had not Aibinus been a worthy man, since he was ever most careful in his choice of magistrate. . . .

As soon as he came of age he entered military service, and by the aid of Lollius Serenus, Baebius Maecianus and Ceionius Postumianus, all his kinsmen, he gained the notice of the Antonines. In the capacity of a tribune he commanded a troop of Dalmatian horse: he also commanded soldiers of the I and the IV legions. At the time of Avidius' revolt he loyally held the Bithynian army to its allegiance. Next, Commodus transferred him to Gaul; and here he routed the tribes from over the Rhine and made his name illustrious among both Romans and barbarians. This aroused Commodus' interest, and he offered Albinus the name of Caesar and the privilege, too, of giving the soldiers a present and wearing the scarlet cloak. But all these offers Albinus wisely refused, for Commodus, he said, was only looking for a man who would perish with him, or whom he could reasonably put to death. . . .

[A]fter a decisive engagement, where countless of his soldiers fell, and very many fled, and many, too, surrendered, Albinus also fled away and, according to some, stabbed himself, according to others, was stabbed by a slave. At any rate, he was brought to Severus only half alive. . . . Albinus' head was cut off and paraded on a pike, and finally sent to Rome.
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1bx Macrinus217-218

Denarius

Laureate draped bust, right, IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG
Providentia stg, PROVIDENTIA DEORVM

RIC 80

According to the Historia Augusta, which concedes that almost nothing was known about Macrinus: Though of humble origin and shameless in spirit as well as in countenance, and though hated by all, both civilians and soldiers, he nevertheless proclaimed himself now Severus and now Antoninus. Then he set out at once for the Parthian war and thus gave no opportunity either for the soldiers to form an opinion of him, or for the gossip by which he was beset to gain its full strength. The senators, however, out of hatred for Antoninus Bassianus, received him as emperor gladly. . . . Now to his son, previously called Diadumenianus, he gave the name Antoninus (after he had himself assumed the appellation Felix) in order to avert the suspicion of having slain Antoninus. This same name was afterwards taken by Varius Elagabalus also, who claimed to be the son of Bassianus, a most filthy creature and the son of a harlot. . . .

And so, having been acclaimed emperor, Macrinus assumed the imperial power and set out against the Parthians with a great array, eager to blot out the lowliness of his family and the infamy of his early life by a magnificent victory. But after fighting a battle with the Parthians he was killed in a revolt of the legions, which had deserted to Varius Elagabalus. He reigned, however, for more than a year.

Macrinus, then, was arrogant and bloodthirsty and desirous of ruling in military fashion. He found fault even with the discipline of former times and lauded Severus alone above all others. For he even crucified soldiers and always used the punishments meted out to slaves, and when he had to deal with a mutiny among the troops, he usually decimated the soldiers but sometimes he only centimated them. This last was an expression of his own, for he used to say that he was merciful in putting to death only one in a hundred. . . .

This is one of my favorite pieces because I bought it completely covered with crud and set about cleaning it. Boy was I surprised!
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1ch Maximinus235-238

Denarius

Laureate draped bust, right, IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG
Pax stg, PAX AVGVSTI

RIC 12

Herodian recorded: There was in the Roman army a man named Maximinus whose half-barbarian family lived in a village in the most remote section of Thrace. They say that as a boy he was a shepherd, but that in his youthful prime he was drafted into the cavalry because of his size and strength. After a short time, favored by Fortune, he advanced through all the military ranks, rising eventually to the command of armies and the governing of provinces.

Because of his military experience, which I have noted above, Alexander put Maximinus in charge of training recruits for the entire army; his task was to instruct them in military duties and prepare them for service in war. By carrying out his assignments thoroughly and diligently, Maximinus won the affection of the soldiers. He not only taught them their duties; he also demonstrated personally to each man what he was to do. . . .

He won their devotion by giving them all kinds of gifts and rewards. Consequently, the recruits, who included an especially large number of Pannonians, praised the masculinity of Maximinus and despised Alexander as a mother's boy. . . . The soldiers were therefore ready for a change of emperors. . . . They therefore assembled on the drill field for their regular training; when Maximinus took his position before them, either unaware of what was happening or having secretly made prior preparations for the event, the soldiers robed him in the imperial purple and proclaimed him emperor. . . .

When he assumed control of the empire, Maximinus reversed the situation, using his power savagely to inspire great fear. He undertook to substitute for a mild and moderate rule an autocracy in every way barbarous, well aware of the hostility directed toward him because he was the first man to rise from a lowly station to the post of highest honor. His character was naturally barbaric, as his race was barbarian. He had inherited the brutal disposition of his countrymen, and he intended to make his imperial position secure by acts of cruelty, fearing that he would become an object of contempt to the Senate and the people, who might be more conscious of his lowly origin than impressed by the honor he had won. . . .

[A]fter Maximinus had completed three years as emperor, the people of Africa first took up arms and touched off a serious revolt for one of those trivial reasons which often prove fatal to a tyrant. . . . The entire populace of the city quickly assembled when the news was known, and the youths proclaimed Gordian Augustus. He begged to be excused, protesting that he was too old. . . .

[In Rome], the senators met before they received accurate information concerning Maximinus and, placing their trust for the future in the present situation, proclaimed Gordian Augustus, together with his son, and destroyed Maximinus' emblems of honor. . . . Embassies composed of senators and distinguished equestrians were sent to all the governors with letters which clearly revealed the attitude of the Senate and the Roman people. . . . The majority of the governors welcomed the embassies and had no difficulty in arousing the provinces to revolt because of the general hatred of Maximinus. . . .


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1db Saloninus259

Son of Gallienus

Antoninianus

Radiate draped bust, right, SALON VALERIANVS NOB CAES
Sacrificial implements, PIETAS AVG

RIC 9

Zosimus recorded Saloninus' fate: After this, Posthumus, who commanded the Celtic army, was also inclined towards innovation, and accompanied some soldiers that revolted at the same time to Agrippina, which is the principal city on the Rhine, in which he besieged Saloninus, the son of Gallienus, threatening to remain before the walls until he was given up to him. On this account the soldiers found it necessary to surrender both him and Silvanus, whom his father had appointed his guardian, both of whom Posthumus put to death, and made himself sovereign of the Celtae.
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1es Gratian367-383

AE3

Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right, D N GRATIANVS P F AVG
Gratian standing right, holding labarum with Chi-rho on banner, and holding captive by hair, GLORIA ROMANORVM; Q to left, K over P to right, DSISCR in ex.

RIC 14c

Zosimus reports: [T] he emperor Valentinian, having favourably disposed the affairs of Germany, made provisions for the future security of the Celtic nations. . . . Valentinian was now attacked by a disease which nearly cost him his life. Upon his recovery the countries requested him to appoint a successor, lest at his decease the commonwealth should be in danger. To this the emperor consented, and declared his son Gratian emperor and his associate in the government, although he was then very young, and not yet capable of the management of affairs. . . .

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. . . .

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.
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1ew Magnus Maximus383-388

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.
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1st Jewish revolt year 2Prutah year 2 (67-68 AD), AE 16-17 mm 2.2 grams
OBV :: Year 2 in Paleo-Hebrew characters Two-handled amphora with broad rim.
REV :: The Freedom of Zion in Paleo-Hebrew characters Wine leaf with tendril.
Hendin 661. Meshorer II, 12. SNG ANS 427.
Johnny
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201b. Clodius AlbinusBy the time Severus made it back from the east in 196, the breach with Albinus was beyond repair. The emperor's son Caracalla had been displayed to the army as Caesar and heir. Albinus had been proclaimed emperor and gone into open revolt, crossed the English Channel and gained the support of many aristocrats from Gaul and Spain. Lyon became Albinus' headquarters, from which he minted coins that wishfully hinted at reconciliation. Albinus had taken the title of Augustus, but he still kept the name Septimius.

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

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

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

CLODIUS ALBINUS, as Caesar. 193-195 AD. AR Denarius (17mm, 3.14 gm). Rome mint. Bare head right / Roma seated left on shield, holding Victory and reversed spear. RIC IV 11b; RSC 61a. VF. Ex - CNG
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201c. Pescennius NigerGaius Pescennius Niger was governor of Syria in the year 193 when he learned of the emperor Pertinax's murder. Niger's subsequent attempt to claim the empire for himself ended in failure in Syria after roughly one year. His life before becoming governor of Syria is not well known. He was born in Italy to an equestrian family. He seems to have been older than his eventual rival Septimius Severus, so his birth should perhaps be placed ca. AD 135-40. Niger may have held an important position in the administration of Egypt. He won renown, along with Clodius Albinus, for participation in a military campaign in Dacia early in Commodus' reign. Although Niger could have been adlected into the senate before the Dacian campaign, he was by now pursuing a senatorial career and must have been held in high esteem by Commodus. Niger was made a suffect consul, probably in the late 180s, and he was sent as governor to the important province of Syria in 191.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BITHYNIA, Caesarea. Pescennius Niger. AD 193-194. Æ 22mm (6.35 g). Laureate head right / KAICAREIAC GERMANIKHC, coiled serpent left. RG p. 282, 9, pl. XLIV, 8 (same dies); SNG Copenhagen -; SNG von Aulock -. Near VF, brown patina, rough surfaces. Very rare. Ex-CNG
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203. MACRINUSMACRINUS. 217-218 AD.

Caracalla's mother, Julia Domna, had toyed with the idea of raising a rebellion against Macrinus shortly after her son's murder, but the empress was uncertain of success and already suffering from breast cancer. She chose to starve herself to death instead.

The grandchildren of her sister, Julia Maesa, would become the focus of the successful uprising that began on 15 May 218. Her 14-year-old grandson Avitus (known to history as Elagabalus) was proclaimed emperor by one the legions camped near the family's hometown of Emesa. Other troops quickly joined the rebellion, but Macrinus marshalled loyal soldiers to crush the revolt. Macrinus also promoted his son to the rank of emperor.

The forces met in a village outside Antioch on 8 June 218. Despite the inexperience of the leaders of the rebel army, Macrinus was defeated. He sent his son, Diadumenianus, with an ambassador to the Parthian king, while Macrinus himself prepared to flee to Rome. Macrinus traveled across Asia Minor disguised as a courier and nearly made it to Europe, but he was captured in Chalcedon. Macrinus was transported to Cappadocia, where he was executed. Diadumenianus had also been captured (at Zeugma) and was similarly put to death.

Contemporaries tended to portray Macrinus as a fear-driven parvenu who was able to make himself emperor but was incapable of the leadership required by the job. An able administrator, Macrinus lacked the aristocratic connections and personal bravado that might have won him legitimacy. His short reign represented a brief interlude of Parthian success during what would prove the final decade of the Parthian empire.

AR Denarius (18mm 3.55 gm). IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust with short beard right / SALVS PVBLICA, Salus seated left, feeding snake rising up from altar, holding sceptre in left. RIC IV 86; Good VF; Ex-CNG
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203a. DiadumenianMarcus Opellius Antoninus Diadumenianus or Diadumenian (d. 218) was the son of Roman Emperor Macrinus, who served his father briefly as Caesar from May, 217 to 218, and as Augustus in 218.

Diadumenian had little time to enjoy his position or to learn anything from its opportunities because the legions of Syria revolted and declared Elagabalus ruler of the Roman Empire. When Macrinus was defeated on June 8, 218, at Antioch, Diadumenian followed his father's death. According to the Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Diadumenian emulated Macrinus in tyranny. He called upon his father not to spare any who might oppose them or who made plots. His head was cut off and presented to Elagabalus as a trophy.

Diadumenian, A.D. 218 Nicopolis ad Istrum, Hera
OBVERSE: Draped bust right
REVERSE: Hera standing left holding patera.
25 mm - 10 grams

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217-218 AD - DIADUMENIAN AE Asobv: M OPEL DIADVMENIANVS CAES (bare-headed, draped bust right)
rev: PRINC IVVENTVTIS (Diadumenian standing left, holding wand and scepter; two standards to right), S-C in ex.
ref: RIC IVii 216 (R), Cohen 13 (20frcs)
mint: Rome
10.31gms, 24mm (Better in hand than the picture allows.)

Marcus Opellius Antoninus Diadumenianus or Diadumenian was the son of Roman Emperor Macrinus, who served his father briefly as Caesar from May, 217 to 218, and as Augustus in 218. He had little time to enjoy his position or to learn anything from its opportunities because the legions of Syria revolted and declared Elagabalus ruler of the Roman Empire. When Macrinus was defeated on June 8, 218, at Antioch, Diadumenian followed his father's death at the end of June.
This coin was found near a little village on plough-land where probably missed a fugitive citizen who fed up with the succession Sarmatian attacks.
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25 mils Israel's first coin, 194925 mil coin of aluminum, 3.5grams, 30 mm, Mintage: 650,000 (total: open link & closed link mintage).

Obverse: Grapes as in Bar-Kochba revolt coinage.
Reverse: Wreath as in Hasmonean dynasty coinage.

Reference: Israel KM8

Added to collection: June 20, 2005
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3.0 Bar Kokhba small bronze, year 3 (134-135 CE)Bar Kokhba rebellion (second Jewish Revolt against Rome)
Year 3 (134-135 CE)
small bronze (19.5 mm)
VF+/VF
Hendin 739

obv. seven branched palm tree, symbolizing Judaea (like Menorah?)
SHIMON (Simon [Bar Kokhba]) in field below tree
rev. Bunch of grapes L'CHAROT YERUSHALAYIM (For the Freedom of Jerusalem) around
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3.3 Vespasian IUDAEA denarius69 - 70 AD
Rome Mint
rev. IVDAEA, captive Jew seated below a trophy
commemorates the reconquest of Judaea by Vespasian and Titus, after the four year revolt against Rome.
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305b. Herennius EtruscusQuintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius (c. 227 - July 1, 251), was Roman emperor in 251, in a joint rule with his father Trajan Decius. Emperor Hostilian was his younger brother.

Herennius was born in Pannonia, during one of his father's military postings. His mother was Herennia Cupressenia Etruscilla, a Roman lady of an important senatorial family. Herennius was very close to his father and accompanied him in 248, as a military tribune, when Decius was appointed by Philip the Arab to deal with the revolt of Pacatianus in the Danube frontier. Decius was successful on defeating this usurper and felt confident to begin a rebellion of his own in the following year. Acclaimed emperor by his own troops, Decius marched into Italy and defeated Philip near modern Verona. In Rome, Herennius was declared heir to the throne and received the title of princeps iuventutis (prince of youth).

From the beginning of Herennius' accession, Gothic tribes raided across the Danube frontier and the provinces of Moesia and Dacia. At the beginning of 251, Decius elevated Herennius to the title of Augustus making him his co-emperor. Moreover, Herennius was chosen to be one of the year's consuls. The father and son, now joint rulers, then embarked in an expedition against king Cniva of the Goths to punish the invaders for the raids. Hostilian remained in Rome and the empress Herennia Etruscilla was named regent. Cniva and his men were returning to their lands with the booty, when the Roman army encountered them. Showing a very sophisticated military tactic, Cniva divided his army in smaller, more manageable groups and started to push back the Romans into a marshy swamp. On July 1, both armies engaged in the battle of Abrittus. Herennius died in battle, struck by an enemy arrow. Decius survived the initial confrontation, only to be slain with the rest of the army before the end of the day. Herennius and Decius were the first two emperors to be killed by a foreign army in battle.

With the news of the death of the emperors, the army proclaimed Trebonianus Gallus emperor, but in Rome they were succeeded by Hostilian, who would die shortly afterwards in an outbreak of plague.

Herennius Etruscus AR Antoninianus. Q HER ETR MES DECIVS NOB C, radiate draped bust right / CONCORDIA AVGG, clasped hands. RIC 138, RSC 4
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311a. AureolusAureolus. Romano-Gallic Usurper, AD 267-268. Antoninianus (19mm, 2.17 g, 7h). Struck in the name of Postumus. Mediolanum (Milan) mint, 2nd officina. 3rd emission, mid AD 268. Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Postumus right / Concordia standing left, holding patera and rudder; prow of galley to left; S. RIC V (Postumus) 373; Mairat 215-21; AGK (Postumus) 6b; RSC (Postumus) 19. Near VF, dark brown patina.

Aureolus was an extraordinarily capable general who served under Valerian and Gallienus. Around AD 258, Gallienus stationed a new cavalry unit at Mediolanum that was to serve as a quick reaction force against any new invasions along the frontier of the central empire. Aureolus was given command of this unit. In AD 260-261 his forces defeated the armies of the usurpers Ingenuus and Macrianus, and recovered the province of Raetia. Following these victories, Gallienus and Aureolus led a Roman army against the breakaway Gallic provinces under Postumus. Gallienus was forced to leave the field after being injured in battle, and left the campaign in the hands of Aureolus. Aureolus ended the campaign shortly thereafter, and while the reason is uncertain, the historical record suggests it was due to either his incompetence or else treachery (he had come to a secret agreement with Postumus). While the former seems unlikely, given Aureolus’ record, the latter is possible, as there are indications that he had been preparing for a revolt as early as AD 262. Regardless, at some point in AD 267, Aureolus revolted and established his base at Mediolanum, where Gallienus besieged him in AD 268. The details of the revolt are unclear, but it appears that Aureolus first appealed to Postumus for aid, and, failing to gain the Gallic Emperor’s support, declared himself emperor. About the same time, Gallienus was murdered, and was succeeded by Claudius II Gothicus, who continued to beseige Mediolanum. Soon, though, it appeared that an agreement was reached, and Aureolus emerged from the city to meet Claudius. Any such concord, however, was simply a ruse, as Aureolus was taken into custody and executed.
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316. Aurelian316. Aurelian

In 275, Aurelian marched towards Asia Minor, preparing another campaign against the Sassanids: the close deaths of Kings Shapur I (272) and Hormizd I (273), and the rise to power of a weakened ruler (Bahram I), set the possibility to attack the Sassanid Empire.

On on his way, the emperor suppressed a revolt in Gaul — possibly against Faustinus, an officer or usurper of Tetricus — and defeated barbarian marauders at Vindelicia (Germany).

However, Aurelian never reached Persia, since he was killed on his way. As an administrator, Aurelian had been very strict and handed out severe punishments to corrupt officials or soldiers. A secretary of Aurelian (called Eros by Zosimus) had told a lie on a minor issue. Scared of what the emperor might do, he told high ranking officials that the emperor wanted their life, showing a forged document. The notarius Mucapor and other high-ranking officiers of the Praetorian Guard, fearing punishment from the Emperor, murdered him in September of 275, in Caenophrurium, Thracia (modern Turkey).

Aurelian's enemies in the Senate briefly succeeded in passing damnatio memoriae on the emperor, but this was reversed before the end of the year and Aurelian, like his predecessor Claudius, was deified as Divus Aurelianus.

Ulpia Severina, wife of Aurelian and Augusta since 274, is said to have held the imperial role during the short interregnum before the election of Marcus Claudius Tacitus to the purple.

Siscia mint. IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate & cuirassed bust right / ORIENS AVG, Sol advancing left between two seated captives, holding up raised hand & whip, XXIT in ex. Cohen 158. RIC 255
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353Revolt of Poemenius, 353 AD
AE Maiorina
DN CONSTANTIVS PF AVG
Diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right
SALVS AVG NOSTRI
Christogram between alpha and omega
[TRP *]
Trier mint
RIC VIII Trier 332/5
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367/5 L. Manlius Torquatus.L. Manlius Torquatus. AR Denarius. 82 BC. Military mint moving with Sulla. Obv: L·MANLI -I – PRO Q. Helmeted head of Roma right. Rev: Sulla driving triumphal quadriga right, crowned by Victory flying left; in exergue, L·SVLLA·IMP.
Syd 757; Manlia 4;Crawford 367/5

I had no idea that this was related to Sulla when I bought it. I do now. Military mint!

As consul for the year 88 BC, Sulla was awarded the coveted assignment of suppressing the revolt of Mithradates VI of Pontus, but political maneuvers resulted in this assignment being transferred to Marius. In response, Sulla turned his army on Rome, captured it, and reclaimed his command against Mithradates. His prosecution of the first Mithradatic War was successful, but he spared the Pontic king for personal gain. In 83 BC, Sulla returned to Italy as an outlaw, but he was able to win the support of many of the leading Romans. Within a year he fought his way to Rome, where he was elected dictator. It was during this campaign to Rome that this (....) was struck. The obverse type represents Sulla's claim to be acting in Rome's best interest. The reverse shows Sulla enjoying the highest honor to which a Roman could aspire, the celebration of a triumph at Rome.






Paddy
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403. CarausiusMarcus Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius (d. 293) was a Roman usurper in Britain and northern Gaul (286–293, Carausian Revolt).

Carausius was a man of humble origin, a Menapian from Belgic Gaul who distinguished himself during Maximian's campaign against the Bagaudae rebels in Gaul in 286. As a result, he was appointed to command the Classis Britannica, a fleet based in the English Channel, with the responsibility of eliminating Frankish and Saxon pirates who had been raiding the coast. However, he was suspected of keeping captured treasure for himself, and even of allowing the pirates to carry out raids and enrich themselves before taking action against them, and Maximian ordered his execution. In late 286 or early 287 Carausius learned of this sentence and responded by declaring himself Emperor of Britain and northern Gaul.

He could count on the alliegance of the three legions based in Britain, as well as one in northern Gaul. How he was able to win support from the army when his command had been sea-based is uncertain. The emperor briefly assumed the title Britannicus Maximus in 285, and the British towns of Wroxeter and Caistor by Norwich towns show signs of destruction around this time, so it is possible Carausius won the army's support during military action in Britain shortly before his rebellion. Alternatively, if the accusations of larceny are true, he could perhaps afford to buy their loyalty. He also appears to have appealed to native British dissatisfaction with Roman rule: he issued coins with legends such as Restitutor Britanniae (Restorer of Britain) and Genius Britanniae (Spirit of Britain).

Maximian, busy with wars on the Rhine, was unable to challenge him immediately, but in the Autumn of 288 he began massing troops and ships for an invasion. In 289 an invasion of Britain intended to dislodge him failed badly due to storms, although a naval defeat is also possible. An uneasy peace continued until 293, during which Rome prepared for a second effort to retake the province, while Carausius began to entertain visions of legitimacy and official recognition. He minted his own coins and brought their value in to line with Roman issues as well as acknowledging and honouring Maximian and then Diocletian. Coinage is the main source of information about the rogue emperor; his issues were initially crude but soon became more elaborate and were issued from mints in Londinium, Rotomagnus and a third site, possibly Colonia Claudia Victricensis. A milestone from Carlisle with his name on it suggests that the whole of Roman Britain was in Carausius' grasp.

It has been speculated (namely, by the historian Sheppard Frere) that the rebellion of Carausius endangered Diocletian's vision of a strong, centralized government based on his tetrarchy. In any case, by early 293 Constantius Chlorus had gained control of northern Gaul, including the rebel's stronghold and port of Bononia, on which Carausius was heavily dependent. Constantius built a mole across the harbour mouth to ensure it did not receive maritime aid.

Constantius also regained the allegiance of the rebellious Gallic legion and defeated the Franks of the Rhine mouth who seem to have been working in league with Carausius. Weakened by these setbacks, Carausius was assassinated, possibly at York, by his treasurer, Allectus.

aVF/aVF Carausius Antoninianus / Pax / Green Patina and Nice Style

Attribution: RIC 895
Date: 287-293 AD
Obverse: IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right
Reverse: PAX AVG, Pax standing left, holding branch and transverse sceptre.
Size: 20.91 mm
Weight: 3 grams
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405. CONSTANTIUS I, as CaesarBorn March 31st, Emperor Flavius Valerius Constantius may have come into the world ca. 250. His family was from Illyricum. In the army he served as a protector, tribunus, and a praeses Dalmatiarum. During the 270s or the 280s, he became the father of Constantine by Helena, his first spouse. By 288 he was the Praetorian Prefect of the western emperor Maximianus Herculius.

On 1 March 293 Diocletian appointed Galerius as his Caesar (junior emperor) in the east and Constantius as the Caesar of Maximianus Herculius. Caesar in the west. Both Caesars had the right of succession. In order to strengthen the dynastic relationship between himself and Herculius., Constantius put aside his wife Helena and married Theodora, the daughter, or perhaps stepdaughter, of Maximianus Herculius. The union was fruitful and of it there were six issue: Flavius Dalmatius, Julius Constantius, Hannibalianus, Constantia, Anastasia, and Eutropia. To strengthen his bond with Galerius and Diocletian in the east, Constantius allowed Galerius to keep his son Constantine as a hostage for his good behavior.

In the remainder of the time that he was a Caesar, Constantius spent much of his time engaged in military actions in the west. In the summer of 293 Constantius expelled the troops of the usurper Carausius from northern Gaul; after Constantius' attack on Bononia (Boulogne), Carausius was murdered. At the same time he dealt with the unrest of the Germans. In 296 he invaded Britain and put down the revolt of the usurper Allectus. Between 300 and 305 A.D. the Caesar campaigned successfully several times with various German tribes. It is worth noting in passing, that while his colleagues rigidly enforced the "Great Persecution in 303," Constantius limited his action to knocking down a few churches.

On 1 May 305 Diocletian, at Nicomedia, and Maximianus Herculius, at Mediolanum (Milan), divested themselves of the purple, probably because of the almost fatal illness that Diocletian contracted toward the end of 304. Diocletian forced Maximianus to abdicate. They appointed as their successors Constantius and Galerius, with Severus and Maximinus Daia as the new Caesars. The retired emperors then returned to private life. Constantius, as had his predecessor, ruled in the west, while Galerius and Daia ruled in the east. Almost as soon as he was appointed Augustus, he crossed to Britain to face incursions by the Picts where he died at York on 25 July 306 with his son at his side.


CONSTANTIUS I, as Caesar. 293-305 AD. Æ Follis (9.24 gm). Lugdunum mint. Struck 301-303 AD. CONSTANTIVS NO[B CAE]S, laureate and draped bust right, holding spear over right shoulder and shield at left / [GENIO POPV]LI ROMANI; altar-B/PLC. RIC VI 136a. VF, brown patina, some silvering. Ex CNG
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407. Severus IIFlavius Valerius Severus was of humble origin and from Illyricum. Early in his career he had held a military command. When Diocletian, at Nicomedeia, and Maximianus Herculius, at Mediolanum, divested themselves of the purple (Milan) on 1 May 305, they appointed Constantius I and Galerius as Augusti in their place, with Severus and Maximinus Daia as the new Caesars. Both Caesars were Galerius' creatures and received their appointment at his hands. Constantius I and Severus ruled the west, while Galerius and Daia controlled the east.

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

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

Severus II AD 305-306 AE Follis "Genius Serdica" "The genius of the people of Rome." Obv: FL VAL SEVERVS NOB C - Laureate head right Rev: GENIO POPVLI ROMANI - Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopia. Exe: SIS Siscia mint: AD 305-306 = RIC VI, p. 475, 170a Rare (r)
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408. MaxentiusMarcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius, more commonly known as Maxentius, was the child of the Emperor Maximianus Herculius and the Syrian Eutropia; he was born ca. 278 A.D. After Galerius' appointment to the rank of Caesar on 1 March 293, Maxentius married Galerius' daughter Valeria Maximilla, who bore him a son named Romulus and another son whose name is unknown. Due to his haughty nature and bad disposition, Maxentius could seldom agree with his father or his father-in-law; Galerius' and Maximianus Herculius' aversion to Maxentius prevented the young man from becoming a Caesar in 305. Little else is known of Maxentius' private life prior to his accession and, alth ough there is some evidence that it was spent in idleness, he did become a Senator.

On 28 October 306 Maxentius was acclaimed emperor, although he was politcally astute enough not to use the title Augustus; like the Emperor Augustus, he called himself princeps. It was not until the summer of 307 that he started usi ng the title Augustus and started offending other claimants to the imperial throne. He was enthroned by the plebs and the Praetorians. At the time of his acclamation Maxentius was at a public villa on the Via Labicana. He strengthened his position with promises of riches for those who helped him obtain his objective. He forced his father Maximianus Herculius to affirm his son's acclamation in order to give his regime a facade of legitimacy. His realm included Italy, Africa, Sardinia, and Corsica. As soon as Galerius learned about the acclamation of Herculius' son, he dispatched the Emperor Severus to quell the rebellion. With the help of his father and Severus' own troops, Maxentius' took his enemy prisoner.

When Severus died, Galerius was determined to avenge his death. In the early summer of 307 the Augustus invaded Italy; he advanced to the south and encamped at Interamna near the Tiber. His attempt to besiege the city was abortive because his army was not large enough to encompass the city's fortifications. Negotiations between Maxentius and Galerius broke down when the emperor discovered that the usurper was trying to win over his troops. Galerius' troops were open to Maxentius' promises because they were fighting a civil war between members of the same family; some of the soldiers went over to the enemy. Not trusting his own troops, Galerius withdrew. During its retreat, Galerius' army ravaged the Italian countryside as it was returning to its original base. If it was not enough that Maxentius had to deal with the havoc created by the ineffectual invasions of Severus and Galerius, he also had to deal with his father's attempts to regain the throne between 308 and 310. When Maximianus Herculius was unable to regain power by pushing his son off his throne, he attempted to win over Constantine to his cause. When this plan failed, he tried to win Diocletian over to his side at Carnuntum in October and November 308. Frustrated at every turn, Herculius returned to his son-in-law Constantine's side in Gaul where he died in 310, having been implicated in a plot against his son-in-law. Maxentius' control of the situation was weakened by the revolt of L. Domitius Alexander in 308. Although the revolt only lasted until the end of 309, it drastically cut the size of the grain supply availble for Rome. Maxentius' rule collapsed when he died on 27 October 312 in an engagement he had with the Emperor Constantine at the Milvian Bridge after the latter had invaded his realm.

Maxentius Follis. Ostia mint. IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG, laureate head right / AETE-RNITAS A-VGN, Castor and Pollux standing facing each other, each leaning on sceptre and holding bridled horse.
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501. Constantine I Lyons SolLyons

Originally, the important city in this area was that of Vienne, at a crossroads of Celtic trails, and port for the Greek trade. They had been largly Hellanised during the 2nd - 1st centuries BCE, then caught up in the conflicts involving Rome and Athens. Roman traders had settled there and competition started a revolt, driving the Romans to the north. At the present site of Lyons, they sought and received refuge from the Gallic tribe called Segusiavi. At that time, Lyons was just a tribe of Celts occupying the top of a hill, later to be called Fourviere. A Roman settlement was begun, and then later used by Julius Caesar to launch his campaigns against the Helvetii in 58 BCE.

The site of Lyons, being on a crossroads as well as a connection to the Mediterranean, was early recognised as being strategically important. In 43 BCE, the city of Lugdunum became an official Roman colony recognised by the Roman senate, founded by the governor of Gallia Comata (province of Comata), Lucius Munatius Plancus. Later, in 27 BCE, then Emperor Augustus divided Gallia Comata into three provinces, and Lugdunum became the capital of Gallia Lugdunensis. [The third province was Gallia Aquitania.]

Lyons became the financial center for taxation purposes of Aquitania and Lugdunum provinces, and an official mint was established there. Also, the state cult honoring Augustus [or the present Emperor] was established at Lyons, drawing many pilgrims and supplicants. Drusus, the father of Claudius, (born 10 BCE) was stationed at Lyons, being in charge of Gallia Comata. Also, a cohort of Roman policemen were stationed at lyons, to protect the mint. A bronze inscription found at Lyons records the speech given to the Roman Senate in 48 CE by Emperor Claudius, arguing for the acceptance of admission of senators from Gallia Comata.

Through Lyons [and Vienne] passed the great roads leading to the different regions of Gaul and towards Italy. Trade with Gaul, Britain and Germany passed through Lyons, mostly supplying Roman colonies on the the frontier. Later, these routes were paved by the Romans to facilitate trade and troop movement. Lyons became an important trade and military center. However, intercity rivalry with Vienne to the south never died, and indeed Vienne became jealous over time.

Lyons was burnt to the ground in 65 CE but quickly rebuilt. It prospered until 197 when it was sacked in a civil war. The city of Lyons had backed the unfortunate loser in a battle between two Roman generals. Cities to the south [Arles, Vienne, and to the north, Trier] took over the economic functions of Lyons; and the city of Lyons was again plundered 269. Lyons fought back, and the trade wars raged on, until early in the 4th century when the aqueducts of Lyons were destroyed. Without water, the hillsite of Lyons [the Fourviere Hill] became untenable. The merchants moved down to the city below, or out of the city entirely. The protection of Lyons was thus much more difficult. And the decline of the Roman Empire also spelled the decline of many of its cities.

RIC VII Lyons 34 C3

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510. Valentinian IFlavius Valentinianus, known in English as Valentinian I, (321 - November 17, 375) was a Roman Emperor (364 - 375). He was born at Cibalis, in Pannonia, the son of a successful general, Gratian the Elder.

He had been an officer of the Praetorian guard under Julian and Jovian, and had risen high in the imperial service. Of robust frame and distinguished appearance, he possessed great courage and military capacity. After the death of Jovian, he was chosen emperor in his forty-third year by the officers of the army at Nicaea in Bithynia on February 26, 364, and shortly afterwards named his brother Valens colleague with him in the empire.

The two brothers, after passing through the chief cities of the neighbouring district, arranged the partition of the empire at Naissus (Nissa) in Upper Moesia. As Western Roman Emperor, Valentinian took Italia, Illyricum, Hispania, the Gauls, Britain and Africa, leaving to Eastern Roman Emperor Valens the eastern half of the Balkan peninsula, Greece, Aegyptus, Syria and Asia Minor as far as Persia. They were immediately confronted by the revolt of Procopius, a relative of the deceased Julian. Valens managed to defeat his army at Thyatria in Lydia in 366, and Procopius was executed shortly afterwards.

During the short reign of Valentinian there were wars in Africa, in Germany and in Britain, and Rome came into collision with barbarian peoples never of heard before, specifically the Burgundians, and the Saxons.

Valentinian's chief work was guarding the frontiers and establishing military positions. Milan was at first his headquarters for settling the affairs of northern Italy. The following year (365) Valentinian was at Paris, and then at Reims, to direct the operations of his generals against the Alamanni. These people, defeated at Scarpona (Charpeigne) and Catelauni (Châlons-en-Champagne) by Jovinus, were driven back to the German bank of the Rhine, and checked for a while by a chain of military posts and fortresses. At the close of 367, however, they suddenly crossed the Rhine, attacked Moguntiacum (Mainz) and plundered the city. Valentinian attacked them at Solicinium (Sulz am Neckar, in the Neckar valley, or Schwetzingen) with a large army, and defeated them with great slaughter. But his own losses were so considerable that Valentinian abandoned the idea of following up his success.

Later, in 374, Valentinian made peace with their king, Macrianus, who from that time remained a true friend of the Romans. The next three years he spent at Trier, which he chiefly made his headquarters, organizing the defence of the Rhine frontier, and personally superintending the construction of numerous forts.

During his reign the coasts of Gaul were harassed by the Saxon pirates, with whom the Picts and Scots of northern Britain joined hands, and ravaged the island from the Antonine Wall to the shores of Kent. In 368 Count Theodosius was sent to drive back the invaders; in this he was completely successful, and established a new British province, called Valentia in honour of the emperor.

In Africa, Firmus, raised the standard of revolt, being joined by the provincials, who had been rendered desperate by the cruelty and extortions of Comes Romanus, the military governor. The services of Theodosius were again requisitioned. He landed in Africa with a small band of veterans, and Firmus, to avoid being taken prisoner, committed suicide.

In 374 the Quadi, a Germanic tribe in what is now Moravia and Slovakia, resenting the erection of Roman forts to the north of the Danube in what they considered to be their own territory, and further exasperated by the treacherous murder of their king, Gabinius, crossed the river and laid waste the province of Pannonia. The emperor in April, 375 entered Illyricum with a powerful army. But during an audience to an embassy from the Quadi at Brigetio on the Danube (near Komárom, Hungary), Valentinian suffered a burst blood vessel in the skull while angrily yelling at the people gathered. This injury resulted in his death on November 17, 375.

His general administration seems to have been thoroughly honest and able, in some respects beneficent. If Valentinian was hard and exacting in the matter of taxes, he spent them in the defence and improvement of his dominions, not in idle show or luxury. Though himself a plain and almost illiterate soldier, Valentinian was a founder of schools. He also provided medical attendance for the poor of Rome, by appointing a physician for each of the fourteen districts of the city.

Valentinian was a Christian but permitted absolute religious freedom to all his subjects. Against all abuses, both civil and ecclesiastical, Valentinian steadily set his face, even against the increasing wealth and worldliness of the clergy. His chief flaw was his temper, which at times was frightful, and showed itself in its full fierceness in the punishment of persons accused of witchcraft, fortune-telling or magical practices.

Valentinian I; RIC IX, Siscia 15(a); C.37; second period: 24 Aug. 367-17 Nov. 375; common. obv. DN VALENTINI-ANVS PF AVG, bust cuir., drap., r., rev. SECVRITAS-REI PVBLICAE, Victory advancing l., holding wreath and trophy. l. field R above R with adnex, r. field F, ex. gamma SISC rev.Z dot (type xxxv)
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513. GratianFlavius Gratianus Augustus (April 18/May 23, 359 - August 25, 383), known as Gratian, was a Western Roman Emperor from 375 to 383. He was the son of Valentinian I by Marina Severa and was born at Sirmium in Pannonia.

On August 4, 367 he received from his father the title of Augustus. On the death of Valentinian (November 17, 375), the troops in Pannonia proclaimed his infant son (by a second wife Justina) emperor under the title of Valentinian II.

Gratian acquiesced in their choice; reserving for himself the administration of the Gallic provinces, he handed over Italy, Illyria and Africa to Valentinian and his mother, who fixed their residence at Milan. The division, however, was merely nominal, and the real authority remained in the hands of Gratian.

The Eastern Roman Empire was under the rule of his uncle Valens. In May, 378 Gratian completely defeated the Lentienses, the southernmost branch of the Alamanni, at the Battle of Argentovaria, near the site of the modern Colmar. Later that year, Valens met his death in the Battle of Adrianople on August 9.

In the same year, the government of the Eastern Empire devolved upon Gratian, but feeling himself unable to resist unaided the incursions of the barbarians, he promoted Theodosius I on January 19, 379 to govern that portion of the empire. Gratianus and Theodosius then cleared the Balkans of barbarians in the Gothic War (377–382).

For some years Gratian governed the empire with energy and success but gradually sank into indolence, occupying himself chiefly with the pleasures of the chase, and became a tool in the hands of the Frankish general Merobaudes and bishop Ambrose of Milan.

By taking into his personal service a body of Alani, and appearing in public in the dress of a Scythian warrior, he aroused the contempt and resentment of his Roman troops. A Roman general named Magnus Maximus took advantage of this feeling to raise the standard of revolt in Britain and invaded Gaul with a large army. Gratian, who was then in Paris, being deserted by his troops, fled to Lyon. There, through the treachery of the governor, Gratian was delivered over to one of the rebel generals and assassinated on August 25, 383.

RIC IX Antioch 46b S

DN GRATIA-NVS PF AVG
CONCOR-DIA AVGGG
ecoli
vespa judea capta.jpg
69-79 AD - VESPASIAN - AE dupondius - struck 71 ADobv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG C[OS ?] (radiate head right)
rev: [IVDEA.CAPTA] / S.C. (mourning Jew captive seated right under palm tree)
ref: RIC - , C.-
12.22gms, 25mm
Rare, not in RIC
The Judea Capta coin testifies to the great importance the Romans attached to quelling the revolt in Judea and capturing Jerusalem. This image was designed and circulated to send a message of Judea's defeated revolt to all the provinces of the Roman Empire and served as constant reminder of the fate of rebellious provinces.
berserker
Nero AE Sestertius.jpg
706a, Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.6, Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D. AE setertius, Date: 66 AD; RIC I 516, 36.71 mm; 25.5 grams; aVF. Obverse: IMP NERO CAESAR AVG PONT MAX TR POT PP, Laureate bust right; Reverse: S C, ROMA, Roma seated left, exceptional portrait and full obverse legends. Ex Ancient Imports.

NERO (54-68 A.D.)

It is difficult for the modern student of history to realize just how popular Nero actually was, at least at the beginning of his reign. Rome looked upon her new Emperor with hope. He was the student of Seneca, and he had a sensitive nature. He loved art, music, literature, and theatre. He was also devoted to horses and horse racing—a devotion shared by many of his subjects. The plebs loved their new Emperor. As Professor of Classics Judith P. Hallett (University of Maryland, College Park) says, “It is not clear to me that Nero ever changed or that Nero ever grew-up, and that was both his strength and his weakness. Nero was an extraordinarily popular Emperor: he was like Elvis” (The Roman Empire in the First Century, III. Dir. Margaret Koval and Lyn Goldfarb. 2001. DVD. PBS/Warner Bros. 2003).

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

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
The five Julio-Claudian emperors are very different one from the other. Augustus dominates in prestige and achievement from the enormous impact he had upon the Roman state and his long service to Rome, during which he attained unrivaled auctoritas. Tiberius was clearly the only possible successor when Augustus died in AD 14, but, upon his death twenty-three years later, the next three were a peculiar mix of viciousness, arrogance, and inexperience. Gaius, better known as Caligula, is generally styled a monster, whose brief tenure did Rome no service. His successor Claudius, his uncle, was a capable man who served Rome well, but was condemned for being subject to his wives and freedmen. The last of the dynasty, Nero, reigned more than three times as long as Gaius, and the damage for which he was responsible to the state was correspondingly greater. An emperor who is well described by statements such as these, "But above all he was carried away by a craze for popularity and he was jealous of all who in any way stirred the feeling of the mob." and "What an artist the world is losing!" and who is above all remembered for crimes against his mother and the Christians was indeed a sad falling-off from the levels of Augustus and Tiberius. Few will argue that Nero does not rank as one of the worst emperors of all.

The prime sources for Nero's life and reign are Tacitus' Annales 12-16, Suetonius' Life of Nero, and Dio Cassius' Roman History 61-63, written in the early third century. Additional valuable material comes from inscriptions, coinage, papyri, and archaeology.


Early Life
He was born on December 15, 37, at Antium, the son of Cnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbusand Agrippina. Domitius was a member of an ancient noble family, consul in 32; Agrippina was the daughter of the popular Germanicus, who had died in 19, and Agrippina, daughter of Agrippa, Augustus' closest associate, and Julia, the emperor's daughter, and thus in direct descent from the first princeps. When the child was born, his uncle Gaius had only recently become emperor. The relationship between mother and uncle was difficult, and Agrippina suffered occasional humiliation. But the family survived the short reign of the "crazy" emperor, and when he was assassinated, it chanced that Agrippina's uncle, Claudius, was the chosen of the praetorian guard, although there may have been a conspiracy to accomplish this.

Ahenobarbus had died in 40, so the son was now the responsibility of Agrippina alone. She lived as a private citizen for much of the decade, until the death of Messalina, the emperor's wife, in 48 made competition among several likely candidates to become the new empress inevitable. Although Roman law forbade marriage between uncle and niece, an eloquent speech in the senate by Lucius Vitellius, Claudius' closest advisor in the senatorial order, persuaded his audience that the public good required their union. The marriage took place in 49, and soon thereafter the philosopher Seneca [[PIR2 A617]] was recalled from exile to become the young Domitius' tutor, a relationship which endured for some dozen years.

His advance was thereafter rapid. He was adopted by Claudius the following year and took the name Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar or Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus, was preferred to Claudius' natural son, Britannicus, who was about three years younger, was betrothed to the emperor's daughter Octavia, and was, in the eyes of the people, the clear successor to the emperor. In 54, Claudius died, having eaten some poisoned mushrooms, responsibility for which was believed to be Agrippina's, and the young Nero, not yet seventeen years old, was hailed on October 13 as emperor by the praetorian guard.


The First Years of Rule
The first five years of Nero's rule are customarily called the quinquennium, a period of good government under the influence, not always coinciding, of three people, his mother, Seneca, and Sextus Afranius Burrus, the praetorian prefect. The latter two were allies in their "education" of the emperor. Seneca continued his philosophical and rhetorical training, Burrus was more involved in advising on the actualities of government. They often combined their influence against Agrippina, who, having made her son emperor, never let him forget the debt he owed his mother, until finally, and fatally, he moved against her.

Nero's betrothal to Octavia was a significant step in his ultimate accession to the throne, as it were, but she was too quiet, too shy, too modest for his taste. He was early attracted to Poppaea Sabina, the wife of Otho, and she continually goaded him to break from Octavia and to show himself an adult by opposing his mother. In his private life, Nero honed the musical and artistic tastes which were his chief interest, but, at this stage, they were kept private, at the instigation of Seneca and Burrus.

As the year 59 began, Nero had just celebrated his twenty-first birthday and now felt the need to employ the powers which he possessed as emperor as he wished, without the limits imposed by others. Poppaea's urgings had their effect, first of all, at the very onset of the year, with Nero's murder of his mother in the Bay of Naples.

Agrippina had tried desperately to retain her influence with her son, going so far as to have intercourse with him. But the break between them proved irrevocable, and Nero undertook various devices to eliminate his mother without the appearance of guilt on his part. The choice was a splendid vessel which would collapse while she was on board. As this happened, she swam ashore and, when her attendant, having cried out that she was Agrippina, was clubbed to death, Agrippina knew what was going on. She sent Nero a message that she was well; his response was to send a detachment of sailors to finish the job. When she was struck across the head, she bared her womb and said, "Strike here, Anicetus, strike here, for this bore Nero," and she was brutally murdered.

Nero was petrified with fear when he learned that the deed had been done, yet his popularity with the plebs of Rome was not impaired. This matricide, however, proved a turning point in his life and principate. It appeared that all shackles were now removed. The influence of Seneca and Burrus began to wane, and when Burrus died in 62, Seneca realized that his powers of persuasion were at an end and soon went into retirement. Britannicus had died as early as 55; now Octavia was to follow, and Nero became free to marry Poppaea. It may be that it had been Burrus rather than Agrippina who had continually urged that Nero's position depended in large part upon his marriage to Octavia. Burrus' successor as commander of the praetorian guard, although now with a colleague, was Ofonius Tigellinus, quite the opposite of Burrus in character and outlook. Tigellinus became Nero's "evil twin," urging and assisting in the performance of crimes and the satisfaction of lusts.


Administrative and Foreign Policy
With Seneca and Burrus in charge of administration at home, the first half-dozen years of Nero's principate ran smoothly. He himself devoted his attention to his artistic, literary, and physical bents, with music, poetry, and chariot racing to the fore. But his advisors were able to keep these performances and displays private, with small, select audiences on hand. Yet there was a gradual trend toward public performance, with the establishment of games. Further, he spent many nights roaming the city in disguise, with numerous companions, who terrorized the streets and attacked individuals. Those who dared to defend themselves often faced death afterward, because they had shown disrespect for the emperor. The die was being cast for the last phases of Nero's reign.


The Great Fire at Rome and The Punishment
of the Christians

The year 64 was the most significant of Nero's principate up to this point. His mother and wife were dead, as was Burrus, and Seneca, unable to maintain his influence over Nero without his colleague's support, had withdrawn into private life. The abysmal Tigellinus was now the foremost advisor of the still young emperor, a man whose origin was from the lowest levels of society and who can accurately be described as criminal in outlook and action. Yet Nero must have considered that he was happier than he had ever been in his life. Those who had constrained his enjoyment of his (seemingly) limitless power were gone, he was married to Poppaea, a woman with all advantages save for a bad character the empire was essentially at peace, and the people of Rome enjoyed a full measure of panem et circenses. But then occurred one of the greatest disasters that the city of Rome, in its long history, had ever endured.

The fire began in the southeastern angle of the Circus Maximus, spreading through the shops which clustered there, and raged for the better part of a week. There was brief success in controlling the blaze, but then it burst forth once more, so that many people claimed that the fires were deliberately set. After about a fortnight, the fire burned itself out, having consumed ten of the fourteen Augustan regions into which the city had been divided.

Nero was in Antium through much of the disaster, but his efforts at relief were substantial. Yet many believed that he had been responsible, so that he could perform his own work comparing the current fate of Rome to the downfall of Troy. All his efforts to assist the stricken city could not remove the suspicion that "the emperor had fiddled while Rome burned." He lost favor even among the plebs who had been enthusiastic supporters, particularly when his plans for the rebuilding of the city revealed that a very large part of the center was to become his new home.

As his popularity waned, Nero and Tigellinus realized that individuals were needed who could be charged with the disaster. It so happened that there was such a group ready at hand, Christians, who had made themselves unpopular because of their refusal to worship the emperor, their way of life, and their secret meetings. Further, at this time two of their most significant "teachers" were in Rome, Peter and Paul. They were ideal scapegoats, individuals whom most Romans loathed, and who had continually sung of the forthcoming end of the world.

Their destruction was planned with the utmost precision and cruelty, for the entertainment of the populace. The venue was Nero's circus near the Mons Vaticanus. Christians were exposed to wild animals and were set ablaze, smeared with pitch, to illuminate the night. The executions were so grisly that even the populace displayed sympathy for the victims. Separately, Peter was crucified upside down on the Vatican hill and Paul was beheaded along the Via Ostiensis. But Nero's attempt, and hope, to shift all suspicion of arson to others failed. His popularity even among the lower classes was irrevocably impaired.

[For a detailed and interesting discussion of Nero’s reign please see http://www.roman-emperors.org/nero.htm]

The End - Nero's Death and its Aftermath
Nero's and Tigellinus' response to the conspiracy was immediate and long-lasting. The senatorial order was decimated, as one leading member after another was put to death or compelled to commit suicide. The year 66 saw the suicides of perhaps the most distinguished victims of the "reign of terror," Caius Petronius and Thrasea Paetus. Petronius, long a favorite of Nero because of his aesthetic taste, had been an able public servant before he turned to a life of ease and indolence. He was recognized as the arbiter elegantiae of Nero's circle, and may be the author of the Satyricon. At his death, he left for Nero a document which itemized many of the latter's crimes. Thrasea, a staunch Stoic who had been for some years an outspoken opponent of Nero's policies, committed suicide in the Socratic manner. This scene is the last episode in the surviving books of Tacitus' Annals.

In the year 68, revolt began in the provinces. . . the end of Nero's reign became inevitable. Galba claimed the throne and began his march from Spain. Nero panicked and was rapidly abandoned by his supporters. He finally committed suicide with assistance, on June 9, 68, and his body was tended and buried by three women who had been close to him in his younger days, chief of whom was Acte. His death scene is marked above all by the statement, "Qualis artifex pereo," (What an artist dies in me.) Even at the end he was more concerned with his private life than with the affairs of state.

The aftermath of Nero's death was cataclysmic. Galba was the first of four emperors who revealed the new secret of empire, that an emperor could be made elsewhere than in Rome. Civil war ensued, which was only ended by the victory of the fourth claimant, Vespasian, who established the brief dynasty of the Flavians. The dynasty of the Julio-Claudians was at an end.

Nero's popularity among the lower classes remained even after his death.

. . . .

It is not excessive to say that he was one of the worst of Rome's emperors in the first two centuries and more of the empire. Whatever talents he had, whatever good he may have done, all is overwhelmed by three events, the murder of his mother, the fire at Rome, and his savage treatment of the Christians.

Precisely these qualities are the reasons that he has remained so well known and has been the subject of many writers and opera composers in modern times. These works of fiction particularly merit mention: Henryk Sienkiewicz's Quo Vadis, one of the finest works of the 1907 Nobel Laureate in Literature, and John Hersey's The Conspiracy. Nero unquestionably will always be with us.

Copyright (C) 2006, 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.

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

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

Galba (68-69 A.D.)


John Donahue
College of William and Mary


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.


Cleisthenes
roman_emperor_otho.jpg
708a, OthoOtho (69 A.D.)
John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction
In January 69 Otho led a successful coup to overthrow the emperor Galba. Upon advancing to the throne, he hoped to conciliate his adversaries and restore political stability to the Empire. These ambitions were never to be realized. Instead, our sources portray a leader never fully able to win political confidence at Rome or to overcome military anarchy abroad. As a result, he was defeated in battle by the forces of Vitellius, his successor, and took his own life at the conclusion of the conflict. His principate lasted only eight weeks.
Early Life and Career
Marcus Salvius Otho was born at Ferentium on 28 April 32 A. D. His grandfather, also named Marcus Salvius Otho, was a senator who did not advance beyond the rank of praetor. Lucius Otho, his father, was consul in 33 and a trusted administrator under the emperors Tiberius, Gaius and Claudius. His mother, Albia Terentia, was likely to have been nobly born as well. The cognomen "Otho" was Etruscan in origin, and the fact that it can be traced to three successive generations of this family perhaps reflects a desire to maintain a part of the Etruscan tradition that formed the family's background.
Otho is recorded as being extravagant and wild as a youth - a favorite pastime involved roving about at night to snare drunkards in a blanket. Such behavior earned floggings from his father, whose frequent absences from home on imperial business suggest little in the way of a stabilizing parental influence in Otho's formative years. These traits apparently persisted: Suetonius records that Otho and Nero became close friends because of the similarity of their characters; and Plutarch relates that the young man was so extravagant that he sometimes chided Nero about his meanness, and even outdid the emperor in reckless spending.
Most intriguing in this context is Otho's involvement with Nero's mistress, Poppaea Sabina, the greatest beauty of her day. A relationship between the two is widely cited in the ancient sources, but the story differs in essential details from one account to the next. As a result, it is impossible to establish who seduced whom, whether Otho ever married Poppaea, and whether his posting to Lusitania by Nero should be understood as a "banishment" for his part in this affair. About the only reliable detail to emerge is that Otho did indeed become governor of Lusitania in 59, and that he assumed the post as a quaestor, a rank below that of praetor or consul, the minimum usually required for the office. From here he would launch his initial thrust towards the imperial throne.
Overthrow of Galba
Nero's suicide in June 68 marked the end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and opened up the principate to the prerogatives of the military beyond Rome. First to emerge was Servius Sulpicius Galba, governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, who had been encouraged to revolt by the praetorians and especially by Nymphidius Sabinus, the corrupt and scheming praetorian prefect at Rome. By this time Otho had been in Spain for close to ten years. His record seems to have been a good one, marked by capable administration and an unwillingness to enrich himself at the expense of the province. At the same time, perhaps seeing this as his best chance to improve his own circumstances, he supported the insurrection as vigorously as possible, even sending Galba all of his gold and his best table servants. At the same time, he made it a point to win the favor of every soldier he came in contact with, most notably the members of the praetorian guard who had come to Spain to accompany Galba to Rome. Galba set out from Spain in July, formally assuming the emperorship shortly thereafter. Otho accompanied him on the journey.
Galba had been in Rome little more than two months when on 1 January 69 the troops in Upper Germany refused to declare allegiance to him and instead followed the men stationed in Lower Germany in proclaiming their commander, Aulus Vitellius, as the new ruler. To show that he was still in charge Galba adopted his own successor, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus, an aristocrat completely without administrative or military experience. The choice meant little to the remote armies, the praetorians or the senate and particularly angered Otho, who had hoped to succeed Galba. Otho quickly organized a conspiracy among the praetorians with promise of a material reward, and on 15 January 69 they declared him emperor and publicly killed Galba; Piso, dragged from hiding in the temple of Vesta, was also butchered. On that same evening a powerless senate awarded Otho the imperial titles.
Otho's Principate in Rome
It is not possible to reconstruct a detailed chronology of Otho's brief eight and a half weeks as princeps in Rome (15 January-15 March). Even so, Galba's quick demise had surely impressed upon Otho the need to conciliate various groups. As a result, he continued his indulgence of the praetorian guard but he also tried to win over the senate by following a strict constitutionalist line and by generally keeping the designations for the consulship made by Nero and Galba. In the provinces, despite limited evidence, there are some indications that he tried to compensate for Galba's stinginess by being more generous with grants of citizenship. In short, Otho was eager not to offend anyone.
Problems remained, however. The praetorians had to be continually placated and they were always suspicious of the senate. On the other hand, the senate itself, along with the people, remained deeply disturbed at the manner of Otho's coming to power and his willingness to be associated with Nero. These suspicions and fears were most evident in the praetorian outbreak at Rome. Briefly, Otho had decided to move from Ostia to Rome a cohort of Roman citizens in order to replace some of Rome's garrison, much of which was to be utilized for the showdown with Vitellius. He ordered that weapons be moved from the praetorian camp in Rome by ship to Ostia at night so that the garrison replacements would be properly armed and made to look as soldierly as possible when they marched into the city. Thinking that a senatorial counter-coup against Otho was underway, the praetorians stormed the imperial palace to confirm the emperor's safety, with the result that they terrified Otho and his senatorial dinner guests. Although the praetorians' fears were eventually calmed and they were given a substantial cash payment, the incident dramatically underscored the unease at Rome in the early months of 69.
Otho's Offensive against Vitellius
Meanwhile, in the Rhineland, preparations for a march on Rome by the military legions that had declared for Vitellius were far advanced. Hampered by poor intelligence gathering in Gaul and Germany and having failed to negotiate a settlement with Vitellius in early 69, Otho finally summoned to Italy his forces for a counterattack against the invading Vitellian army. His support consisted of the four legions of Pannonia and Dalmatia, the three legions of Moesia and his own imperial retinue of about 9,000. Vitellius' own troops numbered some 30,000, while those of his two marshals, Aulus Caecina Alienus and Fabius Valens, were between 15,000 and 20,000 each.
Otho's strategy was to make a quick diversionary strike in order to allow time for his own forces to assemble in Italy before engaging the enemy. The strategy worked, as the diversionary army, comprised of urban cohorts, praetorians and marines all from Rome or nearby, was successful in Narbonese Gaul in latter March. An advance guard sent to hold the line on the Po River until the Danubian legions arrived also enjoyed initial success. Otho himself arrived at Bedriacum in northern Italy about 10 April for a strategy session with his commanders. The main concern was that the Vitellians were building a bridge across the Po in order to drive southward towards the Apennines and eventually to Rome. Otho decided to counter by ordering a substantial part of his main force to advance from Bedriacum and establish a new base close enough to the new Vitellian bridge to interrupt its completion. While en route, the Othonian forces, strung out along the via Postumia amid baggage and supply trains, were attacked by Caecina and Valens near Cremona on 14 April. The clash, know as the Battle of Bedriacum, resulted in the defeat of the Othonian forces, their retreat cut off by the river behind them. Otho himself, meanwhile, was not present, but had gone to Brixellum with a considerable force of infantry and cavalry in order to impede any Vitellian units that had managed to cross the Po.
The plan had backfired. Otho's strategy of obtaining victory while avoiding any major battles had proven too risky. Realizing perhaps that a new round of fighting would have involved not only a significant re-grouping of his existing troops but also a potentially bloody civil war at Rome, if Vitellius' troops reached the capital, Otho decided that enough blood had been shed. Two weeks shy of his thirty-seventh birthday, on 16 April 69, he took his own life.
Assessment
To be sure, Otho remains an enigma - part profligate Neronian wastrel and part conscientious military commander willing to give his life for the good of the state. Our sources are at a loss to explain the paradox. Perhaps, like Petronius, he saw it was safer to appear a profligate in Nero's court? In the final analysis, Otho proved to be an organized and efficient military commander, who appealed more to the soldier than to the civilian. He also seems to have been a capable governor, with administrative talents that recalled those of his father. Nevertheless, his violent overthrow of Galba, the lingering doubts that it raised about his character, and his unsuccessful offensive against Vitellius are all vivid reminders of the turbulence that plagued the Roman world between the reigns of Nero and Vespasian. Regrettably, the scenario would play itself out one more time before peace and stability returned to the empire.
Copyright (C) 1999, John Donahue
Edited by J.P.Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
VitelliusARdenariusVesta.jpg
709a, Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.VITELLIUS AR silver denarius. RSC 72, RCV 2200. 19mm, 3.2 g. Obverse: A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; Reverse - PONT MAXIM, Vesta seated right, holding scepter and patera. Quite decent. Ex. Incitatus Coins. Photo courtesy of Incitatus Coins.

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

Vitellius (69 A.D.)


John F. Donahue
College of William and Mary


It is often difficult to separate fact from fiction in assessing the life and reign of Vitellius. Maligned in the ancient sources as gluttonous and cruel, he was also a victim of a hostile biographical tradition established in the regime of the Flavians who had overthrown him. Nevertheless, his decision to march against Rome in 69 was pivotal, since his subsequent defeat signalled the end of military anarchy and the beginning of an extended period of political stability under Vespasian and his successors.

Early Life and Career

Aulus Vitellius was born in September, 15 AD, the son of Lucius Vitellius and his wife Sestilia. One of the most successful public figures of the Julio-Claudian period, Lucius Vitellius was a three-time consul and a fellow censor with the emperor Claudius. Aulus seems to have moved with equal ease in aristocratic circles, successively winning the attention of the emperors Gaius, Claudius, and Nero through flattery and political skill.

Among his attested public offices, Vitellius was a curator of public works, a senatorial post concerned with the maintenance and repair of public buildings in Rome, and he was also proconsul of North Africa, where he served as a deputy to his brother, perhaps about 55 A. D. In addition, he held at least two priesthoods, the first as a member of the Arval Brethren, in whose rituals he participated from 57 A.D., and the second, as one of the quindecemviri sacris faciundis, a sacred college famous for its feasts.

With respect to marriage and family, Vitellius first wed a certain Petroniana, the daughter of a consul, sometime in the early to mid thirties A.D. The union produced a son, Petronianus, allegedly blind in one eye and emancipated from his father's control as a result of being named his mother's heir. Tradition records that Vitellius killed the boy shortly after emancipation amid charges of parricide; the marriage soon ended in divorce. A second marriage, to Galeria Fundana, daughter of an ex-praetor, was more stable than the first. It produced another son, who was eventually killed by the Flavians after the overthrow of Vitellius, as well as a daughter. Galeria is praised by Tacitus for her good qualities, and in the end it was she who saw to Vitellius' burial.

Rise to Power and Emperorship

Without doubt, the most fortuitous moment in Vitellius' political career was his appointment as governor of Lower Germany by the emperor Galba late in 68. The decision seemed to have caught everybody by surprise, including Vitellius himself, who, according to Suetonius, was in straitened circumstances at the time. The choice may have been made to reduce the possibility of rebellion by the Rhine armies, disaffected by Galba's refusal to reward them for their part in suppressing the earlier uprising of Julius Vindex. Ironically, it was Vitellius' lack of military achievement and his reputation for gambling and gluttony that may have also figured in his selection. Galba perhaps calculated that a man with little military experience who could now plunder a province to satisfy his own stomach would never become disloyal. If so, it was a critical misjudgement by the emperor.

The rebellion began on January 1, 69 ("The Year of the Four Emperors"), when the legions of Upper Germany refused to renew their oath of allegiance to Galba. On January 2, Vitellius' own men, having heard of the previous day's events, saluted him as emperor at the instigation of the legionary legate Fabius Valens and his colleagues. Soon, in addition to the seven legions that Vitellius now had at his command in both Germanies, the forces in Gaul, Britain, and Raetia also came over to his side. Perhaps aware of his military inexperience, Vitellius did not immediately march on Rome himself. Instead, the advance was led by Valens and another legionary general, Aulus Caecina Alienus, with each man commanding a separate column. Vitellius would remain behind to mobilize a reserve force and follow later.

Caecina was already one hundred fifty miles on his way when news reached him that Galba had been overthrown and Otho had taken his place as emperor. Undeterred, he passed rapidly down the eastern borders of Gaul; Valens followed a more westerly route, quelling a mutiny along the way. By March both armies had successfully crossed the Alps and joined at Cremona, just north of the Po. Here they launced their Batavian auxiliaries against Otho's troops and routed them in the First Battle of Bedriacum. Otho killed himself on April 16, and three days later the soldiers in Rome swore their allegience to Vitellius. The senate too hailed him as emperor.

When Vitellius learned of these developments, he set out to Rome from Gaul. By all accounts the journey was a drunken feast marked by the lack of discipline of both the troops and the imperial entourage. Along the way he stopped at Lugdunum to present his six-year-old son Germanicus to the legions as his eventual successor. Later, at Cremona, Vitellius witnessed the corpse-filled battlefield of Otho's recent defeat with joy, unmoved by so many citizens denied a proper burial.

The emperor entered Rome in late June-early July. Conscious of making a break with the Julio-Claudian past, Vitellius was reluctant to assume the traditional titles of the princes, even though he enthusiastically made offerings to Nero and declared himself consul for life. To his credit, Vitellius did seem to show a measure of moderation in the transition to the principate. He assumed his powers gradually and was generally lenient to Otho's supporters, even pardoning Otho's brother Salvius Titianus, who had played a key role in the earlier regime. In addition, he participated in Senate meetings and continued the practice of providing entertainments for the Roman masses. An important practical change involved the awarding of posts customarily held by freedmen to equites, an indication of the growth of the imperial bureaucracy and its attractiveness to men of ambition.

In other matters, he replaced the existing praetorian guard and urban cohorts with sixteen praetorian cohorts and four urban units, all comprised of soldiers from the German armies. According to Tacitus, the decision prompted a mad scramble, with the men, and not their officers, choosing the branch of service that they preferred. The situation was clearly unsatisfactory but not surprising, given that Vitellius was a creation of his own troops. To secure his position further, he sent back to their old postings the legions that had fought for Otho, or he reassigned them to distant provinces. Yet discontent remained: the troops who had been defeated or betrayed at Bedriacum remained bitter, and detachments of three Moesian legions called upon by Otho were returned to their bases, having agitated against Vitellius at Aquileia.

Flavian Revolt

The Vitellian era at Rome was short-lived. By mid-July news had arrived that the legions of Egypt under Tiberius Julius Alexander had sworn allegiance to a rival emperor, Titus Flavius Vespasianus, the governor of Judaea and a successful and popular general. Vespasian was to hold Egypt while his colleague Mucianus, governor of Syria, was to invade Italy. Before the plan could be enacted, however, the Danube legions, former supporters of Otho, joined Vespasian's cause. Under the leadership of Antonius Primus, commander of the Sixth legion in Pannonia, and Cornelius Fuscus, imperial procurator in Illyricum, the legions made a rapid descent on Italy.

Although his forces were only half of what Vitellius commanded in Italy, Primus struck first before the emperor could muster additional reinforcements from Germany. To make matters worse for the Vitellians, Valens was ill, and Caecina, now consul, had begun collaborating with the Flavians. His troops refused to follow his lead, however, and arrested him at Hostilia near Cremona. They then joined the rest of the Vitellian forces trying to hold the Po River. With Vitellius still in Rome and his forces virtually leaderless, the two sides met in October in the Second Battle of Bedriacum. The emperor's troops were soundly defeated and Cremona was brutally sacked by the victors. In addition, Valens, whose health had recovered, was captured while raising an army for Vitellius in Gaul and Germany; he was eventually executed.

Meanwhile, Primus continued towards Rome. Vitellius made a weak attempt to thwart the advance at the Apennine passes, but his forces switched to the Flavian side without a fight at Narnia in mid-December. At Rome, matters were no better. Vespasian's elder brother, Titus Flavius Sabinus, the city prefect, was successful in an effort to convince Vitellius to abdicate but was frustrated by the mob in Rome and the emperor's soldiers. Forced to flee to the Capitol, Sabinus was set upon by Vitellius' German troops and soon killed, with the venerable Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus set ablaze in the process. Within two days, the Flavian army fought its way into Rome. In a pathetic final move, Vitellius disguised himself in dirty clothing and hid in the imperial doorkeeper's quarters, leaning a couch and a mattress against the door for protection. Dragged from his hiding place by the Flavian forces, he was hauled off half-naked to the Forum, where he was tortured, killed, and tossed into the Tiber. The principate could now pass to Vespasian.

Assessment

Vitellius has not escaped the hostility of his biographers. While he may well have been gluttonous, his depiction as indolent, cruel, and extravagant is based almost entirely on the propaganda of his enemies. On the other hand, whatever moderating tendencies he did show were overshadowed by his clear lack of military expertise, a deficiency that forced him to rely in critical situations on largely inneffective lieutenants. As a result he was no match for his Flavian successors, and his humiliating demise was perfectly in keeping with the overall failure of his reign.

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

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


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


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


John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

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

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


Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.





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

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

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


John Donahue
College of William and Mary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


John Donahue
College of William and Mary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
3 commentsCleisthenes
ppsectetORweb.jpg
Antioch, Revised Posthumous Philip, RPC 4136Antioch Mint, revised posthumous Philip, year = 19 (31/30 B.C.) AR, 26mm 14.39g, RPC 4136, Newell, no. 23
O: Diademed head of Philip Philadelphus, r.
R: BAEILEWE FILIPPOY EPIFANOYE FILADELFOY, Zeus, seated l., holding Nike and scepter
EX: THI
* "In the early fifties, the Romans revived the coinage of King Philip Philadelphus to be their coinage of Syria, copying his types (portrait of Philip/Zeus seated l.), though in a debased style. The coinage lasted from then until the reign of Augustus, and was discussed most recently by H.R. Baldus (in CRWLR, pp. 127-30, with earlier references for H. Scying, E. T. Newell, A. R. Bellinger and C. M. Kraay). The first issues were made with the monogram of Gabinius (57-55 BC), Crassus (54/53 BC) and Cassius (52/51 BC). There after the establishment of a Caesarian era at Antioch in 44/48 BC, their monogram was replaced by one standing for Antioch )or ‘autonomous’: see Wr. 21) and the coins were dated in the exergue by the years of this era. Year 3-12 and, then with a new style (see E. T. Newell, NC, 1919, pp. 69ff.; Baldus, p. 150, n. 14) 19-33 are known.
It may seem odd that the Romans chose the Tetradrachm of Philip (92-83 BC) to revive, rather than those of the last king, Antiochus XII; it is true that the last substantial issue of Seleucid tetradrachms was made by Philip, so that his would have comprised a most important proportion of the currency (so Newell, pp 80-4; M. J. Price ap. Baldus, op. cit., p. 127), but it is hard to see that this provides a sufficient reason, and it is possible that some other consideration might be relevant. While Antiochus (c. 69-65 BC) was away campaigning against the Arabs, the people of Antioch revolted and put forward, as king, Philip, the son of Philip Philadelphus. As the claims of Antiochus were rejected by Pompey when he formed the province, the Roman view may have been that Philip was the last legitimate Seleucid king, and, if so, his coins would naturally have been chosen as the prototype of the Roman coinage in Syria.
The Philips were interrupted from year 12 until year 19, and it seems that in this gap the tetradrachms of Cleopatra and Antony were produced. The evidence for their production at Antioch, however, does not seem sufficient, and they have been catalogued elsewhere, under ‘Uncertain of Syria’ (4094-6). It is certain, however, that a unique drachm portraying Antony was produced at Antioch during this period, as it bears the ethnic ANTIOXEWN MHTPOPOLEWS. See also addenda 4131A.
After the defeat of Antony, the coinage of posthumous Philip was revived in 31/30 BC, though it is not clear whether this represents a conscious decision to avoid putting Octavian’s portrait on the coinage, as happened in Asia and Egypt (similarly, the portrait does not appear on city bronzes of Syria before the last decade BC) or whether it is just the simple reinstatement of the previous type, after the new type of Antony and Cleopatra became unacceptable. At any rate the coinage continued until at least year 33 (= 17/16 BC). Current evidence does not permit us to be sure that it continued any later, to the year 36 (= 14/13 BC), as Newell thought, though this is not impossible."

RPC I, pp. 606-607
casata137ec
PIUS_BI__TETRA.png
ANTONINUS PIUS / SERAPIS , Alexandria BILLION TETRADRACHMMINTED IN ALEXANDRIA , EGYPT FROM 138 - 161 AD
OBVERSE : ANTwNINO C CEBEUC CEB Laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE : Draped bust of Serapis right,modius on head. L K
References : SNG Cop 426 ( No, L K ?)

22.2 MM AND 13.15 GRAMS.

Alexandria ( of Egypt ) issued billon tetradrachms in large numbers between the reign of Augustus and the closing of the Alexandrian mint during the reign of Diocletian. These coins were no doubt mainly intended to pay the salaries of government officials, of the permanent garrison, and of the temporary troops stationed in Alexandria for purposes of war. They were probably also the form in which taxes in money were received, and were used for trade among the people within the city of Alexandria and other Graeco-Roman cities in Egypt. They also served the purpose of providing a subsidiary coinage with Greek legends which formed the vehicle for Roman imperial propaganda throughout Egypt. On the reverse of these coins were placed the Egyptian Hellenized deities, as an indication of the goodwill of the Roman emperors towards Egypt.
The greater part of the agricultural population of Egypt had scarcely any need for coins except to pay their taxes. The real currency and measure of value in the agricultural settlements was grain, wine or oil. The chief export of Egypt was grain, and this did not bring much money to the cultivators, for most of the grain was collected as tribute, not in trade, and they got nothing in return. Consequently, there is reason to suppose that considerably fewer coins circulated in Egypt generally than the region of Alexandria.
From the reign of Nero onwards, Egypt enjoyed an era of prosperity which lasted a century. Much trouble was caused by religious conflicts between the Greeks and the Jews, particularly in Alexandria, which after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD become the world centre of Jewish religion and culture. Under Trajan a Jewish revolt occurred, resulting in the suppression of the Jews of Alexandria and the loss of all their privileges, although they soon returned. Hadrian, who twice visited Egypt, founded Antinoöpolis in memory of his drowned lover Antinous. From his reign onwards buildings in the Greco-Roman style were erected throughout the country. Under Marcus Aurelius, however, oppressive taxation led to a revolt (139 AD) of the native Egyptians, which was suppressed only after several years of fighting.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
2 commentsSam
RRC544_(2).jpg
Antonius - Legionary Coinage, Legio V AlaudaeObv. [ANT AVG] IIIVIR RPC, galley right, mast with banners at prow;
Rev. LEG V, legionary eagle between two standards;
18mm, 3,40 gr.
Patrae, military mint of Antony, 31 B.C.
References: RRC544, RSC 32, Sear 1479

Legio V Alaudae was the first legion to be raised from non-Romans. These men were transalpine Gauls, enrolled by Caesar in 52 B.C, and took to wearing lark's feathers on their helmets - hence their epithet, Alaudae, "the Larks". The Fifth was long believed to have been destroyed in, or dissolved after the Batavian Revolt of 69/70 AD, where they participated with the rest of the Rhine legions and the Treveri and Lingones in the uprising. However, epigraphic material now indicates the presence of the Fifth on the Danube in Flavian times. Records disappear again soon afterward, and it may have been lost in the Dacian Wars under Domitian.
Syltorian
Siglos_king_dagger_bow.jpg
Artaxerxes II - Darius IIIPersian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Artaxerxes II - Darius III, c. 375 - 340 B.C., Silver siglos, 5.490 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0, Carradice Type IV (late) C, 46 ff.; BMC Arabia 172 ff.; SNG Kayhan 1031; SGCV II 4683; Rosen 674; Klein 763; Carradice Price p. 77 and pl. 20, 387 ff.

Following Darius II came Artaxerxes II (called Mnemon), during whose reign Egypt revolted and relations with Greece deteriorated. His reign (dated as from 404 to 359 B.C.E.) was followed by that of his son Artaxerxes III (also called Ochus), who is credited with some 21 years of rule (358-338 B.C.E.) and is said to have been the most bloodthirsty of all the Persian rulers. His major feat was the reconquest of Egypt.
This was followed by a two-year rule for Arses and a five-year rule for Darius III (Codomannus), during whose reign Philip of Macedonia was murdered (336 B.C.E.) and was succeeded by his son Alexander. In 334 B.C.E. Alexander began his attack on the Persian Empire.

Siglos was the Greek transliteration of the Semitic denomination ""shekel"" which became a standard weight unit for silver in the Achaemenid Persian Empire after the conquest of Babylonia by Cyrus the Great in 539 B.C. Ironically, silver sigloi seem to have been struck primarily in the western part of the empire and the standard went on to influence several Greek civic and royal coinages in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. There is endless debate about whether the figure on the obverse represents the Persian Great King or an anonymous royal hero, but since the Greeks regularly referred to the parallel gold denomination as the ""daric"" it seems clear that at least some contemporaries considered it a depiction of the king. Of course, whether this is what the Persian authorities intended or an example of interpretatio Graeca must remain an open question.
4 commentsNemonater
Screen_Shot_2014-11-24_at_12_05_00_AM.png
Aurelian Antoninianus CoinThis type refers to Aurelian's defeat of Zenobia's Palmyrene Empire in the east. The captives wear Parthian caps and are typically attributed as Persians. The real captives were more likely Palmyreans. Typical of Roman propaganda, Zenobia's Sasanian supporters are depicted to glorify Aurelian's victory and mask that this was an internal revolt and civil war.

RS52117. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V 151, gVF, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, weight 4.178g, maximum diameter 24.1mm, die axis 180o, 270 - 275 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ORIENS AVG, Sol advancing left, raising right hand, globe in left, two bound captives at feet, TXXT in exergue; near full circles strike, extensive silvering remaining
Colby S
aurelian_64.jpg
Aurelian, Estiot 196Aurelian, AD 270 - 2375
AR - Antoninianus, 3.52g, 22mm, 180°
Rome, 11th emission, begin - September 275, 4. officina
obv. IMP AVRELIANVS AVG
bust, cuirassed, radiate, r.
rev. ORIE - N - S AVG
Sol, radiate, walking r., holding laurel-branch and bow,
treading down an enemy
in l. field: Delta
in ex. XXIR
RIC V, 64; C.159; Estiot no.196, pl.6
about VF, some silvering

ORIENS AVG, after the victory over Palmyra AD 272 the East was Roman again
XXI, after the coinage reform of Aurelian AS 274 the new ratio 20:1 between Asses and Antoniniani. This reform caused a revolt of the mint-workers in Rome, 7000 were killed!
Jochen
leBon.jpg
Auxonne in France, 1424-1427 AD., Duchy of Burgundy, Philippe le Bon, Blanc aux écus, Poey d'Avant # 5735.France, Duchy of Burgundy, Auxonne mint (?), Philip the Good (Philippe le Bon, 1419-1467), struck 1424-1427 AD.,
AR blanc aux écus (26-28 mm / 3,27 g),
Obv.: + DVX : ET : COMES : BVRGVDIE , Ecus accolés de Bourgogne nouveau et Bourgogne ancien sous PhILIPVS.
Rev.: + SIT : NOMEN : DNI : BENEDICTVM , Croix longue entre un lis et un lion, au-dessus de PhILIPVS.
B., 1230 ; Dumas, 15-7-1 ; Poey d'Avant # 5735.

"PotatorII": "This coin is atributed to Auxonne mint because of the presence of a "secret dot" under the first letter (S) on reverse."

Rare

Imitation du blanc aux écus d'Henri VI d'Angleterre, frappé en France à partir de novembre 1422.

Philip the Good (French: Philippe le Bon), also Philip III, Duke of Burgundy (July 31, 1396 – June 15, 1467) was Duke of Burgundy from 1419 until his death. He was a member of a cadet line of the Valois dynasty (the then Royal family of France). During his reign Burgundy reached the height of its prosperity and prestige and became a leading center of the arts. Philip is known in history for his administrative reforms, patronage of Flemish artists such as Jan van Eyck, and the capture of Joan of Arc. During his reign he alternated between English and French alliances in an attempt to improve his dynasty's position.
Born in Dijon, he was the son of John the Fearless and Margaret of Bavaria-Straubing. On the 28 January 1405, he was named Count of Charolais in appanage of his father and probably on the same day he was engaged to Michele of Valois (1395–1422), daughter of Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria. They were married in June of 1409.
Philip subsequently married Bonne of Artois (1393–1425), daughter of Philip of Artois, Count of Eu, and also the widow of his uncle, Philip II, Count of Nevers, in Moulins-les-Engelbert on November 30, 1424. The latter is sometimes confused with Philip's biological aunt, also named Bonne (sister of John the Fearless, lived 1379 - 1399), in part due to the Papal Dispensation required for the marriage which made no distinction between a marital aunt and a biological aunt.
His third marriage, in Bruges on January 7, 1430 with Isabella of Portugal (1397 - December 17, 1471), daughter of John I of Portugal and Philippa of Lancaster, produced three sons:
* Antoine (September 30, 1430, Brussels – February 5, 1432, Brussels), Count of Charolais
* Joseph (April 24, 1432 – aft. May 6, 1432), Count of Charolais
* Charles (1433–1477), Count of Charolais and Philip's successor as Duke, called "Charles the Bold" or "Charles the Rash"
Philip also had some eighteen illegitimate children, including Antoine, bastard of Burgundy, by twenty four documented mistresses [1]. Another, Philip of Burgundy (1464-1524), bishop of Utrecht, was a fine amateur artist, and the subject of a biography in 1529.
Philip became duke of Burgundy, count of Flanders, Artois and Franche Comté when his father was assassinated in 1419. Philip accused Charles, the Dauphin of France and Philip's brother-in-law of planning the murder of his father which had taken place during a meeting between the two at Montereau, and so he continued to prosecute the civil war between the Burgundians and Armagnacs. In 1420 Philip allied himself with Henry V of England under the Treaty of Troyes. In 1423 the alliance was strengthened by the marriage of his sister Anne to John, Duke of Bedford, regent for Henry VI of England.
In 1430 Philip's troops captured Joan of Arc at Compiègne and later handed her over to the English who orchestrated a heresy trial against her, conducted by pro-Burgundian clerics. Despite this action against Joan of Arc, Philip's alliance with England was broken in 1435 when Philip signed the Treaty of Arras (which completely revoked the Treaty of Troyes) and thus recognised Charles VII as king of France. Philip signed for a variety of reasons, one of which may have been a desire to be recognised as the Premier Duke in France. Philip then attacked Calais, but this alliance with Charles was broken in 1439, with Philip supporting the revolt of the French nobles the following year (an event known as the Praguerie) and sheltering the Dauphin Louis.
Philip generally was preoccupied with matters in his own territories and seldom was directly involved in the Hundred Years' War, although he did play a role during a number of periods such as the campaign against Compiegne during which his troops captured Joan of Arc. He incorporated Namur into Burgundian territory in 1429 (March 1, by purchase from John III, Marquis of Namur), Hainault and Holland, Frisia and Zealand in 1432 (with the defeat of Countess Jacqueline in the last episode of the Hook and Cod wars); inherited the duchy of Brabant and Limburg and the margrave of Antwerp in 1430 (on the death of his cousin Philip of Saint-Pol); and purchased Luxembourg in 1443 from Elisabeth of Bohemia, Duchess of Luxembourg. Philip also managed to ensure his illegitimate son, David, was elected Bishop of Utrecht in 1456. It is not surprising that in 1435, Philip began to style himself "Grand Duke of the West". In 1463 Philip returned some of his territory to Louis XI. That year he also created an Estates-General based on the French model. The first meeting of the Estates-General was to obtain a loan for a war against France and to ensure support for the succession of his son, Charles I, to his dominions. Philip died in Bruges in 1467.

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1 commentsArminius
73000535.jpg
Baktrian Kingdom, Eukratides I, ca. 171-145 BC, AR Tetradrachm Diademed bust of a youthful Eukratides right.
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ EYKPATIΔOY (of King Eukratides) Dioskouroi on horseback charging right, carrying spears and palm branches, PK monogram to lower right.

Bopearachchi Series1B; SNG ANS 9, 431; Mitchiner 168(f); Qunduz 108-114; HGC 12, 130; Sear GCV 7568.

(32 mm, 16.75 g, 12h).
From LWHT Col.; CNG 73, 13 Sep. 2006, 535.

Eukratides I came to power in a revolt against the Euthydemid dynasty commencing around 171 BC and continuing for a decade. He extended his dominion to include all of Baktria and its realms both north and south of the Hindu Kush. Around 145 BC, Eukratides was murdered by his one of his own sons, probably Plato. By this time Baktria was weakened by the protracted struggle for power. The demise of Eukratides provided a catalyst for Scythian nomads to cross the Oxus, eventually to overrun Baktria. The city of Ai Khanoum appears to have been amongst the first to fall to invaders. This is evidenced by the fact that no coins later than those of Eukratides have been found in the excavations at Ai Khanoum. Within a decade Baktria had fragmented, overrun by Scythian nomads from the north, with the possible exception of a small Greek enclave in the eastern foothills of the Hindu Kush and the associated valley passes that led to the south and the Kabul Valley. A small remnant Greek civilization remained for another century to the south of the Hindu Kush before being overrun.
2 commentsn.igma
Bar_Kokhba_Revolt_(AD_132-135)___middle_bronze_(24mm,_12_52_gm,_11h).jpg
Bar Kokhba Revolt AE Middle BronzeBar Kokhba Revolt (AD 132-135). AE middle bronze (24mm, 12.52 g, 11h). year 1 (AD 132/3). 'Simon, Prince of Israel', palm branch within wreath / 'Year One of the Redemption of Israel', wide lyre of five strings. EFOctopus Grabus
Zuz_Domitian.jpg
Bar Kokhba Revolt Zuz - Domitian UndertypeJudaea, Bar Kokhba Revolt. Silver Zuz (3.22 g), 132-135 CE. Undated, attributed to year 3 (134/5 CE).
O: 'Simon' (Paleo-Hebrew) within wreath of thin branches wrapped around eight almonds, with a medallion at top and tendrils at bottom.
R: 'For the freedom of Jerusalem' (Paleo-Hebrew), fluted jug with handle on left; in right field, willow branch. Partial portrait of Domitian to left.
- Hendin 1418; Mildenberg 79 (O14/R51); TJC 283., ex S. Moussaieff Collection.

For more about the Moussaieff Collection, see https://coinsweekly.com/munich-auction-house-offers-objects-from-the-moussaieff-collection/
1 commentsNemonater
VespZuz.jpg
Bar Kokhba Revolt Zuz - Vespasian UndertypeJudaea, Bar Kokhba Revolt 132 – 135 CE Silver denarius / Zuz, 3.39 gr. Overstruck on a denarius of Vespasian.
O: Paleo-Hebrew inscription in wreath: “Shimon".
R: Lyre. Paleo-Hebrew inscription: "To the freedom of Jerusalem"
- Mildenberg 130; Meshorer TJC 272c; Hendin 1429. Ex Menashe Landman collection, Haifa.
5 commentsNemonater
10291.jpg
Bardas Parsakoutenos, magistros and doux of Anatolikon. Lead seal c. AD 970-990 10291|Bardas Parsakoutenos, magistros and doux of Anatolikon. Lead seal c. AD 970-990
Star with six rays ending in something resembling arrows; circular invocational legend + KE ROHΘEI TW CW ΔUΛW
+RAPΔ|MAΓICTP,|S ΔUΞ TWN| ANATOΛ’K|TWN OΠAT|O ΠAPCK’ in six lines
30mm; 16.24gram.

Before turning to the identification of the seal’s owner, there are a number of issues to be addressed about the reverse legend. Up to the fourth line, all is clear. A nominative legend listing Bardas’ dignity of magistros and his office of doux ton Anatolikon. The last line has his family name Pars(a)k(outenos). The fifth line, however, does not make sense. It might be an engraver’s error, repeating TWN of the third line and O ΠAP of the last line. This explanation, even though unelegant, has to do for now, unless an otherwise unknown office or command is meant.
The seal’s owner is probably the person named in Leon Diakonos (VII.1) as one of three brothers Parsakoutenos, who backed Bardas Phokas the younger during his rebellion of AD 970 against John I Tzimiskes. These brothers, Theodore, Bardas and Nikephoros took their name, according to Leon, “after the city of their birth, Parsakouta”, which is a village on the road between Nymphaion and Sardis in the Thrakesian theme (p. 162, n.4 of the English edition). Leon adds that the Parsakoutenoi were cousins of Bardas Phokas and that they held the rank of patrikios and adds that they ‘mustered troops with great zeal’. Skylitzes (291.13-14) adds that Theodore and Nikephoros were the sons of the patrikios Theodoulos Parsakoutenos, and were exarchs in Cappadocia (p. 162, n.3). The rebellion, however, was extinguished by the skilled general Bardas Skleros, and Bardas Phokas was temporarily imprisoned.
Leon Diakonos once again mentions Bardas Parsakoutenos in book X, chapter 7, during the revolt of Bardas Skleros. He is now called magistros, a higher rank than patrikios, which implies that his earlier allegience to a usurper had not frustrated his political career. In the late 970’s, Skleros conquered large parts of Asia and was threatening to blockade the Dardanelles, hindering merchants and grain transports to the capital. In the end, he was defeated by Bardas Phokas on 24th of March 979 and fled to Muslim territory. But before his final defeat on the battleground, according to Leon Diakonos, his fortress at Abydos was seized, his army destroyed, and fire was set to his fleet of triremes by an imperial fleet of fireships dispatched from the capital under the command of Bardas Parsakoutenos. The seal, listing Bardas’ dignity as magistros, not patrikios as attested in AD 970, might well be from this period.
1 commentsGert
bcc_j11_revolt.jpg
BCC J11 1st Revolt Year Two 67/68CEJudaea AE Prutah
1st Revolt 67/68CE
Jerusalem Mint
Obv: Sha Na T Sh Ti I M (Year Two)
Amphora with broad rim and two handles.
Rev: He R U T Z I O N (Freedom of Zion)
Grape vine leaf .
17mm. 3.23gm. Axis:150
Hendin 661
v-drome
revolt_BCC_j12.jpg
BCC J12 1st Revolt Year Two 67/68CEJudaean
1st Revolt 67/68CE
AE Prutah-Jerusalem Mint
Obv: Sha Na T Sh Ti I M (Year Two)
Amphora w/ broad rim and two handles.
Rev: He R * T Z I O N (Freedom of Zion)
Grape vine leaf .
17mm. 2.49gm. Axis:150
Hendin 661
v-drome
BCC_j13_revolt.jpg
BCC J13 1st Revolt Year Three 68/69CEJudaea
1st Revolt 68/69CE
AE Prutah-Jerusalem Mint
Obv: [Sha Na T] Sha L O Sh (Year Three)
Amphora w/ broad rim, two handles and cover.
Rev: He R U T [Z I O N ](Freedom of Zion)
Grape vine leaf.
15x16mm. 1.63gm. Axis:180
Hendin 664
v-drome
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