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Trajan.jpg
65 viewsTrajan AR Denarius. Rome, AD 113-114. IMP TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC P M TR P, laureate and draped bust right / COS VI P P SPQR, Trajan's column surmounted by statue of the emperor; at base, two eagles. RIC 307; BMCRE 522; RSC 115. 3.53g, 20mm, 6h.
Of all of the truly monumental buildings and commemorative structures which the emperor Trajan built, only one, the Columna Traiani, has survived in a reasonable state of completeness. Indeed, it appears almost identical in person as it does on coins, except that the statue of Trajan that originally surmounted it was replaced in 1588 with a statue of St. Paul. When completed, the column occupied a prominent place between two libraries, the Basilica Ulpia and the Temple of Trajan and Plotina. The column was massive: it was over 12 feet in diameter at its base, and rose to a height of nearly 130 feet. Its core was comprised of 34 blocks of Carrara white marble that were made hollow so as to accommodate a circular staircase of 185 steps. The most remarkable feature of the column, however, was its ornamentation, for the friezes on its exterior are some of the most inspiring works of art ever produced. Monumental in scope and execution, they record Trajan’s two Dacian campaigns, from 101-3 and 104-6. All told, there are more than 2,500 individually sculpted figures distributed among more than 150 scenes. The emperor himself is represented no less than fifty times – not a surprise considering his penchant for commemorative architecture and his pride in having added Dacia to the provinces of the empire. “ Source: NAC”

Ex Michael Kelly Collection of Roman Silver Coins
4 commentspaul1888
Henry_III_short_cross_penny.JPG
1216 – 1272, Henry III, AR Penny, Struck 1217 - 1242 at London, England (Short cross type)2 viewsObverse: HENRICVS REX around central circle enclosing a crowned, draped and bearded facing bust of Henry III holding a sceptre tipped with a cross pommee in his right hand.
Reverse: + GIFFREI ON LVND. Voided short cross dividing legend into quarters, crosslets in each quarter of inner circle. Cross pattée in legend. Moneyer: Giffrei, cognate with the modern English name of Geoffrey.
Issue type 7c, distinguished by the degraded portrait and large lettering.
Diameter: 19mm | Weight: 1.1gms | Die Axis: 4
SPINK: 1356C

Henry III was the eldest son of King John and came to the throne at the age of nine. He was king of England from 1216 until his death in 1272, ruling longer than any other English monarch until the reign of George III.
Henry expressed a lifelong interest in architecture and much of what constitutes the Tower of London today is a result of Henry’s work, he added several towers and a curtain wall to expand the White Tower beginning in 1238. Westminster Abbey however, is considered to be Henry's greatest building work. The project began in 1245, when Henry sent his architect Henry de Reynes to visit the French cities of Rheims, Chartres, Bourges and Amiens and Paris’s royal chapel Sainte-Chapelle to learn the Gothic technique that he much admired.
The Westminster Abbey that stood previously on the site had been erected by Edward the Confessor in 1042. Edward the Confessor was a hero of Henry’s, and he probably named his son (the future Edward I) after him. The foundations and crypt are still those of Edward the Confessor’s Abbey, but everything above ground today is the building begun by Henry III. The tomb of Edward the Confessor was moved to a new position of honour in 1269 at the very centre of the new abbey, and when Henry III died in 1272 he was buried beside Edward’s shrine in the exact position the bones of his hero had lain for 200 years.
*Alex
1660_woodcut_colosseum_37.jpg
1660 Roman Woodcut Prints91 viewsDate: ca. AD 1660, Anonymous
Size: 16 x 10.7 cm

This is an leaf from a book on Rome from circa AD 1660. It has hand colored images of various Roman architecture (including the Colosseum). It has rough edges and some minor age toning, but overall the pictures are intact, brightly colored, and beautifully preserved. This book was published during the reign of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor. In the seventeenth century, the city of Rome became the consummate statement of Catholic majesty and triumph expressed in all the arts. Baroque architects, artists, and urban planners so magnified and invigorated the classical and ecclesiastical traditions of the city that it became for centuries after the acknowledged capital of the European art world, not only a focus for tourists and artists but also a watershed of inspiration throughout the Western world.
3 commentsNoah
1794_Chichester___Portsmouth_Halfpenny.JPG
1794 AE Halfpenny Token. Chichester and Portsmouth, Sussex.29 viewsObverse: IOHN HOWARD F•R•S PHILANTHROPIST•. Bust of John Howard facing left.
Reverse: CHICHESTER AND PORTSMOUTH • / HALFPENNY; Arms of the town of Portsmouth; the sun and moon over a triple-towered castle, with the arms of Chichester above the gateway below the central tower, 1794 in exergue.
Edge: PAYABLE AT SHARPS PORTSMOUTH AND CHALDECOTTS CHICHESTER.
Diameter 29mm | Die Axis 12
Dalton & Hamer: 19

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

This token was struck in the name of John Howard who was born in Lower Clapton, London the son of a wealthy upholsterer. After the death of his father in 1742, he received a sizeable inheritance. Since he was wealthy and had no true vocation, in 1748 Howard left England and began to travel. However, while in Hanover he was captured by French privateers and imprisoned. It was this experience that made him consider the conditions in which prisoners were held.
In 1758 Howard returned to England and settled in Cardington, Bedfordshire. As a landowner he was philanthropic and enlightened, ensuring that his estate housing was of good standard and that the poor houses under his management were well run.
In 1773 he became High Sheriff of Bedfordshire. On his appointment he began a tour of English prisons which led to two Acts of Parliament in 1774, making gaolers salaried officers and setting standards of cleanliness.
In April 1777, Howard's sister died leaving him £15,000 and her house. He used this inheritance and the revenue from the sale of her house to further his work on prisons. In 1778 he was examined by the House of Commons, who were this time inquiring into prison ships, or “hulks”. Two days after giving evidence, he was again travelling Europe, beginning in the Dutch Republic.
His final journey took him into Eastern Europe and Russia. Whilst at Kherson, in what is now Ukraine, Howard contracted typhus on a prison visit and died. He was buried on the shores of the Black Sea in a walled field at Dophinovka (Stepanovka), Ukraine. Despite requesting a quiet funeral without pomp and ceremony, the event was elaborate and attended by the Prince of Moldovia.
Howard became the first civilian to be honoured with a statue in St Paul's Cathedral, London. A statue was also erected in Bedford, and another one in Kherson. John Howard's bust can still be seen as a feature in the architecture of a number of Victorian prisons across the UK.
*Alex
1795_John_Howard_Halfpenny.JPG
1795 AE Halfpenny, Portsmouth, Hampshire.72 viewsObverse: IOHN HOWARD F.R.S. PHILANTHROPIST •. Bust of John Howard facing left.
Reverse: RULE BRITANNIA. Britannia facing left, seated on globe, her right hand holding spear, her left arm holding laurel-branch and resting on shield at her side; in exergue, 1795.
Edge: “CURRENT EVERY WHERE ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦”
Diameter: 29mm
Dalton & Hamer: 57b

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

John Howard was born in Lower Clapton, London the son of a wealthy upholsterer. After the death of his father in 1742, he received a sizeable inheritance. Since he was wealthy and had no true vocation, in 1748 Howard left England and began to travel. However, while in Hanover he was captured by French privateers and imprisoned. It was this experience that made him consider the conditions in which prisoners were held.
In 1758 Howard returned to England and settled in Cardington, Bedfordshire. As a landowner he was philanthropic and enlightened, ensuring that his estate housing was of good standard and that the poor houses under his management were well run.
In 1773 he became High Sheriff of Bedfordshire. On his appointment he began a tour of English prisons which led to two Acts of Parliament in 1774, making gaolers salaried officers and setting standards of cleanliness.
In April 1777, Howard's sister died leaving him £15,000 and her house. He used this inheritance and the revenue from the sale of her house to further his work on prisons. In 1778 he was examined by the House of Commons, who were this time inquiring into prison ships, or “hulks”. Two days after giving evidence, he was again travelling Europe, beginning in the Dutch Republic.
His final journey took him into Eastern Europe and Russia. Whilst at Kherson, in what is now Ukraine, Howard contracted typhus on a prison visit and died. He was buried on the shores of the Black Sea in a walled field at Dophinovka (Stepanovka), Ukraine. Despite requesting a quiet funeral without pomp and ceremony, the event was elaborate and attended by the Prince of Moldovia.
Howard became the first civilian to be honoured with a statue in St Paul's Cathedral, London. A statue was also erected in Bedford, and another one in Kherson. John Howard's bust can still be seen as a feature in the architecture of a number of Victorian prisons across the UK.
*Alex
814_P_Hadrian_RPC6147.jpg
6145 EGYPT, Alexandria. Hadrian Drachm 136-37 AD Monumental Altar21 viewsReference.
RPC III, 6145; Dattari 1892; Emmett 910.21; Milne 1554

Issue L KA = year 21

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

Rev, L ΚΑ
Monumental altar (of Caesareum) with six columns, surmounted with pyre, enclosing Eusebeia (?) in centre

23.40 gr
33 mm
12h

Note RPC.
Often described as altar of Agathodaemon (K; Bakhoum; Vogt, pp. 106-9; S. Handler, AJA 75 (1971), pp. 68-9); BMC said ‘enclosing statue of goddess facing; on her head, disc. (Altar of Caesareum).’ D just said: ‘Altare. Peristylium con sei colonne d’ordine Corintio, tra quelle di centro un personaggio in piede a s.; versa incense sopra altare. Sulla sommità una pyra e su ciascuna cantonata un aplustrum; le cantonate alle base hanno un ordine indecifrabile.’ Only clue is the aplustres. Some varieties have little altars between the columns (D1894). There are some round objects hanging up among the columns (e.g. D1894, Boston). The bases of the structure at l. and r. are in the form of the upper part of a human body. The same structure, with and without the central figure, also occurs on Antonine coins, which are often much better preserved than the Hadrianic pieces: see RPC IV online. J. McKenzie, The Architecture of Alexandria and Egypt (Yale, 2007), p. 187 describes it as a ‘distinctive but unidentified structure’, rejecting as unsatisfactory the identifications as the monumental altars in the Caesareum, the altar of Agathos Daimon or the altar of Alexander.
okidoki
AntoSe75~0.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 651(a), Sestertius of AD 141-144 (Temple of Venus and Roma)46 viewsÆ sestertius (23.78g, 12h). Rome mint struck AD 141-144.
ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P COS III laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right
VENERI FELICI (around) S C (in ex.) decastyle temple
RIC 651(a); Cohen 1075var. (dr. bust); BMC 1322; Strack 864; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 125:23
ex Jean Elsen et ses Fils (Bruxelles) auction 97; ex coll. A. Senden: l'architecture des monnaies Romaines
F, dark green patina, corroded

Issued on the occasion of the completion of the temple of Venus and Roma in AD 141. This was the largest temple in Rome dedicated to Venus Felix (Happy Venus) and Roma Aeterna (Eternal Rome). Actually it consists of two temples back under one roof. It was designed by Hadrian himself (who, by the way, executed his architect for critisising the project) and dedicated by him in AD 135, and completed by Antoninus Pius.
Charles S
AntoSe76-2.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 755, Sestertius of AD 159 (Temple of Divus Augustus) 43 viewsÆ Sestertius (19.91g, Ø33mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 159.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right.
Rev.: AED DIVI AVG REST (around) COS IIII (below) S C (in field), Octastyle temple with statues of Divus Augustus and Livia inside.
RIC 755 (R); BMC 1652; Cohen 3 (20Fr.); Strack 1174.
ex Jean Elsen (Bruxelles) auction 97; ex coll. A.Senden: L'architecture des monnaies Romaines.
Charles S
AntoAs27.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 1021, As of AD 158-15942 viewsÆ As (10.92g, Ø26mm, 7h). Rome mint. Struck AD 158-159.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXII, laureate head right, draped left shoulder.
Rev.: AEDE DIVI AVG REST (around) COS IIII (in ex.) S C (in field), Octastyle temple with the statues of Divus Augustus and Livia inside; soldiers on pedestal left and right before outer columns; statuary in pediment; on roof, quadriga facing and standing figures on angles.
RIC 1021a (S); BMCRE IV p.355 *; Cohen 12; Strack 1162
ex Jean Elsen (Bruxelles), Auction 97; ex coll. A. Senden: l'architecture des monnaies Romaines

Issued to celebrate the completion of the restauration of the temple of Augustus and Livia
Charles S
SoaneBankofEnglandTaylor106a.JPG
BHM 1662. 1834. Sir John Soane, Architect. Bank of England. Taylor 106a.102 viewsObv. Portrait head right JOHN SOANE Signed W WYON A B A MINT
Rev. Elevation of the "Tivoli Corner" of the Bank building A TRIBUTE OF RESPECT FROM THE BRITISH ARCHITECTS MDCCCXXXIV.

AE58.

A gold example of this medal was presented to Sir John Soane, one of Britains premiere architects, in 1834.
LordBest
const_21_milvian.jpg
BRIDGE, Commemorative struck under Constantine I380 viewsCommemorative RIC VIII, Constantinopolis 21
Constantine I AD 306 - 337
AE - AE 4
Constantinopolis 4th officina AD 330
obv. POP ROMANVS
draped, laureate head of a young Roman l., cornucopiae over r. shoulder
rev. (no legend)
Bridge with two towers and pylons below, over river
CONS/Epsilon above
RIC VIII, Constaninopolis 21; C.1; LRBC.1066
about VF/EF

Belongs to the special issue for the dedication of Constantinopolis AD 330 under Constantine I. The bridge may be the famous Milvian bridge, where Maxentius was defeated by Constantine I AD 312. For more information look at www.beastcoins.com/Architecture/Bridges/Bridges.htm
2 commentsJochen
Antose83-2~0.jpg
Divus Antoninus, RIC (Marcus Aurelius) 1266, sestertius of AD 16138 viewsOrichalcum sestertius (21.73, 31mm, 12h). Rome mint, Struck under Marcus Aurelius, AD 161.
Obv.: DIVVS ANTONINVS, bear head of Antoninus Pius facing right
Rev.: CONSECRATIO (around) S C (field) Four tiered funeral pyre or rather an ustrinum surmounted by a statue of Antoninus in a quadriga, facing. The lowest tier is hung with wreaths, the second has a door in the centre with two niches at each side with a statue in each; the third has six niches each with a statue; the fourth is hung with draperies and flanked by torches.
RIC (M. Aurelius) 1266; BMC (M. Aurelius) 872; Cohen 165; Banti (I Grandi Bronzi Imperiali II-3) 74 (31 spec.); Sear (Roman Coins & Their Values II) 5198; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 136:15
ex Roma Numismatics; ex Künker

Minted under Marcus Aurelius in joint reign with Verus, in honour of the funeral and deification of Antoninus Pius. Traditionally the structure on the reverse is called a Funeral Pyre, but there are good arguments to believe this is in fact a stone pyramide building called "ustrinum" where the ashes were kept: see an article at BeastCoins.
Charles S
AntoSe73-scan.jpg
Divus Antoninus, RIC (Marcus Aurelius) 1272, Sestertius of AD 161-169 (Altar)12 viewsÆ Sestertius (26.30g, , 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 161-169 (under Marcus Aurelius).
Obv.: DIVVS ANTONINVS, bare head right.
Rev.: DIVO PIO around, S C across field, rectangular altar set on five steps, with double panelled door and horns l. and r. above.
RIC (Marcus Aurelius) 1272; BMCRE (M. Aurelius) 886; Cohen 358; Banti (I Grandi Bronzi Imperiali II-3) 147 (14 spec.); Sear (Roman Coins & their Values II) 5200; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 136/19
Ex Jean Elsen, Auction 95 (2008); ex coll. A. Senden: l'architecture des monnaies Romaines.

Coin issued posthumously by Marcus Aurelius commemorating the funeral & deification of Antoninus Pius.
Charles S
Etruria.jpg
ETRURIA, Central Italy Uncertain City AE26, 300-250BC.66 viewsETRURIA, Central Italy Uncertain City AE26, 300-250BC. Male figure with Scepter (or lance) and Patera n. l. standing. Dog Rt. Holding a Aryballos in the muzzle hanging on cords for R. 10.17 G. SNG Cop. 44. P. Visonà, Due monete etrusche inedite e rare into collezioni italiane, SNR 79 (2000), 30, fig. 5. Very rare. Dark Green patina.

The Etruscan civilization was responsible for much of the Greek culture imported into early Republican Rome, including the twelve Olympian gods, the growing of olives and grapes, the Latin alphabet (adapted from the Greek alphabet), and architecture like the arch, sewerage and drainage systems.
1 commentsancientone
FAVSSE07~0.JPG
Faustina Sr, RIC (A. Pius) 1148, sestertius of AD 14226 viewsÆ sestertius (29.73g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck under Antoninus Pius, AD 142.
Obv.: DIVA AVGVS-TA FAVSTINA Draped bust of Diva Faustina senior facing right
Rev.: PIETA[S AVG] around, S C in ex., Hexastyle temple with on the roof a quadriga and victories holding a globe above their heads on each side.
RIC (A. Pius) 1148 (rare); Cohen 254; BMCRE 1454; Strack 1245; Banti (I Grandi Bronzi Imperiali III-1) 96 (7 spec.); Sear (Roman Coins and their Values II) 4632; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 126:34e
ex Jean Elsen (Bruxelles), Auction 95; ex coll. A. Senden: l'architecture des monnaies Romaines

Issued on the dedication of a temple to Faustina upon her death in A.D. 141
Charles S
05-04-06_1147.jpg
Germany, Trier - Basilika521 viewsThe so-called Basilika, Constantine's throne room, is the largest surviving single-room structure from Roman times. The Romans wanted the architecture to express the magnificence and might of the emperor.
It is used as a church now.
W. Kutschenko
anchialosgate121019.jpg
Gordianus and Tranquillina - ANCHIALOS15 viewsNice depiction of the city gate on the reversephilippe B2
Portus_Traiani-2.jpg
HARBOUR, TRAJAN, AE Sestertius (Portus Trajani)175 viewsPortus Trajani
Æ Sestertius (26.66g, Ø35mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 104-111.
Obv.: IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P laureate draped bust of Trajan facing right.
Rev.: (PORTVM TRAIANI around, S C in ex.), Basin of Trajan's harbour (Portus Traiani), near Ostia, surrounded by warehouses, ships in centre.
RIC 471 (R2); Cohen 305; BMC 770A; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 104:59
ex Jean Elsen Auction 95; ex coll. A. Senden: "L'architecture des monnaies Romaines".

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

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

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

Portus was the main port of ancient Rome for more than 500 years and provided a conduit for everything from glass, ceramics, marble and slaves to wild animals caught in Africa and shipped to Rome for spectacles in the Colosseum.
3 commentsCharles S
Shah_Jahan,_Nazrana_Gold_Mohur,_10_88g,_22mm,_Akbarabad_mint,_AH_1052,_RY_15.jpg
ISLAMIC, India, Mughals, Shah Jahan, Nazrana Mohur64 viewsMughal Empire, Shihab ud-din Muhammad Shah Jahan( AH 1037-1068 / AD 1628-1658), Gold Mohur, 24 mm, 10.88g, Akbarabad mint, AH 1052 (AD 1642), RY 15, Quatrefoil type

Reference: Lane-Poole 547; KM 258.1

Obverse: Centre (within Quatrefoil): Kalima. Margins: bi-sudq Abu Bakr / wa 'adl 'Umar / bi-azram 'Uthman / wa 'ilm 'Ali (name and attributes of the Four Caliphs - Ali, Usman, Omar and Abu Bakr)

Reverse: Centre (within Quatrefoil): Badshah Ghazi Shah Jahan 1052 / 15. Margins: Shihab ud-din / Muhammad Sahib / Qiran Sani / Zarb Akbarabad. (The title 'Badshah or Padshah' is a Persian title meaning Great King (literally meaning Lord or Master of Kings), often translated as Emperor, while 'Ghazi' means an Islamic warrior. 'Sahib Qiran Sani' means the splendid or guiding light, as 'Qiran' in Urdu means light and 'Sani' means brilliant or bright. 'Sahib' means lord, master or owner. 'Zarb' means mint.

Shah Jahan ascended the throne following the death of his father, Jahangir in AH 1037 (1627 AD). He maintained the fine numismatic tradition of his father but did not introduce any innovation. Shah Jahan concentrated more on the grandeur, design and architecture of monuments and fine buildings, Taj Mahal being the most well known.

Akbarabad was a name given to the city, and Mughal capital, of Agra by Shah Jahan in honour of his grandfather Akbar. This changeover of name happened in RY2/3 of Shah Jahan's reign.

The featured coin depicts fine calligraphy within a perfectly centred Quatrefoil (Obv/Rev) and alongside the margins. The complete die impression with legends is fully visible on the broad flan. A well struck specimen befitting its status as a Nazrana or presentation coin from the builder of one of the present wonders of the world.
1 commentsmitresh
20150822_104940.jpg
Italy, Herculaneum, House of the Skeleton13 viewsThe triclinium is decorated in reds and orange with architecture and views of distant landscapes above a red decorative frieze. On the north wall is an large alcove illustrated here.

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
20150822_104946.jpg
Italy, Herculaneum, House of the Skeleton11 viewsThe triclinium is decorated in reds and orange with architecture and views of distant landscapes above a red decorative frieze.

From my visit to Herculaneum in August 2015
maridvnvm
Valle_dei_templi_(tone-mapping)_II.jpg
Italy, Sicily, Agrigento, Valley of the Temples118 viewsThe Valle dei Templi (English: Valley of the Temples, Sicilian: Vaddi di li Tempri) is an archaeological site in Agrigento (ancient Greek Akragas), Sicily, southern Italy. It is one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture, and is one of the main attractions of Sicily as well as a national monument of Italy. The area was included in the UNESCO Heritage Site list in 1997. Much of the excavation and restoration of the temples was due to the efforts of archaeologist Domenico Antonio Lo Faso Pietrasanta (1783–1863), who was the Duke of Serradifalco from 1809 through 1812.

The term "valley" is a misnomer, the site being located on a ridge outside the town of Agrigento.
Joe Sermarini
Italy- Pompeii- Brothel.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- Brothel59 viewsSome of the most fascinating clues about the lives of the ancient peoples who made their lives in Pompeii can be found in the numerous brothels in the city. It is an indication of the prosperity of the city -- people had money to burn. Here is one example of the Pompeian "houses of ill repute". I chose this one because of its unusual architecture and fine frescoes.

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

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

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

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

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

John Schou
Italy- Pompeii- House of Fauno with bronze statuette of Fauno and nice mosaic floor.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- House of Fauno with bronze statuette of Fauno and nice mosaic floor54 viewsFLOOR PLAN OF THE HOUSE OF THE FAUN Pompeii 2nd Century Courtesy of Professor Barbette Spaeth, Tulane University (Excerpted from Professor Spaeth's accompanying text) This house was among the largest and most elegant of the houses of Pompeii. It took up an entire city block (c. 80 m. long by 35 m. wide or 315 by 115 ft.) and was filled with beautiful works of art, including the famous mosaic depicting Alexander the Great at the Battle of Issus, and wall paintings of the First, Second and Fourth Styles. The decoration of the house is heavily influenced by Hellenistic models. The House of the Faun was originally built in the early second century. In this period, the house was focused around two atria, one a large Tuscan atrium (3), and the other a smaller tetrastyle atrium (10), while the back of the house had a large kitchen garden. The two-atria plan represented an attempt to separate the formal functions of the atrium, i.e., the reception of clients and conduct of business by the patron of the house, from its private functions, i.e., the course of everyday family life. This type of plan is an intermediate step between the simple atrium house, with a single atrium complex, and the atrium and peristyle house. Apparently, the two-atria plan did not prove ultimately satisfactory for the owners of the House of the Faun. In the late second century B.C. they added a peristyle (8) to the north of the original two-atria nucleus, along with a service quarter to the eastern side (12-16), and reception rooms to the north. The rear of the house contained the kitchen garden. To this later period of the house belong its wall decorations in First Style and its famous mosaics. Finally, another peristyle was added around the time of the Early Roman Colony (20), that is, in the early first century B.C. This peristyle included more reception rooms along the south side (17 & 18), and smaller rooms, perhaps for servants, to the north (22) . The center of the new peristyle was occupied by the kitchen garden (19). With these renovations, the house acquired a new focus around the peristyles. The peristyles represented a private retreat for the family, a place where they could relax and entertain special guests. The front part of the house was kept for more formal occasions. The addition of service quarters reflects a further differentiation of function in the house, again separating the daily life of the family from the more public reception areas. The House of the Faun, with its elaborate decoration and extensive plan, represents one of the most important examples of Roman domus architecture of the second to first century B.CJohn Schou
Italy- Pompeii- House of Fauno with nice mosaic floor.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- House of Fauno with nice mosaic floor61 viewsFLOOR PLAN OF THE HOUSE OF THE FAUN Pompeii 2nd Century Courtesy of Professor Barbette Spaeth, Tulane University (Excerpted from Professor Spaeth's accompanying text) This house was among the largest and most elegant of the houses of Pompeii. It took up an entire city block (c. 80 m. long by 35 m. wide or 315 by 115 ft.) and was filled with beautiful works of art, including the famous mosaic depicting Alexander the Great at the Battle of Issus, and wall paintings of the First, Second and Fourth Styles. The decoration of the house is heavily influenced by Hellenistic models. The House of the Faun was originally built in the early second century. In this period, the house was focused around two atria, one a large Tuscan atrium (3), and the other a smaller tetrastyle atrium (10), while the back of the house had a large kitchen garden. The two-atria plan represented an attempt to separate the formal functions of the atrium, i.e., the reception of clients and conduct of business by the patron of the house, from its private functions, i.e., the course of everyday family life. This type of plan is an intermediate step between the simple atrium house, with a single atrium complex, and the atrium and peristyle house. Apparently, the two-atria plan did not prove ultimately satisfactory for the owners of the House of the Faun. In the late second century B.C. they added a peristyle (8) to the north of the original two-atria nucleus, along with a service quarter to the eastern side (12-16), and reception rooms to the north. The rear of the house contained the kitchen garden. To this later period of the house belong its wall decorations in First Style and its famous mosaics. Finally, another peristyle was added around the time of the Early Roman Colony (20), that is, in the early first century B.C. This peristyle included more reception rooms along the south side (17 & 18), and smaller rooms, perhaps for servants, to the north (22) . The center of the new peristyle was occupied by the kitchen garden (19). With these renovations, the house acquired a new focus around the peristyles. The peristyles represented a private retreat for the family, a place where they could relax and entertain special guests. The front part of the house was kept for more formal occasions. The addition of service quarters reflects a further differentiation of function in the house, again separating the daily life of the family from the more public reception areas. The House of the Faun, with its elaborate decoration and extensive plan, represents one of the most important examples of Roman domus architecture of the second to first century B.CJohn Schou
Italy- Rome- The Pantheon of Marco V Agripa and Hadrian.jpg
Italy- Rome- The Pantheon of Marco V Agripa and Hadrian45 viewsPantheon
The Pantheon is a building in Rome which was originally built as a temple to all the gods of the Roman state religion, but has been a Christian church since the 7th century AD. It is the only building from the Greco-Roman world which is completely intact and which has been in continuous use throughout its history.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Schou
Italy- Terracina- Jupiter temple arches.jpg
Italy- Terracina- Jupiter temple arches35 viewsARCADE OF THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER ANXUR

Terracina c. 80 B.C.

The arch is the central revolutionary concept of Roman architecture. With its development the Romans bypass the earlier building concept of verticals and horizontals, support and load. The arch makes possible a new idea of space. It becomes the basis of Roman monumentality. Above these powerful supporting arches is a terrace which held the Temple of Jupiter Anxur. The arches are constructed of opus incertum, concrete faced with irregular-shaped stones
John Schou
Italy- Terracina- Jupiter temple inside arches.jpg
Italy- Terracina- Jupiter temple inside arches34 viewsARCADE OF THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER ANXUR

Terracina c. 80 B.C.

The arch is the central revolutionary concept of Roman architecture. With its development the Romans bypass the earlier building concept of verticals and horizontals, support and load. The arch makes possible a new idea of space. It becomes the basis of Roman monumentality. Above these powerful supporting arches is a terrace which held the Temple of Jupiter Anxur. The arches are constructed of opus incertum, concrete faced with irregular-shaped stones
John Schou
Italy- Terracina- Jupiter temple inside arches 1.jpg
Italy- Terracina- Jupiter temple inside arches 138 viewsARCADE OF THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER ANXUR

Terracina c. 80 B.C.

The arch is the central revolutionary concept of Roman architecture. With its development the Romans bypass the earlier building concept of verticals and horizontals, support and load. The arch makes possible a new idea of space. It becomes the basis of Roman monumentality. Above these powerful supporting arches is a terrace which held the Temple of Jupiter Anxur. The arches are constructed of opus incertum, concrete faced with irregular-shaped stones
John Schou
Gerasa.JPG
Jordan, Jerash (Ancient Gerasa), The Oval Forum in Jerash, and the Cardo Maximus3 viewsThe Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, the Oval Forum in Jerash, and the Cardo Maximus, with modern Jerash in the background.

Ancient Greek inscriptions from the city support that the city was founded by Alexander the Great and his general Perdiccas, who allegedly settled aged Macedonian soldiers there during the spring of 331 BC, when he left Egypt and crossed Syria en route to Mesopotamia. However, other sources, namely the city's former name of "Antioch on the Chrysorrhoas, point to a founding by Seleucid King Antioch IV, while still others attribute the founding to Ptolemy II of Egypt.

After the Roman conquest in 63 BC, Jerash and the land surrounding it were annexed to the Roman province of Syria, and later joined the Decapolis league of cities. The historian Josephus mentions the city as being principally inhabited by Syrians, and also having a small Jewish community.[19] In AD 106, Jerash was absorbed into the Roman province of Arabia, which included the city of Philadelphia (modern day Amman). The Romans ensured security and peace in this area, which enabled its people to devote their efforts and time to economic development and encouraged civic building activity.[20]

Jerash is considered one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy. And is sometimes misleadingly referred to as the "Pompeii of the Middle East" or of Asia, referring to its size, extent of excavation and level of preservation.

Jerash was the birthplace of the mathematician Nicomachus of Gerasa (Greek: Νικόμαχος) (c. 60 – c. 120 AD).

In the second half of the 1st century AD, the city of Jerash achieved great prosperity. In AD 106, the Emperor Trajan constructed roads throughout the province, and more trade came to Jerash. The Emperor Hadrian visited Jerash in AD 129–130. The triumphal arch (or Arch of Hadrian) was built to celebrate his visit.

The city finally reached a size of about 800,000 square meters within its walls. The Persian invasion in AD 614 caused the rapid decline of Jerash. Beneath the foundations of a Byzantine church that was built in Jerash in AD 530 there was discovered a mosaic floor with ancient Greek and Hebrew-Aramaic inscriptions. The presence of the Hebrew-Aramaic script has led scholars to think that the place was formerly a synagogue, before being converted into a church.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerash

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Place_ovale_de_Gerasa_new.JPG
Azurfrog, 2 November 2013
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Joe Sermarini
Juba.JPG
Juba I84 viewsObverse: Diademed, draped bust of King Juba right, with pointed beard and hair in formal curls, scepter at shoulder, REX IVBA before
Reverse: Octastyle temple, Neo-Punic legend on either side (Yubai hammamleket).
Mint : North Africa-Numidia
Date : BC 60-46
Reference : Sear GCV, Vol II, 6607
Grade : VF
Denom: Denarius
Metal : Silver
Acquired: 07/07/04

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

One of the last kings of Numidia (c. 60–46 BC), Juba supported the Pompeian side in the Roman civil war between Pompey and Julius Caesar. The kingdom fell in 46 BC at the Battle of Thapsus and was formed into a new province, Africa Nova. Caesar had Juba’s young son, Juba II, taken to Rome to be brought up in his household.
1 commentsBolayi
nikopolis_gordianIII_AMNG2088.jpg
Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, 36. Gordian III, HrHJ (2018) 8.36.46.08 (plate coin)60 viewsGordian III, AD 238-244
AE 27, 12.14g, 26.92mm, 180°
struck under governor Sabinius Modestus
obv. AVT K M ANTW - GORDIANOC
Bust, draped and cuirassed, seen from behind, laureate, r.
rev. VP CAB MODECT - OV NIKOPOLEITWN
in ex. PROC ICTR / ON
Tetrastyle temple with spiral columns; in middle intercolumnare statue of
Homonoia(?) with kalathos, patera and cornucopiae stg. l. on high base;
pediment decorated with shield(?); top of roof and corners of gable decorated
with floral acroteria.
ref. a) AMNG I/1, 2088 (2 ex., Mandl and Venice Marciana)
b) Varbanov (engl.) 4149 var. (cites AMNG 2088, but lists wrong legends and wrong picture!)
c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2018) No. 8.36.46.8 (plate coin)
good F/ about VF
Pedigree:
ex Beast Architecture Coins Coll.
1 commentsJochen
coin70.JPG
Nikopolis ad Istrum, Elagabalus31 viewsNicopolis ad Istrum was a Roman and Early Byzantine town founded by Emperor Trajan around 101–106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town reached its floruit during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty.

The classical town was planned according to the orthogonal system. The network of streets, the forum surrounded by an Ionic colonnade and many buildings, a two-nave room later turned into a basilica and other public buildings have been uncovered. The rich architectures and sculptures show a similarity with those of the ancient towns in Asia Minor. Nicopolis ad Istrum had issued coins, bearing images of its own public buildings.

In 447 AD, the town was destroyed by Attila's Huns. Perhaps it was already abandoned before the early 5th century. In the 6th century, it was rebuilt as a powerful fortress enclosing little more than military buildings and churches, following a very common trend for the cities of that century in the Danube area.[4] The largest area of the extensive ruins (21.55 hectares) of the classical Nicopolis was not reoccupied since the fort covered only one fourth of it (5.75 hectares), in the southeastern corner. The town became an episcopal centre during the early Byzantine period. It was finally destroyed by the Avar invasions at the end of the 6th century. A Bulgarian medieval settlement arose upon its ruins later (10th-14th century).

Nicopolis ad Istrum can be said to have been the birthplace of Germanic literary tradition. In the 4th century, the Gothic bishop, missionary and translator Ulfilas (Wulfila) obtained permission from Emperor Constantius II to immigrate with his flock of converts to Moesia and settle near Nicopolis ad Istrum in 347-8. There, he invented the Gothic alphabet and translated the Bible from Greek to Gothic.

Elagabalus, Nikopolis ad Istrum.
rev. VPA.NOB.ROVFOV NIKOPOLITWN PROC, in l. and r. field ICT - RON
AMNG I/1, 1893 (1 ex., Löbbecke)
1 commentsecoli
vespasian.jpg
Portrait of Vespasian439 viewsDigital paint of a sculpture, Capitoline Museum, Palazzo Nuovo, Rome. Photo from a series done in the early 1900s by the Alinari brothers.
ALINARI: Photographic documentation of art and architecture in Italy compiled by Alinari in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
4 commentsScotvs Capitis
valeriaN.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Valerian I. AD 253-260. AR Antoninianus 52 viewsValerian I. AD 253-260. AR Antoninianus .IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Victory standing left, holding wreath and palm frond.
In ancient Roman religion, Victoria was the personified goddess of victory. She is the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Nike, and was associated with Bellona. She was adapted from the Sabine agricultural goddess Vacuna and had a temple on the Palatine Hill. The goddess Vica Pota was also sometimes identified with Victoria.

Unlike the Greek Nike, Victoria (Latin for "victory") was a major part of Roman society. Multiple temples were erected in her honor. When her statue was removed in 382 CE by Emperor Gratianus there was much anger in Rome. She was normally worshiped by triumphant generals returning from war.

Also unlike the Greek Nike, who was known for success in athletic games such as chariot races, Victoria was a symbol of victory over death and determined who would be successful during war.

Victoria appears widely on Roman coins, jewelry, architecture, and other arts
3 commentsAdrian W
AntoSe75.jpg
TEMPLE, ANTONINUS PIUS, Temple of Venus102 viewsorichalcum sestertius (23.78g, 12h). Rome mint struck AD 141-143.
ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P COS III laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right
VENERI FELICI S C decastyle temple
RIC 651 (scarce); BMC 1322; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 125:23
ex Jean Elsen et ses Fils (Bruxelles) auction 97; ex coll. A. Senden: l'architecture des monnaies Romaines
F, dark green patina, corroded

Issued on the occasion of the completion of the temple of Venus and Roma in AD 141. This was the largest temple in Rome dedicated to Venus Felix (Happy Venus) and Roma Aeterna (Eternal Rome). Actually it consists of two temples back under one roof. It was designed by Hadrian himself (who, by the way, executed his architect for critisising the project) and dedicated by him in AD 135, and completed by Antoninus Pius.
Charles S
FAVSSE07.JPG
TEMPLE, FAUSTINA SENIOR, Temple of Diva Faustina135 viewsorichalcum sestertius (29.73g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck under Antoninus Pius, AD 141-161
DIVA AVGVS-TA FAVSTINA Draped bust of Diva Faustina senior facing right
PIETA(S AVG) / S C Hexastyle temple with on the roof a quadriga and victories holding a globe above their heads on each side
RIC (A. Pius) 1148 (rare), Cohen 254, Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 126:34e
ex Jean Elsen (Bruxelles), Auction 95; ex coll. A. Senden: l'architecture des monnaies Romaines

Issued on the dedication of a temple to Faustina upon her death in A.D. 141
Charles S
Juba~0.JPG
TEMPLE, Juba I261 viewsObverse: Diademed, draped bust of King Juba right, with pointed beard and hair in formal curls, scepter at shoulder, REX IVBA before
Reverse: Octastyle temple, Neo-Punic legend on either side (Yubai hammamleket).
Mint : North Africa-Numidia
Date : BC 60-46
Reference : Sear GCV, Vol II, 6607
Grade : VF

Comments: The temple shown on the reverse is possibly a mix of Greek and Punic architecture with the flat roof with pediment a Punic style.
1 commentsBolayi
trajse34-2.jpg
Trajan, RIC 632, Sestertius of AD 112-114 (Portus Traiani)195 viewsÆ Sestertius (26.66g, Ø35mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 112-114.
Obv.: IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P CO[S VI P P] laureate draped bust of Trajan facing right.
Rev.: [PORTVM TRAIANI] around, S C in ex., Basin of Trajan's harbour at Portus Traiani, near Ostia, surrounded by warehouses, ships in centre.
RIC 632 (R2); Cohen 305; STrack 438; MIR 470v (18 spec.; same die pair as Woytek Plate 94-470v3); BMC 770A (but COS V must be COS VI); RHC 104:59
ex Jean Elsen Auction 95; ex coll. A. Senden: "L'architecture des monnaies Romaines".
2 commentsCharles S
Çatalhöyük.jpg
Turkey, Çatalhöyük266 viewsÇatalhöyük (SE of Konya in Anatolia) is an outstanding Neolithic site. Excavation is ongoing, with the delicate mud brick architecture preserved under two large domes. There are no streets in Çatalhöyük; the buildings all abut one another and were accessed (using ladders) from the roof. The people of Çatalhöyük, it seems, had discovered how to construct houses, but hadn’t yet worked out the technology of doors and windows. 1 commentsAbu Galyon
terrace1.jpg
Turkey, Ephesus - Central Square464 viewsPart of the central square of the terrace houses in Ephesus.memphius
temphad.jpg
Turkey, Ephesus - Central square of Terrace Houses561 viewsPart of the central square of the terrace houses in Ephesus.1 commentsmemphius
pubtoilets.jpg
Turkey, Ephesus - Public Toilets683 viewsMinus the slaves to warm the seats in winter and the live entertainment1 commentsmemphius
hadtemp3.jpg
Turkey, Ephesus - Relief inside temple of Hadrian604 views1 commentsmemphius
terrace2.jpg
Turkey, Ephesus - Terrace House526 viewsLocated in the ongoing excavation of the upper-class terrace houses. Lovely floor mosaicmemphius
ephtheat.jpg
Turkey, Ephesus - Theater501 viewsOne of the largest in the ancient world. The apostle Paul spoke here before getting booted out for causing riots.1 commentsmemphius
wallpainting.jpg
Turkey, Ephesus - Wall fresco440 viewsLocated in the ongoing excavation of the upper-class terrace houses. Note the opening in the wall for circulation. The entire complex must have appeared like a luxury hotel with a central arbitorium.memphius
Antose83-2.jpg
USTRINUM (PYRE), ANTONINUS PIUS, (Ustrinum Antoninorum)135 viewsOrichalcum sestertius (21.73, 31mm, 12h). Rome mint, Struck under Marcus Aurelius, AD 161.
DIVVS ANTONINVS, bear head of Antoninus Pius facing right
CONSECRATIO (around) S C (in field) Four tiered funeral pyre or rather an ustrinum surmounted by a statue of Antoninus in a quadriga, facing. The lowest tier is hung with wreaths, the second has a door in the centre with two niches at each side with a statue in each; the third has six niches each with a statue; the fourth is hung with draperies and flanked by torches.
RIC (M.Aurelius) 1266 (Common), BMC 872, Cohen 165, Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 136:15
ex Roma Numismatics; Ex Künker

Minted under Marcus Aurelius in joint reign with Verus, in honour of the funeral and deification of Antoninus Pius. Traditionally the structure on the reverse is called a Funeral Pyre, but there are good arguments to believe this is in fact a stone pyramide building called "ustrinum" where the ashes were kept: see an article at BeastCoins.
1 commentsCharles S
Vespse08-2.jpg
Vespasian, RIC 179, Sestertius of AD 71 (Pax)47 viewsÆ Sestertius (26.15g, Ø34.5mm, 6h). Roman mint. Struck AD 71.
Obv.: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG PM TR P P P COS III laureate head right.
Rev.: PAX AVG (around) S C (ex.), Pax standing right, setting fire to a pile of arms; to the left, a column with a statue of Minerva on top and a shield against it; to the right, a lighted altar.
RIC 179 (R2); BMCRE 553; Cohen 239
ex Jean Elsen (Bruxelles); ex coll. A.Senden: l'architecture des monnaies romaines.

This issue is dedicated to the defeat of the Jewish revolt and fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.
1 commentsCharles S
Justinan1Nikomedia.jpg
[1611a] Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.68 viewsBronze follis, S 201, choice VF, 22.147g, 43.8mm, 180o, 2nd officina, Nikomedia mint, 541 - 542 A.D.; Obverse: D N IVSTINIANVS PP AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right, shield decorated with a horseman brandishing a spear, cross right; Reverse: large M, cross above, ANNO left, Xu (= year 15) right, B below, NIKO in ex; full circle strike on a huge flan. Ex FORVM.



De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Justinian (527-565 A.D.).

James Allan Evans
University of British Columbia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
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