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crcg.jpg
Crispus RIC VII 69 Thessalonica, 319 CE32 viewsObverse: IVL CRIS-PVS NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust right.
Reverse: VIRT EXERC, Sol raising right hand and holding globe in left, standing in center of plan of roman camp.
TS dot E dot in ex. Thessalonica mint
19.53mm., 2.2g. rare
The true meaning of this reverse type has never been fully deciphered. The latest theory being the X shaped pattern represents Constantine's vision before the battle of Milvainbridge. This does not seem likely since the type is known on coins of Licinius a pagan and Constantine's enemy
sold 4-2018

NORMAN K
maxentius_discouri_comb_res.jpg
(0306) MAXENTIUS (USURPER)58 views306 - 312 AD
struck 309 AD
AE FOLLIS 24.5 mm 5.78 g
O: IMP C MAXENTIVS PF AVG, LAUR BUST R
R: AETERNITAS AVG N, DIOSCURI STANDING FACING EACH OTHER, WITH STAR ABOVE EACH HEAD, HOLDING HORSES BY BRIDLES, SHE-WOLF AND TWINS BELOW
MOSTB IN EXE
(usurper, killed by Constantine I at Battle of the Milvian Bridge)
OSTIA
RIC (VI) 16
(ex G.Clark)
2 commentslaney
maxentius_discouri_comb_resb.jpg
(0306) MAXENTIUS (USURPER)23 views306 - 312 AD
struck 309 AD
AE FOLLIS 24.5 mm 5.78 g
O: IMP C MAXENTIVS PF AVG, LAUR BUST R
R: AETERNITAS AVG N, DIOSCURI STANDING FACING EACH OTHER, WITH STAR ABOVE EACH HEAD, HOLDING HORSES BY BRIDLES, SHE-WOLF AND TWINS BELOW
MOSTB IN EXE
(usurper, killed by Constantine I at Battle of the Milvian Bridge)
OSTIA
RIC (VI) 16
laney
max_discouri_comb_resized.jpg
(0306) MAXENTIUS (USURPER)/DIOSCURI AND SHE-WOLF WITH TWINS53 viewsAE FOLLIS 24.5 mm 5.78 g
306 - 12 AD; STRUCK 309 AD
O: IMP C MAXENTIVS PF AVG
LAUR BUST R
R: AETERNITAS AVG N
DIOSCURI STANDING FACING EACH OTHER, WITH STAR ABOVE EACH HEAD, HOLDING HORSES BY BRIDLES, SHE-WOLF AND TWINS BELOW
MOSTB IN EXE
(usurper, killed by Constantine I at Battle of the Milvian Bridge)
OSTIA
RIC (VI) 16
(ex G.Clark)
laney
MaxentiusFollisRic258.jpg
058. Maxentius, 306-312. AE Follis.71 viewsObv. Laureate head right IMP C MAXENTIVS PF AVG
Rev. Roma seated left holding sceptre and globe, within hexastyle temple with wreath within pediment CONSEERV VRB SVAE, RES below.
Rome Mint, 310-11. 24.5mm, 5.98g.
RIC 258.
1 commentsLordBest
0001JUL.jpg
1) Julius Caesar160 viewsDenarius, Rome, Moneyer P. Sepullius Macer, 44 BC, 4.03g. Cr-480/11, Syd-1072; Sear, Imperators-107b. Obv: Wreathed head of Caesar r., CAESAR before, D[IC]T PERPETVO behind. Rx: Venus standing l., looking downwards, holding Victory and scepter resting on star, P SEPVLLIVS behind, MACER downwards before. Same dies as Alfoldi, Caesar in 44 v. Chr., pl. LIII, 6-8. Banker's mark behind Caesar's eye. Good portrait. Some areas of flat striking, otherwise EF

Ex HJB - purchased on the Ides of March, 2011

Gaius Julius Caesar (Classical Latin: [ˈɡaː.i.ʊs ˈjuː.lɪ.ʊs ˈkaj.sar], July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman general, statesman, Consul and notable author of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. In 60 BC, Caesar, Crassus and Pompey formed a political alliance that was to dominate Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to amass power through populist tactics were opposed by the conservative elite within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar's conquest of Gaul, completed by 51 BC, extended Rome's territory to the English Channel and the Rhine. Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both when he built a bridge across the Rhine and conducted the first invasion of Britain.

These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC. With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to lay down his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused, and marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with a legion, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman territory under arms. Civil war resulted, from which he emerged as the unrivaled leader of Rome.

After assuming control of government, Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar. He centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed "dictator in perpetuity". But the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March (15 March) 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of senators led by Marcus Junius Brutus. A new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never restored. Caesar's adopted heir Octavian, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power, and the era of the Roman Empire began.

Much of Caesar's life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The later biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are also major sources. Caesar is deemed to be one of the greatest military commanders of history. Source: wikipedia
RM0001
13 commentsSosius
coin215.JPG
101. Nerva40 viewsNerva

Nerva is credited with beginning the practice of adopting his heir rather than selecting a blood relative. Nerva's reign was more concerned with the continuation of an existing political system than with the birth of a new age. Indeed, his economic policies, his relationship with the senate, and the men whom he chose to govern and to offer him advice all show signs of Flavian influence. In many respects, Nerva was the right man at the right time. His immediate accession following Domitian's murder prevented anarchy and civil war, while his age, poor health and moderate views were perfect attributes for a government that offered a bridge between Domitian's stormy reign and the emperorships of the stable rulers to follow.

Denarius. IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR POT II, laureate head right / COS III PATER PATRAE, ladle, sprinkler, jug & lituus. RSC 51.
ecoli
rjb_car_1093_06_06.jpg
109339 viewsCarausius 287-93AD
Antoninianus
Obv “IMP CARAVSIVS PF AVG”
Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev “SALVS AVG”
Salus standing left feeding serpent rising from altar
London mint?
-/-//BRI
RIC 1093
The BRI coins are rare, Shiel (1977) listed only seven in total of both reverse types. This coin is a reverse die duplicate of Shiel 6, a specimen from the F Baldwin collection, the whereabouts are unknown today and was not in the 1969 sale of his collection, a cast of which is in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. It appears to be a new obverse die for the series.

More information on the "BRI" coins of Carausius can be found here.
mauseus
1305_-1306_Edward_I_LONDON_PENNY.JPG
1272 - 1307, EDWARD I, AR Penny, Struck 1305 - 1306 at London, England14 viewsObverse: + EDWAR ANGL DNS HYB. Crowned bust of Edward I facing within circle of pellets. Cross pattée in legend.
Reverse: CIVITAS LONDON. Long cross dividing legend into quarters, trefoil in each quarter of inner circle.
Undated Penny, type 10cf1
Diameter: 18.5mm | Weight: 1.2gms | Die Axis: 9
SPINK: 1410

Edward I began a major recoinage in 1279 which consisted not only of pennies and new round half-pennies and farthings, but also introduced a new denomination, a fourpenny piece called the "Groat".

Edward I was King of England from 1272 – 1307. He was the eldest surviving son of Henry III and Eleanor of Provence. The contests between his father and the barons led by Simon de Montfort called Edward early into active life when he restored the royal authority within months by defeating and killing de Montfort at the battle of Evesham in 1265. He then proceeded to Palestine, where no conquest of any importance was achieved. After further campaigns in Italy and France he returned to England on his father's death and was crowned at Westminster Abbey in 1274.
Edward was popular because he identified himself with the growing tide of nationalism sweeping the country, displayed later in his persecution and banishment of the Jews which was the culmination of many years of anti-semitism in England.
Edward now turned his attention to the mountainous land to the west which had never been completely subdued. So, following a revolt in the Principality of Wales against English influence, Edward commenced a war which ended in the annexation of the Principality to the English Crown in 1283. He secured his conquest by building nine castles to watch over it and created his eldest son, Edward the Prince of Wales in 1301.
Edward's great ambition, however, was to gain possession of Scotland, but the death of Margaret, the Maid of Norway, who was to have been married to Edward's son, for a time frustrated the king's designs. However the sudden death of the King of Scotland, Alexander III, and the contested succession soon gave him the opportunity to intervene. He was invited by the Scots to arbitrate and choose between the thirteen competitors for the Scottish throne. Edward's choice, John Balliol, who he conceived as his puppet, was persuaded to do homage for his crown to Edward at Newcastle but was then forced to throw off Edward's overlordship by the indignation of the Scottish people. An alliance between the French and the Scots now followed, and Edward, then at war with the French king over possession of Gascony, was compelled to march his army north. Edward invaded Scotland in 1296 and devastated the country, which earned him the sobriquet 'Hammer of the Scots'. It was at this time that the symbolic Stone of Destiny was removed from Scone. Edward's influence had tainted Balliol's reign and the Scottish nobility deposed him and appointed a council of twelve to rule instead. Balliol abdicated and was eventually sent to France where he retired into obscurity, taking no more part in politics. Scotland was then left without a monarch until the accession of Robert the Bruce in 1306.
Meanwhile Edward assumed the administration of the country. However the following summer a new opposition to Edward took place under William Wallace whose successes, notably at Stirling Bridge, forced Edward to return to Scotland with an army of 100,000 men. Although he defeated Wallace's army at Falkirk, and Wallace himself was betrayed, Edward's unjust and barbaric execution of him as a traitor in London made Wallace a national hero in Scotland, and resistance to England became paramount among the people. All Edward's efforts to reduce the country to obedience were unravelling, and after the crowning of Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick, as Robert I of Scotland in 1306 an enraged Edward assembled another army and marched yet again against the Scots. However, Edward only reached Burgh-on-Sands, a village near Carlisle, when he died. His body was taken back to London and he was buried at Westminster Abbey.
Edward I was married twice: to Eleanor of Castile, by whom he had sixteen children, and Margaret of France by whom he had three. Twelve memorials to his first wife stood between Nottingham and London to mark the journey taken by her funeral cortege. Three of those memorials, known as “Eleanor Crosses”, can still be seen today at Geddington, Hardingstone near Northampton and Waltham Cross. London's Charing Cross is also named after one, but the original was demolished in 1647 and the monument seen there today is a Victorian replica.
1 comments*Alex
Edward_II_AR_Penny_Bury_St_Edmunds.JPG
1307 - 1327, EDWARD II, AR Penny, Struck 1307 at Bury St. Edmunds, England3 viewsObverse: + EDWAR R ANGL DNS hYB. Crowned and draped bust of Edward II facing within circle of pellets. Cross pattee in legend.
Reverse: VILL SCI EDMVNDI. Long cross dividing legend into quarters, trefoil in each quarter of inner circle.
Diameter: 19mm | Weight: 1.37gms | Die Axis: 12
Rare mint
SPINK: 1465

Class 11c penny with angular backs to C and E's in legends.

Edward II was born on 25 April 1284, the fourth son of Edward I of England and when Edward I died in July 1307 Edward II became king because his three elder brothers were already dead. Edward II was the first English prince to hold the title prince of Wales, which was bestowed on him by his father in 1301.
Unfortunately Edward II had few of the qualities that made a successful medieval king. He surrounded himself with favourites, the best known being Piers Gaveston who he recalled from exile, Edward I having banished him to France due to his bad influence on his son. Furthermore, Edward II gave Gaveston the earldom of Cornwall, a title which had previously only been conferred on royalty.
Opposition to the king and his favourite began almost immediately, and in 1311 the nobles issued the 'Ordinances', in an attempt to limit royal control of finance and appointments. Gaveston was twice exiled at the demand of the barons, only for him to return to England shortly afterwards. However, in 1312, he was captured by the barons and executed.
In 1314, Edward invaded Scotland where he was decisively defeated by Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn. So bad was this for Edward's rule that by the following year parts of England had fallen into anarchy and power was in the hands of the barons headed by Edward's cousin Thomas of Lancaster, who had virtually made himself the real ruler of England.
By 1318, Edward and Lancaster had been partly reconciled, but the king now had two new favourites, Hugh le Despenser and his son. When Edward supported the two Despensers' ambitions in Wales the barons banished both father and son. This prompted Edward to fight back and he defeated Lancaster at Boroughbridge in March 1322, Lancaster was executed him and the Despensers were called back to Edward's court.
But now, Edward's wife, Isabella of France, emerged as a focus of opposition. In 1325, she was sent on a diplomatic mission to France where she met and became the mistress of Roger Mortimer, an exiled opponent of Edward. In September 1326, Isabella and Mortimer invaded England. There was virtually no resistance and the Despensers were captured and executed. Defeated, Edward was made to renounce the throne in favour of his son Edward who was crowned Edward III in January 1327.
Edward II was imprisoned at Berkeley Castle and later murdered there.
*Alex
MaxentiusRIC163.jpg
1307a, Maxentius, February 307 - 28 October 312 A.D.60 viewsBronze 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)59 viewsLicinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D. Bronze follis, RIC 4, F, Siscia, 3.257g, 21.6mm, 0o, 313 - 315 A.D. Obverse: IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; Reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG NN, Jupiter standing left holding Victory on globe and scepter, eagle with wreath in beak left, E right, SIS in exergue.



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

Licinius (308-324 A.D.)

Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

Licinius' Heritage

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

Licinius' Early Reign

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

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

The First Civil War Between Licinius and Constantine

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

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

Licinius and the Christians

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
Licin1AEFolJupiAlex.jpg
1308c, Licinius I, 308-324 A.D. (Alexandria)66 viewsLicinius I, 308-324 A.D. AE Follis, 3.60g, VF, 315 A.D., Alexandria. Obverse: IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG - Laureate head right; Reverse: IOVI CONS-ERVATORI AVGG - Jupiter standing left, holding Victory on a globe and scepter; exergue: ALE / (wreath) over "B" over "N." Ref: RIC VII, 10 (B = r2) Rare, page 705 - Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, Scotland.


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

Licinius (308-324 A.D.)

Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

Licinius' Heritage

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

Licinius' Early Reign

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

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

The First Civil War Between Licinius and Constantine

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

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

Licinius and the Christians

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
CtG AE3.jpg
1403a,1, Constantine I (the Great), 307-337 A.D.46 viewsConstantine I (the Great), 307-337 A.D. Bronze AE 3, RIC 16, C -, VF, 2.854g, 19.1mm, 180o, Constantinople mint, 327 A.D. Obverse: CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, rosette diademed head right; Reverse: GLORIA EXERCITVS, Soldier standing left, head right, resting left hand on shield and holding inverted spear in right, G in left field, CONS in exergue; very rare (R3).

The Emperor Constantine I was effectively the sole ruler of the Roman world between 324 and 337 A.D.; his reign was perhaps one of the most crucial of all the emperors in determining the future course of western civilization. By beginning the process of making Christianity the religious foundation of his realm, he set the religious course for the future of Europe which remains in place to this very day. Because he replaced Rome with Constantinople as the center of imperial power, he made it clear that the city of Rome was no longer the center of power and he also set the stage for the Middle Ages. His philosophical view of monarchy, largely spelled out in some of the works of Eusebius of Caesarea, became the foundation for the concept of the divine right of kings which prevailed in Europe.

Constantine was not a "Christian convert" in any traditional sense. He was not baptized until close to death, and while that was not an uncommon practice, the mention of Christ in his speeches and decrees is conspicuous by its absence. Eusebius, Church historian and Constantine biographer, is responsible for much of the valorization of Constantine as the Christian Emperor. The somnambulant "sign" in which Constantine was to become victor at the Milvian Bridge is, not so surprisingly, revealed to posterity long after the "fact." Throughout his reign, Constantine continues to portray himself on coins as a sun god (Freeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean; Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. 582). Above all, Constantine was a pragmatist. It would be cynical to egregiously disavow his commitment to Christianity, but it would be equally wrong to think that he would allow Christianity to meddle in the governance of his empire. As he reputedly told a group of bishops, "You are bishops of those within the church, but I am perhaps a bishop appointed by God of those outside." Whatever the motives for his decision to support Christianity, Christianity benefitted from the arrangement. So, too, did Constantine. It was a match made in heaven.
J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

For perhaps the best Constantine The Great site on the web, see Victor Clark's Constantine The Great Coins: http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/
1 commentsCleisthenes
Const1GlrEx.jpg
1403b, Constantine I (the Great), early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.37 viewsConstantine the Great, early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D., Bronze AE 3, RIC 137, VF, Constantinople mint, 1.476g, 16.4mm, 180o, 336 - 337 A.D. Obverse: CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, laurel and rosette-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two soldiers, each holding spear and shield on ground, flanking standard, CONS[ ] in exergue. Ex FORVM.

The Emperor Constantine I was effectively the sole ruler of the Roman world between 324 and 337 A.D.; his reign was perhaps one of the most crucial of all the emperors in determining the future course of western civilization. By beginning the process of making Christianity the religious foundation of his realm, he set the religious course for the future of Europe which remains in place to this very day. Because he replaced Rome with Constantinople as the center of imperial power, he made it clear that the city of Rome was no longer the center of power and he also set the stage for the Middle Ages. His philosophical view of monarchy, largely spelled out in some of the works of Eusebius of Caesarea, became the foundation for the concept of the divine right of kings which prevailed in Europe.

Constantine was not a "Christian convert" in any traditional sense. He was not baptized until close to death, and while that was not an uncommon practice, the mention of Christ in his speeches and decrees is conspicuous by its absence. Eusebius, Church historian and Constantine biographer, is responsible for much of the valorization of Constantine as the Christian Emperor. The somnambulant "sign" in which Constantine was to become victor at the Milvian Bridge is, not so surprisingly, revealed to posterity long after the "fact." Throughout his reign, Constantine continues to portray himself on coins as a sun god (Freeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean; Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. 582). Above all, Constantine was a pragmatist. It would be cynical to egregiously disavow his commitment to Christianity, but it would be equally wrong to think that he would allow Christianity to meddle in the governance of his empire. As he reputedly told a group of bishops, "You are bishops of those within the church, but I am perhaps a bishop appointed by God of those outside." Whatever the motives for his decision to support Christianity, Christianity benefitted from the arrangement. So, too, did Constantine. It was a match made in heaven.
J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

For perhaps the best Constantine The Great site on the web, see Victor Clark's Constantine The Great Coins: http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/
Cleisthenes
CTGDafne.jpg
1403c, Constantine I (the Great), early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.49 viewsBronze AE 3, RIC VII 35, choice aEF, Constantinople mint, 3.336g, 20.0mm, 180o, 328 A.D.; Obverse: CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, laurel and rosette diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: CONSTANTINI-ANA DAFNE, Victory seated left on cippus, head right, palm frond in each hand, trophy and captive before, CONS in exergue, B left; scarce. Ex FORVM.

"The information about Constantine's campaign across [the Danube] is obscure and untrustworthy. The question, therefore, of what he achieved by this enterprise was, and is, subject to contradictory interpretations. On the one hand, the Panegyrists claimed that he had repeated the triumphs of Trajan. On the other, his own nephew, Julian the Apostate, spoke for many when he expressed the view that this second 'conquest' of Dacia was incomplete and extremely brief . . . monetary commemoration was accorded to the building, at about the same time [AD 328], of the river frontier fortress of Constantiniana Dafne (Spantov, near Oltenita) . . ." (Grant, Michael. The Emperor Constantine. London: Phoenix, 1998. 58-9).

The Emperor Constantine I was effectively the sole ruler of the Roman world between 324 and 337 A.D.; his reign was perhaps one of the most crucial of all the emperors in determining the future course of western civilization. By beginning the process of making Christianity the religious foundation of his realm, he set the religious course for the future of Europe which remains in place to this very day. Because he replaced Rome with Constantinople as the center of imperial power, he made it clear that the city of Rome was no longer the center of power and he also set the stage for the Middle Ages. His philosophical view of monarchy, largely spelled out in some of the works of Eusebius of Caesarea, became the foundation for the concept of the divine right of kings which prevailed in Europe.

Constantine was not a "Christian convert" in any traditional sense. He was not baptized until close to death, and while that was not an uncommon practice, the mention of Christ in his speeches and decrees is conspicuous by its absence. Eusebius, Church historian and Constantine biographer, is responsible for much of the valorization of Constantine as the Christian Emperor. The somnambulant "sign" in which Constantine was to become victor at the Milvian Bridge is, not so surprisingly, revealed to posterity long after the "fact." Throughout his reign, Constantine continues to portray himself on coins as a sun god (Freeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean; Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. 582). Above all, Constantine was a pragmatist. It would be cynical to egregiously disavow his commitment to Christianity, but it would be equally wrong to think that he would allow Christianity to meddle in the governance of his empire. As he reputedly told a group of bishops, "You are bishops of those within the church, but I am perhaps a bishop appointed by God of those outside." Whatever the motives for his decision to support Christianity, Christianity benefitted from the arrangement. So, too, did Constantine. It was a match made in heaven.
J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

For perhaps the best Constantine The Great site on the web, see Victor Clark's Constantine The Great Coins: http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/
1 commentsCleisthenes
CTGKyzAE3.jpg
1403d, Constantine I (the Great), early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D. (Cyzicus)37 viewsConstantine the Great, early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D. Bronze AE 3, RIC 199, gVF, corrosion, Cyzicus, 1.402g, 16.2mm, 0o, 336 - 337 A.D. Obverse: CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, laurel and rosette-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS•, two soldiers, each holding spear and shield on ground, flanking standard, SMKA in exergue.

The Emperor Constantine I was effectively the sole ruler of the Roman world between 324 and 337 A.D.; his reign was perhaps one of the most crucial of all the emperors in determining the future course of western civilization. By beginning the process of making Christianity the religious foundation of his realm, he set the religious course for the future of Europe which remains in place to this very day. Because he replaced Rome with Constantinople as the center of imperial power, he made it clear that the city of Rome was no longer the center of power and he also set the stage for the Middle Ages. His philosophical view of monarchy, largely spelled out in some of the works of Eusebius of Caesarea, became the foundation for the concept of the divine right of kings which prevailed in Europe.

Constantine was not a "Christian convert" in any traditional sense. He was not baptized until close to death, and while that was not an uncommon practice, the mention of Christ in his speeches and decrees is conspicuous by its absence. Eusebius, Church historian and Constantine biographer, is responsible for much of the valorization of Constantine as the Christian Emperor. The somnambulant "sign" in which Constantine was to become victor at the Milvian Bridge is, not so surprisingly, revealed to posterity long after the "fact." Throughout his reign, Constantine continues to portray himself on coins as a sun god (Freeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean; Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. 582). Above all, Constantine was a pragmatist. It would be cynical to egregiously disavow his commitment to Christianity, but it would be equally wrong to think that he would allow Christianity to meddle in the governance of his empire. As he reputedly told a group of bishops, "You are bishops of those within the church, but I am perhaps a bishop appointed by God of those outside." Whatever the motives for his decision to support Christianity, Christianity benefitted from the arrangement. So, too, did Constantine. It was a match made in heaven.
J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

For perhaps the best Constantine The Great site on the web, see Victor Clark's Constantine The Great Coins: http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/
Cleisthenes
CTGVOTXXX.jpg
1403e, Constantine I (the Great), early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D. (Heraclea)28 viewsConstantine the Great, Bronze AE 3, RIC 69, VF, Heraclea, 3.38g, 19.0mm, 180o, 325 - 326 A.D. Obverse: CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laureate head right; Reverse: D N CONSTANTINI MAX AVG, VOT XXX in wreath, SMHD in exergue.

The Emperor Constantine I was effectively the sole ruler of the Roman world between 324 and 337 A.D.; his reign was perhaps one of the most crucial of all the emperors in determining the future course of western civilization. By beginning the process of making Christianity the religious foundation of his realm, he set the religious course for the future of Europe which remains in place to this very day. Because he replaced Rome with Constantinople as the center of imperial power, he made it clear that the city of Rome was no longer the center of power and he also set the stage for the Middle Ages. His philosophical view of monarchy, largely spelled out in some of the works of Eusebius of Caesarea, became the foundation for the concept of the divine right of kings which prevailed in Europe.

Constantine was not a "Christian convert" in any traditional sense. He was not baptized until close to death, and while that was not an uncommon practice, the mention of Christ in his speeches and decrees is conspicuous by its absence. Eusebius, Church historian and Constantine biographer, is responsible for much of the valorization of Constantine as the Christian Emperor. The somnambulant "sign" in which Constantine was to become victor at the Milvian Bridge is, not so surprisingly, revealed to posterity long after the "fact." Throughout his reign, Constantine continues to portray himself on coins as a sun god (Freeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean; Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. 582). Above all, Constantine was a pragmatist. It would be cynical to egregiously disavow his commitment to Christianity, but it would be equally wrong to think that he would allow Christianity to meddle in the governance of his empire. As he reputedly told a group of bishops, "You are bishops of those within the church, but I am perhaps a bishop appointed by God of those outside." Whatever the motives for his decision to support Christianity, Christianity benefitted from the arrangement. So, too, did Constantine. It was a match made in heaven.
J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

For perhaps the best Constantine The Great site on the web, see Victor Clark's Constantine The Great Coins: http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/
Cleisthenes
12817p00.jpg
1403f, Constantine I (the Great), early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D. (Heraclea)20 viewsBronze follis, RIC 5, F/aF, 3.513g, 20.4mm, 180o, Heraclea mint, 313 A.D.; obverse IMP C FL VAL CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSER-VATORI AVGG, Jupiter standing left holding Victory and scepter, eagle with wreath in beek at feet, B in right field, SMHT in exergue.

The Emperor Constantine I was effectively the sole ruler of the Roman world between 324 and 337 A.D.; his reign was perhaps one of the most crucial of all the emperors in determining the future course of western civilization. By beginning the process of making Christianity the religious foundation of his realm, he set the religious course for the future of Europe which remains in place to this very day. Because he replaced Rome with Constantinople as the center of imperial power, he made it clear that the city of Rome was no longer the center of power and he also set the stage for the Middle Ages. His philosophical view of monarchy, largely spelled out in some of the works of Eusebius of Caesarea, became the foundation for the concept of the divine right of kings which prevailed in Europe.

Constantine was not a "Christian convert" in any traditional sense. He was not baptized until close to death, and while that was not an uncommon practice, the mention of Christ in his speeches and decrees is conspicuous by its absence. Eusebius, Church historian and Constantine biographer, is responsible for much of the valorization of Constantine as the Christian Emperor. The somnambulant "sign" in which Constantine was to become victor at the Milvian Bridge is, not so surprisingly, revealed to posterity long after the "fact." Throughout his reign, Constantine continues to portray himself on coins as a sun god (Freeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean; Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. 582). Above all, Constantine was a pragmatist. It would be cynical to egregiously disavow his commitment to Christianity, but it would be equally wrong to think that he would allow Christianity to meddle in the governance of his empire. As he reputedly told a group of bishops, "You are bishops of those within the church, but I am perhaps a bishop appointed by God of those outside." Whatever the motives for his decision to support Christianity, Christianity benefitted from the arrangement. So, too, did Constantine. It was a match made in heaven.
J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

For perhaps the best Constantine The Great site on the web, see Victor Clark's Constantine The Great Coins: http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/
Cleisthenes
CTGaeFolNico.jpg
1403g, Constantine I (the Great), early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D. (Nicomedia)22 viewsConstantine the Great, early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D. Bronze follis, RIC 12, aVF, Nicomedia mint, 2.760g, 22.0mm, 0o, 313 - 317 A.D. Obverse: IMP C FL VAL CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; Reverse: IOVI CONS-ERVATORI, Jupiter standing left holding Victory on globe and scepter, eagle with wreath in beak left, G right, SMN in exergue; scarce.

The Emperor Constantine I was effectively the sole ruler of the Roman world between 324 and 337 A.D.; his reign was perhaps one of the most crucial of all the emperors in determining the future course of western civilization. By beginning the process of making Christianity the religious foundation of his realm, he set the religious course for the future of Europe which remains in place to this very day. Because he replaced Rome with Constantinople as the center of imperial power, he made it clear that the city of Rome was no longer the center of power and he also set the stage for the Middle Ages. His philosophical view of monarchy, largely spelled out in some of the works of Eusebius of Caesarea, became the foundation for the concept of the divine right of kings which prevailed in Europe.

Constantine was not a "Christian convert" in any traditional sense. He was not baptized until close to death, and while that was not an uncommon practice, the mention of Christ in his speeches and decrees is conspicuous by its absence. Eusebius, Church historian and Constantine biographer, is responsible for much of the valorization of Constantine as the Christian Emperor. The somnambulant "sign" in which Constantine was to become victor at the Milvian Bridge is, not so surprisingly, revealed to posterity long after the "fact." Throughout his reign, Constantine continues to portray himself on coins as a sun god (Freeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean; Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. 582). Above all, Constantine was a pragmatist. It would be cynical to egregiously disavow his commitment to Christianity, but it would be equally wrong to think that he would allow Christianity to meddle in the governance of his empire. As he reputedly told a group of bishops, "You are bishops of those within the church, but I am perhaps a bishop appointed by God of those outside." Whatever the motives for his decision to support Christianity, Christianity benefitted from the arrangement. So, too, did Constantine. It was a match made in heaven.
J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

For perhaps the best Constantine The Great site on the web, see Victor Clark's Constantine The Great Coins: http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/
Cleisthenes
CTG.jpg
1403h, Constantine I (the Great), early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D. (Siscia)36 viewsBronze follis, RIC 232b, gVF, Siscia, 3.87g, 23.8mm, 180o, early 313 A.D. Obverse: IMP CONSTANTINVS 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.

The Emperor Constantine I was effectively the sole ruler of the Roman world between 324 and 337 A.D.; his reign was perhaps one of the most crucial of all the emperors in determining the future course of western civilization. By beginning the process of making Christianity the religious foundation of his realm, he set the religious course for the future of Europe which remains in place to this very day. Because he replaced Rome with Constantinople as the center of imperial power, he made it clear that the city of Rome was no longer the center of power and he also set the stage for the Middle Ages. His philosophical view of monarchy, largely spelled out in some of the works of Eusebius of Caesarea, became the foundation for the concept of the divine right of kings which prevailed in Europe.

Constantine was not a "Christian convert" in any traditional sense. He was not baptized until close to death, and while that was not an uncommon practice, the mention of Christ in his speeches and decrees is conspicuous by its absence. Eusebius, Church historian and Constantine biographer, is responsible for much of the valorization of Constantine as the Christian Emperor. The somnambulant "sign" in which Constantine was to become victor at the Milvian Bridge is, not so surprisingly, revealed to posterity long after the "fact." Throughout his reign, Constantine continues to portray himself on coins as a sun god (Freeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean; Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. 582). Above all, Constantine was a pragmatist. It would be cynical to egregiously disavow his commitment to Christianity, but it would be equally wrong to think that he would allow Christianity to meddle in the governance of his empire. As he reputedly told a group of bishops, "You are bishops of those within the church, but I am perhaps a bishop appointed by God of those outside." Whatever the motives for his decision to support Christianity, Christianity benefitted from the arrangement. So, too, did Constantine. It was a match made in heaven.
J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

For perhaps the best Constantine The Great site on the web, see Victor Clark's Constantine The Great Coins: http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/
Cleisthenes
CTG_SisCmpGte.jpg
1403i, Constantine I (the Great), early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D. (Siscia)42 viewsSilvered AE 3, RIC 214, VF, Siscia mint, 3.187g, 19.3mm, 0o, 328 - 329 A.D.
Obverse: CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laureate head right; Reverse PROVIDEN-TIAE AVGG, campgate with two turrets, star above, ASIS and double crescent in exergue.

Flavius Valerius Constantinus, Constantine the Great, was the son of Helena and the First Tetrarchic ruler Constantius I. Constantine is most famous for his conversion to Christianity and the battle of the Milvian Bridge where he defeated emperor Maxentius. It is reputed that before the battle, he saw the words "In Hoc Signo Victor Eris" (By this sign you shall conquer) emblazoned on the sun around the Chi Rho, the symbol of Christianity. Other sources claim the vision came to Constantine I in a dream. The story continues that after placing this Christogram on the shields of his army, he defeated his opponent and thus ruled the empire through divine providence. Constantine I also shifted the capital of the empire to Constantinople, establishing the foundation for an Empire that would last another 1000 years. He died in 337 and his sons divided the Roman territories.

The Emperor Constantine I was effectively the sole ruler of the Roman world between 324 and 337 A.D.; his reign was perhaps one of the most crucial of all the emperors in determining the future course of western civilization. By beginning the process of making Christianity the religious foundation of his realm, he set the religious course for the future of Europe which remains in place to this very day. Because he replaced Rome with Constantinople as the center of imperial power, he made it clear that the city of Rome was no longer the center of power, and he also set the stage for the Middle Ages. His philosophical view of monarchy, largely spelled out in some of the works of Eusebius of Caesarea, became the foundation for the concept of the divine right of kings which prevailed in Europe.

Constantine was not a "Christian convert" in any traditional sense. He was not baptized until close to death, and while that was not an uncommon practice, the mention of Christ in his speeches and decrees is conspicuous by its absence. Eusebius, Church historian and Constantine biographer, is responsible for much of the valorization of Constantine as the Christian Emperor. The somnambulant "sign" in which Constantine was to become victor at the Milvian Bridge is, not so surprisingly, revealed to posterity long after the "fact." Throughout his reign, Constantine continues to portray himself on coins as a sun god (Freeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean; Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. 582). Above all, Constantine was a pragmatist. It would be cynical to egregiously disavow his commitment to Christianity, but it would be equally wrong to think that he would allow Christianity to meddle in the governance of his empire. As he reputedly told a group of bishops, "You are bishops of those within the church, but I am perhaps a bishop appointed by God of those outside." Whatever the motives for his decision to support Christianity, Christianity benefitted from the arrangement. So, too, did Constantine. It was a match made in heaven.
J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

For perhaps the best Constantine The Great site on the web, see Victor Clark's Constantine The Great Coins: http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/
Cleisthenes
CTG_ThesCmpGte.jpg
1403j, Constantine I (the Great), early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D. (Thessalonica)26 viewsBronze AE 3, RIC 153, VF, Thessalonica mint, 2.955g, 19.7mm, 0o, 326 - 328 A.D. Obverse: CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laureate head right; Reverse: PROVIDEN-TIAE AVGG, campgate with two turrets, star above, dot right, SMTSG in exergue.

Flavius Valerius Constantinus, Constantine the Great, was the son of Helena and the First Tetrarchic ruler Constantius I. Constantine is most famous for his conversion to Christianity and the battle of the Milvian Bridge where he defeated emperor Maxentius. It is reputed that before the battle, he saw the words "In Hoc Signo Victor Eris" (By this sign you shall conquer) emblazoned on the sun around the Chi Rho, the symbol of Christianity. Other sources claim the vision came to Constantine I in a dream. The story continues that after placing this Christogram on the shields of his army, he defeated his opponent and thus ruled the empire through divine providence. Constantine I also shifted the capital of the empire to Constantinople, establishing the foundation for an Empire that would last another 1000 years. He died in 337 and his sons divided the Roman territories.

The Emperor Constantine I was effectively the sole ruler of the Roman world between 324 and 337 A.D.; his reign was perhaps one of the most crucial of all the emperors in determining the future course of western civilization. By beginning the process of making Christianity the religious foundation of his realm, he set the religious course for the future of Europe which remains in place to this very day. Because he replaced Rome with Constantinople as the center of imperial power, he made it clear that the city of Rome was no longer the center of power, and he also set the stage for the Middle Ages. His philosophical view of monarchy, largely spelled out in some of the works of Eusebius of Caesarea, became the foundation for the concept of the divine right of kings which prevailed in Europe.

Constantine was not a "Christian convert" in any traditional sense. He was not baptized until close to death, and while that was not an uncommon practice, the mention of Christ in his speeches and decrees is conspicuous by its absence. Eusebius, Church historian and Constantine biographer, is responsible for much of the valorization of Constantine as the Christian Emperor. The somnambulant "sign" in which Constantine was to become victor at the Milvian Bridge is, not so surprisingly, revealed to posterity long after the "fact." Throughout his reign, Constantine continues to portray himself on coins as a sun god (Freeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean; Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. 582). Above all, Constantine was a pragmatist. It would be cynical to egregiously disavow his commitment to Christianity, but it would be equally wrong to think that he would allow Christianity to meddle in the governance of his empire. As he reputedly told a group of bishops, "You are bishops of those within the church, but I am perhaps a bishop appointed by God of those outside." Whatever the motives for his decision to support Christianity, Christianity benefitted from the arrangement. So, too, did Constantine. It was a match made in heaven.
J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

For perhaps the best Constantine The Great site on the web, see Victor Clark's Constantine The Great Coins: http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/
Cleisthenes
1485_-_1509_Henry_VII_AR_Penny.JPG
1485 - 1509, HENRY VII, AR Penny, Struck 1485 - 1500 under Archbishop Rotherham at York, England24 viewsObverse: HENRIC DI GRA REX AN. Crowned and robed figure of Henry VII holding a lis topped sceptre in his right hand and a globus cruciger in his left, seated facing on throne, the one visible pillar of which is topped with a lis, all except the king's crown within a circle of pellets.
Reverse: CIVITAS EBORACI. Shield bearing coat-of-arms of England and France on cross fourchée, two keys below shield.
Diameter: 17mm | Weight: 0.6gms | Die Axis: 3
SPINK: 2237

Thomas Rotherham, also known as Thomas (Scot) de Rotherham, was an English cleric and statesman. He served as bishop of several dioceses, most notably as Archbishop of York and, on two occasions as Lord Chancellor. Rotherham was educated at King's College, Cambridge, he graduated as a Bachelor of Divinity and became a Fellow of his college where he lectured on Grammar, Theology, and Philosophy. After his ordination as a priest, he became a prebendary of Lincoln in 1462 and then of Salisbury in 1465. He moved on to powerful positions in the Church, being appointed as Bishop of Rochester in 1468, Bishop of Lincoln in 1472, and then Archbishop of York in 1480, a position he held until his death in 1500.
In 1467, King Edward IV appointed Rotherham as Keeper of the Privy Seal. He was sent as ambassador to France in 1468 and as joint ambassador to Burgundy in 1471, and in 1475 was entrusted with the office of Lord Chancellor. When Edward IV died in April 1483, Rotherham was one of the celebrants of the funeral mass on 20th April 1483 and immediately after Edward's death he sided with the dowager queen, Elizabeth Woodville, in her attempt to deprive Richard, Duke of Gloucester of his role as Lord Protector of her son, the new King Edward V. When Elizabeth sought sanctuary after Richard had taken charge of the king, Rotherham released the Great Seal to her (though he later recovered it and handed it over to Thomas Bourchier, the Archbishop of Canterbury).
Rotherham's mishandling of the seal was perceived as indicative of questionable loyalty and led to his dismissal as Lord Chancellor. He was replaced by John Russell, who earlier had also been his successor as Bishop of Lincoln. On 13th June 1483, Rotherham was charged with being involved in a conspiracy between Lord Hastings and the Woodvilles against Richard and imprisoned in the Tower of London, but he was released a few weeks later, around the middle of July, after Richard's coronation as King Richard III. Rotherham was re-instated as Chancellor in 1485, however he was dismissed shortly afterwards by Henry VII and retired from public work.
Rotherham died of the plague in Cawood near York on 29th May 1500. His remains were transferred to a magnificent marble tomb in York Minster in 1506.
2 comments*Alex
Bible.jpg
1612 Edition of the King James Bible, 1st Quarto - The Crucifixion of Christ50 viewsThis is from the so-called 'HE' edition of the 1612 Roman-Type Quatro KJB (H313). The 'HE' refers to Ruth 3:15 as the verse was written as:

Also he said, “Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee and hold it.” And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her; and he went into the city.

The 'SHE' edition of 1612 has the verse written as:

Also he said, “Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee and hold it.” And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her; and she went into the city.

For further information, see Norton, David, A Textual History of the King James Bible, Cambridge University Press, 2005
1 commentsSpongeBob
RI_170cp_img.jpg
170 - Constantius II - AE2 - RIC VIII Amiens 4839 viewsAE2
Obv:– D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, Pearl diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right, A behind bust
Rev:– FEL TEMP REPARATIO, Helmeted soldier left, shield on left arm, spearing falling horseman; shield at ground to right. Horseman turns to face the soldier, and reaches his left arm up towards him. He is bare headed
Minted in Amiens (//AMB). 353 AD.
Reference:- RIC VIII Amiens 48 (C)

Ex John Casey Collection

22 mm, 5.08g

John was employed at Durham between 1972 and 2000, retiring as Reader in Archaeology. He was a well-known Romanist and numismatics scholar who undertook excavations at the Roman forts of Brecon Gaer (nr Aberyscir) and Segontium (Gwynedd), the Roman town of Venta Silurum (Caerwent), the Roman temple at Lydney (Gloucestershire) and the Greta Bridge vicus in County Durham.

His books included Coins and the Archaeologist (1974, 2nd ed. 1988), The end of Roman Britain (1979), Roman coinage in Britain (1980), Understanding Ancient Coins (1986). He was the author of numerous articles on Roman coinage and hoards, including the finds from Piercebridge.
1 commentsmaridvnvm
StUrbainLeopoldILorraineBridge.JPG
1727. Leopold I: Reconstruction Of The Bridge In The Forest Of Haye. 71 viewsObv: Leopold to right, in peruke, wearing armor and the Order of the Golden Fleece LEOPOLDVS. I. D.G. DVX. LOT. BAR. REX. IER
Rev: A traveling horseman going over bridge toward Abundance in countryside. In background landscape a herm of Mercury PROVIDENTIA. PRINCIPIS
Exergue: VIAE. MVNITAE MDCCXXVII Signed: SV.
AE64mm. Ref: Forrer V, p. 309, #6; Slg. Florange 171; Molinari 40/120; Europese Penningen # 1739

Leopold Joseph Charles (Leopold I) (1679-1729), Duke of Lorraine and Bar (1697), was the son of Charles V, Duke of Lorraine and Bar. This medal commemorates further the many reconstruction projects that Leopold I, Duke of Lorraine and Bar, fostered during his reign, in this case, the reconstruction of the bridge in the forest of Haye. The reverse alludes to the fact that the bridge increased commerce (Mercury) in Lorraine and led to more abundance for its inhabitants.
A herm, referred to in this medal, is a statue consisting of the head of the Greek god Hermes mounded on a square stone post. Hermes is the god of commerce, invention, cunning and theft, who also serves as messenger and herald for the other gods.
LordBest
MOD_up_to_1899-USA-Vermont-3.jpg
1786 Vermont Copper61 viewsVariety RR7 (Rarity 3)

NGC VF-30 with CAC

Census (The last time I checked) - 63 NGC graded coins - 26 VF's (VF-30 = ?) - 22 graded higher
(From Heritage Auction Records Two VF20; eight VF25; three VF30; three VF35; ten = VF ?)

On June 15, 1785 the Vermont legislature granted Reuben Harmon, Jr. an exclusive franchise to make copper coins. They were to weigh 160 grs. which exceeded even the Tower Mint standards for halfpence. This weight was reduced to 111grs. in October of that year.

Vermont coinage initially had two basic designs with several varieties of each and one oddball issue

First design

Obv. – Shows the sun rising over the Green Mountains and a plough in the foreground with the date below. The obverse legend read VERMONT(I)S RESPUBLICA (the Republic of Vermont”). Later VERMONTIS became VERMONTENSIUM (better Latin).

Rev – Shows the All-Seeing Eye in the Blazing Sun within a constellation of 13 stars for the original 13 colonies. The reverse legend read STELLA QUARTA DECIMA or the 14th star referring to local pressure to join the union.

Second design

The mint operator petitioned the legislature to permit a change in design to approximate that similar to most other coppers then current (British halfpence and their local imitations including Connecticut). The Vermont legislature amended the act to specify the following:

Obv. – A head with the motto AUCTORITATE VERMONTENIUS, abridged

Rev. – A women with the letters, INDE: ET LIB: - for Independence and Liberty.

Third Design the “Immune Columbia” issue

Although the third design bears the date 1785, it was probably struck later. The obverse matches the requirements for the second design but the reverse shows a seated figure of Columbia (a poetical name for America) and the legend IMMUNE COLUMBIA, this reverse was not authorized by the Vermont Legislature.

Vermont coppers were produced from 1785 to 1788

I once had a very large collection of U.S. coins and this is the only coin I have that was part of my original collection.

My cost was $2,200, however, I actually did not have to pay a single cent out of pocket or provide any item in trade. But that is a long story.
Richard M10
1793_Newton_farthing.JPG
1793 AE Farthing, London, Middlesex.88 viewsObverse: Ic • NEWTON. Bare headed bust of Isaac Newton facing left.
Reverse: FARTHING. Britannia, helmeted and draped, facing left seated on globe, shield at her side, holding olive-branch in her extended right hand and spear in her left; in exergue, 1793.
Edge: “Plain".
Diameter : 21mm
Dalton & Hamer : 1160 | Cobwright : I.0010/F.0050 (listed as an evasion piece)

The die engraver for this token was most likely Thomas Wyon but the manufacturer is uncertain.

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), was an English physicist and mathematician who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. Newton shares credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the invention of calculus and also made seminal contributions to optics. He built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the many colours of the visible spectrum.
Newton's “Principia” formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation, which came to dominate scientists' view of the physical universe for the next three centuries.
Newton was a fellow of Trinity College and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Unusually for a member of the Cambridge faculty of the day, he refused to take holy orders in the Church of England, perhaps because he privately rejected the doctrine of the Trinity.
In his later life, Newton became president of the Royal Society and became Warden of the Royal Mint in 1696. He became Master of the Royal Mint in 1699 and was very instrumental in developing techniques to try and prevent the counterfeiting of English coinage.
*Alex
1794_III_Grossi_s.jpg
1794 - III Grossi529 viewsGalicia & 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
1795_Bee-hive_Halfpenny_Token.JPG
1795 AE Halfpenny, Cambridgeshire County.51 viewsObverse: INDUSTRY HAS IT’S SURE REWARD. Thirty-four bees swarming around a beehive set on a table.
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: “BERSHAM BRADLEY WILLEY SNEDSHILL".
Diameter: 29mm
Dalton & Hamer: 14
SCARCE

The diesinker for this token was Thomas Wyon and it was manufactured by Peter Kempson at his works in Birmingham.
1 comments*Alex
Clifford_s_Tower-removebg-preview.png
1795 Yorkshire, York, Halfpenny Conder Token, D&H 631 viewsO:View of a cathedral. Ex : YORK . 1795.
R: View of a castle and drawbridge. CLIFFORD'S TOWER A.D. 1100.
E: YORK BUILT A. M . 1223. CATHEDRAL REBUILT A.D. 1075.
Dalton & Hamer as Yorkshire 63
Extremely Fine (Sheldon AU58).
Ancient Aussie
Norwich_halfpenny_1811.JPG
1811 AE HALFPENNY, Norwich, Norfolk.42 viewsObverse: NORWICH MDCCCXI. The arms of Norwich consisting of a heraldic shield containing a three towered castle above a lion passant.
Reverse: NEWTON SILVERSMTH AND JEWELLER. Britannia standing facing right, holding spear and shield, behind her, at her side, lion walking right.
Edge: Centre grained.
Diameter: 27mm
Davis 26 | Withers 923

Issued by Francis Newton, a silversmith and Jeweller in Norwich. This is possibly the same Francis Newton (or a close relative) who, in a circular to bankers, was declared bankrupt by solicitors Messrs Bignold, Pulley and Mawe of New Bridge Street, at a meeting in the Rampant Horse Inn, Norwich on 5th August, 1835.

Norwich is situated on the River Wensum and is the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk. During the 11th century, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important places in the kingdom. Until the Industrial Revolution, Norwich was the capital of the most populous county in the country and vied with Bristol as England's second city.
*Alex
1813_FLINT_LEAD_WORKS_PENNY.JPG
1813 AE Penny Token. Flint, Flintshire.22 viewsObverse: FLINT LEAD WORKS. View of the lead works, smoking away in full production; 1813 below in exergue.
Reverse: ONE POUND NOTE FOR 240 TOKENS • around ONE PENNY TOKEN in centre.
Edge: Centre Grained.
Diameter 34mm | Die Axis 6
Withers: 1313 | Davis: 12
SCARCE

The dies for this token were engraved by Thomas Halliday. The manufacturer of the token is unknown but it would in all probability have been struck in Birmingham. It was issued by George Roskell at the Flint Lead Works in Flintshire.

The Flint Lead Smelting Works was the only issuer of tokens in North Wales in the 19th century. The company produced lead from ore obtained from mines on the nearby Halkyn mountain. George Roskell (1777-1847) of Garstang, Lancashire, came to Flintshire as a shareholder in the Milwr Mine, and later became the senior partner in the Flint Smelting Works. In 1805, he married Mary Ann, only child of James Potts of Stokyn, near Holywell. His eldest son, George Potts Roskell succeeded to the Stokyn estate. In 1852 the Flint Lead Works became absorbed in the more extensive Alkali Works of Muspratt Bros. and Huntley, which by 1885 was one of the largest chemical works in Britain.

The town of Flint has its origins in the turbulent times of Edward I in the13th century when he invaded Wales for the complete subjugation of the Welsh princes and the people of Wales. Edward I picked the only suitable spot on the marshy shore, where an outcrop of rock jutted out some fifty yards into the river, on which to build the castle and town of Flint. The castle was built on the rock and joined by a drawbridge to the town. The town was built in the form of a Roman encampment, with a double ditch and earthen banks crowned by timber ramparts and four regular gates.
*Alex
1813_STOCKTON_PENNY_TOKEN_.JPG
1813 AE Penny, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham.36 viewsObverse: CHRISTOPHER & JENNETT * STOCKTON *, incuse letters on a raised rim. View of the bridge over the Tees being crossed by several small figures including a rider on horse, rowing boat containing two figures in river below; in field above, TEES; in field below, 1813.
Reverse: BRITANNIA * ONE PENNY TOKEN *, incuse letters on a raised rim. Britannia seated facing left on shield, holding olive branch and trident, small ship in left background at her feet.
Edge: Centre-grained.
Diameter 34mm | Weight 19.7gms
Davis:6 | Withers:1109

The die engraver for this token was Peter Wyon. It was issued by Robert Christopher & Thomas Jennett who were booksellers and printers in Stockton, they were also the Stockton agents for the Sun Fire Office.
Jennett was Christopher's apprentice and on the completion of his indentures, he was taken into partnership. Matching the high standards of his companion, Jennett became well known and much respected, growing to be a man of power and influence. He became a magistrate and was mayor of Stockton three times.

The bridge shown on this token was the first bridge to serve the growing town of Stockton, it was a five arch stone bridge which was completed in 1769. Before the existence of the bridge at this location, the only way of crossing the Tees was by the Bishop’s Ferry. The bridge was subject to rent to the Bishop of Durham and the costs of building it had to be repaid, so a system of tolls was charged. These were supposed to be abolished as soon as the debt was cleared, but they remained in place until, in 1819, the local people took the law into their own hands, throwing two of the bridge gates into the river and burning the third gate in the High Street. Although the bridge was good news for Stockton’s business, it had a devastating impact on Yarm. As ships were growing in size at this time, the building of the bridge prevented many ships reaching Yarm because they were unable to navigate further up the river. This only heightened shipping in Stockton and affirmed its place as the main port on the Tees before the 1800s. The bridge also halted Yarm’s shipbuilding industry and, since Stockton was unaffected, yards sprang up east of the bridge towards the sea. By 1876 the old bridge was inadequate and in 1881 work was begun on a new bridge. This new bridge, named the ‘Victoria Bridge’ in recognition of Queen Victoria, was opened in 1887 and the old stone bridge was demolished.
*Alex
ChambersSomersetHouseMedal~0.JPG
1857. Sir William Chambers and Somerset House. Taylor 52a.77 viewsObv. Bust of William chambers to right. CHAMBERS 1725-1796 Signed B WYON AFTER WESTMACOTT
Rev. Elevation of Somerset House to the Strand, featuring nine bayed entrance block. SOMERSET HOUSE 1781 SIR WILLIAM CHAMBERS RA ARCHITECT. Signed B WYON. Edge inscription: ART UNION OF LONDON 1857.
AE55. Taylor 52a.

Issued as one of the Art Union series. The medal gives an incorrect date of birth to chambers, 725 as opposed to 1723. The portrait is based on a bust displayed at the Royal Academy in 1797 by Sir Richard Westmacott, this is now in Sir John Soanes museum.
Built under an act of 1775, as a great new administrative centre to house official and academic bodies. Designed by Sir William Chambers, the Surveyor- General, and completed in the nineteenth century by Sir Robert Smirke (eastern extension to Kings College) and Sir James Pennethorne (western extension to Waterloo Bridge). Chambers decided on a central courtyard, approached through a block of narrow frontage, which was to house the learned societies, including the Royal Academy and Society of Antiquaries. It is the Strand façade of this entrance block which is shown on the medal, it was complete by 1781 and incorporated sculpture by fellow Academicians Bacon, Carlini and Wilton.
LordBest
APlautiusDenJudea.jpg
1ab Conquest of Judea11 viewsA. Plautius, moneyer
c. 54 BC

Denarius

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

Seaby, Plautia 13

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

Josephus recorded of Pompey's conquest of Jerusalem: And when he was come to the city, he looked about where he might make his attack; for he saw the walls were so firm, that it would be hard to overcome them; and that the valley before the walls was terrible; and that the temple, which was within that valley, was itself encompassed with a very strong wall, insomuch that if the city were taken, that temple would be a second place of refuge for the enemy to retire to. . . . Aristobulus's party was worsted, and retired into the temple, and cut off the communication between the temple and the city, by breaking down the bridge that joined them together, and prepared to make an opposition to the utmost; but as the others had received the Romans into the city, and had delivered up the palace to him, Pompey sent Piso, one of his great officers, into that palace with an army, who distributed a garrison about the city, because he could not persuade any one of those that had fled to the temple to come to terms of accommodation; he then disposed all things that were round about them so as might favor their attacks, as having Hyrcanus's party very ready to afford them both counsel and assistance. . . . But Pompey himself filled up the ditch that was oil the north side of the temple, and the entire valley also, the army itself being obliged to carry the materials for that purpose. And indeed it was a hard thing to fill up that valley, by reason of its immense depth, especially as the Jews used all the means possible to repel them from their superior situation; nor had the Romans succeeded in their endeavors, had not Pompey taken notice of the seventh days, on which the Jews abstain from all sorts of work on a religious account, and raised his bank, but restrained his soldiers from fighting on those days; for the Jews only acted defensively on sabbath days.
Blindado
JuliusCaesarDenEleph.jpg
1af Julius Caesar Wages Civil War12 viewsJulius Caesar

Denarius
49-48 BC

Elephant right, trampling on serpent [probably], CAESAR in ex
Simpulum, sprinkler, axe and priest's hat

Evidently a military issue, no agreement exists on the meaning of the coin's imagery (see e.g. http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=88757.msg552803#msg552803)

Seaby 49

Given the chance that the coin was minted to pay Caesar's armies in the civil war, here is a description of the beginning, according to Suetonius: He then overtook his advanced guard at the River Rubicon, which formed the boundary between Gaul and Italy. There he paused for a while and, realising the magnitude of the step he was taking, turned to his staff, to remark: ‘We could turn back, even now; but once over that little bridge, and it will all come down to a fight.’ . . . As he stood there, undecided, he received a sign. A being of marvellous stature and beauty appeared suddenly, seated nearby, and playing on a reed pipe. A knot of shepherds gathered to listen, but when a crowd of his soldiers, including some of the trumpeters, broke ranks to join them, the apparition snatched a trumpet from one of them, ran to the river, and sounding the call to arms blew a thunderous blast, and crossed to the far side. At this, Caesar exclaimed: ‘Let us follow the summons, of the gods’ sign and our enemy’s injustice. The die is cast.’ And crossing with the army, he welcomed the tribunes of the people, who had fled to him from Rome. Then, in tears, he addressed the troops and, ripping open the breast of his tunic, asked for their loyalty.
Blindado
MaximinusIIFollisGenio.jpg
1dy Maximinus II22 views309-313

Quarter Follis

Laureate head, right, MAXIMINVS NOB C
Genius standing left, naked except for modius on head & chlamys over shoulder, holding patera & cornucopiae, SIS in ex, GENIO POPVLI ROMANI.

RIC 170b

According to Eutropius: Galerius, a man of excellent moral character, and skilful in military affairs, finding that Italy, by Constantius's permission, was put under his government, created two Caesars, MAXIMIN, whom he appointed over the east, and SEVERUS, to whom he committed Italy. He himself resided in Illyricum. . . . LICINIUS, a native of Dacia, was made emperor by Galerius, to whom he was known by old companionship, and recommended by his vigorous efforts and services in the war which he had conducted against Narseus. The death of Galerius followed immediately afterwards. The empire was then held by the four new emperors, Constantine and Maxentius, sons of emperors, Licinius and Maximian, sons of undistinguished men. Constantine, however, in the fifth year of his reign, commenced a civil war with Maxentius, routed his forces in several battles, and at last overthrew Maxentius himself (when he was spreading death among the nobility by every possible kind of cruelty,4) at the Milvian bridge, and made himself master of Italy. Not long after, too, Maximin, after commencing hostilities against Licinius in the east, anticipated the destruction that was falling upon him by an accidental death at Tarsus.
Blindado
MaxentiusFollisRoma.jpg
1dz Maxentius22 views306-312

Follis

Laureate head, right, MAXENTIVS P F AVG
Roma in temple, CONSERVATORES VRB SVAE

RIC 194a

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

The power of Maxentius was thus increased, and his government established. Severus, taking to flight, was killed at Ravenna. Maximian Herculius, attempting afterwards, in an assembly of the army, to divest his son Maxentius of his power, met with nothing but mutiny and reproaches from the soldiery. . . .

At this time LICINIUS, a native of Dacia, was made emperor by Galerius, to whom he was known by old companionship, and recommended by his vigorous efforts and services in the war which he had conducted against Narseus. The death of Galerius followed immediately afterwards. The empire was then held by the four new emperors, Constantine and Maxentius, sons of emperors, Licinius and Maximian, sons of undistinguished men. Constantine, however, in the fifth year of his reign, commenced a civil war with Maxentius, routed his forces in several battles, and at last overthrew Maxentius himself (when he was spreading death among the nobility by every possible kind of cruelty,) at the Milvian bridge, and made himself master of Italy.
Blindado
CrispusAE3Victoria.jpg
1ef Crispus67 viewsCaesar 317-326

AE3, Thessalonica

Laureate, draped & cuirassed bust, right, D N FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES
Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm, VICTORIA CAESS NN. Mintmark dot TS dot epsilon dot.

Zosimus recorded Crispus' elevation to Caesar: "Constantine, having taken Cibalis, and Sirmium, and all the towns that Licinius had abandoned, sent five thousand men in pursuit of him. But as these were ignorant of the course he had taken, they could not overtake him. Constantine however, having rebuilt the bridge over the Saus, which Licinius had broken down, was with his army almost at his heels. Having entered Thrace, he arrived at the plain where Licinius lay encamped. On the night of his arrival there he marshalled his army, and gave orders for his soldiers to be ready for battle by day-break. As soon as it was light, Licinius, perceiving Constantine with his army, drew up his forces also, having been joined by Valens, whom he styled Caesar, after the battle of Cibalis. When the armies engaged, they first fought with bows at a distance ; but when their arrows were spent, they began to use their javelins, and poignards. Thus the battle continued very obstinately for a considerable time, until those whom Constantine had sent in pursuit of Licinius descended from an eminence upon the armies while they were engaged. These wheeled round the hill |46 before they arrived at them, deeming it best to join their own party from the higher ground, and to encompass the enemy. The troops of Licinius, being aware of them, courageously withstood against them all, so that many thousands were slain on both sides, and the advantage was equal, till the signal was given for both to retire. Next day they agreed on a truce, and entered into an alliance with each other, on condition that Constantine should possess Illyricum and all the nations westward, and that Licinius should have Thrace and the east; but that Valens, whom Licinius had made Caesar, should be put to death, because be was said to be the author of all the mischief which had happened. Having done this, and sworn on both sides to observe the conditions, Constantine conferred the rank and title of Caesar on Crispus, his son by a concubine called Minervina, who was as yet but a youth, and on Constantine, who was born but a few days before at Arelatum. At the same time Licinianus, the son of Licinius, who was twenty months of age, was declared Caesar, Thus ended the second war."

According to Zonaras, "By a concubine he also had another son, called Crispus, older than his other sons, who distinguished himself often in the war against Licinius. His stepmother Fausta, being erotically obsessed with him, since she did not find him compliant, denounced him to his father as being in love with her and as having often attempted to use force against her. Hence, Crispus was condemned to death by his father, who had been persuaded by his spouse."

Constantine had his son strangled to death in Pula.

RIC 62
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GratianAE3GlorRom.jpg
1es Gratian39 views367-383

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 Maximus45 views383-388

AE2

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

RIC 26a

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

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

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

Theodosius, having passed through Pannonia and the defiles of the Appennines, attacked unawares the forces of Maximus before they were prepared for him. A part of his army, having pursued them with the utmost speed, forced their way through the gates of Aquileia, the guards being too few to resist them. Maximus was torn from his imperial throne while in the act of distributing money to his soldiers, and being stripped of his imperial robes, was brought to Theodosius, who, having in reproach enumerated some of his crimes against the commonwealth, delivered him to the common executioner to receive due punishment. Such was the end of Maximus and of his usurpation. Having fraudulently overcome Valentinian, he imagined that he should with ease subdue the whole Roman empire. Theodosius, having heard, that when Maximus came from beyond the Alps he left his son Victor, whom he had dignified with the title of Caesar, he immediately sent for his general, named Arbogastes, who deprived the youth both of his dignity and life.
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2009-Germany - Regensburg21 viewsThe Danube at Regensburg with the famous old bridge. This is one of the oldest bridge in Europe, it stay where probably the Pertinax-led Legios crossed over the river on the built ponton bridge and fought against the Marcomanns a millenium earlier.berserker
24i-Constantine-Con-038.jpg
24i. Constantine: Constantinople.20 viewsAE3, 328 - 329, Constantinople mint.
Obverse: CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG / Diademed bust of Constantine.
Reverse: CONSTANTINIANA DAFNE / Victory seated, holding palm branch, in each hand, trophy and kneeling captive in front. B in left field.
Mint mark: CONS*
3.39 gm., 20 mm.
RIC #38; LRBC #1002; Sear #16192.

The traditional interpretation of this reverse type is that it commemorates the building of a fortress and bridge over the River Danube at Dafne (now called Oltenita, Romania). A different interpretation is more allegorical. Since this is the first coinage from the mint of a new Christian city, it is appropriate that it shows Constantine (represented by Victory/Dafne) turning away from the old gods (the captive and standard) to Christianity (palm branches).
Callimachus
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25. Danelaw: Vikings of East Anglia: St Edmund Memorial Coinage.22 viewsPenny, ca 890-905.
Obverse: +SC EADMVN RI / Large A with small crosses on each side.
Reverse: +DAEMOND MOTI / Large cross.
Moneyer: Daemond.
1.29 gm., 18 mm.
North #483; Seaby #960.

There are over 60 moneyers with Germanic or Norse names found on the St Edmund coins in the Cuerdale Hoard (c. 905). This number suggests there were quite a few mints producing this coinage. Several of the moneyers are also found on coinage of Edward the Elder and Athelstan from other parts of the country. This suggests that this issue, although in the name of the martyred East Anglian king, extended beyond East Anglia, and perhaps continued until East Anglia was regained by the English in 917-18. For more information, see A New History of the Royal Mint by Christopher E. Challis (Cambridge University Press, 1992).
Callimachus
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307. Aemilian31 viewsMarcus Aemilius Aemilianus was born about AD 207 either on the island of Jerba in Africa, or somewhere in Mauretania.
His career saw him becoming senator and reaching the office of consul. In AD 252 he then became governor of Lower Moesia.

In the spring of AD 253 the Goths broke the treaty made with the emperor Trebonianus Gallus. Aemilian quickly drove them out of Moesia and then, crossed the Danube crushing the Gothic forces.

In a time when Rome suffered continuous setbacks his unexpected triumph made him an outstanding leader in the eyes of his men. So, in July or August AD 253 Aemilian was proclaimed emperor by his troops. The new emperor didn't waste time. Immediately he marched his troops into Italy, rapidly moving on Rome. Only fifty miles north of the capital, at Interamna, they were were approached by the much inferior army of unprepared emperor Gallus and with his son and co-emperor Volusianus. Their troops however, realizing themselves dead if they were sent to fight Aemilian's much larger and more experienced Danubian forces, turned on them and killed them, leaving Aemilian sole emperor.

The senate, having only recently declared Aemilian a public enemy under Gallus, immediately confirmed him as emperor and Aemilian's wife Gaia Cornelia Supera was made Augusta.

All the empire now lay at Aemilian's feet, but for one big problem. Publius Licinius Valerianus, called to aid by the late Trebonianus Gallus, was marching toward Rome. His emperor might have been dead, but his usurper was still alive, giving Valerian all the reasons needed to carry on towards the capital. In fact the soldiers of his Rhine armies now declared him emperor in place of Aemilian.

As Aemilian now moved north to face his challenger history repeated itself. His own soldiers not wanting to fight a army they thought superior to their own, turned on him near Spoletium and stabbed him to death (October AD 253). The bridge where he died was afterwards known as the pons sanguinarius, the 'bridge of blood'.

Aemilian had ruled for only 88 days.

Aemilian AR Antonininus. 253 AD. IMP AEMILIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate draped bust right / VIRTVS AVG, Virtus standing left, foot on helmet, holding branch & spear. RSC 60. RIC 12. Ex-WCNC
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35-52 - LUCIO VERO Co-Emperador con Marco Aurelio (161 - 169 D.C.)7 viewsANTIOQUIA en Orontes - Seleucis y Pieria - Siria

AE 22 mm 11.6 gr

Anv: ”AVT KΛ AVPHΛ OVHPOC CEB” – Cabeza laureada viendo a derecha.
Rev: ”S C” - IB debajo, todo dentro de una guirnalda.

Acuñada: 161 – 169 D.C.

Referencias: SNG Cambridge #5891 - RPC I #7152 - BN Paris #550 - SNG II #3001 - McAllee #10 - Mionnet V #443.
mdelvalle
35-Constantius-II-Sis-291.jpg
35. Constantius II / Hoc Signo. . .21 viewsMaiorina (larger AE 2), Mar. - Dec. 350, Siscia mint.
Obverse: DN CONSTANTIVS P F AVG / Diademed bust of Constantius II; A behind bust, star in front.
Reverse: HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS / Emperor standing, in military dress, holding standard with ChiRho, and spear. To the right stands Victory crowning him with a wreath and holding a palm branch. A in left field.
Mint mark: . ASIS*
5.55 gm., 22.5 mm.
RIC # 291; LRBC #1177; Sear #18203.

The reverse type on this coin refers to the vision Constantine the Great had before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312. He saw a cross and the words HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, which translate "By this sign you will be victorious."

Vetranio used this reverse type on coins minted in his name and the name of Constantius II during the 9 months he was emperor. RIC says, "This . . . evocation of the vision of Constantine before his victory over Magnentius is the clearest possible indication of Vetranio's loyalty to Constantius, and his expectation of the latter's triumph (over Magnentius)." (RIC VII, p. 344-45.)

On Roman coins, if an emperor is depicted on the reverse, it is usually the emperor whose name and portrait appears on the obverse of the coin. On this particular coin, it would not be out of place to have Constantius II represented on the reverse, especially because the coin was issued in advance of a coming battle with a pagan usurper (Magnentius). However, given the reverse legend, it is thought by many that the emperor depicted on this reverse is Constantine the Great himself.
Callimachus
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408. Maxentius34 viewsMarcus 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 London BEATA TRANQVILLITAS26 viewsLondon

Londinium was established as a town by the Romans after the invasion of 43 AD led by the Emperor Claudius. Archaeological excavation (undertaken by the Department of Urban Archaeology of the Museum of London now called MOLAS) since the 1970s has also failed to unearth any convincing traces of major settlement before c.50 — so ideas about Londinium being a military foundation around the Fort that protected London Bridge are now largely discounted.

The name Londinium is thought to be pre-Roman in origin although there is no consensus on what it means. One suggestion is that it derived from a personal name meaning 'fierce'. However, recent research by Richard Coates has suggested that the name derives from pre-Celtic Old European — Plowonida — from 2 roots, "plew" and "nejd", meaning something like "the flowing river" or "the wide flowing river". Londinium therefore means "the settlement on the wide river". He suggests that the river was called the Thames up river where it was narrower, and Plowonida down river where it was too wide to ford. For a discussion on the legends of London and Plowonida see [1]. The story of the settlement being named after Lud is considered unlikely.

Archaeologists now believe that London was founded as a civilian settlement by 50 AD. A wooden drain by the side of the main roman road excavated at No 1 Poultry has been dated to 47 which is likely to be the foundation date.

Ten years later, Londinium was sacked by the Iceni lead by the British queen Boudica. Excavation has revealed extensive evidence of destruction by fire at this date, and recently a military compound has been discovered in the City of London which may have been the headquarters of the Roman fight back against the British uprising.

The city recovered after perhaps 10 years, and reached its population height by about 120 AD, with a population of around 60,000. London became the capital of Roman Britain (Britannia) (previously the capital was the older, nearby town of Colchester). Thereafter began a slow decline; however, habitation and associated building work did not cease. By 375 London was a small wealthy community protected by completed defences. By 410 Roman occupation officially came to an end, with the citizens being ordered to look after their own defenses. By the middle of the 5th century the Roman city was practically abandoned.

RIC VII London 271 R2

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704a, Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D.101 viewsCaligula, 37 - 41 AD, Ionia, Smyrna. AE 17mm. Klose, Smyrna 27a. RPC 2473. 2.89 gm. Fine. Menophanes, Aviola, Procos, 37-38 AD. Obverse: AION, laureate head right; Reverse: Nike holding wreath right. Ex Tom Vossen.


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

GAIUS (CALIGULA) (A.D. 37-41)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (Caligula) was born on 31 August, A.D. 12, probably at the Julio-Claudian resort of Antium (modern Anzio), the third of six children born to Augustus's adopted grandson, Germanicus, and Augustus's granddaughter, Agrippina. Caligula was the Roman Emperor between A.D. 37-41). Unfortunately, his is the most poorly documented reign of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. The literary sources for these four years are meager, frequently anecdotal, and universally hostile.[[1]] As a result, not only are many of the events of the reign unclear, but Gaius himself appears more as a caricature than a real person, a crazed megalomaniac given to capricious cruelty. Although some headway can be made in disentangling truth from embellishment, the true character of the youthful emperor will forever elude us.

As a baby he accompanied his parents on military campaigns in the north and was shown to the troops wearing a miniature soldier's outfit, including the hob-nailed sandal called caliga, whence the nickname by which posterity remembers him. His childhood was not a happy one, spent amid an atmosphere of paranoia, suspicion, and murder. Instability within the Julio-Claudian house, generated by uncertainty over the succession, led to a series of personal tragedies.

When Tiberius died on 16 March A.D. 37, Gaius was in a perfect position to assume power, despite the obstacle of Tiberius's will, which named him and his cousin Tiberius Gemellus joint heirs. (Gemellus's life was shortened considerably by this bequest, since Gaius ordered him killed within a matter of months.) Backed by the Praetorian Prefect Q. Sutorius Macro, Gaius asserted his dominance. He had Tiberius's will declared null and void on grounds of insanity, accepted the powers of the Principate as conferred by the Senate, and entered Rome on 28 March amid scenes of wild rejoicing. His first acts were generous in spirit: he paid Tiberius's bequests and gave a cash bonus to the Praetorian Guard, the first recorded donativum to troops in imperial history.

The ancient sources are practically unanimous as to the cause of Gaius's downfall: he was insane. The writers differ as to how this condition came about, but all agree that after his good start Gaius began to behave in an openly autocratic manner, even a crazed one. The sources describe his incestuous relations with his sisters, laughable military campaigns in the north, the building of a pontoon bridge across the Bay at Baiae, and the plan to make his horse a consul. Their unanimous hostility renders their testimony suspect, especially since Gaius's reported behavior fits remarkably well with that of the ancient tyrant, a literary type enshrined in Greco-Roman tradition centuries before his reign. Further, the only eye-witness account of Gaius's behavior, Philo's Embassy to Gaius, offers little evidence of outright insanity, despite the antagonism of the author, whom Gaius treated with the utmost disrespect.

The conspiracy that ended Gaius's life was hatched among the officers of the Praetorian Guard, apparently for purely personal reasons. It appears also to have had the support of some senators and an imperial freedman. As with conspiracies in general, there are suspicions that the plot was more broad-based than the sources intimate, and it may even have enjoyed the support of the next emperor Claudius, but these propositions are not provable on available evidence. On 24 January A.D. 41 the praetorian tribune Cassius Chaerea and other guardsmen caught Gaius alone in a secluded palace corridor and cut him down. He was 28 years old and had ruled three years and ten months.

Whatever damage Tiberius's later years had done to the carefully crafted political edifice created by Augustus, Gaius multiplied it a hundredfold. When he came to power in A.D. 37 Gaius had no administrative experience beyond his honorary quaestorship, and had spent an unhappy early life far from the public eye. He appears, once in power, to have realized the boundless scope of his authority and acted accordingly. For the elite, this situation proved intolerable and ensured the blackening of Caligula's name in the historical record they would dictate. The sensational and hostile nature of that record, however, should in no way trivialize Gaius's importance. His reign highlighted an inherent weakness in the Augustan Principate, now openly revealed for what it was -- a raw monarchy in which only the self-discipline of the incumbent acted as a restraint on his behavior. That the only means of retiring the wayward princes was murder marked another important revelation: Roman emperors could not relinquish their powers without simultaneously relinquishing their lives.

Copyright © 1997, Garrett G. Fagan.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Ancient Smyrna

The 5,000 year-old city of Izmir is one of the oldest cities of the Mediterranean basin. The original city was established in the third millennium BC (at present day Bayraklı), at which time it shared with Troy the most advanced culture in Anatolia.


Greek settlement is attested by the presence of pottery dating from about 1000 BC. In the first millennium BC Izmir, then known as Smyrna, ranked as one of the most important cities of the Ionian Federation. During this period, it is believed that the epic poet Homer resided here.

Lydian conquest of the city around 600 BC brought this golden age to an end. Smyrna was little more than a village throughout the Lydian and subsequent sixth century BC Persian rule. In the fourth century BC a new city was built on the slopes of Mt. Pagos (Kadifekale) during the reign of Alexander the Great. Smyrna's Roman period, beginning in the first century BC, was its second great era.

In the first century AD, Smyrna became one of the earliest centers of Christianity and it was one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Both Revelation and the Martyrdom of Polycarp indicate the existence of a Jewish community in Smyrna as early as the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. The letter to the church at Smyrna in Revelation indicates that the Christians were spiritually "rich" and apparently in conflict with the Jews (2:9).

The origins of the Christian community there, which was established in the 1st century, are unknown. Ignatius of Antioch stopped at Smyrna on his way to martyrdom in Rome in 107 AD, and he sent a letter back to the Christians there from later in his journey. Smyrna's bishop, Polycarp, was burned at the stake in Smyrna's stadium around 156 AD.

Byzantine rule came in the fourth century and lasted until the Seljuk conquest in 11th century. In 1415, under Sultan Mehmed Çelebi, Smyrna became part of the Ottoman Empire.

The city earned its fame as one of the most important port cities of the world during the 17th to 19th centuries. The majority of its population were Greek but merchants of various origins (especially Greek, French, Italian, Dutch, Armenian, Sephardi and Jewish) transformed the city into a cosmopolitan portal of trade. During this period, the city was famous for its own brand of music (Smyrneika) as well as its wide range of products it exported to Europe (Smyrna/Sultana raisins, dried figs, carpets, etc.).

Today, Izmir is Turkey's third largest city and is nicknamed "the pearl of Aegean." It is widely regarded as the most Westernized city of Turkey in terms of values, ideology, gender roles, and lifestyle.
© 2005-08 Sacred Destinations. All rights reserved.
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/izmir-history.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
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708a, Otho64 viewsOtho (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
VespasianPax_RICii10.jpg
710a, Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.135 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, 10, aVF, 3.5 g, 18mm, Rome mint, 69-71 AD; Obverse: IMP CAESA[R] VESPASIANV[S AV]G - Laureate head right; Reverse: COS ITER [T]R POT - Pax seated left holding branch and caduceus. Ex Imperial Coins.


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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

D'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
Cnut_QF_Cnit_Camb.jpg
A.D. 1016-1035 - Cnut - Quatrefoil Penny44 viewsObv:- CNVT REX ANGLORVM, Crowned bust left within quatrefoil
Rev:- CNIHT MO GRAI, Quatrefoil with pellet at apex of each cusp, long cross voided, each limb terminating in three crescents
Minted in Cambridge (GRAI) by moneyer Cnit (CNIHT) A.D. 1017-1023
Reference:- North 781
maridvnvm
Centenional Conmemorativa RIC VIII Constantinople 21Z.jpg
A121B-40 - Acuñaciones Conmemorativas Roma - Constantinopla56 viewsAE4 Fracción = 1/2 ó 1/3 Centenional? 14 mm 1.5 gr.

Anv: "POP ROMANVS" - Busto de joven laureado (quizás Genio del Pueblo Romano), vistiendo toga y con una cornucopia detrás, viendo a Izquierda.
Rev: "ANEPIGRAFA" (Sin Leyenda) - Puente sobre un Rio, se cree que es el puente de Milvian. "CONS/Z" en el campo centro

Acuñada 330 D.C.
Ceca: Constantinopla (Off.7ma.)
Rareza: C3 ?

Referencias: RIC Vol.VIII (Constantinople) #21 Pag.448 - Cohen Vol.VII #1 Pag.332 - DVM #4 Pag.292 - Salgado MRBI Vol.III #8315.a. Pag.175 - Sear RCTV (1988) #3900
mdelvalle
Sword_1.jpg
AE Sword #142 viewsNorthwestern Iran, Talish area
1200-800 BC
45.5cm (18”)

Cf. Muscarella (Bronze and Iron, Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art), Fig. 165 (page 99)
Cf. Watson (Luristan Bronzes in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery), Fig. 16, #54 (page 24)

From an old Cambridge collection

Description:
Tapering ribbed blade, round shoulders, rat-tail tang, tip missing and end bent (possibly a deliberate act in antiquity)
Robert L3
Anonymous commemorative, 340 AD.JPG
Anonymous commemorative, 340 AD69 viewsAnonymous
AE 4 13mm
Constantinople, 330 AD
POP ROMANVS
laureate and draped bust left, cornucopia on shoulder
CONS B
bridge over river
RIC VIII 21
Ex CNG
2 commentsArdatirion
gsr1.JPG
ANTIQUITIES, Roman, Bronze applique of female head, c.150 A.D.24 viewsSolid cast, heavy applique, in the form of a female head.
It was said to have been found outside Piercebridge Roman Fort.
Height: 2 1/9 inches.
Piercebridge Roman Fort (possibly originally known as Morbium or Vinovium) is a scheduled ancient monument situated in the village of Piercebridge on the banks of the River Tees in County Durham, England.
superflex
arcadius_cyzicus_26(c).jpg
Arcadius, RIC IX, Cyzicus 26(c)129 viewsArcadius AD 383-408
AE - AE 4, 1.40g, 14.0mm
Cyzicus 3. officina 28 Aug. 388-15 May 392
obv. D N ARCADIVS P F AVG
pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
rev. SALVS REI - PVBLICAE
Victory advancing left, holding trophy over r. shoulder, dragging
captive with l.
field: l. cross-Rho
ex. SMK Gamma
RIC IX, Cyzicus 26(c); S.4; LRBC. 2578
EF
added to www.wildwinds.com
from Forum Ancient Coins, thanks!

CROSS-RHO, or TAU-RHO, is an early Christian symbol. Probably it is the sign described by Lactantius which Constantine I put on the shields of his soldiers at the Milvian bridge. It is an abbreviation of the Greek 'stauros', meaning 'cross', therefore called often 'staurogram'.
2 commentsJochen
CeolnothBiarnred1.jpg
Archbishop of Canterbury, Ceolnoth111 viewsStruck c.865-868AD Kent, Canterbury mint. AR Penny 1.20g Ceolnoth Group III. Floriated Cross type. Obv tonsured bust facing, breaking inner circle 'ARCHIEP- CEOLNOD'; Rev 'BIARNRED MONETA' (Moneyer Beornraed) around, in inner circle a floriated cross. S.895? (Group III) N.247.

There are 58 recorded coins of Ceolnoth at the SCBI/EMC but only 3 coins of this moneyer for him. He also struck 6 more recorded coins for Alfred, Edward the Elder and some Danish imitative Alfred coins from East Anglia. This actual type is not listed in the corpus. However, a fragment at the British Museum, see BNJ28 CE Blunt 'A new coin of Ceolnoth' and JJ North plate III/9, is likely the same. Infact, I believe these coins are of the same dies and moneyer. Blunt & North describe 'LD' in the fragmented moneyer legend though it is likely 'ED' with the top half of the 'E' missing at the break. The Floriated Cross design is also found on coins of Aethelberht for the moneyers Dudda and Oshere but only 4 on database (N.621). In superb condition, a single find from the Driffield area in Yorkshire. This coin is potentially the only complete specimum and should be considered a great rarity. It is now recorded in the 2011 'The Coinage of Southern England' by Rory Naismith, Volume 1 Plate 65 C218.2b.

Gareth Williams at the British Museum kindly commented:

'I agree with your reading of the coin, and think that it is probably from the same dies as our fragment 1947, 14-4, 6, as you suggest, although it's difficult to be absolutely certain - the angle of the D on the reverse in particular looks slightly different, but that may just be the lighting on the photograph'

Rory Naismith from the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge is studying the period for his PhD dissertation. He kindly commented as below:

'The Ceolnoth in particular is quite spectacular: not only is it, as you say, the only known whole floreate cross penny of Ceolnoth, but it is also a stunning coin of considerable historical importance. There is some reason to believe that it was found as part of a small hoard comprising at least three floreate cross pennies, the other two both being of Aethelberht by the moneyer Dudda. One is unfortunately only a small fragment, but the other is beautifully preserved. As the only known hoard of floreate cross coins, this is understandably a find of some significance, although it is odd to find it deposited so far north. A trawl through the BM and as many other catalogues and find records as I could find turned up only a total of nineteen floreate cross pennies, including yours, struck by seven moneyers. It was probably a lot larger than this meagre record seems to suggest: were it not for the large Dorking hoard of 1817 the preceding Inscribed Cross phase would be almost as little-known, and many moneyers who produced this type reappeared in the Lunettes coinage, so they may well have continued over the intervening period as well'.

The initial coinage of Group III has as the reverse motif a cross crosslet with pellets in the angles [coin 1, illustrated above]. Those of Ceolnoth are of good style and feature a neater tonsured bust of the archbishop possibly wearing his pallium. Those of Aethelwulf for the same period, Phase II at Canterbury, tend to have a rather crude right facing bust with thick lettering in the legend - although a few are of better style. Not all of Aethelwulf's coins of this type have pellets in the angles of the cross crosslet. This type was struck until c.852, when it was replaced by a coinage that was to become standard at Canterbury throughout the remainder of Aethelwulf's reign and the majority of the reign of his son Aethelberht. The Inscribed Cross coinage, struck only by Ceolnoth and the two aforementioned kings, have an identical reverse with a large voided cross that contains the moneyers name within and in the angles. Comparitively large numbers of these coins survive and they have been the subject of much study with regard to dating, reduced silver content and so on. Toward the end of his reign, c.854, Aethelberht minted a new coinage mirrored by Ceolnoth, the extremely rare Floriate Cross issue. These coins as would be expected have a large floriated cross on the reverse and had a very limited striking - perhaps as little as a year. Less than ten examples survive today for the king and archbishop. Illustrated below is the only known complete example of the Floriate Cross type of archbishop Ceolnoth.


AlexB
lorica_buckle.jpg
Armour Buckle and Articulated Plate262 viewsUnique buckle and plate used on Roman lorica segmentata armour. Circa second half of 1st century AD. This buckle was used to attach the upper two breast or back plates of Corbridge type lorica segmentata armour as well as to attach the abdomen girth hoops to the breast and back plates. It was thus a predecessor to the turn keys described elsewhere on this gallery. Parallels can be found in Lorica Segmentata volume 1 by M.C. Bishop, figure 5.6 #1 from Vindonissa Switzerland and volume 2 by M.D. Thompson figure 5, # 1, 4 and 7. This example matches type Aiii with finds at Vindonissa, Cirnchester and, in an almost exact match, Kaiseraugst Germany (dated to 50 AD). otlichnik
Gallienus_05.jpg
Asia Minor, Caria, Antiochia ad Maeandrum, Gallienus, Bridge40 viewsGallienus
Caria, Antiochia ad Maeandrum
AE 35
Obv.: ΑΥ Κ Π ΓΑΛΛΙΗΝΟΣ, Radiate, helmeted, and cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield.
Rev.: ΑΝΤΙΟΧΕΩΝ, Bridge spanning the Maeandrus river; gateway to bridge to left, surmounted by stork standing right; on parapet, river-god Maeandrus reclining left, holding reed and cornucopia.
AE, 22.11g, 35.4mm
Ref.: SNG von Aulock 2430
Ex H.D. Rauch
Ex Pecunem Gitbud&Naumann auction 11, Lot 412

1 commentsshanxi
00221q00.jpg
Attica, Athens. (Circa 454-449 BC)29 viewsAR Tetradrachm

25 mm, 17.20 g

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

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

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

The only difference between the Starr V owls and this example is in the owl's tail - in Starr V it ends with three small feathers. On this coin and all subsequent coinage the owl's tail ends in a single prong. Given all the other similarities to Starr V it is likely this coin was minted soon after the Treasury's move from Delos to Athens - perhaps 454/453.
2 commentsNathan P
BHM 710.JPG
BHM 0710. The Duke of Gloucester elected Chancellor of Cambridge University, 1811.108 viewsObv. Draped, cuirassed bust of the Duke of Gloucester right, H R H WILLIAM FREDERICK DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
Rev. Inscription within closed wreath of laurel and roses ELECTED MARCH 26 INSTALLED JUNE 29 MDCCCXI, around: CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE.

WM48. BHM 710.

William Frederick, second Duke of Gloucester (1776—1834), son of William Henry the first Duke, and Maria, Dowager Countess of Waldegrave. The second Duke served as colonel of the 1st foot-guards in Flanders in 1794 and was promoted to Major-General in 1795. His advancement continued, finally being promoted Field-Marshal in 1816. He was appointed Privy Councillor in 1806 and Governor of Portsmouth in 1827. -from British Historical Medals 1760-1960, Volume I, pp. 173
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
B-britannicus_01.jpg
Britannicus Sestertius146 viewsObv: TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG F BRITANNICVS - Bare headed and draped bust left
Rev. S C - Mars advancing left, holding spear and shield.
Year: 50-54 AD
Material: AE
Weight: 24.05g
Ref: Cohen 2
Notes: Extremely rare; authenticity verified by Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge) experts.
oa
rjb_2016_04_10.jpg
Caria10 viewsAE 37mm
Antiochia ad Maeandrum, Caria
Obv: ΑΥ Κ Π ΓΑΛΛΙΗΝΟΣ
Radiate, helmeted, and cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield
Rev: ΑΝΤΙΟΧΕΩΝ
Bridge spanning the Maeandrus river; gateway to bridge to left, surmounted by stork standing right; on parapet, river-god Maeandrus reclining left, holding reed and cornucopia
SNG von Aulock 2430
mauseus
IMG_1643.JPG
CARIA, Antiochia ad Maeandrum. Gallienus29 viewsCARIA, Antiochia ad Maeandrum. Gallienus. AD 253-268. Æ (36mm, 14.97 g, 12h). Radiate, helmeted, and cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield / Bridge spanning the Maeandrus river, with gateway surmounted by stork on left; to right, river-god Maeandrus reclining left, holding reed and cornucopia, and male figure standing left, holding walking stick(?). SNG München 92 var. (obv. legend, no figure to right of Maeandrus); SNG von Aulock 2431 var. (rev. signed by magistrate); McClean 8450 var. (no figure to right of Maeandrus); SNG Copenhagen –; Künker 288, lot 819. VF, earthen green patina, irregular flan. Rare variant.
1 commentsecoli
ORDO_CULTURE_SPEC_MONEY.jpg
CHINA - Ordos Culture66 viewsCHINA - Ordos Culture "Special Money" - AE Lattice piece with "+" character. Late Bronze Age, c. 1600-1200 B.C.E. 40 mm at longest part; about 19 mm wide. 3.5 g. This is described by some China monetary experts as a form of money; others say this is not the case - as with Bell Money, Bridge Money, etc. These experts seem to lean toward the theory that these were burial objects.
Per Wikipedia: The Ordos culture comprises the period from Upper Paleolithic to the late Bronze age at the Ordos Desert, in the south of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, about 300 kilometers from modern Beijing. The Ordos were predominantly Mongoloid, as known from their skeletal remains and artifacts, but numerous interactions between Europoid and Mongoloid might have also taken place in that region over the course of several centuries, until its occupation by Qin and Han dynasties.
dpaul7
const_21.jpg
Commemorative RIC VIII, Constantinopolis 2192 viewsConstantine I AD 307 - 337
AE - AE 4, 1.16g, 13.7mm
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 over river, pylons below
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. Sometimes the bridge is called the Milvian bridge. But really its meaning is unknown!
1 commentsJochen
IMG_2093.jpg
Constantine I, Issue 1, Toone 27016 viewsCONSTA_NTINVSAVG, Helmeted, cuirassed bust right
BEATATRA_NQVILLITAS, Altar
Mintmark -/-//PLON
Weight 3.36g
Cambridgeshire
Adrianus
Constantine the Great.jpg
Constantine the Great40 viewsFlavius Valerius Constantinus, Constantine the Great, was the son of Helena and the First Tetrarchic ruler Constantius I. Constantine is most famous for his conversion to Christianity after the battle of the Milvian Bridge where he defeated emperor Maxentius. Before the battle he saw the words "In Hoc Signo Victor Eris" (By this sign you shall conquer) emblazoned on the sun around the Chi Rho, the symbol of Christianity. After placing this Christogram on the shields of his army, he defeated his opponent and thus ruled the empire through divine providence. He also shifted the capital of the empire to Constantinople, establishing the foundation for an Empire that would last another 1000 years. He died in 337 and his sons divided the Roman territories.

Bronze AE 3, RIC 123, VF, Thessalonica mint, 3.225g, 18.4mm, 0o, 324 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse D N CONSTANTINI MAX AVG, VOT XX in wreath, TSEVI in ex;
Dumanyu2
CTGeyes2GodRIC7.jpg
Constantine the Great, early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.46 viewsSilvered AE 3, RIC VII 92, EF, 3.456g, 18.1mm, 0o, Heraclea mint, 327 - 329 A.D.; Obverse: CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, diademed head right, eyes to God; Reverse: D N CONSTANTINI MAX AVG, VOT XXX in wreath, •SMHB in exergue.

As leading numismatist Joseph Sermarini notes, "The 'looking upwards' portraits of Constantine are often described as 'gazing to Heaven (or God).' The model of these portraits is of course that of the Deified Alexander the Great
(https://www.forumancientcoins.com/ssl/myforum.asp).

The Emperor Constantine I was effectively the sole ruler of the Roman world between 324 and 337 A.D.; his reign was perhaps one of the most crucial of all the emperors in determining the future course of western civilization. By beginning the process of making Christianity the religious foundation of his realm, he set the religious course for the future of Europe which remains in place to this very day. Because he replaced Rome with Constantinople as the center of imperial power, he made it clear that the city of Rome was no longer the center of power, and he also set the stage for the Middle Ages. His philosophical view of monarchy, largely spelled out in some of the works of Eusebius of Caesarea, became the foundation for the concept of the divine right of kings which prevailed in Europe.

Constantine was not a "Christian convert" in any traditional sense. He was not baptized until close to death, and while that was not an uncommon practice, the mention of Christ in his speeches and decrees is conspicuous by its absence. Eusebius, Church historian and Constantine biographer, is responsible for much of the valorization of Constantine as the Christian Emperor. The somnambulant "sign" in which Constantine was to become victor at the Milvian Bridge is, not so surprisingly, revealed to posterity long after the "fact." Throughout his reign, Constantine continues to portray himself on coins as a sun god (Freeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean; Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. 582). Above all, Constantine was a pragmatist. It would be cynical to egregiously disavow his commitment to Christianity, but it would be equally wrong to think that he would allow Christianity to meddle in the governance of his empire. As he reputedly told a group of bishops, "You are bishops of those within the church, but I am perhaps a bishop appointed by God of those outside." Whatever the motives for his decision to support Christianity, Christianity benefitted from the arrangement; so, too, did Constantine. It was a match made in heaven.

Which brings us to Crispus.
Whenever I am engaged in any discussion concerning Constantine I, Crispus is never far from my mind. As historian Hans Pohlsander from SUNY notes, "Crispus' end was as tragic as his career had been brilliant. His own father ordered him to be put to death. We know the year of this sad event, 326, from the Consularia Constantinopolitana, and the place, Pola in Istria, from Ammianus Marcellinus. The circumstances, however, are less clear. Zosimus (6th c.) and Zonaras (12th c.) both report that Crispus and his stepmother Fausta were involved in an illicit relationship." And Pohlsander continues with, "There may be as much gossip as fact in their reports, but Crispus must have committed, or at least must have been suspected of having committed, some especially shocking offense to earn him a sentence of death from his own father. He also suffered damnatio memoriae, his honor was never restored, and history has not recorded the fate of his wife and his child (or children)(Copyright (C) 1997, Hans A. Pohlsander. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis;An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families:http://www.roman-emperors.org/crispus.htm).

But there is something terribly illogigical about Constantinian apologetics. In 294 BC, prior to the death of his father, Seleucus I; Antiochus married his step-mother, Stratonice, daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes. His elderly father reportedly instigated the marriage after discovering that his son was in danger of dying of lovesickness. If this is the way a "Pagan" father is able to express love for his son, then would not a saintly Christian love his son in at least similar measure? This particular Christian father, about whom St. Nectarios writes, "Hellenism spread by Alexander, paved the way for Christianity by the Emperor Constantine the Great," is unique. It is important to our discussion to take note of the fact that in the Greek Orthodox Church, Constantine the Great is revered as a Saint.

Now would be an appropriate time to recall what Joseph Sermarini noted above, "The 'looking upwards' portraits of Constantine are often described as 'gazing to Heaven (or God).' The model of these portraits is of course that of the Deified Alexander the Great(https://www.forumancientcoins.com/ssl/myforum.asp).

Isn’t it all too possible--even probable--that Constantine had been growing obsessively jealous of his ever more successful and adulated son? It is completely out of character for Constantine to merely acquiesce to being Philip to Crispus' Alexander. Remember the Constantine who has proven time and again (recall Constantine's disingenuous promise of clemency to Licinius) that he is a completely self-serving liar and a murderer, and Constantine decides to murder again. Why "must we, "as Pohlsander adamantly suggests, "resolutely reject the claim of Zosimus that it was Constantine's sense of guilt over these deeds which caused him to accept Christianity, as it alone promised him forgiveness for his sins? A similar claim had already been made by Julian the Apostate [Philosopher]."

Perhaps it is time to cease being apologists for the sometime megalomaniacal Constantine. As Michael Grant notes, "It is a mocking travesty of justice to call such a murderer Constantine the Great . . ." (Grant, Michael. The Emperor Constantine. London: Phoenix Press, 1998. 226).

Keep in mind that the obverse device of this coin shows Constantine I "gazing toward God" and was struck within a year or possibly two of Constantine I murdering his first-born son and condemning him to damnatio memoriae.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
popromOR.jpg
Constantinopolis mint, Anonymous Issue, RIC VIII 2124 viewsConstantinopolis mint, Anonymous Issue during the reign of Constantine, 330 A.D. AE, 12mm 0.42g, RIC VIII 21; Vagi 3043
O: POP ROMANVS, Laureate, draped bust of the Genius of the Roman People left, cornucopia on left shoulder
R: Milvian(?) Bridge with towers at each end surmounted by three round objects, CONS / S above, waves and pylons below
1 commentscasata137ec
coin_5_quart.jpg
CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG (the 1st) / GLORIA EXERCITVS AE3/4 follis (306-337 A.D.)19 viewsCONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, (laurel and?) rosette diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right / GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two soldiers standing inward facing each other, holding spears, shields and two standards between them, "dot" (clearly filled) on banners. Mintmark: SMNE (?) in exergue.

AE3/4, 16.5-17mm, 2.46g, die axis 12 (medal alignment), material: bronze/copper-based alloy

MAX AVG = Maximus Augustus, the Great Emperor, Gloria Exercitus (noun + genitive) "The Glory of the Army", SMNE = Sacra Moneta Nicomedia, "officina epsilon", i. e. workshop#5.

Limiting information to only what is known for sure: the legends with the particular breaks, two standards and four-letter mintmark starting with SM, we conclude that this is definitely Constantine I, and only 3 mints are possible: SMN... Nicomedia (RIC VII Nicomedia 188), SMH... Heraclea (RIC VII Nicomedia 111) and SMK... Cyzicus (RIC VII Cyzicus 76-79). All are minted in 330-335 A.D. If the mintmark is indeed SMN..., two variations are listed: rosette-diademed and laurel- and rosette-diademed (laurels typically designated by longish shapes and rosettes as squares with dots). Since the obverse is worn, it is difficult to judge which one is the case here. One can definitely see the rosettes, but as for laurels... probably, not. Officina may be E or S, but I think E fits better.

Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, aka Constantine the Great, aka Saint Constantine, born 27 Feb c. 272 to Flavius Valerius Constantius (aka Constantius I), a Roman Army officer of Illyrian origins, and a Greek woman of low birth Helena (aka Saint Helena). His father became Caesar, the deputy emperor in the west, in 293 AD. Constantine was sent east, where he rose through the ranks to become a military tribune under Emperors Diocletian and Galerius. In 305, Constantius raised himself to the rank of Augustus, senior western emperor, and Constantine was recalled west to campaign under his father in Britannia (Britain). Constantine was acclaimed as emperor by the army at Eboracum (modern-day York) after his father's death in 306 AD, and he emerged victorious in a series of civil wars against Emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of both west and east by 324 AD. He did so many a great deed that there is no point to list them here. Best known for (having some sort of Christ-related mystical experience in 312, just before the decisive Battle of the Milvian Bridge with Maxentius) being the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity and for being a champion of this faith, in particular, he played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which declared religious tolerance for Christianity in the Roman empire, and called the First Council of Nicaea in 325 that produced the statement of Christian belief known as the Nicene Creed. Died 22 May 337, famously being baptized on his deathbed. Succeeded by his 3 sons: Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans.
Yurii P
constantiusII_Siscia_286.jpg
Constantius II, RIC VIII, Siscia 28612 viewsConstantius II, AD 337-361
AE - Cententionalis (AE 2), 21.85mm, 5.18g, 0°
Siscia, 1st officina, 10.1. - 25.12.350
obv. DN CONSTAN - TIVS PF AVG
Bust, draped and cuirassed, seen from front, pearl-diademed, r.
rev. HOC SIG - NO VICTOR ERIS
Emperor, diademed, in military cloak, stg. frontal, head l., holding in raised r. hand labarum with Chi_Rho
and in l. arm spear; at the r. side Victoria stg. l., holding palmbranch and crowning him with wreath
in l. field A
in ex. .ASIS
ref. RIC VIII, Siscia 286; LRBC 1173
scarce, VF, glossy green patina

The legend originally dates back to Vetranio and takes up again the vision of Constantine I before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge against Maxentius (Eusebius, Vita Constantini). Originally "en toutw nika".
Jochen
620AA101combo.png
Cr 26/3 AE litra "Apollo/Horse" series7 viewsRome, c. 234-231 BCE
o: Laureate head of Apollo right
r: Bridled horse prancing left; below, ROMA
4.00 gm 15.50 mm
A slightly rough but overall decent example of this type, one of the early coins to bridge the currency gap with the Greek cities. Typically called the "Apollo/Horse" series based on the silver didrachm that has a larger and unbridled horse. (One can just make out the bridle passing under the horse's jaw and across the neck.) Crawford describes the denomination as a "litra", but other writers refer to it as a unit or merely a bronze.
PMah
Larissa_Head_BCD_Thessaly_II_283_.jpg
Facing Head of Larissa55 viewsThessaly Greece, the City of Larissa

Obv: Head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly r., wearing ampyx, pendant earring, and wire necklace. Border of dots.
Rev: reverse horse crouching l., l. foreleg raised, preparing to roll and lie down. ΛAPI above horse and ΣAIΩN in the exergue.
Denomination: Silver Drachm; Mint: Larissa; Date: c. 380 - 365 BC1; Weight: 5.812g; Diameter: 20.8mm; Die axis: 90º; References, for example: BCD Thessaly I 1149; BCD Thessaly II 283; McClean 4623; HGC 4, 441; Lorber - Shahar, Middle Series 1 Type A (O1/R42

Notes:
1This is the date range stated in BCD Thessaly I.
2Unfortunately this website no longer functions and it will not be brought back up (Catharine Lorber, personal communication, September 7, 2018).
The city of Larissa was named after the local water nymph, said to be the daughter of Pelasgos. He was said to be the ancestor of the pre-Greek Pelasgians. According to myth Larissa drowned while playing ball on the banks of the Peneios river. (HGC 4 p. 130).

Photo credits: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

BCD Thessaly I: Nomos AG, Auction 4. Coins of Thessaly, the BCD Collection. (10 May 2011, Zurich).
BCD Thessaly II: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly. Triton XV Auction. (3 January 2012, New York).
HGC: Hoover, Oliver D. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: Achaia Phthiotis, Ainis, Magnesia, Malis, Oita, Perrhaibia, Thessaly, Akarnania, Aitolia, Lokris, Phokis, Boiotia, Euboia, Attica, Megaris, and Corinthia, Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 4. Lancaster/London: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc, 2014.
Lorber, Catharine and Shahar C. “The Silver Facing Head Coins of Larissa.” 2005. http://www.lightfigures.com/numismat/larissa/index.php. Note: this website no longer functions.
McClean: Grose, S. W. Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Volume II The Greek Mainland, The Aegaean Islands, Crete. London: Cambridge University Press, 1926.
3 commentsTracy Aiello
Ambrussum4.jpg
France, Ambrussum, Gallia Narbonensis - Bridge over Vidourle river.730 viewsUsed to have eleven arches and still used untill the middle ages. From this bridge the via Domitia goes upwards to the settlement1 commentsBohemond
Ambrussum6.jpg
France, Ambrussum, Gallia Narbonensis - via Domitia.584 viewsVia Domitia going downhill towards the bridgeBohemond
Ambrussum2.jpg
France, Ambrussum, Gallia Narbonensis - via Domitia.638 viewsSee those wagontracks as road goes upwards from the bridge towards the settlement on the top of the hillBohemond
Roman-Bridge2.jpg
France, Sommiéres - Roman bridge641 views17 arch bridge built on orders of Tiberius to cross the river Vidourle and enable to connect Nemausis ( Nîmes ) with Tolosa ( Toulouse ).Bohemond
Roman-Bridge1.jpg
France, Sommiéres - Roman Bridge544 views17 arch bridge built on orders of Tiberius to cross the river Vidourle and enable to connect Nemausis ( Nîmes ) with Tolosa ( Toulouse ).Bohemond
frankfurt_silver-kreuzer_ND1839_01.JPG
German State - Frankfurt ND 1839 AR 1K - City View57 viewsFrankfurt, ND1839 Silver 1 Kreuzer.

obv: FREIE STADT FRANKFURT - Crowned eagle with wings spread.
rev: 1.K - City view of Frankfurt, Sun above.
*Note the detail on the bridge, and the ships in the water.... hard to tell with such bad pictures.
rexesq
frankfurt_city-view_ND1839_1-silver-kreuzer.JPG
German State - Frankfurt ND 1839 AR 1K - City View - rev.37 viewsFrankfurt, ND1839 Silver 1 Kreuzer.

obv: FREIE STADT FRANKFURT - Crowned eagle with wings spread.
rev: 1.K - City view of Frankfurt, Sun above.

*Note the detail on the bridge, and on the ships in the water.... it's hard to tell with such bad pictures.
rexesq
14153389.jpg
Greece, Mycenian bridge220 viewsbetween Nafplio and EpidaurusJohny SYSEL
her-rav1a.jpg
Heraclius, Follis, Ravenna mint, 630-631 AD (year 21), Sear 91426 viewsHeraclius (610-641 AD)

630-631 AD (year 21)

Follis

Obverse: DD NN HЄRACLIVS ЄT HЄRA CONST PP AVCC (or similar), Heraclius, crowned, in military attire and holding long cross, standing facing, foot on prostrate figure (a Persian?) below; to right, Heraclius Constantine, wearing crown and chlamys, holding globus cruciger, standing facing

Reverse: Large M; Above, cross; To left, ANNO; To right, XXI ; Exergus, RAV

Ravenna mint

This issue commemorates the victory of Heraclius over the Sasanid kingdom in 629 AD.

After years of war between Romans and Sasanids, in 612, Heraclius launched a major counter-offensive in Syria in 613. He was decisively defeated outside Antioch by Shahrbaraz and Shahin, and the Roman position collapsed. Over the following decade the Persians were able to conquer Palestine and Egypt and to devastate Anatolia. Meanwhile, the Avars and Slavs took advantage of the situation to overrun the Balkans, bringing the Roman Empire to the brink of destruction.
During these years, Heraclius strove to rebuild his army, slashing non-military expenditures, devaluing the currency and melting down Church plate, with the backing of Patriarch Sergius, to raise the necessary funds to continue the war. In 622, Heraclius left Constantinople, entrusting the city to Sergius and general Bonus as regents of his son. He assembled his forces in Asia Minor and, after conducting exercises to revive their morale, he launched a new counter-offensive, which took on the character of a holy war. In the Caucasus he inflicted a defeat on an army led by a Persian-allied Arab chief and then won a victory over the Persians under Shahrbaraz. Following a lull in 623, while he negotiated a truce with the Avars, Heraclius resumed his campaigns in the East in 624 and routed an army led by Khosrau at Ganzak in Atropatene. In 625 he defeated the generals Shahrbaraz, Shahin and Shahraplakan in Armenia, and in a surprise attack that winter he stormed Shahrbaraz's headquarters and attacked his troops in their winter billets. Supported by a Persian army commanded by Shahrbaraz, the Avars and Slavs unsuccessfully besieged Constantinople in 626, while a second Persian army under Shahin suffered another crushing defeat at the hands of Heraclius' brother Theodore. Meanwhile, Heraclius formed an alliance with the Turks, who took advantage of the dwindling strength of the Persians to ravage their territories in the Caucasus. Late in 627, Heraclius launched a winter offensive into Mesopotamia, where, despite the desertion of the Turkish contingent that had accompanied him, he defeated the Persians at the Battle of Nineveh. Continuing south along the Tigris, he sacked Khosrau's great palace at Dastagird and was only prevented from attacking Ctesiphon by the destruction of the bridges on the Nahrawan Canal. Discredited by this series of disasters, Khosrau was overthrown and killed in a coup led by his son Kavadh II, who at once sued for peace, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territories. Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem with a majestic ceremony in 629.


Sear 914, D.O. 297, B.M.C. 452, T. 282, B.N. 5, M.I.B. 253a.

RRR

VF

6,98 g.
L.e.
her-rav1a~0.jpg
Heraclius, Follis, Ravenna mint, 630-631 AD (year 21), Sear 914, celebrating the defeat of the Sasanid kingdom and the restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem. 103 viewsHeraclius (610-641 AD)

630-631 AD (year 21)

Follis

Obverse: DD NN HЄRACLIVS ЄT HЄRA CONST PP AVCC (or similar), Heraclius, crowned, in military attire and holding long cross, standing facing, foot on prostrate figure (a Persian?) below; to right, Heraclius Constantine, wearing crown and chlamys, holding globus cruciger, standing facing

Reverse: Large M; Above, cross; To left, ANNO; To right, XXI ; Exergus, RAV

Ravenna mint

This issue commemorates the victory of Heraclius over the Sasanid kingdom in 629 AD.

After years of war between Romans and Sasanids, in 612, Heraclius launched a major counter-offensive in Syria in 613. He was decisively defeated outside Antioch by Shahrbaraz and Shahin, and the Roman position collapsed. Over the following decade the Persians were able to conquer Palestine and Egypt and to devastate Anatolia. Meanwhile, the Avars and Slavs took advantage of the situation to overrun the Balkans, bringing the Roman Empire to the brink of destruction.
During these years, Heraclius strove to rebuild his army, slashing non-military expenditures, devaluing the currency and melting down Church plate, with the backing of Patriarch Sergius, to raise the necessary funds to continue the war. In 622, Heraclius left Constantinople, entrusting the city to Sergius and general Bonus as regents of his son. He assembled his forces in Asia Minor and, after conducting exercises to revive their morale, he launched a new counter-offensive, which took on the character of a holy war. In the Caucasus he inflicted a defeat on an army led by a Persian-allied Arab chief and then won a victory over the Persians under Shahrbaraz. Following a lull in 623, while he negotiated a truce with the Avars, Heraclius resumed his campaigns in the East in 624 and routed an army led by Khosrau at Ganzak in Atropatene. In 625 he defeated the generals Shahrbaraz, Shahin and Shahraplakan in Armenia, and in a surprise attack that winter he stormed Shahrbaraz's headquarters and attacked his troops in their winter billets. Supported by a Persian army commanded by Shahrbaraz, the Avars and Slavs unsuccessfully besieged Constantinople in 626, while a second Persian army under Shahin suffered another crushing defeat at the hands of Heraclius' brother Theodore. Meanwhile, Heraclius formed an alliance with the Turks, who took advantage of the dwindling strength of the Persians to ravage their territories in the Caucasus. Late in 627, Heraclius launched a winter offensive into Mesopotamia, where, despite the desertion of the Turkish contingent that had accompanied him, he defeated the Persians at the Battle of Nineveh. Continuing south along the Tigris, he sacked Khosrau's great palace at Dastagird and was only prevented from attacking Ctesiphon by the destruction of the bridges on the Nahrawan Canal. Discredited by this series of disasters, Khosrau was overthrown and killed in a coup led by his son Kavadh II, who at once sued for peace, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territories. Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem with a majestic ceremony in 629.


Sear 914, D.O. 297, B.M.C. 452, T. 282, B.N. 5, M.I.B. 253a.

RRR

VF

6,98 g.
L.e.
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Israel, Jericho - Herod's Palace182 viewsThe ruins at Tulul Abu el-Alaiq, site of Herod the Great’s winter retreat on the outskirts of Jericho. Jericho is over 300m below sea level and hence pleasantly warm in winter, even when it's freezing in Jerusalem. Around 35 BCE, Aristobulus, the last Hasmonaean high-priest and Herod’s brother-in-law, was murdered here on Herod’s orders, drowned in a fish pond. The palace and grounds extended across the Wadi Qilt (the seasonal river-bed in the foreground of the picture), which was spanned by a bridge. Abu Galyon
IMG_2370wp.jpg
Italy, Rome, Mausoleum of Hadrian and Pons Aelius151 viewsbuilt between 135 AD and 139 AD
bridge was built in 134 AD

Hadrian and Sabina,
Antoninus Pius and Faustina,
Lucius Verus,
Marcus Aurelius,
Commodus,
Septimius Severus and
Caracalla were buried here.
Johny SYSEL
IMG_1576q.JPG
Italy, Rome, Pons Aemilius287 viewsthe oldest stone-bridge in Rome
bridge with six wholly stone arches was comleted in 142 BC
bridge was destroyd in 1598 AD by flood.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pons_Aemilius
3 commentsJohny SYSEL
IMG_1570wp.jpg
Italy, Rome, Pons Fabricius135 viewsOldest bridge in Rome - built in 62 BC and still existing in its original state.Johny SYSEL
rm006.jpg
Italy, Venice - Bridge of Sighs154 viewsBridge of Sighs 1999randy h2
Italy- Forum Romanum- The basilica of Majencius front and back.jpg
Italy- Forum Romanum- The basilica of Majencius front and back100 viewsThe Basilica of Maxentius (Basilica Maxentii) or the Basilica of Constantine (Basilica Constantini) was the last of the great civilian basilicas on the Roman Forum. The ruins of the basilica is located between the Temple of Amor and Roma and the Temple of Romulus, on the Via Sacra.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Schou
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and the Basilica of Majencio.jpg
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and the Basilica of Majencio38 viewsThe Basilica of Maxentius (Basilica Maxentii) or the Basilica of Constantine (Basilica Constantini) was the last of the great civilian basilicas on the Roman Forum. The ruins of the basilica is located between the Temple of Amor and Roma and the Temple of Romulus, on the Via Sacra.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Schou
Italy- Rome- The Arch of Constantine The Great.jpg
Italy- Rome- The Arch of Constantine The Great71 viewsArch of Constantine
The Arch of Constantine is a triumphal arch in Rome, situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It was erected to commemorate Constantine's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312 AD. Dedicated in 315 AD, it is the latest of the extant triumphal arches in Rome, from which it differs by the extensive re-use of parts of earlier buildings.

General Description
The arch is 21 m high, 25.7 m wide and 7.4 m deep. It has three archways, the central one being 11.5 m high and 6.5 m wide, the lateral archways 7.4 m by 3.4 m each. The lower part of the monument is built of marble blocks, the top (called attic) is brickwork revetted with marble. A staircase formed in the thickness of the arch is entered from a door at some height from the ground, in the end towards the Palatine Hill. The general design with a main part structured by detached columns and an attic with the main inscription above is modelled after the example of the Arch of Septimius Severus on the Forum Romanum. It has been suggested that the lower part of the arch is re-used from an older monument, probably from the times of the emperor Hadrian (Conforto et al., 2001; for a defence of the view that the whole arch was constructed in the 4th century, see Pensabene & Panella). The arch spans the Via Triumphalis, the way taken by the emperors when they entered the city in triumph. This route started at the Campus Martius, led through the Circus Maximus and around the Palatine Hill; immediately after the Arch of Constantine, the procession would turn left and march along the Via Sacra to the Forum Romanum and on to the Capitoline Hill, passing both the Arches of Titus and Septimius Severus. During the Middle Ages, the Arch of Constantine was incorporated into one of the family strongholds of ancient Rome. Works of restoration were first carried out in the 18th century; the last excavations have taken place in the late 1990s, just before the Great Jubilee of 2000.

Decoration
The decoration of the arch heavily uses parts of older monuments, which are given a new meaning in the context of the Constantinian building. As it celebrates the victory of Constantine, the new "historic" friezes illustrating his campaign in Italy convey the central meaning: the praise of the emperor, both in battle and in his civilian duties. The other imagery supports this purpose: decoration taken from the "golden times" of the Empire under Trajan, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius places Constantine next to these "good emperors", and the content of the pieces evokes images of the victorious and pious ruler. Another explanation given for the re-use is the short time between the start of construction (late 312 at the earliest) and the dedication (summer 315), so the architects used existing artwork to make up for the lack of time to create new one. As yet another possible reason, it has often been suggested that the Romans of the 4th century lacked the artistic skill to produce acceptable artwork and therefore plundered the ancient buildings to adorn their contemporary monuments. This interpretation has become less prominent in more recent times, as the art of Late Antiquity has been appreciated in its own right. It is, of course, possible that a combination of two or all three of those explanations are correct, as they are not mutually exclusive.

Attic
Above the middle archway, the main inscription (see below) takes the most prominent place of the attic. It is identical on both sides of the arch. Flanking the inscription on both sides, there are pairs of relief panels above the minor archways, 8 in total. They were taken from an unknown monument erected in honour of Marcus Aurelius, and show (north side, left to right) the emperor's return to Rome after the campaign (adventus), the emperor leaving the city and saluted by a personification of the Via Flaminia, the emperor distributing money among the people (largitio), the emperor interrogating a German prisoner, (south side, left to right) a captured enemy chieftain led before the emperor, a similar scene with other prisoners, the emperor speaking to the troops (adlocutio), and the emperor sacrificing pig, sheep and bull. Together with three panels now in the Capitoline Museum, the reliefs were probably taken from a triumphal monument commemorating Marcus Aurelius' war against the Sarmatians from 169 - 175, which ended with his triumphant return in 176. On the largitio panel, the figure of Marcus Aurelius' son Commodus has been eradicated after the latter's damnatio memoriae. On top of each of the columns stand marble statues of Dacian prisoners from the times of Trajan, probably taken from the Forum of Trajan. From the same time date the two large (3 m high) panels decorating the attic on the small sides of the arch, showing scenes from the emperor's Dacian Wars. Together with the two reliefs on the inside of the central archway, they came from a large frieze celebrating the Dacian victory. The original place of this frieze was either the Forum of Trajan, as well, or the barracks of the emperor's horse guard on the Caelius.

Main Section
The general layout of the main facade is identical on both sides of the arch. It is divided by four columns of Corinthian order made of Numidian yellow marble (giallo antico), one of which has been transferred into the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano and was replaced by a white marble column. The columns stand on bases showing victory figures on front, and captured barbarians and Roman soldiers on the sides. The spandrels of the main archway are decorated with reliefs depicting victory figures with trophies, those of the smaller archways show river gods. Column bases and spandrel reliefs are from the times of Constantine. Above each lateral archway are pairs of round reliefs dated to the times of emperor Hadrian. They display scenes of hunting and sacrificing: (north side, left to right) hunt of a boar, sacrifice to Apollo, hunt of a lion, sacrifice to Hercules, (south side, left to right) departure for the hunt, sacrifice to Silvanus, hunt of a bear, sacrifice to Diana. The head of the emperor (originally Hadrian) has been reworked in all medaillons: on the north side, into Constantine in the hunting scenes and into Licinius or Constantius I in the sacrifice scenes; on the south side, vice versa. The reliefs, c. 2 m in diameter, were framed in porphyry; this framing is only extant on the right side of the northern facade. Similar medaillons, this time of Constantinian origin, are placed on the small sides of the arch; on the eastern side, showing the Sun rising, and on the western side, the Moon, both on chariots. The main piece from the time of Constantine is the "historical" relief frieze running around the monument under the round panels, one strip above each lateral archway and at the small sides of the arch. These reliefs depict scenes from the Italian campaign of Constantine against Maxentius which was the reason for the construction of the monument. The frieze starts at the western side with the "Departure from Milan". It continues on the southern, "outward" looking face, with the siege of a city, probably Verona, which was of great importance to the war in Northern Italy; also on that face, the Battle of Milvian Bridge with Constantine's army victorious and the enemy drowning in the river Tiber. On the eastern side, Constantine and his army enter Rome; the artist here has avoided to use the imagery of the triumph, as Constantine probably did not want to be shown triumphant over the Eternal City. On the northern face, looking "towards" the city, two strips with the emperor's actions after taking possession of Rome: Constantine speaking to the citizens on the Forum Romanum, and distributing money to the people.

Inner Sides of the Archways
In the central archway, there is one of the large panels of Trajan's Dacian War on either wall. Inside the lateral archways, eight portraits busts (two on each wall), destroyed to such an extent that it is not possible to identify them any more.

Inscriptions
The main inscription reads:

IMP · CAES · FL · CONSTANTINO · MAXIMO · P · F · AVGUSTO · S · P · Q · R · QVOD · INSTINCTV · DIVINITATIS · MENTIS · MAGNITVDINE · CVM · EXERCITV · SVO · TAM · DE · TYRANNO · QVAM · DE · OMNI · EIVS · FACTIONE · VNO · TEMPORE · IVSTIS · REM-PUBLICAM · VLTVS · EST · ARMIS · ARCVM · TRIVMPHIS · INSIGNEM · DICAVIT

Which means in English:

To the Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantinus, the greatest, pious, and blessed Augustus: because he, inspired by the divine, and by the greatness of his mind, has delivered the state from the tyrant and all of his followers at the same time, with his army and just force of arms, the Senate and People of Rome have dedicated this arch, decorated with triumphs.

The words instinctu divinitatis ("inspired by the divine") have been much commented. They are usually read as sign of Constantine's shifting religious affiliation: The Christian tradition, most notably Lactantius and Eusebius of Caesarea, relate the story of a vision of the Christian god to Constantine during the campaign, and that he was victorious in the sign of the cross at the Milvian Bridge. The official documents (esp. coins) still prominently display the Sun God until 324 AD, while Constantine started to support the Christian church from 312 on. In this situation, the vague wording of the inscription can be seen as the attempt to please all possible readers, being deliberately ambiguous, and acceptable to both pagans and Christians. As was customary, the vanquished enemy is not mentioned by name, but only referred to as "the tyrant", drawing on the notion of the rightful killing of a tyrannical ruler; together with the image of the "just war", it serves as justification of Constantine's civil war against his co-emperor Maxentius.

Two short inscriptions on the inside of the central archway transport a similar message: Constantine came not as conqueror, but freed Rome from occupation:

LIBERATORI VRBIS (liberator of the city) - FUNDATORI QVIETIS (founder of peace)

Over each of the small archways, inscriptions read:

VOTIS X - VOTIS XX SIC X - SIC XX

They give a hint on the date of the arch: "Solemn vows for the 10th anniversary - for the 20th anniversary" and "as for the 10th, so for the 20th anniversary". Both refer to Constantine's decennalia, i.e. the 10th anniversary of his reign (counted from 306), which he celebrated in Rome in the summer of 315 AD. It can be assumed that the arch honouring his victory was inaugurated during his stay in the city.




John Schou
Italy- Rome- The Arch of Constantine The Great and view of the arches.jpg
Italy- Rome- The Arch of Constantine The Great and view of the arches26 viewsArch of Constantine
Rome, Italy
AD 306-337

Constantine's Arch

Immediately after the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, Constantine erected a great triple-passageway arch in the shadow of the Coliseum to commemorate his victory over Maxentius. The arch was the largest to be erected in the capital since the end of the Severan dynasty nearly a century before, but the achievement is less impressive when it is revealed that much of the sculptural program of the arch was taken from earlier monuments of Trajan, Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius, and that the columns and other architectural
members also date to an earlier era. The second-century reliefs were, however, refashioned to honor Constantine by recutting the heads of the earlier emperors with the features of the new ruler and by adding labels to the old reliefs.

The reuse of second-century sculptures by the Constantinian artists has frequently been cited as evidence of a decline in creativity and technical skill in the waning years of the pagan Roman Empire. While such a judgment is in large part deserved, it ignores the fact that the reused sculptures were carefully selected in order to associate Constantine with the "good emperors" of the second century.

Details of the arch:

The eight sculptures above the side arches depicting hunting scenes and sacrifices date from the time of Hadrian (117-138) and the portrait of Hadrian have been replaced by those of Constantine and Licinius.


The figures of prisoners on the architraves above the columns date from the time of Trajan (98-117)


as do the two reliefs on the narrow sides of the attic story and those inside the main arch;


the eight reliefs on the long sides of the attic storey showing scenes of war and triumphs date from the time of Marcus Aurelius (161-180).
However, the long and narrow friezes that run right round the arch are of Constantine's time and differ from the others in artistic concept. They portray various episodes in the Emperor's campaign against Maxentius; they no longer obey realistic rules of perspective, but the figures are frontally placed and their dimensions are dictated by their position in the hierarchy; the Emperor stands out from the rest because of his much larger size.
John Schou
JulDomStobi12.JPG
Julia Domna, AE 24 Diassaria35 viewsIVLIA A/VGVSTA
Bust draped, right
MVNICI STOBEN
Nike advancing left, holding wreath and palm
Josifovski 160, same dies (V17, R17), citing specimen in Cambridge.
This obverse die is also found with an unlisted die with Nike advancing right, may be seen in Jerome Holderman's Severan Nike Gallery
Kuzmanovic Collection 336, 345
whitetd49
Julia_Maesa_SAECVULI.jpg
Julia Maesa, denarius, R/SAECVLI FELICITAS (ex Cambridge hoard, ex Sadd collection, ex W.C. Boyd collection).43 viewsJULIA MAESA Denarius (220-222 AD)
AR, gr 2,8, mm 18,180°, BB
D/ IVLIA MAESA AVG, diademed and draped bust right
R/ SAECVLI FELICITAS, Felicitas standing left, sacrificing out of patera over lighted altar & holding long caduceus; star left.
Ric 271, RSC 45b
Provenienza: Berardengo collection, Rome Italy (0ctober 2012), ex Cambridge hoard, Cambridgeshire Uk (1897), ex A.H. Sadd collection (1897), ex W.C. Boyd collection (april 1897), ex Baldwins auction 42 lot 523 part (september 26, 2005), ex Paul Wells collection, Cardiff Uk (2012).
paolo
MAESA_FECVUNDITAS_Boyd.jpg
Julia Maesa, denarius. R/FECVNDITAS AVG (ex Cambridge hoard, ex Sadd collection, ex Boyd collection)42 viewsJulia Maesa, denarius (218-220 AD), ex Boyd collection
AR, gr 3,1, 22 mm, 180°, BB
D/ IVLIA MAESA AVG, draped bust right
R/ FECVNDITAS AVG, Fecunditas standing left, extending her hand over a child & holding cornucopiae.
Ric 249, RSC 8.
Provenienza: Berardengo collection, Rome Italy (october 2012), ex Cambridge hoard, Cambridgeshire Uk (1897), ex A.H. Sadd collection (1897), ex W.C. Boyd collection (april 1897), ex Baldwins auction 42 lot 523 part (september 26, 2005), ex Paul Wells collection, Cardiff Uk (2012)
paolo
6468LG.jpg
Macedonia, Amphipolis228 viewsAmphipolis was an ancient city of Macedonia, on the east bank of the river Strymon, where it emerges from Lake Cercinitis, about 3 m. from the sea.

Originally a Thracian town, known as Ennea Odoi ("Nine Roads"), it was colonized by Athenians with other Greeks under Hagnon in 437 BC, previous attempts--in 497, 476 (Schol. Aesch. De fals. leg. 31) and 465--having been unsuccessful.

In 424 BC it surrendered to the Spartan Brasidas without resistance, owing to the gross negligence of the historian Thucydides, who was with the fleet at Thasos. In 422 BC Cleon led an unsuccessful expedition to recover it, in which both he and Brasidas were slain (see Battle of Amphipolis).

The importance of Amphipolis in ancient times was due to the fact that it commanded the bridge over the Strymon, and consequently the route from northern Greece to the Hellespont; it was important also as a depot for the gold and silver mines of the district, and for timber, which was largely used in shipbuilding. This importance is shown by the fact that, in the peace of Nicias (421 BC), its restoration to Athens is made the subject of a special provision, and that about 417, this provision not having been observed, at least one expedition was made by Nicias with a view to its recovery.

Philip of Macedon made a special point of occupying it (357), and under the early empire it became the headquarters of the Roman propraetor, though it was recognized as independent. Many inscriptions, coins, etc., have been found here, and traces of the ancient fortifications and of a Roman aqueduct are visible.

Alexander III, 336-323 BC, Silver Tetradrachm, Price-113, struck 323-320BC at Amphipolis, 17.12 grams, 25.3 mm. Choice VF

Obv: Head of Herakles wearing lion skin headdress
Rev: Zeus enthroned with sceptre and eagle, parallel legs, Macedonian helmet in left field

Well centered and struck with a full EF reverse. Attractive lifetime issue of Alexander III 'The Great'. G5
2 commentsecoli
maxentius_113.jpg
Maxentius RIC VI, Aquileia 11394 viewsMaxentius 306 - 312, drawn at the battle of the Milvian bridge, son of Maximianus
AE - AE 2, 6.42g, 24mm
Aquileia 3. officina, late summer AD 307
obv. IMP C MAXENTIVS PF AVG
laureate head r.
rev. CONSERV - VRB SVAE
helmeted Roma sitting l. on shield in tetrastyle temple, holding sceptre l.,
handing globe to the emperor with r., who stands r. in military dress
before her, holding sceptre l. and stretching out r. hand to globe, seated
captive between. Pediment with she-wolf and twins, r. and l. on roof as
acroteria victories holding wreath.
exergue: AQ Gamma
RIC VI, Aquileia 113; C.42
good F

PEDIMENTUM, the trigonal field above the front of the temple (gr. tympanon)
ACROTERIUM, figure or figures standing above the corners and on top of the temple
2 commentsJochen
maximinusI den-salus-.jpg
MAXIMINUS I denarius AD235263 viewsobv:IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG
rev:SALVS AVGVSTI (Salus seated left, feeding from patera a serpent arising from altar)
ref:RIC14, C.85
2.80gms
The reverse of SALVS AVGVSTI means the Health of the Emperor – should commemorate the Emperor’s survival through two conspiracies against his life. (from RIC IV i)
The ex-consul Magnus had entered into a conspiracy with a number of soldiers and centurions to stab Maximinus, wishing thereby to get the imperial power for himself. Maximinus wished to make a bridge (through the Rhine at Mogantiacum) and cross over against the Germans, and it was resolved that the conspirators should cross over with him and then, breaking the bridge behind them, surround Maximinus on the barbarians' side and kill him, while Magnus seized the throne. (from Historia Augusta)
There was an another uprising by disgruntled soldiers who accompanied Severus Alexander from the East and who championed the recently dismissed provincial governor Quartinus as a rival emperor.
berserker
Screenshot_2019-01-24_16_01_38.png
Medieval England, King Henry III, Silver Short Cross Penny, Class 7a3, Moneyer: Willelm. UK Metal Detecting find from Cambridgeshire.6 viewsBury St Edmunds 1216-1247 A.D. 1.20g - 13.2mm, Axis 3h.

Obv: hENRICVS REX - Crowned bust of king holding sceptre.

Rev: + WILLELM ONSANT - Short cross voided with quatrefoil in each angle.

Spink 1356A.
Christian Scarlioli
Screenshot_2019-01-08_12_15_12.png
Medieval England, Richard II, Silver Penny, Type I. UK Metal Detecting find from Cambridgeshire.12 viewsYork 1377-1399 A.D. 1.02g - 17.3mm, Axis 11h.

Obv: + RICARDVS REX ANGLIE - Crowned bust facing, cross on breast.

Rev: CIVITAS EBORACI - Long cross pattée with three pellets in each angle. quatrefoil in centre.

Spink 1690.
2 commentsChristian Scarlioli
Middlesex_1063.jpg
Middlesex 106313 viewsObv: ROBERT ORCHARD GROCER & TEA DEALER NO. 34 GREEK ST. CORNER CHURCH ST. SOHO LONDON 1804, bust facing right.

Rev: ROBERT • ORCHARD • TEA • WAREHOUSE • CORNER OF CHURCH ST • AND • AT SAW BRIDGEWORTH HARTS, front view of Orchard's warehouse.

Edge: Plain

Farthing Conder Token

Dalton & Hamer: Middlesex, Orchard's 1063
SPQR Coins
Middlesex_862.jpg
Middlesex 86246 viewsObv: A SNAIL MAY PUT HIS HORNS OUT, a snail in the foreground with a tree and a man fishing off of a bridge in the background.

Rev: A stag sprinting past a tree.

Edge: Plain

Thomas Spence, Halfpenny Conder token

Dalton & Hamer: Middlesex 862
SPQR Coins
rep_lep_pan.jpg
Mn. Aemilius Lepidus, 114 - 113 BC98 viewsSilver denarius, SRCV I 168, (Crawford 291/1); Rome mint, weight 3.6g, max. diameter 19.07mm, 114 - 113 B.C.; Obv. laureate, diademed, and draped bust of Roma right, ROMA (MA ligate) before, XVI ligature behind; Rev. MN·AEMILIO (MN in monogram), horseman holding vertical spear (equestrian statue) right, on triple-arch containing L-E-P. Attractive toning.

Ex. Roma Numismatics
Ex. Andrew McCabe

Historical background Courtesy;

Forvm Ancient Coins,
The triple-arch probably represents the Aqua Marcia, an aqueduct begun by M. Aemilius Lepidus and M. Fulvius Nobilior as Censors in 179 B.C.

Andrew McCabe,
Northumberland Smyth 1856:
This type is of interest, since it commemorates the construction of the celebrated Aemilian bridge by Manius Aemilius Lepidus, to whom a statue was erected, and who replaced the wooden bridge of Ancus Martius over the Tiber by a stone one. The arched neck of the horse is classic


6 commentsSteve E
nikopolis_elagabal_AMNG1914cf(rev)_unbekannt.jpg
Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, 26. Elagabal, HrHJ (2018) 8.26.13.01 (plate coin)68 viewsElagabal, AD 218-222
AE 28, 12.88g, 27.53mm, 30°
struck under governor Novius Rufus
obv. AVT K M AVRH - ANT[WNE]INOC
Bust, slightly draped on l. shoulder, radiate, r.
rev. VP NOBIOV ROVFOV NIKOPOLITWN PROC ICT
in l. and r. field RO - N
Artemis, wearing hunting dress and boots, with bare r. breast, advancing r., holding bow in extended l. hand and drawing
with r. hand arrow from quiver over r. shoulder; behind her l. leg a hound jumping r.
ref. a) not in AMNG:
obv. AMNG I/1, 1909
rev. AMNG I/1, 1914 (depiction)
rev. legend not in AMNG
b) not in Varbanov (engl.)
c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2018) No. 8.26.13.1 (plate coin)
rare, VF, nice glossy dark-green patina
Pedegree:
ex coll. Ognjen Arandjelovic, Cambridge
2 commentsJochen
[901a]_NervaAntiochAE26.jpg
Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D., Antioch, Syria195 viewsBronze AE 26, BMC Syria, p. 182, 261, aVF, Antioch mint, weight 13.524g, maximum diameter 25.0mm, die axis 0o, Jan - Sep 97 A.D.; Obverse: IMP CAESAR NERVA AVG III COS, laureate head right; Reverse: large S C in wreath, D below; unbelievable portrait. Ex FORVM. Photo courtesy FORVM.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families
Nerva (96-98 A.D.)

David Wend

Introduction
Although short, the reign of Marcus Cocceius Nerva (A.D. 96-98) is pivotal. The first of Edward Gibbon's so-called "Five Good Emperors," Nerva is credited with beginning the practice of adopting his heir rather than selecting a blood relative. Claimed as an ancestor by all the emperors down to Severus Alexander, he has traditionally been regarded with much good will at the expense of his predecessor, Domitian.

Ancestry
Nerva could claim eminent ancestry on both sides of his family. On the paternal side, his great-grandfather, M. Cocceius Nerva, was consul in 36 B.C.; his grandfather, a distinguished jurist of the same name, accompanied Tiberius on his retirement to Capri in 26 A.D. On his mother's side an aunt, Rubellia Bassa, was the great-granddaughter of Tiberius. In addition, a great-uncle, L. Cocceius Nerva, played a part in the negotiations that secured a treaty between Octavian and Antony in 40 B.C

Early Career and Life under Domitian
Nerva was born on 8 November, 30 A.D. Little is known of his upbringing beyond the fact that he belonged to a senatorial family and pursued neither a military nor a public speaking career. On the other hand, he did hold various priesthoods and was a praetor-designate. More importantly, as praetor designate in 65, Nerva was instrumental in revealing the conspiracy of Piso against the emperor Nero.

As a result, he received triumphal ornaments and his statue was placed in the palace. Following Nero's fall in 68, Nerva must have realized that support of Vespasian and the Flavian cause was in his best interests. In 71 his loyalty was rewarded with a joint consulship with the emperor, the only time that Vespasian ever held the office without his son Titus. It was under the reign of Vespasian's other son, Domitian, that Nerva's political fortunes were ultimately determined, however. He shared the ordinary consulship with Domitian in 90, an honor that was perhaps the result of his alerting the emperor about the revolt of Antonius Saturninus, the governor of Upper Germany, in 89. Even so, like so many others of the senatorial class, Nerva came under scrutiny in the final years of Domitian's reign, when the emperor was unwilling to tolerate any criticism.

Whether or not Nerva was forced to withdraw from public life during Domitian's final years remains an open question. What is not in dispute is that he was named emperor on the same day that Domitian was assassinated in September, 96. Indeed, in some respects the accession was improbable, since it placed the Empire under the control of a feeble sexagenarian and long-time Flavian supporter with close ties to the unpopular Domitian. On the other hand, Nerva had proven to be a capable senator, one with political connections and an ability to negotiate. Moreover, he had no children, thereby ensuring that the state would not become his hereditary possession.

Imperial Initiatives
Upon taking office, Nerva made immediate changes. He ordered the palace of Domitian to be renamed the House of the People, while he himself resided at the Horti Sallustiani, the favorite residence of Vespasian. More significantly, he took an oath before the senate that he would refrain from executing its members. He also released those who had been imprisoned by Domitian and recalled exiles not found guilty of serious crimes. Nevertheless, Nerva still allowed the prosecution of informers by the senate, a measure that led to chaos, as everyone acted in his own interests while trying to settle scores with personal enemies.

In the area of economic administration Nerva, like Domitian, was keen on maintaining a balanced budget. In early 97, after appointing a commission of five consular senators to give advice on reducing expenditures, he proceeded to abolish many sacrifices, races, and games. Similarly, he allowed no gold or silver statues to be made of himself. Even so, there was some room for municipal expenditure. For the urban poor of Italy he granted allotments of land worth 60 million sesterces, and he exempted parents and their children from a 5% inheritance tax. He also made loans to Italian landowners on the condition that they pay interest of 5% to their municipality to support the children of needy families. These alimentary schemes were later extended by Trajan, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius.

Because he reigned only briefly, Nerva's public works were few. By early 98 he dedicated the forum that Domitian had built to connect the Forum of Augustus with the Forum of Peace. It became known as the Forum of Nerva, or the Forum Transitorium. Nerva also built granaries, made repairs to the Colosseum when the Tiber flooded, and continued the program of road building and repairs inaugurated under the Flavians. In addition, pantomime performances, supressed by Domitian, were restored.

In the military realm, Nerva established veterans' colonies in Africa, a practice that was continued by the emperor Trajan. Normal military privileges were continued and some auxiliary units assumed the epithet Nervia or Nerviana. We are not well informed beyond these details, and any military action that may have occurred while Nerva was emperor is known sketchy at best.

Nature of Nerva's Government
Nerva's major appointments favored men whom he knew and trusted, and who had long served and been rewarded by the Flavians. Typical was Sextus Julius Frontinus. A consul under Vespasian and governor of Britain twenty years earlier, Frontinus came out of retirement to become curator of the water supply, an office that had long been subject to abuse and mismanagement. He helped to put an end to the abuses and published a significant work on Rome's water supply, De aquis urbis Romae. As a reward for his service, Frontinus was named consul for the second time in 98. Similarly, the emperor's own amici were often senators with Flavian ties, men who, by virtue of their links to the previous regime, were valuable to Nerva for what they knew. Thus do we find the likes of A. Didius Gallus Fabricius Veiiento, one of Domitian's ill-reputed counselors, seated next to Nerva at an imperial dinner. Nerva was less willing to consult the Senate as a whole. In many cases he preferred the opinions of his own consilium, and was less submissive than many senators would have liked. This attitude may have been responsible for hostile discontent among several senators.

Mutiny of the Praetorians and the Adoption of Trajan
It was not long before the assassination of Domitian came to work against the new emperor. Dissatisfied that Domitian had not been deified after his death, the praetorian guards mutinied under Casperius Aelianus in October 97. Taking the emperor as hostage, they demanded that Nerva hand over Domitian's murderers. The emperor not only relented, but was forced to give a public speech of thanks to the mutineers for their actions. His authority compomised, Nerva used the occasion of a victory in Pannonia over the Germans in late October, 97 to announce the adoption of Marcus Ulpius Traianus, governor of Upper Germany, as his successor. The new Caesar was immediately acclaimed imperator and granted the tribunicia potestas. Nerva's public announcement of the adoption settled succession as fact; he allowed no time to oppose his decision. From the German victory, Nerva assumed the epithet Germanicus and conferred the title on Trajan as well. He also made Trajan his consular colleague in 98.

Death and Deification
On January 1, 98, the start of his fourth consulship, Nerva suffered a stroke during a private audience. Three weeks later he died at his villa in the Gardens of Sallust. From his headquarters at Cologne, Trajan insisted that Nerva's ashes be placed in the mausoleum of Augustus and asked the senate to vote on his deification. We are further told that he dedicated a temple to Nerva, yet no trace of it has ever been found. Nor was a commemorative series of coins issued for the Deified Nerva in the wake of his death, but only ten years later.

Conclusion
Nerva's reign was more concerned with the continuation of an existing political system than with the birth of a new age. Indeed, his economic policies, his relationship with the senate, and the men whom he chose to govern and to offer him advice all show signs of Flavian influence. In many respects, Nerva was the right man at the right time. His immediate accession following Domitian's murder prevented anarchy and civil war, while his age, poor health and moderate views were perfect attributes for a government that offered a bridge between Domitian's stormy reign and the emperorships of the stable rulers to follow.

Copyright (C) 1998, David Wend.
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
boyd_Chronicle.jpg
Numismatic Chronicle, 189740 viewsThe Numismatic Chronicle and Journal of the Numismatic Society, London
1897, parti 1-2 & 4
Tra l'altro, articoli di:
W.C. Boyd: "A Find of Roman Denarii near Cambridge"
H. Montagu: "Rare and unpublished Roman gold coins"
G.F.Hill: "Solon's Reform of the Attic Standard"
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo, Roma Italia (16 dicembre 2012, numero catalogo 163); ex Paul Francis Jacquier collection (Kehl am Rhein, Germany, fino al 2012)
paolo
MISC_Ottoman_Murad_II_Akche_Edirne_834.JPG
Ottoman Empire. Murad II (1st reign; 824-848 A.H. = 1421-1444/45 A.D.)148 viewsAlbum 1302.3, Sreckovic I 52 (obverse C*x, reverse VI), Pere 59.

AR akçe dated 834 A.H. = 1430/31 A.D., Edirne (formerly Adrianople) mint, 13-14 mm.

Obv: Murad bin / Mehmed Han [= Murad son of Mehmed Han] in upper and lower semicircles, 83 on left / 4 on right [= 834 A.H.], star in center, all within an encircling line and pearl border.

Rev: Hullide Mülkühü [an abbreviated form of Halledallahü Mülkehü used on smaller coins = God protects the ruler’s property] in upper semicircle / Duri be Edirne [= minted in Edirne] in lower semicircle, all within an encircling line and pearl border.

The word “akçe” is derived from the Greek aspron (= white), the name of a Byzantine silver or billon coin, that was current in the region that eventually became the Ottoman Empire. The akçe is therefore sometimes called “asper” in English sources. When this coin was minted, there were 260 akçes per 100 dirhams and the nominal weight of the akçe was 1.18 gr. Pamuk, Sevket. A Monetary History of the Ottoman Empire (Cambridge University Press 2004), Table 3.1 at 46.

References: Album, Stephen A. A Checklist of Islamic Coins (Santa Rosa 1998); Sreckovic, Slobodan. Akches Vol. One, (Osman Gazi – Murad II), 699-848 A.H. (Belgrade 1999); Pere, Nuri. Osmanlilarda Madeni Paralar (Istanbul 1968).

Attribution assistance courtesy of Slobodan Sreckovic and Don Robinson
1 commentsStkp
L_Nerva.jpg
P. Licinius Nerva - AR denarius6 viewsRome
²112 BC
¹113-112 BC
bust of Roma left wearing helmet, holding spear and shield decorated with horseman; crescent above
ROMA
(XVI)
two citizens casting ballots in the Comitium, attendant handing voting tablet to one citizen, screen behind surmounted by marker with initial "P" representing the voting tribe
P·(NE)RVA
¹Crawford 292/1, SRCV I 169, Sydenham 548, RSC I Licinia 7
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
3,9g
ex Aurea

Issue probably commemorates enclosure of voting place introduced in 145 BC by moneyer's ancestor Licinius Crassus tribune of the Plebs in order to prevent disagreements and favoritism. Other possibilities are: Lex Maria de suffragiis 119 BC which restricted bridges leading to the ballot box in order to prevent from inspecting voting tables and lobbying which was introduced by C. Marius tribune of the Plebs, or lex agraria from 111 BC which should have reconsiled land disputies related to the lex Licinia Sextia from 367 BC, however this would have shifted date of the issue by two years later.
Johny SYSEL
Pergamonacrop.jpg
Pergamon54 viewsThe oldest section of Pergamon, the acropolis or upper city, sits on an impressive steep ridge between two tributaries of the Caicus river. The ridge is naturally fortified on all but the S side which slopes down to the Caicus valley floor. The Caicus valley provides access from Pergamon to the Aegean coast and the port town of Elaea in the W and the Persian Royal Road to the E.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cleisthenes
022.JPG
Petronas Towers8 viewsPetronas Towers, note the skybridge at the 41st floor.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
rexesq
bollino_Boyd_orfano.jpeg
Philippus I, bollino Boyd separato dalla moneta ex Cambridge hoard (1897)38 viewsBollino Boyd separato dalla moneta di riferimento
Philippus I, denario, R/ VIRTVS AVG, Virtus seduta
Ex Cambridge hoard (1897)
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo, Roma Italia (18 febbraio 2013, numero catalogo 190); ex Paul Wells collection, Cardiff, Uk (P&D coins, fino al 2013, inviato in dono alla collezione Berardengo)
paolo
POP_ROMANVS.jpg
POP ROMANVS (People of Rome) Commemorative, 330 A.D.29 viewsAE4 , Constantinopolis, 330 A.D.,

Obverse : “POP ROMANVS”
Laureate and draped bust of the Genius of the Roman People left, cornucopia on left shoulder.
Reverse: Bridge with tower at each end, river beneath. "CONS / IA" between towers.

a VF , o.93 gr, 14 mm. RIC 21.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
Sam
pop_rom.jpg
Populus Romanus, nummus30 viewsStruck in Constantinopolis
POP ROMANVS - Roma laureate, draped bust left
Anepigraphic // CONS - Bridge.
AD330
0,83gr
Ref:RIC 21 (VIII, Constantinople)
byzancia
Ralph_Waldo_Emerson_1968_NYU_Hall_of_Fame.JPG
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1968 NYU Hall of Fame Medal29 views"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world."

Excerpt from The Concord Hymn by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Matt Inglima
Fake_-_RIC_569.jpg
RIC 56927 viewsSestertius, 103-111
Obv: IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P
Laur. r.
Rev: SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI / S C
Single-span bridge with tower at each end. Below, a boat.

31mm, 23.13g

Sold as a reproduction on eBay (November 3rd, 2011) by notorious fake seller masterpujador for €50,30.
klausklage
bridge002.jpg
Roman Bridge74 viewsThis is a Roman bridge in the south of Italy (Calabria) at the bottom of my grandmothers town today called Scigliano but in ancient times was known as Sturni. "Annibale’s Bridge” (Hannibal) is also known as ”The Bridge of Saint Angelo" The road and surrounding area is completely grown over but it was once a part of the Via Popilia which once joined Reggio Calabria to Capua. The bridge crosses the Savuto river. There are no tourists here, it is only known by the locals and is claimed to be the oldest free standing Roman bridge! It dates to 130 BC.Titus Pullo
bridge.jpg
Roman Bridge87 viewsAnother view of the Roman bridge in Calabria2 commentsTitus Pullo
THEODORA_AE4_Pietas_TRP.JPG
Roman Empire, THEODORA. AE4 of Treveri. Struck A.D.337 - 340 under Constantine II.63 viewsObverse: FL MAX THEODORAE AVG. Laureate and draped bust of Theodora facing right.
Reverse: PIETAS ROMANA. Pietas standing facing right, holding child in arms; in exergue, •TRP•.
RIC VIII : 65.
Found in Cambridgeshire, England.
SCARCE

Little is known about Theodora. She was the daughter or step-daughter of Maximianus and married Constantius I c.A.D.292. Theodora and Constantius had six children whose names were Flavius Dalmatius, Julius Constantius, Hannibalianus, Constantia, Anastasia and Eutropia. This coin was struck after her death, as were all her coins, under Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans, the sons of Constantine I.

1 comments*Alex
Misc_Roman_5a.jpg
Roman Scabbard Slide for Spatha Sword103 viewsDating to mid-2nd to 3rd century AD. This slide was mounted to the side of the leather-covered wooden spatha scabbard. The baldric (shoulder belt) then fed through the gap. The top portion (approximately 1/3) of this scabbard slide is broken off and missing. Examples can be seen in Bishop and Coulston's Roman Military Equipment, 2nd edition, figure 78 #1 (Antonine era find from Handrian's Wall) and figure 99 #6 (Corbridge hoard find from 3rd c.); and in the Dura Europos excavation report #7 (small finds), figure 89, #533 which notes that similar items have also been found in South Shields UK, Buciumi Romania, Lyon France and Banasa Mauretania. otlichnik
RRC554.jpg
RRC291/1 (Mn. Aemilius Lepidus) 43 viewsObv. Laureate, diademed head of Roma right, ROMA before, MA in ligate; mark of value behind
Rev. MN AE[M]ILIO, ligature on praenomen. Equestrian statue on arches, LEP between;
17 mm, 3.77 grams
Rome, 114-113 B.C.
Refs.: RRC 291/1, RSC Aemilia 7

Allusions: The head of Roma is not unusual, but the reverse is subject to some debate. Several propositions have been put forward: (1) A triumphal arch to a Mn. Aemilius Lepidus (the prateor of 213 B.C. or his son, consul of 158 B.C.). (2) the pons Aemilius, the oldest stone bridge in Rome, now Ponte Rotto, which connected the Cattle Market with the Transtiberim since the mid-3rd century. It may be then that a Mn. Aemilius had the original bridge built. Its stone form goes back to 179 B.C. under the auspices of the censors M.Aemilius Lepidus and M. Fulvius Nobilior. (3) The Aqua Marcia, formerly Aqua Aemilia Fulvia (Pliny 31.24 with emendation) and led over the Pons Aemilius. A similar coin issued by the Marcia family in 56 BC exists (Marcia 28, Syd. 919). The Marcii may have tried to counter the Aemilian claim to the aqueduct. In fact, the censors Aemilius and Fulvius had begun building the aqueduct, but never completed it, since M. Licinius Crassus refused to let it be built over his ground (Livy 40.51.7).

The moneyer: Unclear. He may have been the son of the consul of 126 B.C., and father of Mn. Aemilius Mn. f. Lepidus, the consul of 66 B.C. (Crawford);
1 commentsSyltorian
sardes_achaios.jpg
Sardes; King Achaios/ Eagle, AE1610 viewsLYDIA, SARDEIS. King Achaios, 222-213 B.C. 2,8g, 16mm.
Obv: Laureate Apollo r. Rev: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ / ΑΧΑΙΟΥ; eagle with closed wings r., with wreath. Cf. O. Mørkholm, Early Hellenistic Coinage, Cambridge 1991, 126; XXVII 404 and 405.
Podiceps
Found_near_Bridgeness,_Bo__ness,_West_Lothian.JPG
Scotland, Antonine Wall, Distance Slab22 viewsThese inscribed stones, known as distance slabs, are unique in the Roman Empire. They celebrate the work of the legions which constructed the Antonine Wall in Scotland. Evidence suggests that the slabs, all made of local sandstone, were set into stone frames along the length of the Wall and are likely to have faced South into the Empire.
Nineteen of these slabs are known of so far, the elaborate carving on many of them celebrating the culmination of a successful campaign by the triumphant Roman army.

IMP CAES TITO AELIO HADRI ANTONINO AVG PIO P P LEG II AVG PER M P IIIIDCLII FEC
"For the Emperor Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, Father of his Country, the Second Augustan Legion completed 4652 feet"

This slab was found at Bridgeness, Bo'ness in 1868, it is now in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
*Alex
rr_1073_revised_Large.jpg
Sextus Pompey -- Neptune and Naval Trophy95 viewsSextus Pompey, Imperator and Prefect of the Fleet
[Youngest Son of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great)]
Obv: [MAG or MA (ligatured) G]⦁PIVS⦁IMP⦁ITER; Portrait of Neptune facing r., diademed and bearded, trident over l. shoulder. Border of dots.
Rev: [PRAE (AE ligatured) F⦁CLAS⦁ET⦁ORAE (AE ligatured)]⦁MAR (ligatured) IT⦁EX⦁S⦁C⦁; Naval trophy with trident on top and anchor on bottom, prow stem on l. and aplustre on r., at base two representations of Charybdis and two dog heads of Scylla. Border of dots.
Denomination: silver denarius; Mint: Sicily, uncertain location1; Date: summer 42 - summer 39 BC2; Weight: 3.89g; Diameter: 17mm; Die axis: 30º; References, for example: Sear CRI 333; BMCRR v. II Sicily 15, 16, and 17 variant3; Sydenham 1347 variant3; Crawford RRC 511/2a or 2b4.

Notes:

Obverse legend: MAG[NUS]⦁PIVS⦁IMP[ERATOR]⦁ITER[UM]
Reverse legend: PRAEF[ECTUS]⦁CLAS[SIS]⦁ET⦁ORAE⦁MARIT[IMAE]⦁EX⦁S[ENATUS]⦁C[ONSULTO]

1Sear CRI, Crawford RRC, Sydenham, and DeRose Evans (1987) all place the minting of this coin type in Sicily, but they do not reference a possible location. Grueber BMCRR v. II Sicily suggests Messana.
2This is the date range argued for in Estiot 2006 (p. 145). Estiot recommends returning to Crawford’s proposal of 42 - 40 BC. Crawford RRC, p. 521 suggests the period in 42 BC after Sextus Pompey defeated Q. Salvidienus Rufus. Grueber BMCRR v. II Sicily, p.562 proposes 38 - 36 BC and Sydenham, p. 210 adopts the same datation. DeRose Evans (1987), p. 129 offers a time between late summer 36 and September 36 BC.
3Grueber BMCRR v. II Sicily 15, 16, and 17 and Sydenham 1347 only list a reverse legend containing MAR (ligatured) I but the coin here is MAR (ligatured) IT.
4It is impossible to see the full obverse legend, so it cannot be determined if MA is ligatured or not. The reverse legend is clearly the first variety of 2a or 2b, a variety not found on 2c.

Provenance: from the collection of W. F. Stoecklin, Amriswil, Switzerland; acquired from Hess AG in Luzern, from the Ernst Haeberlin collection, Cahn & Hess, Frankfurt, July 17, 1933, lot 2889.

Photo credits: Shanna Schmidt Numismatics

Sources

Crawford, Michael H. Roman Republican Coinage v. I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001 reprint with the 1982 corrections.
DeRose Evans, Jane. "The Sicilian Coinage of Sextus Pompeius (Crawford 511)" in Museum Notes (American Numismatic Society), vol. 32 (1987): 97 - 157.
Estiot, Sylviane. “Sex. Pompée, La Sicile et La Monnaie: Problèmes de Datation.” In Aere Perennivs, en hommage á Hubert Zehnacker édité par Jacqueline Champeaux et Martine Chassignet. Paris: L’Université Paris - Sorbonne, 2006.
Grueber, H. A. Coins of the Roman Republic in the British Museum v. II. London: 1910.
Sear, David R. The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49 - 27 BC. London: Spink, 1998.
Sydenham, Edward A. The Coinage of the Roman Republic. New York: Arno Press, 1975, rev. ed.
7 commentsTracy Aiello
Sextus_Pompey_Scylla.jpg
Sextus Pompey -- Pharos and Scylla71 viewsSextus Pompey, Imperator and Prefect of the Fleet
[Youngest Son of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great)]
Obv: MAG⦁PIVS⦁IMP⦁ITER; Pharos of Messana, Neptune on top standing r. with r. hand on a trident and l. hand on a rudder, resting l. foot on prow. Galley sailing l., aquila atop a tripod placed in prow and a scepter tied with a fillet in stern. Border of dots.
Rev: PRAEF⦁ORAE⦁MARIT⦁ET⦁CLAS⦁S⦁C [AEs and MAR ligatured]; Scylla attacking l. wielding a rudder in both hands, the torso of a nude woman with two fishtails and the foreparts of three dogs as the lower body. Border of dots.
Denomination: silver denarius; Mint: Sicily, uncertain location1; Date: summer 42 - summer 39 BC2; Weight: 3.566g; Diameter: 19.8mm; Die axis: 225º; References, for example: BMCRR v. II Sicily 20 variant3, Sydenham 1349 variant3; Crawford RRC 511/4d; Sear CRI 335b.

Notes:

Obverse legend: MAG[NUS]⦁PIVS⦁IMP[ERATOR]⦁ITER[UM]
Reverse legend: PRAEF[ECTUS]⦁ORAE⦁MARIT[IMAE]⦁ET⦁CLAS[SIS]⦁S[ENATUS]⦁C[ONSULTO]

1Grueber BMCRR v. II Sicily, p.557 and Sear CRI, p. 203 suggest Messana as a possible mint location. DeRose Evans (1987), p. 124 hesitatingly suggests Mitylene (on the island of Lesbos).

2This is the date range suggested by Estiot 2006, p. 145, as she recommends going back to Crawford’s proposal of 42 - 40 BC. Crawford RRC, p. 521 suggests the period in 42 BC after Sextus Pompey defeated Q. Salvidienus Rufus. Grueber BMCRR v. II Sicily, p.556 proposes 38 - 36 BC. Sydenham, p.211 follows Grueber. DeRose Evans (1987), p. 129 submits 35 BC.

3Grueber BMCRR v. II Sicily 20 and Sydenham 1349 list MAR (ligatured) I but the coin here is clearly MAR (ligatured) IT. Neither Grueber nor Sydenham record MAR (ligatured) IT as part of this reverse legend for this coin type. Crawford and Sear do.

Photo credits: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

Crawford, Michael H. Roman Republican Coinage v. I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001 reprint with the 1982 corrections.
DeRose Evans, Jane. "The Sicilian Coinage of Sextus Pompeius (Crawford 511)" in Museum Notes (American Numismatic Society), vol. 32 (1987): 97 - 157.
Estiot, Sylviane. “Sex. Pompée, La Sicile et La Monnaie: Problèmes de Datation.” In Aere Perennivs, en hommage á Hubert Zehnacker, édité par Jacqueline Champeaux et Martine Chassignet. Paris: L’Université Paris - Sorbonne, 2006.
Grueber, H. A. Coins of the Roman Republic in the British Museum v. II. London: 1910.
Sear, David R. The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49 - 27 BC. London: Spink, 1998.
Sydenham, Edward A. The Coinage of the Roman Republic. New York: Arno Press, 1975, rev. ed.
7 commentsTracy Aiello
rr_1074_revised_Large.jpg
Sextus Pompey -- Pompey the Great and Neptune with Catanaean Brothers44 viewsSextus Pompey, Imperator and Prefect of the Fleet
[Youngest Son of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great)]

Obv: [MAG⦁PIVS⦁IMP⦁ITER]; portrait of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus r.; behind jug; before lituus. Border of dots.
Rev: above, [PRAE (AE ligatured) F]; in exergue, CLAS⦁ET⦁[ORAE (AE ligatured)⦁MAR (ligatured) IT⦁EX⦁S⦁C]; Neptune standing l., wearing diadem, aplustre in r. hand, cloak over l. arm, r. foot on prow,; on either side a Catanaean brother bearing one of his parents on his shoulders1. Border of dots.
Denomination: silver denarius; Mint: Sicily, uncertain location2; Date: summer 42 - summer 39 BC3; Weight: 3.68g; Diameter: 17mm; Die axis: 30º; References, for example: Sear CRI 334; BMCRR v. II Sicily 7, 8, 9, and 10; Sydenham 1344; Crawford RRC 511/3a.

Notes:

Obverse legend: MAG[NUS]⦁PIVS⦁IMP[ERATOR]⦁ITER[UM]
Reverse legend: PRAEF[ECTUS]⦁CLAS[SIS]⦁ET⦁ORAE⦁MARIT[IMAE]⦁EX⦁S[ENATUS]⦁C[ONSULTO]

1Grueber BMCRR v. II Sicily appears a bit hesitant in his pronouncement that the representation of the Catanaean brothers in fact refers to Sextus’ title Pius (p. 561), but Sear CRI appears to have no such hesitation when he states “...the type illustrates the theme of ‘Pietas’ in connection with the assumption of the name Pius.” (p.203). DeRose Evans (1987) goes further (pp. 115 - 116), arguing that Sextus chose the Catanaean brothers (“...he consciously identifies himself with the south Italian heroes”) as a way to deliberately contrast his Pietas with that of Octavian’s.
2Grueber BMCRR v. II Sicily tentatively suggests Catana as a possible location and Sear CRI follows suit.
3This is the date range argued for in Estiot 2006 (p. 145). Estiot recommends returning to Crawford’s proposal of 42 - 40 BC. Crawford RRC, p. 521 suggests the period in 42 BC after Sextus Pompey defeated Q. Salvidienus Rufus. Grueber BMCRR v. II Sicily, p.560 proposes 42 - 38 BC and Sydenham, p. 210 follows suit. DeRose Evans (1987), p. 129 offers a time between late summer 36 and September 36 BC.

Provenance: From the collection of W. F. Stoecklin, Amriswil, Switzerland, acquired from Hess AG in Luzern prior to 1975. Ex Dr. Jacob Hirsch 33, 17 November 1913, lot 1058

Photo credits: Shanna Schmidt Numismatics

Sources

BMCRR: Grueber, H. A. Coins of the Roman Republic in the British Museum v. II. London: 1910.
Crawford, Michael H. Roman Republican Coinage v. I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019 reprint with the 1982 corrections.
DeRose Evans, Jane. "The Sicilian Coinage of Sextus Pompeius (Crawford 511)" in Museum Notes (American Numismatic Society), vol. 32 (1987): 97 - 157.
Estiot, Sylviane. “Sex. Pompée, La Sicile et La Monnaie: Problèmes de Datation.” In Aere Perennivs, en hommage á Hubert Zehnacker, édité par Jacqueline Champeaux et Martine Chassignet. Paris: L’Université Paris - Sorbonne, 2006.
Sear, David R. The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49 - 27 BC. London: Spink, 1998.
Sydenham, Edward A. The Coinage of the Roman Republic. New York: Arno Press, 1975, rev. ed.
2 commentsTracy Aiello
Somersetshire_103.jpg
Somersetshire 10322 viewsObv: Two men talking, man on right says, “I WANT TO BUY SOME CHEAP BARGAINS.” The man on left replies, “THEN GO TO NIBLOCK’S IN BRIDGE STREET.”

Rev: BRISTOL TOKEN 1795, view of a bridge with a man in a row boat beneath.

Edge: Plain

Half Penny Conder Token

Dalton & Hamer: Somersetshire, Niblock's 103
SPQR Coins
THEODORA_TRP2.JPG
Struck A.D.337 - 340 after her death, THEODORA, AE4 of Treveri (Trier)7 viewsObverse: FL MAX THEODORAE AVG. Laureate and draped bust of Theodora facing right.
Reverse: PIETAS ROMANA. Pietas standing facing right, holding child in arms; in exergue, •TRP•.
Struck under Constantine II.
RIC VIII : 65.
Found in Cambridgeshire, England
*Alex
POP_ROM_BRIDGE_2.JPG
Struck A.D.341 - 346 under Constantius II. POP ROM COMMEMORATIVE AE4 of Constantinople3 viewsObverse: POP ROMANVS. Laureate and draped bust of the Genius of the Roman people facing left, cornucopiae over left shoulder.
Reverse: No legend. Bridge with tower at each end, river beneath; between towers, CONS/I.
RIC VIII : 21
*Alex
1690_Louis_XIV_Pont_Royal_Paris.JPG
Struck c.1690 – 1695, Louis XIV (1643 - 1715), AE (Brass) Jeton3 viewsObverse: LVDOVICVS•MAGNVS•REX•. Laureate head of Louis XIV facing right; LGL in small letters below.
Reverse: NOVVM•DECVS•ADDIDIT VRBI. View of the five arched Pont Royal crossing over the River Seine. PONTS ET CHAVS/SEES• in small letters in exergue.

Struck at Nuremburg, Germany
Die engraver: Lazarus Gottlieb Laufer (or Lauffer)
Diameter: 27.44 mm | Weight: 5.6gms | Die Axis: 6
Ref. Feuardent: 2838

Lazarus Gottlieb Laufer was mint-master at Nuremburg from 1663 until his death in 1709.

This jeton celebrates the building of the new “Pont Royal” in Paris. A bridge had stood at this site since 1632 when a wooden toll bridge of fifteen arches was built to replace the Tulleries Ferry. However this bridge, known colloquially as the “Pont Rouge” due to its colour, proved to be a very fragile construction. It needed extensive repairs in 1648 and again in 1651 before being burnt in 1654 and damaged by a flood in 1656 such that, by 1660, it needed completely rebuilt. The bridge needed repaired again in 1673 but, in 1684, it was completely destroyed when eight of its arches were swept away by a flood. A completely new stone bridge, consisting of five arches, was constructed between 1685 and 1689. The work was entirely funded by Louis XIV himself and it was he who named the new bridge the “Pont Royal”. In the 18th century the bridge, which is still standing to this day, was a popular meeting place for a variety of festivities and celebrations.
*Alex
roman_buckles_3.jpg
Sword Belt Buckles108 viewsTwo non-hinged buckles for Roman sword belts (balteus or cingulum). The example on the left dates to the 3rd century AD; the right to the 1st or 2nd century AD.

An exact example of the left hand version can be found in Roman Military Equipment 2nd edition, figure 124, #11 from Corbridge UK, dated to the 3rd century. The Dura Europos report notes similar finds dating to 200-250 AD from Syria, Germany, Serbia, Romania, UK and Spain. The Ashmolean Museum collection notes an example found in a Sarmatian grave in Kerth Crimea.

An example of the right hand version can be found in Roman Military Equipment, 1st edition, figure 97, #15 from Hod Hill, UK, dated to the 1st century AD.
otlichnik
Theodora_AE4_Pietas_TRP~0.JPG
THEODORA. Struck c.A.D.337 - 340 after her death. AE4 of Treveri (Trier).96 viewsObverse: FL MAX THEODORAE AVG. Laureate and draped bust of Theodora facing right.
Reverse: PIETAS ROMANA. Pietas standing facing right, holding child in arms; in exergue, •TRP•.
Struck under Constantine II.
RIC VIII : 65.
Found in Cambridgeshire, England

Little is known about Theodora. She was the daughter or step-daughter of Maximianus and married Constantius I c.A.D.292. Theodora and Constantius had six children whose names were Flavius Dalmatius, Julius Constantius, Hannibalianus, Constantia, Anastasia and Eutropia. This coin was struck after her death, as were all her coins, under Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans, the sons of Constantine I.
*Alex
Danube.jpg
Trajan1 viewsTrajan AE Dupondius 105 AD. Danube bridge. RIC 570, 10.3gmAncient Aussie
1288_Trajan_bridge.jpg
Trajan - AE as10 viewsRome
105 AD
laureate head right
IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P
arched single-span bridge covered walkway separated by vertical bars and middle curved line, each gateway surmounted by statuary, right one with flight of steps; boat on river below
SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI
S C
SRCV II 3235, RIC II 569, Cohen II 543
ex Aurea
Johny SYSEL
Trajanus_DanubeBridge.JPG
Trajan AE Sestertius, SPQR Bridge over river RIC 56992 viewsTRAJAN. 98-117 AD. Æ Sestertius (25.83 gm, 6h).
Struck circa 104-107 AD. IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder / S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, S C in exergue, arched, single-span bridge with six posts across Danube River; single-bay arches at either end, surmounted by statues; boat sailing left in river below. RIC II 569; Strack 385a; Banti 261; BMCRE 849; cf. Cohen 542.
2 commentsmattpat
image~18.jpg
Trajan Decius; Tarsus, Cilicia26 viewsCILICIA, Tarsus. Trajan Decius. AD 249-251. Æ (33mm, 19.74 g, 6h). Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Lion attacking bull right. SNG Levante 1161 (same dies); SNG France 1764 (same dies). VF, earthen black-green patina.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A cave in Tarsus is one of a number of places claiming to be the location of the legend of the Seven Sleepers, common to Christianity and Islam.
ecoli
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Trajan RIC II, 2191108 viewsTrajan AD 88 - 117
AR - Denar, 3.15g, 19.9mm
Rome AD 103 - 111
obv. IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC PM TRP COS V PP
bust laureate, r.
rev. SPQ.R. OPTIMO PRINCIPI
Dacian, in mourning attitude, seated on shield; below curved sword
RIC II, 219; BMCR cf.175
uncirculated

This issue celebrates the triumph of Trajan in the war against Dacia. The 1. Dacian war started AD 101 and by clever strategy, building of bridges over the Danube, AD 102 the Dacian king Decebalus choosed to capitulate and sweared obedience. He was to become a client king. Trajan gained the title DACICVS.
But then Decebalus started new offensives against Rome and Trajan took the field again AD 106. This 2. Dacian war was a brutal struggle. Decebalus committed suicid. The triumph in Rome lasted 123 days. Dacia with its vast wealthy becomes Roman province. Most of the inhabitants were killed or enslaved, their place taken for immigrants. Appolodorus built the huge Trajan column for propaganda.
3 commentsJochen
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Trajan, RIC 569, Sestertius of AD 107-110 (bridge)35 viewsÆ Sestertius (27.1g, Ø34mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck 107-110.
Obv.: IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P laur. bust of Trajan right, paludamentum on l. shoulder.
Re.: S·P·Q·R·OPTIMO PRINCIPI [around] S C [in ex.] Single-span bridge with tower at each end, below a boat.
RIC 569; BMC 848; Cohen 542; Strack 385; Banti 261 (25 spec.); MIR 314(bD2); RHC 100:21.
ex CNG, 2001

According to Hill, the bridge represented on the reverse could well be the ancient Pons Sublicus.
1 commentsCharles S
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Trajan, RIC 569, Sestertius of AD 107-110 (bridge)23 viewsÆ Sestertius (22,96g, Ø33mm, 6h). Rome, AD 107-110.
Obv.: IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate bust 3/4 frontal right, Paludament left shoulder.
Rev.: SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI around, S C below, Single-span bridge with fortified towers with stairs and statues on top at each end; below a boat.
RIC 569 (C); BMC 489 (var.: bust type); Cohen 542 (8 fr.); Strack 385 (var.: bust type)); MIR 314 (unlisted bust type x); Banti 261 (25 spec. (var.: bust type)); RCV 3207; RHC 100/21; Hill (The monuments of Ancient Rome as Coin Types) 201.
Ex cgb, August 2015.
Charles S
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Trajan. AD 98-117. AR Denarius,Danuvius22 viewsTrajan. AD 98-117. AR Denarius (17.5mm, 3.11 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 107-108. Laureate bust right, slight drapery / DΛNVVIVS in exergue, Danuvius reclining left on rocks, head right, cloak floating above, hand on prow of ship, reeds over arm. RIC II 100; Woytek 277b; RSC 136. VF, toned, some hairlines and deposits, a few pits on reverse.


Danuvius is the personification of the Danube River. The building of a bridge over the river during Trajan’s reign was a marvel of engineering.

Ex Cng 434, Lot: 320.
Britanikus
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Turkey, Antalya Province, Limyra - Theater31 viewsLimyra was a small city in Lycia on the southern coast of Asia Minor, on the Limyrus River, about 5 1/2 KM from the mouth of that river. The ruins are about 5 km northeast of the town of Finike (ancient Phoenicus) in Antalya Province, Turkey. It was a prosperous city, and one of the oldest cities in Lycia. It had rich and abundant soil, and gradually became one of the finest trade settlements in Greece. Pericles adopted it as the capital of the Lycian League. The city came under control of the Persian Empire after it was conquered by Cyrus the Great. He later annexed Lydia and its territories after a decisive victory at the Battle of Thymbra and the Siege of Sardis, where he defeated armies twice as large as his. Cyrus then got his greatest general: Harpagus of Media to conquer the much smaller kingdoms in Anatolia, while he went to conquer the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Anatolia would become an important place for the Persian monarchs who succeeded Cyrus. The massive Royal road constructed by Darius went from the Persian capital of Persepolis, to the Anatolian city of Sardis. Limyra would stay under Persian control until it was conquered and sacked by Alexander the Great. It is mentioned by Strabo (XIV, 666), Ptolemy (V, 3, 6) and several Latin authors. Gaius Caesar, adopted son of Augustus, died there (Velleius Paterculus, II, 102). Ruins consist of a theater, tombs, sarcophagi, bas-reliefs, Greek and Lycian inscriptions etc. About 3 km east of the site is the Roman Bridge at Limyra, one of the oldest segmented arch bridges of the world.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LimyraTheater1.jpg
Photo by Kpisimon, 8 May 1988
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Joe Sermarini
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Turkey, Attalia (Antalya) - Hadrian's gate257 viewsA stylish triple-arched gateway erected in 130 CE to mark the emperor Hadrian’s visit to the city. It’s still used as one of the principal entrances to the historic Kaleiçi quarter of today’s Antalya. And it’s a very visible reminder of how much lower the street level was in Roman times. At the base of the central arch there are quite deep grooves formed by the passage of carts: hence the glass-bottomed footbridge, designed to save the modern pedestrian from a twisted ankle. Abu Galyon
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Turkey, Istanbul, Rumeli Hisari129 viewsRumeli Hisari means ‘Rumelian Castle’: Rumelia (derived from ‘Rome’) being the Turkish word for the Balkan lands which once belonged to the Roman (Byzantine) Empire. The Rumeli Hisari was constructed in 1452 a few miles north of Constantinople on the European side of the Bosphorus by order of Sultan Mehmet II. Impressively, the whole fortress was built in less than four months. The Rumeli Hisari sits opposite an older, smaller Ottoman fort on the Asian side, the Anadolu Hisari (Anatolian Castle). Together the two forts effectively controlled traffic through the Bosphorus, cutting Constantinople off from the Black Sea and ensuring that an Ottoman army operating on the European side could be supplied from the granaries of central Anatolia. The building of Rumeli Hisari was preparation for the investment and conquest of Constantinople, which took place the following year.

The Rumeli Hisari/Anadolu Hisari forts are built at the point where the Bosphorus is most constricted (about 700m across). This is the same narrows where the Persian King Darius I over 2500 years ago built a ‘bridge of boats’ to transport his army across to attack Thrace (see Herodotus, Histories 4.87f). And these days a modern suspension bridge links Asia to Europe at the same spot, but sadly it rather spoils the view.
Abu Galyon
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Turkey, Misis, Roman bridge over the Pyramus39 viewsRoman bridge in Misis-Mopsuestia over the Pyramus. Constantius II built this magnificent bridge over the Pyramus (Malalas, Chronographia, XIII; P.G., XCVII, 488) afterwards it was restored by Justinian (Procopius, De Edificiis, V. 5) and it has been restored again recently. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mopsuestia Joe Sermarini
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Ulpia Severina - A Coin of an Interregnum?10 viewsUlpia Severina, Augusta (274 AD), wife of Aurelian
Obv: SEVERINA AVG; Bust of Severina, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent, facing right.
Rev: CONCORDIAE MILITVM; Concordia standing left, facing left, flanked by two standards, one in each hand, VI in left field, XXI in exergue.
Denomination: billion antoninianus; Mint: Antioch; Officina: 6th; Issue: 6; Date: early 275 to September 275 AD; Weight: 3.77g; Diameter: 23.3mm; Die axis: 180º; References, for example: RIC V v.1 20; MER - RIC 3198.

Notes:

Is this a coin of an interregnum?
That there was an interregnum, in the literal meaning of the word, between the murder of Aurelian and the Senatorial appointment of Tacitus as emperor is undisputed. What is disputed, however, is the length of the interregnum as well as its meaningfulness, i.e. for whatever period of interregnum that did exist, did Severina or the Senate actually rule the empire and thereby make decisions that engendered consequences and/or directed actions? This coin type (although not the only coin type) has played a part in the interregnum story. In Aurelian and the Third Century (London and New York: Routledge, 1999) Alaric Watson dedicates seven and a half pages (pp. 109 - 116) to discussing the interregnum, where he vociferously argues that there was no meaningful interregnum. As part of this discussion he references, on p. 115, this particular coin type and in footnote 66 he cites a number of sources that assign this type in the name of Severina to the period after Aurelian’s death. For example:
Percy Webb in RIC, vol. V, part 1 (1927), pp. 4, 35, and 253 does not take a stance on the possible length of the interregnum, but on p. 253 he states that if the interregnum lasted eight months, then the mints certainly could not have been closed and so “...it is necessary to find coins representing their output.”1 This coin type, dedicated to Concordia and in the name of Severina alone, might represent that output. In “The Imperial Recovery” (chapter nine of The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. XII, The Imperial Crisis and Recovery AD 193 - 324. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1939) Harold Mattingly acknowledges that although the length of the interregnum is in debate “... the coinage shows clearly that for some considerable period government was carried on in the name of the Empress Severina for the the dead Aurelian.” (p. 310). In all officina for several mints the coinage of Severina, such as the “Concordia Militum” type “...bear witness to the conditions of the interregnum.” (p. 310). In “The Reform of Aurelian” (Revue Numismatique, 6th series, vol. 7, 1965: 225 - 235) R. A. G. Carson mentions on pp. 233 and 234 that Severina’s Concordia Militum type is for Severina alone, and that as such it was minted after the death of Aurelian (p. 233). Carson is not concerned with the question of an interregnum, but his placement of this coin type for Severina alone after Aurelian’s death allows this coin type to be taken as evidence of an interregnum. Eugen Cizek in L’Empereur Aurélien Et Son Temps (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1994) also refers to this coin type (not by specific legend, but by reference to “concord with the soldiers”) when discussing the interregnum. He notes that other scholars assign this coinage to the interregnum, a position that he appears to adopt. In Repostiglio della Venèra Nuovo Catalogo Illustrato Aureliano II/I (Rome: L'Erma di Bretschneider, 1995) Sylviane Estiot also assigns this coin type to the period after Aurelian’s death.2

But what of the coin here, this coin actually attributed to the 6th officina, mint of Antioch, 6th issue? Estiot attributes this coin not to an interregnal period between Aurelian and Tacitus, when Severina might have ruled in her own right. Rather, on p. 90 of “Aureliana” (Revue Numismatique, 6th series, vo. 150, 1995: 50 - 94) Estiot attributes this coin, because of exact parallelisms to Aurelian’s coinage at Antioch at this time, to a period of joint coinage between Aurelian and Severina.3

Footnotes:

1He actually allows for the possibility of coinage even if the interregnum was short. See footnote 1, p. 253.
2I assume this to be the case. Although I have no reason to doubt Watson’s citation I was unable to verify it because I am unable to obtain a copy of this book by Estiot.
3Also see Estiot, Monnaies de L’Empire romain XII.1: D’Aurelian à Florien (270 - 276 apres J.-C.). Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2004, pp. 28 (table 1) and 122.

Photo credits: Forum Ancient Coins
Tracy Aiello
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USA, Seated Liberty dime love token, 188424 views"J.J.T." above river scene with boats and the Brooklyn Bridge. A nice companion to the 1887 "Statue of Liberty" piece in this collection, forming sort of a New York theme. Both this and the "Statue of Liberty" piece date within a year of the dedication of the landmarks they portray! A rare topical piece tied to a famous landmark. I had to fight tooth and claw to win it! Love tokens are underappreciated enough that they are usually quite affordable, but this and a few of my other important pieces did cross the $100 mark. Ex-eBay, 2011, closed for around $126.00. Total number of 1884 dimes struck at all mints = 3,930,474.1 commentslordmarcovan
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USA, Seated Liberty dime love token, 188743 views"MA-MA" with Statue of Liberty scene and rope border. Like the 1884 "Brooklyn Bridge" piece in this set, this host coin dates to within a year of the opening of the landmark it portrays, and continues the New York theme. Ex-Heritage Long Beach Tokens & Medals Auction #110, Lot 29116, 09/2008. I forget the closing price, but I think it ended up being an upper two-figure price tag. It might be difficult to acquire a similar themed pictorial like that under $100 these days! The engraving on this is skilled but simple, giving it a sort of folksy, whimsical feel, and it's easy to imagine why somebody once chose this as a gift for his mother. If only we knew the rest of the story. Were they immigrants who passed the Statue of Liberty on their way to Ellis Island? Maybe not, but it's fun to think about such things. Needless to say, this piece is a sentimental favorite. Total number of 1887 dimes struck at all mints = 15,737,679.lordmarcovan
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VALERIAN. CILICIA. Mopsuestia-Mopsus 4 viewsVALERIAN. CILICIA. Mopsuestia-Mopsus 255/6 AD River god Pyramus reclining on bridge consisting of five arches and triumphal arch at each end. 31mm, 14.43gm. SNG BN 1998.Ancient Aussie
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VALERIANO II Cesare (R/ PRINCIPI IVVENT), 254-255 d.C.32 viewsValeriano II Cesare (256-258 d.C.) antoniniano di bronzo, zecca di Roma (254-255 d.C.)
AE, gr. 1,65; mm 17, B
D/ P C L VALERIANVS NOB CAES, busto radiato e drappeggiato a dx.
R/ PRINCIPI IVVENT, Cesare stante a sinistra mentre regge un globo e lancia.
RIC 23 var
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo, Roma Italia (17 luglio 2008, numero catalogo 75); ex Ognjen Arandjelovic collection (Cambridge Uk, fino al 2008).
paolo
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[1009a] Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.83 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 70, RSC 325, S -, EF, Rome mint, 2.803g, 20.7mm, 0o, 227 A.D.; Obverse: IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right; Reverse: P M TR P VI COS II P P, Emperor standing left, sacrificing from patera in right over a tripod, scroll in left; cameo-like obverse with toned portrait and legend and bright fields, slightly frosty surfaces, details of head on reverse figure unstruck, slightly irregular flan. Ex FORVM.

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

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

De Imeratoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Alexander Severus (A.D. 222-235)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

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

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

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

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

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

Early Life and Education
The future emperor was born in Arca Caesarea in Phoenicia on October 1, 208 although some sources put the date three years earlier (as Gibbon assumed, see above), the son of Gessius Marcianus, whose career advanced in the equestrian cursus, and of Julia Mamaea, niece of the then empress, Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. He was raised quietly and well educated, at the instance of his mother. He came into the public eye only in 218, when, after Macrinus' murder of Caracalla and accession to the purple, he and his mother were declared hostes publici. In June of that year, Elagabalus defeated Macrinus and succeeded him as emperor. Alexander and Mamaea were soon rehabilitated. As his cousin's activities, religious, political, and personal, became increasingly unacceptable, Alexander was drawn ever more into public life. In mid 221, he assumed the toga virilis, was adopted by Elagabalus as a colleague, was granted the name Alexander, and elevated to the rank of Caesar. There had been talk that he was the illegitimate child of Caracalla, which won him support among the army, and this was confirmed, at least for public consumption, by his filiation in the official titulature back to Septimius. He was now styled Imp. Caes. M. Aurelii Antonini Pii Felicis Aug. fil., divi Antonini Magni Pii nepos, divi Severi pronepos M. Aurelius Alexander, nobilissimus Caesar imperi et sacerdotis, princeps iuventutis. The connection with Septimius Severus was crucial, since he was the only one of these predecessors who had been deified. Alexander was about 12½ years old. Less than a year later, on March 13, 222, with the murder of Elagabalus, Alexander was hailed as emperor by the army. He considered this date as his dies imperii. He became thereby the youngest emperor in Rome's history. He was immediately thereafter given the titles of Augustus, pater patriae, and pontifex maximus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In 234, Alexander and Julia Mammaea moved to Moguntiacum (Mainz), the capital of Upper Germany. The military situation had improved with the return of troops from the east, and an ambitious offensive campaign was planned, for which a bridge was built across the Rhine. But Alexander preferred to negotiate for peace by buying off the enemy. This policy outraged the soldiers, who mutinied in mid March 235 and killed the emperor and his mother. He had reached the age of 26½ years and had been emperor for almost precisely half his life. He was deified by the senate and received other posthumous honors. With the accession of Maximinus Thrax, the Severan dynasty came to an end.

Death and Evaluation
Tacitus' famous dictum about Galba, that he was properly considered capax imperii, capable of being emperor, until he showed, when emperor, that he was not, could never have been applied to Severus Alexander. A child when chance brought him to the principate, with only two recommendations, that he was different from Elagabalus and that he was part of the Severan family, he proved to be inadequate for the challenges of the time. Military experience was the prime attribute of an emperor now, which Alexander did not have, and that lack ultimately cost him his life. Guided by his mother and employing the services of distinguished men, he returned dignity to the imperial household and to the state. He did the best he could, but that best was not good enough in the early decades of the third century A.D., with the great threats from east and north challenging Rome's primacy and, indeed, existence.

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

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

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


De Imeratoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Alexander Severus (A.D. 222-235)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

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

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

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

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

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

Early Life and Education
The future emperor was born in Arca Caesarea in Phoenicia on October 1, 208 although some sources put the date three years earlier (as Gibbon assumed, see above), the son of Gessius Marcianus, whose career advanced in the equestrian cursus, and of Julia Mamaea, niece of the then empress, Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. He was raised quietly and well educated, at the instance of his mother. He came into the public eye only in 218, when, after Macrinus' murder of Caracalla and accession to the purple, he and his mother were declared hostes publici. In June of that year, Elagabalus defeated Macrinus and succeeded him as emperor. Alexander and Mamaea were soon rehabilitated. As his cousin's activities, religious, political, and personal, became increasingly unacceptable, Alexander was drawn ever more into public life. In mid 221, he assumed the toga virilis, was adopted by Elagabalus as a colleague, was granted the name Alexander, and elevated to the rank of Caesar. There had been talk that he was the illegitimate child of Caracalla, which won him support among the army, and this was confirmed, at least for public consumption, by his filiation in the official titulature back to Septimius. He was now styled Imp. Caes. M. Aurelii Antonini Pii Felicis Aug. fil., divi Antonini Magni Pii nepos, divi Severi pronepos M. Aurelius Alexander, nobilissimus Caesar imperi et sacerdotis, princeps iuventutis. The connection with Septimius Severus was crucial, since he was the only one of these predecessors who had been deified. Alexander was about 12½ years old. Less than a year later, on March 13, 222, with the murder of Elagabalus, Alexander was hailed as emperor by the army. He considered this date as his dies imperii. He became thereby the youngest emperor in Rome's history. He was immediately thereafter given the titles of Augustus, pater patriae, and pontifex maximus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In 234, Alexander and Julia Mammaea moved to Moguntiacum (Mainz), the capital of Upper Germany. The military situation had improved with the return of troops from the east, and an ambitious offensive campaign was planned, for which a bridge was built across the Rhine. But Alexander preferred to negotiate for peace by buying off the enemy. This policy outraged the soldiers, who mutinied in mid March 235 and killed the emperor and his mother. He had reached the age of 26½ years and had been emperor for almost precisely half his life. He was deified by the senate and received other posthumous honors. With the accession of Maximinus Thrax, the Severan dynasty came to an end.

Death and Evaluation
Tacitus' famous dictum about Galba, that he was properly considered capax imperii, capable of being emperor, until he showed, when emperor, that he was not, could never have been applied to Severus Alexander. A child when chance brought him to the principate, with only two recommendations, that he was different from Elagabalus and that he was part of the Severan family, he proved to be inadequate for the challenges of the time. Military experience was the prime attribute of an emperor now, which Alexander did not have, and that lack ultimately cost him his life. Guided by his mother and employing the services of distinguished men, he returned dignity to the imperial household and to the state. He did the best he could, but that best was not good enough in the early decades of the third century A.D., with the great threats from east and north challenging Rome's primacy and, indeed, existence.

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
CyzARHemio.jpg
[103e] Cyzikos, Mysia, Asia Minor (2)76 viewsCyzikos, Mysia, 480 - 400 B.C. Silver hemiobol, BMC 120, S 1505, VF, Cyzikus mint, .343g, 9.5mm, 0o, 480 - 400 B.C.; Obverse: forepart of boar running left, tunny fish upwards behind; Reverse: head of roaring lion left, star of four rays above, all in incuse square. Ex FORVM.

Cyzkios (Cyzicum, Kyzikos): Located in modern Turkey, at the northern end of the isthmus between the Kapidag peninsula and the mainland, beside the Bandirma road about 10km/6mi southwest of Erdek, lie the remains of the ancient trading colony of Kyzikos (or Belkis), known by the poetic name of Dindymos. It was probably settled from Miletus in the second millennium B.C. and was certainly inhabited by Miletian settlers by 756 B.C. It is mentioned in the story of Jason and the Argonauts which tells how in error they killed the hospitable king who had earlier made them welcome. In 334 Alexander the Great built two bridges joining the southern tip of the island to the mainland. After Kyzikos declined, sand continuously washing up against the piles of the bridges caused the channel slowly to silt up and the isthmus was formed. Following Lucullus's decisive victory over Mithridates, Kyzikos became a "free" city and capital of Mysia. Badly damaged on several occasions by earthquakes (particularly in 543 and 1063) and by Arab assault (673), and further ravaged in fighting between Byzantines, Seljuks and Crusaders, it was finally abandoned in 1224. Little now remains to be seen, only a section of the walls, the site of the theater and some ruins of the amphitheater and of Hadrian's Temple to Zeus from which in the 16th century columns were removed to embellish Istanbul's mosques. Finds from Kyzikos are displayed in the museum in Erdek.
http://www.planetware.com/bandirma/kyzikos-tr-bl-bakz.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

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


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

Robin Mc Mahon
New York University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
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[1616b] Heraclius, 5 Oct 610 - 11 Jan 641 A.D.53 viewsBYZANTINE EMPIRE. Heraclius AD 610-641. AE.Follis. Ref:Sear 833; 12.91g. VF; Nicomedia mint. Obverse: Facing bust of Heracliu, holding cross in right hand. Reverse: Incial letter M, ANNO to left, II to right ( Year 2 AD 611/612), officia letter A betweem limbs of M, above cross; mint-signature NIKO in exergue . Very fine, earthern deposit in fields-not as yellow as picture suggest. Ex Pavlos S Pavlou.


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Heraclius (October 5, 610 - February 641 A.D.)

R. Scott Moore
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Accession
The last years of Phocas' reign were troubled ones with many foreign threats, such as the Slavic incursions, and internal threats, such as violent religious conflicts and even unsuccessful rebellions. In 608, the exarch of Carthage revolted and dispatched a fleet under the command of his son, Heraclius, to Constantinople. Along the way, in Egypt, Heraclius joined forces with his cousin Nicetas who was able to capture Cyrenaica and Egypt from Phocas' general Bonosos. Heraclius' fleet continued on to Constantinople where he entered into secret negotiations with one of Phocas' top military leaders, Priscus. He was married to Phocas' daughter Domentzia. With the support of Priscus, the patriarch Sergius I, and the faction of the Greens, Heraclius was able to seize the city, have Phocas beheaded and became emperor on October 5, 610 AD.

Private Life
Heraclius, the son of the exarch of Carthage, Heraclius, and Epiphania was born around the year 575. When he was crowned as emperor in 610 AD, he married Fabia, who then took the name Eudocia. From this marriage, Heraclius had a daughter, Eudocia, and a son Heraclius Constantine, who was proclaimed as co-emperor in 613. Suffering from epilepsy, Fabia died in 612 and Heraclius married his niece Martina in 613. With Martina, Heraclius had nine children of which four died in infancy. Heraclius' marriage to Martina was never received favorably by either the people of Constantinople or the Church.

Foreign Affairs
When Heraclius first came to the throne in 610, the Byzantine Empire was being attacked from numerous sides. In the west, the Avars and Slavs were expanding into the northern Balkans. The Slavs controlled the Danube regions, Thrace, Macedonia, and were soon invading Central Greece and the Peloponnesus. In the east, meanwhile, the Persians under the rule of Chosroes had begun a series of successful attacks on the empire resulting in the loss of Damascus in 613, Jerusalem in 614 (destroying the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and capturing the Holy Cross) and Egypt in 619. Recognizing the difficulty in fighting on two opposing fronts at the same time, Heraclius signed a peace treaty with the Avars in 619, and focused on the eastern half of the empire. In the spring of 622, Heraclius left Constantinople for Asia Minor and began training his troops over the summer, focusing on a more involved role for the Byantine cavalry.

In the autumn, Heraclius' army invaded Armenia and soon won several victories over the Persians. The Avars, in the meantime, became restless and Heraclius was forced to renegotiate the peace treaty with them at a much higher tribute level. Heraclius then returned to the army and for the next several years unsuccessfully attempted to break through the Persian army and into Persia. In August of 626 while Heraclius and his army were in Lazica away from Constantinople, a Persian army attacked the city from the east while an army of Avars, Slavs, and Bulgars attacked from the west and from the sea. On August 10, the Byzantine navy was able to defeat the opposing fleet and then rout the combined Slav and Avar land force. With the defeat of their allies, the Persians retreated to Syria.

In the autumn of 627, Heraclius began to work his way into Persian territory winning an important battle in December at Nineveh during which most of the Persian army was destroyed. As Heraclius continued to move further into Persian territory, Chosroes was deposed and succeeded by his son Kavadh-Siroe whose first act was to secure a treaty with Heraclius. The treaty was very favorable to the Byzantines and returned all the former Byzantine territories to the empire. Within a few short months, Kavadh-Siroe fell ill and died after naming Heraclius as guardian of his son, Chosroes II. For all practical purposes, the Persian Empire no longer existed. In 630 Heraclius traveled to Jerusalem where he returned the Holy Cross to the city among much acclaim.

The defeat of the Persians created a larger problem for the Byzantine empire. The struggle between the Byzantines and the Persians had worn down both sides and the defeat of the Persians allowed the Arabs to quickly absorb what remained of the Persian empire. It also removed the buffer between the Arabs and the Byzantines allowing the two empires to come into contact and conflict. In 634 the Arab armies invaded Syria and defeated Theodore, the emperor's brother, in a string of battles. Heraclius raised a large army that attacked the Arabs near the Yarmuk, a tributary of the Jordan, in the fall of 636. After a successful beginning, the larger Byzantine army was defeated allowing the conquest of Syria. The Byzantine defeat also led to the Arabs quickly taking Mesopotamia, Armenia and eventually Egypt.

Internal Affairs
While Heraclius enjoyed military success, major changes occurred internally under his rule. Greek replaced Latin as the official language of the empire and Heraclius adopted the Greek title of in place of the Latin Caesar, Augustus, or Imperator. The recovery of the eastern areas of the Byzantine Empire from the Persians once again raised the problem of religious unity, centering around the understanding of the true nature of Christ. The eastern areas, particularly Armenia, Syria, and Egypt believed in monophysitism, Christ having one nature composed of both divine and human elements. The other areas of the empire followed the orthodox view expressed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 that decreed Christ had two natures united in one person. In an effort to bridge the gap between the two views and bring them back together, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Sergius, promoted the concept of monoenergism which proposed that the two natures of Christ had one energy. While this was received favorably at first, monoenergism soon had vocal opponents, among them the monk Sophronius who became patriarch of Jerusalem in 634 AD. The opposition to monoenergism led Sergius to propose a new doctrine that of monotheletism, the belief in a single will in Christ. Heraclius supported the new doctrine of Sergius and put it forth in an edict known as the Ekthesis, and posted it in the narthex of Hagia Sophia in 638. This failed to settle the controversy as it was rejected by the Orthodox, the Monophysites, and even the Church of Rome.

Succession
During the last years of Heraclius' life, it became evident that a struggle was taking place between Heraclius' son from his first marriage, Heraclius Constantine, and his second wife Martina who was trying to position her son Heraclonas in line for the throne. On the 11th of February 641, Heraclius died and in his will left the empire to both Heraclius Constantine and Heraclonas to rule jointly with Martina as Empress and mother of both.

Copyright (C) 1997, R. Scott Moore. Published: De Imperatoribu Romanis, http://www.roman-emperors.org/heraclis.htm Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

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

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

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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Trajan (A.D. 98-117)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright (C) 2000, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
PergaAthenaOwl.jpg
[2400a] Pergamon, Mysia: AE14, ca. 300 BC70 viewsMYSIA, PERGAMON, Æ14, ca. 300 BC. BMC 15, SGC 3965. 2.0 gm. VF/aVF; Pergamon mint. Obverse: Head of Athena right, in close fitting crested helmet; Reverse; ATHENAS - NIKHFOPOY either side of owl standing, facing, wings closed; all within olive-wreath. Obverse device a clean strike of a lovely Athena. Ex Inclinatiorama.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
PergamomAE17_SCGVII_3962var.jpg
[2420] Pergamon, Mysia,c. 200 - 133 B.C.62 viewsBronze AE 17, SGCV II 3962 var; BMC Mysia p. 133, 202, VF, weight 3.600 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, c. 200 - 133 B.C.; Obverse: head Athena right wearing crested helmet with star, hair in curls down neck; Reverse: AQH-NAS / NIKHFOROU, owl standing facing on palm frond, wings spread, AP and MH monograms at sides. Ex FORVM.

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

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

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

The Temple of Athena:

Built in the 3rd century B.C.E., this is the oldest cult center of the city. The Doric order building was constructed on a peripteral plan with six columns on the facade and ten on the long sides. The krepis (the basement of the Temple) is formed by two steps and measures 41.7 x 71.4 ft. (12.72 x 21.77 m). The naos or cella (the inner sanctum) is divided in two and was dedicated to Goddess Athena but also to God Zeus.
Present state: Only some of the stepped foundations and the tunnel to the theater have survived.
http://www.goddess-athena.org/Museum/Temples/Pergamon.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

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


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

Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.



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


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

Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
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