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Otacil_Sev.jpg
43 viewsOtacilia Severa, AR Antoninianus, 246-248, Rome
Obverse: MARCIA OTACIL-SEVERA AVG
Diademed, draped bust right on crescent, hair weaved in straight lines and rows with long plait carried up the back of head
Reverese: PVDICITIA AVG
Pudicitia, veiled, seated left, drawing veil with right hand, transverse scepter in left
RIC IV, Part III, 123c
Ex: Colosseum Coin Exchange Auction #6 Tuesday May 12, 2009
1 commentspaul1888
Titus_AR-Denar_IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M_TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P_RIC-25a_C-318_Rome_80-AD__Q-001_18mm_3,28g-s.jpg
022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0108, RIC II(1962) 0025aD, AR-Denarius, Roma, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Two curule chairs, #1196 views022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0108, RIC II(1962) 0025aD, AR-Denarius, Roma, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Two curule chairs, #1
avers:- IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M, Laureate head right.
revers:- TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P, Two curule chairs; wreath atop.
exe: -/-//--, diameter: 18mm, weight: 3,28g, axis: h,
mint: Rome, date: 80 A.D., ref: RIC 0108, RIC II(1962) 0025aD p-119, RSC-318, BMC 66,
Q-001
"This denarius is part of a series that was struck for the lectisternium (religious ceremony) celebrating the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD."
1 commentsquadrans
Titus_AR-Denar_IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M_TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P_RIC-25a_C-318_Rome_80-AD__Q-002_axis-5h_16,5-18mm_2,96g-s.jpg
022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0108, RIC II(1962) 0025aD, AR-Denarius, Roma, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Two curule chairs, #2114 views022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0108, RIC II(1962) 0025aD, AR-Denarius, Roma, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Two curule chairs, #2
avers:- IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M, Laureate head right.
revers:- TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P, Two curule chairs; wreath atop.
exe: -/-//--, diameter: 16,5-18mm, weight: 2,96g, axis: 5h,
mint: Rome, date: 80 A.D., ref: RIC 0108, RIC II(1962) 0025aD p-119, RSC-318, BMC 66,
Q-002
"This denarius is part of a series that was struck for the lectisternium (religious ceremony) celebrating the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD."
quadrans
Titus_AR-Denar_IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M_TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P_RICnew-112_RIC-II-26a_C-309_Rome_80-AD_Q-001_axis-0h_18mm_3,33g-s.jpg
022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0112, RIC II(1962) 0026a, AR-Denarius, Roma, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Dolphin coiled around anchor, #1265 views022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0112, RIC II(1962) 0026a, AR-Denarius, Roma, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Dolphin coiled around anchor, #1
avers:- IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, Laureate head right.
revers:- TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Dolphin coiled around anchor.
exe: -/-//-- , diameter: 18mm, weight: 3,33g, axis: 0 h,
mint: Rome, date: 80 A.D., ref: RIC 0112, RIC II(1962) 0026a p-119, RSC 309, BMC 72,
Q-001
"This denarius is part of a series that was struck for the lectisternium (religious ceremony) celebrating the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD."
3 commentsquadrans
Titus_AR-Denar_IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M_TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P_RIC-xx_C-xxx_Rome_80-AD__Q-001_20mm_3,20g-s.jpg
022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0115, RIC II(1962) 0022a, AR-Denarius, Roma, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Elephant, #1301 views022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0115, RIC II(1962) 0022a, AR-Denarius, Roma, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Elephant, #1
avers:- IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M, Laureate head right.
revers:- TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P, Elephant walking left.
exe: -/-//--, diameter: 20mm, weight: 3,20g, axis: h,
mint: Rome, date: 80 A.D., ref: RIC 0115, RIC II(1962) 0022a p-119, RSC 303, BMC 43,
Q-001
"This denarius is part of a series that was struck for the lectisternium (religious ceremony) celebrating the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD."
3 commentsquadrans
Titus_AR-Denar_IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M_TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P_RICnew-115_RIC-II-22a_C-303_Rome_80-AD__Q-002_19mm_3,25g-s.jpg
022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0115, RIC II(1962) 0022a, AR-Denarius, Roma, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Elephant, #1144 views022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0115, RIC II(1962) 0022a, AR-Denarius, Roma, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Elephant, #1
avers:- IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M, Laureate head right.
revers:- TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P, Elephant walking left.
exe: -/-//--, diameter: 19mm, weight: 3,25g, axis: h,
mint: Rome, date: 80 A.D., ref: RIC 0115, RIC II(1962) 0022a p-119, RSC 303, BMC 43,
Q-002
"This denarius is part of a series that was struck for the lectisternium (religious ceremony) celebrating the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD."
1 commentsquadrans
RICb_0119,_RIC_II(1962)_0023a,_022_Titus__AR-Den_IMP_TITVS_CAES_VESPASIAN_AVG_P_M,_TR_P_IX_IMP_XV_COS_VIII_P_P,_Rome,_80_AD_Q-001,_5h,_17,8-18,9mm,_3,02g-s.jpg
022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0119, RIC II(1962) 0023a, AR-Denarius, Rome, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Thunderbolt (winged) on the draped table, #111 views022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0119, RIC II(1962) 0023a, AR-Denarius, Rome, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Thunderbolt (winged) on the draped table, #1
avers: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, Laureate head right.
reverse: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Thunderbolt (winged) on the draped table or chair with one, two or no crossbars.
exergue: -/-//--, diameter: 17,8-18,9mm, weight: 3,02g, axis: 5h,
mint: Rome, date: 80 A.D., ref: RIC 0119, RIC II(1962) 0023a p-119, RSC 316, BMC 51,
Q-001
"This denarius is part of a series that was struck for the lectisternium (religious ceremony) celebrating the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD."
1 commentsquadrans
Titus_AR-Denar_IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M_TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P_RIC-new-119_RIC-II-23a_C-316_Rome_80-AD__Q-001_18mm_3,28g-s.jpg
022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0119var., RIC II(1962) 0023a, AR-Denarius, Rome, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Thunderbolt (wingless) draped table, #1181 views022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0119var., RIC II(1962) 0023a, AR-Denarius, Rome, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Thunderbolt (wingless) on the draped table, #1
avers: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, Laureate head right.
reverse: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Thunderbolt (wingless) on the draped table or chair with one, two or no crossbars.
exergue: -/-//--, diameter: 18mm, weight: 3,28g, axis: h,
mint: Rome, date: 80 A.D., ref: RIC 0119var., RIC II(1962) 0023a p-119, RSC 316, BMC 51,
Q-001
"This denarius is part of a series that was struck for the lectisternium (religious ceremony) celebrating the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD."
4 commentsquadrans
Titus_AR-Den_IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M_TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P_RIC-II-242_p-119_RIC-new-122_C-313_Rome_80-AD_Q-001_axis-xh_xxmm_x,xxg-s.jpg
022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0122, RIC II(1962) 0024a, AR-Denarius, Rome, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Throne #1164 views022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0122, RIC II(1962) 0024a, AR-Denarius, Rome, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Throne #1
avers:- IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M, Laureate head right.
revers:- TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P, Throne with curved back decorated with three floral ornaments; below, fringed seatcover and strut.
exe: -/-//--, diameter: mm, weight: g, axis: h,
mint: Rome, date: 80 A.D., ref: RIC 0122, RIC II(1962) 0024a p-119, RSC-313, BMC 58,
Q-001
"This denarius is part of a series that was struck for the lectisternium (religious ceremony) celebrating the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD."
1 commentsquadrans
Titus_AR-Den_IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M_TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P_RIC-II-24a_p-119_RIC-new-124a_C-313_Rome_80-AD_Q-003_axis-xh_xxmm_x,xxg-s.jpg
022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0124a, RIC II(1962) 0024a, AR-Denarius, Rome, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Throne #3184 views022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0124a, RIC II(1962) 0024a, AR-Denarius, Rome, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Throne #3
avers:- IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M, Laureate head right.
revers:- TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P, Draped throne with triangular back; grain ears atop.
exe: -/-//--, diameter: mm, weight: g, axis: h,
mint: Rome, date: 80 A.D., ref: RIC 0124a, RIC II(1962) 0024a p-119, RSC-313, BMC 58,
Q-003
"This denarius is part of a series that was struck for the lectisternium (religious ceremony) celebrating the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD."
2 commentsquadrans
Titus_AR-Den_IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M_TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P_RIC-II-24a_p-119_RIC-new-124c_C-313_Rome_80-AD_Q-002_axis-xh_xxmm_x,xxg-s.jpg
022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0124c, RIC II(1962) 0024a, AR-Denarius, Rome, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Throne #2151 views022b Titus (69-79 A.D. Caesar, 79-81 A.D. Augustus), RIC 0124c, RIC II(1962) 0024a, AR-Denarius, Rome, TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, Throne #2
avers:- IMP-TITVS-CAES-VESPASIAN-AVG-P-M, Laureate head right.
revers:- TR-P-IX-IMP-XV-COS-VIII-P-P, Draped throne with triangular back; grain ears atop.
exe: -/-//--, diameter: mm, weight: g, axis: h,
mint: Rome, date: 80 A.D., ref: RIC 0124c, RIC II(1962) 0024a p-119, RSC-313, BMC 58,
Q-002
"This denarius is part of a series that was struck for the lectisternium (religious ceremony) celebrating the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD."
quadrans
LarryW1916.jpg
0689 Focas, 602-61044 viewsÆ pentanummium, 14.5mm, 1.84g, Nice F
Struck at Carthage mint
D N FOCA PERP A, crowned bust facing / large V between two stars, left star has pellets above and below, cross above. Rare
Ex:Forvm Ancient Coins; Colosseum Coin Exchange
Sear 689var (no pellets right star)
Lawrence Woolslayer
1660_woodcut_colosseum_37.jpg
1660 Roman Woodcut Prints91 viewsDate: ca. AD 1660, Anonymous
Size: 16 x 10.7 cm

This is an leaf from a book on Rome from circa AD 1660. It has hand colored images of various Roman architecture (including the Colosseum). It has rough edges and some minor age toning, but overall the pictures are intact, brightly colored, and beautifully preserved. This book was published during the reign of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor. In the seventeenth century, the city of Rome became the consummate statement of Catholic majesty and triumph expressed in all the arts. Baroque architects, artists, and urban planners so magnified and invigorated the classical and ecclesiastical traditions of the city that it became for centuries after the acknowledged capital of the European art world, not only a focus for tourists and artists but also a watershed of inspiration throughout the Western world.
3 commentsNoah
VespasianPax_RICii10.jpg
710a, Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.134 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, 10, aVF, 3.5 g, 18mm, Rome mint, 69-71 AD; Obverse: IMP CAESA[R] VESPASIANV[S AV]G - Laureate head right; Reverse: COS ITER [T]R POT - Pax seated left holding branch and caduceus. Ex Imperial Coins.


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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

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

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


Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.





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

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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
3 commentsCleisthenes
AntoSe63-2.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 623, Sestertius of AD 141-144 (Temple of Venus and Roma)35 viewsÆ sestertius (25.11g, 31.5mm 6h) Rome mint. Struck AD 141-144.
ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right
ROMAE AETERNAE (around) S C (ex.) ornamented dekastyle temple with the statue of Roma inside; tympanum adorned with high relief statues; quadriga (suggested) at top and statues at each side.
RIC 623 (scarce); Cohen 703 (12 Fr.); BMCRE 1279; Strack 849; Banti (I Grandi Bronzi Imperiali II-3) 336 (4 spec.); Sear(Roman Coins and their Values II) 4212 var. (rev. no figure of Roma); Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 125:24a
ex CNG EAuction 52 (2002)

The temple of Roma was designed by Hadrian (himself) in AD 121 and completed by Antoninus Pius in 141. It stood facing the forum, and was built back to back with the temple of Venus, which faced the Flavian Amphitheater. The building with the two temples was referred to as the Temple of Venus and Roma ("Templum Veneris et Romae"). Hadrian had to have the colossal statue of Nero (Colossus) removed in order to make room for the temples, which were built on the site of the vestibule of Nero's golden house. (He had the Colossus placed near the entrance to the amphitheater, and this provided the nickname, "Colosseum".) The ruins show that both temples consisted of ten colums, and the coins suggest many decorative details.
1 commentsCharles S
Atilia_1.JPG
Atilia 137 viewsAtilia 1 (155BC)

Denarius
Ob: head of Roma; X behind
Rev: Victory in biga right with whip in right and reigns in left
SA / R underneath; ROMA in exergue

BMCRR I 744 (earring 3 drops)

Sydenham 377

Crawford 199/1a moneyer is perhaps Sex. Atilius (Serranus = Saranus) cos. 136

Northumberland Tablet II 48 “...of the object of this device, or the advantage it may celebrate,
we know nothing.”

Ex: Colosseum Coin Exchange 2007 said to be a deaccession from Vatican; no tags.
Dark toned with iridescent highlights with slight pitting on obv, larger pit over horses’ heads
1 commentsPetrus Elmsley
0521175.jpg
Augustus silver denarius RIC 4325 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 43; RSC II 43; BMCRE II 50;
BnF III 36; Hunter I 21, weight 3.3 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm,
Rome mint, Jul - Dec 71 CE.
Obverse: IMP CAES VESP AVG P M, laureate head right.
Reverse simpulum, sprinkler, jug and lituus, AVGVR above, TRI POT below
Roman emperor Vespasian was most famous for building the Flavian
Amphitheater, also known as the Colosseum. Like many Roman emperors,
Vespasian rose in prominence because of his military skills and work ethics.
Following his ten year rule, he left behind a record of restored order,
stability and good government. He was succeeded by his son Titus in 79 CE,
who had been sent to quell the Jewish revolt of 66-70 CE.
2 commentsNORMAN K
Baktria_Menander_SNG-ANS733.jpg
Baktria, Menander13 viewsBaktria, Menander. 155-130 BC. AR Drachm (2.48 gm). Heroic bust of Menander l., wearing aegis and brandishing spear, seen from behind. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΜΕΝΑΝΔΡΟΥ / Athena Promachos stg. r. brandishing thunderbolt, holding aegis. Karosthi legend Maharajasa tratarasa Menamdrasa (of Great King Menander, the Savior). Monogram r. VF. CNG E389 #421. From the Kallman Collection, purchased from Colosseum Coin Exchange. SNG ANS 9 #733-738; Boperachchi Série 7B; HGC 12 #187.Christian T
FotorCreated~8.jpg
Calabria Tarentum AR Nomos circa 280 BC 20mm 7.93g 12 h60 viewsWarrior wearing shield on left arm and holding spear,on horse prancing left,to left Nike standing facing restraining horse.Rev Phalanthos wearing shield{ inscribed E} and holdingtwo spears,standing astride dolphin left,ZOP to left,waves below.
From the Kallman collection,purchased from Colosseum coin exchange
1 commentsGrant H
rhino_domitien.jpg
Domitian - quadrans21 viewsThis African rhinoceros was the third rhino which had been brought alive to Rome (the first one was an Indian rhino seized by Octavius in Cleopatra's Alexandrian zoo, the second one was seen in Rome later during Augustus' principate. Pliny's mention of a rhino in the games given by Pompey is probably a mistake).
Domitian's rhino could have been the first African rhino in Rome. He has been opposed in the Colosseum to a bear and perhaps also a bull. The fight has been narrated by Martial.
Ginolerhino
dom as caesar helmet.jpg
Domitian as Caesar RIC-271172 viewsAR Denarius, 2.74g
Rome Mint, 80 AD (Titus)
Obv: CAESAR DIVI F DOMITIANVS COS VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS; Square seat, draped with cloth hanging in folds, with tassels: on it, crested Corinthian helmet
RIC 271 (C2). BMC 98. RSC 399a. BNC 79.
Acquired from Et Tu Antiquities, November 2007.

Domitian as Caesar issued this denarius under Titus in 80 AD. The reverse is part of the pulvinaria series which commemorates the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD.

Pulvinaria were sacred couches of the gods which had symbolic attributes set upon them. In this case, the Corinthian helmet and table are attributes of Minerva, the patron goddess of Domitian.

A wonderful denarius with a good portrait in a fine style.

6 commentsVespasian70
Domitian_Quadrans_Rhino.jpg
Domitian Quadrans Rhino86 viewsObv.
Rhinoceros advancing left

Rev.
IMP DOMIT AVG GERM
SC


I love this issue for several reasons. First, this little coin represents the only depiction of a rhinoceros in all of Roman numismatics. This fact just intrigues me, it seems so odd that it is such a unique one off appearance. I enjoy the fact that the depiction shows two horns, confirming that it is an African Rhinoceros. This coin led me on a little journey in trying to understand why this animal was depicted, why only once, and why at that particular time. It turns out that this coin was struck to depict a specific rhinoceros, displayed in fights in the Colosseum for the first time.

Martial describes the games in which this took place in his Liber De Spectaculis. The great T.V. Buttrey wrote a fantastic article on this in which he shows that this little coin points to a different date for these games. I dare you to read this article and not want to get one of these coins!

Domitian, the Rhinoceros, and the Date of Martial's Liber' De Spectaculis by T.V. Buttrey

http://www.rhinoresourcecenter.com/pdf_files/129/1291956404.pdf
3 commentsancientdave
D15.jpg
Domitian RIC 1586 viewsAR Denarius, 3.10g
Rome mint, 81 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: P P COS VII DES VIII; Seat, draped; above, semicircular frame decorated with corn ears
RIC 15 (R2). BMC -. RSC -. BNC -.
Ex Savoca Blue 10, 30 September 2018, lot 1212.

The rapidity in which Domitian's first denarius issues of 81 came one after another hint that he was in a great hurry to strike coins as Augustus after Titus' death in mid September 81 AD, presumably for a legionary donative. Dio records that Domitian hastened to the praetorian camp to 'receive the title and authority of the emperor' and promised the soldiers the same bounty Titus had provided. The Roman mint immediately began striking coins for the new emperor. This denarius was struck before Domitian had been awarded the power of the tribunate (TR P). Perhaps it may have taken a few days for the Senate to award the power of the tribunate to Domitian because they had assembled at the small town of Reate where Titus had died and needed to be in Rome in order to vote him the right. Although this Group 2 denarius is not part of Domitian's first RIC issue, it is very likely to have been struck within the first few weeks of him assuming the purple. RIC notes the chronology is not precise with these issues from 81 and they are grouped only for 'convenience'. Judging by the rarity of the Group 2 denarii they could not have been struck for any great length of time.

The type of draped seat with semi circular frame is a carry-over 'pulvinaria' type from Titus, possibly originally struck in connection with the Colosseum's opening games' religious ceremonies. Domitian's 'pulvinaria' coins are a stop-gap issue struck until proper reverse types were designed for the new reign in early 82 when the mint and coinage were overhauled.

Good early style portrait, unsurprisingly reminiscent of those struck for him as Caesar under Titus.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
D20.jpg
Domitian RIC 20157 viewsAR Denarius, 3.02g
Rome mint, 81 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS VII DES VIII P P; Altar, garlanded and lighted
RIC 20 (R2). BMC -. RSC -. BNC -.
Ex Gemini X, 13 January 2013, Harry N. Sneh Collection, lot 707. Acquired from Freeman & Sear in 2009, from the A. Lynn Collection. Ex. Hauck & Aufhauser 17, 18 March 2003, lot 258. Ex G. Hirsch 3, April 1954, lot 323.

This type is quite rare with the legend omitting TR P. Only two specimens are cited by RIC, this coin from the Hauck & Aufhauser 17 auction and another in a private collection.
The reverse type of an Altar with Flame is part of the "pulvinaria" series issued by Titus and Domitian as part of the commemorative issue for the opening games of the Colosseum. It is a carry-over reverse from Domitian as Caesar.

Toned and in excellent condition. An exquisite example of early Domitianic coinage.
11 commentsDavid Atherton
D96.jpg
Domitian RIC 96116 viewsAR Denarius, 3.26g
Rome mint, 82 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR POT COS VIII P P; Dolphin coiled round anchor
RIC 96 (C). BMC 29. RSC 593. BNC 32.
Acquired from Lucernae, September 2012.

A fairly common early pulvinar of Neptune reverse of Domitian which is a carry over from an issue of Titus' before his death the previous year. Most likely the reverse is part of a religious series commemorating the opening of the Colosseum. This reverse and the series it comes from would be discontinued later the same year when Domitian radically changed the coinage by introducing new types and increasing the fineness of the denarius.

A wonderful coin in hand with a few minor scrapes which don't detract from the overall eye appeal. This type is rarely seen in such fine condition.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
D251.jpg
Domitian RIC-25183 viewsÆ Quadrans, 3.32g
Rome Mint, 84-85 AD
Obv: (No legend) Rhinoceros stg. l.
Rev: IMP DOMIT AVG GERM; S C in centre
RIC 251 (R). BMC -. BNC 542.
Acquired from Marc Breitsprecher, February 2019.

A few years into Domitian's reign an extraordinary issue of quadrantes were struck featuring a rhinoceros. Although the coins are undated, their production can be narrowed down between late 83 when he assumed the title Germanicus and 85 when the consular date XI appeared on the quadrantes. The type is highly unusual and breaks with the standard obverses that were normally featured on the quadrans. One may ask, why a rhinoceros? Certainly the animal was rare in Rome and most difficult to obtain. The rhinoceros depicted on the coin is the African species, identified by the two horns. Martial in his book 'On Spectacles' tells of such a rhinoceros in the Colosseum. Presumably, these coins were struck with that very 'star performer' in mind. Ted Buttrey wrote about this coin type in his article Domitian, the Rhinoceros, and the Date of Martial's "Liber De Spectaculis": "it is wrong to write off the rhinoceros of Domitian's coin casually, as if the coin were a picture postcard from the zoo: 'This is a rhinoceros'. No, coin types are pointed. Everything has to do with imperial advertisement and with its importance at the moment of issue: 'This is my rhinoceros'. Domitian's rhinoceros, in its supremacy in the arena might well stand as a metaphor for the invincible success of the emperor conquering general who had recently assumed the historically-weighted title of Germanicus." Coming back to Martial, he also speaks of tokens being showered upon the cheering crowds - could these quadrantes struck cheaply and in massive quantities have been gifts to the cheering mob at the arena? In essence, can this coin double as currency and a souvenir from a long ago day at the games in the Colosseum?

This variant of the famous rhinoceros quadrans is somewhat rare (no examples in the BM) because of the obverse legend beginning in the upper right, more commonly it begins in the lower left. Artistically, most of the rhinos depicted on these coins have a lot to be desired. Some look like wild boars with horns added for effect. Happily, the animal depicted on this coin's obverse indeed looks every part the powerful and fearsome beast which awestruck Roman audiences - as a matter of fact, it appears to be charging with its head down. Perhaps the engraver was a witness to the very games martial describes?

As mentioned above, the rhino depicted on the coin is the two-horned African species. In contrast, the Indian rhino has one horn. Pliny in his Natural Histories describes the rhinoceros as a one horned creature (although confusingly he confirms its Ethiopian origins), Martial said it had two. The rhino was so rare in Rome, Pliny had to go all the way back to the games of Pompey the Great in 55 BC to find a reference for the animal on display in the city, apparently it was a one-horned Indian rhino. At any rate, both the numismatic evidence and Martial's description coincide rather nicely to confirm that Domitian, at great expense no doubt, brought to Rome an African rhinoceros for his shows in the new Colosseum. The surviving coins featuring this fantastic beast prove how important a feat this was to the emperor.

Well centred with a lovely green patina and fine style.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
Domitian,_13_September_81_-_18_September_96_A_D_.jpg
Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.60 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 773; BMCRE II 226; BnF III 203; RSC II 286; Hunter I -; cf. SRCV I 2736 (TR P XII), VF, well centered, toned, reverse center a little weak, Rome mint, weight 3.310g, maximum diameter 19.2mm, die axis 180o, 1 Jan - 13 Sep 95 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIIII, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, helmeted and draped, inverted spear vertical before her in her right hand, her left hand on hip.

In 95 A.D., Domitian had several senators and ex-consuls executed out of paranoid fears that they were plotting to kill him. Manius Acilius Glabrio belonged to one of the noblest families of Rome and had been consul in 91 (conjointly with Trajan, who would later become emperor). Domitian ordered him to descend into the Colosseum arena to fight a huge lion. Glabrio slew the animal, exciting the crowd, but Domitian still banished him and later put him to death on some false pretext. After his death, his body was brought to Rome, and buried on the Via Salaria, in the catacomb of Priscilla. Xiphilinus, speaking of the executions of 95 A.D., says that some members of the imperial family and other persons of importance were condemned for atheism; they had embraced the Christian faith.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
Given as a souvenir to a very dear friend and a Bible Teacher Mr. John DelRicci . (10/13/2017)
Sam
Domias01-2.jpg
Domitian, RIC 493, As of AD 86 (Moneta)13 viewsÆ As ((10.2g, Ø 26-28mm, 6hh), Rome, AD 86
Obv.: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM.COS XII CENS PER P P, laureate head right, aegis
Rev.: MONETA AVGVSTI (around) S C (field), Moneta standing left, holding scales right and cornucopiae left.
RIC II,1:493; Cohen 327; Foss(Roman Historical Coins) 92/25

According to Foss, this type was issued on the occasion of the establishment of a new site near the Colosseum for the Roman mint in 84, to replace that in the temple of Juno Moneta which was destroyed by fire shortly before; it is the first appearance of Moneta Augusti.
Charles S
Portus_Traiani-2.jpg
HARBOUR, TRAJAN, AE Sestertius (Portus Trajani)175 viewsPortus Trajani
Æ Sestertius (26.66g, Ø35mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 104-111.
Obv.: IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P laureate draped bust of Trajan facing right.
Rev.: (PORTVM TRAIANI around, S C in ex.), Basin of Trajan's harbour (Portus Traiani), near Ostia, surrounded by warehouses, ships in centre.
RIC 471 (R2); Cohen 305; BMC 770A; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 104:59
ex Jean Elsen Auction 95; ex coll. A. Senden: "L'architecture des monnaies Romaines".

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

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

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

Portus was the main port of ancient Rome for more than 500 years and provided a conduit for everything from glass, ceramics, marble and slaves to wild animals caught in Africa and shipped to Rome for spectacles in the Colosseum.
3 commentsCharles S
4045949.jpg
Italy, Capua - Amphitheatre336 viewsThe second largest amphitheatre ... arena is only 10m shorter and 8m narrower than colosseumJohny SYSEL
arch of constantine.jpg
Italy, Rome, Arch of Constantine1391 viewsView of the arch of Constantine from the top of the Colosseum2 commentsTitus Pullo
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Italy, Rome, Arch of Constantine with Colosseum in the background489 views2 commentsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Rome, Colosseum222 viewsbuilt between 70 AD and 80 AD1 commentsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Rome, Colosseum217 views50000 spectators

It has been estimated that about 500000 people and over a million wild animals died in the Colosseum games.
Johny SYSEL
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Italy, Rome, Colosseum178 viewsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Rome, Colosseum335 views3 commentsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Rome, Colosseum167 viewsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Rome, Colosseum166 viewshall inside colloseumJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Rome, Colosseum241 viewsJohny SYSEL
Panoramic 2.jpg
Italy, Rome, Colosseum 1599 viewsPosted by Strength And Honour.
Photo taken by my friend Hebe.
1 commentsStrength And Honour
Colosseum-1b.jpg
Italy, Rome, Colosseum 2518 viewsPosted by Strength And Honour.
Photo taken by my friend Hebe.
Strength And Honour
Colosseum-2b.jpg
Italy, Rome, Colosseum 3466 viewsPosted by Strength And Honour.
Photo taken by my friend Hebe.
Strength And Honour
Colosseum-4b.jpg
Italy, Rome, Colosseum 4467 viewsPosted by Strength And Honour.
Photo taken by my friend Hebe.
Strength And Honour
arch.JPG
Italy, Rome, Colosseum Arch of Constantine344 viewsOne of my favorite photos I took in Rome, a view of the Arch of Constantine as seen looking out from inside the Colosseum. 1 commentsfordicus
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Italy, Rome, Colosseum with arch of Constantine in the background164 viewsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Rome, Colosseum, Flavian Amphitheatre92 viewsHere's yet another pic of the famous Roman landmark, only this time, I used the "Pano" feature on my iPhone, allowing the entire northern half to be viewed. Mark Z
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Italy, Rome, Colosseum, Inside -- May, 2011134 viewspitbull
Panoramic 1.jpg
Italy, Rome, View from the Colosseum501 viewsOn the left the Palatine Hill, the Via Sacra and Titus' Arch.
On the right Maxentius' Basilica
Posted by Strength And Honour.
Photo taken by my friend Hebe.
Strength And Honour
Italy- Rome- Coliseum constructed by Flavius and seen from outside~0.jpg
Italy- Rome- Coliseum constructed by Flavius and seen from outside53 viewsColosseum
The Colosseum or Coliseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (lat. Amphitheatrum Flavium), is an amphitheatre in Rome, capable of seating 50,000 spectators, which was once used for gladiatorial combat. It was built by Emperor Vespasian and his son, Titus, between AD 72 and AD 90. It was built at the site of Nero's enormous palace, the Domus Aurea. The Colosseum's name is derived from a colossus (a 130-foot or 40-metre statue) of Nero which once stood nearby.

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

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

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

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

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

Underneath the arena was the hypogeum (literally, "underground"), a network of tunnels and cages where gladiators and animals were held before contests began. There were also numerous trap doors in the arena floor for the various animals hidden underneath. The arena floor no longer exists, and the hypogeum walls and corridors are clearly visible in the ruins of the building. The entire base of the Colosseum was equivalent to 6 acres (160,000 m²).

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

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

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735) wrote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Underneath the arena was the hypogeum (literally, "underground"), a network of tunnels and cages where gladiators and animals were held before contests began. There were also numerous trap doors in the arena floor for the various animals hidden underneath. The arena floor no longer exists, and the hypogeum walls and corridors are clearly visible in the ruins of the building. The entire base of the Colosseum was equivalent to 6 acres (160,000 m²).

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

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

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735) wrote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Underneath the arena was the hypogeum (literally, "underground"), a network of tunnels and cages where gladiators and animals were held before contests began. There were also numerous trap doors in the arena floor for the various animals hidden underneath. The arena floor no longer exists, and the hypogeum walls and corridors are clearly visible in the ruins of the building. The entire base of the Colosseum was equivalent to 6 acres (160,000 m²).

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

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

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735) wrote

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

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

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

John Schou
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and the temple of Venus and Roma.jpg
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and the temple of Venus and Roma42 viewsThe Temple of Venus and Roma (Templum Veneris et Romae in Latin) was the largest temple in Ancient Rome. It was located at the far east side of the Forum Romanum, near the Colosseum. It was dedicated to the goddesses Venus Felix (Venus the Happy) and Roma Aeterna (Eternal Rome). The designer was emperor Hadrian. Construction works on the temple started in 121 AD and though it was inaugurated by Hadrian in 135 AD, the building was finished in 141 AD under Antonius Pius.

The building measured 110 meters in length and 53 meters in width. It was placed on a stage measuring 145 meters in length and 100 meters in width. The temple itself consisted of 2 main chambers (cellae), where the cult statue of the god was, in this case the statues of Venus, the goddess of love, and Roma, the goddess of Rome, both of them seated on a throne. The cellae were placed symmetrically back-to-back. Roma's cella was faced west, looking out over the Forum Romanum, Venus' cella was faced east, looking out over the Colosseum. Each cella had its own line of 4 columns at the entrance. At the west and east sides of the temple (the short sides), 10 white columns were placed and at the south and north sides of the temple (the long sides) 18 white columns were placed. All of these columns measured 1.8 meters in width, making the temple very imposing to see.

Within Venus' cella, there was another altar where newly wed couples could make sacrifices. Right next to this altar stood gigantic, silver statues of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina.

In order to build the temple, which is placed on the remains of Nero's Domus Aurea, the statue of Nero, the Colossus, had to be moved. They placed it near the amphitheatre, which became known as the Colosseum shortly afterwards.

Hadrian's most brilliant architect, Apollodorus, wasn't impressed by his emperor's architectural skills. He made a scornful remark on the size of the statues within the cellae. He said that they'd surely hurt their heads if they tried to stand up from their thrones. He was banned and executed not long after this.

A serious fire in 307 AD caused major damage to the temple. It was restored by emperor Maxentius. Unfortunately, a gigantic earthquake at the beginning of the 9th century destroyed the temple once again. Around 850 though, Pope Leo IV ordered the building of a new church, the Santa Maria Nova, on the ruins of the temple. After a major rebuilding in 1612 this church was renamed the Santa Francesca Romana. This church has incorporated Roma's cella as the belltower.

Over the years, most of the columns around the temple have disappeared. Nowadays, only a few are still standing where they used to be, others that have gone missing have been replaced by buxus trees.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_Venus_and_Roma"
John Schou
Italy- Rome- Part of the city wall.jpg
Italy- Rome- Part of the city wall38 viewsRome is the city in the world with the longest set of ancient walls still partly standing.
This unique relic of roman history, though, is somewhat neglected by the thousands of tourist who visit the city every day: very few of them pay attention to these massive structures, as their interest is mainly caught by famous buildings and sites such as the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, or the Colosseum.
Certainly less beautiful than these gems, the walls proved more useful to the city than any other well-known monument or building. And still today they stand as an important memory of the city's ancient boundaries.

The several restoration works carried out through the ages, in order to keep them strong and steady, give reason for the good state of preservation of the set of walls built in the 3rd century AD: unlike other ancient buildings, they mantained their original function until the end of the 1800s. Many of the original gates are still in place, as well, and some of them have witnessed important historical facts.
Besides their importance during wartime, the city walls enabled the local authorities to keep under control the many people who every day entered or left Rome, as the only way in or out was through the gates: the doors were usually kept under sentry during daylight, and closed after dusk. And since a tax was usually imposed on people and goods entering the city, the gates yielded also a considerable income for the municipality.
Since its foundation, Rome has always adopted defensive means, to prevent the several populations surrounding the original nucleus from invading the city.
They are not one single structure, but several walls belonging to many periods. They were built with different techniques, according to the different weapons they had to face, from early enemies' stones, to catapults, to more powerful cannon balls.
Each of them will be therefore dealt with separately, as individual structures.
All of them are conventionally named after the ruler (king, emperor or pope) who had them built.
ROMULUS' WALLS
We know little about the very first defensive structures that protected Rome's original nucleus, over 2700 years ago; the top of two adjoining hills, the Capitolium and the Palatine, was enclosed by two separate walls; the one on the Palatine was probably rebuilt over a pre-roman structure, and protected Romulus's House, claimed to be the dwelling site of the mythical founder and first king of Rome.
Only few visible traces, both of the Palatine's and of the Capitolium's wall, now survive (the latter is shown on the left). Therefore, these are the only walls not dealt with by the following pages.
SERVIAN WALLS
(or REPUBLICAN WALLS)
They are named after Rome's sixth king Servius Tullius: by tradition, he was the first ruler to order the construction of an early defensive structure around the city. Also in this case it is impossible to state a precise date. According to reliable sources, by the 6th century BC the city of Rome could indeed rely on some sort of protection; nevertheless, there is enough proof that an actual wall was not built until the late 4th century BC (during Rome's republic, whence the other name). And a further extension, beyond the left banks of the river Tiber up to the top of the Janiculum hill, was built two centuries later.
Therefore, the evolution of this set of walls must have been rather complicated.The older defensive technique probably consisted of a sort of mound dug in the ground; the earth coming from the latter was simply used to make a long heap on the inside, as a further protection.
Later in time, a real set of walls was built in place of this primitive boundary. But along the north-eastern part of its perimeter, a deep mound with earth and stones piled by the inner base of the wall was still in use: this structure was called an agger (from the Latin ad gerere, "to bring, move towards").
The actual wall was built according to the dry-stone technique, i.e. without any mortar, large blocks were piled one on top of the other, in multiple rows. The porous stone is tufa (which in Rome was used for the making of buildings up to the early 1930s!).
Unfortunately, of these walls no more than a few fragments scattered in various parts of the city is now left.
Further data based on historical sources and archaeological excavations have enabled to define more or less precisely their full perimeter: by the end of the 4th century BC, the city boundaries enclosed the famous seven hills, or Septimontium, over which the city was originally built: the Capitolium and the Palatine (i.e. the early nucleus), the Aventine, the Esquiline, the Quirinal, the Viminal and the Coelian.
John Schou
Italy- Rome- Part of the city wall 2.jpg
Italy- Rome- Part of the city wall 261 viewsRome is the city in the world with the longest set of ancient walls still partly standing.
This unique relic of roman history, though, is somewhat neglected by the thousands of tourist who visit the city every day: very few of them pay attention to these massive structures, as their interest is mainly caught by famous buildings and sites such as the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, or the Colosseum.
Certainly less beautiful than these gems, the walls proved more useful to the city than any other well-known monument or building. And still today they stand as an important memory of the city's ancient boundaries.

The several restoration works carried out through the ages, in order to keep them strong and steady, give reason for the good state of preservation of the set of walls built in the 3rd century AD: unlike other ancient buildings, they mantained their original function until the end of the 1800s. Many of the original gates are still in place, as well, and some of them have witnessed important historical facts.
Besides their importance during wartime, the city walls enabled the local authorities to keep under control the many people who every day entered or left Rome, as the only way in or out was through the gates: the doors were usually kept under sentry during daylight, and closed after dusk. And since a tax was usually imposed on people and goods entering the city, the gates yielded also a considerable income for the municipality.
Since its foundation, Rome has always adopted defensive means, to prevent the several populations surrounding the original nucleus from invading the city.
They are not one single structure, but several walls belonging to many periods. They were built with different techniques, according to the different weapons they had to face, from early enemies' stones, to catapults, to more powerful cannon balls.
Each of them will be therefore dealt with separately, as individual structures.
All of them are conventionally named after the ruler (king, emperor or pope) who had them built.
ROMULUS' WALLS
We know little about the very first defensive structures that protected Rome's original nucleus, over 2700 years ago; the top of two adjoining hills, the Capitolium and the Palatine, was enclosed by two separate walls; the one on the Palatine was probably rebuilt over a pre-roman structure, and protected Romulus's House, claimed to be the dwelling site of the mythical founder and first king of Rome.
Only few visible traces, both of the Palatine's and of the Capitolium's wall, now survive (the latter is shown on the left). Therefore, these are the only walls not dealt with by the following pages.
SERVIAN WALLS
(or REPUBLICAN WALLS)
They are named after Rome's sixth king Servius Tullius: by tradition, he was the first ruler to order the construction of an early defensive structure around the city. Also in this case it is impossible to state a precise date. According to reliable sources, by the 6th century BC the city of Rome could indeed rely on some sort of protection; nevertheless, there is enough proof that an actual wall was not built until the late 4th century BC (during Rome's republic, whence the other name). And a further extension, beyond the left banks of the river Tiber up to the top of the Janiculum hill, was built two centuries later.
Therefore, the evolution of this set of walls must have been rather complicated.The older defensive technique probably consisted of a sort of mound dug in the ground; the earth coming from the latter was simply used to make a long heap on the inside, as a further protection.
Later in time, a real set of walls was built in place of this primitive boundary. But along the north-eastern part of its perimeter, a deep mound with earth and stones piled by the inner base of the wall was still in use: this structure was called an agger (from the Latin ad gerere, "to bring, move towards").
The actual wall was built according to the dry-stone technique, i.e. without any mortar, large blocks were piled one on top of the other, in multiple rows. The porous stone is tufa (which in Rome was used for the making of buildings up to the early 1930s!).
Unfortunately, of these walls no more than a few fragments scattered in various parts of the city is now left.
Further data based on historical sources and archaeological excavations have enabled to define more or less precisely their full perimeter: by the end of the 4th century BC, the city boundaries enclosed the famous seven hills, or Septimontium, over which the city was originally built: the Capitolium and the Palatine (i.e. the early nucleus), the Aventine, the Esquiline, the Quirinal, the Viminal and the Coelian.
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 Vespasian.jpg
Italy- Rome- The Arch of Tito50 viewsThe Arch of Titus (Arcus Titi) is a triumphal arch that commemorates the victory of the emperors Vespasian and Titus in Judea in 70 CE, which lead to the conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish temple there, and the triumphal procession the two held in Rome in 71 CE. It is situated at the E. entrance to the Forum Romanum, on the Via Sacra, south of the Temple of Amor and Roma, close to the Colosseum.

The arch was definitely erected sometimes after after the death of Titus in 81 CE, since Titus is referred to as Divus in the inscription. The deification of an emperor only happened posthumously after decision by the senate. It was most probably erected by emperor Domitian who succeeded his brother Titus in 81 CE, but it has also been suggested that it was built later, by Trajan, because of stylistic similarities with the Arch of Trajan at Benevento.

The Arch of Titus is a single arch, measuring 15.4m in height, 13.5m in width and 4.75m in depth, originally constructed entirely in Pantelic marble, with four semi-columns on each side. The external decorations include figures of Victoria with trophies on the spandrels and images of Roma and the Genius of Rome on the two keystones.

The inscription on the E. side is the original dedication of the arch by the senate. It reads:

Senatus
Populusque Romanus
divo Tito divo Vespasiani f(ilio)
Vespasiano Augusto

The senate
and people of Rome
to the divine Titus, son of the divine Vespasian,
Vespasianus Augustus

The inside the archway the monument is decorated with reliefs in marble. The S. side shows the beginning of the triumphal entry into Rome of the victorious emperor and his troops. The soldiers, walking left to right, are carrying the spoils of war, which include the seven armed candelabrum and the silver trumpets from the temple of Jerusalem. The signs carried by some soldiers displayed the names of the conquered cities and people. To the right the procession is entering the city through the Porta Triumphalis.

The N. side of the arch is decorated with a relief of the emperor in the triumphal procession. The emperor is riding a quadriga, which is lead by the goddess Roma, and he is crowned by Victoria flying above him. The lictors are walking in front of the chariot with their long ceremonial axes. After the emperor follow as a young man, who represents the Roman people, and an older man in toga, representing the senate. In the middle, under the vault a small relief shows the apotheosis of Titus, flying to the heavens on the back of an eagle.
John Schou
Italy- Rome- The arch of Tito and inside the arches.jpg
Italy- Rome- The arch of Tito and inside the arches47 viewsThe Arch of Titus (Arcus Titi) is a triumphal arch that commemorates the victory of the emperors Vespasian and Titus in Judea in 70 CE, which lead to the conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish temple there, and the triumphal procession the two held in Rome in 71 CE. It is situated at the E. entrance to the Forum Romanum, on the Via Sacra, south of the Temple of Amor and Roma, close to the Colosseum.

The arch was definitely erected sometimes after after the death of Titus in 81 CE, since Titus is referred to as Divus in the inscription. The deification of an emperor only happened posthumously after decision by the senate. It was most probably erected by emperor Domitian who succeeded his brother Titus in 81 CE, but it has also been suggested that it was built later, by Trajan, because of stylistic similarities with the Arch of Trajan at Benevento.

The Arch of Titus is a single arch, measuring 15.4m in height, 13.5m in width and 4.75m in depth, originally constructed entirely in Pantelic marble, with four semi-columns on each side. The external decorations include figures of Victoria with trophies on the spandrels and images of Roma and the Genius of Rome on the two keystones.

The inscription on the E. side is the original dedication of the arch by the senate. It reads:

Senatus
Populusque Romanus
divo Tito divo Vespasiani f(ilio)
Vespasiano Augusto

The senate
and people of Rome
to the divine Titus, son of the divine Vespasian,
Vespasianus Augustus

The inside the archway the monument is decorated with reliefs in marble. The S. side shows the beginning of the triumphal entry into Rome of the victorious emperor and his troops. The soldiers, walking left to right, are carrying the spoils of war, which include the seven armed candelabrum and the silver trumpets from the temple of Jerusalem. The signs carried by some soldiers displayed the names of the conquered cities and people. To the right the procession is entering the city through the Porta Triumphalis.

The N. side of the arch is decorated with a relief of the emperor in the triumphal procession. The emperor is riding a quadriga, which is lead by the goddess Roma, and he is crowned by Victoria flying above him. The lictors are walking in front of the chariot with their long ceremonial axes. After the emperor follow as a young man, who represents the Roman people, and an older man in toga, representing the senate. In the middle, under the vault a small relief shows the apotheosis of Titus, flying to the heavens on the back of an eagle.
John Schou
Italy- Rome- The entrance to Forum and the arch of Tito.jpg
Italy- Rome- The entrance to Forum and the arch of Tito40 viewsThe Arch of Titus (Arcus Titi) is a triumphal arch that commemorates the victory of the emperors Vespasian and Titus in Judea in 70 CE, which lead to the conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish temple there, and the triumphal procession the two held in Rome in 71 CE. It is situated at the E. entrance to the Forum Romanum, on the Via Sacra, south of the Temple of Amor and Roma, close to the Colosseum.

The arch was definitely erected sometimes after after the death of Titus in 81 CE, since Titus is referred to as Divus in the inscription. The deification of an emperor only happened posthumously after decision by the senate. It was most probably erected by emperor Domitian who succeeded his brother Titus in 81 CE, but it has also been suggested that it was built later, by Trajan, because of stylistic similarities with the Arch of Trajan at Benevento.

The Arch of Titus is a single arch, measuring 15.4m in height, 13.5m in width and 4.75m in depth, originally constructed entirely in Pantelic marble, with four semi-columns on each side. The external decorations include figures of Victoria with trophies on the spandrels and images of Roma and the Genius of Rome on the two keystones.

The inscription on the E. side is the original dedication of the arch by the senate. It reads:

Senatus
Populusque Romanus
divo Tito divo Vespasiani f(ilio)
Vespasiano Augusto

The senate
and people of Rome
to the divine Titus, son of the divine Vespasian,
Vespasianus Augustus

The inside the archway the monument is decorated with reliefs in marble. The S. side shows the beginning of the triumphal entry into Rome of the victorious emperor and his troops. The soldiers, walking left to right, are carrying the spoils of war, which include the seven armed candelabrum and the silver trumpets from the temple of Jerusalem. The signs carried by some soldiers displayed the names of the conquered cities and people. To the right the procession is entering the city through the Porta Triumphalis.

The N. side of the arch is decorated with a relief of the emperor in the triumphal procession. The emperor is riding a quadriga, which is lead by the goddess Roma, and he is crowned by Victoria flying above him. The lictors are walking in front of the chariot with their long ceremonial axes. After the emperor follow as a young man, who represents the Roman people, and an older man in toga, representing the senate. In the middle, under the vault a small relief shows the apotheosis of Titus, flying to the heavens on the back of an eagle.

John Schou
8FdNj3SJJE4r5KcW6X7a9fRn96eDSZ.jpg
Marcus Aurelius, 161 - 180 AD, AE As, Galley with Rowers19 viewsMarcus Aurelius, 161 - 180 AD
AE As, Rome Mint, 26mm, 8.92 grams
Obverse: M ANTONINVS AVG GER-M SARM TR[P X]XXI, laureate head of Marcus Aurelius right.
Reverse: FELICI/TATI AVG/P P in three lines above, [C]OS III in exergue, [S] C across lower field, galley rowed right by three oarsmen; at stern, Neptune standing right, foot on rock, holding trident and aplustre.
RIC 1195 // BMC 1618 // Cohen 191
Ex Colosseum Coin Exchange 66 (23 November 1992), 265. _8008
Antonivs Protti
Memmia_1.JPG
Memmia 144 viewsMemmia 1 (109BC) moneyer L. Memmius

Denarius
Ob: male head right wearing oak wreath; below chin *
Rev: Dioscuri standing facing each holding spear and bridle of his horse; above the head
of each star; in exergue L. MEMMI

BMCRR: II 643

Sydenham: 558

Crawford: 304/1

Northumberland Tablet X 27 & 28

“The Memmii are not noticed by history till B.C. 173 (? Does Smyth mean 118-114BC) ; yet from the epoch mentioned- the Jugurthine War- they held frequent tribunates of the Plebs, although C. Memmius, the impeacher, was beaten to death with bludgeons by the mob of Saturninus.” (99BC) So much for concordia ordinis.

For the epithet Mordax, I like biter or stinger better than “impeacher” as W. Smyth wrote.
OLD #1 prone to bite, snappish- Mordax Memmius Cicero De Orat 2.240.

In the same ship race episode of the funeral games as Sergia etiology: Aeneid V 117

mox Italus Mnestheus, genus a quo nomine Memmi

Soon the Italian Mnestheus, from whose name sprung the race of Memmii

This etiological (+ etymological; meminisse) name association typical of
Virgil. Too bad no Cluentia moneyer to get the last Virgilian reference in
from the race!

Ex: Colosseum Coin Exchange 2007 dusty grayish tone, old scratch on obv cheek
2 commentsPetrus Elmsley
Memmia_2.JPG
Memmia 230 viewsMemmia 2 (106BC) moneyer L. Memmius Galeria

Serratus Denarius
Ob: laureate head of Saturn left harpa and ROMA behind, under chin ∙ then under G
Rev: Venus in slow biga right holding scepter and reigns; cupid flies above with wreath; in exergue
L. MEMMI (ME ligature)
GAL

BMCRR I 1336

Sydenham 574

Crawford: 313/1b

Ex: Colosseum Coin Exchange 2007

Crawford: The use of Venus as a coin type is to draw attention to the Memmii as one of the familiae Troianae. Gal(eria) is a tribe name employed to distinguish this (less important) branch of the family. Cf. dedication of Lucretius De Rerum Natura to Venus and Gaius Memmius (praetor 58BC)
1 commentsPetrus Elmsley
markianopolis_elagabal_BMC50.jpg
Moesia inferior, Markianopolis, 26. Elagabal, HrJ (2013) 6.26.05.06 #157 viewsElagabal, AD 218-222
AE 26, 10.1g, 26.35mm, 180°
struck under governor Iulius Antonius Seleucus
obv. AVT KM AVRHLIOC - ANTWNEINOC
bust, draped and cuirassed, seen from behind, laureate, r.
rev. VP.IOVL.ANT.CELE - VKOV MARKIANOPO / LITWN
Demeter, in long chiton and himation, stg. frontal, head l., holding two corn-
ears in outstretched r. hand and leaning with l. hand on sceptre.
ref. a) AMNG I/1, 819 var. (has torch)
b) Varbanov (engl.) 1560 (cites AMNG 819, but writes scepter which can be seen on pic too!)
c) Hristova-Jekov (2013) 6.26.5.6
d) BMC 50
about VF, small scratches on obv.
Pedigree:
ex Colosseum 1997
VF, glossy black-green patina

AMNG has two corn-ears, head of poppy and torch. Here it is doubtless no poppy and a sceptre with knob. But it is Demeter nevertheless.
Jochen
nikopolis_geta_AMNG1641cf_unbekannt.jpg
Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, 22. Geta, HrHJ (2018) 8.22.36.04 (plate coin)20 viewsGeta as Caesar, AD 198-209
AE 17, 2.3g, 16.91mm, 15°
obv. [L AVR] K - GETAC
Bare head, r.
rev. NIIKOPOL(sic!) - [PROC I]
Homonoia in long garment, mantle over l. arm, stg. frontal, head l., holding cornucopiae in
l. arm and patera in extended r. hand.
ref. a) AMNG I/1, 1641 var. (has NIKOPOL and kalathos)
b) Varbanov (engl.) 3212 var. (same)
c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2018) No. 8.22.36.4 (plate coin)
F+
Pedigree:
ex Colosseum Coins

The ex. which Pick has seen seems to have been unclear because Pick couldn't identify the object in the hand nor the rev. legend.

Legend error!
Jochen
nikopolis_macrinus_HrHJ(2017)8_23_36_19(rev).jpg
Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, 23. Macrinus, HrHJ (2018) 8.23.36.19 (plate coin)6 viewsMacrinus, AD 217-218
AE 25, 9.15g, 25.2mm, 0°
struck under Statius Longinus
obv. AVT K M OPELLI. - CEV MAKRINOC
Bust, cuirassed, gorgoneion on breastplate(?), on l. shoulder aegis(?), seen from before,
laureate, r.
rev. VP CTATIOV LONGINOV NIKOPOLITWN PRO
in l. and r. field C I - CT
in ex. RW
Homonoia in long garment and mantle, stg. frontal, looking l., holding in l. arm cornucopiae
and in extended r. hand patera
ref. a) not in AMNG I/1:
cf. AMNG, 1775 (different obv., break in rev. legend)
b) not in Varbanov:
cf. #3569 (different obv.)
c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2018) No.8.23.36.19 (this coin)
rare, F+, light corrosion
pedigree:
ex Colosseum Coin Exchange

From Forum Ancient Coins, thanks!
Jochen
0070-210np_noir.jpg
Nero, Denarius 360 viewsRome mint, AD 64/65
NERO CAESAR, laureate head of Nero right
AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS, Nero standing facing, holding branch and victory on globe
3,32 gr
Ref : RCV #1941, Cohen #45, RIC # 47
The following comment, from NFA, auction XX catalog, # 118 :
Nero's coinage reform of A.D. 64 saw a reduction in the weight standard of both the aureus and denarius denominations. A whole new range of reverse types was introduced with an unmistakably imperial flavor, in marked contrast to the senatorial types of the pre-reform coinage. This coin depicts a standing figure of the emperor, wearing the radiate crown of the sun god Sol, holding a branch of peace and a small figure of Victory. An allusion to the settlement of the Parthian question, following Corbulo's successes in Armenia in A.D. 63, seems unmistakable. It is tempting to identify this reverse type with the statue of the sun god, with the facial features of the emperor, erected by Nero in front of his Domus Aurea (Golden House), which was one of the principal features of the reconstruction following the Great Fire of Rome in A.D. 64. The Flavian Amphitheatre (Colosseum) was later erected on the site of the Domus Aurea's ornamental lake, and received its popular name from its close proximity to Nero's statue
7 commentsPotator II
[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
Poseidonia.jpg
Poseidonia, Lucania34 views350-290 BC
AE 16 (16x13mm, 3.80g)
O: Poseidon, nude, advancing left, Brandishing trident over head.
R: Bull butting right, waves below; dolphin right in ex.
HN Italy 1167; SNG IV Fitzwilliam 566
Rare
ex Colosseum Coin Exchange; ex Forvm Ancient Coins

Poseidonia was founded shortly before 600 BC by colonists from Sybaris, and archeological evidence shows that they, like the Sybarites, enjoyed fine living.
The archaic style of the obverse remained even into the classical era, however this coin is quite rare in that Poseidon is facing left, rather than to the right as on almost all other examples from this city. The bull on the reverse, typical of the coins of Sybaris, honored the mother colony.
Poseidonia came under Roman control in 273 after the defeat of Pyrrhus, at which time the name was changed to Paestum.
1 commentsEnodia
Titusanchor.jpg
RIC 0112 Titus denarius129 viewsIMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M
Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, right

TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P
Dolphin coiled around anchor

Rome mint, 80 AD
3.09g

RIC 112 (C2), BMCRE 72, RSC 309

Ex-Londinium Coins

Titus' pulvinar series commemorating the opening of the Colosseum.
2 commentsJay GT4
Titusele.jpg
RIC 0115 Titus Denarius89 viewsTitus Denarius
IMP TITVS CAES VESPSIAN AVG P M
Laureate head right

TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P
Elephant, wearing armor, walking left

3.00g

Rome 80 AD.
RIC 115 (C2); Cohen 303; BMC 44


Ex-Pella Coins and Antiquities

Thick black toning on this denarius makes it tough to photograph. Much nicer in hand.

Commemorates the completion and dedication of the Colosseum and the opening of games in 80 AD, after ten years of construction.
2 commentsJay GT4
Vespasian_ric_773.jpg
RIC 077383 viewsVespasian (69-79). AR Denarius (18.08 mm, 3.50 g, 6h). Rome, AD 75.
Obv: Bare head l. R IMP CEASAR VESPASIANUS AUG
Rev: Pax seated l., resting l. elbow on throne and holding branch.
PON MAX TRP COS VI
RIC II 773 (this coin); RSC –. Extremely Rare variety, near VF.
Ex Vecchi sale 13, 1998, 757.
Ex: St Paul Antiques auction 7 Lot 285 June 11, 2017




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

While this coin is worn, please take note of the bare head of Vespasian. There are only 2 known coin types that feature Vespasian with a bare head, all others are laureate. For one coin type there are several examples known to exist. For the coin type displayed below, this coin was, until very recently the only one to have surfaced. A second example has now been found by an expert on Flavian coinage. The reference Roman Imperial Coinage II Part 1 refers to my coin but does not have a photo of the coin. I sent a photo to the co-author of the volume, and I hope that a photo will be added when this edition is updated.
7 commentsorfew
Copy_(1)_of_vespasian43.jpg
Roman Empire, Vespasian, Silver Denarus RIC 4343 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 43; RSC II 43; BMCRE II 50; BnF III 36; Hunter I 21, weight 3.3 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, Rome mint, Jul - Dec 71 CE.
Obverse: IMP CAES VESP AVG P M, laureate head right.
Reverse simpulum, sprinkler, jug and lituus, AVGVR above, TRI POT below

Roman emperor Vespasian was most famous for building the Flavian Amphitheater, also known as the Colosseum. Like many Roman emperors, Vespasian rose in prominence because of his military skills and work ethics. Following his ten year rule, he left behind a record of restored order, stability and good government. He was succeeded by his son Titus in 79 CE, who had been sent to quell the Jewish revolt of 66-70 CE.
NORMAN K
Spain- Taragona- Amphitheatre.jpg
Spain- Taragona- Amphitheatre46 viewsThis conventional seating may be observed at the amphitheatre at Tarragona in northern Spain. Tarraco, its Latin name, was the capital of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis. The seating is essentially the same as that found in Rome’s Colosseum. The amphitheatre’s construction is dated to the second century AD, a time of extensive building of centres of public entertainment throughout the Mediterranean. On the right side, the seating was hewn from the bedrock, while on the left, or seaward side, the seating was built up from blocks, a phenomenon also found at Syracuse in Sicily.

However, in a recent visit to Pompeii some interesting divergence from the norm is easily to be observed, for which no reason appears to have been voiced. The town of Pompeii, destroyed in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79, had a population in excess of 10,000, and was clearly a place of sufficient wealth to

sport not only an amphitheatre seating 20,000, but also a traditional Greek theatre and a smaller building called the Odeon. The "large" theatre, as it is now called, can seat an audience of 5,000, the "small" theatre, which was roofed, had accommodation for 500. Seating was according to rank, it is supposed, two side boxes (rather like the royal boxes of later theatres) for honoured guests, an inner cavea for the decurions or magistrates of the town, the middle rows for the more wealthy members of the community, the upper tiers for the ordinary citizens. If one looks closely it is clearly noticeable that this inner cavea consists of the first four or five rows of benches.

It is clear that, unlike the earlier form of the Greek theatres, the front rows are considerably wider than those higher up in the auditorium. The size of the seating is far beyond the dimensions of even a large and well-endowed personage, extending inwards for a good metre or more. The reasons for the additional size are unclear, because the larger width does not make these benches any more comfortable for the sitter, if anything they provide less support than the more narrow benches above. Presumably, the spectators brought cushions with them for lengthy performances in much the same way as fans for rugby or cricket matches do today. One solution may be that the wider seating allowed the dignatory to relax by reclining as if at dinner though this can hardly have been a posture acceptable for a quasi-religious festival nor one which would have endeared these wealthy members of the community to their less well-endowed fellows higher up, even if conspicuous consumption was the order of the day, particularly during the Roman empire.

In the "large" theatre the first four rows, in the "small" theatre and in the amphitheatre the first five rows stand out from the rest and, in fact, have their special place denoted by a partition. In some of the theatres in Greece, the officials judging the competitions, which were part and parcel of the festivals, and high ranking citizens might occupy a special bench, or the first row of the auditorium, but the broad nature of the bench at Pompeii appears unique. Pompeii began as a Oscan settlement in the 8th century BC and was heavily Hellenised by the 6th century. Thereafter, Pompeii had a fairly chequered history, being conquered and lost by the Etruscans and Samnites, before becoming a Roman colony in 80 BC. The Samnites of the central hills and the more local Oscan speakers, an Italic dialect which survived down to the period of the empire, remained culturally and linguistically influential, and it is possible that the Greek practice of uniformity in seating was altered by these Italic tribes who, at times, controlled Pompeii. On the other hand, there could be direct Roman or even Etruscan influence, though this formalised partitioning of seating is not seen in any of the archeaological sites in Rome or in nearby Campania, for example at Puteoli or at Capua. Finally, as for what purpose the large widths were intended, without clear evidence, and certainly with no ancient mention, means that speculation takes over. It could be that wooden seats rather like thrones were brought in, even sedan chairs for the high and mighty of the town, though it is worth bearing in mind that high-backed chairs easily obscured the views of those scarcely less wealthy immediately behind. The Roman males, it will be remembered, tended to lounge on low couches when they ate, rather than sitting in upright seats, which became popular only in the later Byzantine period. It also seems likely that, given the amount of space, it was not just the men who were seated here but entire families - perhaps picnic baskets as well. Refreshments were provided during performances, but the wealthy possibly brought their own equivalents of the modern cool bags and six-packs. The illustrations of the three places of entertainment at Pompeii do not appear to suggest that these special seating are the product of modern reconstructions, some of which have proved disastrous to ancient sites; and, therefore, there seems to be no alternative to accepting at least the idea that preferential seating was the order of the day in this rather provincial town on the Bay of Naples. Etruscan tombs often show their owners in a reclining position as if at a meal, and other forms of entertainment also feature which, overall, might suggest an influence here from north of the River Tiber.

Having dwelt at length, as it were, with the bottoms and the bottom-most seats of the ancient theatres and amphitheatres I now want to move on to the general ambience of the structure. The Roman amphitheatre or hippodrome were dirty smelly places where, by the end of the day’s proceedings, the stench from the dead and dying must have made an abatoir a sweet-smelling location. It is recorded that sprinkler systems were used in the Colosseum to spray the audience and the arena floor with scented water to alleviate the foulness of the atmosphere. By way of contrast, the Greek theatre must have been a place of peace and serenity, except for sore buttocks and aching backs.

Many commentators of the ancient theatre have sadly noted that the early pristine form, as found today at Epidaurus and Segesta, generally underwent alterations during the Roman period. It is noted that the slightly more than a semi-circular design was largely filled in during later antiquity by the Roman scena; and today many examples of the traditional Greek theatres sport Roman brickwork at the front which reached the same height, in some cases, as the uppermost tier of the cavea or auditorium. This height also allowed for a velabrum or canvass cover to be used to provide shade or shelter from the elements. At Taormina, ancient Tauromenium, for example:

"The brick scenic wall was preceded by a row of nine granite columns crowned by Corinthian capitals, which had both a decorative and bearing function, in that they supported the higher parts of the stage. The niches in the wall contained marble statues. On the sides, there are remains of the ‘parascenia’, square rooms used by actors and for scenic fittings. The actors entered the stage through side openings. A further row of sixteen columns closer to the orchestra framed the decorative front of the stage."

This is quite a departure from the earlier simplicity of the Greek theatre. However, it is certainly arguable that Baroque is not necessarily less pleasing than Romanesque even if blocking out the natural view also took the theatre out of its topographical or geographical context. For the purists among us, more sacrilege occurred, for instance, again at Taormina, where the first nine rows of the seating were removed making the orchestra large enough for gladiatorial combats and beast hunts, while at the same time allowing the audience safety high above the blood sports taking place below them. Of course, the construction of a front wall can easily be accounted for by the changing tastes in the entertainment itself, while the local audience presumably knew the view pretty well, and did not come to the theatre to gaze at Mount Etna. Furthermore, Taormina, high up on a hill overlooking the sea, had no extra space on which to build a new amphitheatre, more regularly the venue for gladiatorial combats. And it is also quite possible that there were simply insufficient funds. Taormina was neither a large nor a wealthy city.

Meanwhile, at Delphi the scena was "low so that the audience could enjoy the wonderful view", says one expert. Nonetheless, while the modern tourist may find the view as gratifying if not more so than the ruined theatre, the ancient audience came too see and hear the performances in honour of the Pythian Apollo. The ancient Greeks did not come for the view, they came for theatrical, religious even mystic experience. It is the modern philistine in us who enjoys the view. That being the case, the construction of the ancient theatre had little to do with searching for a site with a nice aspect, though these obviously exist, even in abundance, but for acoustic perfection and adequate accommodation. Finally, the best seats were closest to the stage and its proceedings, while the worst seats, for looking at the productions, had the best views. Does this mean that the most wealthy, with the largest bottoms, were obliged to watch the entertainment with no chance of letting the mind wander to the natural surroundings? Or does it mean that the women, slaves and poorest citizens, who sat high above the productions, probably could not hear or see what was going on hence took in the nice view instead. Therein lies the morality tale embedded in the title of this paper. If you had the means you were forced to take in the culture. If you were female or poor you could let your mind wander to other matters, including wonderful views of nature.
John Schou
Vespasian_capricorns_SC.JPG
Struck A.D. 80 - 81 under Titus. DIVUS VESPASIAN. Commemorative AR Denarius of Rome14 viewsObverse: DIVVS • AVGVSTVS VESPASIANVS •. Laureate head of Vespasian facing right.
Reverse: No legend. SC on shield supported by two capricorns back to back, globe below.
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 3.1gms | Die Axis: 6
RIC II : 63 | VM : 102 | RSC : 497 | Sear : 2569
SCARCE

Vespasian (Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus) was born at Falacrinae on 17th November, A.D.9 and became emperor on 1st July, A.D.69. He died at Aquae Cutiliae on 23rd June, A.D.79 and was buried in the Mausoleum of Augustus. His remains were later transferred to the Temple of the Flavian Family.

EVENTS OCCURRING AT THE TIME THIS COIN WAS STRUCK
A.D.80
Titus completed and inaugurated the Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre) with 100 days of games.
Gnaeus Julius Agricola began his invasion of Scotland.
A.D.81
The Arch of Titus was constructed in Rome.
1 comments*Alex
TitusAnchorDolphinI.jpg
TITUS58 viewsTitus. 79-81 AD. Rome mint, 18mm 3.2g, Struck January-July 80 AD.
O: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, laureate head right
R: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, dolphin coiled around anchor. - RIC II 26a; BMCRE 72; RSC 309

The short reign of Titus witnessed three major calamities. First, on 24 August 79 AD, only one month after his accession, was the eruption of Mount Vesuvius which overwhelmed Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae, and Oplontis. The following year, while still in Campania supervising the relief work , a devastating fire and epidemic of plague broke out in Rome.

The above coin was minted in 80 AD, and, according to Mattingly, in BMC II, pp. lxxii-lxxiii, was part of a series commemorating the supplicatio and lectisternium voted by the Senate after the eruption. As part of the atonement ceremony to seek peace with heaven, sacred couches, pulvinaria, were arranged, each bearing attributes or emblems of the gods. In this particular case the dolphin and anchor represent Neptune.

In contrast, B. Damsky, in "The throne and curule chair types of Titus and Domitian," in SNR 74 (1995), pp. 59-70, after reviewing all the interpretations suggested by various scholars, theorized that this coin, and others minted at the same time, refers not to the ceremony following the eruption, but rather to the occasion for rejoicing and spectacles held in June 80 to inaugurate the completion and opening of the Amphitheatrum Flavium or Colosseum.

Others claim this reverse is a connection to Augustus. The Roman historian Suetonius, in De vita Caesarum, tells that Augustus deplored rashness in a military commander and so σπεῦδε βραδέως (speûde bradéōs) was one of his favorite sayings. This classical adage and oxymoron meaning "make haste slowly" or "more haste, less speed" benefitted the two most praised Roman emperors, Augustus and Titus.

Both of these men possessed a unique greatness of soul, and with an incredible gentleness joined with courtesy and the amiable popularity of their manners, they bound the hearts of all to them. But, nonetheless, when affairs demanded force, they accomplished the greatest actions with diligence equal to their gentleness.
2 commentsNemonater
11_Titus_RIC_II_112.jpg
Titus RIC II 0112127 viewsTitus. 79-81 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. 80 A.D. 1 Jan- 30 June. (3.46 g, 18.87 mm, 6h). Obv: r. to l, out-IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M. Rev: l. to r., in-TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII PP, dolphin coiled around anchor. RIC 112, RSC 309, BMC 72, Sear 2517. Ex David Hendin.

This type may have been issued as a part of a series to commemorate the opening of the Flavian Amphitheater, or Colosseum which was begun under Vespasian and financed, at least in part, by the treasure plundered from the Jewish Temple during the sack of Jerusalem.
8 commentsLucas H
Titus_RIC_II_115.jpg
Titus RIC II 011528 viewsTitus 79-81 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint, 1 Jan. –June 30 A.D. (2.93g, 18mm, 6h). Obv: IMP TITUS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, laureate head right. Rev: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, elephant, cuirassed, standing left. RIC 115, RSC 303. CNG 263/314.

Issued contemporaneously with the pulvinaria series, this type lends credence to the theory those coins were minted to commemorate the opening of the Colosseum. Although showing some wear, this example is well centered and has complete and clear legends on the obverse and reverse.
2 commentsLucas H
Titus_RIC_II_116.jpg
Titus RIC II 011646 viewsTitus 79-81 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint 1 Jan. –June 30 A.D. ( g, mm, 6h). Obv: IMP TITUS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, laureate head left. Rev: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, elephant, cuirassed, standing left. RIC 116, Ex Incitatus Coins.

Issued contemporaneously with the pulvinaria series, this type lends credence to the theory those coins were minted to commemorate the opening of the Colosseum. Although rated as common by RIC, I don’t see as many of the left facing coins. This one has complete devices and legends although shows some wear.
2 commentsLucas H
Titus_RIC_II_120.jpg
Titus RIC II 012054 viewsTitus. 79-81 A.D. Rome Mint, 80 A.D. 1 Jan.-30 June. (3.36g, 17.8mm, 6h). Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, laureate head left. Rev: TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII PP, Seat draped; above winged thunderbolt. RIC II 120. BMC 56. RSC 315.

Although on a tight flan, this specimen maintains a decent weight, and most of its legends. The legends are sharper than the picture shows. This is part of the pulvinaria series introduced by Titus in 80 A.D. A unique series without precedent in Roman coinage, the types could be linked to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D, or, more likely, the inauguration of the Flavian Colosseum where seats for honored guests would be provided.
4 commentsLucas H
Titus_RIC_II_122.jpg
Titus RIC II 012236 viewsTitus 79-81 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. Jan. 1-June 30, 80 A.D. (3.20g, 18.4mm, 5h). Obv: IMP TITVS CɅES VESPɅSIɅN ɅVG PM, laureate head right. Rev: [TR P] IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, seat draped; above, semicircular frame with three crescents. RIC II 122, RSC 313.

This is part of the pulvinaria (sacred couches of the gods) series introduced by Titus in 80 A.D. A unique series without precedent in Roman coinage, the types could be linked to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D, or the inauguration of the Flavian Colosseum where seats for honored guests would be provided.
2 commentsLucas H
titus curule rev.JPG
Titus RIC-108 (1)122 viewsAR Denarius, 3.13g
Rome mint, 80 AD
Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P; Curule chair; above, wreath
RIC 108 (C2). BMC 66. RSC 318. BNC 53.

A pulvinar type issued in celebration of the Colosseum's dedication. Possibly represents the pulvinar of Divus Vespasian, honouring his labours in building the structure.

A coin which has nice detail on the reverse, especially in the wreath.
2 commentsVespasian70
titus dolphin rev.JPG
Titus RIC-112500 viewsAR Denarius, 2.87g
Rome mint, 80 AD
Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P; Dolphin coiled around anchor
RIC 112 (C2). BMC 72. RSC 309. BNC 60.
Ex Harlan J Berk 143, 18 May 2005, lot 177.

Another in Titus' pulvinaria series commemorating the opening of the Colosseum.

Easily one of the best portraits of Titus I have ever seen. The condition of the obverse is excellent.
A coin I'm very proud to have.
11 commentsVespasian70
T119A.png
Titus RIC-119A89 viewsAR Denarius, 3.31g
Rome Mint, 80 AD
Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M•; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P; Seat, draped; above, thunderbolt
RIC 119A. BMC 51 var. RSC 316. BNC 43 var.
Acquired from Yesterday's Change, March 2017.

In the new RIC II this type is described as having a 'winged thunderbolt' above the seat. However, it is sometimes seen with a 'wingless thunderbolt'. The upcoming RIC II Addenda takes note of this and has assigned the wingless type its own catalogue number - RIC 119A.

This denarius is part of a series that was struck for the lectisternium (religious ceremony) celebrating the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD. Each god had its own sacred couch, in Latin they are known as 'pulvinaria', brought out in pairs in the Forum or some such public space. The series commemorates these sacred couches which were set out with 'exuviae' (emblems) representing the gods. The above coin most likely shows the 'pulvinar' of Jupiter and Juno.

Struck slightly off-centre in average style with nice 'cabinet toning'.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
titus semi-circular throne.jpg
Titus RIC-122122 viewsAR Denarius, 3.04g
Rome Mint, 80 AD
Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P; Seat, draped; above, semicircular frame with three crescents
RIC 122 (C2). BMC 58 var. RSC 313. BNC 48.
Acquired from Beast Coins, July 2006.

Another in a series of pulvinaria types Titus issued in commemoration of the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD . The BMCRE attributes this reverse to Apollo and Diana, also, the BMCRE description puts the number of crescent-like objects on the frame as three, the above reverse has five. There is quite a variety of differences with the throne reverses for both Titus and Domitan, a lot of them are variants.

A fairly typical denarius of Titus, well toned with a solid portrait. I already owned this reverse type with the triangular frame, but liked this coin enough to add it to the collection.
1 commentsVespasian70
T124asm.jpg
Titus RIC-124A114 viewsAR Denarius, 3.20g
Rome mint, 80 AD
Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P; Seat, draped; above, triangular frame with five palmettes, lituus within triangle
RIC 124A (R3). BMC 61. RSC 313a. BNC 49.
Acquired from eBay, May 2017.

A rare variant of the common seat with triangular frame 'pulvinar' type showing a lituus within the triangle. The upcoming RIC II.1 Addenda notes that some specimens of the 3 and 9 palmettes variants show a lituus - with this coin we can now see the 5 palmettes variant does as well.

*Update - This type with lituus has been assigned its own unique RIC number - 124A.*

This denarius was struck possibly to commemorate the religious ceremonies connected to the opening games of the Colosseum.

Despite the wear, a good, solid denarius.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
titus throne reverse.JPG
Titus RIC-124c (1)169 viewsAR Denarius, 3.60g
Rome Mint 80 AD
Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P; Seat, draped; above, triangular frame with nine palmettes
RIC 124c (C2). BMC 62. RSC 313a. BNC 50.
Acquired from Old Roman Coins, December 2003.

A reverse, which according to the BMCRE, may commemorate the pulvinar of Apollo and Diana (and possibly Ceres) for the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD. This issue was interrupted by the fire in Rome later in the same year and was continued again by Domitian upon the mints reopening in 81.

A denarius that looks quite spectacular in hand, despite the brightness.
3 commentsVespasian70
T124.jpg
Titus RIC-124c (2)86 viewsAR Denarius, 3.35g
Rome Mint 80 AD
Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P; Seat, draped; above, triangular frame with nine palmettes, lituus within triangle
RIC 124c (C2). BMC 62. RSC 313a. BNC 50.
Acquired from M. Veissid & Co. (eBay), April 2017.

A rare variant of this common 'pulvinar' type showing a lituus within the triangle. Perhaps one in ten dies have this variant. The upcoming RIC II.1 Addenda notes that some specimens may show a lituus.

This denarius was struck possibly to commemorate the religious ceremonies connected to the opening games of the Colosseum.

Nice bull-necked portrait struck on a large flan and well centred. One of my favourite portrait types.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
titus tripod.JPG
Titus RIC-128120 viewsAR Denarius, 3.31g
Rome Mint, 80 AD
Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P; Tripod with fillets; above, dolphin
RIC-128 (C2). BMC 78. RSC 27a. BNC 67.
Acquired from York Coins, January 2005.

A reverse that commemorates the pulvinar of Apollo and Diana (?) for the opening of the Colosseum. There is a more elaborate variation of this reverse with ravens on either side of the tripod.

A nice well centred denarius.
1 commentsVespasian70
titus tripod wreath and ravens s.jpg
Titus RIC-131496 viewsAR Denarius, 3.40g
Rome Mint, 80 AD
Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M•; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P; Tripod, with fillets streaming out l. and r., on which are ravens r. and l., and in the center, dolphin over wreath
RIC 131 (R). BMC 82. RSC 323a. BNC 66.
Acquired from Beast Coins, April 2007.

This denarius was part of a series struck for the lectisternium (religious ceremony) celebrating the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD.

Each god had its own sacred couch, in latin they are known as 'pulvinaria', brought out in pairs, probably in the Forum. The coins in question commemorates the sacred couches which were set out with 'exuviae' (emblems) representing the gods. This example is most likely the 'pulvinar' of Apollo.

There are two different types of the Tripod reverse: The common one with just a dolphin above the Tripod, another with a wreath and ravens added. The Reka Devina hoard records 24 specimens of the more common type and only 3 of the raven/wreath variant. Cohen and the RIC do not have seperate listings for the scarce variant, the BMCRE and RSC do record it however.

Needless to say it took a bit longer for me to acquire this less common specimen, but it was worth the wait. Wonderfully centered with gunmetal toning.
4 commentsVespasian70
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Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D.23 viewsSH70237. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 124; RSC II 313a; BMCRE II 61;
BnF III 50; SRCV I 2515, F, nice portrait, toned, Rome mint, weight 3.418g,
maximum diameter 17.5mm, die axis 135o, 1 Jan - 30 Jun 80 A.D.;
obverse IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN P M•, laureate head right;
reverse TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, facing empty throne of a deity (pulvinar)
with a triangular back, back ornamented with uncertain objects and a cross
at the peak, seat draped with a fringed cover

At the Circus Maximus, a stone platform (pulvinar) was raised high above the
track-side seats with empty thrones (also called pulvinar) for the gods to watch
the games. The imperial family watched from there, alongside the gods.
This coin, struck at the time the Colosseum opened, likely depicts one of the
seats reserved for the gods in the new amphitheater
1 commentsNORMAN K
Titus_RIC_26.JPG
Titus, 79 - 81 AD110 viewsObv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG PM, laureate head of Titus facing right.

Rev: TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII PP, a dolphin coiled around an anchor.

Note: The dolphin coiled around an anchor reverse represents Neptune. This coin was part of the "pulvinaria" series issued by Emperor Titus to commemorate the opening games at the Colosseum. My thanks to David Atherton for this information.

Silver Denarius, Rome mint, 80 AD

3.3 grams, 18.15 mm, 0°

RIC II 26, RSC 309, S2517, VM 33/1
2 commentsSPQR Coins
Titus_RIC_115.jpg
Titus, denarius.75 viewsTitus, denarius.
RIC 115, RSC 303.
Rome Mint, A.D. 80.
19 mm 3.32 gr.
Obv. IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, right.
Rev. TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P; Elephant walking left.

The elephant on this issue represents one of the numerous species displayed in the newly constructed Flavian Amphitheater, or Colosseum. During the opening ceremonies a great number of animals, including elephants, were both exhibited and slaughtered.
4 commentsMarsman
IMG_1448.JPG
Vespasian291 viewsexposition in ColosseumJohny SYSEL
Vespasian~0.jpg
Vespasian. AD 69-79. Renaissance Medal23 viewsRenaissance Medal, Paduan (after Cavino, ca. 1500-1570). Vespasian. AD 69-79.
Bronze Sestertius (30mm. 13.02g). Laureate head of Vespasian right. Reverse: Aerial view of
the Flavian Ampitheater (Colosseum) between meta sudans and portico. Cf. Klawans p.
62, 2 (Vespasian) and p. 66, 1 (Titus); Lawrence -.
1 commentsddwau
MacrinusDiadumenian_Hygeia_Marcianopolis.jpg
[1006a] Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D.; Diadumenian, mid May - 8 June 218 A.D.26 viewsMacrinus and Diadumenian, AMNG 750, 217-218 AD, 12.4 g, 27.25 mm; Moesia Inferior Marcianopolis; aVF; Obverse: Busts of Macrinus and Diadumenian facing each other; Reverse: Rv.: Asklepios standing left, with snake coiled on staff, lovely jade green patina; Ex Colosseum; Ex Ancient Imports.


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Macrinus (217-218 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University


Marcus Opellius Macrinus was the first emperor who was neither a senator nor of a senatorial family at the time of his accession. His 14-month reign was spent entirely in the East, where he proved unable to maintain the influence gained in the region by the campaigns of his predecessor, Caracalla, nor was Macrinus able to shake the suspicion that he was responsible for Caracalla's murder.

Macrinus was born in Caesarea in Mauretania around the year 165 AD. While it is highly conjectural that, as a young man, the future emperor was the dedicatee of Ampelius' encyclopedic Liber memoralis, Macrinus undoubtedly received a literary education that enabled him to rise high as a bureaucrat in the imperial service during the reign of the emperor Severus. Caracalla made Macrinus a praetorian prefect, an equestrian post that was second to the emperor in power. Macrinus shared the position with the experienced soldier Adventus, and the pair served Caracalla during the emperor's campaigns in the East.

By the end of the second campaigning season in the winter of 216-17, rumors were flying both in Rome and in the East that Macrinus was promoting himself as a possible future emperor. Caracalla must have been aware of the rumors concerning Macrinus, for the contemporary historian Cassius Dio notes the emperor was already reassigning members of Macrinus' staff. Such personnel moves may have accelerated Macrinus' plot.

Shortly before the campaigning season was to begin, Caracalla paid a visit to a temple near Carrhae. The emperor was accompanied by a hand-picked corps of bodyguards. The guards returned with Caracalla's murdered body, along with the body of one of the guards and a story that the dead guard killed the dead emperor. Not everyone was convinced, but Macrinus was able to translate his authority as praetorian prefect into that of emperor, being proclaimed by the troops on 11 April 217. Macrinus soon named his son, Diadumenianus, as Caesar and heir. The new emperor also got his former colleague, Adventus, out of the way by sending him back to Rome as urban prefect.

Macrinus straightaway sent conciliatory messages to the Parthian ruler Artabanus V, but Artabanus sensed weakness and raised an army to avenge his losses from the previous year's campaign. Macrinus hoped to avoid a battle with the Parthians, but fighting erupted between the armies while both sides were encamped around Nisibis. The Parthians gained victory and, during the following autumn and winter, peace negotiations were held. Macrinus ended up paying the Parthians large bribes and reparations. Settlements were also reached with the Armenians, and, in the lower Danube, with the Dacians, who had launched attacks on the Romans after learning of Caracalla's death.

By not returning to Rome in 217, Macrinus opened himself to criticism. Dissatisfaction was especially high in the city after a particularly violent, late-August thunderstorm started a fire that damaged much of the Colosseum and caused widespread flooding, especially in the Forum. Adventus proved himself incompetent as urban prefect and had to be replaced.

But grumblings in Rome were insignificant compared to the growing unease among the soldiers on campaign in the East. The defeat at Nisibis disheartened troops. Macrinus also introduced an unpopular, two-tier pay system in which new recruits received less money than veterans. The move was a way to save money after the pay raise granted by Caracalla, but it lowered morale as well.

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

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

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

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

Copyright (C) 1997, Michael L. Meckler. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors;http://www.roman-emperors.org/macrinus.htm. Used by permission.

Diadumenian
Much of what we know of Diadumenianus comes to us from the unreliable Scriptores Historiae Augustae. While it is true that Curtius does give the boy-Emperor some copy, suffice it to say that Diadumenian was the son of Macrinus and made Caesar at the age of nine in 217 A.D. and Augustus in 218. After his father's defeat he fled towards Parthia but was overtaken and executed.
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=573&pos=0

A very minor player in the history of Rome, Diadumenian is most conspicuous because of his impressive issue of Greek Imperial (Roman Privincial) coinage, most notably in Moesia Inferior.

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


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

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

Geoffrey Nathan and Robin McMahon

Geoffrey Nathan
San Diego State University



Early Life and Public Career

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ancient Sources

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

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

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

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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

D'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
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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