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Search results - "saturn"
Semisse-1.jpg
31 viewsAE Semis - Anonymous - After 206 B.C.
Obv.: Head of Saturn right, S behind
Rev.: prow of galley, S above; ROMA below
Gs 12,1 mm. 24,8
Crawford 56/3.
Maxentius
DenLMemmioGaleriabis.jpg
23 viewsSerrate Denarius - 106 BC
L. MEMMIVS GALERIA - Gens Memmia
Obv.: Laureate head of Saturn left; ROMA and harpa behind
Rev,; Venus in biga right, Cupid flying above with laurel wreath, L MEMMI (ME in monogram) GAL in two lines in ex.
Gs. 3,82 mm. 17,2x17,8
Cr313/1a, Sear RCV 190.

Maxentius
SemisseStella.jpg
29 viewsAE Semis - Anonymous - 169/157 B.C.
Obv.: Head of Saturn right, S behind
Rev.: Prow of galley right, star above, S before; ROMA below
Gs 12,5 mm. 24,1
Crawford 196/2, Sear RCV 829
Maxentius
Semisse-2.jpg
30 viewsAE Semis - Anonymous - After 211 B.C. (Grueber 240/229 B.C.)
Obv.: Head of Saturn right, S behind
Rev.: prow of galley, S above; ROMA below
Gs 18,3 mm. 25,9
Crawford 56/3, Sear RCV 766, BMRRC(Grueber) 229
Maxentius
rjb_2012_09_05.jpg
5621 viewsAnonymous; c.211 BC
AE semis
Obv "S"
Laureate head of Saturn right
Rev "S ROMA"
Prow right
Rome mint
Crawford 56/3
mauseus
00005x00~5.jpg
20 viewsROME
PB Tessera (20mm, 4.57 g, 12h). Saturnalia issue
Palm frond; IO S(AT) across fields
Wreath
Rostowzew 504; Rostowzew & Prou 100

Ex Classical Numismatic Group 55 (13 September 2000), lot 1201 (part of)
Ardatirion
Semis Emision anonima.jpg
01-02 - Semis Emision Anonima (211 - 206 A.C.)130 viewsAE Semis 28 mm 17.7 gr
Anv: Cabeza barbada y laureada de Saturno viendo a derecha - "S" (Marca de valor = Semis = 1/2 AS) detrás de la cabeza.
Rev: Proa de galera a derecha - "ROMA" debajo y "S" en campo superior.

Ceca: Roma
Referencias: Sear RCTV Vol.1 #766 Pag.207 - Craw RRC #56/3 - Syd CRR #144a - BMCRR #229 - Hannover #597
1 commentsmdelvalle
Craw_56_3_Semis_Anonimo.jpg
01-02 - Semis Emision Anonima (211 - 206 A.C.)38 viewsAE Semis 28 mm 17.7 gr
Anv: Cabeza barbada y laureada de Saturno viendo a derecha - "S" (Marca de valor = Semis = 1/2 AS) detrás de la cabeza.
Rev: Proa de galera a derecha - "ROMA" debajo y "S" en campo superior.

Ceca: Roma
Referencias: Sear RCTV Vol.1 #766 Pag.207 - Craw RRC #56/3 - Syd CRR #144a - BMCRR #229 - Hannover #597
mdelvalle
0183.jpg
0183 - Denarius Nonia 59 BC26 viewsObv/ Head of Saturn r., before SVFENAS, behind SC, harpa and conical stone.
Rev/ PR L V P F, Roma seated l. over pile of arms, holding scepter and sword, crowned by Victory standing l. behind; SEX NONI in ex.

Ag, 19.9 mm, 3.65 g
Moneyer: M. Nonius Sufenas.
Mint: Rome.
RRC 2421/1 [dies o/r: 56/62] - Syd. 885 - RSC Nonia 1
ex-Jesús Vico, auction 137, lot 203
dafnis
0229_REPROM_RRC313_1b.jpg
0229 - Denarius Memmia 106 BC9 viewsObv/ Laureate head of Saturn l., harpa and ROMA behind; before, control mark.
Rev/ Venus on biga r., holding scepter and reins. Above, Cupid flying l. and holding wreath; below, L MEMMI GAL.

Ag, 18.9 mm, 3.93 g
Moneyer: father of L. and C. Memmii L.f. Gal.
Mint: Rome.
RRC 313/1b [dies o/r: 131/164 all var.]
ex-CNG, auction e436, lot 455 (ex-A McCabe, direct purchase to Künker am Dom, 2018)
dafnis
ImitationBlack.jpg
056/3 Ancient imitation21 viewsAnonymous. Ae Semis imitation. Probably first century BC. Obv: Laureate head of Saturn r.; behind, S. Rev: Prow r.; above, S and below, ROMA.
Crawford 56/3

Style and shape is not the best on this coin. However, as an ancient imitation it does have historical value.
Paddy
Roman_Bronze_black.jpg
056/3 Spanish imitation in good style29 viewsAnonymous. Ae Semis. Second or first century BC. (6.58 g, 20.55 mm) Obv: Laureate head of Saturn r.; behind, S. Rev: Prow r.; above, S and below, ROMA.
Syd 143a; Crawford 56/3

In 1982 a conference report was published that contained a joint debate between Crawford and the Spanish numismatist Villaronga. Villaronga illustrated a number of coins from site finds near Cadiz, and concluded that they were good style Spanish imitations. Every year about 10 or 20 similar coins appear on the Spanish market, but none appear in Italian sources.

Thank you Mccabe for helping with the attribution.
Paddy
Personajes_Imperiales_9.jpg
09 - Personalities of the Empire53 viewsSaturninus, Carus, Carinus, Urbica, Nigrinianus, Numerianus, Diocletian, Maximian, Carausius, Allectus, Constantius I, Theodora, Galerius and Galeria Valeriamdelvalle
Rep_AR-Den_R__L_SATVRN_Crawford-317-3a_Syd-578_Rome_104-BC_Q-001_axis-0h_19,5mm_3,81g-s.jpg
104 B.C., L. Appuleius Saturnius, Republic AR-Denarius, Crawford 317/3a, Rome, Quadriga right,148 views104 B.C., L. Appuleius Saturnius, Republic AR-Denarius, Crawford 317/3a, Rome, Quadriga right,
avers: Helmeted head of Roma left, border of dots. above, control mark,
reverse: Saturn in quadriga right holding reins in right hand, above, control mark R•, below, in exergue: L•SATVRN.
exergue: -/--//L•SATVRN, diameter: 19,5mm, weight: 3,81g, axis: 0h,
mint: Rome, date: 104 B.C., ref: Crawford 317/3a, Sydenham 578.,
Q-001
4 commentsquadrans
RI_105e_img.jpg
105 - Valerian Antoninianus - RIC 21019 viewsObv:– IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, Radiate draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev:– AETERNITATI AVGG, Saturn standing right, holding scythe
Minted in Antioch
Reference:– Goebl 1559a. RIC V 210. RSC 8.

A scarcer reverse type. A somewhat flat strike.
maridvnvm
tiberius as.jpg
14-37 AD - TIBERIUS AE as - struck 22-23 AD39 viewsobv: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST IMP VIII (bare head left)
rev: PONTIF MAXIM TRIBVN POTEST XXIII around large S.C.
ref: RIC I 44, C.24 (5 frcs), BMC91
9.44gms, 27mm

In 6 AD Tiberius was in Carnuntum military camp. He led at least eight legions (VIII Augusta from Pannonia, XV Apollinaris and XX Valeria Victrix from Illyricum, XXI Rapax from Raetia, XIII Gemina, XIV Gemina and XVI Gallica from Germania Superior and an unknown unit) against king Maroboduus of the Marcomanni in Bohemia (Czechia). At the same time, I Germanica, V Alaudae, XVII, XVIII and XIX, - led by Caius Sentius Saturninus (governor of Germania) -, moved against Maroboduus along the Elbe. Saturninus led his forces across the country of the Chatti, and, cutting his way through the Hercynian forest, joining Tiberius on the north bank of the Danube, and both wanted to make a combined attack within a few leagues from the Marcomannic capital Boviasmum. It was the most grandiose operation that ever conducted by a Roman army, but a rebellion in Illyria obstructed its final execution.
berserker
200-3_Pinaria.jpg
200/3. Pinaria - semis (155 BC)8 viewsAE Semis (Rome, 155 BC)
O/ Laureate head of Saturn right; S behind.
R/ Prow right; NAT above; S before; (ROMA below).
12.48g; 27mm
Crawford 200/3 (7 specimens in Paris)
- Numismatik Naumann 57, lot 500.
Joss
coins127.JPG
201a. Julia Domna11 viewsVesta

Vesta was introduced in Rome by King Numa Pompilius. She was a native Roman deity (some authors suggest received from the Sabine cults), sister of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera and Demeter, and presumably the daughter of Saturn and Ops (or Rea). However, the similarity with the cult of Greek Hestia is notable. Vesta too protected familial harmony and the res publica. Apollo and Neptune had asked for her in marriage, but she refused both, preferring to preserve her virginity, whose symbol was the perpetually lit fire in her circular fane next to the Forum which the Romans always distinguished from a temple by calling it her "house".

As Goddess of the Hearth she was the symbol of the home, around which a newborn child must be carried before it could be received into the family. Every meal began and ended with an offering to her:

Vesta, in all dwellings of men and immortals
Yours is the highest honor, the sweet wine offered
First and last at the feast, poured out to you duly.
Never without you can gods or mortals hold banquet.

Landscape with Vesta temple in Tivoli, Italy, c. 1600.Each city too had a public hearth sacred to Vesta, where the fire was never allowed to go out. If a colony was to be founded, the colonists carried with them coals from the hearth of the mother-city with which to kindle the fire on the new city's hearth.

The fire was guarded by her priestesses, the Vestales. Every March 1 the fire was renewed. It burned until 391, when the Emperor Theodosius I forbade public pagan worship. One of the Vestales was Rea Silvia, who with Mars conceived Romulus and Remus (see founding of Rome).

3070. Silver denarius, RIC 538, RSC 221, VF, 2.30g, 17.5mm, 0o, Rome mint, 193-196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right; reverse VESTA, Vesta seated left, holding palladium and scepter. Ex Forum
ecoli
roman_republic,_L__Appuleius_Saturninus.jpg
317/3b L. Appuleius Saturninus. 30 viewsRoman Republic. L. Appuleius Saturninus. 104 B.C. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. SRCV I 193, Crawford 317/3b. 18.4mm, 3.32 g. Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma left. Reverse: Saturn in a quadriga right, K below, L SATVRN in exergue. Ex Forvm.Lucas H
coin498.JPG
319. Probus59 viewsAt an early age he entered the army, where he distinguished himself under the emperors Valerian, Aurelian and Tacitus. He was appointed governor of the East by the emperor Tacitus, at whose death he was immediately proclaimed his successor by the soldiers. Florianus, who had claimed to succeed his half-brother Tacitus, was put to death by his own troops, and the Senate eagerly ratified the choice of the army. The reign of Probus was mainly spent in successful wars by which he re-established the security of all the frontiers, the most important of these operations being directed to clearing Gaul of German invaders.

Probus had also put down three usurpers, Saturninus, Proculus and Bonosus. One of his principles was never to allow the soldiers to be idle, and to employ them in time of peace on useful works, such as the planting of vineyards in Gaul, Pannonia and other districts. This increase of duties was naturally unpopular, and while the emperor was urging on the draining of the marshes of his native place he was attacked and slain by his own soldiers. Scarcely any emperor has left behind him so good a reputation; his death was mourned alike by senate and people, and even the soldiers repented and raised a monument in his honour.

Obv:– IMP C PROBVS P F AVG, Radiate, cuirassed bust right
Rev:– RESTITVT ORBIS, Female standing right, presenting wreath to emperor standing left, holding globe and sceptre
Minted in Siscia (* in centre field, XXIQ in exe) Emission 5 Officina 4. A.D. 278
Reference:– RIC 733 Bust type F
3 commentsecoli
421-1_Nonia2.jpg
421/1. Nonia - denarius (59 BC)21 viewsAR Denarius (Rome, 59 BC)
O/ Head of Saturn right, head of a harpoon and conical stone behind; S C upwards behind; SVFENAS downwards before.
R/ Roma seated left on a pile of trophies, holding sceptre and sword, crowned by Victory standing behind; PR L V P F around; SEX NONI in exergue.
3.90g; 19mm
Crawford 421/1 (56 obverse dies/62 reverse dies)
- Collection of Walter Friedrich Stoecklin, Amriswil, Switzerland, before 1975. W. F. Stoecklin was the second member of a dynasty of coin collectors based in Switzerland.
- Obolos 9, lot 77.

* Marcus Nonius Sex.f. Sufenas:

Sufenas belonged to the plebeian gens Nonia, a relatively new gens at this time. He was the son of son of Sextus Nonius Sufenas, who had played a crucial part in 86 BC by leading the defection to Sulla among Fimbria's troops during the Civil War. Sulla then rewarded him with a praetorship in 81 BC. In turn, Sextus organised the first Victory games celebrating his patron (the Ludi Victoriae Sullanae), as explained on the reverse (Sextus Nonius praetor ludos Victoriae primus fecit).

Marcus Sufenas' career relied on the patronage of Pompey, whom he devotedly served. In 56 he was Tribune of the Plebs, and with the famous Publius Clodius Pulcher, Gaius Porcius Cato, and Lucius Procilius, they sabotaged the consular elections in order to force the choice of Pompey and Crassus as Consuls for 55 (Cassius Dio, Roman History, xxxix. 27-33). Pompey then used his influence to acquit Sufenas (Cicero, Atticus, iv. 15).

Since he was governor of Macedonia or Cyrenaica in 51 (Cicero, Atticus, vi. 1 & viii. 15), Broughton conjectured that he had been Praetor in 52. He was still in his province by 49, so he probably helped Pompey after his flight from Italy. Plutarch mentions him just before the Battle of Pharsalus (Life of Cicero, 38). As he disappears from ancient sources after this, he might have died during the battle.
2 commentsJoss
Plancia.jpg
55 BC Gn. Plancius151 viewsCN PLANCIVS AED CVR SC
Head of Macedonia right, wearing causia

Cretan goat standing right, bow and quiver behind
IIZ (old museum number?) in Ex.

Rome 55 BC
3.46g

Sear 396, RRC 432/1

Ex-Canadian Coin

Gnaeus Plancius was a friend of Cicero and strikes this coin as curule aedile. The type recalls his military service in Crete under the Proconsul Q. Metellus. He was also a military tribune under C. Antonius. He later returned to Macedonia as questor under the Propraetor L. Appuleius Saturninus. While serving as Questor in Thessalonia Plancius courageously took in Cicero as a guest in his official residence. Earlier that year (January or Early February of 58 BC.) Cicero was exiled from Italy and Rome because of the Tribune Clodius' legislation which confiscated Cicero's property and forced him to stay 400 miles out of the city of Rome. Clodius was eventually killed along the Appian Way by his rival Milo. Cicero took up the case for the defense of Milo unsuccessfully. In 54 BC Cicero defended Gn. Plancius in a court case (Pro Plancio) in which A. Laterensis accused Plancius of illegally organizing voting clubs (Colegia) to sway the elections and of bribery. Cicero was able to get Plancius acquitted and wrote his Pro Plancio which outlined his speeches and lines of questioning.
7 commentsJay GT4
imitative_rome_I_c_BC.jpg
Ancient imitative, Saturn/Prow39 viewsRoman Republican, 1st Century B.C., Ancient Imitative. Bronze semis, cf. Crawford 339/2 (official, Rome mint), VF, porous dark patina, 3.598g, 16.7mm, 0o, obverse head of Saturn right; reverse , prow right. An unofficial imitative of a late anonymous issue. ex FORVMPodiceps
2190390.jpg
Anonymous26 viewsAnonymous. After 211 BC. Æ Semis (23mm, 9.69 g, 7h). Uncertain mint. Laureate head of Saturn right; S behind / Prow of galley right; S above. Crawford 56/3; Sydenham 143a. VF, green patina, minor roughness.

Ex-CNG 219 lot 390 62/100

The semis (literally meaning half) was a small Roman bronze coin that was valued at half an as. During the Roman Republic, the semis was distinguished by an 'S' (indicating semis) or 6 dots (indicating a theoretical weight of 6 unciae). Some of the coins featured a bust of Saturn on the obverse, and the prow of a ship on the reverse.

Initially a cast coin, like the rest of Roman Republican bronzes, it began to be struck from shortly before the Second Punic War (218-204 BC). The coin was issued infrequently during the Roman Empire, and ceased to be issued by the time of Hadrian (117-138 AD).
ecoli
00anonsemis~0.jpg
ANONYMOUS31 viewsAE semis . Spanish mint. After 211 BC. 7,83 grs. Laureate head of Saturn right. S behind / Prow of galley right. S above. ROMA in exergue.
Crawford 56/3.

1 commentsbenito
11826LG.jpg
Anonymous AE Semis69 viewsAnonymous AE Semis. Circa 211 BC. Laureate Bust of Saturn right, S behind / Prow right, S above. Cr56/3; Syd143. 8.79g, 23mm.
Very Good.

Ex Roma Numismatics
Philoromaos
roman-republic-annoymous-91bc.jpg
Anonymous AE Semis circa 91 BC28 viewsRoman Republic Anonymous AE Semis circa 91 BC, 6.19g, 23mm

OBV: Head of Saturn right.

REV: Prow of a galley right "S" before, "ROMA" in exergue

REF: RCV 901

Ex: Aegean Numismatics +photo
Gil-galad
roman-republic-ae-semis-reshoot-1.jpg
Anonymous AE Semis circa 91 BC41 viewsRoman Republic Anonymous AE Semis circa 91 BC, 6.19g, 23mm

Obverse: Head of Saturn right.

Reverse: Prow of a galley right "S" before, "ROMA" in exergue

Reference: RCV 901

EX: Aegean Numismatics
Gil-galad
iber_2_res.jpg
ANONYMOUS REPUBLICAN BARBAROUS SEMIS, HISPANIA 23 viewsafter 211 BC
AE 16 mm, 2.11 g
O: Laureate head of Saturn right, inverted S behind.
R: Prow of galley right, S above, ROMA in exergue
laney
iber_1_res.jpg
ANONYMOUS REPUBLICAN SEMIS, HISPANIA 21 viewsafter 211 BC
AE 20 mm, 3.78 g
O: Laureate head of Saturn right, S behind.
R: Prow of galley right, S above, ROMA in exergue
laney
Semis1000.jpg
Anonymous Roman Republic33 viewsAE Semis 21mm, 8.6g, anonymous, after 211 BC.
Obv.: Laureate head of Saturn right; S behind.
Rev.: Prow of galley right; S above, ROMA below.
Reference: ACIP 2659; Burgos R44.
Notes: sold to JWT, 9/7/2015
John Anthony
rep_5.jpg
Anonymous Semis; Saturn, S behind / Prow with S above15 viewsSemis. Head of Saturn, S behind / prow of galley, S above. Syd 143a, Crawford 56/3.Podiceps
quart_k.jpg
Anonymous, 217-215 BC8 viewsAE Quartuncia, 15.2mm, 2.56g.
Obv.: Head of Saturn right.
Rev.: ROMA - Prow, right .
Reference: Crawford 38/8.
Notes: Ex - RBW, Ex - Hendin, sold Aleg 1/24/16
John Anthony
00anonsemis.jpg
ANONYMOUS.63 viewsAE semis . Spanish mint. After 211 BC. 7,83 grs. Laureate head of Saturn right. S behind / Prow of galley right. S above. ROMA in exergue.
Villaronga AIIN 29 (1982)
benito
rep_11.jpg
Anonymous; Imitative; Saturn/ Prow, SC above7 viewsI am by no means sure about the identification, but this appears similar to some Spanish? imitatives of Late Roman Republic Semis, c. 100 B.C. - 50 A.D.
The use of SC may suggest a muddling of late Republican types with those of Augustus or a later Emperor. Laureate head of Saturn right; reverse SC above, Prow right, ROMA below.
-Those who know better, please, leave a comment
Podiceps
AntoSe08-2~0.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 612, Sestertius of AD 140-144 (Ops)63 viewsÆ sestertius (24.0g, 33mm, 6h) Rome mint. Struck AD 140-144
ANTONINVS AVG PI VS P P TR P COS III laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right
OPI AVG ()around S C [in ex.] Ops seated left, holding sceptre, left hand drawing back drapery.
RIC 612 (Scarce); Cohen 569 (fr.8); BMC 1258-62; Strack 842; Banti (I Grandi Bronzi Imperiali II-3) 245 (17 spec.); Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 130:67; Sear (Roman Coins & Their Values II) 4197
ex D.Ruskin (said to have been found near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK, 1994)

Ops stands for plenty, properity, power, fertility... Her cult goes back to the earliest times, supposedly founded by Romulus. She is the wife of Saturn, sometimes equated with Cybele. Appears on Roman coins only twice (second appearance on issues of Pertinax). The issue under A. Pius is probably associated with the 900th anniversary of Rome.
Charles S
AR 4 D.jpg
Appuleia 145 viewsL. Appuleius Saturninus, 104 BC. Helmeted hd. of Roma l. Rev. Saturn in quadriga r., holding harpa, control-letter behind, L SATvRN in ex.1 commentsTanit
Semis_130BC_Q_Caecillius_Metellus_cr__256_2_6_03g.jpg
Caecilia 23?33 viewsCaecilia 23? (130BC) moneyer Q. Caecilius Metellus cos 123 BC Rome

Semis

Ob: Laureate head of Saturn right; behind S
Rev: Prow right above Q ∙ MET (TE ligature), right S, in exergue ROMA

BMCRR I 1059

Sydenham 510

Crawford: 256/2a Q. METE

There is some confusion concerning which Q. Caecilius Metellus was the moneyer. Sydenham states that this difficulty arises from the fact that during this period (125-100 BC) the Metelli were at the height of their power and therefore would have multiple junior family members beginning the cursum honorum at the mint. There are a large number of variant legends.


Nice green patina, 6.03gr.
1 commentsPetrus Elmsley
EF-celtic-imm.jpg
CELTIC, Celtic Imitation of Roman Republican Semis101 viewsObverse-Bust of Saturn
Reverse-Galley prow, S above, OMA below.

I think the R in the exergue may be off center. The A is about 30 degrees tilted left.
CoinScrubber
amphora_semis_6-8-17.jpg
Cr 56/3 AE Semis Anonymous 10 viewsc. 211 BCE 25.7 mm, 12.54 grams.
o: Saturn head laureate r
r: Prow r, ROMA below, S above
Crawford 56/3.
Ex. RBW collection
Coin nicer than this photo, but I am trying to round out the Cr. 56 types.
PMah
473ArteCombo.png
Cr 114/3 Æ Semis Anonymous [Rostrum tridens] 9 viewsRostrum tridens (second) series.
Probably a late unofficial issue, after 82 BCE
o: Laureate head of Saturn right; behind, S.
r: Prow right; above, rostrum tridens; before, S; below, ROMA.
Cf. Cr. 114/3. (g. 9.08 mm. 24.00)
Coarse style and light?
PMah
semisforumpetroinius.jpg
Cr 177/2 AE Semis [TP or PT]10 viewsBronze semis, Crawford 177/2, Sydenham 353a (R4), SRCV I 843, Rome mint 169 - 158 B.C.E.
weight 16.187g, maximum diameter 25.3mm
O: Laureate head of Saturn right, L below, S behind
R: Galley prow right, TP or PT monogram above, S right, ROMA below
from the Andrew McCabe Collection; scarce
PMah
201SemisDHCr262.jpg
Cr 262/2 AE Semis Anonymous [Elephant]12 viewsc. 128 BCE, bronze Semis
20.9 mm, 8.29 grams
o: Saturn head right, S behind
r: Prow right, [S before?], elephant head above, [R]OM[A] below
Crawford 262/2
Ex. RBW collection
PMah
354.jpg
Cr 262/2 AE Semis Anonymous 10 views128 B.C.E.
AE Semis Anonymous, Rome mint
o: laureate head of Saturn right, S (mark of value) behind
r: galley prow right, elephant head wearing bell facing right above, S (mark of value) right, ROMA below
(7.242g, maximum diameter 22.3mm, die axis 90o,
ex RBW Collection
Forum's Notes:
The elephant head recalls the victory of L. Caecilius Metellus over Hasdrubal at Panormus in 250 B.C. and the capture of Hasdrubal's elephants. The moneyer is perhaps L. Caecilius Metellus Diadematus, Consul 117 B.C., or L. Caecilius Metellus Delmaticus, Consul 119 B.C.
Purchased from Forum Ancient Coins
PMah
919rma610.jpg
Cr 263/3b Æ Semis M. Caecilius Q. f. Q. n. Metellus 0 views127 b.c.e Rome mint
Laureate head of Saturn right; S behind
Prow right; Macedonian shield above, S before, ROMA below
9.17 gm 23mm
The Caecili Metelli were quite proud of the victory over Macedonia of their forebearer, Macedonius. The shield is found on all the types in this issue, and, on this Semis and a related Quadrans, the name is dispensed with, although some specimens of both retain the name crammed on the reverse.
PMah
662aa185combo.jpg
Cr 272/1 ? Æ Semis Anonymous9 views135-125 B.C.E Unofficial?
o: Head of Saturn right; behind, S
r: Prow right; before, S(?); below, ROMA.
6.61 gm

This coin is a bit of a puzzle. It is quite possibly the already-scarce or even rare Cr 272/1, an issue of just a Semis and a Quadrans, but it has some qualities that suggest it is a contemporary imitation. The reverse is a bit odd; the obverse not so odd. To my eye, illustrations of the official type are pretty close. Perhaps there was one feeble die among a limited number used for a stop-gap issue, as this falls within a few years where bronze is seemingly a bit scarcer than denarii.
PMah
666aa215comb.jpg
Cr 339/2 AE Semis Anonymous9 viewsRome, 91 BCE
o: Laureate head of Saturn right; behind, S
r: Prow right; above, S; below, ROMA
9.67 gm 24.00 mm
If my identification of the type as a late Semis grouped by Crawford under 339 is correct, then the coin is relatively rarer. It is not a great example and perhaps I need more research.
PMah
memmius_den_2.jpg
Cr 349/1 - L. and C. Memmius L.f. Galeria (87 BC)10 viewsROMAN REPUBLIC
L. and C. Memmius L.f. Galeria (87 BC). 2 AR denarii (3.75 gm). Rome Mint

Laureate head of Saturn left; behind, harpa; to left, .P (retrograde); to right, EX. S. C / Venus driving biga r., holding scepter, Cupid flying l. above.

Crawford 349/1, Sydenham 712. Memmia 8. Toned. VF
Ex Heritage
RR0021
RR0022
Sosius
590AA220combo.png
Cr 350B/1 AE Semis Anonymous6 views86 b.c.e. 5.89 gms 21.50 mm
o: Laureate head of Saturn right; behind, S
r: ROMA. Prow left; before, S.
Prow - left are always scarcer than Prow- right.
Although this coin's best days are behind it, the reverse still shows considerable detailing at the water-line, the rostrum, and on the main-deck. The superstructure seems to have been neglected. nicer color than photo.
PMah
619NN404.jpg
Cr 421/1 AR Denarius M. Nonius Sufenas21 viewscirca 57- 59 b.c.e., 17.5mm., 3.97gms.
o: SVFENAS – S·C Head of Saturn r.; in l. field, harpa and conical stone
r: PR·L·V·P·F Roma seated l. on pile of arms, holding sceptre and sword, crowned by Victory standing behind her; in exergue, SEX·NONI·. Nonia 1.
The reverse inscription expands as : PR[aetor] L[vdos] V[ictoriae] P[rimus] F[ecit]. Interesting back-story crammed into a busy reverse. The moneyer's father (or grandfather) while Praetor, was the First to "Make" the Games of Victory [of Sulla]. The son's willingness to advertise this on his coins was rather aggressive, considering Sulla's reputation was rapidly declining and his father was a mere partisan despite sponsoring one round of games, and he himself no more popular even though he became praetor, somewhat underlined by this being the first and only "Nonia" issue. Presumably he had faith in Pompey, who was the most enduring and successful of the Sullan partisans and seen as the senior in the power-sharing "First Triumvirate". This bet seemingly did not work out well, but the specifics are not available.
3 commentsPMah
MAntDeL14.jpg
Crawford 544/29, Marc Antony, for Legio XIV, Denarius, 32-31 BC.84 viewsMarc Antony, for Legio XIV (Gemina Martia Victrix), Patras mint (?), 32-31 BC.,
Denarius (16-17 mm / 3,63 g),
Obv.: above: [AN]T AVG , below: [III VI]R R P C , under oar right, filleted scepter or mast with fluttering banners on prow.
Rev.: LEG - XIV , Aquila (legionary eagle) between two military standards.
Crawf. 544/29 ; Bab. (Antonia) 123 ; BMC 208 ; Sear 369 ; Syd. 1234 .

Die Legio XIV wurde 41 v. Chr. von Augustus aufgestellt. Sie war seit 9 n. Chr. in Moguntiacum (Mainz) stationiert und kämpfte später unter Claudius in Britannien, wo sie 60 oder 61 n. Chr. half, Boudicca niederzuwerfen. Später war die Legion u. a. in Vindobona (Wien) und Carnuntum stationiert. Sie war an den Usurpationen des Saturninus und Regalianus beteiligt.

Legio XIV Gemina Martia Victrix was a legion of the Roman Empire, levied by Octavian after 41 BC. The cognomen Gemina (twin in Latin) suggests that the legion resulted from fusion of two previous ones, one of them possibly being the Fourteenth legion that fought in the Battle of Alesia. Martia Victrix (martial victory) were cognomens added by Nero following the victory over Boudica. The emblem of the legion was the Capricorn, as with many of the legions levied by Augustus.
Invasion of Britain
Stationed in Moguntiacum, Germania Superior, since AD 9, XIIII Gemina Martia Victrix was one of four legions used by Aulus Plautius and Claudius in the Roman invasion of Britain in 43, and took part in the defeat of Boudicca in 60 or 61. In 68 it was stationed in Gallia Narbonensis.
Rebellion on the Rhine
In 89 the governor of Germania Superior, Lucius Antonius Saturninus, rebelled against Domitian, with the support of the XIVth and of the XXI Rapax, but the revolt was suppressed.
Pannonian defense
When the XXIst legion was lost, in 92, XIIII Gemina was sent in Pannonia to substitute it, camping in Vindobona (Vienna). After a war with the Sarmatians and Trajan's Dacian Wars (101-106), the legion was moved to Carnuntum, where it stayed for three centuries. Some subunits of Fourteenth fought in the wars against the Mauri, under Antoninus Pius, and the legion participated to the Parthian campaign of Emperor Lucius Verus. During his war against the Marcomanni, Emperor Marcus Aurelius based his headquarters in Carnuntum.
In support of Septimius Severus
In 193, after the death of Pertinax, the commander of the Fourteenth, Septimius Severus, was acclaimed emperor by the Pannonian legions, and above all by his own. XIIII Gemina fought for its emperor in his march to Rome to attack usurper Didius Julianus (193), contributed to the defeat of the usurper Pescennius Niger (194), and probably fought in the Parthian campaign that ended with the sack of the capital of the empire, Ctesiphon (198).
In support of imperial candidates
In the turmoil following the defeat of Valerian, tXIIII Gemina supported usurper Regalianus against Emperor Gallienus (260), then Gallienus against Postumus of the Gallic empire (earning the title VI Pia VI Fidelis — "six times faithful, six times loyal"), and, after Gallienus death, Gallic Emperor Victorinus (269-271).
5th century
At the beginning of the 5th century, XIIII Gemina still stayed at Carnuntum. It probably dissolved with the collapse of the Danube frontier in 430s. The Notitia Dignitatum lists a Quartodecimani comitatensis unit under the Magister Militum per Thracias; it is possible that this unit is XIV Gemina.

my ancient coin database
1 commentsArminius
187___3.jpg
crw 187/3 . Roman Republic.Furius Purpurio. 169-158 BC. Æ Semis 29 viewsRoman Republic.Furius Purpurio. 169-158 BC. Æ Semis
24mm, 14.04 g, 6h. Rome mint .
Obverse : Laureate head of Saturn right; S (mark of value) to left .
Reverse : Prow right; P(VR) above, S (mark of value) to right .
Crawford 187/3; Sydenham 359a
Ex RBW Collection. Ex Goodman Collection (Classical Numismatic Group 43 (24 September 24, 1997), lot 1478. Ex CNG 330 lot 249 .
Vladislav D
71963q00.jpg
crw 339/2 Roman Republic, Anonymous Æ semis , 90 B.C.17 viewsRoman Republic, Anonymous Æ semis , 90 B.C.
6.921g., 25.3mm . Rome mint, c. 90 B.C.
Obverse : Laureate head of Saturn right, S (mark of value) behind .
Reverse : Prow right, S (mark of value) above, ROMA below .
Crawford 339/2, Sydenham 679a, BMCRR 2196, SRCV I 901
Ex Andrew McCabe . Ex Roma Numismatics e-auction 10, lot 527 . Ex Forum .
Vladislav D
D668b.jpg
Domitian RIC-66863 viewsAR Denarius, 3.28g
Rome mint, 88-89 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIX COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
RIC 668 (C3). BMC 152. RSC 253. BNC 146.
Acquired from Ken Dorney, June 2014.

This common denarius is part of Domitian's 88-89 fourth issue, the largest of the period. It records Domitian's 19th Imperial salutation, most likely awarded for a victory over the German Chatti in late 88 or early 89 (probably by March or April of 89). T.V. Buttrey has proposed that this salutation may in fact be for the victory over the rebel legate Saturnius, dressed up as a German victory.

A decent portrait in the standard style of this issue struck on good metal.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
D669.jpg
Domitian RIC-66973 viewsAR Denarius, 3.02g
Rome mint, 88-89 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIX COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
RIC 669 (C3). BMC 153. RSC 251. BNC 147.
Acquired from Ken Dorney, June 2014.

The fourth issue of 88-89 records Domitian's 19th imperial acclamation, the largest issue by far of the time period. With wars being fought against both the Chatti and the Dacians the awards were coming fairly quickly one after another. Also, the revolt of the rebel legate Saturnius occurred in January of 89. Domitian did not take up the consulship in 89 (presumably he was away from Rome on campaign), so the imperial acclamations are the only way to differentiate the separate issues. T.V. Buttrey has proposed that his 19th salutation may in fact be for the victory over Saturnius, dressed up as a German victory (via private correspondence).

A decent coin with some minor corrosion featuring a sorrowful looking Domitian. Better in hand.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
Domitian_Adlocutio.jpg
Domitian Sestertius, Adlocutio, RIC 288140 viewsDomitian. A.D. 81-96. Æ sestertius (33 mm, 22.94 g). Rome, A.D. 85. Laureate bust right, wearing aegis / Domitian standing right, clasping hands with general over altar; two soldiers behind. RIC 288; Cohen 497. BMCRE 344, RCV 2775, Kampmann 24.129 Near VF. F500 VF2500

The representation on the rev. of this issue is a very controversial one. For some it depicts the arrival in Rome of the general Agricola due to the fact that the scene is first shown in the same year in which Domitian had to recall the British general. In reality the theme has a much more general meaning: in ca. AD 85 the Daci started to invade the Roman province of Moesia. The Roman army was seriously defeated, comparable to the defeats of P. Quinctilius Varus in AD 9. From all over the empire troops were sent to Moesia, in the end 9 legions were stationed against the Daci. In this context the Concordia between the emperor and his army is seen, the handshake over the burning altar remembers the oath of allegiance. By how important the harmony in the army was, is shown by the defection of Antonius Saturninus, legate for the Upper Rhine. This defection forced Domitian in AD 89 to agree to an unsatisfactory peace agreement with the Daci; but this agreement would not last for more than a couple of years.
3 commentsmattpat
EB0331_scaled.JPG
EB0331 Saturn / Prow15 viewsRome, AE Semis, after 211 BC.
Obv: Laureate head of Saturn right; behind, S.
Rev: Prow right; above, S; below, ROMA.
References: Sydenham 143a, Crawford 56/3.
Diameter: 30mm, Weight: 19.598 grams.
EB
60319LG.jpg
Elis, Olympia192 viewsOlympia (Greek: Ολυμπία Olympí'a or Ολύμπια Olýmpia, older transliterations, Olimpia, Olimbia), a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis, is known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, comparable in importance to the Pythian Games held in Delphi. Both games were held every olympiad (i.e. every four years), the Olympic Games dating back possibly further than 776 BC. In 394 emperor Theodosius I, or possibly his grandson Theodosius II in 435, abolished them because they were reminiscent of paganism.

The sanctuary itself consists of an unordered arrangement of various buildings. To the north of the sanctuary can be found the prytaneion and the Philippeion, as well as the array of treasuries representing the various city states. The metroon lies to the south of these treasuries, with the Echo Stoa to the East. To the south of the sanctuary is the South Stoa and the Bouleuterion, whereas the West side houses the palaistra, the workshop of Pheidias, the Gymnasion and the Leonidaion. Enclosed within the temenos are the temples of Hera and Zeus, the Pelopion and the area of the altar, where the sacrifices were made. The hippodrome and later stadium were also to the East.

Olympia is also known for the gigantic ivory and gold statue of Zeus that used to stand there, sculpted by Pheidias, which was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Antipater of Sidon. Very close to the temple of Zeus (see photo of ruins below) which housed this statue, the studio of Pheidias was excavated in the 1950s. Evidence found there such as sculptor's tools, corroborates this opinion.

Excavation of the Olympia temple district and its surroundings began with a French expedition in 1829. German archaeologists continued the work in the latter part of the 19th century. The latter group uncovered, intact, the Hermes of Praxiteles statue, among other artifacts. In the middle of the 20th Century, the stadium where the running contests took place was excavated.

The Olympic flame of the modern-day Olympic Games is lit by reflection of sunlight in a parabolic mirror at the restored Olympia stadium and then transported by a torch to the place where the games are held.

When the modern Olympics came to Athens in 2004, the men's and women's shot put competition was held at the restored stadium.

The ancient ruins sits north of the Alfeios River and lies next to Cronius or Kronios hill (the hill of Kronos, or Saturn). Kladeos, a tributary of Alfeios, flows around the area.

The town has a school and a square (plateia). Tourism is popular throughout the late-20th century. The city has a train station and is the easternmost terminus of the line of Olympia-Pyrgos (Ilia). The train station which the freight yard is west of it is about 300 m east of the town centre.

It is linked by GR-74 and the new road was opened in the 1980s, the next stretch N and NE of Olympia will open in around 2005. Distance from Pyrgos is 20 km E(old: 21 km), about 50 km SW of Lampeia, W of Tripoli and Arcadia and 4 km north of Krestena and N of Kyparissia and Messenia. The highway passed north of the ancient ruins.

A reservoir is located 2 km southwest damming up the Alfeios river and has a road from Olympia and Krestena which in the late-1990s has been closed.

The area is hilly and mountainous, most of the area within Olympia is forested.

Elis, Olympia. After ca. 340/30-late 3rd century B.C. Æ unit (20 mm, 5.99 g). Laureate head of Zeus right / FA above, horse trotting right; [L]U below. BCD 339.3 (this coin). Near VF, dark brown patina.
Ex BCD Collection. Ex-John C Lavender G18
ecoli73
RIC_Gallienus_RIC_V_S-606.JPG
Gallienus (Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus) (253-268 A.D.)18 viewsSRCV 10170 var. (scepter), RIC V S-606, Göbl 1662i, Cohen 44, Van Meter 13/2

AR Antoninianus, 20 mm., 0°

Antioch mint (per Göbl), struck during solo reign (260-268 A.D.), in 267 A.D.

Obv: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate draped cuirassed bust right.

Rev: AETERNITAS AVG, Saturn standing right, holding scepter, PXV in exergue.

The exergue marking indicates the tribunician year 267 A.D.

RIC rarity C, Van Meter VB1
Stkp
gallienus_RIC606(sole_reign).jpg
GALLIENUS AR antoninianus - 267 AD (sole reign)23 viewsobv: GALLIENVS AVG (radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right)
rev: AETERNITAS AVG (Saturn standing right holding scythe), PXV in ex.
ref: RIC Vi 606, RSC.44 (PXV = short for TR P XV)
mint: Antioch
1.92gms, 20mm, billon

Saturn, under the form of a man with a beard, veiled, and wearing the toga, who standing holds the harpa in his left hand, appears on coins of Valerianus and of Gallienus, as a symbol of Eternity. HARPA (scythe) is one of the symbols of Saturn who, according to a horrid myth, used it to mutilate (castrate) his father, Uranus. (See the famous paint of Giorgio Vasari: The Mutiliation of Uranus by Saturn).
While Cronus was considered a cruel and tempestuous deity to the Greeks, his nature under Roman influence became more innocuous, with his association with the Golden Age eventually causing him to become the god of "human time", and celebrated him in Saturnalias.
berserker
gallienus-saturn-reshoot.jpg
Gallienus BI Antoninianus, Asia mint, 267 AD21 viewsRoman Imperial, Gallienus BI Antoninianus, Asia mint, (267 AD), 3.9g, 21.53mm

Obverse: GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right.

Reverse: AETERNITAS AVG, Saturn standing right holding scythe, PXV (short for TR P XV) in ex.

Reference: Cohen 44. RIC V-1 (S) 606.

Ex: ECIN
Gil-galad
Gallienus_RIC_606.JPG
Gallienus, 253 - 268 AD24 viewsObv: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gallienus facing right.

Rev: AETERNITAS AVG, Saturn standing right, holding a scythe; PXV (= TRP XV) in exergue.

Billon Antoninianus, Antioch mint, 267 AD

4 grams, 21.6 mm, 0°

RIC Vi 606 (var.), RSC 44, S10170, VM 13/2
SPQR Coins
gallienus_606var.jpg
Gallienus, Göbl 1662i33 viewsGallienus, AD 253-268
AR - Antoninianus, 22mm, 3.4g, 150°
Antiochia, AD 266/267 (sole reign)
obv. GALLIENVS AVG
Bust, chin-bearded, draped and cuirassed, radiate r.
rev. AETERNI - TAS AG
Saturnus, bearded, togate and veiled, stg. frontal, head r., holding harpa in l. hand and with r. hand holding together his garment.
in ex: PXV (short for TRP VI)
RIC V/1, 606 var. (holding sceptre); C.44 var.; Göbl MIR 1662i
R!, about VF, weak struck

For more information please take a look at 'Coins of mythological interest'.
Jochen
hadrian-as-dupondius-indulgentia.jpg
Hadrian AE As., Rome mint, Indulgentia10 viewsRoman Imperial, Hadrian AE As., Rome mint; 25mm, 8.1g, 6h

Obverse: HADRAINVS AVGVSTVS, Bareheaded and draped bust right.

INDVLGENTIA AVG COS III P P, SC, Indulgentia seated left with extended right hand and scepter.

Reference: RIC II 725, Cohen 849.

Ex: CoinTalk Secret Saturnalia, Jaz Numismatics

https://www.cointalk.com/threads/secret-saturnalia-2018.326383/
Gil-galad
Gallienus-Antoninian-ANTIOCHIA-Saturn-GÖBL_1559d.jpg
II - GALLIENUS -a- Antoninian - ANTIOCHIA - GOEBL 1559d6 viewsAv) IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG
Radiatedm draped and cuirassed bust senn from the back looking right

Rv) AETERNITATI AVGG
Saturn standing right, holding Harpa

Weight: 3,41g Ø:22 mm; Referenc: Göbl 1559d
sulcipius
rm004.jpg
Italy, Rome, Forum184 views1999

I think this is ( or near) The Forum - Temple of Saturn
randy h2
rm003.jpg
Italy, Rome, Forum167 viewsruins of The Forum - Temple of Saturn being excavated 1999

We were unable to get close, I think this pic was taken from the sidewalk by hte main road that ran by.
randy h2
IMG_0982wp.jpg
Italy, Rome, Temple of Saturn150 viewsfounded between 501 BC and 498 BC.
The present ruins are from last incarnation in 283 AD.

Silver and gold was stored there in republic times.
Johny SYSEL
Italy- Forum Romanum- Basilica Emilia- Frisco with everyday life.jpg
Italy- Forum Romanum- Basilica Emilia- Frisco with everyday life89 viewsThe Basilica Julia was built in 54-48 BCE by Julius Caesar as a part of his reorganisation of the Forum Romanum, where it replaced the Basilica Sempronia. It is located on the S. side of the main square of the Forum Romanum, between the Temple of Saturn and the Temple of Castor and Pollux.

Julius Caesar started construction in 54 BCE, but it was still unfinished at his death. It was built on the site of the Basilica Sempronia and a series of shops, the tabernae veteres, that were all demolished.

Augustus finished the building after Caesar's death, but had to reconstruct it again shortly after, due to its destruction by fire in 9 BCE. It was dedicated again in 2 BCE, this time in the name of Gaius Caesar and Lucius Caesar, Augustus' designated heirs at the time.

The basilica was later damaged much by the fire in 283 CE, and restored a few years after by Diocletian. It was again destroyed when Alaric sacked the city in 410 CE.

The Basilica Julia was of huge proportions. The basilica rested on a low podium, seven steps high on the E. side and just one on the W. side, due to the sloping terrain. Of outer dimensions 101×49m, the central nave of the basilica was 82×18m. The four lateral aisles, two on each side, were two storeys high, with vaulted ceiling and arches decorated by semi-columns. The central nave was three storeys high.

A series of shops stood behind the basilica towards the Velabrum. A Temple of Augustus was also built in the area behind the basilica by Tiberius.

The function of the Basilica Julia was to house tribunals and other activities from the Forum when weather didn't permit outdoor meetings. The central nave probably divided in four by wooden removable structures to allow the hearing of more cases at a time. The basilica also housed some administrative offices of the city.

Game boards and graffiti are incised in the steps and in the pavement of the side aisles by idling visitors to the Forum. Some of this can still be seen on the side of the main square of the forum.

The building was in ruin already in late Antiquity, and subsequently stripped of all reusable material, i.e., almost everything.

Very little of the building remains now. The basic floor plan can be seen, and some parts of brick walls remain towards the Temple of Saturn, some bases of statues still in their original position, and the four step podium remain. The brick column bases are reconstructions of the 19th century.
John Schou
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and temple of Saturn.jpg
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and temple of Saturn45 viewsThe Temple of Saturn (Templum Saturni or Aedes Saturnus) is the oldest temple in the Forum Romanum, consecrated for the first time in c. 498 BCE. It is located in the W. end of the Forum, behind the Rostra and the Basilica Julia, across the Clivus Capitolinus from the Temple of Vespasian and Titus.

There have been three temples dedicated to Saturn on the location. The first was built in the last years of the Roman Kingdom, but was first consecrated in the first decade of the Roman Republic. Very little is known about this archaic temple, but it was probably Etruscan in style, just as the contemporary Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus on the Capitolium.

The first temple was torn down in 42 BCE and a new temple built in stone, by the aedile L. Munatius Plancus. The tall, massive, travertine clad podium, measuring 40×22.5m with a height of 9m, is from this building. This temple was in turn destroyed by the fire of 283 CE, which destroyed major parts of the Forum Romanum.

The temple was reconstructed under Diocletian after the fire, but the ground plan and podium from 42 BCE was retained. The temple was of the Ionic order with six columns on the facade. The eight surviving columns of red and grey granite are from this third temple, which largely used recycled material—not all columns, bases and capitals match stylistically.

The inscription on the architrave is also from this period. It reads: "Senatus populusque romanus incendio consumptum restituit"; meaning "The Roman senate and people restored what fire had consumed".

In front of the podium, under the now collapsed stairway, were two rooms, one of which served as the Aerarium, the State Treasury. On the side of the podium holes remain from where a plate was attached for the posting of public documents and acts pertinent to the Aerarium.

An altar dedicated to Saturn, the Ara Saturni, stood in front of the temple, on the other side of the road that passes just in front of the temple. The remains of this altar are now under a roof just in front of the Umbilicus Urbis Romae, near the Arch of Septimius Severus. See this map for an illustration of the probable location of the altar.

Inside the temple stood a statue of of Saturn, which would be carried in procession when triumphs were celebrated. The feast of the Saturnalia on December 17th was a part of the cult of Saturn and was started with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn.
1 commentsJohn Schou
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and temple of Saturn 1.jpg
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and temple of Saturn 131 viewsThe Temple of Saturn (Templum Saturni or Aedes Saturnus) is the oldest temple in the Forum Romanum, consecrated for the first time in c. 498 BCE. It is located in the W. end of the Forum, behind the Rostra and the Basilica Julia, across the Clivus Capitolinus from the Temple of Vespasian and Titus.

There have been three temples dedicated to Saturn on the location. The first was built in the last years of the Roman Kingdom, but was first consecrated in the first decade of the Roman Republic. Very little is known about this archaic temple, but it was probably Etruscan in style, just as the contemporary Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus on the Capitolium.

The first temple was torn down in 42 BCE and a new temple built in stone, by the aedile L. Munatius Plancus. The tall, massive, travertine clad podium, measuring 40×22.5m with a height of 9m, is from this building. This temple was in turn destroyed by the fire of 283 CE, which destroyed major parts of the Forum Romanum.

The temple was reconstructed under Diocletian after the fire, but the ground plan and podium from 42 BCE was retained. The temple was of the Ionic order with six columns on the facade. The eight surviving columns of red and grey granite are from this third temple, which largely used recycled material—not all columns, bases and capitals match stylistically.

The inscription on the architrave is also from this period. It reads: "Senatus populusque romanus incendio consumptum restituit"; meaning "The Roman senate and people restored what fire had consumed".

In front of the podium, under the now collapsed stairway, were two rooms, one of which served as the Aerarium, the State Treasury. On the side of the podium holes remain from where a plate was attached for the posting of public documents and acts pertinent to the Aerarium.

An altar dedicated to Saturn, the Ara Saturni, stood in front of the temple, on the other side of the road that passes just in front of the temple. The remains of this altar are now under a roof just in front of the Umbilicus Urbis Romae, near the Arch of Septimius Severus. See this map for an illustration of the probable location of the altar.

Inside the temple stood a statue of of Saturn, which would be carried in procession when triumphs were celebrated. The feast of the Saturnalia on December 17th was a part of the cult of Saturn and was started with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn.

John Schou
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum Basilica Julia.jpg
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum Basilica Julia97 viewsThe Basilica Julia was built in 54-48 BCE by Julius Caesar as a part of his reorganisation of the Forum Romanum, where it replaced the Basilica Sempronia. It is located on the S. side of the main square of the Forum Romanum, between the Temple of Saturn and the Temple of Castor and Pollux.

Julius Caesar started construction in 54 BCE, but it was still unfinished at his death. It was built on the site of the Basilica Sempronia and a series of shops, the tabernae veteres, that were all demolished.

Augustus finished the building after Caesar's death, but had to reconstruct it again shortly after, due to its destruction by fire in 9 BCE. It was dedicated again in 2 BCE, this time in the name of Gaius Caesar and Lucius Caesar, Augustus' designated heirs at the time.

The basilica was later damaged much by the fire in 283 CE, and restored a few years after by Diocletian. It was again destroyed when Alaric sacked the city in 410 CE.

The Basilica Julia was of huge proportions. The basilica rested on a low podium, seven steps high on the E. side and just one on the W. side, due to the sloping terrain. Of outer dimensions 101×49m, the central nave of the basilica was 82×18m. The four lateral aisles, two on each side, were two storeys high, with vaulted ceiling and arches decorated by semi-columns. The central nave was three storeys high.

A series of shops stood behind the basilica towards the Velabrum. A Temple of Augustus was also built in the area behind the basilica by Tiberius.

The function of the Basilica Julia was to house tribunals and other activities from the Forum when weather didn't permit outdoor meetings. The central nave probably divided in four by wooden removable structures to allow the hearing of more cases at a time. The basilica also housed some administrative offices of the city.

Game boards and graffiti are incised in the steps and in the pavement of the side aisles by idling visitors to the Forum. Some of this can still be seen on the side of the main square of the forum.

The building was in ruin already in late Antiquity, and subsequently stripped of all reusable material, i.e., almost everything.

Very little of the building remains now. The basic floor plan can be seen, and some parts of brick walls remain towards the Temple of Saturn, some bases of statues still in their original position, and the four step podium remain. The brick column bases are reconstructions of the 19th century.



John Schou
Italy- Rome- The Palatino and view of the 3 columns of the temple of the Castores and view of the temple of Saturn.jpg
Italy- Rome- The Palatino and view of the 3 columns of the temple of the Castores and view of the temple of Saturn51 viewsPalatine Hill
The Palatine Hill (Latin Palatium) is the centermost of the seven hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city of Rome in Italy.

Legend tells us that Rome has its origins on the Palatine. Indeed, recent excavations show that people lived there since approximately 1000 BC. According to Roman mythology, the Palatine hill was where Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf that kept them alive. According to this legend, the shepherd Faustulus found the infants and, with his wife, Acca Larentia, raised the children. When they were older this is where Romulus decided to build Rome. (See Founding of Rome for a more detailed account of the myth.)

The emperors of Rome built their palaces on the Palatine. The ruins of the palaces of Caesar Augustus, Tiberius and Diocletianus are still to be seen. The term 'palace' itself stems from Palatium.

Palatine hill is some 70 meters high and looks down on one side upon the Forum Romanum and on the other side upon the Circus Maximus. The site is now a large open-air museum and can be visited during day time. The entrance can be found near the Arch of Titus on the Forum Romanum.

John Schou
Galera.jpg
L & C Memmius Lf Galeria AR Denarius33 viewsL & C Memmius Lf Galeria AR Denarius. 87 BC. Head of Saturn left, control letter under chin, EX S C under neck / Venus in biga right, above Cupid flying left with wreath, L C MEMIES L F/GAL in ex. Cr349/1 variant, Syd 712 variant.

VERY FINE

The Memmia Gens claimed descent from Menestheus the Trojan, one of the companions of Aeneas to Italy.

Philoromaos
L_CALPURNIUS_PISO.jpg
L CALPURNIUS PISO CAESONINUS & Q SERVILIUS CAEPIO AR Denarius, Crawford 330/1a, Two Quaestors20 viewsOBV: Head of Saturn facing right, harpa and legend PISO behind, CAEPIO and symbol below, Q below chin
REV: AD FRV EMV EX SC, the two quaestors seated left between 2 grain ears
This piece was minted circa 100 BC under the authority of the moneyers L. Calpurnius Piso Caesonius and Q. Servilius Capeio, Quaestors. The obverse depicts the head of Saturn facing right, harpa and legend PISO behind, CAEPIO and symbol below, Q below chin. The reverse features the two Quaestors seated left between corn ears, with legends AD.FRV.EMV./EX.SC. This is an abbreviated form of "Ad Frumentum Emundum, ex Senatus Consulto". This piece was minted specifically for use in conjunction with a law that was passed to allow people to buy corn for "a semis and a triens for a modius". The Senate ordered the quaestors to strike a special issue of coins so that they could fulfil the provisions of the law. A very decent example of this scarcer historical type, issued for an early form of price control!

Minted at Rome, 100BC
Legatus
L_Memmius_Galeria.jpg
L Memmius Galeria11 viewsAR Denarius serratus
Rome mint, 106 B.C.
3.36g, 19mm
RCVI- 190var., RSCv.1- Memmia 2a

Obverse:
ROMA
Laureate head of Saturn left. Harpa behind.

Reverse:
.E
L MEMMI
GAL
(ME in monogram)
Venus in slow biga right, Cupid flying above with wreath.


Will J
1477_L_C_Memius_Lf_Gal.jpg
L. & C. Memmius L.f. Galeria - AR denarius12 viewsRome
87 BC
laureate head of Saturn left; harpa left
EX·S·C
::A
Venus in slow biga right, holding staff and reins; above Cupid flying left, holding wreath
L·C·MEMIES·L·F / GAL
Crawford 349/1, Sydenham 712, RSC I Memmia 8, SRCV I 262, RBW Collection 1328 var. (control), BMCRR I Rome 2421 ff. Var ex Roma
Johny SYSEL
0126.jpg
L. and C. Memmius L.f. Galeria, Denarius15 viewsL. and C. Memmius L.f. Galeria, Denarius

RRC 349/1
87 b.c.
4.04 gr

Av: ROMA below, laureate head of Saturn left; below chin.X.; behind, harpa.
Rv: L MEMMI/GAL in two lines in exergue, Venus, holding scepter and reins, driving slow biga right; above, Cupid flying left, holding wreath.

ex Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc., Auction 96, Lot 1959
1 commentsNorbert
28356.jpg
L. and C. Memmius L.f. Galeria.7 viewsL. and C. Memmius L.f. Galeria. 87 B.C. AR denarius (18.2 mm, 3.83 g, 4 h). Rome mint. [EX·SC], Laureate head of Saturn left, harpa to right, controls off flan / L·C MEMIES L·F/GAL, Venus driving biga right, holding reins and scepter; above, Cupid flying left, holding wreath. Crawford 349/1; Sydenham 712; RSC Memmia 8. toned aVF, off center.

Ex D. Thomas collection.
ecoli
appuleius.jpg
L. Appuleius Saturninus11 viewsL. Appuleius Saturninus, 104 BC. Helmeted head of Roma left. Rev: Saturn in quadriga right holding harpa, control letter A and pellet below, L SATVRN in ex. 18mm, 3.9g; St. 8. Cr. 317/3b; Syd. 578a, Sear RCV I: 193. Podiceps
148.jpg
L. Appuleius Saturninus37 viewsL. Appuleius Saturninus. AR denarius Rome, ca. 104 BC. Helmeted head of Roma left / Saturn driving quadriga right, holding harpa, control letter •L below horses, L. SATVRN in exergue. Crawford 317/3b. RSC Appuleia 1. RCTV 193.
1 commentsTanit
rr.jpg
L. Appuleius Saturninus 41 viewsL. Appuleius Saturninus
AR denarius
Rome 104 B.C. Helmeted Roma head left bankers mark on check / Saturn in galloping quadriga right, pellet omega below, L.SATVRN in exergue. Cr. 317/3. ?
1 commentsRandygeki(h2)
L__Appuleius_Saturninus.png
L. Appuleius Saturninus – Appuleia-140 viewsROMAN REPUBLIC Lucius Appuleius Saturninus. 104 BC. AR denarius (18mm, 3.85g). Rome mint. Helmeted head of Roma left / L SATVRN Saturn driving quadriga right; control mark above V • . Crawford 317/3a; Sydenham 578; Appuleia 1; SRCV 193Bud Stewart
rteff.jpg
L. C. Memmius L. f. Galeria (87 B.C)44 viewsAR Denarius
O:  Head of Saturn left; EX•S•C below; control letter beneath chin.
R: Venus driving biga right, cupid above; L•C•MEMIES•L•F•GAL in exergue.
Rome Mint
3.68g
18mm
Crawford 313/1b; Sydenham 574; Memmia 2
4 commentsMat
L__Calpurnius_Piso_Caesoninus___Q__Servilius_Caepio.jpg
L. Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus & Q. Servilius Caepio - Calpurnia-5a69 viewsRoman Republic. L. Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus & Q. Servilius Caepio. 100 B.C. AR Denarius. (3.922 grams 17mm). Obverse: Laureate head of Saturn r.; behind, harpa; around, PISO. CAEPIO. Q. Reverse: Two male figures (Quaestors) seated on bench (subsellium) side by side; to l. and r., corn-ear; in exergue, AD. FRV. EMV. EX. S. C. Sydenham 603, Crawford 330/1a, RCV 210, RSC Calpurnia-5a2 commentsBud Stewart
330,1b_Calpurnius_Piso_Caesoninus,_Servilius_Caepio.jpg
L. Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus and Q. Servilius Caepio - AR denarius6 viewsRome
¹²100 BC
head of Saturn right, harpa behind
PISO_·_CAEPIO·_Q
crescent? below (off flan)
two questors seated left between two stalks of grain
AD·FRV·EMV / EX·S·C
¹Crawford 330/1b, SRCV I 210, Sydenham 603a, RSC I Calpurnia 5a
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
4,2g
ex Aureo & Calicó

This exceptional type was a joint issue of the Quaestor Urbanus (Caepio) and the Quaestor Ostiensis (Piso), struck to finance discounted grain on the initiative of Saturninus (lex frumentaria de semissibus et trientibus = one semis and one triens for modius). Coins were struck by special decree of the Senate (Ad frumentum emundun, ex senatus consulto) in order to fulfill above-mentioned decree.
Johny SYSEL
104.jpg
L. Memmius Gal, Denarius23 viewsL. Memmius Gal(eria tribu), Denarius

RRC 313/1c
106 bc

Av: Head of Saturn l; behind harpa and ROMA,
Rv: Venus in biga r., holding sceptre and reins; above, flying Cupid with wreath; below, control letter; in ex., L MEMMI / GAL.


Ex Bertolami Fine arts, Auction 24, Numismatics, London, 23.06.2016, #414
1 commentsNorbert
1472_L__Memmius_Gallus.jpg
L. Memmius Galeria - AR serratus denarius12 viewsTransalpine Gaul or Sardinia
Roma
¹103 BC
²106 BC
laureate head of Saturn left harpa
ROMA
Venus in slow biga right holding scepter and reins; above Cupid flying left, holding wreath
· / Q
L·(ME)MMI
GAL
¹Crawford 313/1c; BMCRR I 1353 (also pellet / Q); Sydenham 574a; RSC I Memmia 2a
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
ex Bertolami
Johny SYSEL
_MG_2170.JPG
L. Memmius Galeria.23 viewsAR denarius. 106 BC. 3,86 grs. Laureate head of Saturn left. V below chin, ROMA and harpa behind / Venus in biga right. Cupid flying above, holding laurel wreath. L MEMMI GAL in two lines in exergue ( ME ligate).
Crawford 313/1b. RSC Memmia 2.
benito
57.jpg
L.C.PISO AND Q.S.CAEPIO.25 viewsAR denarius. 100 BC. 3.90 grs. Head of Saturn right. Harpa and PISO behind . CAEPIO and symbol below. Q below chin. / The two quaestors (Piso and Caepio) seated left between two corn ears. AD.FRV.EMV. / EX. S.C in two lines below.
Craw 330/1a. RSC Calpurnia 5.
NAC 40. Lot 441.
benito
00pisocaepio.jpg
L.C.PISO AND Q.S.CAEPIO. 38 viewsAR denarius. 100 BC. 3.90 grs. Head of Saturn right. Harpa and PISO behind . CAEPIO and symbol below. Q below chin. / The two quaestors (Piso and Caepio) seated left between two corn ears. AD.FRV.EMV. / EX. S.C in two lines below.
Craw 330/1a. RSC Calpurnia 5.
NAC 40. Lot 441.
benito
larissa_kremaste.jpg
Larissa Kremaste, AE14; Nymph right/ ΛΑΡ and harpa inside olive-wreath7 viewsThessaly, Larissa Kremaste, 302-286 B.C. Bronze AE 14, SGCV I 2135, VF, slightly rough, weight 2.998g, maximum diameter 15.1mm, 302 - 286 B.C.; obverse head of nymph right; reverse ΛΑΡ and harpa inside olive-wreath; Larissa Kremaste was built on a height in the south of Thessaly. The harpa, a denticulated sickle, is one of the symbols of Saturn who used it to mutilate his father, Uranus. Ex ForumPodiceps
Saturninus_P.jpg
Lucius Appuleius Saturninus - AR denarius9 viewsRome
²101 BC
¹104 BC
helmeted head of Roma left
Saturn in quadriga right holding harpa and reins
.
·P
L·SATVRN
¹Crawford 317/3a, SRCV I 193, Sydenham 578, RSC I Appuleia 1
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
3,66g 19-17mm

According Richard Schaefer it's the first known example of these dies. Dies differ from ·P thus there, most probably, is dot above P although unfortunately off flan.

As quaestor Saturninus superintended the imports of grain at Ostia, but had been removed by the Roman Senate (an unusual proceeding), and replaced by Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, one of the chief members of the Optimates. Standard view is that injustice of his dismissal drove him into the arms of the Populares. In 103 BC he was elected tribune. Marius, on his return to Rome after his victory over the Cimbri, finding himself isolated in the senate, entered into a compact with Saturninus and his ally Gaius Servilius Glaucia, and the three formed a kind of triumvirate, supported by the veterans of Marius and many of the common people. By the aid of bribery and assassination Marius was elected (100 BC) consul for the sixth time, Glaucia praetor, and Saturninus tribune for the second time. Marius, finding himself overshadowed by his colleagues and compromised by their excesses, thought seriously of breaking with them, and Saturninus and Glaucia saw that their only hope of safety lay in their retention of office. Saturninus was elected tribune for the third time for the year beginning December 10, 100, and Glaucia, although at the time praetor and therefore not eligible until after the lapse of 2 years, was a candidate for the consulship. Marcus Antonius Orator was elected without opposition; the other Optimate candidate, Gaius Memmius, who seemed to have the better chance of success, was beaten to death by the hired agents of Saturninus and Glaucia, while the voting was actually going on. This produced a complete revulsion of public feeling. The Senate met on the following day, declared Saturninus and Glaucia public enemies, and called upon Marius to defend the State. Marius had no alternative but to obey. Saturninus, defeated in a pitched battle in the Roman Forum (December 10), took refuge with his followers in the Capitol, where, the water supply having been cut off, they were forced to capitulate. Marius, having assured them that their lives would be spared, removed them to the Curia Hostilia, intending to proceed against them according to law. But the more impetuous members of the aristocratic party climbed onto the roof, stripped off the tiles, and stoned Saturninus and many others to death. Glaucia, who had escaped into a house, was dragged out and killed. (wikipedia)
Johny SYSEL
Saturninus_T~0.jpg
Lucius Appuleius Saturninus - AR denarius18 viewsRome
²101 BC
¹104 BC
helmeted head of Roma left
Saturn in quadriga right holding harpa and reins
·T·
L·SATVRN
¹Crawford 317/3a, SRCV I 193, Sydenham 578, RSC I Appuleia 1
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
3,44g 19,5-18,5mm

As quaestor Saturninus superintended the imports of grain at Ostia, but had been removed by the Roman Senate (an unusual proceeding), and replaced by Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, one of the chief members of the Optimates. Standard view is that injustice of his dismissal drove him into the arms of the Populares. In 103 BC he was elected tribune. Marius, on his return to Rome after his victory over the Cimbri, finding himself isolated in the senate, entered into a compact with Saturninus and his ally Gaius Servilius Glaucia, and the three formed a kind of triumvirate, supported by the veterans of Marius and many of the common people. By the aid of bribery and assassination Marius was elected (100 BC) consul for the sixth time, Glaucia praetor, and Saturninus tribune for the second time. Marius, finding himself overshadowed by his colleagues and compromised by their excesses, thought seriously of breaking with them, and Saturninus and Glaucia saw that their only hope of safety lay in their retention of office. Saturninus was elected tribune for the third time for the year beginning December 10, 100, and Glaucia, although at the time praetor and therefore not eligible until after the lapse of 2 years, was a candidate for the consulship. Marcus Antonius Orator was elected without opposition; the other Optimate candidate, Gaius Memmius, who seemed to have the better chance of success, was beaten to death by the hired agents of Saturninus and Glaucia, while the voting was actually going on. This produced a complete revulsion of public feeling. The Senate met on the following day, declared Saturninus and Glaucia public enemies, and called upon Marius to defend the State. Marius had no alternative but to obey. Saturninus, defeated in a pitched battle in the Roman Forum (December 10), took refuge with his followers in the Capitol, where, the water supply having been cut off, they were forced to capitulate. Marius, having assured them that their lives would be spared, removed them to the Curia Hostilia, intending to proceed against them according to law. But the more impetuous members of the aristocratic party climbed onto the roof, stripped off the tiles, and stoned Saturninus and many others to death. Glaucia, who had escaped into a house, was dragged out and killed. (wikipedia)
Johny SYSEL
M__Nonius_Sufenas~0.JPG
M Nonius Sufenas12 viewsThe reverse honors the praetor, Sextus Nonius Sufenas, nephew of Sulla, who initiated the victory games in 81 B.C.
81990. Silver denarius, SRCV 377, Sydenham 885, Crawford 421/1, RSC I Nonia 1, VF, Rome mint, 3.545g, 18.4mm, 0o, 59 A.D.; obverse head of Saturn right, harpa, conical stone and S C behind, SVFENAS before; reverse Roma on left seated left, Victory standing left behind crowns her with wreath in right and holds palm frond over shoulder in left, PR•L•V•P•F around, SEX•NONI in exergue;
Romanorvm
521,1_Nonius_Sufenas.jpg
M. Nonius Sufenas - AR denarius9 viewsRome
¹56 BC
²59 BC
head of Saturn right, harpa and conical stone left
S·C SVFENAS
Victory standing left holding wreath and palm, crowning Roma seated left on pile of arms holding scepter and sword
·PR·L ·V· P·F
SEX·NONI
¹Crawford 421/1, SRCV I 377, Sydenham 885, RSC I Nonia 1
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
4,0g
ex Rauch

Moneyer's ancestor Sextus Nonius Sufetas, Sulla's nephew, held ludi Victoriae Sullanae for the first time in 81 BC. SEX·NONI·PR·L·V·P·F = Sextus Nonius Praetor Ludos Victoriae Primus Fecit. Games were held to honor Sulla's victory at Colline gate in november 82 BC. Since then games were held every year 16.10.-1.11. Moneyer became praetor in 55 BC.
Johny SYSEL
0146.jpg
M. Nonius Sufenas, Denarius 0 viewsM. Nonius Sufenas, Denarius

RRC: 421/1
59 bc
3,79 gr

AV: Bearded head of Saturn right, SVFENAS before, harpa, conical stone and S C behind.
RV: Roma seated left on cuirass and shield, crowned by Victory standing behind her; PR L V P F around, SEX NONI in exergue.

ex Gemini, Auct XIV, Lot 410, 18.04.2018
reported as: "Ex Berk 164, 20 May 2009, lot 300".
Norbert
combined~29.jpg
M. Nonius Sufenas. AR Denarius circa 59 BCE. 29 viewsM. Nonius Sufenas. AR Denarius circa 59 BCE.

Obverse - SVFENAS – S·C Head of Saturn r.; in l. field, harpa and conical stone.

Reverse - PR·L·V·P·F Roma seated l. on pile of arms, holding sceptre and sword, crowned by Victory standing behind her; in exergue, SEX·NONI.

3,8 g, 19,85mm.


-Denarius of Marcus Nonius Sufenas, 59 BC. Saturn is portrayed on the obverse while the reverse depicts Victoria crowning Roma. The legend "Sex(tus) Noni(us) Pr(aetor) L(udos) V(ictoriae) P(rimus) F(ecit)" tells that Sufenas' father, the praetor Sextus Nonius established the Ludi Victoriae Sullanae in 81 BC.
The gens Nonia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Its members first appear in history toward the end of the Republic. The first of the Nonii to obtain the consulship was Lucius Nonius Asprenas in 36 BC. From then until the end of the fourth century, they regularly held the highest offices of the Roman state.
Flamur H
ANTLEGXVI.jpg
Mark Antony Legionary Denarius LEG XVI53 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C
Galley right mast with banners at prow

LEG XVI
legionary eagle between two standards


Patrae mint

32-31BC

3.26g

Ex- Tom Cederlind

The 16th was founded by Julius Caesar in 54 BC. It is believed to have been granted "Flavia" title by Domitian in 89 AD following the Saturninus revolt.
1 commentsJay GT4
megalopolis-arkadia-triobol.jpg
Megalopolis, Arkadia, AR Triobol6 viewsAncient Greek, Autonomous Megalopolis, Arkadia, AR Triobol, 18mm, 2.2g, 8h

Obverse: Laureate head of Zeus left.

Reverse: MEΓ, Pan seated left on rock, his right hand raised and his left holding lagobolon; above his knees, eagle; to left, monogram.

Reference: Pending.

Ex: CoinTalk Secret Saturnalia 2018, Jaz Numismatics, Charles Reeves

https://www.cointalk.com/threads/secret-saturnalia-2018.326383/
Gil-galad
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
[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
AntoSe08-2.jpg
Ops138 viewsorichalcum sestertius (24.0g, 33mm, 6h) Rome mint. Struck AD 140-144
ANTONINVS AVG PI[-]VS P P TR P COS III laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right
OPI AVG / S C [in ex.] Ops seated left, holding sceptre, left hand drawing back drapery.
RIC 612 (Scarce); Cohen 569 (fr.8); BMC 1258-62; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 130:67

Ops stands for plenty, properity, power, fertility... Her cult goes back to the earliest times, supposedly founded by Romulus. She is the wife of Saturn, sometimes equated with Cybele. Appears on Roman coins only twice (also on issues of Pertinax). The issue under A. Pius is most probably associated with the 900th anniversary of Rome.
1 commentsCharles S
philip-ii-princepi-secret-saturnalia.jpg
Philip II as Caesar (247-249 AD), AR Antoninianus21 viewsRoman Imperial, Philip II as Caesar (247-249 AD), AR Antoninianus

Obverse: M IVL PHILPPVS CAES, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.

Reverse: PRINCIPI IVVENT, The prince standing left, holding globe and spear.

Reference: RIC 218d, RSC 48.

Ex: Coin Talk - Secret Saturnalia - https://www.cointalk.com/threads/its-that-time-of-year-again-my-friends-secret-saturnalia.305362/
Gil-galad
SeptimiusPisidiaAntiochAE22.jpg
Pisidia, Antioch. Septimius Severus. 198-217 AD. 105 viewsPisidia, Antioch. Septimius Severus. 198-217 AD. AE 22mm (5.21 gm). Obverse: Laureate, head left. Reverse: Mên standing facing, head right, foot on bucranium, holding sceptre and Nike on globe; cock at feet left. SNG France 3, 1118. Cleaning scratches, very fine. Ex Tom Vossen.

De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

Introduction
Lucius Septimius Severus restored stability to the Roman empire after the tumultuous reign of the emperor Commodus and the civil wars that erupted in the wake of Commodus' murder. However, by giving greater pay and benefits to soldiers and annexing the troublesome lands of northern Mesopotamia into the Roman empire, Septimius Severus brought increasing financial and military burdens to Rome's government. His prudent administration allowed these burdens to be met during his eighteen years on the throne, but his reign was not entirely sunny. The bloodiness with which Severus gained and maintained control of the empire tarnished his generally positive reputation.

Severus' Early Life and Acclamation
Severus was born 11 April 145 in the African city of Lepcis Magna, whose magnificent ruins are located in modern Libya, 130 miles east of Tripoli. Septimius Severus came from a distinguished local family with cousins who received suffect consulships in Rome under Antoninus Pius. The future emperor's father seems not to have held any major offices, but the grandfather may have been the wealthy equestrian Septimius Severus commemorated by the Flavian-era poet Statius.

The future emperor was helped in his early career by one of his consular cousins, who arranged entry into the senate and the favor of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Life as a senator meant a life of travel from one government posting to another. Moorish attacks on his intended post of Baetica (southern Spain) forced Severus to serve his quaestorship in Sardinia. He then traveled to Africa as a legate and returned to Rome to be a tribune of the plebs. Around the year 175 he married Paccia Marciana, who seems also to have been of African origin. The childless marriage lasted a decade or so until her death.

Severus' career continued to flourish as the empire passed from Marcus to Commodus. The young senator held a praetorship, then served in Spain, commanded a legion in Syria and held the governorships of Gallia Lugdunensis (central France), Sicily and Upper Pannonia (easternmost Austria and western Hungary). While in Gallia Lugdunensis in 187, the now-widowed future emperor married Julia Domna, a woman from a prominent family of the Syrian city of Emesa. Two sons quickly arrived, eleven months apart: Bassianus (known to history as Caracalla) in April of the year 188, and Geta in March 189.

News of Pertinax's assassination 28 March 193 in an uprising by the praetorian guard quickly reached Pannonia, and only twelve days later on 9 April 193, Severus was proclaimed emperor. Septimius Severus had the strong support of the armies along the Rhine and Danube, but the loyalty of the governor of Britain, Clodius Albinus, was in doubt. Severus' envoys from Pannonia offered Albinus the title of Caesar, which he accepted.

The Civil Wars with Albinus, Niger, and Didius Julianus
In the city of Rome, Didius Julianus gained the support of the praetorian troops and was promoted as the successor to Pertinax. Although Julianus' authority did not extend much beyond Italy, Severus understood that legitimacy for a Roman emperor meant having one's authority accepted in Rome. He and his army began a swift march to the city. They met practically no resistance on their advance from Pannonia into northern Italy, as Julianus' supporters defected. By the beginning of June when Severus reached Interamna, 50 miles north of Rome, even the praetorian guard stationed in the capital switched sides. Didius Julianus was declared a public enemy and killed. Septimius Severus entered Rome without a fight.

Civil war was not yet over. Another provincial governor also had his eyes on the throne. In Syria, Pescennius Niger had been proclaimed emperor on news of Pertinax's death, and the eastern provinces quickly went under his authority. Byzantium became Niger's base of operations as he prepared to fight the armies of the west loyal to Severus.

Niger was unable to maintain further advances into Europe. The fighting moved to the Asian shore of the Propontis, and in late December 193 or early January 194, Niger was defeated in a battle near Nicaea and fled south. Asia and Bithynia fell under Severus' control, and Egypt soon recognized Severus' authority. By late spring, Niger was defeated near Issus and the remainder of his support collapsed. Syria was pacified. Niger was killed fleeing Antioch. Byzantium, however, refused to surrender to Severan forces. Niger's head was sent to the city to persuade the besieged citizens to give up, but to no avail. The Byzantines held out for another year before surrender. As punishment for their stubbornness, the walls of their city were destroyed.

Severus' Eastern Campaigns
During the fighting, two of the peoples of upper Mesopotamia -- the Osrhoeni and the Adiabeni -- captured some Roman garrisons and made an unsuccessful attack on the Roman-allied city of Nisibis. After the defeat of Niger, these peoples offered to return Roman captives and what remained of the seized treasures if the remaining Roman garrisons were removed from the region. Severus refused the offer and prepared for war against the two peoples, as well as against an Arabian tribe that had aided Niger. In the spring of 195, Severus marched an army through the desert into upper Mesopotamia. The native peoples quickly surrendered, and Severus added to his name the victorious titles Arabicus and Adiabenicus. Much of the upper third of Mesopotamia was organized as a Roman province, though the king of Osrhoene was allowed to retain control of a diminished realm.

The tottering Parthian empire was less and less able to control those peoples living in the border regions with Rome. Rome's eastern frontier was entering a period of instability, and Severus responded with an interventionist policy of attack and annexation. Some senators feared that increased involvement in Mesopotamia would only embroil Rome in local squabbles at great expense. The emperor, however, would remain consistent in his active eastern policy.

Legitimization of the Severan Dynasty
Severus also took steps to cement his legitimacy as emperor by connecting himself to the Antonine dynasty. Severus now proclaimed himself the son of Marcus Aurelius, which allowed him to trace his authority, through adoption, back to the emperor Nerva. Julia Domna was awarded the title "Mother of the Camp" (mater castrorum), a title only previously given to the empress Faustina the Younger, Marcus' wife. Bassianus, the emperor's elder son, was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and given the title Caesar. It was this last step that marked a decisive break with Albinus.

Albinus had remained in Britain as governor during the struggles between Severus and Niger. Although Albinus had not attempted open revolt against the emperor, he seems to have been in communication with senators about future moves. By the end of 195, Albinus was declared a public enemy by Severus. The governor of Britain responded by proclaiming himself emperor and invading Gaul.

A weary Roman populace used the anonymity of the crowd at the chariot races to complain about renewed civil war, but it was Gaul that bore the brunt of the fighting. Albinus and his supporters were able to inflict losses on the occasion of the initial attacks, but disorder was so great that opportunistic soldiers could easily operate on their own within the lands under Albinus' nominal control.

The tide began to turn early in 197, and after a Severan victory at Tournus, Albinus found himself and his army trapped near Lyon. A battle broke out 19 February 197. In the initial fighting, Albinus' troops forced the Severans into retreat, during which Severus fell off his horse. When the Severan cavalry appeared, however, Albinus' army was routed. Lyon was sacked and Albinus, who was trapped in a house along the river Rhône, committed suicide. Severus ordered Albinus' head to be cut off and sent to Rome for display. Many of Albinus' supporters were killed, including a large number of Spanish and Gallic aristocrats. Albinus' wife and children were killed, as were many of the wives of his supporters. Tradition also told of the mutilation of bodies and denial of proper burial. The emperor revealed a penchant for cruelty that troubled even his fervent supporters. A purge of the senate soon followed. Included among the victims was Pertinax's father-in-law, Sulpicianus.

Severus and the Roman Military
Severus brought many changes to the Roman military. Soldiers' pay was increased by half, they were allowed to be married while in service, and greater opportunities were provided for promotion into officer ranks and the civil service. The entire praetorian guard, discredited by the murder of Pertinax and the auctioning of their support to Julianus, was dismissed. The emperor created a new, larger praetorian guard out of provincial soldiers from the legions. Increases were also made to the two other security forces based in Rome: the urban cohorts, who maintained order; and the night watch, who fought fires and dealt with overnight disturbances, break-ins and other petty crime. These military reforms proved expensive, but the measures may well have increased soldiers' performance and morale in an increasingly unsettled age.

One location that remained unsettled was the eastern frontier. In 197 Nisibis had again been under siege, and the emperor prepared for another eastern campaign. Three new legions were raised, though one was left behind in central Italy to maintain order. The Roman armies easily swept through upper Mesopotamia, traveling down the Euphrates to sack Seleucia, Babylon and Ctesiphon, which had been abandoned by the Parthian king Vologaeses V. On 28 January 198 -- the centenary of Trajan's accession -- Severus took the victorious title Parthicus Maximus and promoted both of his sons: Caracalla to the rank of Augustus and Geta to the rank of Caesar.

Before embarking on the eastern campaign, the emperor had named Gaius Fulvius Plautianus as a praetorian prefect. Plautianus came from the emperor's home town of Lepcis, and the prefect may even have been a relative of the emperor. The victories in Mesopotamia were followed by tours of eastern provinces, including Egypt. Plautianus accompanied Severus throughout the travels, and by the year 201 Plautianus was the emperor's closest confidant and advisor. Plautianus was also praetorian prefect without peer after having arranged the murder of his last colleague in the post.

Upon the return to Rome in 202, the influence of Plautianus was at its height. Comparisons were made with Sejanus, the powerful praetorian prefect under the emperor Tiberius. Plautianus, who earlier had been adlected into the senate, was now awarded consular rank, and his daughter Plautilla was married to Caracalla. The wealth Plautianus had acquired from his close connection with the emperor enabled him to provide a dowry said to have been worthy of fifty princesses. Celebrations and games also marked the decennalia, the beginning of the tenth year of Severus' reign. Later in the year the enlarged imperial family traveled to Lepcis, where native sons Severus and Plautianus could display their prestige and power.

The following year the imperial family returned to Rome, where an arch, still standing today, was dedicated to the emperor at the western end of the Forum. Preparations were also being made for the Secular Games, which were thought to have originated in earliest Rome and were to be held every 110 years. Augustus celebrated the Secular Games in 17 B.C., and Domitian in A.D. 88, six years too early. (Claudius used the excuse of Rome's 800th year to hold the games in A.D. 47.) In 204 Severus would preside over ten days of ceremonies and spectacles.

By the end of 204, Plautianus was finding his influence with the emperor on the wane. Caracalla was not happy to be the husband of Plautilla. Julia Domna resented Plautianus' criticisms and investigations against her. Severus was tiring of his praetorian prefect's ostentation, which at times seemed to surpass that of the emperor himself. The emperor's ailing brother, Geta, also denounced Plautianus, and after Geta's death the praetorian prefect found himself being bypassed by the emperor. In January 205 a soldier named Saturninus revealed to the emperor a plot by Plautianus to have Severus and Caracalla killed. Plautianus was summoned to the imperial palace and executed. His children were exiled, and Caracalla divorced Plautilla. Some observers suspected the story of a plot was merely a ruse to cover up long-term plans for Plautianus' removal.

Severus and Roman Law
Two new praetorian prefects were named to replace Plautianus, one of whom was the eminent jurist Papinian. The emperor's position as ultimate appeals judge had brought an ever-increasing legal workload to his office. During the second century, a career path for legal experts was established, and an emperor came to rely heavily upon his consilium, an advisory panel of experienced jurists, in rendering decisions. Severus brought these jurists to even greater prominence. A diligent administrator and conscientious judge, the emperor appreciated legal reasoning and nurtured its development. His reign ushered in the golden age of Roman jurisprudence, and his court employed the talents of the three greatest Roman lawyers: Papinian, Paul and Ulpian.

The order Severus was able to impose on the empire through both the force of arms and the force of law failed to extend to his own family. His now teenaged sons, Caracalla and Geta, displayed a reckless sibling rivalry that sometimes resulted in physical injury. The emperor believed the lack of responsibilities in Rome contributed to the ill-will between his sons and decided that the family would travel to Britain to oversee military operations there. Caracalla was involved in directing the army's campaigns, while Geta was given civilian authority and a promotion to joint emperor with his father and brother.

Severus was now into his 60s. Chronic gout limited his activities and sapped his strength. The emperor's health continued to deteriorate in Britain, and he became ever more intent on trying to improve the bitter relationship between his two sons. He is reported to have given his sons three pieces of advice: "Get along; pay off the soldiers; and disregard everyone else." The first piece of advice would not be heeded.

Severus died in York on 4 February 211 at the age of 65. His reign lasted nearly 18 years, a duration that would not be matched until Diocletian. Culturally and ideologically Septimius Severus connected his reign to the earlier Antonine era, but the reforms he enacted would eventually alter the very character of Roman government. By creating a larger and more expensive army and increasing the influence of lawyers in administration, Severus planted the seeds that would develop into the highly militaristic and bureaucratic government of the later empire.

Copyright (C) 1998, Michael L. Meckler. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/sepsev.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Probus_RIC_V,_II_213.jpg
Probus, AE Antoninianus, RIC V, II 213 Rome, Victory3 viewsProbus
Augustus, 276 - 282 A.D.

Coin: AE Antoninianus, commemorates the defeat of the usurpers, Julius Saturninus, Proculus and Bonosus in 281 A.D.

Obverse: IMP PROB - VS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust facing right. Seen from the front.
Reverse: VICTO - RIA AVG, Victoria, advancing to the left, holding out a Wreath with her right hand and with her left, holding a Trophy over her left shoulder.

Weight: 3.86 g, Diameter: 22.8 x 22.6 x 1.2 mm, Die axis: 340°, Mintmark: R∍∊S (Rome), struck in 281 A.D. Reference:
RIC V, II 213 Rome
Masis
Gallienus_08.jpg
RIC 5a, p.184, 606 - Gallienus, Saturn27 viewsGallienus
Billon-Antoninian, Antiochia
Obv.: GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate and cuirassed bust right
Rev.: AETERNITAS AVG, Saturn standing l., holding harpa; PXV.
Billon, 3.07g, 19.2mm
Ref.: Kamp. 90.41.2, RIC 606, Göbl 1662k
Ex Dionysos Numismatik
1 commentsshanxi
32887_4.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, "Anonymous" Staff and Club Series, AE Semis - Crawford 106var25 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous Staff and Club Series, 208 BCE.
AE Semis (16.22g; 28mm).
Etrurian Mint.

Obverse: Laureate head of Saturn, facing right; S (mark-of-value) behind

Reverse: Prow right; S (mark-of-value) above; ROMA below.

References: Crawford106/5 var (no symbol above prow); McCabe Group E1.

Provenance: Ex Naville 48 (7 Apr 2019) Lot 326; Otto Collection [Hess (Dec 1931), Lot 822]; Niklovitz Collection [L. Hamburger 76 (19 Oct 1925), Lot 240].

In "Roman Republican Coinage", Michael Crawford recognized many silver “symbol” Republican series for which there were parallel “anonymous” types omitting the symbols. In his article “Unpublished Roman Republican Bronze Coins” (Essays Hersh, 1998), Roberto Russo noted that the parallel issue of anonymous silver coins to series with symbols applies equally to the bronze coins. (Essays Hersh, 1998, p. 141). Andrew McCabe takes this approach much further in his article “The Anonymous Struck Bronze Coinage of the Roman Republic” (Essays Russo, 2013) in which he links many of the anonymous Republican bronzes to symbol series based on precise style considerations. The takeaway from all this is that for many of the Roman Republican symbol series of the late Second Punic War and early 2nd Century BCE, there are parallel anonymous series identifiable by style. The rationale for these parallel issues is unclear, though possibly related to (a) governmental approvals for the issue or (b) mint control of the metal source from which the issue was struck or (c) workshop identification.

This coin is an anonymous version (missing symbol) of the Staff and Club Semis of the Crawford 106 series, produced in Etruria. It is identical in style to the Etrurian Staff and Club coins and only misses the symbols. Not surprisingly, these coins are commonly misattributed as Crawford 56 anonymous bronzes.
1 commentsCarausius
rrepde28-2.jpg
Roman Republic, 106 BC, Memmia9 viewsAR Denarius (3.7g, mm, 18.8mm, 3h). Rome mint. Struck 106 BC.
Obv. ROMA and harpa behind laureate head of Saturn, facing left.
Rev. L·MEMMI / GAL [in ex.] Venus in biga advancing r.; Cupid flying above; letter below horses.
Seaby (Roman Silver Coins I.): 2a; Monneyer: L.Memmius Galeria. Venus was the tutelary divinity of the Memmia gens.
Charles S
Roman_Republic_Bronze_Semis.png
Roman Republic, Anonymous AE Semis202 viewsState : Roman Republic
Denomination : Bronze Semis
Date : Circa 211-206 BC
Maximum Diameter : 28.97 Millimeters
Weight : 19.78 Grames
Moneyer : ( anonymous)
Mint : Rome
Die Axis : →
Grade : Almost EF with smooth dark patina , an exceptionally fine example of this early issue.
Obverse : Laureate head of bearded Saturn Right, mark of value S behind
Reverse : Prow of galley right, mark of value S above , ROMA below.
References : Crawford 56/3 ; BMCRR 229 ; Sydenham 143a ; Sear ( Roman Coins & Their Values I ) 766
This Coin has been personally inspected and authenticated by Dr. David R. Sear as an exceptional fine example of this early struck issue.

**Numismatic Note by Mr. Andrew McCabe :



Dear Sam,

This exceptional looking semis is an anonymous version of the Crawford 50 anchor series, published by me in The Anonymous Struck Bronze Coinage of the Roman Republic: a Provisional Arrangement, in Essays Russo, 2013 (Witschonke, van Alfen eds). It's in my group D, whose description says

McCabe group D1, Related to RRC 50 anchor. Broad squared Janus, tall thick prowstem, prominent keel and rostrum. Average 40 gram As. Asses have a broad square Janus head. Reverses have tall thick prowstems which are either line bounded or solid fill. There are often curved keel lines with downward pointing rostrums. The deck structures are small and flat-topped. Flans are thick and dumpy. There are often off-strikes, flat-strikes or flan defects.

I show below pictures of two styles of As and Semis from this series. The two styles probably relate to two different die engravers. Your coin corresponds to the second of the semisses shown below. I admit I considered buying it myself but wondered whether the field surfaces were smoothed, and then you bought it. Now I see the coin again I think there's no problem with it, it's likely been professionally cleaned and patinated. It is a very high quality coin for a Roman Republican bronze.

Below my Group D photo, I show a standard Crawford 50/3 anchor as, with the symbol. You should hopefully see that the anonymous and the coin with anchor symbol look essentially similar as regards style, design details and flans.

Andrew

For more information , please go to :

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=100262.msg618261#msg618261


Numismatic Note: The rapid slide in the weight standard of the Roman Republican bronze coinage, occasioned by Rome's military
catastrophes at the hands of the Carthaginian Hannibal in the early stages of the Second Punic War, was finally halted by the enactment of the sweeping currency reform of circa 211 BC. For the first time asses were issued as struck coins in place of the cast Aes Grave pieces, thus completing the process which had begun about six years before with the introduction of struck fractional denominations. Following the reform, struck bronzes were produced in a range of values (principally as, semis, triens, quadrans, sextans, and uncia) on the sextantal weight standard based on an as of about 44 grams. The initial issues were anonymous but as the series progressed, various control-marks (symbols, letters and monograms) began to appear, usually on the reverse, indicating the moneyer responsible for the coin's production. This exceptionally fine example of the semis, or half as, is anonymous and belongs to the initial phase of production following the reform of circa 211 BC. Crawford dates it to the half decade 211-206 BC.
The obverse type of Saturn, father of Jupiter, became standard on the semis denomination about 225 BC and at the same time the reverse type for all bronze denominations was standardized as the prow of a galley, the principal instrument of Rome's success against Carthage in the First Punic War.

From Sam Mansourati Collection.
5 commentsSam
Rome,_Anonymous_AE_Semis_211-210_BCjpg~0.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous AE Semis, 211-210 BC, 49 viewsLaureate head of Saturn right, S behind. / Prow of galley right, S above, ROMA monogram before prow, ROMA in exergue. South Italian mint. (29 mm, 36.12 g, 12h).
Crawford 84/5; Sydenham 190a; BMCRR Italy 193; Sear (Millennium) 789.
ex- Gibboni Collection

There were various emissions of this coin type during the transitional period in which cast and struck bronze coins of larger denomination co-existed. This is an example that was struck on a cast flan. Based on hoard finds and overstrikes, issues of this coin were made in Sicily and southern Italy. This coin is an example of the latter.
Lloyd T
römer_republik_semis.jpg
Roman Republic, Anonymous Semis34 viewsAE-Semis, 26mm, 20,35 g.
Rome, after 211 BC.
Obv.: S
Laureate head of Saturn r.
Rev.: ROMA / S
Prow r.
ref.: Cr. 56/3; BMC 229.
Mithras.de
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Roman Republic, Gens: Appuleia, Lucius Appuleius Saturninus, AR Denarius.6 viewsRome 104 B.C. 3.77g - 19mm, Axis 8h.

Obv: Helmeted head of Roma left.

Rev: L•SATVRN - Saturn driving quadriga right, holding harpa and reins. Control letter E with three pellets, below L•SATVRN.

Appuleia 1; Crawford 317/3b; Sydenham 578a.
Christian Scarlioli
AesGraveProwSemis.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Janus/Prow Series, Aes Grave Semis - Crawford 35/222 viewsRome, The Republic.
Janus/Prow Series, circa 225-217 BCE.
AE Aes Grave Semis (135.3g; 52mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Laureate head of Saturn, facing left; S (mark of value) below neck; all on raised disk.

Reverse: Prow facing right; S (mark of value) above; all on raised disk.

References: Crawford 35/2; ICC 76; Sydenham 73; BMCRR 23-29.

Provenance: Ex Munzen und Medaillen GmbH, Auction 40 (4 Jun 2014), Lot 455; Auctiones AG Auction 13 (1983), Lot 505.

The prow series of libral Aes Grave was a very large issue. E.J. Haeberlin included over 300 examples of the Semis in the weight analysis within his monumental "Aes Grave". The Prow series Aes Grave was initially based on an As of about 270 grams. The iconography likely refers to the role of Rome's new and powerful navy in the victory over Carthage in the First Punic War. Both obverse and reverse iconography from the various denominations of this series would continue through the Republican struck bronze coinage.
1 commentsCarausius
coin012.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, L. Appuleius Saturninus - Saturn & quadriga - 104BC, AR Denarius91 viewsObv: Head of Roma l.
Rev: Saturn in quadriga r. holding falx; in ex "L. SATURN", control letter P under horses.
3.91g - 18mm - s.193
3 commentsjerseyjohnjames
4425066l.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, L. Appuleius Saturninus, AR Denarius - Crawford 317/216 viewsRome, The Republic.
L. Appuleius Saturninus, 101 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.92g; 18mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Saturn driving fast quadriga right, holding harpa; ROMA in exergue.

Reverse: Saturn driving fast quadriga right, holding harpa; ·V below; L·SATVRN in exergue.

References: Crawford 317/2; Sydenham 580 (R6); BMCRR 1561-3; Appuleia 3.

Provenance: Ex P&P Santamaria (4 May 1961) Lot 150.

The type is one of an interesting series of three types by Saturninus, two of which depict Saturn as a naming pun. The first of the three types is a standard Roma head/quadriga; the second has Roma heads on both sides of the coin; the third (this coin) has quadrigae on both sides of the coin. The letter control marks on this double-quadriga type are unique to each die.  Crawford attributed Saturninus' coinage to 104 BCE; but H.B. Mattingly, in Essays Hersh (1998), argues for a slightly later date based on a consensus that Saturninus was Quaestor in 104 BCE. 

Saturninus was Quaestor in 104 BCE and Tribune of the Plebs in 103 and 100 BCE. He was a supporter of Marius and as Tribune he engaged in a series of aggressive political maneuvers including introducing land grants for Marius’ veterans. During an election, he arranged the brutal murder of the political rival of one of his allies, and this proved to be his downfall. Cornered and captured by a militia assembled by Marius himself, Saturninus and his conspirators were ultimately killed by a lynch mob.
1 commentsCarausius
3854366_m.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, L. Appuleius Saturninus, AR Denarius - Crawford 317/3a9 viewsRome. The Repubic.
L. Appuleius Saturninus, 101 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.88g; 18mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma, facing left.

Reverse: Saturn holding harpa in fast quadriga galloping right; pellet and sideways E, above; L·SATVRN below.

References: Crawford 317/3a; Sydenham 578; BMCRR 1533 var (dot to left of control letter); Appuleia 1.

Provenance: Ex Stöcklin Family Collection [Nomos 14 (17 May 2017) Lot 229].

The moneyer was L. Appuleius Saturninus, who was Quaestor and twice Tribune near the close of the second century BCE. Crawford attributed the coinage to 104 BCE; but H.B. Mattingly, in Essays Hersh (1998), argues for a slightly later date based on a consensus that Saturninus was Quaestor in 104 BCE. This was a large issue with Crawford estimating 370 obverse dies and 462 reverse dies. No reverse control mark has more than one die. Given the large number of reverse dies, the control marks get somewhat convoluted, with letters in various orientations and combined with one or more pellets. The type, bearing Saturn, is certainly a pun on the moneyer’s name (Saturninus); a common practice among both Greek and Roman coin producers (see, e.g., Greek coins of Selinos bearing celery plants and Roman coins of Q. Pomponius Musa bearing the Muses).
Carausius
spanish_semis_k.jpg
Roman Republic. Anonymous. Spanish imitation.7 viewsÆ semis, 21 mm, 4.9g, 1h; after 211 BC.
Obv.: Laureate head of Saturn right; S (mark of value) behind.
Rev.: Prow of galley right; S (mark of value) above; ROMA beneath.
Reference: ACIP 2659; Burgos R44 / 17-101-55
John Anthony
Sydenham-578a.jpg
Roman Republic: Lucius Appuleius Saturninus (104 BCE) AR Denarius, Rome (Crawford 317/3b; Sydenham 578a; Appuleia 1; RBW-1171)28 viewsObv: Helmeted head of Roma left
Rev: Saturn, holding harpa and reigns, driving quadriga right; L below horses; L•SATVRN in exergue
1 commentsQuant.Geek
semis.jpg
Roman Republican AE Semis123 viewsRoman Republic, Anonymous . 2nd Century BC . Æ Semis (11.45g).
Obverse- Head of Saturn right, S behind.
Reverse- Prow right, S behind; ROMA in ex.
Sear 834.
2 commentsb70
Republican_Semis_Prow.jpg
Roman Republican AE Semis Saturn/Prow22 viewsObv.
Laureate head of Saturn right; S behind


Rev.
Prow of galley right; S above, ROMA below

After 211 BC

Crawford 56/3 Sydenham 143a BMCRR 229 Sear 766
ancientdave
Republic.jpg
Roman Republican Bronze Semis16 viewsA Roman Republic bronze semis, minted in Rome in 91 BC. 22mm, 4.9g. This was minted during one of my favorite periods of history, between the Marian Reforms and the fall of the Republic

Obverse: the diademed head of Saturn with a value mark "S" behind.

Reverse: the prow of a Roman war galley, with the value mark "S" above and ROMA below.

Attribution: Sear 901
chuy1530
1462_Sicily_semis.jpg
Rome - AE semis8 viewsSicilia
211-208 BC
laureate head of Saturn right
S
prow of galley with corvus right; grain ear above
S / K
ROMA
Crawford 069/03a; Sydenham 310b; Type as RBW 287
ex Martí Hervera / Soler y Llach
Johny SYSEL
888_semis_56G1.jpg
Rome - AE semis6 views211-206 BC
laureate head of Saturn right
S
prow of galley right
S
ROMA
Crawford 056/03, McCabe G1
18,6g
ex Gitbud and Naumann
Johny SYSEL
323_Greek_Syd_143.jpg
ROME REPUBLIC, ANONYMOUS SEMIS. POST 211 BC. Saturn22 viewsReference:
Crawford 56/3 ; Sydenham 143a.

Obv.
Laureate head of Saturn right, behind S.

Rev. S above and ROMA below
Prow of galley right.

7.43 gr
22 mm
Note.
A unofficial Spanish imitation of a Roman semis, probably struck somewhere in South East Spain about 100 BC. Coins of this exact style and weight range tend to be found in Spanish excavations and old collections.
okidoki
0138.jpg
S. Afrainus, Semis14 viewsS. Afrainus, Semis

RRC 206/3
150 bc
11,66 gr

Av: Laureate head of Saturn to r, (behind 'S').
Rv: Prow to r, above SAFRA, below ROMA, before dolphin.

Ex Münzen & Medaillen GmbH, Auktion 46, lot 614, 15 February 2018
Norbert
Temple of Saturn.JPG
Temple of Saturn124 viewsWhat remains of the Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum
September 2005
1 commentsTitus Pullo
Trajan_Temple_Octostyle~0.JPG
Trajan Temple Octostyle18 viewsTRAJAN (Marcus Ulpias Trsisnus) Emperor 98 - 117 AD- Octastyle Temple, 26.7mm, 11.38g
Obverse: (IMP CAES NERVAE) TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P Laureate Head Right
Reverse: SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI, S.C. Octastyle temple pax standing within. Scarce type in the SPQR series.
A temple could be tetrastyle (having four columns on the front), hexastyle (six, Temples of Saturn, Vespasian, Concord, Divine Julius),
octastyle (eight, Temple of Castor and Pollux), or decastyle (ten, Temple of Venus and Rome). Octastyle is the rarest found on Roman Coins.

SCARCE
Romanorvm
v1ric5210OR.jpg
Valerian I antoninianus, RIC V 21011 viewsViminacium mint, Valerian I antoninianus, 254-255 A.D. BI, 23mm 3.196g, RIC V 210
O: IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
R: AETERNITATI AVGG, Saturn standing right, holding scythe
casata137ec
SeptSeverus.jpg
[1001a] Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.63 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 32, RSC 301, VF, 2.966g, 16.8mm, 180o, Rome mint, 194 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP III, laureate head right; reverse LIBERO PATRI, Liber (Bacchus) standing left, in right ocnochoe over panther, thysus in left; excellent portrait; scarce. Ex FORVM.

De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

Introduction
Lucius Septimius Severus restored stability to the Roman empire after the tumultuous reign of the emperor Commodus and the civil wars that erupted in the wake of Commodus' murder. However, by giving greater pay and benefits to soldiers and annexing the troublesome lands of northern Mesopotamia into the Roman empire, Septimius Severus brought increasing financial and military burdens to Rome's government. His prudent administration allowed these burdens to be met during his eighteen years on the throne, but his reign was not entirely sunny. The bloodiness with which Severus gained and maintained control of the empire tarnished his generally positive reputation.

Severus' Early Life and Acclamation
Severus was born 11 April 145 in the African city of Lepcis Magna, whose magnificent ruins are located in modern Libya, 130 miles east of Tripoli. Septimius Severus came from a distinguished local family with cousins who received suffect consulships in Rome under Antoninus Pius. The future emperor's father seems not to have held any major offices, but the grandfather may have been the wealthy equestrian Septimius Severus commemorated by the Flavian-era poet Statius.

The future emperor was helped in his early career by one of his consular cousins, who arranged entry into the senate and the favor of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Life as a senator meant a life of travel from one government posting to another. Moorish attacks on his intended post of Baetica (southern Spain) forced Severus to serve his quaestorship in Sardinia. He then traveled to Africa as a legate and returned to Rome to be a tribune of the plebs. Around the year 175 he married Paccia Marciana, who seems also to have been of African origin. The childless marriage lasted a decade or so until her death.

Severus' career continued to flourish as the empire passed from Marcus to Commodus. The young senator held a praetorship, then served in Spain, commanded a legion in Syria and held the governorships of Gallia Lugdunensis (central France), Sicily and Upper Pannonia (easternmost Austria and western Hungary). While in Gallia Lugdunensis in 187, the now-widowed future emperor married Julia Domna, a woman from a prominent family of the Syrian city of Emesa. Two sons quickly arrived, eleven months apart: Bassianus (known to history as Caracalla) in April of the year 188, and Geta in March 189.

News of Pertinax's assassination 28 March 193 in an uprising by the praetorian guard quickly reached Pannonia, and only twelve days later on 9 April 193, Severus was proclaimed emperor. Septimius Severus had the strong support of the armies along the Rhine and Danube, but the loyalty of the governor of Britain, Clodius Albinus, was in doubt. Severus' envoys from Pannonia offered Albinus the title of Caesar, which he accepted.

The Civil Wars with Albinus, Niger, and Didius Julianus
In the city of Rome, Didius Julianus gained the support of the praetorian troops and was promoted as the successor to Pertinax. Although Julianus' authority did not extend much beyond Italy, Severus understood that legitimacy for a Roman emperor meant having one's authority accepted in Rome. He and his army began a swift march to the city. They met practically no resistance on their advance from Pannonia into northern Italy, as Julianus' supporters defected. By the beginning of June when Severus reached Interamna, 50 miles north of Rome, even the praetorian guard stationed in the capital switched sides. Didius Julianus was declared a public enemy and killed. Septimius Severus entered Rome without a fight.

Civil war was not yet over. Another provincial governor also had his eyes on the throne. In Syria, Pescennius Niger had been proclaimed emperor on news of Pertinax's death, and the eastern provinces quickly went under his authority. Byzantium became Niger's base of operations as he prepared to fight the armies of the west loyal to Severus.

Niger was unable to maintain further advances into Europe. The fighting moved to the Asian shore of the Propontis, and in late December 193 or early January 194, Niger was defeated in a battle near Nicaea and fled south. Asia and Bithynia fell under Severus' control, and Egypt soon recognized Severus' authority. By late spring, Niger was defeated near Issus and the remainder of his support collapsed. Syria was pacified. Niger was killed fleeing Antioch. Byzantium, however, refused to surrender to Severan forces. Niger's head was sent to the city to persuade the besieged citizens to give up, but to no avail. The Byzantines held out for another year before surrender. As punishment for their stubbornness, the walls of their city were destroyed.

Severus' Eastern Campaigns
During the fighting, two of the peoples of upper Mesopotamia -- the Osrhoeni and the Adiabeni -- captured some Roman garrisons and made an unsuccessful attack on the Roman-allied city of Nisibis. After the defeat of Niger, these peoples offered to return Roman captives and what remained of the seized treasures if the remaining Roman garrisons were removed from the region. Severus refused the offer and prepared for war against the two peoples, as well as against an Arabian tribe that had aided Niger. In the spring of 195, Severus marched an army through the desert into upper Mesopotamia. The native peoples quickly surrendered, and Severus added to his name the victorious titles Arabicus and Adiabenicus. Much of the upper third of Mesopotamia was organized as a Roman province, though the king of Osrhoene was allowed to retain control of a diminished realm.

The tottering Parthian empire was less and less able to control those peoples living in the border regions with Rome. Rome's eastern frontier was entering a period of instability, and Severus responded with an interventionist policy of attack and annexation. Some senators feared that increased involvement in Mesopotamia would only embroil Rome in local squabbles at great expense. The emperor, however, would remain consistent in his active eastern policy.

Legitimization of the Severan Dynasty
Severus also took steps to cement his legitimacy as emperor by connecting himself to the Antonine dynasty. Severus now proclaimed himself the son of Marcus Aurelius, which allowed him to trace his authority, through adoption, back to the emperor Nerva. Julia Domna was awarded the title "Mother of the Camp" (mater castrorum), a title only previously given to the empress Faustina the Younger, Marcus' wife. Bassianus, the emperor's elder son, was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and given the title Caesar. It was this last step that marked a decisive break with Albinus.

Albinus had remained in Britain as governor during the struggles between Severus and Niger. Although Albinus had not attempted open revolt against the emperor, he seems to have been in communication with senators about future moves. By the end of 195, Albinus was declared a public enemy by Severus. The governor of Britain responded by proclaiming himself emperor and invading Gaul.

A weary Roman populace used the anonymity of the crowd at the chariot races to complain about renewed civil war, but it was Gaul that bore the brunt of the fighting. Albinus and his supporters were able to inflict losses on the occasion of the initial attacks, but disorder was so great that opportunistic soldiers could easily operate on their own within the lands under Albinus' nominal control.

The tide began to turn early in 197, and after a Severan victory at Tournus, Albinus found himself and his army trapped near Lyon. A battle broke out 19 February 197. In the initial fighting, Albinus' troops forced the Severans into retreat, during which Severus fell off his horse. When the Severan cavalry appeared, however, Albinus' army was routed. Lyon was sacked and Albinus, who was trapped in a house along the river Rhône, committed suicide. Severus ordered Albinus' head to be cut off and sent to Rome for display. Many of Albinus' supporters were killed, including a large number of Spanish and Gallic aristocrats. Albinus' wife and children were killed, as were many of the wives of his supporters. Tradition also told of the mutilation of bodies and denial of proper burial. The emperor revealed a penchant for cruelty that troubled even his fervent supporters. A purge of the senate soon followed. Included among the victims was Pertinax's father-in-law, Sulpicianus.

Severus and the Roman Military
Severus brought many changes to the Roman military. Soldiers' pay was increased by half, they were allowed to be married while in service, and greater opportunities were provided for promotion into officer ranks and the civil service. The entire praetorian guard, discredited by the murder of Pertinax and the auctioning of their support to Julianus, was dismissed. The emperor created a new, larger praetorian guard out of provincial soldiers from the legions. Increases were also made to the two other security forces based in Rome: the urban cohorts, who maintained order; and the night watch, who fought fires and dealt with overnight disturbances, break-ins and other petty crime. These military reforms proved expensive, but the measures may well have increased soldiers' performance and morale in an increasingly unsettled age.

One location that remained unsettled was the eastern frontier. In 197 Nisibis had again been under siege, and the emperor prepared for another eastern campaign. Three new legions were raised, though one was left behind in central Italy to maintain order. The Roman armies easily swept through upper Mesopotamia, traveling down the Euphrates to sack Seleucia, Babylon and Ctesiphon, which had been abandoned by the Parthian king Vologaeses V. On 28 January 198 -- the centenary of Trajan's accession -- Severus took the victorious title Parthicus Maximus and promoted both of his sons: Caracalla to the rank of Augustus and Geta to the rank of Caesar.

Before embarking on the eastern campaign, the emperor had named Gaius Fulvius Plautianus as a praetorian prefect. Plautianus came from the emperor's home town of Lepcis, and the prefect may even have been a relative of the emperor. The victories in Mesopotamia were followed by tours of eastern provinces, including Egypt. Plautianus accompanied Severus throughout the travels, and by the year 201 Plautianus was the emperor's closest confidant and advisor. Plautianus was also praetorian prefect without peer after having arranged the murder of his last colleague in the post.

Upon the return to Rome in 202, the influence of Plautianus was at its height. Comparisons were made with Sejanus, the powerful praetorian prefect under the emperor Tiberius. Plautianus, who earlier had been adlected into the senate, was now awarded consular rank, and his daughter Plautilla was married to Caracalla. The wealth Plautianus had acquired from his close connection with the emperor enabled him to provide a dowry said to have been worthy of fifty princesses. Celebrations and games also marked the decennalia, the beginning of the tenth year of Severus' reign. Later in the year the enlarged imperial family traveled to Lepcis, where native sons Severus and Plautianus could display their prestige and power.

The following year the imperial family returned to Rome, where an arch, still standing today, was dedicated to the emperor at the western end of the Forum. Preparations were also being made for the Secular Games, which were thought to have originated in earliest Rome and were to be held every 110 years. Augustus celebrated the Secular Games in 17 B.C., and Domitian in A.D. 88, six years too early. (Claudius used the excuse of Rome's 800th year to hold the games in A.D. 47.) In 204 Severus would preside over ten days of ceremonies and spectacles.

By the end of 204, Plautianus was finding his influence with the emperor on the wane. Caracalla was not happy to be the husband of Plautilla. Julia Domna resented Plautianus' criticisms and investigations against her. Severus was tiring of his praetorian prefect's ostentation, which at times seemed to surpass that of the emperor himself. The emperor's ailing brother, Geta, also denounced Plautianus, and after Geta's death the praetorian prefect found himself being bypassed by the emperor. In January 205 a soldier named Saturninus revealed to the emperor a plot by Plautianus to have Severus and Caracalla killed. Plautianus was summoned to the imperial palace and executed. His children were exiled, and Caracalla divorced Plautilla. Some observers suspected the story of a plot was merely a ruse to cover up long-term plans for Plautianus' removal.

Severus and Roman Law
Two new praetorian prefects were named to replace Plautianus, one of whom was the eminent jurist Papinian. The emperor's position as ultimate appeals judge had brought an ever-increasing legal workload to his office. During the second century, a career path for legal experts was established, and an emperor came to rely heavily upon his consilium, an advisory panel of experienced jurists, in rendering decisions. Severus brought these jurists to even greater prominence. A diligent administrator and conscientious judge, the emperor appreciated legal reasoning and nurtured its development. His reign ushered in the golden age of Roman jurisprudence, and his court employed the talents of the three greatest Roman lawyers: Papinian, Paul and Ulpian.

The order Severus was able to impose on the empire through both the force of arms and the force of law failed to extend to his own family. His now teenaged sons, Caracalla and Geta, displayed a reckless sibling rivalry that sometimes resulted in physical injury. The emperor believed the lack of responsibilities in Rome contributed to the ill-will between his sons and decided that the family would travel to Britain to oversee military operations there. Caracalla was involved in directing the army's campaigns, while Geta was given civilian authority and a promotion to joint emperor with his father and brother.

Severus was now into his 60s. Chronic gout limited his activities and sapped his strength. The emperor's health continued to deteriorate in Britain, and he became ever more intent on trying to improve the bitter relationship between his two sons. He is reported to have given his sons three pieces of advice: "Get along; pay off the soldiers; and disregard everyone else." The first piece of advice would not be heeded.

Severus died in York on 4 February 211 at the age of 65. His reign lasted nearly 18 years, a duration that would not be matched until Diocletian. Culturally and ideologically Septimius Severus connected his reign to the earlier Antonine era, but the reforms he enacted would eventually alter the very character of Roman government. By creating a larger and more expensive army and increasing the influence of lawyers in administration, Severus planted the seeds that would develop into the highly militaristic and bureaucratic government of the later empire.

Copyright (C) 1998, Michael L. Meckler. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/sepsev.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
SeptSevArDen.jpg
[1001b] Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.45 viewsSeptimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Silver denarius, RIC 119A. aF. Rome. Obverse: L. SEP. SEVERVS PER. AVG. P. M. IMP. XI, His bearded and laureated head right. Reverse: SALVTI AVGG. Salus seated left feeding serpent arising from altar(?). Scarce. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

Introduction
Lucius Septimius Severus restored stability to the Roman empire after the tumultuous reign of the emperor Commodus and the civil wars that erupted in the wake of Commodus' murder. However, by giving greater pay and benefits to soldiers and annexing the troublesome lands of northern Mesopotamia into the Roman empire, Septimius Severus brought increasing financial and military burdens to Rome's government. His prudent administration allowed these burdens to be met during his eighteen years on the throne, but his reign was not entirely sunny. The bloodiness with which Severus gained and maintained control of the empire tarnished his generally positive reputation.

Severus' Early Life and Acclamation
Severus was born 11 April 145 in the African city of Lepcis Magna, whose magnificent ruins are located in modern Libya, 130 miles east of Tripoli. Septimius Severus came from a distinguished local family with cousins who received suffect consulships in Rome under Antoninus Pius. The future emperor's father seems not to have held any major offices, but the grandfather may have been the wealthy equestrian Septimius Severus commemorated by the Flavian-era poet Statius.

The future emperor was helped in his early career by one of his consular cousins, who arranged entry into the senate and the favor of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Life as a senator meant a life of travel from one government posting to another. Moorish attacks on his intended post of Baetica (southern Spain) forced Severus to serve his quaestorship in Sardinia. He then traveled to Africa as a legate and returned to Rome to be a tribune of the plebs. Around the year 175 he married Paccia Marciana, who seems also to have been of African origin. The childless marriage lasted a decade or so until her death.

Severus' career continued to flourish as the empire passed from Marcus to Commodus. The young senator held a praetorship, then served in Spain, commanded a legion in Syria and held the governorships of Gallia Lugdunensis (central France), Sicily and Upper Pannonia (easternmost Austria and western Hungary). While in Gallia Lugdunensis in 187, the now-widowed future emperor married Julia Domna, a woman from a prominent family of the Syrian city of Emesa. Two sons quickly arrived, eleven months apart: Bassianus (known to history as Caracalla) in April of the year 188, and Geta in March 189.

News of Pertinax's assassination 28 March 193 in an uprising by the praetorian guard quickly reached Pannonia, and only twelve days later on 9 April 193, Severus was proclaimed emperor. Septimius Severus had the strong support of the armies along the Rhine and Danube, but the loyalty of the governor of Britain, Clodius Albinus, was in doubt. Severus' envoys from Pannonia offered Albinus the title of Caesar, which he accepted.

The Civil Wars with Albinus, Niger, and Didius Julianus
In the city of Rome, Didius Julianus gained the support of the praetorian troops and was promoted as the successor to Pertinax. Although Julianus' authority did not extend much beyond Italy, Severus understood that legitimacy for a Roman emperor meant having one's authority accepted in Rome. He and his army began a swift march to the city. They met practically no resistance on their advance from Pannonia into northern Italy, as Julianus' supporters defected. By the beginning of June when Severus reached Interamna, 50 miles north of Rome, even the praetorian guard stationed in the capital switched sides. Didius Julianus was declared a public enemy and killed. Septimius Severus entered Rome without a fight.

Civil war was not yet over. Another provincial governor also had his eyes on the throne. In Syria, Pescennius Niger had been proclaimed emperor on news of Pertinax's death, and the eastern provinces quickly went under his authority. Byzantium became Niger's base of operations as he prepared to fight the armies of the west loyal to Severus.

Niger was unable to maintain further advances into Europe. The fighting moved to the Asian shore of the Propontis, and in late December 193 or early January 194, Niger was defeated in a battle near Nicaea and fled south. Asia and Bithynia fell under Severus' control, and Egypt soon recognized Severus' authority. By late spring, Niger was defeated near Issus and the remainder of his support collapsed. Syria was pacified. Niger was killed fleeing Antioch. Byzantium, however, refused to surrender to Severan forces. Niger's head was sent to the city to persuade the besieged citizens to give up, but to no avail. The Byzantines held out for another year before surrender. As punishment for their stubbornness, the walls of their city were destroyed.

Severus' Eastern Campaigns
During the fighting, two of the peoples of upper Mesopotamia -- the Osrhoeni and the Adiabeni -- captured some Roman garrisons and made an unsuccessful attack on the Roman-allied city of Nisibis. After the defeat of Niger, these peoples offered to return Roman captives and what remained of the seized treasures if the remaining Roman garrisons were removed from the region. Severus refused the offer and prepared for war against the two peoples, as well as against an Arabian tribe that had aided Niger. In the spring of 195, Severus marched an army through the desert into upper Mesopotamia. The native peoples quickly surrendered, and Severus added to his name the victorious titles Arabicus and Adiabenicus. Much of the upper third of Mesopotamia was organized as a Roman province, though the king of Osrhoene was allowed to retain control of a diminished realm.

The tottering Parthian empire was less and less able to control those peoples living in the border regions with Rome. Rome's eastern frontier was entering a period of instability, and Severus responded with an interventionist policy of attack and annexation. Some senators feared that increased involvement in Mesopotamia would only embroil Rome in local squabbles at great expense. The emperor, however, would remain consistent in his active eastern policy.

Legitimization of the Severan Dynasty
Severus also took steps to cement his legitimacy as emperor by connecting himself to the Antonine dynasty. Severus now proclaimed himself the son of Marcus Aurelius, which allowed him to trace his authority, through adoption, back to the emperor Nerva. Julia Domna was awarded the title "Mother of the Camp" (mater castrorum), a title only previously given to the empress Faustina the Younger, Marcus' wife. Bassianus, the emperor's elder son, was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and given the title Caesar. It was this last step that marked a decisive break with Albinus.

Albinus had remained in Britain as governor during the struggles between Severus and Niger. Although Albinus had not attempted open revolt against the emperor, he seems to have been in communication with senators about future moves.[[3]] By the end of 195, Albinus was declared a public enemy by Severus. The governor of Britain responded by proclaiming himself emperor and invading Gaul.

A weary Roman populace used the anonymity of the crowd at the chariot races to complain about renewed civil war, but it was Gaul that bore the brunt of the fighting. Albinus and his supporters were able to inflict losses on the occasion of the initial attacks, but disorder was so great that opportunistic soldiers could easily operate on their own within the lands under Albinus' nominal control.

The tide began to turn early in 197, and after a Severan victory at Tournus, Albinus found himself and his army trapped near Lyon. A battle broke out 19 February 197. In the initial fighting, Albinus' troops forced the Severans into retreat, during which Severus fell off his horse. When the Severan cavalry appeared, however, Albinus' army was routed. Lyon was sacked and Albinus, who was trapped in a house along the river Rhône, committed suicide. Severus ordered Albinus' head to be cut off and sent to Rome for display. Many of Albinus' supporters were killed, including a large number of Spanish and Gallic aristocrats. Albinus' wife and children were killed, as were many of the wives of his supporters. Tradition also told of the mutilation of bodies and denial of proper burial. The emperor revealed a penchant for cruelty that troubled even his fervent supporters. A purge of the senate soon followed. Included among the victims was Pertinax's father-in-law, Sulpicianus.

Severus and the Roman Military
Severus brought many changes to the Roman military. Soldiers' pay was increased by half, they were allowed to be married while in service, and greater opportunities were provided for promotion into officer ranks and the civil service. The entire praetorian guard, discredited by the murder of Pertinax and the auctioning of their support to Julianus, was dismissed. The emperor created a new, larger praetorian guard out of provincial soldiers from the legions. Increases were also made to the two other security forces based in Rome: the urban cohorts, who maintained order; and the night watch, who fought fires and dealt with overnight disturbances, break-ins and other petty crime. These military reforms proved expensive, but the measures may well have increased soldiers' performance and morale in an increasingly unsettled age.

One location that remained unsettled was the eastern frontier. In 197 Nisibis had again been under siege, and the emperor prepared for another eastern campaign. Three new legions were raised, though one was left behind in central Italy to maintain order. The Roman armies easily swept through upper Mesopotamia, traveling down the Euphrates to sack Seleucia, Babylon and Ctesiphon, which had been abandoned by the Parthian king Vologaeses V. On 28 January 198 -- the centenary of Trajan's accession -- Severus took the victorious title Parthicus Maximus and promoted both of his sons: Caracalla to the rank of Augustus and Geta to the rank of Caesar.

Before embarking on the eastern campaign, the emperor had named Gaius Fulvius Plautianus as a praetorian prefect. Plautianus came from the emperor's home town of Lepcis, and the prefect may even have been a relative of the emperor. The victories in Mesopotamia were followed by tours of eastern provinces, including Egypt. Plautianus accompanied Severus throughout the travels, and by the year 201 Plautianus was the emperor's closest confidant and advisor. Plautianus was also praetorian prefect without peer after having arranged the murder of his last colleague in the post.

Upon the return to Rome in 202, the influence of Plautianus was at its height. Comparisons were made with Sejanus, the powerful praetorian prefect under the emperor Tiberius. Plautianus, who earlier had been adlected into the senate, was now awarded consular rank, and his daughter Plautilla was married to Caracalla. The wealth Plautianus had acquired from his close connection with the emperor enabled him to provide a dowry said to have been worthy of fifty princesses. Celebrations and games also marked the decennalia, the beginning of the tenth year of Severus' reign. Later in the year the enlarged imperial family traveled to Lepcis, where native sons Severus and Plautianus could display their prestige and power.

The following year the imperial family returned to Rome, where an arch, still standing today, was dedicated to the emperor at the western end of the Forum. Preparations were also being made for the Secular Games, which were thought to have originated in earliest Rome and were to be held every 110 years. Augustus celebrated the Secular Games in 17 B.C., and Domitian in A.D. 88, six years too early. (Claudius used the excuse of Rome's 800th year to hold the games in A.D. 47.) In 204 Severus would preside over ten days of ceremonies and spectacles.

By the end of 204, Plautianus was finding his influence with the emperor on the wane. Caracalla was not happy to be the husband of Plautilla. Julia Domna resented Plautianus' criticisms and investigations against her. Severus was tiring of his praetorian prefect's ostentation, which at times seemed to surpass that of the emperor himself. The emperor's ailing brother, Geta, also denounced Plautianus, and after Geta's death the praetorian prefect found himself being bypassed by the emperor. In January 205 a soldier named Saturninus revealed to the emperor a plot by Plautianus to have Severus and Caracalla killed. Plautianus was summoned to the imperial palace and executed. His children were exiled, and Caracalla divorced Plautilla. Some observers suspected the story of a plot was merely a ruse to cover up long-term plans for Plautianus' removal.

Severus and Roman Law
Two new praetorian prefects were named to replace Plautianus, one of whom was the eminent jurist Papinian. The emperor's position as ultimate appeals judge had brought an ever-increasing legal workload to his office. During the second century, a career path for legal experts was established, and an emperor came to rely heavily upon his consilium, an advisory panel of experienced jurists, in rendering decisions. Severus brought these jurists to even greater prominence. A diligent administrator and conscientious judge, the emperor appreciated legal reasoning and nurtured its development. His reign ushered in the golden age of Roman jurisprudence, and his court employed the talents of the three greatest Roman lawyers: Papinian, Paul and Ulpian.

The order Severus was able to impose on the empire through both the force of arms and the force of law failed to extend to his own family. His now teenaged sons, Caracalla and Geta, displayed a reckless sibling rivalry that sometimes resulted in physical injury. The emperor believed the lack of responsibilities in Rome contributed to the ill-will between his sons and decided that the family would travel to Britain to oversee military operations there. Caracalla was involved in directing the army's campaigns, while Geta was given civilian authority and a promotion to joint emperor with his father and brother.

Severus was now into his 60s. Chronic gout limited his activities and sapped his strength. The emperor's health continued to deteriorate in Britain, and he became ever more intent on trying to improve the bitter relationship between his two sons. He is reported to have given his sons three pieces of advice: "Get along; pay off the soldiers; and disregard everyone else." The first piece of advice would not be heeded.

Severus died in York on 4 February 211 at the age of 65. His reign lasted nearly 18 years, a duration that would not be matched until Diocletian. Culturally and ideologically Septimius Severus connected his reign to the earlier Antonine era, but the reforms he enacted would eventually alter the very character of Roman government. By creating a larger and more expensive army and increasing the influence of lawyers in administration, Severus planted the seeds that would develop into the highly militaristic and bureaucratic government of the later empire.

Copyright (C) 1998, Michael L. Meckler. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/sepsev.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
GetaRic13a.jpg
[1005a] Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D.18 viewsSilver denarius, S 7184, RIC 13a, RSC 90, VM 24, aEF/aEF, 3.5g, 19.38 mm, 180o, Rome mint, as Caesar, 199 A.D. Obverse: P SEPT GETA CAES PONT, boy's bare-headed and draped bust right; Reverse: NOBILITAS, Nobilitas standing right, scepter in left, palladium in right. Ex Ancient Imports.

Publius Septimius Geta was the younger son of the emperor Septimius Severus. Geta's rivalry with his older brother, Caracalla, culminated in Geta's murder less than a year after Severus' death. Tradition soon idealized this victim of fratricide as a gentle prince taken by treachery far too soon.

Geta was born 7 March 189 in Rome, where his family was resident in between provincial governorships held by Severus under the emperor Commodus. The boy was named after Severus' father and was only 11 months younger than his brother, Caracalla.

In the course of the civil wars that established Severus as emperor, Severus used the young Caracalla to solidify popular support by changing the older son's name to connect the boy to the Antonine dynasty and by giving Caracalla the titles first of Caesar, then Augustus. As Caracalla was increasingly being treated as the "heir," Geta was being treated as the "spare." Geta was given the title Caesar and publicly promoted as part of a close-knit, imperial family.

The propaganda, however, was unable to hide completely the family's dysfunctional relationships, especially the increasingly bitter rivalry developing between the now teenagers, Caracalla and Geta. Severus decided to take his family out of Rome and on campaign in Britain to keep his sons busy. While Caracalla commanded troops, Geta was given civilian authority on the island. Geta was also given the title Augustus (more than a decade after his brother received it), which meant that Geta theoretically was co-emperor along with Severus and Caracalla. Geta's increased authority did nothing to improve his relationship with Caracalla.

Soon Severus' health began to deteriorate, and ever more desperate pleas were made for his sons to get along. Septimius Severus died 4 February 211 in York. Caracalla was 22 years old, Geta 21.

The Roman world now had two brothers as joint emperors, a situation that recalled events of half a century earlier, when adopted brothers Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus officially shared the empire. Caracalla might well have been satisfied had Geta behaved like Verus, whose authority was more official than real and who deferred to his older sibling in political matters. Geta, however, saw his authority as being truly equal with that of his brother, and the two were barely on speaking terms during the long trip back to Rome. Once in the city, the situation did not improve. Government ground to a halt as the two bickered on appointments and policy decisions. A later story even claimed the brothers were considering dividing the empire into two.

By the end of the year Caracalla was being advised to have Geta murdered, and after at least one unsuccessful attempt at the start of the Saturnalia festival, Geta was killed in late December 211. One version of events claimed Geta was lured to come without his bodyguards to a meeting with Caracalla and their mother, Julia Domna, to discuss a possible reconciliation. When Geta arrived, he was attacked by centurions. Wounded and bleeding, Geta ran to his mother and clinging to her, died.

Caracalla said the murder came in response to his brother's plottings, and the death started a bloody and violent purge of Caracalla's suspected enemies. Geta's memory was condemned, his name removed from inscriptions, his face removed from sculptures and paintings. Critics of Caracalla looked back wistfully at the murdered prince, who came to be described as a lamb devoured by his ferocious, lion-like brother. Official restoration of Geta's reputation came with the arrival of the emperor Elagabalus to Rome in 219, when Geta's remains were translated into the Mausoleum of Hadrian to join those of his father and brother.

The little reliable evidence about Geta's personality does not seem to support the idealized picture of a gentle prince, but the shocking nature of his death at the instigation of his brother transformed Geta's life into legend.

By Michael L. Meckler, Ohio State University
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.




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


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

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

Robin Mc Mahon
New York University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Trajan (A.D. 98-117)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

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

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

Trajan (A.D. 98-117)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
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