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MariusFundania1Denarius.jpg
0aa Caius Marius40 viewsC. Fundanius, moneyer
101-91 BC

Denarius

Helmeted head of Roma right, control-mark C behind

"Triumphator" (Marius) in quadriga right, holding laurel-branch and staff; a rider sits on near horse, holding laurel-branch, Q above, C FVNDAN in exergue

The reverse shows Marius as triumphator in the quadriga. He holds sceptre and laurel branch. On one of the horses rides his son. The children of the triumphator were - according to tradition - allowed to share the triumph of their father. The Q above refers to the office as quaestor the mintmaster held while minting these coins. FORVM Ancient Coins says of a similar piece, "The reverse refers to Marius triumph after victories over the Cimbri and Teutones. The rider on the near horse is Marius's son, at that time eight years old." Andrew McCabe comments, "The Triumphator on the Fundania denarius is usually taken to be Marius, with his young son on horseback. This would make it the first Roman coin to explicitly portray a living Roman politician. "

Seaby Fundania 1

Marius rose from common origins to become the First Man in Rome. Plutarch in his Life writes: There is a likeness of Marius in stone at Ravenna, in Gaul, which I myself saw quite corresponding with that roughness of character that is ascribed to him. Being naturally valiant and warlike, and more acquainted also with the discipline of the camp than of the city, he could not moderate his passion when in authority. . . . He was born of parents altogether obscure and indigent, who supported themselves by their daily labour; his father of the same name with himself, his mother called Fulcinia. He had spent a considerable part of his life before he saw and tasted the pleasures of the city; having passed previously in Cirrhaeaton, a village of the territory of Arpinum, a life, compared with city delicacies, rude and unrefined, yet temperate, and conformable to the ancient Roman severity. He first served as a soldier in the war against the Celtiberians, when Scipio Africanus besieged Numantia; where he signalized himself to his general by courage far above his comrades, and particularly by his cheerfully complying with Scipio's reformation of his army, being almost ruined by pleasures and luxury. It is stated, too, that he encountered and vanquished an enemy in single combat, in his general's sight. In consequence of all this he had several honours conferred upon him; and once when at an entertainment a question arose about commanders, and one of the company (whether really desirous to know, or only in complaisance) asked Scipio where the Romans, after him, should obtain such another general, Scipio, gently clapping Marius on the shoulder as he sat next him, replied, "Here, perhaps. . . ."

The consul Caecilius Metellus, being declared general in the war against Jugurtha in Africa took with him Marius for lieutenant; where, eager himself to do great deeds and services that would get him distinction, he did not, like others, consult Metellus's glory and the serving his interest, and attributing his honour of lieutenancy not to Metellus, but to fortune, which had presented him with a proper opportunity and theatre of great actions, he exerted his utmost courage. . . . Marius thus employed, and thus winning the affections of the soldiers, before long filled both Africa and Rome with his fame, and some, too, wrote home from the army that the war with Africa would never be brought to a conclusion unless they chose Caius Marius consul. . . .He was elected triumphantly, and at once proceeded to levy soldiers contrary both to law and custom, enlisting slaves and poor people; whereas former commanders never accepted of such, but bestowed arms, like other favours, as a matter of distinction, on persons who had the proper qualification, a man's property being thus a sort of security for his good behavior. . . .

[In Marius' fourth consulship,] The enemy dividing themselves into two parts, the Cimbri arranged to go against Catulus higher up through the country of the Norici, and to force that passage; the Teutones and Ambrones to march against Marius by the seaside through Liguria. . . . The Romans, pursuing them, slew and took prisoners above one hundred thousand, and possessing themselves of their spoil, tents, and carriages, voted all that was not purloined to Marius's share, which, though so magnificent a present, yet was generally thought less than his conduct deserved in so great a danger. . . . After the battle, Marius chose out from amongst the barbarians' spoils and arms those that were whole and handsome, and that would make the greatest show in his triumph; the rest he heaped upon a large pile, and offered a very splendid sacrifice. Whilst the army stood round about with their arms and garlands, himself attired (as the fashion is on such occasions) in the purple-bordered robe, and taking a lighted torch, and with both hands lifting it up towards heaven, he was then going to put it to the pile, when some friends were espied with all haste coming towards him on horseback. Upon which every one remained in silence and expectation. They, upon their coming up, leapt off and saluted Marius, bringing him the news of his fifth consulship, and delivered him letters to that effect. This gave the addition of no small joy to the solemnity; and while the soldiers clashed their arms and shouted, the officers again crowned Marius with a laurel wreath, and he thus set fire to the pile, and finished his sacrifice.
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maurel_RIC1179.jpg
161-180 AD - MARCUS AURELIUS AE dupondius - struck 177 AD44 viewsobv: M.ANTONINVS.AVG.GERM.SARM.TRP.XXXI (radiate head right)
rev: IMP.VIII.COS.III.PP (trophy of base of wich are seated Marcomann (German) woman on right, and Markomann (German) with hands bound behind him on left), S-C in field, DE GERM in ex.
ref: RIC III 1179 (S), C.157 (6frcs)
mint: Rome
13.00gms, 25mm
Scarce

This dupondius celebrates Roman victory a series of wars on the empire’s northern frontier known as the Bellum Germanicum et Sarmaticum. The reverse of this coin speaks of these campaigns with the inscription DE GERM(ANIS) encompassing a military trophy flanked by two captives. The bound men would have come from the barbarian nations that occupied lands across the Danube, for in recent years the Romans had won wars against the Marcomanns, the Quadi, the Jazyges and the Sarmatians.
Many other types celebrated Roman victories in this theatre, and they became the centrepiece of coin propaganda of the era. Considering these wars were not only a source of great financial strain, but they annually cost the lives of many young men, it was essential for Marcus Aurelius to demonstrate success in the form of attractive coin types showing bound barbarians and trophies.
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CommodusSestRoma.jpg
1bn Commodus28 views177-192

Sestertius

Laureate head, right, M COMMOD ANT P FELIX AVG BRIT PP

Roma seated left, ROM FEL PM TR P XVI COS VI

RIC 224

The Historia Augusta reports: As for Commodus himself, he was born, with his twin brother Antoninus, at Laiiuvium where his mother's father was born, it is said on the day before the Kalends of September, while his father and uncle were consuls. . . . Marcus tried to educate Commodus by his own teaching and by that of the greatest and the best of men. . . . However, teachers in all these studies profited him not in the least such is the power, either of natural character, or of the tutors maintained in a palace. For even from his earliest years he was base and dis- honorable, and cruel and lewd, defiled of mouth, moreover, and debauched. . . . While yet a child he was given the name of Caesar, along with his brother Verus. . . .

[After Marcus died], He abandoned the war which his father had almost finished and submitted to the enemy's terms, and then he returned to Rome. . . . After he had come back to Rome, he led the triumphal procession with Saoterus, his partner in depravity, seated in his chariot, and from time to time he would turn around and kiss him openly, repeating this same performance even in the orchestra. And not only was he wont to drink until dawn and squander the resources of the Roman Empire, but in the evening he would ramble through taverns and brothels. 6 He sent out to rule the provinces men who were either his companions in crime or were recommended to him by criminals. He became so detested by the senate that he in his turn was moved with cruel passion for the destruction of that great order, and from having been despised he became bloodthirsty. . . . He was called also the Roman Hercules, on the ground that he had killed 192 wild beasts in the amphitheatre at Lanuvium. . . . He engaged in gladiatorial combats, and accepted
the names usually given to gladiators 5 with as much pleasure as if he had been granted triumphal decorations. . . .

Because of these things but all too late Quintus Aemilius Laetus, prefect of the guard, and Marcia, his concubine, were roused to action and entered into a conspiracy against his life. First they gave him poison; and when this proved ineffective they had him strangled by the athlete with whom he was accustomed to exercise.
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ProcopiusAEChiRo.jpg
1er Procopius18 views365-366

AE3

Diademed, draped & cuirassed bust left, D N PROCOPIVS P F AVG
Procopius standing facing, head right, holding labarum in right hand, left resting on shield set on the ground; Chi-rho in upper right field & unidentified object in left at foot; mintmark CONS Gamma.

RIC 17a

Zosimus tells us: On [Valens'] departure from Constantinople, the rebellion of Procopius commenced. This person had been intrusted by Julian, being one of his relations, with a part of his forces, and had been charged to march with Sebastianus through Adiabene, and to meet Julian, who took another route. Permission, moreover, was given him to wear a purple robe, for a reason which no other person was acquainted with. But the deity being pleased to ordain it otherwise, and Jovian having succeeded to the imperial dignity, Procopius immediately delivered up the imperial robe which he had received from Julian, confessing why it had been given to him, and entreating the emperor to absolve him from his military oath, and to allow him to live in retirement, and to attend to agriculture and his own private affairs. Having obtained this, he went with his wife and children to Caesarea in Cappadocia, intending to reside in that place, where he possessed a valuable estate. During his abode there, Valentinian and Valens being made emperors, and being suspicious of him, sent persons to take him into custody. In that they found no difficulty, for he surrendered himself voluntarily; and desired them to carry him wherever they pleased, if they would suffer him first to see his children. To this they consented, and he prepared an entertainment for them. When he perceived them to be intoxicated, he and his family fled towards the Taurica Chersonesus. Having remained there for some time, he found the inhabitants to he a faithless race, and was apprehensive lest they should deliver him to his persecutors. He, therefore, put himself and his family on board a trading vessel, and arrived in the night at Constantinople. He there resided in the house of an old acquaintance, and making observations on the state of the city after the departure of the emperor, he attempted to raise himself to the empire, and formed his design on the following incident.

A eunuch, named Eugenius, had not long before been discharged from the court, who entertained but little friendship for the emperors. Procopius therefore won this man to his interest. . . . Their first attempt was to bribe the court guards, which consisted of two legions. Then arming the slaves, and collecting with ease a considerable multitude, chiefly volunteers, they sent them in the night into the city, and occasioned a general commotion; the people issuing from their houses, and gazing on Procopiusas on a king made in a theatre. But the city being in general confusion, and no person being sufficiently collected in mind by reason of the surprise to know how to act, Procopius imagined his design to be still undiscovered, and that he might secure the empire if the enterprise were no further revealed. Having then seized on Cesarius, whom the emperors had made prefect of the city, and on Nebridius, who was appointed to succeed Sallustius in tbe prefecture of the court, he compelled them to write to the subjects of the empire whatever he wished. He also kept them separate, that they might not consult with each other. Having formed these projects, he proceeded in a splendid manner towards the palace. Ascending a tribunal before the gate, he gave the people great hopes and promises. He then entered the palace to provide for the remainder of his affairs.

The new emperors having divided the army between them, Procopius determined to send persons to the soldiers, who were as yet in confusion, and went by the command of the emperors from place to place without any order. He thus hoped to seduce some of them to his party. Nor did he fail of accomplishing his purpose with ease by distributing money amongst the soldiers and their officers; by which means he collected a considerable force, and prepared to make an open attack on the enemy. Procopius then sent Marcellus into Bithynia with an army against Serenianus and the imperial cavalry that was under his command, in hope of cutting them to pieces. This force having fled to Cyzicus, Marcellus, whose army was superior to theirs both by sea and land, took possession of that town; and having taken Serenianus, who fled into Lydia, put him to death. Procopius was so elevated by this fortunate commencement, that his forces considerably augmented, many being of opinion that he was able to contend with the emperors. Both the Roman legions and the Barbarian troops now flocked to his standard. Besides the reputation of being related to Julian, and of having accompanied him in all the wars he had ever been engaged in, attracted many partizans. He likewise sent ambassadors to the chief of Scythia beyond the Ister, who sent to his assistance ten thousand men. The other Barbarian nations likewise sent auxiliaries to share in the expedition. Procopius however considered that it would be imprudent in him to engage with both emperors together, and therefore thought it best to advance against him who was nearest, and afterwards deliberate on what course to pursue.

Thus was Procopius employed; while the emperor Valens, who heard of this insurrection at Galatia in Phrygia, was filled with consternation at the news. Arbitrio having encouraged him not to despair, he prepared the troops that were with him for war, and sent to his brother to inform him of the designs of Procopius. Valentinian however was little disposed for sending auxiliaries to one who was incapable of defending the empire committed to his charge. Valens was therefore under the necessity of. preparing for war, and appointed Arbitrio to the command of his army. When the armies were ready to engage, Arbitrio circumvented Procopius by a stratagem, and thereby seduced from him a great number of his men, from whom he received previous information of the designs of Procopius. On the advance of the emperor and Procopius towards each other, the two armies met near Thyatira. Procopius at first appeared to have the advantage, by which he would have gained the supreme authority, Hormisdas in the engagement having overpowered the enemy. But Gomarius, another of the commanders of Procopius, imparting his intention to all the soldiers of Procopius who were attached to the emperor, in the midst of the battle cried out Augustus, and gave a signal for them to imitate his example. Thus the most of the troops of Procopius went over to Valens.

After having obtained this victory, Valens marched to Sardes, and from thence into Phrygia, where he found Procopius in a town called Nacolia. Affairs having been ordered for the advantage of the emperor by Naplo, an officer of Procopius, Valens again prevailed, and took him prisoner, and soon afterwards Marcellus, both of whom he put to death.
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2009-Austria - Carnuntum22 viewsThe only remaining monument of the military city is its amphitheatre. It was located just outside of the fortified military camp. Today, a small adjacent museum shows the history of the gladiators.berserker
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501. Constantine I Cyzicus GLORIA EXERCITVS29 viewsCyzicus

Cyzicus was an ancient town of Mysia in Asia Minor, situated on the shoreward side of the present peninsula of Kapu-Dagh (Arctonnesus), which is said to have been originally an island in the Sea of Marmara, and to have been artificially connected with the mainland in historic times.

It was, according to tradition, occupied by Thessalian settlers at the coming of the Argonauts, and in 756 BC the town was founded by Greeks from Miletus.

Owing to its advantageous position it speedily acquired commercial importance, and the gold staters of Cyzicus were a staple currency in the ancient world till they were superseded by those of Philip of Macedon. (For more information on ancient coinage click here) During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) Cyzicus was subject to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians alternately, and at the peace of Antalcidas (387 BC), like the other Greek cities in Asia, it was made over to Persia.

The history of the town in Hellenistic times is closely connected with that of the Attalids of Pergamon, with whose extinction it came into direct relations with Rome. Cyzicus was held for the Romans against Mithradates in 74 BC till the siege was raised by Lucullus: the loyalty of the city was rewarded by an extension of territory and other privileges. Still a flourishing centre in Imperial times, the place appears to have been ruined by a series of earthquakes —the last in AD 1063— and the population was transferred to Artaki at least as early as the 13th century, when the peninsula was occupied by the Crusaders.

The site is now known as Bal-Kiz and entirely uninhabited, though under cultivation. The principal extant ruins are the walls, which are traceable for nearly their whole extent, a picturesque amphitheatre intersected by a stream, and the substructures of the temple of Hadrian. Of this magnificent building, sometimes ranked among the seven wonders of the ancient world, thirty-one immense columns still stood erect in 1444. These have since been carried away piecemeal for building purposes.

RIC VII Cyzicus 110 R5

Ex-Varangian

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501. Constantine I Ostia Sol16 viewsOstia
Although Ostia was probably founded for the sole purpose of military defence — since through the Tiber's mouths armies could eventually reach Rome by water — in time the port became a commercial harbour, and a very important one too. Many of the goods that Rome received from its colonies and provinces passed through Ostia. In this role, Ostia soon replaced Pozzuoli (Puteoli, near Naples).

In 87 BC, the town was razed by Marius, and again in 67 BC it was sacked by pirates. After this second attack, the town was re-built and provided with protective walls by Cicero. The town was then further developed during the 1st century AD, mainly under the influence of Tiberius, who ordered the building of the first Forum. The town was also soon enriched by the construction of a new harbour on the northern mouths of the Tiber (which reaches the sea with a larger mouth in Ostia, Fiumara Grande, and a narrower one near to the current Fiumicino international airport). The new harbour, not surprisingly called Portus, was excavated from the ground at the orders of the emperor Claudius; it has an hexagonal form, in order to reduce the waves strength. The town was provided with all the services a town of the time could require; in particular, a famous lighthouse. Archaeologists also discovered the public latrinas, organised for collective use as a series of seats that lets us imagine today that the function was also a social moment. In addition, Ostia had a large theatre, public baths and a fire fighting service. You can still see the mosaic floors of the baths near today's entrance to the town.

Trajan too, required a widening of the naval areas, and ordered the building of another harbour, again pointing towards the north. It must be remembered that at a relatively short distance, there was also the harbour of Civitavecchia (Centum Cellae), and Rome was starting to have a significant number of harbours, the most important remaining Portus.

Ostia grew to 50,000 inhabitants in the 2nd century AD and in time focused its naval activities on Portus. With the end of the Roman Empire, Ostia fell slowly into decay, and was finally abandoned in the 9th century due to the fall of the Roman empire in combination with repeated invasions and sackings by Arab pirates; the inhabitants moved to Gregoriopolis. In the Middle Ages, bricks from buildings in Ostia were used for several other occasions. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was entirely built of material originally belonging to Ostia. A "local sacking" was carried out by baroque architects, who used the remains as a sort of marble store for the palazzi they were building in Rome. Soon after, foreign explorers came in search of ancient statues and objects. The Papacy started organising its own investigations with Pope Pius VII and the research still continues today. It has been estimated that two thirds of the ancient town have currently been found.

001. Constantine I Ostia

RIC VI Ostia 85 S

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501b. Crispus Ticinum VOTA10 viewsTicinum

Ticinum (the modern Pavia) was an ancient city of Gallia Transpadana, founded on the banks of the river of the same name (now the Ticino river) a little way above its confluence with the Padus (Po).

It is said by Pliny to have been founded by the Laevi and Marici, two Ligurian tribes, while Ptolemy attributes it to the Insubres.

Its importance in Roman times was due to the extension of the Via Aemilia from Ariminum (Rimini) to the Padus (187 BC), which it crossed at Placentia (Piacenza) and there forked, one branch going to Mediolanum (Milan) and the other to Ticinum, and thence to Laumellum where it divided once more, one branch going to Vercellae - and thence to Eporedia and Augusta Praetoria - and the other to Valentia - and thence to Augusta Taurinorum (Turin) or to Pollentia.

The branch to Eporedia must have been constructed before 100 BC. Ticinum is not infrequently mentioned by classical writers. It was a municipium, and from an inscription we know that a triumphal arch was erected in honor of Augustus and his family, but we learn little of it except that in the 4th century AD there was a manufacture of bows there.

It was pillaged by Attila in AD 452 and by Odoacer in 476, but rose to importance as a military centre in the Gothic period. At Dertona and here the grain stores of Liguria were placed, and Theodoric the Great constructed a palace, baths and amphitheatre and new town walls; while an inscription of Athalaric relating to repairs of seats in the amphitheatre is preserved (AD 528‑529). From this point, too, navigation on the Padus seems to have begun. Narses recovered it for the Eastern Empire, but after a long siege, the garrison had to surrender to the Lombards in 572.

001b. Crispus Ticinum

RIC VII Ticinum 153 R3

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502. Constantine II Siscia GLORIA EXERCITVS24 viewsSiscia

All that remains from prehistoric inhabitants on this area are small statues of idols and tools. Indigenous Illyrian tribes were conquered in the 4th century by the Celts. Celts ethically and culturally mixed with Illyric tribes and established on the right bank of the river Kupa a settlement called Segestica. Illyric and Celtic tribes succeeded in withstanding Roman pressures until the year 35 BC when Emperor Octavian with 12,000 soldiers conquered Segestica after a thirty - day siege.

After Romans had conquered Segestica, they built Siscia on the left bank of the river Kupa (right below the centre of today's Sisak). Siscia was the capital town of the Province of Pannonia Savia, where 40,000 inhabitants resided. The town had the forum, basilicas, temples, an empire mint, a theatre and two ports.
Christianity was spreading unstoppably and encompassed the town of Sisak. The first known Bishop of Sisak was Kvirin from 284 AD until his martyr's death, probably in the year 303 AD.
With gradual collapse of the Roman Empire, the importance of Sisak declined and the great migration brought to Sisak Huns, Gauls, Avars and Slavs. Slav tribes remained in this area and eventually the Slav language became dominant.

RIC VII Siscia 253 R3
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504. CONSTANTIUS II GLORIA EXERCITVS Antioch18 viewsAntioch

Under the empire we chiefly hear of the earthquakes which shook Antioch. One, in AD 37, caused the emperor Caligula to send two senators to report on the condition of the city. Another followed in the next reign; and in 115, during Trajan's sojourn in the place with his army of Parthia, the whole site was convulsed, the landscape altered, and the emperor himself forced to take shelter in the circus for several days. He and his successor restored the city; but in 526, after minor shocks, the calamity returned in a terrible form; the octagonal cathedral which had been erected by the emperor Constantius II suffered and thousands of lives were lost, largely those of Christians gathered to a great church assembly. We hear also of especially terrific earthquakes on November 29, 528 and October 31, 588.

At Antioch Germanicus died in AD 19, and his body was burnt in the forum. Titus set up the Cherubim, captured from the Jewish temple, over one of the gates. Commodus had Olympic games celebrated at Antioch, and in 266 the town was suddenly raided by the Persians, who slew many in the theatre. In 387 there was a great sedition caused by a new tax levied by order of Theodosius, and the city was punished by the loss of its metropolitan status. Zeno, who renamed it Theopolis, restored many of its public buildings just before the great earthquake of 526, whose destructive work was completed by the Persian Chosroes twelve years later. Justinian I made an effort to revive it, and Procopius describes his repairing of the walls; but its glory was past.

The chief interest of Antioch under the empire lies in its relation to Christianity. Evangelized perhaps by Peter, according to the tradition upon which the Antiochene patriarchate still rests its claim for primacy (cf. Acts xi.), and certainly by Barnabas and Paul, who here preached his first Christian sermon in a synagogue, its converts were the first to be called Christians

004. CONSTANTIUS II Antioch

RIC VII Antioch 88 C3

From Uncleaned Lot

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706a, Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.73 views6, Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D. AE setertius, Date: 66 AD; RIC I 516, 36.71 mm; 25.5 grams; aVF. Obverse: IMP NERO CAESAR AVG PONT MAX TR POT PP, Laureate bust right; Reverse: S C, ROMA, Roma seated left, exceptional portrait and full obverse legends. Ex Ancient Imports.

NERO (54-68 A.D.)

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

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

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. . . .

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

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

Copyright (C) 2006, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

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


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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

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

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


Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.





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

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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
3 commentsCleisthenes
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783 Hadrian Sestertius Roma 134-38 AD Decastyle Temple28 viewsReference.
RIC II 783; Strack 696; c. 1422; BMC 1554

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Laureate head right

Rev. [SPQR] S-C
Decastyle temple set on base; temple is flanked by two columns, each decorated with a statue on top columns surmounted by statues and set on pedestals on either side

22.71 gr
31 mm
12h

Note.
The great temple of Venus and Rome, was actually two temples that were built back-to-back. Dedigned by Hadrian, the temple of Venus faced the Flavian ampitheatre and that of Rome overlooked the Forum. Construction began in 121 AD, but was not completed until 141 AD under Antoninus Pius. The temple was destroyed by fire in 307 AD, and later rebuilt by Maxentius. Its remains can still be seen in Rome today.
3 commentsokidoki
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AE provincial, Saitta, Lydia (Sidas Kaleh, Turkey), Senate/River-God (mid-2nd to early 3d century AD) 5 viewsIЄΡA - [CYNKΛHTOC], bare-headed youthful draped bust of Senate right / CAIT[THNΩN] + [ЄPMOC] in exergue, River-God Hermos reclining left, holding reed and cornucopiae, resting arm on urn (hydria) from which waters flow.

Ӕ (base metal yellow, orichalcum?), 22 mm, 5.68 g, die axis 6.5h (coin alignment)

It is difficult to read the name of the river. I think that ЄPMOC is more likely, but VΛΛΟС is also possible, representing the other important local river, Hyllos.

Possible catalog references are BMC Lydia 25 (or 26-27?), SNG Copenhagen 398, SNG München 439.
For the Hyllos reverse, Leypold 1153.

To emphasize the autonomy of certain Hellenistic polises, even under the Roman rule they sometimes used allegorical figures of Senate or Demos on obverses of their coins instead of imperial portraits. Saitta was issuing similar-looking coins with busts of emperors and their family as well, but in this issue the town Senate is honoured as the ruler. IЄΡA CYNKΛHTOC = Holy Senate. CAITTHNΩN = Saitta, ЄPMOC = Hermos, the name of the river and its god.

River-Gods or Potamoi (Ποταμοί) were the gods of the rivers and streams of the earth, all sons of the great earth-encirling river Okeanos (Oceanus) and his wife Tethys. Their sisters were the Okeanides (Oceanids), goddesses of small streams, clouds and rain, and their daughters were the Naiades, nymphs of springs and fountains. A River-God was depicted in one of three forms: as a man-headed bull; a bull-horned man with the tail of a serpentine-fish in place of legs; or as a reclining man with an arm resting upon a pitcher pouring water, which we see in this case. The addition of cornucopia symbolizes the blessings that a particular river bestows on those who live near it.

Saitta or Saittae (Σαίτται, Ptolemy 5.2.21: Σέτται, Σάετται) was a polis in eastern Lydia (aka Maeonia), in the rivers' triangle between the upper Hyllus (modern Demirci Çayı, c. 12 km to the west) and the Hermus or Hermos (modern Gediz Nehri, c. 20 km to the south). In Roman imperial times it belonged to the "conventus" of Sardis in the Roman province of Asia (conventus was a territorial unit of a Roman province, mostly for judicial purposes).

Now its ruins are known now as Sidas Kaleh or Sidaskale in Turkey, near the village of İçikler (İcikler Mahallesi, 45900 Demirci/Manisa). They were never excavated, so are little known or cared for. Ruins of a stadium and a theatre survive, together with remains of some temples and tombs.

Not much is known about it. It was a regional centre for the production of textiles. In 124 AD the town was probably visited by emperor Hadrianus. During the Roman period the cult of the moon god Mēn Axiottenus was very popular in the city. Because of its reference to "angels" (both literally as the Greek word and by their function as god's messengers) it was possibly close to the more general Asia Minor cult of Theos Hypsistos, Θεος ὕψιστος, "the highest god" (200 BC – 400 AD), which in turn was perhaps related to the gentile following of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

Known Roman provincial coins issued by this city feature portraits of emperors from Hadrian to Gallienus, thus covering the period from 117 to 268 AD, with the peak around the Severan dynasty. The semi-autonomous issues are usually dated from mid-2nd to mid-3d century AD.

Later Saittae was the seat of a Byzantine bishopric. Bishop Limenius signed the Chalcedon Creed, while Bishop Amachius spoke at the Council of Chalcedon. Although an Islamic area now, Saittae remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church.
Yurii P
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Amman - Forum - Temple at top of Theatre13 viewsA photo of me (from ten years ago) looking at the remains of the small temple at the back of the Roman Theatre in Amman. Though the appearance of a temple was no longer required at this time - unlike during the late Republican era when they were included to avoid the legal prohibition against building permanent temples - the tradition of including a small temple at the top rear of Roman theatres prevailed in many cases. otlichnik
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Amman - Forum - View Towards Orchestra of Theatre12 viewsA view down from the top of the theatre in the Roman Forum in Amman. This beautiful and well preserved theatre was built in the reign of Antoninus Pius in the 2nd century AD. It seats 6000. otlichnik
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Antoninus Pius 28 views
Antoninus Pius. AD 138-161. Ć Sestertius (32mm, 25.3g, 10h). Rome mint. Struck circa AD 141-143. Laureate head right / Decastyle temple, with statues on roof and in pediment. RIC II 622. Good Fine.

The great temple of Venus and Roma was actually composed of two temples back to back. The temple of Venus faced the Flavian ampitheatre and that of Rome overlooked the Forum - both were designed by Hadrian himself. Construction began in 121 AD and and remained unfinished on the emperor’s death in 138 AD. Work was at last completed in 141 AD under Antoninus Pius, the event commemorated on this coin. The temple would be destroyed by fire in 307 and later rebuilt by Maxentius, the remains of which can still be seen in Rome today.
Ancient Aussie
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Antoninus Pius, RIC 935(b), As of AD 154-155 (Hercules)15 viewsĆ As (8.1g, Ř 25mm, 12h). Rome, AD 154-155.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVIII, laureate and draped bust right.
Rev.: COS IIII S C, Hercules standing right right holding club. left bow and arrow and lion skin on arm.
RIC 935(b) (S); BMC 1978; Cohen 210; Kankelfitz 153/73
Ex Ancient Times, Oxford, 1995.

The reverse depicts the statue of Hercules of the Theatre of Pompey, 2nd century, now in the round room area of Museo Pio-Clementino
Charles S
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Britain, Caerleon, Isca Silurum, Amphitheatre42 viewsThe Amphitheatre at Caerleon is the best preserved in Britain. Caerleon, (known as Isca Sulla to the Romans) was founded by Vespasian and was the headquarters for Legio II Augusta from about A.D. 75 to A.D. 300. Isca is still used today and has been mutated into Usk, which is the name of a town and river in the local area.maridvnvm
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Britain, Caerleon, Isca Silurum, Amphitheatre32 viewsThe Amphitheatre at Caerleon is the best preserved in Britain. Caerleon, (known as Isca Sulla to the Romans) was founded by Vespasian and was the headquarters for Legio II Augusta from about A.D. 75 to A.D. 300. maridvnvm
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Britain, Caerleon, Isca Silurum, Amphitheatre30 viewsThe Amphitheatre at Caerleon is the best preserved in Britain. Caerleon, (known as Isca Sulla to the Romans) was founded by Vespasian and was the headquarters for Legio II Augusta from about A.D. 75 to A.D. 300. maridvnvm
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Britain, Caerleon, Isca Silurum, Amphitheatre33 viewsThe Amphitheatre at Caerleon is the best preserved in Britain. Caerleon, (known as Isca Sulla to the Romans) was founded by Vespasian and was the headquarters for Legio II Augusta from about A.D. 75 to A.D. 300. maridvnvm
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Britain, Caerleon, Isca Silurum, Amphitheatre36 viewsThe Amphitheatre at Caerleon is the best preserved in Britain. Caerleon, (known as Isca Sulla to the Romans) was founded by Vespasian and was the headquarters for Legio II Augusta from about A.D. 75 to A.D. 300. maridvnvm
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City of Olympos in Antique Lycian Area #05, Theatre #03, Bilt in, 145 A.D.64 viewsCity of Olympos in Antique Lycian Area #05, Theatre #03, Bilt in, 145 A.D.quadrans
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City of Olympos in Antique Lycian Area #06, Theatre #01, Bilt in, 145 A.D.60 viewsCity of Olympos in Antique Lycian Area #06, Theatre #01, Bilt in, 145 A.D.quadrans
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City of Olympos in Antique Lycian Area #07, Theatre #02, Bilt in, 145 A.D.63 viewsCity of Olympos in Antique Lycian Area #07, Theatre #02, Bilt in, 145 A.D.quadrans
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Croatia, Pula - Colloseum305 viewsReferred to as the amphitheatre by the locals. Started by Augustus, enlarged by Claudius, and finished by the FlaviansLegatus
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Croatia, Salona - Amphitheatre310 viewsSplit in the backgroundJohny SYSEL
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Cyprus, Paphos - theatre315 viewsJohny SYSEL
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Domitian RIC 0583 viewsAR Denarius, 3.30g
Rome mint, 81 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR DOMITIANVS AVG; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII; Tripod with fillets; above, ravens, l. and r., and dolphin over wreath
RIC 5 (C). BMC 4. RSC 552. BNC 4.
Ex Lanz, eBay, 17 November 2013.

Domitian's 81 AD Group 1 denarii are fairly rare, issued perhaps within the first days of him obtaining the purple. The early dating of the type can be confirmed by the spartan-like reverse titles that show Domitian simply as Tribunica Potestat for the first time and Consul for the seventh. Domitian was notorious for his adherence to the correct form of his titles, as clearly evident here. He would not advertise any titles that had yet to be bestowed. The absence of PM or P P is glaringly apparent.

The reverse is a carry-over 'pulvinaria' type from Titus' reign and is the only appearance of the tripod with ravens in Domitian's 'pulvinaria' series. The group 1 denarii show an uncanny connection with reverse types previously minted for Titus, perhaps indicating little interruption in mint production between the reigns. The series may be connected to the opening games of the Flavian Amphitheatre.

A decent coin in fine metal with an early style reminiscent of Domitian as Caesar under Titus.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
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Edessa (Sanliurfa, Turkey) - Gordian III and Abgar X21 viewsThis coin is very worn, sorry.
[AVTOK. K. M. ANT. ΓOP]ΔIANOC [CEB.] , laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gordian III right.
[AVTOK. ΓOPΔIANOC ABΓAPOC BACIΛEVC] , Gordian III seated right on chair set on platform facing Abgar X standing left and holding small nike.
Bronze, 31 mm.

Abgar X was king of Osrhoene and a close ally of the Romans when Gordian III led a military expedition against the Sassanid Persians in AD 242. With such a coin, minted in Edessa, the city of Abgar, we see the hierarchy of powers, who is enthroned, and who is standing in front of him waiting for orders. In fact, this coin reflects the feudal system in the Middle East at the time, and is closely paralleled by Parthian reliefs showing the King of Kings enthroned and a vassal king standing in front of him.

Bought in Amman (Jordan) just behind the Roman theatre.
Ginolerhino
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France, Arles - Theatre250 viewsArles Theatrevacationchick
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France, Nemausus - Amphitheatre241 viewsThe Roman amphitheatre of the Colonia Nemausus still stands. On the top, holed stones for holding the velum can be seen. The "Arčnes" are still in use today, mainly for bull fights as the more modern statue in front shows. Syltorian
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France, Nemausus - Bollard295 viewsNîmes was founded by Augustus, with veterans from his Egyptian campaigns. The coin-type with the crocodile chained to a palm is famous, and still used by Nîmes as its coat of arms today. Here it appears on one of the (modern) bollards set up around the ancient amphitheatre.1 commentsSyltorian
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France, Nemausus - Relief on the Amphitheatre283 viewsThis relief is found above one of the arches of the ancient amphitheatre of Nemausus. It's rather worn, but two gladiators can still be seen. Syltorian
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France, Paris, Arena of Lutetia70 viewsThe Roman Arena that was discovered by Théodore Vaquer during the building of Rue Monge, in the 5th arrondissement, between 1860–1869. It was first built in the 1st century AD. Victor Hugo created a preservation committee called "la Société des Amis des Arčnes" to preserve it. However in the photo, taken by me in May 2014, can be seen the line of apartments on Rue Monge that cover the remaining third of the Arena.Masis
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Greece, Athens - Theatre of Dionysus312 views17000 spectratorsJohny SYSEL
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Greece, Delos - the ancient theatre219 viewsLloyd T
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Greece, Delphi - The Theatre at Delphi overlooking the Temple of Apollo with the Treasury of the Athenians in the background228 viewsLloyd T
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Greece, Delphi - theatre375 views1 commentsJohny SYSEL
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Greece, Epidaurus - theatre330 views1 commentsJohny SYSEL
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Greece, Lavreotiki, Thorikos29 viewsThe washery, Thorikos
Level washery for concentrating lead ore. Situated next to the Ancient Theatre of Thorikos. Restored by the Belgian School of Athens.
Grant H
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Greece, Lavreotiki, Thorikos41 viewsTheatre of Thorikos
Unique due to its shape which comprises an elongated layout with an oval orchestra, the theatre was built in the late 6th century BC and it is the earliest found so far in Greece. The theatre was excavated by the American School of Classical Studies in 1886.
Grant H
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Greece, Messene - theatre227 viewsentrance to koilon - auditoriumJohny SYSEL
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Greece, Thasos - theatre181 viewsphoto was taken in 2000
now theatre is reconstructed :-(
Johny SYSEL
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Hercules of the Theatre of Pompey181 viewsThe Hercules of the Theatre of Pompey, from the 2nd Century A.D., was discovered in 1864. It had been carefully buried under protective tiles, incised FCS (fulgor conditum summanium), indicating that it had been struck by lightning, and had been carefully interred on the spot. The figure supports himself lightly on his grounded vertical club; the skin of the Nemean Lion is draped over his left forearm, he holds the apples of Hesperides in his left hand. The sculpture is now in the round room area of Museo Pio-Clementino.2 commentsJoe Sermarini
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Israel, Caesarea Maritima - Amphitheatre322 views‘Amphitheatre’ is how Josephus describes this structure (Antiquities 15.341). It was designed to be suitable for races, athletics, and probably more violent entertainments. It measures about 50 x 290 m. Nearby in the city there is a more traditional semi-circular Roman amphitheatre. And a larger (90 x 450 m) hippodrome for chariot racing was built subsequently, probably at the time of Hadrian. Abu Galyon
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Israel, Scythopolis ampitheatre146 viewsA picture of the ampitheatre in Scythopolis, taken from the top of the even more ancient Beit She'an mound. Running in the foreground is the cardo. This was taken in June 2012 during a two week trip my wife and I took to Israel and Jordan.cmcdon0923
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Israel, The Herodium Theatre155 viewsThe Herodium theatre immediately downslope of Herod's tomb. Sadly it was from this point that Ehud Netzer, the discoverer of Herod's tomb fell to his death in 2010, three years after his epic discovery.Lloyd
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Italy, Capua - Amphitheatre391 viewsSpartacus fought there.1 commentsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Capua - Amphitheatre336 viewsThe second largest amphitheatre ... arena is only 10m shorter and 8m narrower than colosseumJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Capua - Amphitheatre271 viewsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Capua - Amphitheatre225 viewsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Ferentium - Roman theatre183 viewsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Ferentium - Roman theatre155 viewsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Ostia - theatre137 viewsrebuilt by CommodusJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Pompeii - Amphitheatre169 viewsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Pompeii - Amphitheatre12 viewsExterior of the Amphitheatre

From my visit to Pompeii in August 2015
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Italy, Pompeii - Amphitheatre10 viewsInterior of the Amphitheatre

From my visit to Pompeii in August 2015
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Italy, Pompeii - Amphitheatre11 viewsInterior of the Amphitheatre

From my visit to Pompeii in August 2015
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Italy, Pompeii - Amphitheatre8 viewsInterior of the Amphitheatre

From my visit to Pompeii in August 2015
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Italy, Pompeii - Doric Theatre12 viewsThe Doric theatre

From my visit to Pompeii in August 2015
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Italy, Pompeii - Large Theatre9 viewsThe large theatre

From my visit to Pompeii in August 2015
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Italy, Pompeii - Large Theatre (statue)10 viewsOne of a pair of statues that flank the entrance to the large theatre

From my visit to Pompeii in August 2015
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Italy, Rome, Colosseum, Flavian Amphitheatre92 viewsHere's yet another pic of the famous Roman landmark, only this time, I used the "Pano" feature on my iPhone, allowing the entire northern half to be viewed. Mark Z
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Italy, Rome, Curia Iulia, Forum Romanum124 viewsCuria Julia (Latin: Curia Iulia, Italian: Curia Iulia) is the third named Curia, or Senate House, in the ancient city of Rome. It was built in 44 BC when Julius Caesar replaced Faustus Cornelius Sulla’s reconstructed Curia Cornelia, which itself had replaced the Curia Hostilia. Caesar did this in order to redesign both spaces within the Comitium and Forum Romanum. The alterations within the Comitium reduced the prominence of the senate and cleared the original space. The work, however, was interrupted by Caesar's assassination at the Theatre of Pompey where the Senate had been meeting temporarily while the work was completed. The project was eventually finished by Caesar’s successor Augustus in 29 BC. The Curia Julia is one of only a handful of Roman structures to survive to the modern day mostly intact, due to its conversion into the basilica of Sant'Adriano al Foro in the 7th century and several later restorations. However the roof, together with the upper elevations of the side walls and rear façade, are modern. These parts date from the remodeling of the deconsecrated church in the 1930s.Joe Sermarini
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Italy, Rome, Theatre of Marcellus147 viewsTheatre was built in 13 BC and was named after Marcus Marcellus, Emperor Augustus's nephew, who died five years before its completion.Johny SYSEL
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Italy, Sicily, Syracuse - amphitheatre159 viewsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Sicily, Syracuse - greek theatre156 viewsbuilt in the 5. century BC
15000 spectrators
one of the largest greek theatres
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Italy, Sicily, Taormina - theatre186 viewsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Sicily, Taormina - theatre - Etna in the background156 viewscalled Greek theatre but was built by Romans - maybe greek foundationsJohny SYSEL
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Italy, Volterra - Roman theatre 154 viewsfirst century BCJohny SYSEL
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Italy- Pompeii- The big theatre and the Gladiator school in the background42 viewsThe big theatre
Built in the 2nd century BC, this theatre takes advantage of the natural slope of the land to create the tiers of seats (cavea), in a horseshoe shape divided into three zones, of which the lower (ima cavea), covered with marble, was reserved for the decurions and important citizens. The ring corridor supporting the upper tiers, and the 'balconies' above the side entrances, were added during the Augustan period: thus the theatre could hold approximately 5,000 spectators. The stage and opus latericium backdrop decorated with marbles and statues date from the restoration in 62 AD, after the earthquake. The works performed here quite likely included the Atellanae (popular farces in the Oscan language), the plays of Plautus and Terentius, mimes and pantomimes (with dancing and music).


Gladiators Barracks in the background.
This building was originally a meeting-place for spectators who went to the Great Theatre.
In Neros time it was converted to quarters for the gladiators who used to live there with their
families and used it to practice gladiatorial contests. The family living areas were spread over two floors.
Many fascinating weapons were discovered here and are on display in the Archeological Museum
John Schou
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Italy- Pompeii- The big theatre and the Odeon small theatre38 viewsThe Big theater and Odeon the small theatre beside.
This ‘small theatre’, perhaps used for musical performances and poetry readings, was built in the early years of the Sullan colony (around 80 BC). According to inscriptions found here, it had a roof to ensure excellent acoustics: this rested on outer walls that bordered the tiers of seats (cavea), decorated with sculpted telamons: the lower part (ima cavea) has low, wide seating steps (bisellia) reserved for the decurions; a balustrade decorated with winged gryphon paws distinguishes it from the media cavea.
John Schou
Italy- Rome- Coliseum constructed by Flavius and seen from outside~0.jpg
Italy- Rome- Coliseum constructed by Flavius and seen from outside53 viewsColosseum
The Colosseum or Coliseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (lat. Amphitheatrum Flavium), is an amphitheatre in Rome, capable of seating 50,000 spectators, which was once used for gladiatorial combat. It was built by Emperor Vespasian and his son, Titus, between AD 72 and AD 90. It was built at the site of Nero's enormous palace, the Domus Aurea. The Colosseum's name is derived from a colossus (a 130-foot or 40-metre statue) of Nero which once stood nearby.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735) wrote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735) wrote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735) wrote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_Venus_and_Roma"
John Schou
Theatre_sabratha_libya.jpeg
Libya, The theatre of the Roman city of Sabratha172 viewsPhoto made by the author (duimdog) of the theatre of the Roman city of Sabratha in Libya. For more images of Sabratha See also my Sabratha photoset on Flickr.Source: http://flickr.com/photos/duimdog/127614169/in/set-72057594105577693/

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Joe Sermarini
Sabratha_-_Theatre_03.JPG
Lybia, Sabratha - Detail of Scaenae Frons144 viewsA relief in one of the niches of the theatre frontSyltorian
Sabratha_-_Frons.JPG
Lybia, Sabratha - Scaenae Frons232 viewsThe scaenae frons of the theatre of Sabratha, modern Libya. The sea is visible behind, through the central gate. Note the great reliefs under the stage itself. Syltorian
Sabratha_-_Theatre_01.JPG
Lybia, Sabratha - Theatre183 viewsThe theatre of the ancient city of Sabratha (Libya), built during the reign of the Severans, reconstructed by Mussolini. Syltorian
PhilipIIMacedonLifetimeTet.jpg
Macedonian Kingdom, Philip II, 359 - 336 B.C., Lifetime Issue134 viewsSilver tetradrachm, Le Rider 233 (D130/R188); SNG ANS 385 ff., VF, Pella, 14.163g, 25.4mm, 225o, 342 - 336 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse "FILIPPOU", naked youth on horse pacing right on horseback holding palm, thunderbolt below; ex CNG 214, 82; very high relief sculptural portrait, nice style, lifetime issue. Ex FORVM.

Philip II expanded the size and influence of the Macedonian Kingdom, but is perhaps best known as the father of Alexander the Great. He personally selected the design of his coins.

Philip II of Macedon (382 BC–336 BC; in Greek Φίλιππος = φίλος (friend) + ίππος (horse), transliterated Philippos) was the King of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination. He was the father of Alexander the Great, Phillip III Arrhidaeus, and possibly Ptolemy I Soter, founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Born in Pella, Philip was the youngest son of King Amyntas III and Eurydice. In his youth, (ca. 368 BC–365 BC) Philip was a hostage in Thebes, which was the leading city of Greece during the Theban hegemony. While a captive there, Philip received a military and diplomatic education from Epaminondas, was involved in a pederastic relationship with Pelopidas and lived with Pammenes, who was an enthusiastic advocate of the Sacred Band of Thebes. In 364 BC, Philip returned to Macedonia. The deaths of Philip's elder brothers, King Alexander II and Perdiccas III, allowed him to take the throne in 359 BC. Originally appointed regent for his infant nephew Amyntas IV, who was the son of Perdiccas III, Philip managed to take the kingdom for himself that same year.

Philip's military skills and expansionist vision of Macedonian greatness brought him early success. The hill tribes were broken by a single battle in 358 BC, and Philip established his authority inland as far as Lake Ohrid. He used the Social War as an opportunity for expansion. In 357 BC, he took the Athenian colony of Amphipolis, which commanded the gold mines of Mount Pangaion. That same year Philip married the Epirote princess Olympias, who was the daughter of the king of the Molossians. In 356 BC, Philip conquered the town of Crenides and changed its name to Philippi. Philip also attacked Abdera and Maronea, on the Thracian sea-board. Also in 356 Alexander was born and his race horse won in the Olympics in He took Methone in 354 BC, a town which had belonged to Athens. During the siege of Methone, Philip lost an eye.

Not until his armies were opposed by Athens at Thermopylae in 352 BC did Philip face any serious resistance. Philip did not attempt to advance into central Greece because the Athenians had occupied Thermopylae. Also in 352 BC, the Macedonian army won a complete victory over the Phocians at the Battle of Crocus Field. This battle made Philip tagus of Thessaly, and he claimed as his own Magnesia, with the important harbour of Pagasae.
Hostilities with Athens did not yet take place, but Athens was threatened by the Macedonian party which Philip's gold created in Euboea. From 352 to 346 BC, Philip did not again come south. He was active in completing the subjugation of the Balkan hill-country to the west and north, and in reducing the Greek cities of the coast as far as the Hebrus (Maritza). For the chief of these coastal cities, Olynthus, Philip continued to profess friendship until its neighboring cities were in his hands.

In 349 BC, Philip started the siege of Olynthus. Olynthus at first allied itself with Philip, but later shifted its allegiance to Athens. The Athenians did nothing to help Olynthus. Philip finally took Olynthus in 348 BC and razed the city to the ground. In 346 BC, he intervened effectively in the war between Thebes and the Phocians, but his wars with Athens continued intermittently.

Macedonia and the regions adjoining it having now been securely consolidated, Philip celebrated his Olympic games at Dium. In 347 BC, Philip advanced to the conquest of the eastern districts about the Hebrus, and compelled the submission of the Thracian prince Cersobleptes. Meanwhile, Athens had made overtures for peace, and when Philip, in 346 BC, again moved south, peace was sworn in Thessaly. With key Greek city-states in submission, Philip turned to Sparta; he sent them a message, "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city." Their reply was "If." Philip and Alexander would both leave them alone. Later, the Macedonian arms were carried across Epirus to the Adriatic Sea. In 342 BC, Philip led a great military expedition north against the Scythians, conquering the Thracian fortified settlement Eumolpia to give it his name, Philippoupolis (modern Plovdiv).

In 340 BC, Philip started the siege of Perinthus. Philip began another siege in 339 BC of the city of Byzantium. After unsuccessful sieges of both cities, Philip's influence all over Greece was compromised. However, Philip successfully reasserted his authority in the Aegean by defeating an alliance of Thebans and Athenians at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC. He erected a memorial of a marble lion to the Sacred Band of Thebes for their bravery that still stands today. Philip created and led the League of Corinth in 337 BC. Members of the League agreed never to wage war against each other, unless it was to suppress revolution. Philip was elected as leader (hegemon) of the army of invasion against the Persian Empire. In 336 BC, when the invasion of Persia was in its very early stage, Philip was assassinated, and was succeeded on the throne of Macedon by his son Alexander the Great.

Philip’s Assassination

The murder happened in October of 336 BC, at Aegae, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Macedon. The court had gathered there for the celebration of the marriage between Alexander of Epirus and Philip's daughter. While the king was entering unprotected into the town's theatre (highlighting his approachability to the Greek diplomats present), he was killed by Pausanias of Orestis, one of Philip's seven bodyguards. The assassin immediately tried to escape and reach his associates who were waiting for him with horses at the entrance of Aegae. He was pursued by three of Philip's bodyguards and died by their hands.
The reasons for Pausanias' assassination of Phillip are difficult to fully expound, since there was controversy already among ancient historians. The only contemporary account in our possession is that of Aristotle, who states rather tersely that Philip was killed because Pausanias had been offended by the followers of Attalus, the king's father-in-law.

Whatever else that may be written about Philip II it must be recognized that he was responsible for making Macedon the ascendant Greek power. He reorganized the Macedonian army. It was this army that Alexander the Great inherited. Phillip II trained some of Alexander’s best generals: Antigonus Cyclops, Antipater, Nearchus, Parmenion, and Perdiccas.

According to the Greek historian Theopompus of Chios, Europe had never seen a man like king Philip of Macedonia, and he called his history of the mid-fourth century BCE the Philippic History. Theopompus had a point. Not even his better known son Alexander has done so much to change the course of Greek history. Philip reorganized his kingdom, gave it access to the sea, expanded its power so that it could defeat the Achaemenid Empire, and subdued the Greek city-states, which never regained their independence again. To achieve this, he modernized the Macedonian economy, improved the army, and concluded several marital alliances. The result was a superpower with one weakness: it was as strong as its king. When Philip's son Alexander died, the institutions were too weak, and Macedonia never recovered.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_II_of_Macedon
http://www.livius.org/phi-php/philip/philip_ii.htm
Ed. by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
0070-210np_noir.jpg
Nero, Denarius 360 viewsRome mint, AD 64/65
NERO CAESAR, laureate head of Nero right
AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS, Nero standing facing, holding branch and victory on globe
3,32 gr
Ref : RCV #1941, Cohen #45, RIC # 47
The following comment, from NFA, auction XX catalog, # 118 :
Nero's coinage reform of A.D. 64 saw a reduction in the weight standard of both the aureus and denarius denominations. A whole new range of reverse types was introduced with an unmistakably imperial flavor, in marked contrast to the senatorial types of the pre-reform coinage. This coin depicts a standing figure of the emperor, wearing the radiate crown of the sun god Sol, holding a branch of peace and a small figure of Victory. An allusion to the settlement of the Parthian question, following Corbulo's successes in Armenia in A.D. 63, seems unmistakable. It is tempting to identify this reverse type with the statue of the sun god, with the facial features of the emperor, erected by Nero in front of his Domus Aurea (Golden House), which was one of the principal features of the reconstruction following the Great Fire of Rome in A.D. 64. The Flavian Amphitheatre (Colosseum) was later erected on the site of the Domus Aurea's ornamental lake, and received its popular name from its close proximity to Nero's statue
7 commentsPotator II
144133.jpg
PAMPHYLIA, Aspendos83 viewsPAMPHYLIA, Aspendos. Circa 380-325 BC.

Greek ASPENDOS, modern BELKIS, ancient city of Pamphylia, now in southwestern Turkey. It is noted for its Roman ruins. A wide range of coinage from the 5th century BC onward attests to the city's wealth. Aspendus was occupied by Alexander the Great in 333 BC and later passed from Pergamene to Roman rule in 133 BC. According to Cicero, it was plundered of many of its artistic treasures by the provincial governor Verres. The hilltop ruins of the city include a basilica, an agora, and some rock-cut tombs of Phrygian design. A huge theatre, one of the finest in the world, is carved out of the northeast flank of the hill. It was designed by the Roman architect Zeno in honour of the emperor Marcus Aurelius (reigned AD 161-180)

The present-day Belkiz was once situated on the banks of the River Eurymedon, now known as the Kopru Cay. In ancient times it was navigable; in fact, according to Strabo, the Persians anchored their ships there in 468 B.C., before the epic battle against the Delian Confederation.

It is commonly believed that Aspendos was founded by colonists from Argos. One thing is certain: right from the beginning of the 5th century, Aspendos and Side were the only two towns to mint coins. An important river trading port, it was occupied by Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. because it refused to pay tribute to the Macedonian king. It became an ally of Rome after the Battle of Sipylum in 190 B.C. and entered the Roman Empire.

The town is built against two hills: on the "great hill" or Buyuk Tepe stood the acropolis, with the agora, basilica, nymphaeum and bouleuterion or "council chamber". Of all these buildings, which were the very hub of the town, only ruins remain. About one kilometer north of the town, one can still see the remains of the Roman aqueduct that supplied Aspendos with water, transporting it from a distance of over twenty kilometers, and which still maintains its original height.

Aspendos' theatre is the best preserved Roman theatre anywhere in Turkey. It was designed during the 2nd century A.D. by the architect Zeno, son of Theodore and originally from Aspendos. Its two benefactors— the brothers Curtius Crispinus and Curtius Auspicatus —dedicated it to the Imperial family as can be seen from certain engravings on the stones. Discovered in 1871 by Count Landskonski during one of his trips to the region, the theatre is in excellent condition thanks to the top quality of the calcareous stone and to the fact that the Seljuks turned it into a palace, reinforcing the entire north wing with bricks. Its thirty-nine tiers of steps—96 meters long—could seat about twenty thousand spectators. At the top, the elegant gallery and covered arcade sheltered spectators. One is immediately struck by the integrity and architectural distinction of the stage building, consisting of a Irons scacnae which opens with five doors onto the proscenium and scanned by two orders of windows which also project onto the outside wall. There is an amusing anecdote about the construction of this theatre—in which numerous plays are still held, given its formidable acoustics — and the aqueduct just outside the town: in ancient times, the King of Aspendos had a daughter of rare beauty named Semiramis, contended by two architects; the king decided to marry her off to the one who built an important public work in the shortest space of time. The two suitors thus got down to work and completed two public works at the same time: the theatre and the aquaduct. As the sovereign liked both buildings, he thought it right and just to divide his daughter in half. Whereas the designer of the aquaduct accepted the Solomonic division, the other preferred to grant the princess wholly to her rival. In this way, the sovereign understood that the designer of the theatre had not only built a magnificent theatre— which was the pride of the town—, but would also be an excellent husband to his daughter; consequently he granted him her hand in marriage

AR Stater (21mm, 10.76 g). Two wrestlers grappling; DA between / Slinger to right; triskeles in field. Tekin Series D; SNG France 87 (same reverse die). Ex-CNG B9FV15E
1 commentsecoli
James I 1603_1625_England.jpg
Post Medieval, UNITED KINGDOM, James I Half Groat (Reigned as James VI of Scotland from 1567)54 viewsJames VI of Scotland 1567-1625 / James I of England 1603-1625 AD
AR Half Groat i.m. mullet.
Crowned rose/crowned thistle. S. 2660. N.2105/1. Toned VF.
Size: 16 mm Weight: 1.02 grams
James loved the arts and was very generous to actors, playwrights, and other performers of the day. In particular, James I loved the theatre, and was captivated by Shakespeare's acting troupe, the Chamberlain's Men. Within ten days of arriving in London, James demanded that Shakespeare's troupe come under his own patronage. So they were granted a royal patent and changed their names to the King's Men, in honour of King James.
2 commentsHis Star
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Republic Anonymous Tessera91 viewsANONYMOUS, about 81-161
Tessera. AE 3.55 g.
d=18 mm

obv. Modius with three corn-ears
rev. Kantharos

Tesserae were usued as tickets to games, theatre, circus etc.

Cohen,deel VIII, page 272, nr.55 |
Göbl, Antike Num.Pl.9, nr.100 | Mlasowsky- RR
Mazzini V, pl. LXXIX, 55.

Very rare

Tanit
tessera_2.jpg
Republic Anonymous Tessera113 viewsANONYMOUS, about 81-161
Tessera. AE 3.55 g.
d=18 mm

obv. Modius with three corn-ears
rev. Kantharos

Tesserae were usued as tickets to games, theatre, circus etc.

Cohen,deel VIII, page 272, nr.55 |
Göbl, Antike Num.Pl.9, nr.100 | Mlasowsky- RR
Mazzini V, pl. LXXIX, 55.

Very rare
1 commentsTanit
TiberiusRIC49.jpg
Roman Empire, Augustus, Posthumous Sestertius103 viewsĆ Sestertius, 26,9g, Ř 35-36mm, 12h, Rome, AD 22-23
Obv.: DIVVS AVGVSTVS PATER, Augustus radiated seated left, feet on stool, holding laurel branch and long sceptre, altar in front
Rev.: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST P M TR POT XXIIII around large S C.
RIC (Tiberius) 49 (R); Cohen 74; Sear (RCV I) 1782; Foss (Roman Historic Coins) Tiberius:5

This type, issued under Tiberius, refers to the consecration of Augustus after his death in AD 14. According to Sear (RCV I) this type may represent the statue of Divus Augustus set up near the Theatre of Marcellus in Rome.
1 commentsCharles S
RRC422-1.jpg
RRC422/1 (M. Aemilius Scaurus, P. Plautius Hypsaeus)89 viewsObv. King Aretas of Nabatea kneeling beside camel, raising olive branche with fillet; M SCAVR(VS) | AED CVR above, [E]X – SC at sides; [R]EX ARETAS in exergue
Rev. Jupiter in quadriga left, reins in right, hurling thunderbolt with left, horses trampling scorpion; P HYPSAEVS | AED CV(R) above, CAPTV[M] on right, C HYPSAE COS | PREIVER(NVM) in exergue
18 mm, 3.80 grams
Rome, 58 B.C.

Allusions: Scaurus refers to his own deed on the obverse, the first time a Roman dared to do so on a coin. In 62 B.C., he had defeated Haritha (Aretha) III of Nabatea, who was marching on Jerusalem, to help the rightful king John Hyrcanus II. Scaurus, a lieutenant of Pompey's, was bribed by Aristoboulos with 400 talents, then took another 300 from Aretas to spare the Nabetean capital of Petra (Josephus, BJ I.127, Ant. Jud. 14.2, 14.5). His colleague chose a more distant motive: C. Plautius Decianus had captured the Volscian city of Privernum (Piperno) in 329 B.C. Any direct relations between Hypsaeus and Decianus are most likely invented, however.

Moneyers: The moneyers of this coin were not the IIIViri Monetales, but the Curule Aediles of 58 B.C., M. Aemilius Scaurus and P. Plautius Hypsaeus. Both were Pompeian supporters ultimately dropped by their patron in 52 B.C. M. Scaurus, stepsone of Sulla, who had already battled in Judaea and Nabatea (where his massacred are mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls) would rise to be praetor in 56 B.C. and propraetor of Sardinia the following year. Accused of extortion, he was defended by Cicero and aquitted, only to be exiled on the charge of ambitus in 52. B.C. He was also the first major Roman collector of engraved gemstones, put together in a dactyliotheca exceeding even that of Mithridates of Pontus (Pliny, NH 37.5.11). Less is known about his colleague during his aedileship. P. Plautius Hypsaeus rose to the praetorship in 55 B.C. but was tried for bribery in 52 B.C. whilst standing for consul. He convicted and fled into exile.

On this issue: M. Aemilius Scaurus' aedileship is known and can be securely dated. It became famous for the unparalleled lavishness of its games. These included the construction of an artificial lake to show off crocodiles and hippopotamuses; Scaurus also brought a huge skeleton from Joppa, believed to be the monster to which Andromeda was to be sacrificed (Pliny NH 9.4.11). He also had a temporary theatre capable of holding 80,000 spectators built, standing for just one month, and adorned with all kinds of luxuries (Pliny, NH 36.2.5; 36.24.113ss). After the games, he had the huge marble columns transferred to his house, for which the sewer contractors demanded a hefty security fee, in case their weight caused the drains to cave in (ibid. 36.2.6). According to Pliny, the remains of the theatre alone were worth 30 million sesterces (or 7,500,000 denarii).
Syltorian
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Selinus in Cilicia, Philippus I., AE 29, Apollo136 viewsSelinus in Cilicia, Philippus I., AE 29, 244-249 AD
Obv.: AY K M IOYΛ [ΦI]ΛΠΠOC CE , Laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right (seen from behind
Rev.: TPAIANO[Π CEΛINO]YCI ΘHC [IEPAC] , Apollo standing front, patera in his right hand, rod/staff in left hand, on right side: bird (raven?) beneath
SNG France 2,686; SNG Levante 467; Lindgren I,1595; SNG Pfalz 6,1105 , (thanks to Markus for ID)

Selinus: City in Cilicia Aspera, among the principal ones on this coast and mentioned by most of the ancient geographers from Pseudo-Skylax on. It was one of the towns taken by Antiochos III in 197 B.C. (Livy 33.20), but is best known as the place where Trajan died in A.D. 117 on his way back from the East. Then it took the name of Trajanopolis (as on this), but the old one prevailed (as on this), shown by coins and other documents.

In mid-summer 117, when Trajan was returning from his Parthian campaigns, he fell ill while at Selinus in Cilicia and died on August 8. The following day his adoption of Hadrian was announced by Plotina and Attianus, the praetorian prefect who had earlier been Hadrian's guardian, with some question whether Trajan had indeed performed the act or whether it was posthumous, thanks to his widow. On August 11, which he considered his dies imperii, the army of Syria hailed its legate, Hadrian, as emperor, which made the senate's formal acceptance an almost meaningless event. This was an example of the historian Tacitus' famous dictum that an emperor could be made elsewhere than at Rome. Hadrian must then have proceeded to Selinus at once from Antioch, to catch up with Attianus, Plotina, and Matidia. He then returned to his province no later than September and stayed there at least into the new year, consolidating his administration.

Basil,of Seleucia (Vita S. Theclae, II, 17) said that the city cof Selinus, which was formerly of much importance, lost it from his time to the fifth century. Constantine Porphyrogenitus, in the tenth century, called it a small town. Today it is the little village of Selinti (near the city Gazipaşa) in the vilayet of Adana; there are ruins of a theatre, aqueduct, market-place, bath, etc. .
The coinage begins under the kingdom of Antiochos IV of Kommagene, and continues later from Trajan to Philip. A bishop of Selinos is recorded, under the metropolitan of Seleukeia. . Le Quien (Oriens christianus, II, 1019) names four bishops: Neon, present at the council of Constantinople, 381; Alypius, at Ephesus, 431; AElianus, at Chalcedon, 451; Gheon, signer of the letter of the bishops of the province to Emperor Leo, 458. The see is in the Greek "Notitiae Episcopatuum" of the Patriarchate of Antioch from the fifth to the tenth century (Vailhé in "Echos d'Orient", X, 95, 145). It was also perhaps an Armenian bishopric until the tenth century. (Alishan, Sissouan, Venice, 1899, p. 60). Eubel (Hierarchia catholica medii aevi, I, 468) names a Latin bishop in 1345.

my ancient coin database
Arminius
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Spain, Santiponce, Italica, Amphitheatre from outside33 viewsjmuona
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Spain, Santiponce, Italica, amphitheatre.33 viewsView from the areana. jmuona
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Spain, Santiponce, Italica, amphitheatre.32 viewsView from higher up. Originally it seated 25.000 people and was the 3rd largest in the Empire. May, 2002.jmuona
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Spain, Santiponce, Italica, entrance to amphitheatre34 viewsMay, 2002.jmuona
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Spain, Santiponce, Italica.43 viewsTABULA GLADIATORIA. The original one on the wall of the gladiator's tunnel to the theatre. May, 2002.jmuona
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Spain, Santiponce, Italica.33 viewsThe corridor gladiators used to enter the theatre. May, 2002.jmuona
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Spain, Segobriga - Ampitheater49 viewsSegobriga is a former Roman city near Saelices, in the province of Cuenca in Spain. It is possibly one of the most important archaeological sites of the Spanish Meseta. The name Segóbriga derives from two words: "Sego" meaning victory and "briga" meaning city fortress. The translation would be "City of the Victory" or "Victorious City." The site includes an amphitheatre, theater, the city walls and gates, two thermal buildings or Roman baths, and the Forum. There is also a necropolis, and the circus (Roman race track) is being excavated - its outline can be seen from the top of the hill.

The Amphitheater, 75m long and of an irregular elliptic shape, is the biggest monument of Segóbriga and had capacity for 5,500

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seg%C3%B3briga_Circo_04_JMM.jpg
Joe Sermarini
Segóbriga_Termas_JMM.jpg
Spain, Segobriga - Roman baths48 viewsSegóbriga is a former Roman city near Saelices, in the province of Cuenca in Spain. It is possibly one of the most important archaeological sites of the Spanish Meseta. The name Segóbriga derives from two words: "Sego" meaning victory and "briga" meaning city fortress. The translation would be "City of the Victory" or "Victorious City." The site includes an amphitheatre, theater, the city walls and gates, two thermal buildings or Roman baths, and the Forum. There is also a necropolis, and the circus (Roman race track) is being excavated - its outline can be seen from the top of the hill.

Roman Baths: The monumental baths were not only for hygienic reasons but also for social and business purposes.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seg%C3%B3briga_Termas_JMM.jpg
Joe Sermarini
Theater_Segobriga.jpg
Spain, Segobriga - Theater40 viewsSegóbriga is a former Roman city near Saelices, in the province of Cuenca in Spain. It is possibly one of the most important archaeological sites of the Spanish Meseta. The name Segóbriga derives from two words: "Sego" meaning victory and "briga" meaning city fortress. The translation would be "City of the Victory" or "Victorious City." The site includes an amphitheatre, theater, the city walls and gates, two thermal buildings or Roman baths, and the Forum. There is also a necropolis, and the circus (Roman race track) is being excavated - its outline can be seen from the top of the hill.

Construction of the theater began under the emperor Tiberius and was completed during the Flavian dynasty, circa AD 79. The orchestra had three tiers of seats for VIP's and is preserved together with seats for spectators divided into sections according to their social classes. The upper cavea was built on the city wall on a vault over a street

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Theater_Segobriga.jpg
Photographer: Art Davis
25 September 2011
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Joe Sermarini
Spain- Taragona- Amphitheatre.jpg
Spain- Taragona- Amphitheatre46 viewsThis conventional seating may be observed at the amphitheatre at Tarragona in northern Spain. Tarraco, its Latin name, was the capital of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis. The seating is essentially the same as that found in Rome’s Colosseum. The amphitheatre’s construction is dated to the second century AD, a time of extensive building of centres of public entertainment throughout the Mediterranean. On the right side, the seating was hewn from the bedrock, while on the left, or seaward side, the seating was built up from blocks, a phenomenon also found at Syracuse in Sicily.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EVENTS OCCURRING AT THE TIME THIS COIN WAS STRUCK
A.D.80
Titus completed and inaugurated the Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre) with 100 days of games.
Gnaeus Julius Agricola began his invasion of Scotland.
A.D.81
The Arch of Titus was constructed in Rome.
1 comments*Alex
DIV-FAUST_1_PROV_1.JPG
Struck A.D.141- 161 under Antoninus Pius. DIVA FAUSTINA SENIOR. Commemorative AE14 of Bostra, Arabia7 viewsObv: ΘЄA ΦAVCTЄINA. Diademed and draped bust of Faustina facing right.
Rev: TVXH NЄAC TPAIANHC BOCTPAC, Tyche (City-goddess) standing facing, head left, holding spear and resting left hand on shield.
Diameter: 14mm | Weight: 2.06gms | Die Axis: 6
ANS 1181 | Spijkerman 11 | BMC 7-9.

Originally a Nabataean city, in A.D.106 Bostra was conquered by the emperor Trajan who renamed it Nova Trajana Bostra and made it the capital of the Roman province of Arabia Petraea. Bostra was the residence of the Legio III Cyrenaica and served as a key Roman fortress east of the Jordan River. Since it was at the juncture of several trade routes connecting Damascus to the Red Sea the city flourished and Bostra eventually achieved the title metropolis under the emperor Philip I, who was a native of the city. Its coins have Greek legends from the time of Antoninus Pius to Elagabalus, and Latin legends from Severus Alexander to the time of Trajan Decius.
Today Bostra is a major archaeological site and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its main feature is it's Roman theatre (below) reputed to be the best preserved Roman theatre in the world.
*Alex
Theatre_at_Bostra.JPG
Syria, Bostra, Roman Theatre56 viewsOriginally a Nabataean city, in A.D.106 Bostra was conquered by the emperor Trajan who renamed it Nova Trajana Bostra and made it the capital of the Roman province of Arabia Petraea. Since it was at the juncture of several trade routes connecting Damascus to the Red Sea the city flourished and Bostra eventually achieved the title metropolis under the emperor Philip I, who was a native of the city.
Today Bostra is a major archaeological site and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its main feature is it's Roman theatre which is reputed to be the best preserved Roman theatre in the world.
*Alex
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Theatre Ticket33 viewsRugser
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Theatre Ticket32 viewsRugser
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Theatre Ticket25 viewsRugser
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Theatre Ticket30 viewsRugser
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Theatre Ticket24 viewsRugser
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Tiberius, RIC 49, for Divus Augustus, sestertius of AD 22-23 (large S C)33 viewsĆ Sestertius, 26,9g, Ř 35-36mm, 12h, Rome, AD 22-23
Obv.: DIVVS AVGVSTVS PATER, Augustus radiated seated left, feet on stool, holding laurel branch and long sceptre, altar in front
Rev.: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST P M TR POT XXIIII around large S C.
RIC (Tiberius) 49 (R); Cohen 74; Sear (RCV I) 1782; Foss (Roman Historic Coins) Tiberius:5

This type, issued under Tiberius, refers to the consecration of Augustus after his death in AD 14. According to Sear (RCV I) this type may represent the statue of Divus Augustus set up near the Theatre of Marcellus in Rome.
Charles S
Titus_RIC_II_129.jpg
Titus RIC II 0129102 viewsTitus 79-81 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint, Jan. 1-June 30, 80 A.D.. (3.31g, 18.9mm, 6h). Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, laureate head left. Rev: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII, P P, tripod with fillets, dolphin above. RIC II 129, RSC 323.

This type was minted the same year as the inauguration of the Flavian Amphitheatre and Titus’ pulvinaria series. It also echoes a type of Vitellius which had a Raven under the tripod. Some of Titus’ coins have ravens on the tripod, but not this example. This is another of the less common left facing portraits.
2 commentsLucas H
Theatre,_Ankara_(1).jpg
Turkey, Ankara, Theatre (1)30 viewsNot to far from the Anatolian Museum in Ankara, a theatre is currently being excavated. It certainly looks promising, although excavation is expected to continue for a long while. To excavate something like this in the middle of a metropolitan city is quite extraordinary!
Photograph by Will Hooton
*Alex
Theatre_at_Ankara.JPG
Turkey, Ankara, Theatre (2)30 viewsAnother view of the Theatre.
Photograph by Will Hooton
*Alex
Aspendos_theatre_seating.jpg
Turkey, Aspendos, Roman theatre, Seating326 viewsAspendos has a strong claim to possess the best-preserved Roman theatre in the world. It dates from the mid-second century, completed during the last years of the reign of Antoninus Pius, to a design by a local architect, Zenon. The cavea seats over 10,000; walking around the top level, you can still find the original post holes for the masts fixing the velarium. 1 commentsAbu Galyon
Aspendos_theatre_stage_building.jpg
Turkey, Aspendos, Roman theatre, Stage building220 viewsThe scaenae frons is similarly largely undamaged. The stage building had secondary use, first as a caravanserai and later as a residence for the Seljuk governor of the city! Abu Galyon
08F82.JPG
Turkey, Ephesus - theatre194 viewsJohny SYSEL
08F83.JPG
Turkey, Ephesus - theatre229 views44000 spectators - maybe the largest ancient theatreJohny SYSEL
08F89.JPG
Turkey, Ephesus - theatre184 viewsJohny SYSEL
Erythrai_amphitheatre.jpg
Turkey, Erythrai amphitheatre124 viewsErythrai amphitheatre ruins in Turkey, 2009.Joe Sermarini
941939.jpg
Turkey, Hierapolis - theatre180 viewsJohny SYSEL
23580149.jpg
Turkey, Hierapolis - theatre178 viewsJohny SYSEL
Kaunos_-_Theatre.jpg
Turkey, Kaunos - the Theatre119 viewsA nicely proportioned theatre of the Greek type, with 34 rows of seats (18 below the diazoma and 16 above). The two arched entrances are original. Abu Galyon
Miletos_Theatre.jpg
Turkey, Miletos - Theater142 viewsEaster 2007Potator II
Pergamum_Theatre.jpg
Turkey, Pergamum - Theatre147 viewsThe Hellenistic theatre at Pergamum is extraordinary. It’s built into a steep hill-side, in close proximity to the city’s famous altar of Zeus, as well as to temples dedicated to Athena and Dionysus. But the constraints of the chosen site meant that the theatre could not take the ‘normal’ Greek shape (rather more than a semi-circle). Instead, to fit in the required number of seats, the cavea was extended vertically: there are 78 rows. The result is vertiginous. Abu Galyon
Side_Theatre.jpg
Turkey, Side, Pamphylia Theater 2nd Century AD25 viewsThe great ruins of Side are among the most notable in Asia Minor. They cover a large promontory which a wall and a moat separate from the mainland. There are colossal ruins of a theater complex, the largest in Pamphylia, built in the 2nd century A.D. Following design it relies on arches to support the sheer verticals. The Roman style was adopted because Side lacked a convenient hillside that could be hollowed out in the usual Greek fashion more typical of Asia Minor. In Greek fashion, the seating (for 15,000–20,000 people) curves 210° vice the usual 180° for a Roman theater. The stage building was ornately adorned but the decorations and the theater are damaged, in part due to a strong earthquake. The theater was converted into an open-air sanctuary with two chapels during the 5th or 6th century (Byzantine times).

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Side_Theatre_4192.jpg

Author, Date: Dosseman, 21 March 2011

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Joe Sermarini
Side_Theatre_panorama.jpg
Turkey, Side, Pamphylia Theater 2nd Century AD panorama30 viewsTurkey, Side, Pamphylia, theater 2nd century AD, panorama

The great ruins of Side are among the most notable in Asia Minor. They cover a large promontory which a wall and a moat separate from the mainland. There are colossal ruins of a theater complex, the largest in Pamphylia, built in the 2nd century A.D. Following design it relies on arches to support the sheer verticals. The Roman style was adopted because Side lacked a convenient hillside that could be hollowed out in the usual Greek fashion more typical of Asia Minor. In Greek fashion, the seating (for 15,000–20,000 people) curves 210° vice the usual 180° for a Roman theater. The stage building was ornately adorned but the decorations and the theater are damaged, in part due to a strong earthquake. The theater was converted into an open-air sanctuary with two chapels during the 5th or 6th century (Byzantine times).

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Side_Theatre_panorama.jpg

Author, Date: Dosseman, 21 March 2011

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Joe Sermarini
Termessos_-_Theatre.jpg
Turkey, Termessos - Theatre182 viewsThough Termessos is fairly close to a major tourist resort (Antalya) it’s not over-visited, perhaps because it’s a fairly steep uphill climb to reach the principal monuments from the nearest point where you can park. But the effort is worth it: the setting (inside Güllük Daği National Park) is spectacular and the ruins at this unrestored site are as romantic a pile of tumble-down stones as anyone could wish for. Abu Galyon
plan3.jpg
York plan 380 viewsAn impresion of the Roman fort of Eboracum from the third century AD. The numbers refer to a couple of the photo locations for orientation.

It should be noted that the location of the amphitheatre is purely conjectural and there is no physical evidence for the location in the reconstruction.
mauseus
Phil2AE21.jpeg
[103b] Macedonian Kingdom, Philip II, 359 - 336 B.C.54 viewsMacedonian Kingdom, Philip II, 359 - 336 B.C. Bronze AE 21, Heavy or Double Unit, SNG ANS 833, aVF, 8.40g, 21.2mm, 0o, lifetime issue. Obverse: head Apollo right, wearing tania; Reverse: FILIPPOU, young male rider right, right hand raised, E right.
Ex FORVM.

Philip II expanded the size and influence of the Macedonian Kingdom, but is perhaps best known as the father of Alexander the Great. He personally selected the design of his coins.

Struck in commemoration of Philip's Olympic victory. This is one of his earliest issues in bronze.

Philip II of Macedon (382 BC–336 BC; in Greek Φίλιππος = φίλος (friend) + ίππος (horse), transliterated Philippos) was the King of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination. He was the father of Alexander the Great, Phillip III Arrhidaeus, and possibly Ptolemy I Soter, founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Born in Pella, Philip was the youngest son of King Amyntas III and Eurydice. In his youth, (ca. 368 BC–365 BC) Philip was a hostage in Thebes, which was the leading city of Greece during the Theban hegemony. While a captive there, Philip received a military and diplomatic education from Epaminondas, was involved in a pederastic relationship with Pelopidas and lived with Pammenes, who was an enthusiastic advocate of the Sacred Band of Thebes. In 364 BC, Philip returned to Macedonia. The deaths of Philip's elder brothers, King Alexander II and Perdiccas III, allowed him to take the throne in 359 BC. Originally appointed regent for his infant nephew Amyntas IV, who was the son of Perdiccas III, Philip managed to take the kingdom for himself that same year.

Philip's military skills and expansionist vision of Macedonian greatness brought him early success. The hill tribes were broken by a single battle in 358 BC, and Philip established his authority inland as far as Lake Ohrid. He used the Social War as an opportunity for expansion. In 357 BC, he took the Athenian colony of Amphipolis, which commanded the gold mines of Mount Pangaion. That same year Philip married the Epirote princess Olympias, who was the daughter of the king of the Molossians. In 356 BC, Philip conquered the town of Crenides and changed its name to Philippi. Philip also attacked Abdera and Maronea, on the Thracian sea-board. Also in 356 Alexander was born and his race horse won in the Olympics in He took Methone in 354 BC, a town which had belonged to Athens. During the siege of Methone, Philip lost an eye.

Not until his armies were opposed by Athens at Thermopylae in 352 BC did Philip face any serious resistance. Philip did not attempt to advance into central Greece because the Athenians had occupied Thermopylae. Also in 352 BC, the Macedonian army won a complete victory over the Phocians at the Battle of Crocus Field. This battle made Philip tagus of Thessaly, and he claimed as his own Magnesia, with the important harbour of Pagasae.
Hostilities with Athens did not yet take place, but Athens was threatened by the Macedonian party which Philip's gold created in Euboea. From 352 to 346 BC, Philip did not again come south. He was active in completing the subjugation of the Balkan hill-country to the west and north, and in reducing the Greek cities of the coast as far as the Hebrus (Maritza). For the chief of these coastal cities, Olynthus, Philip continued to profess friendship until its neighboring cities were in his hands.

In 349 BC, Philip started the siege of Olynthus. Olynthus at first allied itself with Philip, but later shifted its allegiance to Athens. The Athenians did nothing to help Olynthus. Philip finally took Olynthus in 348 BC and razed the city to the ground. In 346 BC, he intervened effectively in the war between Thebes and the Phocians, but his wars with Athens continued intermittently.

Macedonia and the regions adjoining it having now been securely consolidated, Philip celebrated his Olympic games at Dium. In 347 BC, Philip advanced to the conquest of the eastern districts about the Hebrus, and compelled the submission of the Thracian prince Cersobleptes. Meanwhile, Athens had made overtures for peace, and when Philip, in 346 BC, again moved south, peace was sworn in Thessaly. With key Greek city-states in submission, Philip turned to Sparta; he sent them a message, "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city." Their reply was "If." Philip and Alexander would both leave them alone. Later, the Macedonian arms were carried across Epirus to the Adriatic Sea. In 342 BC, Philip led a great military expedition north against the Scythians, conquering the Thracian fortified settlement Eumolpia to give it his name, Philippoupolis (modern Plovdiv).

In 340 BC, Philip started the siege of Perinthus. Philip began another siege in 339 BC of the city of Byzantium. After unsuccessful sieges of both cities, Philip's influence all over Greece was compromised. However, Philip successfully reasserted his authority in the Aegean by defeating an alliance of Thebans and Athenians at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC. He erected a memorial of a marble lion to the Sacred Band of Thebes for their bravery that still stands today. Philip created and led the League of Corinth in 337 BC. Members of the League agreed never to wage war against each other, unless it was to suppress revolution. Philip was elected as leader (hegemon) of the army of invasion against the Persian Empire. In 336 BC, when the invasion of Persia was in its very early stage, Philip was assassinated, and was succeeded on the throne of Macedon by his son Alexander the Great.

Philip’s Assassination

The murder happened in October of 336 BC, at Aegae, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Macedon. The court had gathered there for the celebration of the marriage between Alexander of Epirus and Philip's daughter. While the king was entering unprotected into the town's theatre (highlighting his approachability to the Greek diplomats present), he was killed by Pausanias of Orestis, one of Philip's seven bodyguards. The assassin immediately tried to escape and reach his associates who were waiting for him with horses at the entrance of Aegae. He was pursued by three of Philip's bodyguards and died by their hands.
The reasons for Pausanias' assassination of Phillip are difficult to fully expound, since there was controversy already among ancient historians. The only contemporary account in our possession is that of Aristotle, who states rather tersely that Philip was killed because Pausanias had been offended by the followers of Attalus, the king's father-in-law.

Whatever else that may be written about Philip II it must be recognized that he was responsible for making Macedon the ascendant Greek power. He reorganized the Macedonian army. It was this army that Alexander the Great inherited. Phillip II trained some of his Alexander’s best generals: Antigonus Cyclops, Antipater, Nearchus, Parmenion, and Perdiccas.

While Alexander was a bold and charismatic leader, he owes much of his success to his father.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_II_of_Macedon
J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.


Cleisthenes
Phillip2Ae.jpg
[103c] Macedonian Kingdom, Philip II, 359 - 336 B.C.43 viewsBronze AE Unit, SNG ANS 896, SNG Cop 589, F, 5.554g, 16.8mm, 0o, Macedonian mint, c. 359 - 336 B.C.; lifetime issue. Obverse: head Apollo right wearing tania; Reverse: FILIPPOU, young male riding horse prancing to right, AI below. Ex FORVM.


Philip II expanded the size and influence of the Macedonian Kingdom, but is perhaps best known as the father of Alexander the Great. He personally selected the design of his coins.

Philip II of Macedon (382 BC–336 BC; in Greek Φίλιππος = φίλος (friend) + ίππος (horse), transliterated Philippos) was the King of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination. He was the father of Alexander the Great, Phillip III Arrhidaeus, and possibly Ptolemy I Soter, founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Born in Pella, Philip was the youngest son of King Amyntas III and Eurydice. In his youth, (ca. 368 BC–365 BC) Philip was a hostage in Thebes, which was the leading city of Greece during the Theban hegemony. While a captive there, Philip received a military and diplomatic education from Epaminondas, was involved in a pederastic relationship with Pelopidas and lived with Pammenes, who was an enthusiastic advocate of the Sacred Band of Thebes. In 364 BC, Philip returned to Macedonia. The deaths of Philip's elder brothers, King Alexander II and Perdiccas III, allowed him to take the throne in 359 BC. Originally appointed regent for his infant nephew Amyntas IV, who was the son of Perdiccas III, Philip managed to take the kingdom for himself that same year.

Philip's military skills and expansionist vision of Macedonian greatness brought him early success. The hill tribes were broken by a single battle in 358 BC, and Philip established his authority inland as far as Lake Ohrid. He used the Social War as an opportunity for expansion. In 357 BC, he took the Athenian colony of Amphipolis, which commanded the gold mines of Mount Pangaion. That same year Philip married the Epirote princess Olympias, who was the daughter of the king of the Molossians. In 356 BC, Philip conquered the town of Crenides and changed its name to Philippi. Philip also attacked Abdera and Maronea, on the Thracian sea-board. Also in 356 Alexander was born and his race horse won in the Olympics in He took Methone in 354 BC, a town which had belonged to Athens. During the siege of Methone, Philip lost an eye.

Not until his armies were opposed by Athens at Thermopylae in 352 BC did Philip face any serious resistance. Philip did not attempt to advance into central Greece because the Athenians had occupied Thermopylae. Also in 352 BC, the Macedonian army won a complete victory over the Phocians at the Battle of Crocus Field. This battle made Philip tagus of Thessaly, and he claimed as his own Magnesia, with the important harbour of Pagasae.
Hostilities with Athens did not yet take place, but Athens was threatened by the Macedonian party which Philip's gold created in Euboea. From 352 to 346 BC, Philip did not again come south. He was active in completing the subjugation of the Balkan hill-country to the west and north, and in reducing the Greek cities of the coast as far as the Hebrus (Maritza). For the chief of these coastal cities, Olynthus, Philip continued to profess friendship until its neighboring cities were in his hands.

In 349 BC, Philip started the siege of Olynthus. Olynthus at first allied itself with Philip, but later shifted its allegiance to Athens. The Athenians did nothing to help Olynthus. Philip finally took Olynthus in 348 BC and razed the city to the ground. In 346 BC, he intervened effectively in the war between Thebes and the Phocians, but his wars with Athens continued intermittently.

Macedonia and the regions adjoining it having now been securely consolidated, Philip celebrated his Olympic games at Dium. In 347 BC, Philip advanced to the conquest of the eastern districts about the Hebrus, and compelled the submission of the Thracian prince Cersobleptes. Meanwhile, Athens had made overtures for peace, and when Philip, in 346 BC, again moved south, peace was sworn in Thessaly. With key Greek city-states in submission, Philip turned to Sparta; he sent them a message, "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city." Their reply was "If." Philip and Alexander would both leave them alone. Later, the Macedonian arms were carried across Epirus to the Adriatic Sea. In 342 BC, Philip led a great military expedition north against the Scythians, conquering the Thracian fortified settlement Eumolpia to give it his name, Philippoupolis (modern Plovdiv).

In 340 BC, Philip started the siege of Perinthus. Philip began another siege in 339 BC of the city of Byzantium. After unsuccessful sieges of both cities, Philip's influence all over Greece was compromised. However, Philip successfully reasserted his authority in the Aegean by defeating an alliance of Thebans and Athenians at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC. He erected a memorial of a marble lion to the Sacred Band of Thebes for their bravery that still stands today. Philip created and led the League of Corinth in 337 BC. Members of the League agreed never to wage war against each other, unless it was to suppress revolution. Philip was elected as leader (hegemon) of the army of invasion against the Persian Empire. In 336 BC, when the invasion of Persia was in its very early stage, Philip was assassinated, and was succeeded on the throne of Macedon by his son Alexander the Great.

Philip’s Assassination

The murder happened in October of 336 BC, at Aegae, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Macedon. The court had gathered there for the celebration of the marriage between Alexander of Epirus and Philip's daughter. While the king was entering unprotected into the town's theatre (highlighting his approachability to the Greek diplomats present), he was killed by Pausanias of Orestis, one of Philip's seven bodyguards. The assassin immediately tried to escape and reach his associates who were waiting for him with horses at the entrance of Aegae. He was pursued by three of Philip's bodyguards and died by their hands.
The reasons for Pausanias' assassination of Phillip are difficult to fully expound, since there was controversy already among ancient historians. The only contemporary account in our possession is that of Aristotle, who states rather tersely that Philip was killed because Pausanias had been offended by the followers of Attalus, the king's father-in-law.

Whatever else that may be written about Philip II it must be recognized that he was responsible for making Macedon the ascendant Greek power. He reorganized the Macedonian army. It was this army that Alexander the Great inherited. Phillip II trained some of his Alexander’s best generals: Antigonus Cyclops, Antipater, Nearchus, Parmenion, and Perdiccas.

While Alexander was a bold and charismatic leader, he owes much of his success to his father.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_II_of_Macedon
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
Justinan1Nikomedia.jpg
[1611a] Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.68 viewsBronze follis, S 201, choice VF, 22.147g, 43.8mm, 180o, 2nd officina, Nikomedia mint, 541 - 542 A.D.; Obverse: D N IVSTINIANVS PP AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right, shield decorated with a horseman brandishing a spear, cross right; Reverse: large M, cross above, ANNO left, Xu (= year 15) right, B below, NIKO in ex; full circle strike on a huge flan. Ex FORVM.



De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Justinian (527-565 A.D.).

James Allan Evans
University of British Columbia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

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

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


Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

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

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


Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
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